Sunday, 27 October 2013

Vipers Blanked By Kero and Cents 1-0

It wasn't the way the Vipers wanted to end the weekend taking just 1 of a possible 4 points against divisional opponents.  In a night where scoring was down all over the BCHL, most likely because of the Canada West tryouts, the Merritt Centennials would score once and that was all the scoring they would need.

The first period was dominated by the Vipers.  A couple of glorious opportunities to score.  Devin Kero was at his best stopping all 17 shots that he faced.  It seemed like if the Vipers could keep that type of pressure on, it was only a matter of time before a puck went in the net.

The second period unfortunately for Vernon was completely opposite, as the Cents came out and took it to the Snakes and kept them on their heels.  The turning point of the game was special teams.  It seems like we talk about this every game that in games where the Vipers lose, its the special teams that prove to be the difference and Saturday night is no exception.  Merritt would use their second ranked powerplay to their advantage as Gavin Gould would slide a rebound past Michael Stiliadis and give the Cents a 1-0 lead after 2 periods.

In the third, the Vipers would push for the equalizer, but couldn't get anything going and didn't really get too many scoring chances.  Credit to the Cents for blocking a few shots and making smart plays out of their zone.  With Stiliadis on the bench for an extra attacker, the Vipers just couldn't get to the front of the net and time would expire giving the Cents the 1-0 win.

My 3 Key Thoughts

1) - Close But No Cigar - The first period was where the Vipers were at their best.  Had they scored 1 in that period, who knows how different the game could have been.  They didn't and Kero kept the Cents in the game and the team rewarded him with 1 goal and that was all they needed.

2) - Shut out Again - Despite the fact that the Vipers had a very good month of October with 6 wins 3 losses and 1 over time loss, there are some very glaring issues in those losses.  They were shut out 3 times in the month of October and that is cause for concern.

3) - Devin Kero - He was great.  Not to say that Stiliadis wasn't, but Kero has been great for the Cents all year long.  He's got very impressive numbers even though his win/loss record isn't where I'm sure he'd like it.  Usually when you only give up one goal, you like your chances of winning.  Against Kero one was too much to overcome.

The Vipers have a few days to work on some things, most likely the powerplay which continues to struggle.  Its an important weekend coming up as Salmon Arm and Victoria come to town.  Both games will be internet only and you can catch it on Vipers MixLR

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Game 19 Preview - Cents @ Vipers

Last night was a chaotic evening.  With lead changes and late game heroics for the Vipers and some disappointment to boot.  The Vipers couldn't quite claw all the way back last night, but wound up getting one point after being down 2 goals late in regulation.  Tonight they welcome in the Merritt Centennials.  Both teams will look a little different as 3 Vipers and 3 Centennials are gone to Canada West Tryouts.  Two very important points are up for grabs on Paint the Rink Pink Night at Kal Tire Place.

Lets break this game down

Season Series - September 21 - Centennials 3 Vipers 2 -OT - Kal Tire Place

Vernon Vipers

Record - 9-5-1-3 - 3rd place in the Interior Division

Home Record - 3-1-1-2                  Away Record - 6-4-0-1

Leaders - Goals - Mason Blacklock (15)
             - Assists - Michael McNicholas/Demico Hannoun (12)
             - Points - Mason Blacklock (24)

Goaltending - Danny Todosychuk - 11 GP 6-4-0-1, 3.15 GAA, .897Sv%
                   - Michael Stiliadis - 1 GP 1-0-0-0, 4.00 GAA, .867Sv%
                   - Austin Smith (IR) - 7 GP 2-1-1-2, 3.00 GAA, .904Sv%

Special Teams - Powerplay - 16th in the league - 9 for 75 - 12%
                       - Penalty Kill - 6th in the league - 64 of 77 - 83.12%

Merritt Centennials

Record - 9-8-1-0 - 4th place in the Interior Division

Home Record - 4-4-1-0                Away Record - 5-4-0-0

Leaders - Goals - Scotty Patterson (8)
             - Assists - Diego Cuglietta (12)
             - Points - Jeff Wight (17)

Goaltending - Devin Kero - 12 GP 4-7-1-0, 2.61 GAA, .914Sv%
                   - Russell Sanderson - 3 GP 1-1-0-0, 4.31 GAA, .868Sv%

Special Teams - Powerplay - 2nd in the league - 17 for 75 - 22.67%
                       - Penalty Kill - 8th in the league - 66 of 80 - 82.50%

Its a battle of Interior Division opponents, both teams have played more games the division leaders and need the two points to keep pace.  It's Paint the Rink Pink Night at Kal Tire Place.  Hope to see you down there.  If you can't make it all the play by play can be heard on Village Green Hotel Vipers Hockey on 1075 KissFM starting at 6:45

Vipers Lose 6-5 In A Wild Double OT Game

It was a wild game between divisional opponents from the South Okanagan, in which the Vernon Vipers would tie the game up late, have great chances in overtime, but in the end fall a tad short as they lose 6-5 in double overtime.

The Vernon Vipers had a great opening shift, hemming the Vees in their own zone.  After that the period was primarily controlled by Penticton.  They'd draw a penalty and make the Vipers pay as Max Coatta would score off a rebound.  The Vees continued to pepper Danny Todosychuk, but to the Vipers credit the few chances they had in the period resulted in goals as Dexter Dancs would re-direct a point shot to get the game tied.  Then late in the period TJ Dumonceaux would score and the Vipers led 2-1 after 1.

The second period was also controlled by the Vees from a shots on goal perspective.  Lots of those shots were from the outside, but the one that wasn't ended up in the back of the Vipers goal as Cody DePourcq would tie it up.  Both teams played well defensively in the middle frame and the game was deadlocked heading to the final period.

To say the third period was wild and crazy would be an understatement.  The Vees started the period on the powerplay and a nice wrist shot from Brad McClure would give the Vees the lead with their second powerplay marker.  Just under 2 minutes later Jason Bird would tie it up on a shot I'm sure Olivier Mantha would want back.  3 minutes after that Cody DePourcq would score on a 3 on 2 rush to give the Vees a lead once again.  20 seconds after that Max Coatta would give Penticton a 2 goal lead with his second of the night.  Cue the turnaround as the Vipers continued to weather a bit of an offensive storm from the Vees and Jared Wilson would score his first as a Viper to get the Snakes within one.  With 2:33 to go in regulation the Vipers would be called for a penalty.   The Vipes would kill it off and get a chance to set up with just 33 seconds to play in regulation.  With the clock down to 20 seconds Riley Guenther would let a slap shot go though traffic, eluding Mantha and tying the game up.

