Game Four Preview: Vees Look for 3-1 Series Lead

Jack Murray / 2015

Jack Murray / 2015

Penticton Vees (1-0-0-1) (44-9-3-2, 1st in Interior)

West Kelowna Warriors (1-0-0-1) (29-21-0-8, 4th Interior)

GM 4 Venue: Royal LePage Place

GM 3 Face-Off: 7pm

Season Series: Oct 10th 4-3 Vees, SOEC, Oct 11th 4-0 Vees, Royal LePage Place, Nov 5th 3-2 Warriors, SOEC, Nov 29th 4-3 Warriors, SOEC, Dec 19th 4-2 Vees, SOEC, Dec 20th 7-2 Vees, Royal LePage Place, Jan 20th 8-4 Vees, Royal LePage Place

Playoff Series Schedule

Game 1 4-3 (2 OT) West Kelowna

Game 2 3-2 (OT) Penticton

Game 3 4-3 (3 OT) Penticton

Game 4 March 7th (Royal LePage Place) 7pm

Game 5* March 9th (SOEC) 7pm

Game 6* March 10th (Royal LePage Place) 7pm

Game 7* March 11th (SOEC) 7pm

* If necessary

Vees Season Record vs. West Kelowna: 5-2-0-0 (Home: 2-2-0 / Away: 3-0-0)

 Road Season Record: 19-6-2-2

Vees Record vs. Interior Division: 26-7-1-1

Vees Leading Scorer: Patrick Newell 16-31-47

Vees Playoff Scoring:

Demico Hannoun 2-1-3           Gabe Bast 0-2-2                      Lewis Zerter-Gossage 1-0-1

Matt Serratore 2-1-3              Miles Gendron 0-2-2               Riley Alferd 0-1-1

Dakota Conroy 1-2-3               Jarod Hilderman 0-2-2            Connor Chartier 0-1-1

Tyson Jost 2-0-2                      Patrick Sexton 0-2-2                Steen Cooper 0-1-1

Mitch Newsome 1-1-2            Jack Ramsey 1-0-1                  Cody DePourcq 0-1-1

Playoff Goaltending vs. West Kelowna                       Dante Fabbro 0-1-1

Hunter Miska 2-1-0 / 2.09 GAA / .941 SV %


Vees Regular Season Scoring vs. West Kelowna:

Lewis Zerter-Gossage 2-8-10 Mike Lee 1-3-4

Patrick Newell 5-4-9               Jack Ramsey 1-3-4

Demico Hannoun 4-5-9           Gabe Bast 0-3-3

Tyson Jost 4-2-6                      Dante Fabbro 0-3-3

Riley Alferd 2-3-5                    Matt Serratore 2-0-2

Steen Cooper 2-3-5                 Patrick Sexton 1-1-2

Dakota Conroy 2-3-5               Miles Gendron 0-2-2

Cody DePourcq 1-4-5              Jarod Hilderman 0-2-2

Connor Chartier 4-0-4            Mitch Newsome 0-2-2

Mike Lee 1-3-4                        Cam Amantea 0-1-1

Goaltending vs. West Kelowna:

Hunter Miska GP 6 4-2-0 / 2.51 GAA / .912 SV % / 1 SO

Brendan Barry GP 1 1-0-0 / 3.00 GAA / .57 SV %

 Vees Situational Scoring:

Score 1st: 31-4-2-2 (1-0-0-1)                           Lead after 2nd: 39-2-1-1 (1-0-0-1)

Opposition Scores 1st: 13-5-2-0 (1-0-0-0)       Tied after 2nd: 4-2-2-1

Lead after 1st: 22-1-1-1 (1-0-0-0)                    Trail after 2nd: 3-5-0-0 (1-0-0-0)

Tied after 1st: 17-5-1-1 (1-0-0-1)                    More Shots: 38-9-0-1 (1-0-0-1)

