Post-Game #43: Chartier Leads the Way in Trail

Game Recap Jan 17

GAME RECAP 

BOXSCORE 

  • Connor Chartier had a belated birthday gift for himself on Saturday. Chartier, who celebrated his 21st birthday Thursday, put together a game-high two goals and five points, leading the Vees to a 6-3 win. The only goal that Chartier wasn’t in on was the Vees second goal in the second period that was scored by Steen Cooper and setup by Dakota Conroy. Chartier had his old billets from Spokane watching on Saturday, as they made the two-hour drive from across the border. I joked with him on the bus after the game that they now need to come to every Vees game. Seriously. The kid had five points.
  • Chartier had just one goal in his previous eight games before Saturday’s offensive outburst. Despite the lack of point production, Chartier had been playing very well recently and you had the feeling he was going to breakout sooner rather than later. I just didn’t see a five-point game as the result. Assistant Coach Steve Cawley said post-game the coaching staff was looking for a way to get Chartier going after his strong start with the Vees. They slid him on a line with Lewis Zerter-Gossage and whala, the two combine for three goals and eight points.
  • Scoring six was great but more importantly look at WHO scored tonight. Cody DePourcq snapped a seven-game goalless drought, Cam Amantea scored his first in 14 games and Chartier scored his first in six. The Vees only had 11 forwards dressed tonight but all 11 had something to offer. Good to see certain players rise to the occasion and provide some timely depth scoring.
  • The first period reminded me a lot of the first period Friday in Merritt. Saturday the Vees scored first and out shot the Smokies 14-4 in the opening twenty-minutes but had to settle for a 1-1 tie heading into the intermission. The Vees dominated large chunks of the first period at Cominco but couldn’t find a way to get the go-ahead marker. They had a five-on-three for 1:22 and did everything but score on the extended two-man advantage. They peppered the Trail net during that sequence and it was highlighted by near misses, including Lewis Zerter-Gossage being robbed by Brett Clark, who made a filthy glove save to rob LZG from the slot. Encouraging to see the Vees press ahead despite a frustrating first period.
  • The second was a lot more wide open then the first period, as it was fire-wagon hockey at times. The two teams combined for five goals and 35 shots in the middle frame alone. Another encouraging sign was seeing the Vees able to produce responses to opposition goals. Remember Friday when the Vees couldn’t break through against Merritt and went to the third down 2-1? Well Saturday the Vees were down 2-1 early in the second but came back to tie it courtesy of Steen Cooper. Then they were down 3-2 but came back and responded with a Chartier goal to tie it 3-3. THEN they grabbed the lead once more on a goal by Zerter-Gossage down-low off in the offensive zone face-off. They showed a lot of resilience by coming back, not once but twice and in a tough environment. I laboured this point on the broadcast tonight but the Vees showed a lot more fight than they did on Friday; a bounce back effort.
  •  Backtracking to the Vees second goal and it was a great setup by Dakota Conroy. Conroy only came away with an assist Saturday but he was dominate at times out there, especially in the second. He’s not only highly skilled but a very intelligent hockey player and he showed it on the Cooper goal. Conroy skated down the right-wing, on a two-on-one rush with Coop’ and waited, hesitated just enough to open a passing lane to fire the puck across to Steen on the far-side. Some guys would rush the pass and fire it in the defenders leg. Not Conroy, who faked the shot with a subtle leg-kick that the Smokies bit on. That fake opened a lane for a great pass on the tape to Cooper who had a tap-in to tie it 2-2 at the time. Conroy was very good on Saturday and his lone assist doesn’t tell the whole story.
  • A big turning point, or THE turning point Saturday? With the score 3-2 Trail, Hunter Miska went to the splits and jetted out his right-leg to get a toe on a Connor Brown-Maloski rebound attempt on top of the crease. An incredible point-blank save. The Vees almost scored right away, as they brought it down ice but Mitch Newsome was stopped twice on the doorstep. However, at the time I said IF the Vees came back, we would be talking about that save and sure enough, here I am writing about it in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Miska’s stat line, by his standards doesn’t stand out, stopping 24 of 27 shots but that doesn’t show how good he was. He made some clutch saves at crucial times when the Vees needed a big stop. He had an excellent breakaway save on Dallas Calvin in the second and a point-blank save off of Calvin again in the third, when he was fed on a backdoor pass. Miska’s best save though was that toe save on Brown-Maloski and that’s the reason why the Vees were able to tie and then win the game. No save there and it’s 4-2 Trail late in the second and curtains.
  • The determination Chartier showed on the 3-3 goal was impressive. He took a pass up the middle from Shayne Gwinner at the Trail blue-line, as they were caught on a bad line chage. Chartier didn’t have time to pull away from the defender Ryan Swason. So, he took one hand off the stick to hold off Swanson and with the other hand, put a backhand attempt on goal which was stop. BUT Chartier had the presence of mind to still follow-up and STILL with one hand on his stick, he shovel the puck five-hole. Guy willed the puck over the goal-line. He wasn’t going to be denied.
  • Two guys who helped set the tone tonight with their effort level was Riley Alferd and Jack Ramsey. Those two were flying off the start and with Cooper, that line ate up a lot of time in the offensive zone. Cooper would eventually move to a different line but Alferd and Ramsey kept motoring along. They were dynamite on the penalty-kill and cause a lot of headaches for the Trail power-play personnel. Ramsey had a great sequence on a penalty-kill shift in the first, where he blocked the shot then forced the puck out of the zone. Alfie can’t buy a goal right now but he’s been playing some fantastic hockey. If you’re not scoring you have to contribute in other ways and Alfie is certainly doing that. When you have a short bench like tonight and see two veterans busting a hump like that, it’s infectiousness to your line-up. They were leading by example.
  • Truly was a bounce-back effort from the Vees, who are now 7-1-0-0 after a loss, outscoring the opposition 33-18 in those eight games. Crucial to get two points tonight to keep pace with the streaking Vernon Vipers, who are now only 10 points back. The Vees showed a lot of character with the performance they had Saturday with a depleted line-up.
  • Oh, and lastly, GO HAWKS! I got the Seattle Seahawks winning over Green Bay to advance to the Superbowl in Arizona. On the AFC side you can’t bet against Tom Brady and the Patriots at home. I got Seattle by a touchdown, 27-20.

 

 

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About frodgers

Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations for the Penticton Vees
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