Vees Rally in the Third, Grab First Series Lead




  •  To steal a term from baseball, the Vees put the rally caps on in the third period in game five and it worked. Down 2-1 with just over eight-minutes left in the third, the Vees score twice in four-minutes to turn a one-goal deficit into a one-goal lead. Two nice goals too, as Cam Amantea made a great rush down the right-wing and Riley Alfred blasted a one-timer from the slot.
  • Starting with Amantea’s goal, he scored just as a Vees power-play expired and showed some great speed. Wasn’t an overly great power-play but the shift after a power-play can be so critical and Amantea showed why. The play actually started with a smart puck-playing move by Hunter Miska at the side of his net. He backhands the puck off the near glass, past the fore-checker and out to center. Great to see his confidence wasn’t shaken after the Clippers second goal. Matt Serratore found that clearing attempt and made a simple play ahead to a streaking Amantea. His speed caught the Nanaimo D-core flat-footed as Austin Dick fell trying to turn and chase. Then it’s all Amantea, as he cuts hard across the goal-line before wrapping the puck around Guillaume Decelles’ pad on the far side. That was Amantea’s first goal since March 31st, and if you include the regular season, the Vees are a perfect 7-0 when he scores. He’s playing his best hockey of the season.
  • Not an easy maneuver for Amantea, as he had to get the puck around the 6’3 frame of Decelles. No small feat.
  • Fitting Alfie scored the game-winner, considering the play he made at the blue-line to keep it onside. Alferd on a Vees zone entry, corralled a bouncing puck, walks the blue-line then fires a dart, on his backhand, across the zone and in the corner for Jack Ramsey. It turned out to be a quick give-and-go, as Alferd raced to the slot and fired the one-timer from one knee. Great pass by Ramsey to throw the puck out in the slot for Alferd to skate onto and hammer home; stick broke as he shot it too. That line deserved the moment, as they were very good all game and you thought it was a matter of time, before they hit the scoresheet. That’s one-way to snap a six-game goalless drought too.
  • Great to see the Vees comeback, especially after that second period, when they got scored on twice and on a couple of mental lapses. Shows a lot to come back from a third period deficit but more importantly the Vees overcame a couple tough moments. First, they gave up a short-handed goal after a miscue at the offensive blue-line, that allowed a Nanaimo two-on-one. Then, just after they tied it, they gave the lead right back on a puck-playing error behind the net by Hunter Miska. Obviously he would have liked a mulligan on that play, that allowed Ryan Forbes to make it 2-1 Clippers late. The Vees overcame both of those mental hurdles and responded very well in the third. Good for them.
  • Quickly on Miska, that was a play he would have wanted back but he didn’t let it get to him. I said it earlier in this series but Miska has a memory like a goldfish, when it comes to the game. A bad mistake or off-night (a rarity) doesn’t linger with him. Just look at him in the third, as he kicked-out all nine shots he faced and even assisted on the game-tying goal; he’s got assists in back-to-back games. A two-game point streak! Miska’s mental makeup is as important as his physical makeup. That’s why he’s one of the best.
  • Staying with individual performances, I thought Miles Gendron had a really good bounce-back game, after having some struggles in game four. Gendron was vastly improved in his own zone in game five, made a lot of great, subtle plays. He’s known for his offensive abilities but he really embraced his responsibilities when without the puck. He used his speed and reach to track down forwards trying to break in off the rush; his closing speed on forwards is impressive.  Mike Lee also had another strong outing, building upon his game four performance. Lee was making great outlet passes all night, sprung Hannoun on that breakaway in the first, and had a scoring chance of his own on the power-play; robbed of goals in back-to-back games by Decelles’ glove.
  • Odd but true, the Clippers are now 0-2 when they score first in this series; 1-1 when they lead through two periods.
  • The Vees bucked the trend, as they’re the first team to win on home ice in this series. Before game five, the road team was 4-0 and outscored the home team 17-9 in those four games. Great to see the Vees get that win on home ice and especially if, IF, that was the Vees last home game. What a way it would be to go out.
  • Both teams now are dealing with a quick turnaround, as game six is Friday night in Nanaimo. The Vees took the bus down to Chilliwack Thursday night. They’ll get up and hit an afternoon ferry to Nanaimo. Tonight will be a game decided more on emotion and will power.

About CBeauchemin

Director of Broadcasting & Communication for the Penticton Vees
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