Overtime 1 solved nothing, so skip ahead to OT number 2.  The Vipers came alive in the extra frames outchancing the Vees.  Liam Coughlin and Demico Hannoun both had glorious chances to end it, but it wasn't to be.  A penalty in the second OT would lead to a penalty shot for Brett Beauvais and after a nice move would end the game and give Penticton the extra point.  Final score, 6-5 Vees.

My 3 Key Thoughts

1) Entertainment Value - Wow!  These two teams put on a heck of a show for the fans at the SOEC.  The Vees played a very solid home game, and the Vipers played a greasy road game. It was the third period and overtime that really showed what these teams can do.  I am very excited to see how the rest of this season series plays out.

2) Digging Deep - The Vipers could have easily rolled over after the penalty call late in regulation.  Credit has to go to the team for keeping their heads up and not quitting.  Getting this game to OT had to be a huge confidence booster and even though they lost in overtime, they gave it their all and should be very proud of that.

3) Rivalry Grows - Each team now holds a victory over the other on home ice.  Both games have been well played games with excitement and emotion.  Tonights game will make the Vees happy, although they'll be unhappy they let a lead slip away.  The Vipers contrarily will be happy with the comeback, but disappointed that they couldn't finish it.  These two teams will play each other 5 more times before the end of the regular season.  If you're a fan of hockey, these are games you won't want to miss.

The Vernon Vipers will now host the Merritt Centennials Saturday Night.  Its Breast Cancer Awareness Night and you're encouraged to wear pink to support the cause.  If you can't make it to Kal Tire Place all of the action will be on Village Green Hotel Vipers Hockey on 1075 KissFM starting at 6:45 with the pregame show!

Friday, 25 October 2013

Game 18 Preview - Vipers @ Vees

After having a week in which the team played 4 games in 7 days, the Vernon Vipers have had a chance to practice and enjoy a little bit of down time.  That brings us to tonight.  It is a huge division matchup against the Penticton Vees at the South Okanagan Events Centre.  The Vees are very good at home and after this weekend, get nearly a two week break before their trip to the Island.

Lets look at how these two teams matchup

Season Series - Septermber 25 - Vipers 3 Vees 1 - Kal Tire Place

Vernon Vipers

Record - 9-5-1-2 - 3rd place in the Interior Division

Home Record - 3-1-1-2           Away Record - 6-4-0-0

Leaders - Goals - Mason Blacklock (15)
             - Assists - Michael McNicholas (12)
             - Points - Mason Blacklock (24)

Goaltending - Danny Todosychuk - 10 GP 6-4-0-0, 3.01 GAA, .898Sv%
                   - Michael Stiliadis - 1 GP 1-0-0-0, 4.00 GAA, .867Sv%
                   - Austin Smith (IR) - 7 GP 2-1-1-2, 3.00 GAA, .904Sv%

Special Teams - Powerplay - 16th in the league - 9 for 72 - 12.5%
                       - Penalty Kill - 5th in the league - 62 of 73 - .84.93%

Penticton Vees

Record - 10-3-1-1 - 1st place in the Interior Division

Home Record - 7-0-0-1             Away Record - 3-3-1-0

Leaders - Goals - Brad McClure (9)
             - Assists - Brett Beauvais (13)
             - Points - Brad McClure (19)

Goaltending - Hunter Miska - 8 GP 5-1-1-1, 1.78 GAA, .932Sv%
                   - Olivier Mantha - 7 GP 5-2-0-0, 1.72 GAA, .933Sv%

Special Teams - Powerplay - 3rd in the league - 14 for 66 - 21.21%
                       - Penalty Kill - 1st in the league - 61 of 69 - 88.41%

The Vipers can take pride in the fact that they are one of the few teams to defeat the Vees in regulation.  The Vees however are very good at home with only a loss in overtime at the SOEC.  3 teams are clogged at the top of the division and tonight can go a long way to seeing which team will be in first place.  All the action is on Village Green Hotel Vipers Hockey on 1075 KISSFM starting with the pregame show at 6:45.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Vipers Hang on to Defeat Bulldogs 7-4.

The Vipers were looking for a much better performance from the night before.  It had to be to the best situation for the Vipers to play less than 24 hours later.  It wasn't easy and they had to fight through a little bit of controversy, but they would end the island road trip with 4 of 6 points.

You could sense the Vipers were motivated as they were skating hard and skating fast and it really made for a good free flowing first period.  The Bulldogs who had a 6 game losing streak coming in were also extremely motivated and the two teams played the game the right way.  The Snakes would open the scoring after a bad defensive turnover by the Bulldogs.  Hannoun would score the goal and it was 1-0.  The Viper powerplay continued to struggle and actually gave up a goal as Tryg Strand would breakaway shorthanded.  He would be stopped by the left pad of Stiliadis, but following up was Georgeson and he would tie it up.  Goaltending was good in the period and it would end 1-1.

The Vipers started to spend a little bit more time in the offensive zone and it was only a matter of time before the levees broke.  TJ Dumonceaux would start it all with a 2 on 1 where he opted to keep and snapped it past the glove of LaCouvee.  A little over 3 minutes later McNicholas would come out of the penalty box and rush up the ice and get a shot away from the left circle to give the Snakes a 2 goal lead.  Credit the Bulldogs they responded quickly as Tryg Strand would out muscle the Viper defender and backhand a shot past Stiliadis to get it back within one.  It took 49 seconds for the Vipers to get that two goal lead back as McNicholas would score his 2nd of the night by keeping on a two on one and snapping it over the glove.  Brendan Persley would score the eventual game winner by finding an open spot in the slot and chipping the pass over LaCouvee late in the 2nd.  It was 5-2 Vipes after 40 minutes.

In the third, cue the controversy.  While shorthanded TJ Dumonceaux would break away and snap a shot over the arm of LaCouvee.  It hit the back bar and shot out of the net extremely quickly resulting in a no goal call.  Instead of it being 6-2, it remained 5-2 with the Bulldogs still on the powerplay.  That break seemed to energize the dogs as they came out firing as Hunter Stewart would chip into the lead with a powerplay marker.  Then just 9 seconds later a perfectly placed wrist shot from Scott Clark had the Dogs within one and everything seemed to be falling apart.  The Dogs would continue to push and push, but the Vipers kept their composure, blocked a few shots and scored 2 empty netters, one from McNicholas for the hat trick and one from Michael Statchuk, which was his first goal in the BCHL so congratulations to him.  Final score would be 7-4

My 3 Key Thoughts

1) The No Goal - Without question it was the turning point of the game.  Instead of it being out of reach it gave life to the Bulldogs.  In the post game show, Jason Williamson said stuff like that happens and you have to move on and regroup.  It didn't exactly happen that way, but hey to the referees credit they did try to sort it out and took the time to try and get it right.  I just feel for TJ Dumonceaux who was one of the best Vipers on the ice who won't get that goal added to his stats.

