The Vees picked up their sixth straight win Friday with a 6-1 win over the Merritt Centennials. They’re now 6-1-0-0 on the year and have an early wake up call Saturday for their bus ride to PG.
With that, I’ll share some brief thoughts on Friday’s win and pencil in the rest from the bus Saturday morning.
–Special Teams: Had its fingerprints all over this game. 14 combined power-plays and the second and third period was saturated with penalties. The Vees were uncharacteristically undisciplined Friday. Or they took a few too many penalties then they were comfortable with. Remember this team had always been one of the most disciplined in the league in the last few years, so the coaches wouldn’t be too happy with the amount of visits to the penalty-box. However, with that all said the penalty-kill was terrific going 7/8 and only allowing a goal during mop up duty inside the final minute of the third. The power-play was the story going 3-6 and scoring twice in the first period, as the Vees quickly pulled away. They’re now third in the BCHL on the PP, which is clicking at just over 27 percent. It’s lethal. They’re zipping the puck around and making plays at a very high speed, which doesn’t allow the opposition’s PK time to even react. We saw that on the first and second power-play goals of the night.
–Out Gunned: It was a match up of two of the top lines in the BCHL right now and the Vees won the battle handily. Tyson Jost, Scott Conway and Chris Gerrie combined for four goals and 11 points. Merritt’s top line of Zak Bowles, Colin Grannary and Gavin Gould were held pointless. That Merritt line combined for 15 points in their previous game but we’re a non factor Friday. Their best chance was a Grannary partial breakaway in a turnover that was stopped by Anthony Brodeur. Before the game Head Coach Fred Harbinson said they were going to put the Jost line head to head with Merritt’s big three and it paid off. Your best defense can be your best offense as that Vees line made Merritt’s three spend a lot of time chasing the puck.
Tidy House: The Vees turned in another solid defensive performance Friday. They only coughed up 21 shots and not a whole lot came from threatening areas. When there was a Merritt opportunity, Brodeur was there to shut the door. His best stop was the Grannary partial break from the top of the circles. Brodeur stayed square and made a nice shoulder save. The Vees defensively made it tough for thr Cents’ to get to scoring areas as they did a nice job of protecting the “house.” Merritt couldn’t really penetrate that scoring area throughout the game as the VEES D were on their details and boxed out well. Griffin Mendel, Seamus Donohue and Sam Jones had strong games. Nice to see those three younger guys have a positive impact all at the same time. Remember, the Vees were without Gabe Bast who was out with a lower – body injury. Mendel continues to impressive despite being just 16. Jones seamlessly fit into the line-up after not playing everyday, and Donohue was slippery in his own end. Best thing Bout him was when he knew he was going to get hit, he stood in there to make a play.
Now it’s a very quick turnaround as the team jumps onto the bus to Prince George Saturday morning at 7:30 am PST. They’ll have about eight hours to travel each way, so two points would help ease the travel pain. Find out at 7 pm.