(Photos Courtesy of: Damon James)
- Well, the Penticton Vees quickly erased anyone’s thoughts that they might fall into a slump after losing on Friday to Langley. The Vees made a statement on Saturday, thumping the Coquitlam Express 8-2. The game looked like a team (Vees) that was angry and took out their frustration on an unsuspecting opponent (Coquitlam). After a bit of an inauspicious start, the Vees awoke and never looked back, scoring eight unanswered at one point to quickly put the game out of reach.
- The first period was everything. Austin McIlmurray scored on the Express’ first shot, just 64-seconds in and I thought to myself, “here we go again,” as the Vees starts have been an issue of late. But they didn’t let the game go sideways on them and their power-play got them back on even terms. Easton Brodzinski finished off a great cross-ice pass from Scott Conway and five-minutes in, we’re tied 1-1 and I that settled them down. Well, it didn’t settle them down, it fired them up. Because this:
— Eddie Gregory (@EddieGregory81) November 22, 2015
- So, the Vees cranked ‘er up a notch or two after that Express opening goal. They scored five goals in 14-minutes in the first period and, like I said before, never looked back. It took the Express till the 10 and a half-minute mark off the second period to get their first shot of the second and just their ninth shot of game. The Vees were so dominant the Express had just nine shots in the first 30-minutes of the game. Chew on that for a minute.
- With a bevy of NHL scouts in attendance, Tyson Jost and Dante Fabbro had quite the performances. Jost registered a game high five points, scoring once and adding four helpers, and Fabbro scored twice in the first period and finished with four points (once scoring corrections are submitted). Jost was on another level, as he was a force and a one-man show at times. Three of Jost’s four assists were great plays by him alone. He made two great passes on both of Fabbro’s goals, showing off his great vision. On Fabbro’s first, he’s behind the net but sees Fabbro pinching from the point and puts it right on his tape. Then, on Fabbro’s second, the Vees counter-attack and Jost slams the brakes on after entering the zone, delaying, then finding the trailer in Fabbro. He also made a great pass on Brodzinski’s second goal in the second period, as the feathered a pass right on the tape of Brodzinski’s stick on a two-on-one rush. He would have had a fifth assist if it wasn’t for Nicholas Jones losing his helmet. Jost was toying with the Express defense in their end, stick handling right to left across the net, faking everyone out and went to drop it in the slot to Jones, but he lost his helmet moments earlier and couldn’t touch the puck, as he had to scamper back to the bench. Oh, his goal was nice too. Jost took a cross crease pass and instead of firing off the one-timer, like everyone thought he would do, Jost faked, then stick handled around the sprawled goaltender and tucked it in on the short-side. Fabbro was so good and at both ends of the ice. His offense is coming back after his injury, as he’s getting back up to the level we’re use to seeing from him, but he was a force in his own zone too. The moment that captured his performance perfectly was on his second goal of the first. Fabbro makes a great play just inside his own blue-line, poking the puck away from an Express forward, before sending a breakout pass up to Jost. The play ends with Fabbro scoring from the slot, going up high over the goalie’s glove. Fabbro now has 32 points in 20 games and that’s good enough for 10th in the BCHL and five points better than the next highest scoring defenseman in the league, in Nanaimo’s Yanni Kaldis; he’s played seven more games than Fabbs too.
- That’s Demico Hannoun casually toe-dragging around the defenseman and then scoring from his knees. Ho-hum. There were a few pretty goals from the Vees on Saturday but from an individual standpoint, I’m not sure if there was one any prettier than Hannoun’s. Hannoun reminding everyone he still has one of the best set of hands in the BCHL.
- Hockey can be a funny game. The Vees win a tight one, in Penticton four days earlier against the Express. Saturday, they score five goals in the first period alone, after being held to just one goal in 65-minutes and 16 seconds on Wednesday. The Vees did hit a bunch of posts in the game on Wednesday but they sure didn’t look like a team that was snake bitten on Saturday. The Vees hit three more posts by my count Saturday too, as Scott Conway hit iron and Owen Sillinger hit the cross-bar and post.
- The coaches wanted a better start than they had Friday or even in their last few games and they got just that. Yes, they surrendered the game’s first goal but they came to life and never looked back to go up by four at the break. How big was that? Well, the Vees are now 11-0 when leading after the first period this year, compared to being just 1-1 when tied after the first period. Big bounce back.
- Point streak update: Scott Conway now has points in 23 straight, Tyson Jost in 14. They’re alright.
- Big thanks to two great photographers in brothers Damon and Garrett James. The great shots you see on the blog in the last two days were courtesy of their handy work with the lens. Two of the best hockey photographers the league has. I’m spoiled at home with the great work of Cherie Morgan but it’s great to have those two help us broadcasters out on the road.