2) Love That Barn - I've only been there twice, but the Bulldogs rink has to be one of my favorites.  It was a Sunday afternoon, for a team that was struggling and they still brought in over a thousand people who were in the game all the way and cheering for their team.  I have a ton of respect for that and wish we made more trips there.

3) Finally! - It took 73 BCHL games for Michael Statchuk to score a goal and even though it was an empty netter it still counts.  Look out BCHL, once you get the first one, they start to pile up!

Overall, to quote Meatloaf, "Two of out three ain't bad".  The Vipers won 2 of 3, and head home with 4 of 6 points and remain within striking distance of the leaders in the Interior Division with a huge game coming up at the SOEC, Friday night against the Vees.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Game 17 Preview - Vipers @ Bulldogs

Its a Vipers matinee as the team travels to Port Alberni to take on the struggling Bulldogs.  Other than the showcase, this is the first afternoon game of the season and could be exactly what the doctor ordered for a Vipers team who played poorly a night before.  The Bulldogs may only have one win on the season, but they play tough and Vernon cannot take this team lightly.

Lets see how they stack up

2012-2013 Season Series - The Bulldogs won both matchups last season by scores of 2-0 and 4-3.

Vernon Vipers

Record 8-5-1-2 - 3rd place in the Interior Division

Home Record - 3-1-1-2            Away Record - 5-4-0-0

Leaders - Goals - Mason Blacklock (15)
             - Assists - Michael McNicholas (12)
             - Points - Mason Blacklock (23)

Goaltending - Danny Todosychuk - 10 GP 6-4-0-0, 3.01 GAA, .898Sv%
                   - Austin Smith (IR) - 7 GP 2-1-1-2, 3.00 GAA, .904Sv%
                   - Michael Stiliadis - yet to make an appearance

Special Teams - Powerplay - 14th in the league - 9 for 68 - 13.24%
                       - Penalty Kill - 6th in the league - 57 of 67 - 85.07%

Alberni Valley Bulldogs

Record - 1-12-2-1 - 5th place in the Island Division

Home Record - 1-7-0-0               Away Record - 0-5-2-1

Leaders - Goals - Craig Martin (7)
             - Assists - Hunter Stewart (11)
             - Points - Hunter Stewart (13)

Goaltending - Tyger Howat - 8 GP 1-3-2-1, 3.91 GAA, .883Sv%
                   - Connor LaCouvee - 6 GP 4-1-0-0, 2.72 GAA, .899Sv%

Special Teams - Powerplay - 11th in the league - 12 for 67 - 17.91%
                       - Penalty Kill - 16th in the league - 43 of 64 - 67.19%

This also marks the return of Jared Wilson to the team that traded him earlier this month.  No word yet on whether Craig Martin will be in the lineup for the Bulldogs as he may be suspended for a hit on Friday night against the Clippers.  The pre game show starts at 1:45 with play by play at 2 all on 1075 KissFM.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Vipers Clipped by Nanaimo 3-0. Win streak ends at 5

Not much to be said about the Vipers game on Saturday Night.  The effort level wasn't good.  Those aren't my words, they are spoken by every member of the coaching staff and I'm sure even the players would agree with that.  The final score would end at 3-0 Clippers.

No scoring in the first period and it was a goaltending duel going on between Danny Todosychuk and Jayson Argue as they made several big saves apiece.  The Vipers powerplay had 3 chances but couldn't generate much in the way of offense.

The second was very close to a mirror image of the first.  The only difference was the Clippers had 2 chances on the powerplay, but like the Vipers, couldn't score.  Goaltending continued to be superb at both ends of the ice.

In the third, the sloppiness finally burned the Vipers as a missed pass went for an icing leaving a tired squad on the ice.  The Clippers would make them pay as Bo Brauer took a shot from the high slot that made its way through traffic and into the back of the net.  Nine seconds later, a terrible defensive breakdown allowed Eric Margo to sneak in the back door and put a shot past Todosychuck to give the Clips a two goal lead.  Add in an empty netter and thats the final.

My 3 Key Thoughts

1) What happened? - Its really quite odd how the team can play so well one night, then so poor the next.  Its a puzzle that the coaching staff now has to put together.  Kris Mallette said in the post game show, the effort was embarrassing.  Comments like that are meant to light a fire under the team and tomorrow afternoon, we'll see if it worked.

2) Quick Turnaround - The three game in three night island road swing is no doubt a tough one.  The advantage is that the team can put it behind them with a solid effort Sunday afternoon against Alberni Valley.

3) Start a New Streak - The 5 game winning streak is now over.  The Vipers are back in the hunt near the top of the Interior Division and that is a big positive.  It goes without saying that you'd rather have more winning streaks than losing streaks, but nothing is stopping this team from putting another stretch like this together.  Back to basics.

The final game of this island trip is tomorrow afternoon in Port Alberni.  You can catch all the action starting at 1:45 with the pregame show and Village Green Hotel Vipers Hockey on 1075 KissFM starting at 2.

Game 16 Preview - Vipers @ Clippers

Its a new day in a new town as the Vernon Vipers carry a 5 game winning streak into Nanaimo tonight for a matchup against the Clippers.  The Vipers are riding high after eeking out a 2-1 victory in Powell River the night before.  The Clippers are a much different team than the Kings without a doubt.  The Clippers score more and have former Vipers coach Mike Vandekamp at the helm so you know they're a tough team.  Should be a great game from the Frank Crane Arena.

Here's tonights stats pack

2012-2013 Season Series - The Vipers won both matchups last season.  4-3 in OT and 6-4.

