Welcome back to the 16th bi-weekly installment of the Flyers Junior Hockey Prospect Report.
With the NHL All-Star Game officially in the books, fans can get back to viewing hockey that really matters as the Philadelphia Flyers continue to fight for a playoff spot. In a highly competitive Metropolitan Division, the Flyers are almost assuredly to be buyers when the NHL Trade Deadline happens on Monday February 24th. With the lack of cap space available, GM Chuck Fletcher will have to look long and hard at the draft picks that the Flyers hold in June’s upcoming NHL Draft and the stable of prospects in order to decide what they may or may not be willing to part with. Keep visiting www.brotherlypuck.com to stay up to date and informed of everything related to the Flyers as the trade deadline approaches.
Speaking of prospects, some of the Flyers related storylines from the Junior Hockey universe that are that we will be following up on in this week’s edition include:
Will Jay O’Brien regain his scoring pace upon returning to the lineup after missing the last 12 games for the Penticton Vees?
Can the Calgary Hitmen continue to hold on to a playoff spot after losing Egor Zamula for the remainder of the season?
Will Wyatte Wylie or Mason Millman or both step up and fill the void left by the injury to Egor Zamula to become the most intriguing defensive prospect in junior hockey?
This edition covers the week that was in the CHL and the BCHL from Wednesday January 15th – Tuesday January 27th.
WHL (Western Hockey League)
Wyatte Wylie #29 (D) – Everett Silvertips (WHL)
- Friday night (Jan. 17) had the Everett Silvertips host the Kelowna Rockets. The Rockets opened the scoring with a powerplay goal at 10:27 to give Kelowna a 1-0 lead. The second period had the Silvertips bounce back with a 15-5 shots on goal advantage and were rewarded with goals by Gage Goncalves (his 20th) on the powerplay and Michael Gut (his 8th) at even strength to take a 2-1 lead. The Rockets got a goal back at 7:04 of the third period to tie the game, but Gage Goncalves scored what turned out to be the game winning goal two minutes later to win the game for the Silvertips 3-2. Wyatte Wylie assisted on Gage Goncalves’ game winning goal by passing the puck to his defence partner Christiansen whose shot went wide of the net and bounced off the boards in front for Goncalves to tap into the wide open cage. The goal was a carbon copy of one that was scored against the Flyers earlier this season. Wylie finished the game with 1 assist, an even rating, and 3 shots on goal.
- The Everett Silvertips hosted the Seattle Thunderbirds on Saturday night (Jan. 18). The contest was not a close one as the Silvertips outshot the Thunderbirds 43-14. Everett scored twice in the first period, three times in the second, and another three in the third in what turned into an 8-0 drubbing. Wyatte Wylie assisted on Everett’s 7th and 8th goals of the evening; the first being on the powerplay while the second was at even strength. Wylie finished the game with 2 assists, a +4 rating, and 2 shots on goal.
- On Sunday (Jan. 19), the Everett Silvertips travelled to Seattle for their third game in three nights to finish the back end of their home and home set against the Thunderbirds. Both Roddy Ross and Dustin Wolf put on a clinic as the game remained scoreless through the first two periods despite Everett having a 28-19 shots on goal advantage. The first goal of the game came courtesy of a penalty shot by Michal Gut of the Silvertips who scored with a deke move that sent Ross the wrong way at 7:26 of the third period. Wyatte Wylie iced the game by rifling a snap shot from the top of the right circle while on the powerplay to extend the lead to 2-0. No further scoring took place in the game and Dustin Wolf preserved the shutout to help the Silvertips win 2-0. Wylie finished the game with 1 goal (his 11th), an even rating, and 3 shots on goal.
- Wednesday night (Jan. 22) had the Everett Silvertips travel to Spokane to face the Chiefs. Defenceman Ty Smith (New Jersey Devils prospect) opened the scoring in the first period with his 7th goal of the season as his fluttering shot from the blueline somehow made it past tons of traffic in front to end up beating Everett goaltender Dustin Wolf. Spokane extended their lead to 2-0 with a shorthanded goal off a brutal turnover but Everett responded 29 seconds later and returned it back to a one goal game with the score 2-1 after 40 minutes. Wyatte Wylie assisted on Gage Goncalves’ 16th of goal of the season at 17:03 of the third period to tie the game 2-2 and force overtime. In the extra period, Spokane scored the winner at 2:07 through Eli Zummack to win the game for the Chiefs 3-2. Wylie finished the game with 1 assist, an even rating, and 1 shot on goal.
