Blog Preview: Vees Looking to Stay Perfect at Home vs. Smokies

Nov 28



  • The Penticton Vees continue their five-game home stand tonight, when they host the Trail Smoke Eaters at the SOEC; face-off 6 pm. The Vees had Friday off after winning 4-3 in OT over the Vernon Vipers Wednesday. Trail went across the border last night and picked up a 4-2 win in Wenatchee. The Vees play again Wednesday against Merritt and the Smokies hit the road again to West Kelowna on Tuesday.
  • Tonight is the fourth meeting between the two teams and the Vees have won the first three, two in Trail. They won in Penticton 4-3 back on October 7th, and picked up two lopsided wins at Cominco Arena, 6-1 on November 1st and 7-1 on November 10th. Those last two wins are impressive, not only by the combined 13-2 score but the Vees historically have had trouble in Trail over the years. After tonight, they play each other three more times, twice in Penticton and those coming in late January and in mid-February. The last two years the Vees have had their way with Trail, as they were 6-0-0-1 against them in seven games last season.
  • How good have the Vees been at home? Well, they’ve won 17 straight regular season home games going back to February 11th, 2015. In their last 30 regular season home games, they’re 27-0-1-2. That’s OK.
  • The Vees did get some good news with their roster, as Ben Brar is back after serving a two-game suspension, under the Jr. ‘A’ Supplement. Brar was handed the two-game ban after taking a major penalty for checking from behind against Langley. Dixon Bowen and Easton Brodzinski are still out with upper and lower body injuries respectively. Brodzinski could be back next Wednesday but that’s just speculation at this point. Gabe Bast and Seamus Donohue are nursing longer-term injuries and both are targeting post-Christmas returns. Well, Bast has been cleared to resume “light skating” and might have a chance to play before the Christmas break but that’s a slim possibility at this point.
  • The Vees will go with 11 forwards and six defensemen tonight. Tyson Jost, Owen Sillinger or Luke Voltin will take turns centering the Vees fourth line. Nicholas Jones moves up to play with Jost and Scott Conway, Owen Sillinger will center Ben Brar and Chris Gerrie, and Demico Hannoun slides over to the left-wing, with Voltin in the middle and Mitch Brooks on the right-side.
  • Another streak going is the respective point streaks for Scott Conway and Tyson Jost. Conway has points in 24 straight games and Jost 15. Conway’s stretches all the way back to September 16th, and Jost has 14 goals and 33 points during his streak. It’s been awfully entertaining, watching him and Nanaimo’s Sheldon Rempal battle for the BCHL scoring lead. Entering tonight’s action, both have 56 points but Rempal has the tie-breaker with 28 goals.
  • Zach Driscoll will get the start in net for the Vees and will be highly motivated. Driscoll was unfortunately saddled with his first loss last Friday in Langley and will want to put that behind him and in a hurry. His numbers are still excellent, as he’s 8-1 on the year .936 save percentage and 1.89 goals-against average. He’s been spectacular against Trail this year too, going 2-0, while posting a eye-popping .974 save percentage in those two starts.
  • Where Driscoll has excelled against Trail, Bailey MacBurnie hasn’t against Penticton. The 20-year-old is 0-2 against the Vees with some inflated stats. He sports a 6.45 goals-against average and a .731 save percentage in just 65-minutes against Penticton. He took the loss on October 7th, and was hooked after just six-minutes against the Vees on November 10th; three goals on the first four shots. He’s be sound otherwise on the year, and has won two of his last three starts. He was the second star in Wenatchee last night and I’m sure he’ll be motivated to show his worth against the Vees tonight.
  • The start will be my focus tonight, as it’s come under some scrutiny of late. The Vees have given up the first goal of the game in three straight and four of their last five. They’ve trailed or were tied after the first period in three of those five games. Yes, they’ve won four of those five and it looks like I might be splitting hairs, but the coaching staff has reiterated they need to establish good habits now, as they’re “trying to get better every day.” The stats don’t lie either, the Vees are 20-0 when they score first and 11-0 when they lead after one. When they get scored on first they’re 5-2, not bad and 2-1 when trailing after one. Still solid but that’s a big difference. Plus, Trail had a great start against Wenatchee last night, scoring three goals in less than three-minutes to start the game. The Vees better be ready right at puck drop.
  • Cherry Lane Shopping Centre pre-game show goes at 5:40 pm, play-by-play at 6 pm on EZ Rock AM 800, and on

About CBeauchemin

Director of Broadcasting & Communication for the Penticton Vees
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