Vernon Vipers

Record 8-4-1-2 - 3rd place in the Interior Division

Home Record  - 3-1-1-2        Away Record - 5-3-0-0

Leaders - Goals - Mason Blacklock (15)
             - Assists - Michael McNicholas (12)
             - Points - Mason Blacklock (23)

Goaltending - Danny Todosychuk - 9 GP 6-3-0-0, 3.01 GAA, .897Sv%
                   - Austin Smith (IR) - 7 GP 2-1-1-2, 3.00 GAA, .904Sv%
                   - Michael Stiliadis - yet to make an appearance

Special Teams - Powerplay - 13th in the league - 9 for 64 - 14.06%
                       - Penalty Kill - 7th in the league - 54 of 64 - 84.38%

Nanaimo Clippers

Record 6-7-0-0 - 4th in the Island Division

Home Record - 3-5-0-0             Away Record - 3-2-0-0

Leaders - Goals - Sheldon Rempal/Devin Brosseau (6)
             - Assists - Brendan Taylor (10)
             - Points - Sheldon Rempal/Brendan Taylor (15)

Goaltending - Jayson Argue - 11 GP 5-6-0-0, 3.06 GAA, .911Sv%
                   - Liam McLeod - 4 GP 1-1-0-0, 4.54 GAA, .864Sv%

Special Teams - Powerplay - 2nd in the league - 14 for 63 - 22.22%
                       - Penalty Kill - 14th in the league - 52 of 67 - 77.61%

All the action of this inter division matchup begins at 6:45 with the pregame show and the play by play starting at 7pm.

Vipers Topple Kings 2-1 .

Tonight's game was a war of attrition that the Vipers were able to come out on the right side of.  At times it felt as if both teams were just playing chip and chase hockey.  A few breaks and a powerplay goal allowed Vernon to win 2-1.

It was a free flowing first period with not many stoppages.  Partially because there were no chances and very few shots.  The Powell River Kings play a very disciplined style of defensive hockey.  Clogging up the neutral zone and trying to coax the Vipers into mistakes.  The first period would end with no score and only 12 total shots.

The second period was more of the same with the addition of some offense.  The Vipers didn't have many shots on goal, but the rare chance they had was a shot from Michael McNicholas right at the feet of Jonah Imoo, he couldn't control the rebound and Dexter Dancs deposited the puck in the net to give the Vipers a 1-0 lead.  Shortly after that Josh Betinol was hammered into the boards.  It was called boarding and Dexter Dancs came to the aid of his teammate by dropping the gloves with Kurt Keats which was a spirited scrap.  After 40 minutes the score was 1-0 Vernon.

For the most part the Vipers were able to limit the Kings opportunities, but they couldn't control a crazy bounce off the corner boards that ricocheted into the high slot where Ryan Scarfo was able to put it past Todosychuk and get the game tied up.  It took 8 minutes for the Vipers to get a shot on goal in the period, but they started to get their legs late and it was that philosophy that drew a penalty in the final 5 minutes.  The Viper powerplay which looked out of sorts on the first two chances started moving the puck with efficiency and Mason Blacklock was able to slip a shot past Imoo to give the Vipers a lead.  The Kings put a lot of pressure on the Vipers in the final few moments of the game and thanks to a few key blocks and a few saves the Vipers hung on for the victory.

My 3 Key Thoughts

1) Powerplay - More often than not this season we've talked about how the powerplay missed on opportunities, tonight however, was a different story as the powerplay was the difference.  The first two chances weren't good, but the third was very impressive and successful.  An effective powerplay is key to a successful team and tonight it was the difference the Vipers needed.

2) High or Low Scoring - Lately it doesn't seem to matter whether the Vipers are in a high scoring game or a low scoring game.  The team looked comfortable in this tight checking game and even though they only had 17 shots, they didn't panic with all the pressure.

3) Streak continues - I asked Dave Robinson in the pre game show if it was a good thing that the team hits the road for this trip on a 4 game win streak.  Now that its at 5 the team really seems to be coming together and doing what it takes to win games and now are within striking distance of top spot in the Interior Division.

It was a gritty, chippy and greasy effort for the Snakes in a place that is not easy to play in.  They limited mistakes and did the intangibles to win games even though those things can't be seen on the boxscore.  The Vipers will look to keep the streak going in Nanaimo Saturday Night.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Game 15 Preview - Vipers @ Kings

The Vernon Vipers have faced some big tests so far this season.  Tonight may be the toughest.  The Island Division leading Powell River Kings welcome in the Snakes for a battle of hot teams.  The Vipers come in having won 4 in a row and the Kings have won 10 of 12 and have points in 11 of those 12 games.  Powell River is never an easy place to play and the Vipers will have their work cut out for them.

Here's how these two teams stack up

2012-2013 Season Series -The Kings took all 3 matchups between these two teams last season.

Vernon Vipers 

Record 7-4-1-2 -  3rd place in the Interior Division

Home Record - 3-1-1-2         Away Record - 4-3-0-0

Leaders - Goals - Mason Blacklock (14)
             - Assists - Michael McNicholas (11)
             - Points - Mason Blacklock (22)

Goaltending - Danny Todosychuk - 8 GP 5-3-0-0, 3.26 GAA, .890Sv%
                   - Austin Smith (IR) - 7 GP 2-1-1-2, 3.00 GAA, .904Sv%
                   - Michael Stiliadis - yet to make an appearance

Special Teams - Powerplay - 13th in the league - 8 for 61 - 13.11%
                       - Penalty Kill - 9th in the league - 51 of 61 - 83.61%

Powell River Kings

Record 10-1-0-1 - 1st place in the Island Division

Home Record - 6-1-0-0            Away Record - 4-0-0-1

Leaders - Goals - Ryan Scarfo (8)
             - Assists - Kurt Keats (15)
             - Points - Kurt Keats (20)

Goaltending - Jonah Imoo - 7 GP 5-1-0-1, 2.67 GAA, .908Sv%
                   - Jeff Smith - 5 GP 5-0-0-0, 1.80 GAA, .934Sv%

Special Teams - Powerplay - 1st in the league - 12 for 51 - 23.53%
                       - Penalty Kill - 3rd in the league - 58 of 67 - 86.57%

It should be a great battle tonight from the Hap.  These two teams on paper match up well and should produce a great game on the ice.  You can catch all the action on Village Green Hotel Vipers Hockey on 1075 KISS FM, starting with the pregame show at 7:15 and the play by play at 7:30.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Vipers Smother the Smokies and win 6-3

Now don't let the title fool you.  This game was tight for the first 42 minutes.  The Smokies came to play and gave the Vipers all they could handle.  In the end it was a span of 6 minutes that made the difference and allowed Vernon to come out on top of a 6-3 victory.