Trail after 1st: 5-3-1-0                                     Outshot: 6-0-2-1 (1-0-0-0)

Shots Tied: 0-0-1-0


Warriors Regular Season Record vs. Penticton: 2-5-0-0 (Home: 0-3-0 / Away: 2-2-0)

Warriors Regular Season Home Record: 18-9-0-2

Warriors Record vs. Interior Division: 16-15-0-4

Warriors Leading Scorer: Liam Blackburn 22-51-73

Warriors Playoff Scoring:

Andrew Johnson 1-2-3            Kyle Marino 0-2-2       Rylan Yaremko 1-0-1

Tanner Campbell 1-1-2           Brett Mennear 0-2-2

Jason Cotton 1-1-2                  Liam Blackburn 0-2-2

Brayden Gelsinger 1-1-2         Kristian Blumenschein 1-0-1

Nick Rutigliano 1-1-2              Josh Bly 1-0-1

Jonathan Desbiens 0-2-2         Kylar Hope 1-0-1

Warriors Playoff Goaltending vs. Penticton

Scott Patton 1-1-0 / 2.42 GAA / 9.41 SV %

Stephen Heslop 0-1-0 / 2.19 GAA / .922 SV %


Warriors Regular Season Scoring vs. Penticton:

Brayden Gelsinger 2-4-6         Kylar Hope 1-1-2

Jonathan Desbiens 4-1-5         Braeden Jones 1-1-2

Liam Blackburn 2-3-5             Kristian Blumenschein 0-1-1

Jason Cotton 1-2-3                  Tyler Kunz 0-1-1

Brett Mennear 1-2-3              Nick Rutigliano 0-1-1

Andrew Johnson 0-3-3            Rylan Yaremko 0-1-1

Josh Bly 2-0-2                          Hunter Zandee 0-1-1

Tanner Campbell 1-1-2

Goaltending vs. Penticton:

Andy Desautels GP 5 2-3-0 / 4.31 GAA / .882 SV %

Scott Patton GP 1 0-1-0 / 4.70 GAA / .815 SV %


Warriors Situational Scoring:

Score 1st: 20-7-0-4 (0-0-0-1)                           Lead after 2nd: 21-1-0-3 (0-0-0-1)

Opposition Scores 1st: 9-14-0-4 (1-0-0-1)       Tied after 2nd: 2-4-0-2

Lead after 1st: 16-5-0-3                                    Trail after 2nd: 6-16-0-3 (1-0-0-1)

Tied after 1st: 6-4-0-2 (1-0-0-1)                       More Shots: 16-10-0-6 (0-0-0-1)

Trail after 1st: 7-12-0-3 (0-0-0-1)                    Outshot: 12-11-0-2 (1-0-0-1)