- The Everett Silvertips were back in action on Thursday night (Jan. 23) as they visited the Vancouver Giants. Although Everett dominated the shots on goal in the first period 22-8, Vancouver got on the board first to take a 1-0 lead. Everet was rewarded for their dominating play as Gage Goncalves scored the equalizer to even the score at 1-1 with his 25th goal of the season. With no scoring in the second period, the Silvertips and Goncalves scored again (this time on the powerplay) to put Everett ahead. Wyatte Wylie was credited with an assist on the goal as he passed the puck to his defence partner Christiansen whose shot was tipped in by Goncalves. The goal turned out to be the game winner as the Giants could not find a way past Silvertips goaltender Dustin Wolf who stopped all 14 shots he faced in the third period to secure a 2-1 win. Wylie finished the game with 1 assist, an even rating, and 1 shot on goal.
- Sunday (Jan. 26) saw the Everett Silvertips return home for an engagement with the Spokane Chiefs. Wyatte Wylie notched a shorthanded assist as his zone clearance found Gage Goncalves who breached the offensive zone with two other players and fed Cole Fonstad for his 11th goal of the season to give Everett a 1-0 lead. In the second period, the Chiefs tied the game 1-1 before Fonstad and Jake Christiansen both scored their 12th goals of the season to give the Silvertips a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes. Everett iced the game in the third period as Ty Kolle put the game away to secure a 4-1 win. Wylie finished the game with 1 assist, a +3 rating, and 2 shots on goal.
The Everett Silvertips remain in 2nd place in the U.S. Division behind the league leading Portland Winterhawks. Everett has 66 points from 46 games and are 9 points behind the Winterhawks with the same number of games played.
Egor Zamula #9 (D) – Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
- Wednesday evening (Jan. 15) the Calgary Hitmen hit the road and visited the Swift Current Broncos. Carson Focht scored his 20th goal of the season to open the scoring at 2:15 of the first, but the Broncos went into the intermission with a 2-1 lead even though Calgary dominated the shots on goal 19-9. The second period was more even, but Swift Current extended their lead to 3-1 via a powerplay marker. In the third period, Calgary dominated with a 21-2 shot advantage and scoring two goals to end regulation time tied 3-3. Overtime solved nothing and Calgary’s Josh Prokop scored the only shootout goal as the Hitmen secured the extra point with a 4-3 victory.
- On Friday night (Jan. 17) the Calgary Hitmen travelled into Manitoba to face the Brandon Wheat Kings. Brandon struck early and late in the opening period, scoring goals at 1:43 and 19:38 to lead 2-0. The Hitmen got a goal back in the third period to cut the Wheat Kings lead to one, but Brandon iced the game with a goal at 19:02 to end any hope of a comeback and securing a 3-1 win.
- The Calgary Hitmen travelled to Winnipeg, Manitoba to face off against the Ice on Saturday night (Jan. 18). The home side jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period, capitalizing on both powerplay opportunities that were given to them by the Hitmen. Peyton Krebs scored twice in the second period to extend Winnipeg’s lead to 5-0, before Riley Stotts pulled one back for Calgary with his 18th of the season. Stotts scored again in the third, but the Hitmen would not get any closer as the damage had been done in the first two periods and the Winnipeg Ice won the game by a score of 5-2.
- Sunday (Jan. 19) saw the Calgary Hitmen travel to Winnipeg to face the Ice. Shots on goal were a premium in this match as both sides put forth a great defensive effort and focused on limiting opposition opportunities. Winnipeg struck first in the first period to take a 1-0 lead, but Calgary equalized with a shorthanded marker and took he 2-1 lead with a powerplay goal in the second period. Winnipeg tied the game with a powerplay marker of their own, but the Hitmen took the lead for good at 13:20 of the third on Orca Wiesblatt’s 15th goal of the season. The Calgary Hitmen exacted some revenge on the Winnipeg Ice as they won this game by a score of 3-2.
