Here’s an alternate angle of Scott Conway’s OT, Tedd Bear Toss goal from behind the Coquitlam net. Video courtesy of Optikon Performance Analytics.
— Matt Miller (@millsy_4) November 19, 2015
- Just like they drew it up. OK, maybe not. Fans “patiently” waited 65 minutes and 16 seconds but Scott Conway finally delivered as he triggered the shower of stuffed toys. What a moment. Really, on Teddy Bear Toss night, being shutout at home for 65 minutes and looking at a very real possibility of not only being blanked on Teddy Bear Toss night but having your win streak snapped. As you can tell by watching the two videos above, the OT goal created quite the scene as not only did the players pour off the bench, but so too did the toys onto the ice.
- Quite the departure from what we’re use to seeing so far this season at home. Wednesday was the first time the Vees were held scoreless through regulation this season and the game had a feel that a goal, let alone goals were going to be hard to come by. First and foremost, a bunch of credit needs to be given to the Coquitlam Express who played a very good game. They looked nothing like a team hovering around the .500 mark. Their performance was quite the departure from what we’re use to seeing from them. Usually Barry Wolfe’s teams usually play a high tempo, offensive brand of hockey. As Fred Harbinson said pre-game, what is predictable about them, is that they’re usually unpredictable. Well, last night they had a more defensively conscious approach, as they played a very structured and disciplined game. Coquitlam clogged up the neutral zone very well which hampered the Vees ability to carry the puck in off the rush. Their fore-check was good too, as they really gave the Vees’ defensemen a hard time trying to push the puck up ice; the D-men fought the puck a lot too. Coquitlam did more than enough to win that game but when you go to three-on-three, you got to throw conventional wisdom out of the window.
- Have you seen a team hit as many cross-bars / posts as they Vees did Wednesday? The coaches had the number at six, including Demico Hannoun hitting iron on two different occasions. By my count, Hannoun (2), Dixon Bowen, Scott Conway, Owen Sillinger and one defensemen (I forget who specifically), all rang it off the iron. One of the most dramatic moments with the iron came in the first period and when the Vees were short-handed no less. Hannoun darted down the right-wing, cut to the net but flung his backhand attempt off where the post meets the cross-bar. He also had a great move in the second period, dragging the puck around a defender before clanging that attempt of lady iron. Bowen and Sillinger also fired hard shots towards the net in the second which hit either post. I wonder if Howat went to the casino after the game? The Express goalie had some horseshoes in his pants. Remember that Chris Gerrie attempt in front of the net in the third? His shot snuck through Howat’s arm by painfully laid on the goal-line for what seemed like hours before the play was blown dead. The odds of that puck not going in must have been crazy. Not just the fact no Vee stick could whack it in, but the fact Howat didn’t inadvertently knock it in when he fall onto his back to cover it. He was lucky but good too.
- Speaking of goalies, I hope fans are appreciating what they’re getting from their two netminders. How good was Anthony Brodeur Wednesday? He stops all 33-shots he faced last night and was dynamite in the first when the Vees needed him to be. Remember the Express had the first 11 shots on net. Yes, ELEVEN. The Vees started the first four-minutes of the game on the penalty-kill and Brodeur was at his best. Speaking of the PK, Brodeur’s numbers whilst short-handed are off the charts. When the Vees are short-handed, Brodeur owns a 0.42 goals-against average and .953 save percentage. That’s ridiculous. You’re not suppose to see those numbers from a goalie when his team is short-handed. To take it one step further, in his last three starts, Brodeur is 3-0, with a 0.95 goals-against average and owns an eye-popping .966 save percentage, and he’s been named the first start in his last two starts. Yes, he’s a free agent.
- Brodeur’s best save was his paddle stop on that Express two-on-one rush in the third. Just after the Vees’ power-play expired, Coquitlam broke back the other way and got the two-on-one after Blake Hayward stepped out of the box. Colton Kerfoot feathered the pass over to Hayward on the blocker side and had Brodeur out of his net. But the Vees’ goalie smartly turned and reached with his extended stick to knock down the shot and then raked it back into his pads for the whistle. Helluva save and at a crucial time.
- No it wasn’t one of the most crisp performances from the Vees but they did get better as the game progressed. The biggest problem last night was their struggle from getting the puck from their defensemen to their forwards. The coaches made no bones about it, what usually is their strength, was their weakness last night. Hey, it’s a long season and the D-core had been so good up until last night. Those types of games can pop up but now you hope they can nip it in the butt and get back on track Friday. That crisp breakout pass on the fly wasn’t there and that slowed down the Vees’ attack. Give some credit to Coquitlam for making the Vees life difficult through the middle of the ice but their breakouts will need to be better going into the weekend.
- Fitting that Conway, Tyson Jost and Dante Fabbro were all in on the game-winner. All three extended their lengthy point streaks it the win. Conway now has points in 21 games, Fabbro 16 and Jost 12. This team is almost, almost, automatic in double-overtime. The Vees spoiled with riches when it comes to picking which three to throw out on the ice, and you thought that talent was going to find a way last night. Great move by Conway on the winner, as he quickly cut to the inside on the defenseman before forcing the puck up and over Howat’s shoulder. The Vees are now 4-0 in extra time and 2-0 in double-overtime. They seem to find a way, time and again.
- The perfect home record stays intact, as the Vees are now 12-0-0 overall and 11-0-0 at the SOEC. All-time, their record at the SOEC in 213 games: 167-30-4-11. That’s something.