Shots Tied: 1-0-0-0


What to Watch For


  1. Stranglehold: The Vees are assured of a split in West Kelowna, which is what they wanted at minimum. Now they are going for the sweep and a chance to go up 3-1 in this best-of-seven series. West Kelowna was in a similar situation heading into game two but had to settle for the split. The Vees know firsthand what to expect from West Kelowna, because they were in their shoes going into game two. I would expect to see a desperate West-K team, one that will be pulling out all the stops. The Vees have to understand the gravity of the situation and match that desperation / intensity. As Assistant Coach Steve Cawley said on the post-game show, he thought his team was guilty of sitting back a bit when they had the lead last night; can’t have that happen again tonight. The Vees have the opportunity to go back home with a 3-1 series lead and a chance to close out the series on home ice Monday. The Vees need to play on their toes, not heels.
  2. Regroup: Yes, they won in triple-overtime (still hasn’t quite sunk in) but the Vees need to quickly shift gears to tonight. Yesterday was yesterday, today is today. Playoff hockey doesn’t allow you to dwell on your past accomplishments too much and the Vees need to refocus. Yes, they’re tied, sore and their legs likely feel like lead. But hey, West Kelowna is tired, sore and their legs feel like lead too. Tonight is about who wants it more. Which team in willing to go that much farther than their opponent? The Vees can’t be satisfied, no but they can be a confident group, now that they’re 4-0-0 at Royal LePage Place this season, if you include the regular season. They’re not out of the woods yet and they need to play like it.
  3. Killer Instinct: The Vees looked to have the Warriors by the collar in the first period last night but they wrestled loose and ended up forcing overtime. It was a great first period from the visitors but they need to play like that through sixty-minutes, not just twenty. Even when the game was three-buzz, you thought the Vees need one more goal to deliver the TKO. Their power-play had that opportunity in the first, as both Brayden Gelsinger and Kyle Marino took penalties. The Vees couldn’t cash in on either of those opportunities, or a third in the second when they were still up 3-0. What happened? West Kelowna scored last in the middle stanza to make it 3-1 and then they rallied with that third period blitz. It’s not just on the power-play but to a man, the Vees are going to have to find a way to not only knock West Kelowna down to the matt but keep them there. So far in this series, the Vees have allowed West Kelowna to come back twice in the third and force overtime; the Warriors won one of those two games. Remember, the Vees were an astonishing 39-2-1-1 when leading after two in the regular season. Time to see that team in game four.


  1. Energy Level: It was no secret the Warriors cut their bench down in the third period and all three overtime periods. That meant a lot of minutes for the likes of Andrew Johnson, Jason Cotton, Brayden Gelsinger, Jonathan Desbiens, Kylar Hope and Liam Blackburn. Johnson probably played the most out of any player, on both sides, as he had to be pushing close to 50-minutes of ice time; no joke. Johnson took practically every defensive zone draw late in the third and through all three overtime periods. He was spelled off by Cotton and the odd time by Brett Mennear. How fresh are the Warriors top guys after all those minutes they chewed up? The Vees rolled four lines pretty much from start to finish. Heck, their “fourth line” scored the overtime goal-again. In a pivotal swing game, the Warriors need a win and will look to their top players, their veterans to lead the way. How fresh will they be tonight?
  2. Between the Pipes: In the last two games, the Warriors have had two different starters. At the start of the season, who would have guessed the Warriors would have three different goalies dressed for this series and two different starters; one an AP. If you answered yes, go buy yourself a lottery ticket. Stephen Heslop shook off shaky first 10-minutes and turned in a very sound 44-save performance in the triple-overtime loss last night. Heslop started because Scott Patton did not dress because of injury. Tonight is a pivotal game four and the Warriors trying to avoid a3-1 series deficit. Will Patton be back? Does Heslop get his second straight start? Heck, do we see Andy Desautels for the first time? The Vees are never over prepared and did advanced scouting on all three, just in case there was a situation like we are now seeing unfold. As Head Coach Fred Harbinson said pre-game yesterday, nothing changes from a Vees perspective, when it comes to who’s in the Warriors net. If you’re the Warriors, who do you want starting tonight in a big game? Can’t be easy on a team to go through these injuries in the crease. They’ve done an admirable job piecing together the situation but tonight’s a pressure cooker-again. Who goes tonight?
  3. Start: Something I’ve got circled is the start from the Warriors. I’ve wrote about the Vees needing to brace for a big push off the start and I expect to see the Warriors come out hard. What I’m curious about is can they sustain that type of intensity over the entire game? Can the Vees weather the storm, when the Warriors come out swinging and then throw some effective counter-punches? Can the Tribe come out swinging and deliver a knock-out blow? I’m not sure if either side is capable of that “KO” because we’ve seen both sides pick themselves up off the canvas and comeback in games. The Warriors did it in games one and three and the Vees did it in game two. But again, what I’ll be paying close attention to is the start and how the Vees react to what I expect will be a big push from West-K.



About CBeauchemin

Director of Broadcasting & Communication for the Penticton Vees
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