- On Saturday night (Jan. 25) the Calgary Hitmen travelled to Red Deer to face the Rebels. Calgary came out blazing as they had an 11-5 shots advantage and were rewarded with the opening goal of the game to end the first period with a 1-0 advantage. The Hitmen extended their lead in the second period with a powerplay goal and an even strength marker to make it 3-0. Calgary scored again in the third period to make it a 4-0 game, but the Rebels responded with two goals to make a game of it. But Calgary was not to be denied on this night, scoring an empty netter with 2 minutes remaining to win the game 5-2.
- Sunday afternoon (Jan. 26) had some matinee action as the Calgary Hitmen hosted the Red Deer Rebels on the back end of a home and home. After a scoreless first period, the Hitmen struck first in the second period with goals at 1:02 and 4:37 to take a 2-0 lead. Red Deer struck back only 1:19 later to cut the lead to 2-1 before Calgary regained their two goal advantage at 6:34. Calgary added two more goals in the first 1:09 of the third period to put this game out of reach and secure another 2 points. Although Red Deer added a goal late in the game, the Hitmen won the back end of the home and home by the identical 5-2 score of the previous night.
The Calgary Hitmen have 55 points from 49 games played. They continue to hold the first playoff wildcard spot and are in 4th place in the Central Division. They trail the Medicine Hat Tigers by 7 points for the 3rd seed in the division and have 1 games in hand.
Roddy Ross #1 (G) – Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)
- On Friday night (Jan. 17) the Seattle Thunderbirds hosted the visiting Regina Pats. Thunderbirds goaltender Roddy Ross got the night off as Thomas Milic got the start in goal. Seattle opened the scoring in the first period to lead 1-0, but surrendered two goals in the second to trail 2-1 heading into the third period. In the third, the Thunderbirds scored 3 goals on 9 shots and ensure that Seattle took 2 points from this game with a 4-2 win. Milic allowed 2 goals on 25 shots making 23 saves.
- The Seattle Thunderbirds travelled to Everett to face the Silvertips on Saturday night (Jan. 18). Roddy Ross got the start in goal looking to continue Seattle’s recent run of good results. Unfortunately, this would be a game that both Seattle and Ross would want to forget in short order. The Silvertips scored twice in the opening period as Ross had some rebound control issues on the first goal and Seattle had poor defensive effort on the backcheck on the second goal. At 2-0 in the second period, Seattle allowed another three goals as they lost pretty much every puck battle and turned the puck over carelessly multiple times. Ross was pulled at the 16:00 mark after allowing 5 goals on 24 shots (19 saves) and got the loss. It didn’t get any better with Thomas Milic in goal as the Silvertips scored another three goals in the final period to win the game 8-0. The shots on goal tell the story of the Thunderbirds being dominated as Everett had 43 shots compared to Seattle’s 14.
- On Sunday (Jan. 19) the Seattle Thunderbirds returned home on their third game in the last three nights to try to exact some revenge on the Everett Silvertips in the return engagement of the home and home series. Roddy Ross got the start for the Thunderbirds, looking to rebound from the previous game where he was pulled in a Seattle loss. Ross did indeed rebound making tremendous saves on some dangerous Silvertips chances and controlled his rebounds and limited second chance opportunities. The game was scoreless for the first two period as Ross stopped all 28 shots that he saw. In the third period, Everett finally got one past Ross on a penalty shot and scored an insurance marker while on the powerplay to defeat Seattle by a score of 2-0. Ross was exceptional in this game and was the sole reason why the Silvertips did not run away with this game making 40 saves on 42 shots and allowing 2 goals in the loss. Ross was named the game’s First Star and it as well deserved.
- Friday night (Jan. 24) had the Seattle Thunderbirds visit the Kelowna Rockets. Roddy Ross got the start in goal and looked to continue the solid play from his last start. The Rockets got on the board early in the first period to take a 1-0 lead at 3:11. The Thunderbirds responded by the end of the period to tie the game with an even strength goal and took the lead midway through the second period to lead 2-1 at 12:36. Although Seattle had the shots on goal advantage, Kelowna ended up tying the game with under two minutes to play as they finally beat Ross who had been wonderful in the game. With the game tied 2-2, Kelowna controlled the play in overtime and won the game on their third shot on goal in the extra frame to win the game 3-2. Ross took the loss but was strong in defeat allowing 3 goals on 30 shots and making 27 saves. Ross was named the Third Star of the game.
