Nanaimo Clips Vees in Fred Page Cup Opener

Post Game Blog_GM 1




  • Four-minutes in the second period the Vees will point to as their undoing of game one of the Fred Page Cup Final. Pretty good first 25-minutes turned in from the home side but Nanaimo scored five-minutes into the second and then three more in a four-minute span, to quickly turn a 1-1 tie, into a 5-1 lead. The Vees actually had a great start to the second, as right from puck drop they pressed, spent a lot of time in the Nanaimo end but couldn’t find a break through. After another Vees foray, the Clippers quickly turned it the other way and boom, it’s 2-1 and then it’s the snowball effect.
  • That Yanni Kaldis goal stung, as they Vees were in the Nanaimo end but they tried to force a play at the blue-line and that resulted in the Clippers odd-man rush. The puck was fired into shin pads, then it bounces out of the zone. Spencer Hewson breaks in and throws a saucer pass out front to Kaldis for the go-ahead goal. Five-minutes of pressure, zone time and chances but nothing for the Vees. The Clippers come down, get their second real look on goal and score. Frustrating for the home team.
  • Speaking of frustration, the Vees and their fans were a bit miffed as to why that Mike Lee goal was waved-off in the first. The Vees had numbers coming down into the Nanaimo end and Lee took the drop pass and scored on the short-side. However, the trailing referee blew his whistle, calling a bench minor to the Clippers. No Clipper touched the puck but the explanation was, as soon as the referee heard the “magic word” from the Nanaimo bench, he blew his whistle. Tough break, as it would have been 2-1 late in the first and that would have bee Lee’s first career playoff goal. I don’t think the Vees got over that and it’s hard to blame them. The game would have had a completely different look if that goal would have stood.
  • Like I said on Twitter after the game, there was still lots to like from the Vees despite the 5-2 scoreline. They had a fantastic first 10-minutes, scoring the first goal and out shot Nanaimo 8-2 going into the media timeout. Nanaimo did push back somewhat, tying it late on Anthony Rinaldi’s first of two. Even though it was 1-1, I thought the Clippers were left off the hook after the first. Guillaume Decelles was a big reason why the game was tied going into the first intermission. Dynamite start from the Vees and they had a handful of chances to go up two but Decelles hung in there. He was as advertised, as the veteran goalie came up with timely saves and when his team needed it the most; no fluke he was named a BCHL All-Star. One of the best chances for the Vees to make it 2-0 was a redirect by Steen Cooper in close but Decelles dropped down and did the splits and just got enough on the tip.
  • Yeah, it was four goals in 11-minutes but the real undoing was goals three through five the Clippers scored in four-minutes. The killer was Anthony Rinaldi’s second, as he pushed a tipped pass through Miska’s arm to put the visitors up 3-1. Stings because the Vees were buzzing down at the other end moments before and Jack Ramsey had his feet taken out from under him but the zebra’s arms stayed down. After Ramsey goes down, the Vees lost the puck and it’s Jake Jackson setting up Rinaldi and just like that it’s a two-goal lead for Nanaimo.
  • Hey, Nanaimo played the perfect road game, as they got some great goaltending and punished the Vees for every mistake they made. It was like watching a batter go 4-4 at the plate in baseball. Every mistake the Vees had in the second ended up in the back of the net; like a pitcher missing bad on a fastball-homerun. When you’re playing well, you can hide a mistake and not get burned. Well, tonight the Vees made some noticeable errors during that four-minute stretch, and Nanaimo turned a 2-1 lead into a 5-1 lead. They showed a lot of finish in the second.
  • Hunter Miska being pulled was more of a break for the besieged goaltender, rather than a reflection on his play. I honestly can’t fault him on any of the five pucks that got past him tonight. An unfortunate bounce in the first on the first Clippers goal. Then it’s two odd-man rushes. Sheldon Rempal then has all sorts of time on a deke and the fifth was off the post and right to a Clipper in the crease. Just one of those nights. What makes Miska great is his mental makeup. Has this ability to shake off games like tonight and not let it linger. Chatted with him after the game and he wasn’t wearing the loss on his face; already was on to game two. No pouting. He seldomly gets rattled and that will serve him well heading into tomorrow.
  • Talked about depth being a focal point in this series with two teams that boast a lot of it. Well, Nanaimo gets goals from three different lines and one from a defenseman. This is how the series will likely play out, as there’s going to be  different guys stepping up on any given night for both teams.
  • The Vees did have a lot of zone time, cycled at will at times and won a lot of battles along the wall but Nanaimo did collapse well in front of their net; like a zone defense in basketball. I think the Vees will need to make a more conscious effort to not only establish zone time but then attack the net. They were doing their thing a lot tonight but will need to consistently penetrate that area right out front of the Clippers crease. The Clips’ scored all five goals from the front porch.
  • I wonder what the status of Yanni Kaldis will be for game two. The gifted defenseman took a heavy hit from Dante Fabbro in the second period after he was chasing a puck in the Vees corner. Fabbro got him against the boards and Kaldis immediately doubled-over after the hit and skated off the ice; he didn’t return. He suffered upper-body injury back in February after he took a nasty hit in a game in Vernon in February and that kept him out of the line-up for some time. I hope he’s OK, as you don’t want to see a player of his caliber miss any time. He was just named a Second Team BCHL All-Star on Thursday. I wish him all the best and hopefully we can see him again in the series.



About CBeauchemin

Director of Broadcasting & Communication for the Penticton Vees
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