- Saturday’s game had a bit of everything, well except for a winner. The Vees and Powell River Kings played to an entertaining, dramatic and a somewhat controversial 3-3 tie. The Vees came back from two one-goal deficits and had a third period lead before the Kings came back to tie. Layers of story lines.
- OK, let’s jump right to it. The Kings third goal that tied it midway through the third. Was it in? I can’t say definitively either way. Jacob Pritchard cut across the crease from the left-wing and tried to slide the puck around a stretched out Hunter Miska. The puck got hung up on Miska’s left pad on the goal-line then he swung the puck back out with his glove. The issue I think for the Vees is one, the goal light coming on five seconds after the play at the net. I went back and watched the video. It took five seconds for the goal judge to make a decision. That felt like five hours for everyone else. Secondly, and most importantly, after going back and watching the video, the net actually came off its moorings before Pritchard got his shot off. The net was slanted back to the left so technically the play should have been whistled dead. But that’s a moot point now and nothing can change from it. Tough pill to swallow but you hope those calls even out over a course of a season well they haven’t yet and there’s only eight games left. Maybe it turns around today.
- I wrote about how deadly the Kings top-line was before the game Saturday and they showed why. Pritchard with three goals and Kurt Keats and Jarid Lukosevicius each had two assists. Seven points for “Lukeatschard.” We all know Pritchard could shoot but man, he can skate. On his first and third goals, Pritchard showed off some great speed burning by the Vees defenders before cutting hard to the net. Both times he made his moves at full speed coming down the left-wing. Keats was very good in the face-off circle and really does play a “200ft game.” The three came as advertised.
- Despite trailing 2-1 after 20-minutes, the Vees had a very first period on the road. They outshot the Kings 12-11 but I saw the shot clock at 11-3 and 12-4 for the Vees. The Kings didn’t get a shot on net until the 6-minute mark but unfortunately for the Vees, that shot beat Hunter Miska. Inside the first two minutes the Vees had two really good chances to break the ice. First it was Matt Serratore just missing on a tip in front, and then it was Demico Hannoun wiring a shot from the slot off the cross-bar. If only. Just like Friday, the Vees came to play on Saturday and had the Kings on their heels.
- The Vees sure are getting some notable contributions from their blue-line this weekend. Gabe Bast scored Friday in double-overtime and Miles Gendron and Dante Fabbro scored two of the three Vees goals Saturday. Gendron made a nice read to pinch down from the blue-line and put in a centering feed from Lewis Zerter-Gossage to tie the game 1-1 late in the first. Trailing 2-1 late in the second, Fabbro showed great poise to move into the slot and hammered a shot underneath the cross-bar to again tie it late for the Vees. Both Fabbro and Gendron snapped lengthy goal droughts Saturday. Fabbro scored his first in 22 games and Gendron his first in 14 games; Gendron’s last goal was against PR on December 6th.
- Quite the weekend for Hunter Miska too. A second star performance Friday, followed up by being named the game’s third star on Saturday. Miska made his best save in double-overtime on Kurt Keats. Keats had a clear-cut breakaway but Miska thwarted the Kings forward with a nice pad save on the blocker-side. Miska didn’t look all that comfortable earlier but really settled down in the back-half of the game. He dealt with a lot of traffic and jams plays around his net but he was there time and again to close the door.
- There were a couple more controversial plays to Saturday’s game, outside of the Kings third goal. Earlier in the second period, during a Vees power-play, Tyson Jost thought he scored the game-tying goal. Jost made a power move on the goal-line and appeared to jam the puck past Magnus at the near post. The goal-light never went on (call me shocked) and the referee eventually ruled no-goal. This happened at the same end the Kings scored the controversial goal in the third period. Draw your own conclusions. If it’s worth anything, Jost along with Dakota Conroy and Patrick Newell, who were all standing at the net, swear the puck crossed the line. Conroy also was involved in a goal-mouth scramble in the Kings end but couldn’t put the puck into an open net. After Magnus was beat on a deke, Conroy appeared to have an open net but the Kings dove back into the crease and kept the puck out. The controversy? A Kings defender closed his hand on the puck and threw it out of the crease, which under the rules should have warranted a penalty-shot. On Alex Rawnsely’s Kings Blog, he has a picture of when this incident happened. In the picture you can see Conroy pointing down, as if to say “he gloved the puck!”
- Best chance in overtime for the Vees was on the stick of Pat Newell. During the three-on-three period, he came down the middle and took the drop pass as the seas parted for him. However, Newell’s shot from between the hash marks whistled wide of the blocker-side post.