- The Seattle Thunderbirds were back in action on Saturday night (Jan. 25) as they hosted the Western Conference leading Portland Winterhawks. Back in goal for the Thunderbirds was goaltender Roddy Ross who looked to build off some great performances in his last two games. Seattle started wonderfully by taking a 2-0 lead in the first period with the second goal coming at 7:01. But the Winterhawks woke up after that, scoring four consecutive goals in the remainder of the period to head into the intermission with a 4-2 lead. Ross wasn’t tracking pucks to the best of his ability, but was hard pressed to be at fault for at least three of the four goals (including a shorthanded breakaway goal). Portland added a fifth consecutive goal early in the second period to make it 5-2, before Seattle hit back with 3 straight goals of their own to tie the game 5-5. The third period was scoreless as was the overtime, and both sides secured themselves a point heading into the shootout. In the shootout, Portland scored on their first attempt while Seattle missed all three of theirs for Portland to win the game by a score of 6-5. In the loss, Ross allowed 5 goals on 41 shots making 36 saves.
The Seattle Thunderbirds remain in the second and final wildcard spot in the Western Conference. With 41 points in 45 games, Seattle now trails the Vancouver Giants by only 2 points with Vancouver having one game in hand.
OHL (Ontario Hockey League)
Mason Millman #12 (D) – Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
|2019-2020 Saginaw Spirit||43||12||18||30||+13||91||53|
- On Friday night (Jan. 17), the Saginaw Spirit visited the Soo Greyhounds. Both teams traded goals in the first period with the Greyhounds scoring first at 7:46 and the Spirit getting even at 10:35. The remainder of the scoring in this game was done in the third period when both teams combined for five goals. Saginaw scored twice to take a 3-1 lead, before the Greyhounds got a goal back to make it 3-2 with under 3 minutes to play. Saginaw responded 59 seconds later and added another at 19:09 to grab the 5-2 victory. Mason Millman finished the game with 0 points, an even rating, and 2 shots on goal.
- Saturday night (Jan. 18) saw the Saginaw Spirit back in action for their second of three consecutive games this weekend as they returned home to face the Soo Greyhounds. In the back end of a home and home set with the Greyhounds, Saginaw scored the opening goal of the game at the 12:00 mark while on the powerplay. The Soo responded early in the second period with an even strength goal only 17 seconds into the middle frame. Saginaw responded with three straight goals to take a commanding 4-1 lead and added a shorthanded insurance marker to sweep the home and home against the Greyhounds by a score of 5-1. Mason Millman was once again held scoreless and finished with a +1 rating, 4 shots on goal, and 2 PIMs from a holding penalty at 2:08 of the third period.
- On Sunday evening (Jan. 19) the Saginaw Spirit visited the Windsor Spitfires. The Spirit began the game quickly and scored the game’s first goal at 6:49, but Windsor struck back with two goals to finish the period with a 2-1 lead. The Spitfires continued their momentum to score twice in 1:37 to take a commanding 4-1 lead early in the second period. Ryan Suzuki scored his 9th goal of the season to get one back before the second intermission, and Mason Millman scored his 12th goal of the season with a wrist shot through traffic on the powerplay at 5:25 of the third period to make it a 4-3 game. The comeback could not be completed though, as Windsor score the insurance goal to extend their lead and won the game 5-3. Millman ended the game with 1 goal, a -3 rating, 4 shots on goal, and 2 PIMs for a hooking minor penalty at 1:25 of the third period.
- Thursday night (Jan. 23) had the Saginaw Spirit continue their road trip as they faced the Peterborough Petes. Saginaw opened the scoring through Cole Coskey’s 26th goal of the season to take a 1-0 lead at 5:49. The Petes responded in the second period with two powerplay goals to take a 2-1 lead. That was all the scoring that Peterborough would be doing on this night as Saginaw responded with two goals of their own in the second period and three more in the third to win the game convincingly 6-2. Mason Millman did not register a point in this contest, but played well and finished with a +3 rating and 2 shots on goal.
