Matt Serratore Post-Game
- Matt Serratore could not have picked a better time to score. Serratore scored twice, the Vees first and last goals, in a 3-2 come from behind win in game two against West Kelowna. Serratore scored the Vees first goal, a buck forty-one into the third on rebound, to ignite the third period rally. That goal was his first in 13 games he’s played in and I say he “played” in, because that goal-less streak stretched back to November 19th against Langley. That weekend Serratore unfortunately broke his ankle in a game in Merritt and missed the next 22 games. In all, it was 34 games, including playoffs, between goals for Matt Serratore. So a guy who hadn’t scored since November 19th, scores twice over the final 23 minutes and change to help secure the split against West-K. No goals in 120 days for Serratore but he doubled his output in just 23-minutes tonight. Great story of perseverance. Hopefully this a big boost of confidence for Serri as he continues to make strides in getting his game back to where it was before his injury.
- As Serratore explains above in our post-game chat, it was a strange OT goal, as the puck found its way to Serratore’s stick after Miles Gendron blew a tire trying to cut to the net. The puck fortunately squirted right to Serratore, who turned around and then smack it through the wickets of Scott Patton at 3:43 of OT. Your stomach was almost in your throat, when Gendy went down, there was no one immediately behind him to pick up the counter-attack. If that puck got away from the Vees, the Warriors would have been breaking back the other way on an odd-man rush. That’s all null and void, as the Vees finally got some puck luck.
- If you include the regular season, that was just the Vees fourth win when trailing going into the third period. Off the top of my head but if I’m not mistaken, that was the Vees first win this season when down two or more goals in the third period. In the regular season they were a pedestrian 3-5-0-0 when trailing after two; West Kelowna was a lights-out 21-1-0-3 when leading after forty. The shoe was on the other foot, as the Tribe got to experience first hand, when a team rallies late and wins; it was their MO against the Vees in Penticton this year. You could say the Vees West Kelowna’d, West Kelowna.
- An impressive number, as if you include the regular season, the Vees are now 10-2-0 after a loss and have held their opponents to two or less goals in nine of those 12 games. That’s a sign of a team that knows how to compartmentalize a tough outing and not let it have lingering effects in their next game. The whole two or less goals given up in nine of those 12 games, shows a team that really knows how to buckle down and be detailed oriented. Tonight was probably the most impressive win out of that list to date, considering the fashion they came back tonight and the pressure surrounding game two. Going down 2-0 would have been a tough thing to stomach.
- How about that “fourth unit” of Serratore, Mitch Newsome and Cody DePourcq. Newsome replaced Amantea on the right-wing after he aggravated an injury in game one. Newsome promptly goes out and sets up the Vees first goal of the night and the rest is history. Oh yea, that line was also on for the game-winner in OT. That line was one of the Vees best and Newsome looked sharp. That’s not easy to do considering he was out of the line-up in game one but he didn’t miss a beat, and that line definitely gave the Vees a spark.
- Underrated turning point or key moment? Hunter Miska with the double pad-stack save late in the second on Tanner Campbell. Remember the score is 2-0 for West-K and they’re on a late power-play. A goal there and it’s likely curtains for the Vees. I can’t fault Miska on the two goals, as one was a screen and the other a 2-on-1. What was key was he never allowed the Warriors to get that third goal. All of the sudden his save-percentage is now at .914 and he’s looking like his old self again. Here’s a clip of that save on Campbell WATCH
- I know Andrew Johnson scored and Brayden Gelsinger got an assist but I do like how the Vees handled their top-six. The points by Gelsinger and Johnson came on the same play, so if you take that scoring play away, their top two lines were contained pretty well. Yes, Jonathan Desbiens got two helpers but these points came in the second period and off of the only two glaring mistakes the Vees had. Two odd-man rushes on two mistakes resulted in two pucks in the back of the Vees net. Was frustrating to see because the Vees were playing so well after forty-minutes but down two. The shots were 27-17 going into the intermission and I would say the Vees had the edge in scoring chances but were down a pair. Guys like Jason Cotton and and the freshly returned Liam Blackburn didn’t make a while lot of noise and the Vees will need to do that again in games three and four. Harder to do without having the last change but that’s the challenge that awaits.
- Nice to see the Vees get rewarded for sticking to their guns. The coaches wanted to see more net drives and traffic and they got that and eventually the puck started going in for them. Hey, after the second period Scott Patton had stopped 79 of 82 shots (.963 save-percentage) going back to game one. The Vees easily could have got fed up and folded it in but they persisted and it paid off. Text book stuff on the first Vees goal, as Newsome brought it in wide and aimed far pad looking for a rebound. It was kicked-out right to Serratore and he made no mistake on the one-timer. Second goal, on the power-play, was just Demico Hannoun playing some big boy hockey and forcing his way to the net. Assistant Coach Nick Fuher said post-game that they spoke with Demico and said he should be more confident when he had the puck and go to the net. Well he listened and boy did it pay off. I would love to hear from Hannoun about game two but he’s not a huge fan of interviews; a man of mystery. I’ll let his play on the ice do all of the talking.
- Vees were also a lot better in the circle in game two and got some sustained zone time out of it. There’s still room for improvement but they improved upon their struggles from game one. When you’re winning draws you’re starting with the puck and that means your opponent is chasing. The Vees need to get West-K chasing.
- Why are power-plays so critical in the playoffs? Well the team that scores a power-play goal in this series is now 2-0. It took the Vees their sixth and final opportunity in the game but they manufactured the game-tying goal with Hannoun’s dangle. I liked the more direct approach the Vees had with their man-advantage, as they were quicker on the trigger and more decisive with their decision making. Not bad considering West-K had the third-best PK in the BCHL in the regular season.