The Viper top line has been coming alive of late.  Demico Hannoun has started to score more and the addition of Colton Sparrow to that line adds veteran leadership and grit.  That line would open the scoring as Demico Hannoun would strike for his 5th of the season off a rebound in front.  That lead wouldn't last long as the impressive Smokies powerplay would go to work.  A good forecheck from Brendan Lamont would set up Jake Kauppila who cut to the front and slipped a backhander past Todosychuk to get the game tied through 1 period.

Not much happening in the second period until the very end as a great individual effort by Tyson Witala resulted in a chance that was initially stopped by Todosychuk, but the rebound hit a Viper defender and crossed the line to give Trail a 2-1 lead after 2.

The third period was dominated by the Vipers on the scoreboard as Riley Guenther, Colton Sparrow, Mason Blacklock who had 2 and Michael McNicholas would score in the first 8 minutes to blow the game wide open.  It was a series of unfortunate events for the Smokies as everything that could go wrong did in that 8 minutes span.  The Smokies would get a goal at 19:58 as Lucchini would come out of the penalty box and wire a slap shot past Todosychuk to make the final 6-3.

My 3 Key Thoughts

1) - 3rd, 3rd period Comeback - Jason Williamson said he'd prefer his team to get on the board more frequently before the 3rd period, but this was the third time in the last 4 games where the Vipers have scored in clusters while behind in games.  This team has an explosive offense and seem to confident and comfortable while trailing after 40 minutes.

2) - Top Line Strikes - The top line of Blacklock, Hannoun and Sparrow combined for 10 points.  Thats the type of production the coaching staff is looking for from their top players and Tuesday night they did not disappoint.  There's no doubt the three have chemistry and the results speak for themselves.

3) - Colton Sparrow -  A big shout out has to go to Colton Sparrow who took a puck in the face and lost a few teeth on the play only to come back with a full face shield and contribute with a goal and an assist.  Thats the type of leadership and determination that will fuel this team going forward.

The Vipers have now won 4 in a row with a big road trip starting Friday night in Powell River.  All 3 games of the island swing can be heard on Village Green Hotel Vipers Hockey on 1075 KissFM.  The Pre game show Friday will be starting at 7:15 with the play by play at 7:30.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Game 14 Preview - Smoke Eaters @ Vipers

The Vernon Vipers are coming off a huge come from behind victory last Saturday.  They look to win their 4th in a row as they get set to host division rival Trail.  The Smokies have yet to win this month and that will only motivate them more.  As you will be able to see farther down in this post, the Smokies are much better on the road than at home.

Lets look at how these two teams matchup.

2012-2013 Season Series - Vipers - 2 wins, 2 losses and 2 overtime losses
                                         - Smokies - 4 wins and 2 losses

Vernon Vipers 

Record 6-4-1-2 - 4th place in the Interior Division

Home Record - 2-1-1-2           Away - 4-3-0-0

Leaders - Goals - Mason Blacklock (12)
             - Assists - Michael McNicholas (11)
             - Points - Mason Blacklock (18)

Goaltending - Danny Todosychuk - 7 GP 4-3-0-0, 3.30 GAA, .890Sv%
                   - Austin Smith (IR) - 7 GP 2-1-1-2, 3.00 GAA, .904Sv%
                   - Michael Stiliadis - yet to make an appearance

Special Teams - Powerplay - 14th in the league - 7 for 55 - 12.73%
                       - Penalty Kill - 5th in the league - 49 of 58 - 84.48%

Trail Smoke Eaters

Record - 4-8-1-1 - 6th in the Interior Division

Home Record - 2-7-1-0            Away - 2-1-0-1

Leaders - Goals - Curtis Toneff and 2 others (4)
             - Assists - Tyson Witala (7)
             - Points - Curtis Toneff/Tyson Witala (10)

Goaltending - Dustin Nikkel - 10 GP 3-6-1-0, 3.95 GAA, .889Sv%
                   - Adam Todd - 5 GP 1-2-0-1, 3.96 GAA, .877 Sv%
                   - Riley Corbin - 1 GP 0-0-0-0, 8.98 GAA, .800Sv%

Special Teams - Powerplay - 4th in the league - 13 for 61 - 21.31%
                       - Penalty Kill - 8th in the league - 54 of 64 - 84.38%

There is no question the Trail Smoke Eaters seem to be more comfortable playing away from Cominco Arena.  They'll look to end a tough start to October with a win, so the Vipers will have to expect a very motivated team.  Tonights broadcast is internet only.  Starting at 6:45 with the pregame show.  Follow me on twitter @GrahamT_Vipers and I will be posting the link closer to the start time.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Vipers strike with 4 straight goals to top Chiefs in OT

It wasn't the way the Vernon Vipers drew up how to get two points, but in the end, two points is exactly what the Vipers got. It was a gritty and gutsy effort by the team and they would skate away with a 5-4 win in Overtime.

For the first time in a while the Viper penalty kill struggled as the Chiefs would open the scoring as Ben Butcher would put in a rebound to get the home team off to a good start. It was a pretty even first period of play with both goaltenders playing solid. Vernon capitalized on a late powerplay as Jason Bird would let a laser of a slap shot go through a large screen in front of Lyndon Stanwood to get the game tied up after 1 period.

The second period was all Chilliwack. Momentum can be a funny thing and it didn't take long for it to sway solely in the Chiefs favour. It all got started on the powerplay as some good movement resulted in a shot to the net and a deflection from Carter Cochrane to give Chilliwack the lead. That really sparked the Chiefs and TJ Roche would increase the lead with a shot through traffic from the point that eluded everyone to increase their lead to 2. Late in the period a scramble in front of the Vernon net resulted in Kurt Black knocking home his 4th of the season to give Chilliwack a big 4-1 lead heading into the 3rd period.

The hole was deep for the Vipers, but evidently not deep enough. The comeback started late in the period as Mason Blacklock scored his first of two on the night to get the Vipers within 2. Liam Coughlin would cut the lead to 1 with his first in 12 games. Then from the same spot on the ice as his first goal, Mason Blacklock would score his 2nd of the game to get it tied with just 90 seconds left in regulation. Credit to the Chiefs, following a time out they nearly re-took the lead but a big shot block and a big save from Todosychuk set the scene for an overtime thriller.

In the extra frame, a shot from McNicholas would be kicked out by Stanwood right to the stick of Jason Bird and he'd make no mistake for his second of the game and a huge comeback win for the Snakes.