- The Saginaw Spirit continued their Ontario road trip on Friday night (Jan. 24) with a visit to Kingston to play the Frontenacs. This one was a wild one. The Frontencas scored the only goal of the first period, added two more in the second and added another early in the third to have a commanding 4-0 lead. Up to that point, the shots were relatively even with the Spirit only having 2 more shots through two periods of play. After the last Kingston goal, the tide turned heavily in this one. Saginaw outshot Kingston 18-7 in the third period and began their comeback by scoring even strength goals at 4:24, 6:08, and 10:25 to claw their way back to a 4-3 deficit. Mason Millman got into the act with an assist on the game tying goal at 12:23 as his point shot was stopped but the rebound was shoveled in by top prospect Cole Perfetti for his 27th of the season. Unbelievably, the Spirit would win this game in regulation time with only 3 seconds left as Millman once again got an assist by going into the corner and feeding a centering pass to Damien Giroux for the game winning goal as the Spirit won the game 5-4. Millman had a tremendous third period and finished the game with 2 assists, a +2 rating and 2 shots on goal. Millman also received a 5 minute major for fighting at 13:52 of the second period.
Click here for highlights of the comeback victory by the Saginaw Spirit against the Kingston Frontenacs: https://ontariohockeyleague.com/gamecentre/24485/boxscore
- Sunday (Jan. 26) saw a matinee match take place as the Saginaw Spirit visited the Ottawa 67’s. Highly rated draft prospect Marco Rossi started the scoring for the 67’s only 1:04 in and Ottawa added a shorthanded marker to go into the intermission up 2-0. The second period had Cole Perfetti of the Spirit cut the lead to 2-1 with his 28th goal of the season at 8:19, but Ottawa regained their two goal advantage late in the period to make the score 3-1. In the final period, Saginaw made it interesting with a goal at the 12:44 mark, but the 67’s countered with an even strength goal and added an empty netter to win the game 5-2. The Spirit would feel a bit unlucky in this one as they could not capitalize on a 41-26 shots on goal advantage. Mason Millman did not register any points, had a 0 rating, but had 4 shots on goal.
The Saginaw Spirit jumped back into 1st place in the West Division with 62 points from 47 games played. They are 1 point ahead of the Windsor Spitfires and have played 4 more games.
QMJHL (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League)
Egor Serdyuk #18 (RW) – Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL)
|2019-2020 Victoriaville Tigres||35||12||17||29||-10||83||26|
- On Friday night (Jan. 17) the Victoriaville Tigres hosted the visiting Halifax Mooseheads. The Mooseheads opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal at 13:37 of the opening period to lead 1-0. The score remained 1-0 until the third period when Victoriaville tied the game 1-1 at 2:57 where it remained until the end of regulation. Neither side could pot the winner in overtime, and in the shootout Halifax scored the only goal to win the game 2-1. Egor Serdyuk did not get to shoot in the shootout; and he finished the game with 0 points, a -1 rating, 3 shots on goal, and 2 PIMs courtesy of a cross checking call 10 seconds into the third period.
- Saturday night (Jan. 18) had the Victoriaville Tigres travelled to Blainville-Boisbriand to face the Armada. In the first period, Victoriaville opened the scoring at 7:17 through Thomas Ethier’s 7th goal of the season. The Armada tied the game 1-1 at 4:48 of the second period, but the Tigres retook the lead as Egor Serdyuk skated the puck into the right side of the offensive zone and fed a pass to Conor Frenette who rifles a wrist shot top corner to make the game 2-1. Unfortunately, it was the Armada who did the remainder of the scoring in this game notching two in the remainder of the second and two more in the third period to secure a 5-2 victory. Serdyuk finished the game with 1 assist, a +1 rating, 2 shots on goal, and 4 PIMs. Serdyuk was booked for interference at 18:31 of the second period, and returned to the box for a tripping at 11:38 of the third period.
