February 9, 2010
Vey finds way in 'HatForward goes on offensive tear to help Tigers claw way into fight for first
By SCOTT FISHER, QMI Agency
Linden Vey had the Midas touch in January.
He could do no wrong.
Everything he touched ended up in the net.
The Medicine Hat Tigers right-winger piled up eight goals and 24 points over a 12-game span.
Vey's points streak, the seventh-longest in the WHL this season, sparked the Tigers to an 8-3-1 record.
"It was a really good month," Vey said. "We had a lot of games on the road and it's tough to win on the road.
"But we had a six-game winning streak (away from home) and that's something to be proud of."
Vey credited his linemates for his increased production.
"Coming into this year, I knew I was a guy who had to put up some numbers.
"But I can't take all the credit. I've been playing with some good players -- Tristan King and Joey Frazer.
"Our chemistry has been really good and we've been finding each other out there."
Medicine Hat bench boss Willie Desjardins, who guided Team Canada to a silver medal at last month's world junior tourney, said Vey and his linemates have been a big part of the club's success.
"He's played real well," Desjardins said. "That whole line has played a bigger role.
"We try to be an offensive team but, lately, we haven't been scoring as much."
The Bengals' high-octane attack fizzled last week, producing just three goals in a trio of losses.
Vey's streak came to a halt last week against the Calgary Hitmen, who recorded back-to-back wins over the Tigers to take over top spot in the division.
The streak isn't something Vey will lose sleep over.
"It's one of those things you can't worry about," he said.
"It happens. You're going to have games where things aren't going your way.
"You just have to get back to the things you were doing and keep throwing pucks at the net."
The Tigers (32-18-8) are in a dogfight to secure home ice for the opening round of the playoffs. They're a point back of the Kootenay Ice, who hold two games in hand, for fourth in the Eastern Conference.
But they'll play 11 of their final 14 games at home, where they have a division-best .740 winning percentage.
Vey said the team will rediscover its scoring touch.
It's the defensive end where the club needs some work.
"The thing we need to work on heading into the playoffs is our defensive game," he said.
"We've given up a few too many goals as of late.
"It's going to be a tough two months. That's something you need going into the playoffs."