My 3 Key Thoughts

  1. Momentum lost then found – In the second period the Vipers looked lost and really out of sync. A lot of credit has to go to the Chiefs for capitalizing on their powerplays and skating hard. As quickly as the momentum was in Chilliwacks favour, it switched to the Vernon side in the final period. The Vipers peppered Lyndon Stanwood before the levees broke and the Vipers scored 4 answered.
  2. Refusal to Quit – It had to be frustrating for the Vipers who had some great chances but were stymied at every turn from a phenomenal goaltending performance from Lyndon Stanwood. They could easily have gotten down on themselves, but kept pushing and finally got the game tied.
  3. Injury Bug Strikes Again – Dexter Dancs took the pregame skate, but didn't play with an undisclosed injury. Josh Betinol left early with an injury as well. That forced some changes including Michael Statchuk playing forward and even taking a faceoff. Its gritty efforts like tonight, that help bring teams together.

Jason Williamson put it best in the post game show when he said “good teams find ways to win”. Wins like this one and the one last weekend in Salmon Arm are exactly what this team needs right now before they hit the road for three tough ones on the island next weekend.

Up next is a weeknight matchup against the Trail Smoke Eaters Tuesday night at Kal Tire Place. Its an internet only broadcast and you can tune in starting at 6:45.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Game 13 Preview - Vipers @ Chiefs

It was an all around solid effort last night for the Vernon Vipers as they received contributions from their top scorers and their defense.  The Vipers would open up the first game of a home and home with Chilliwack with a 4-1 win.  Tonight the scene shifts to Chilliwack.  A place that hasn't been friendly to the Chiefs so far this season.  Vernon hopes to take the season series from the Chiefs tonight at the Prospera Centre.

Here's how they stack up

2013-2014 Season Series - Sept. 8 - Vernon 1 Chilliwack 1
                                         - Oct. 11 - Chilliwack 1 Vernon 4

Vernon Vipers

Record 5-4-1-2 - 5th place in the Interior Division

Home Record - 2-1-1-2            Away - 3-3-0-0

Leaders - Goals - Mason Blacklock (10)
              - Assists - Michael McNicholas (8)
              - Points - Mason Blacklock (15)

Goaltending - Austin Smith - 7 GP 2-1-1-2, 3.00 GAA, 904Sv%
                   - Danny Todosychuk - 6 GP 3-3-0-0, 3.21 GAA, .893Sv%
                   - Michael Stiliadis - recently acquired from OJHL

Special Teams - Powerplay - 14th in the league - 6 for 52 - 11.54%
                       - Penalty Kill - 5th in the league - 46 of 53 - 86.79%

Chilliwack Chiefs

Record - 1-7-1-0 - 5th place in the Mainland Division

Home Record - 0-4-0-0            Away - 1-2-1-0

Leaders - Goals - Kurt Black (3)
             - Assists - Jaret Babych and 3 others (3)
             - Points - Kurt Black and 3 others (4)

Goaltending - Lyndon Stanwood - 7 GP 1-5-1-0, 3.78 GAA, .911Sv%
                   - Josh Halpenny - 3 GP 0-2-0-0, 5.95 GAA, .825Sv%

Special Teams - Powerplay - 16th in the league - 4 for 47 - 8.51%
                       - Penalty Kill - 11th in the league - 32 of 40 - 80%

Tonight will mark the final time the Vipers see the Chilliwack Chiefs, unless there is a meeting in the BCHL Playoffs.  You can catch all the action on Village Green Hotel Vipers Hockey on 1075 KISSFM, starting at 6:45 with the pregame show from Prospera Centre.

Vipers solid in 4-1 win over Chiefs

For the second straight game, the Vernon Vipers put together as close to a sixty minute game as the coaching staff could want.  They generated chances offensively, didn't give up much defensively, and got solid goaltending from Danny Todosychuk.

It was a quick start for the Snakes as Demico Hannoun would pot home his 4th goal of the season off a rebound from Lyndon Stanwood.  The Vipers main objective seemed to be simple in the opening frame and that was to force the Chiefs into making defensive zone turnovers.  They were standing the Chiefs up and the Chilliwack blue line as well as the centre line and seemed to be accomplishing their goals.  That objective however backfired just once as the Chiefs were able to get by the tight checking and gain entry into the Viper zone.  Jacob Hand would score his first of the season off of a rebound and the Chiefs got the game deadlocked.  The remainder of the opening frame was tightly contested until the Vipers were able to force the Chiefs into an icing call.  The Vipers would win the face off and Dexter Dancs would score to give Vernon a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission.

The second period was primarily controlled by Vernon.  They outshot the Chiefs 15-6, but could only manage one goal.  That goal was crucial for two reasons.  It gave the Vipers a 2 goal lead and it came on the powerplay.  It was the first time in three games the man advantage would score and it was Mason Blacklock with a perfectly placed wrist shot.

The Vipers would tack one more on in the final period as Blacklock would score his team leading 10th of the season and second of the night to seal it.

My 3 Key Thoughts

1) Forcing the Issue - Its no secret the Chiefs are struggling.  It was crucial to the confidence of the Vipers to make life as difficult for Chilliwack as possible.  With a few minor exceptions I would say mission accomplished.  Although there were no glaring turnovers in the Chilliwack end, the Chiefs struggled all night to sustain much offense.

2) D Chipping In - The Vipers are known to have an older, more veteran group of defensemen who take care of business in their own end.  Tonight, Jason Bird and Riley Guenther would each get a pair of assists to aid in the offense.  For the hard work all defensemen put in, its nice to see their names appear on the score sheet.

3) Don't Poke the Bear - It will be very interesting to see if the Chilliwack Chiefs react to Liam Coughlin putting the puck into their net after the final horn had sounded.  It had the players on the ice riled up and that could be the type of motivating factor the Chiefs are looking for.  I'm of the belief that that play didn't have to happen and was unnecessary, but I do know that things could be quite interesting tomorrow night in Chilliwack.

All in all a nice night for the Vipers, who look to finish the home and home set at the Prospera Centre with a win.  You can catch all the action with Village Green Hotel Vipers Hockey on 1075 KISSFM starting with the  pregame show at 6:45 from Chilliwack.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Game 12 Preview - Chiefs @ Vipers

It looked bleak last Saturday Night as the Vernon Vipers were trailing the Silverbacks for the majority of the contest.  All that changed in a matter of 46 seconds.  Three goals in that time frame allowed the Vipers to steal two points.  The Vipers hope to continue the momentum generated from that big win tonight against a struggling Chilliwack Chiefs squad.