- The Victoriaville Tigres hosted the Sherbrooke Phoenix on late afternoon Sunday (Jan. 19) game. Halfway through the first period, Victoriaville got on the board first through a penalty shot that was converted by Mikhail Abramov for his 28th goal of the season. Sherbrooke responded less than two minutes later to tie the game and took the lead at 16:44 to enter the first intermission up 2-1. The Phoenix extended their lead to 3-1 by scoring the only goal of the second period, and the Tigres cut the lead to 3-2 at 7:42 of the third period as Egor Serdyuk did some great stick checking to strip a defender of the puck and fed the puck to a waiting Conor Frenette who slid home his 9th goal of the season. But Sherbrooke would not be denied on this night, scoring an insurance marker and an empty netter late to secure the Phoenix a 5-2 victory. Serdyuk finished the game with 1 assist, a -1 rating, and 4 shots on goal. Serdyuk also served a too many men on the ice penalty for Victoriaville at 12:08 of the first period.
- Thursday night (Jan. 23) had the Victoriaville Tigres host the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. Acadie-Bathurst got on the board first to take a 1-0 lead only 4:47 in. The rest of the period though was dominated by the Tigres, who scored four consecutive goals to finish the first period with a 4-1 lead. Egor Serdyuk got an assist on the powerplay Victoriaville’s first goal of the sequence, sending a puck to the point that was fired in by Jerome Gravel for his 16th goal at 11:51. With a 4-1 lead, Victoriaville allowed a quick goal to Acadie-Bathurst early in the third period only 57 seconds in but the Titan would not be able to get any closer as the Tigres took this game 4-2. Serdyuk finished the game with 1 assist, an even rating, and 1 shot on goal.
- The Victoriaville Tigres were back in action on Saturday night (Jan. 25) as they hosted the Baie-Comeau Drakkar. Both teams exchanged goals in the first period with Victoriaville getting their goal through Mikhail Abramov’s 29th at 4:43 and the Drakkar tying the game at 17:49. The game remained 1-1 into the third period when the Tigres pounced for two goals in 1:40 to take a 3-1 lead. Baie-Comeau was not done though, and did some quick scoring of their own with two goals in 1:47 to end regulation tied 3-3. Overtime could not decide a winner, and in the shootout Nicolas Daigle scored the winner as the Victoriaville Tigres won by a score of 4-3. Egor Serdyuk was held without a point in this game, and in addition to his even rating he had 3 shots on goal.
- Sunday’s late afternoon (Jan. 26) matchup had the Victoriaville Tigres visit the Shawinigan Cataractes. Victoriaville opened the scoring at 8:17 of the first period, but Shawinigan equalized 2:12 later to go into the intermission tied 1-1. In the second period, the Tigres exploded for three goals as Felix Pare scored his 14th of the season and Mikhail Abramov scored his 30th and 31st goals to put Victoriaville up 4-1. Egor Serdyuk assisted on Abramov’s second goal by swatting away at a lose puck which squirted loose to Abramov who made no mistake in burying the rebound. The second period was a dominant one for Victoriaville as the shots on goal were in their favour by a 22-7 margin. In the third period, both teams alternated goals with the Tigres getting things going at the 4:30 mark and the Cataractes responding a mere 38 seconds later off a defensive miscue. Not to be outdone, Serdyuk scored his 12th goal of the season 27 seconds later by lifting a defenceman’s stick and sliding the puck past the goaltender on a breakaway to give the Tigres a 6-2 lead. Both teams would each add another and Victoriaville came away with the victory in this game with a final score of 7-3. Serdyuk finished the game with 1 goal, 1 assist, a +2 rating, and 6 shots on goal.
Here is the link to watch the game highlights of Victoriaville vs. Shawinigan and watch Serdyuk’s breakaway goal: https://theqmjhl.ca/gamecentre/27833/boxscore
The Victoriaville Tigres jumped to the 6th position in the Western Conference and have 43 points from 48 games. Victoriaville is only 1 point ahead of Shawinigan for the final playoff spot. Shawinigan has three games in hand on Victoriaville.
