Blog: ‘Backs Take Weekend Opener; Vees Look to Bounce Back

Post-Game Chart Dec 11



  • An eerie foreshadow from the Vees Head Coach Fred Harbinson in my pre-game chat with him prior to Friday’s game. That was his last comment about what was going to be the difference between a win or a loss. Puck management was definitely a sore spot for the Vees last night, as they were sloppy in their own end in the first two periods and that ultimately led to their undoing.   The first four goals against originated after turnovers or miscues inside their own blue-line and you can’t afford those types of mistakes against a team as good as Salmon Arm.
  • “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” A famous quote that has been credited to a few but it certainly applied to Friday night. Yes, the ‘Backs first two goals weren’t conventional, and yes, they had some luck to them but they earned those bounces with their work ethic. Zach Driscoll will readily admit he wasn’t at his best of the first two goals against but the ‘Backs did get the home town bounce or bounce. The first goal against was a smart play by Carson Bolduc, as he fired a hard shot / pass out of the corner that went off Driscoll’s stick and in; maybe the forward saw the goalie cheating a bit. Then his second if the first has to be chalked up to a fortuitous bounce. Bolduc, again, from behind the net, had his reverse pass (?!) go off the stanchion behind the net, then off the back of Driscoll’s leg and in. Now it the ‘Backs didn’t draw it up like that to get a 2-0 lead but they earned their luck and the Vees weren’t playing up to the level we’re use to seeing from them. The harder I work, the luckier I get.
  • A few times you had a feeling a goal was coming for Salmon Arm after a mistake by a Vee. The one I think that was the straw the broke the camel’s back, was the 3-1 goal midway through the second. The Vees made it 2-1 a few minutes earlier and just killed-off a penalty. But seconds after the PK ended, the Vees had a chance to skate the puck out but two forwards looked at each other and did the old, “you take it, I got it,” routine which led to the ‘Backs making it 3-1. If one of those forwards grabbed the puck, took charge, it’s likely a two-on-one the other way for Penticton but there’s some hesitation and miscommunication and boom, its in the back of their net after a short scramble. A killer. The Vees wilted a bit there, as the ‘Backs scored 42-seconds later, after another turnover, to quickly go up 4-1.
  • Offensively speaking, the Vees had their chances in the first and had a nice little push early in the second but they’ll need to put more rubber on the Salmon Arm net tonight. Not taking anything away from the Silverbacks’ defensive effort but three shots in the first and 11 through two isn’t acceptable for this team, regardless of who is and isn’t here. They’ll have to find a way to funnel more traffic and more shots towards the Salmon Arm goal. I thought the Vees were guilty at times of being a bit too selective with their chances in the offensive zone; trying to make that extra play one too many times. When you’re going through some adversity, it’s best to dumb it down a bit. They need to simplify things: net drives, traffic and shots.
  • Salmon Arm hasn’t been kind to Vees’ starters. Now in two games, the starting goaltender hasn’t made it past the second period. Driscoll last night had some rotten luck but he would be the first to admit he wasn’t as sharp as he needed to be. He was caught napping a bit on the first goal against and was off his post, not alert enough, on the second goal against. I shrug my shoulders and give the ‘tender a Mulligan, because the Vees goaltending has been fantastic this year. Driscoll likely won’t repeat that performance anytime soon and he’s won a fair share of games for the Vees this season. After the game, I was told that he owned up to the first period right away to the coaching staff after they said they were making the switch. That’s a sign of a good character kid and the coaching staff won’t forget that.
  • Thought they didn’t score last night, I thought the best line, throughout the game for Salmon Arm was the trio of Ross Heidt, Taro Hirose and Mitch Newsome. The three were hard to play against, always on top of pucks and hounded the Vees on the fore-check. Their play is what the ‘Backs want to be known for: speed, hard-work and competitiveness. Hirose seems to have a magnet on his stick, because he seems to always have the puck on a string. Heidt can turn on the afterburners at a moments notice, and Newsome is just annoying to play against; he’s always in your way. The Vees will have to keep tabs on those three tonight.
  • One bright spot last night for the Vees was the debut of Liam Lytton. The soon to be 16-year-old made his BCHL debut last night and I thought he was effective when he was out there. First game, so he kept it simple, hit everything in white and was nuisance on the fore-check. I thought he, Taylor Ward and Desi Burgart actually were the Vees most consistent forwards in the first period. They brought energy, were good on the fore-check and created turnovers. Those three will need to bring that effort again tonight and provide that spark.

Dec 12

  • The Vees can take comfort in their record at home, as they’re the only undefeated home team in the BCHL, sporting a 15-0-1-0 record at the SOEC; 16-0-1-0 overall. All-Time, the Vees are 172-30-5-11 at the SOEC since it opened in the fall of 2008. The Vees were also 3-0 at home last year against the ‘Backs, winning 5-1, 1-0 and 2-1 (OT).
  • Zach Driscoll will get another crack at it tonight, as he’ll make his second straight start. Smart move, as Brodeur played the last 40-minutes and Driscoll will be motivated to make up for the first period let down.
  • There shouldn’t be any other changes to the Vees line-up, as they’ll be missing Gabe Bast, Seamus Donohue and Dante Fabbro on the blue-line. Up front, Dixon Bowen, Demico Hannoun and Tyson Jost are absent. The Vees again will have AP’s Liam Lytton and Daniel Stone in for tonight’s game. Lytton is a 15-year-old who plays at the Yale Academy in Abbotsford, and Stone is a 19-year-old defenseman from the Osoyoos Coyotes.
  • The Vees know how to bounce back, all be it they haven’t had to do it much this year. Coming off a loss, they’re 2-0 this season and have outscored their opponents 11-4 in those two games. Most recently, they thumped the Coquitlam Express 8-2 on November 21st.
  • With his two goals last night, Conway took over the Vees scoring lead from Tyson Jost, who’s away at the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge in Ontario. Conway now has 27 goals and 62 points in 30 games. Nic Jones had his five game point and goal streak snapped in the loss though. Going into Friday’s game, he had six goals and 12 points in his previous five.
  • Easton Brodzinski leads the Vees against the ‘Backs this season, as the 19-year-old has a pair of goals and three points in the first two games against Salmon Arm. Scott Conway has two goals and Colton Poolman has a pair of helpers.
  • Taro Hirose leads the ‘Backs in scoring with 39 points and has two helpers in two games against the Vees. Barriga (3-0-3), Bolduc (2-1-3) and Riley Booth (0-3-3) have the most points in the season series, and Josh Blanchard (1-1-2) and Ross Heidt (0-2-2) have a pair of points.
  • Salmon Arm is one of only five teams in the BCHL with a record above .500 on the road, as they’re 10-4-0-0 away from the Shaw Centre. They’ve won their last two road games and three of their last five.



About CBeauchemin

Director of Broadcasting & Communication for the Penticton Vees
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1 Response to Blog: ‘Backs Take Weekend Opener; Vees Look to Bounce Back

  1. Jean Mitchell says:

    Looking for a good night at SOEC tonight. No hesitations-lots of communication. Go get ’em, Vees!

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