Lets look and see how these two teams stack up.

2013-2014 Season Series - Sept. 8 - Vernon 1 Chilliwack 1

Vernon Vipers

Record - 4-4-1-2 - 5th place in the Interior Division

Home Record - 1-1-1-2        Away - 3-3-0-0

Leaders - Goals - Mason Blacklock (8)
             - Assists - Demico Hannoun/Michael McNicholas (7)
             - Points - Mason Blacklock (12)

Goaltending - Austin Smith - 7 GP 2-1-1-2, 3.00 GAA, .904Sv%
                   - Danny Todosychuk - 5 GP 2-3-0-0, 3.66 GAA, .885Sv%
                   - Michael Stiliadis - acquired yesterday from the OJHL

Special Teams - Powerplay - 15th in the league - 5 for 49 - 10.20%
                       - Penalty Kill - 5th in the league - 42 of 49 - 85.71%

Chilliwack Chiefs -

Record - 1-6-1-0 - 5th place in the Mainland Division

Home Record - 0-4-0-0           Away - 1-2-1-0

Leaders - Goals - Kurt Black (3)
              - Assists - Austin Plevy (3)
              - Points - Kurt Black and 3 others (4)

Goaltending - Lyndon Stanwood - 6 GP 1-4-1-0, 3.75 GAA, 913Sv%
                   - Josh Halpenny - 3 GP, 0-2-0-0, 5.95 GAA, .845Sv%

Special Teams - Powerplay - 16th in the league - 4 for 43 - 9.3 %
                       - Penalty Kill - 13th in the league - 30 of 37 - 81.08%

The Chiefs come in as the lowest scoring team in the league.  They've also played the fewest number of games as tonights will be their 9th.  It'll be an interesting matchup for two teams who need these two points.  Tonights game is an internet only broadcast on the Vipers MixLR.  I will be tweeting the address closer to game time from Kal Tire Place.  We'll have the pre game starting at 6:45.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Vipers Rally to Defeat Silverbacks 3-2

Tonights effort for the Vernon Vipers was much improved from the night before.  But the turning point in the victory was a huge penalty kill and 3 goals in less than 1 minute.  The win was not only big because it was against a division rival, but that it ended a tough 2 game losing streak and a goal-less streak of more than 5 periods.

The whole game had an odd feel to it.  It started with a tough apparent lower body injury to Viper starter Austin Smith.  He made a save while the team was short handed and was in some discomfort and taken from the game.  Danny Todosychuk would take over looking to build on a solid performance in PG.  The Viper powerplay which has struggled of late, continued to struggle in the first period and it actually resulted in a goal against as Taylor Maruya slipped a backhander through Todosychuk to give the Backs a lead.

The second period was more of the same as the Vipers were skating well and trying to keep the Salmon Arm snipers as far away from the Vernon end as possible.  The Snakes would end up in penalty trouble themselves and Alex Gillies would put home his 12th of the season to extend the Salmon Arm lead.  The first of 2 turning points came just past the midway portion of the period.  TJ Dumonceaux would be ejected from the game for a check from behind.  Shortly after Demico Hannoun would take a tripping penalty putting the Vipers down two men for a full two minutes.  The PK has been rock solid for the Vipers all year long and they proved that as they killed off the two man advantage and the remainder of the major penalty to keep the game 2-0 after 40 minutes.

The Vipers luck would change 5 minutes into the third as Josh Bryan would score his first of the season.  13 seconds later Logan Mick would put home his first of the season as well to get the tied up.  The momentum continued to shift as Michael McNicholas would find a loose puck and put it past Clark just 33 seconds after the Mick marker.  Vernon scored 3 goals in 46 seconds to take the lead.  In the blink of an eye the fortunes of the Vipers went from zero to max in a matter of seconds.  Credit Salmon Arm however as they pushed the pace in the final 14 minutes and made the finish very tight.  Thanks to a handful of blocked shots and timely saves by Todosychuk the Vernon Vipers would hold on for a thrilling 3-2 victory.

My 3 Key Thoughts

1) - Puck Luck - The hockey Gods can only hate you for so long before the luck begins to change.  After countless of missed opportunities and frustration for the Vipes, three fortunate bounces ended up in the Salmon Arm net.  A cross bar by Salmon Arm and some near misses were their undoing.

2) - Oustanding PK - Yes, Salmon Arm scored on the man advantage, but a full 5 minute major, plus two of those minutes were 5 on 3 and they only gave up 2 shots.  Aside from the 3 goals, that was a huge turning point.  The team then rallied around it and the two points are now in the bank.

3) - Unlikely Support - When a team is struggling to score goals, like Vernon was, its imperative to get scoring from other sources than your top line.  Goals from Josh Bryan and Logan Mick were crucial.  The top guys can't always lead the way, but the good teams have help from all lines and the Vipers received that help tonight.

This win will do wonders for the teams confidence, but it was also they way they won that could go a long way.  A come from behind win, losing a goaltender and killing of the penalty were character building moments.  I'm sure the coaching staff will use this as a building block moving forward.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Game 11 Preview - Vipers @ Silverbacks

It would be wise for the Vernon Vipers to put last night behind them and have a short memory.  However, it is necessary to greatly improve on the performance the Vipers had last night.  The coaching staff was very unhappy with the effort level and of course the results.  They will expect an improved Viper squad and we should see that tonight in Salmon Arm.

Season Series - Friday Sept. 13 - Vernon 1 Salmon Arm 6
                      - Saturday Sept. 14 - Salmon Arm 6 Vernon 5 - 2OT

Vernon Vipers

Record - 3-4-1-2 - 6th in the Interior Division

Home Record - 1-1-1-2          Away - 2-3-0-0

Leaders - Goals - Mason Blacklock (8)
             - Assists - Demico Hannoun (7)
             - Points - Mason Blacklock (12)

Goaltending - Austin Smith - 6 GP 2-1-1-2, 3.04 GAA, 904Sv%
                   - Danny Todosychuk - 4 GP 1-3-0-0, 4.00 GAA, .877Sv%

Special Teams - Powerplay - 15th in the league - 5 for 43 - 11.63%
                       - Penalty Kill - 5th in the league - 38 of 44 - 86.36%

Salmon Arm Silverbacks

Record - 5-4-0-1 - 3rd in the Interior Division

Home Record - 3-1-0-0           Away - 2-2-0-0

Leaders - Goals - Alex Gillies (11)
             - Assists - Evan Anderson (8)
             - Points - Alex Gillies (16)

Goaltending - Adam Clark - 6 GP 3-1-0-0, 3.15 GAA, .907Sv%
                   - Angus Redmond - 6 GP 2-3-0-1, 3.59 GAA, .891Sv%

Special Teams - Powerplay - 10th in the league - 7 for 48 - 14.58%
                       - Penalty Kill - 4th in the league - 40 of 46 - 86.96%

A big effort is required tonight.  The Silverbacks are coming off a very impressive showing last night defeating the Penticton Vees 5-2.  The Backs have owned the Vipers of late and a victory tonight would go a long way for confidence.  Technically the Vipers are in the Interior Division basement, but the division is so close, the Vipers are just 2 points out of a playoff spot.