BCHL (British Columbia Hockey League)
Jay O’Brien #9 (RW) – Penticton Vees (BCHL)
|2019-2020 Penticton Vees||38||20||35||55||45|
- Wednesday evening (Jan. 15) saw Jay O’Brien make his return to the lineup as the Penticton Vees faced the Vernon Vipers. Vernon struck first less than two minutes into the opening period and entered the second period with a 1-0 lead even though the Vees dominated the shots on goal 17-4. The second period was scoreless, but the Vees ended up tying the game at 5:59 of the third period to tie the game at 1-1 to end regulation. In overtime, the Vees scored the winning goal through Nico Somerville who scored his 6th goal of the season to win the game 2-1. Jay O’Brien assisted on the overtime winning goal sending a backhand pass across the ice to the right circle for the one timer by Somerville. O’Brien finished with 1 assist in his return to the lineup.
- On Friday night (Jan. 17) the Penticton Vees faced off against the Merritt Centennials. The game stared evenly enough with the first period seeing both teams trade goals and the Vees holding a 15-11 shot advantage. The second period was a different story. Penticton exploded for 6 goals in the middle frame (on 18 shots) with Jay O’Brien scoring his 16th goal of the season by chipping the puck into a wide open cage off a nice cross ice feed. With the score 4-1, O’Brien got into the action once again by scoring his 17th goal of the season after winning an offensive zone face off and headed right to the front of the net and tipping a puck past the Merritt goaltender. With the score 7-1 to open the third period, the Vees added two more goals to comfortably win the game by a score of 9-1. Jay O’Brien finished the game with 2 goals (both came at even strength).
Here are the highlights of Jay O’Brien’s 2 goals in Penticton’s 9-1 win over Merritt:
- The Penticton Vees were back in action on Saturday night (Jan. 18) as they played the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. The Vees got on the board at 6:17 of the first with a shorthanded goal, but Salmon Arm responded by using their special teams with a powerplay goal to end the period 1-1. The only other goal in this game came in the second period as Tristan Amonte scored the game winner with his 15th goal of the season as the Vees won the game 2-1. Jay O’Brien was held off the scoresheet in this one as the Vees have now won 4 games in a row.
- On Tuesday night (Jan. 21) the Penticton Vees faced off against the West Kelowna Warriors. The Warriors got on the board first with a shorthanded marker at 8:48 of the opening period to take a 1-0 lead. The second period was a wild affair with a total of six goals scored. The Vees tied the game at 1-1 when Jay O’Brien scored his 18th goal of the season during even strength by slamming home a rebound to give Penticton a 2-1 advantage. Still in the second period, both teams traded goals to make the score 3-2 for the Vees. O’Brien scored his second goal of the game (19th of the season) on powerplay by taking a cross-ice feed and firing a shot on the blocker side from the left circle to extend the lead to 4-2. The final goal of the game came at the end of the second from the Vees to make it 5-2, and a scoreless third period ensured that Penticton won their fifth straight game by that same score line. O’Brien finished the game with 2 goals and was named the game’s First Star.
- The Penticton Vees were back in action on Friday night (Jan. 24) as they faced the Merritt Centennials. Penticton played the first game of what will be nine consecutive games at home and put their five game winning streak on the line. The Vees came out flying in the first period and put up 4 goals on 16 shots. With a 2-0 lead, Jay O’Brien scored his 20th goal of the season at 12:56 to extend the lead to 3-0. O’Brien figured in on the Vees fourth goal as he picked up his 34th assist of the season on Danny Weight’s 21st goal of the season. Penticton continued to press and look for more in the second period, with O’Brien picking up another assist (his 35th) on a Weight goal to make it 5-0. Merritt scored on the powerplay later on in the second period and added a shorthanded goal in the third, but the lead was insurmountable as the Penticton Vees swept the season series with the Merritt Centennials by winning this game 6-2. O’Brien finished this game with 1 goal, 2 assists, for 3 points and was named the game’s Second Star.
The Penticton Vees remain on top of the Interior Division with 76 points from 50 games. They lead the 2nd place Trail Smoke Eaters by 11 points and have played 1 extra game.
Hope you enjoyed this late January edition of the Flyers Junior Hockey Prospect Report.
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Until next time from BrotherlyPuck.com,
photo credit: nbcsports.com