You can catch the action from the Shaw Centre with the pre game show at 6:45 and the play by play starting at 7 on 1075 KISSFM.

Vipers are Shutout in PG

It was a game to forget for the Vernon Vipers as they were shut out 3-0 by the Prince George Spruce Kings on Friday night.

The offense couldn't muster much in the opening period as they would only get 2 shots on Alex Murray.  Both teams were doing a great job of clogging up the neutral zone and really slowing the pace of the game down.  Overall an uneventful first period.

The second period didn't see much difference as there really wasn't much flow.  On numerous occasions however, Danny Todosychuk made some key saves.  Brendan Persley would try to spark his team by dropping the mitts with Riley Hawes, but the spark fizzled after the spirited tilt.  The Vipers got a little lucky after the Spruce Kings had a goal disallowed and the game would remain tied heading into the final frame.

The 3rd period would be marred by boarding call on Mark Hamilton 12 minutes into the third period.  At that point, Prince George had a 3 goal lead.  Its hard to analyze the play in question as Jake LeBrun would end up injured at the end of the play.  It was the type of play that, depending on who you ask, was either a solid hockey check, or a dirty hit.  At the end of the day, Hamilton would be ejected from the game and LeBrun would be helped off the ice.  The Vipers would kill of the 5 minute major, but the final horn would sound to end regulation 3 nothing Prince George.

My 3 Key thoughts

1) No bite in the Snakes - Its hard to say, but this thought was echoed by Jason Williamson, but the team looked disinterested.  There was no tenacity on the forecheck, the physical game just wasn't there and overall were just not into the game.  That fact was reflected on the shot clock as Vernon would only get 20 shots on goal.

2) Danny Todyschuk was very solid all night and couldn't be faulted on any of the 3 goals.  He did his part to keep his team in the game and did so until the very end.

3) Controversy - there were two hits in this game that neither team liked very much.  Brendan Persley would be injured on a late hit, he would leave the game and not return.  Then there was the hit on Jake LeBrun.  I firmly believe there was no intent to injure on either side, but its a fast and dangerous game at times and injuries happen.

In the end it was a very disappointing effort from the Vipers and they will need a much better effort Saturday Night when they head to Salmon Arm to face the Silverbacks.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Game 10 Preview - Vipers @ Spruce Kings

Its been nearly a week between games for the Vernon Vipers and that means there was a lot of work done at practice.  Not only that, but Jason Williamson made a couple of deals to fill some holes.  After a long travel day yesterday, the Vipers get set to take on the Prince George Spruce Kings for the first of two meetings.

Lets look at how these two teams stack up:

2012-2013 Season Series - 1-1-0-0

Vernon Vipers

Record - 3-3-1-2 - 5th in the Interior Division

Home Record - 1-1-1-2         Away 2-2-0-0

Leaders - Goals - Mason Blacklock (8)
              - Assists - Demico Hannoun (7)
              - Points - Mason Blacklock (12)

Goaltending - Austin Smith - 6 GP 2-1-1-2, 3.04 GAA, .904Sv%
                   - Danny Todosychuk - 3 GP 1-2-0-0, 4.33 GAA, .865Sv%

Special Teams - Powerplay - 13th in the league - 5 for 41 - 12.2%
                       - Penalty Kill - 8th in the league - 33 of 39 - 84.62%

Prince George Spruce Kings

Record - 5-3-0-1 - 1st in Mainland Division

Home Record - 2-1-0-1          Away 3-0-0-0

Leaders - Goals - Jake LeBrun (8)
             - Assists - Brent Lashuk/Christian Weidauer (8)
              - Points - Jake LeBrun (12)

Goaltending - Alex Murray - 6 GP 3-2-0-1, 2.30 GAA, .910Sv%
                   - Jesse Jenks - 3 GP 2-1-0-0, 2.68 GAA, .923Sv%

Special Teams - Powerplay - 11th in the league - 7 for 46 - 15.22%
                       - Penalty Kill - 10th in the league - 42 of 50 - 84%

There aren't too many teams in the BCHL that are hotter than the Prince George Spruce Kings.  They are great against the Mainland Division and don't lose many games on home ice.  Tonight is a big challenge for the Vipers.  Tonight will also mark the Viper debuts of Jared Wilson and forward Josh Betinol.  All of the action can be heard on Village Green Hotel Vipers Hockey on 1075 KISSFM.  The pregame show starts at 6:45 with the play by play at 7.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Vipers Acquire Jared Wilson from Bulldogs

Its an important season for the Vernon Vipers and earlier today the wheeling and dealing began.

The Vipers traded Craig Martin (95) had a solid start to the season with 3 goals and 4 assists in 9 games.  The Trail native was in his second season as a member of the Vipers and is committed to Quinnipiac.

In exchange for Martin the Vipers brought in towering defenseman Jared Wilson.  The 6'3", 190 pound d man from Calgary will greatly help solidify the Vernon blue line.  He has 3 goals a 6 assists so far this season with all 3 of those goals coming on the powerplay.

Here is a quote from Head Coach and GM of the Vipers Jason Williamson from the Vernon Vipers website.  "Anytime you have to trade away a player that has been with you for a while it is extremely difficult.  Marty is a great person and an exceptional hockey player, but as you know, you have to give up something to get something and we are very happy to be adding Jared to our program"

This trade really bolsters the defensive core of the Vipers.  Wilson will join a very deep blue line joining, Ryan Renz, Josh Bryan, Michael Statchuk, Jason Bird, Mark Hamilton and Kenny Citron.

Also, Wilson will most likely get a good look on the powerplay, which has struggled early in the season.

Wilson will make his Viper debut on Friday night as the Vipers travel to Prince George.