Sunday, 28 September 2014

Vipers Shut Out In Home Opener

It wasn't the start the Vipers were looking for in their home opener, as the West Kelowna Warriors dished out a bit of revenge Saturday night with a 4-0 win over the home town Vipers.  Overall, I thought the teams matched up rather well for the second consecutive night, but there were differences from the game the night before.  I thought West Kelowna ironed out their defensive errors, Andy Desautels was lights out and they received contributions from their top line.  Contrarily, for the Vipers the PP couldn't click, they had some bounces and calls go against them and that put them in a hole they couldn't get out of.

The Warriors opened the scoring after a big penalty kill.  Jordan Masters was in the box for a 4 minute double minor, which the Vipers couldn't score on, then out of the box comes Masters for a rush with Cotton, Masters parks himself in front of the net and bangs home a loose puck to make it 1-0.  Just moments later it was Masters turn for a wrap around which somehow founds its way under the pad of Todosychuk and late in the 1st period it was 2-0.

In the second period it was a parade to the penalty box for the home team as they would find themselves shorthanded 4 times.  The Warriors, however, increased the lead even strength as Brett Mennear re-directed a Ferner point shot through the legs of Todosychuk and it was 3-0.  Just under 4 minutes later while on a 5 on 3, Kylar Hope poked home a loose puck at the side of the net and the Tribe opened the game up leading 4-0.

The third opened with a new goaltender as Jarrod Schamerhorn would replace Todosychuk.  I don't believe Danny was pulled because of his performance, I think it had more to do with sparking the rest of the team as well as evaluating Schamerhorn.  There was no scoring in the final period.  Vernon found themselves with 5 powerplay opportunities, but couldn't convert and Andy Desautels shut the door as the Warriors took it 4-0.

Here is the scoring summary:

Period 1

West K Warriors - Jordan Masters (1) - (Cotton, Blackburn) - 16:04
West K Warriors - Jordan Masters (2) - (PP) - (Blackburn, Cotton) - 18:32

Period 2

West K Warriors - Brett Mennear (2) - (Ferner) - 5:05
West K Warriors - Kylar Hope (2) - (PP) - (Bly, Blumenschein) - 8:55

Shots - West K 33    Vernon - 30

Powerplays - West K 2 for 7    Vernon 0 for 8

The Vipers will need a short memory as they have a quick turnaround and a matinee matchup with the Langley Rivermen on Sunday.  Puck drop is 2pm from KTP.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Vipers Win in Ferner's Return

For a team that has gone through so many changes in recent weeks, you wouldn't be able to tell by their performance on the ice last night at RLP.  The team was skating, hitting and essentially playing the type of game you would expect from a team trying to impress a new coach.  Before the game, Mark Ferner stated that the systems and structures were going to be a work in progress, but they played an effective, hard working game in front of 1200 strong.

The Vipers struck first just over a minute in as Mackenzie Bauer stole a puck in the high slot and ripped a hard wrist shot blocker side on Desautels to make it 1-0.  Just over three and half minutes later Mitchell Oliver would get his first as a Viper with a very similar shot from a nearly identical spot on the ice.  The Warriors would score late in the period on the PP as Liam Blackburn continued his torrid start, banging home a rebound to make it 2-1 after 1.

The second period was all Vipers and had it not been for the stellar play of Andy Desautels the game could've been busted wide open.  Desautels turned aside all 20 shots he faced in the middle period to keep the game 2-1 after 2.

The Warriors had a couple of chances early in the third, but were thwarted by Todosychuk and the proved huge as the Viper PP would finally bump the slump as Ryley Booth snapped home his first to make it 3-1.  Then the Warriors poured it on.  It was their turn to pepper Todosychuk who stood tall in the Viper goal, stopping all 19 shots that came his way in the final stanza.

It was exactly the type of road effort a team hopes for in a home opener.

Here is the scoring summary:

Period 1

Vernon Vipers - Mackenzie Bauer (1) - (unassisted) - 1:07
Vernon Vipers - Mitchell Oliver (1) - (Bauer, Latina) - 4:52
West K Warriors - Liam Blackburn (5) - (Cotton, Blumenschein) - 17:24

Period 3
Vernon Vipers - Ryley Booth (1) - (PP) - (Emilio, Williamson) - 2:46
Vernon Vipers - Mackenzie Bauer (2) - (EN)(SH) - (unassisted) - 18:46

Shots - Vernon 41     West K 36

Powerplays - Vernon 1 for 6       West K 1 for 6

Next up for the Vipers is a rematch against the Warriors, this time its the Vipers home opener at KTP.  Puck drop is at 6pm and you can hear all the action on 107.5 KissFM starting at 5:45

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Vipers take 3 of 4 points at Showcase

Despite being without 3 top players, the Vernon Vipers had a very nice performance at this year's Bauer BCHL Showcase, taking 3 of a possible 4 points.

To open the season, the Snakes effectively dominated the Cowichan Valley Capitals.  The team used their speed and aggressive forecheck to hem the Caps in their own zone many times, most noticeably in the first period.  They caused turnovers and really forced the issue all afternoon long.  Had it not been for Lane Michasiw in goal for Cowichan, the game very well could've been a blow out.

The scoring didn't get started until the third period as Thomas Aldworth would go end to end and finish a beautiful move, while shorthanded to make it 1-0.  Just sixty-six seconds later, it was Riley Brandt, stealing a puck in the slot and rifling it home to make it 2-0.

That was all the scoring they would need as they really limited any offensive chances from the Caps.

It was exactly the performance the team need to kick start the 2014-2015 campaign.

Here is the scoring summary:

Period 3

Vernon Vipers - Thomas Aldworth (1) - (unassisted) - shorthanded - 7:09
Vernon Vipers - Riley Brandt (1) - (unassisted) - 8:17

Shots - Vernon 41   Cowichan Valley 13

Powerplays - Vernon 0 for 7    Cowichan Valley 0 for 4

The Vipers would then hope to continue the momentum into Saturdays game against the Victoria Grizzlies.  They were able to do that in the first 20 minutes as they caused many defensive zone turnovers and would strike three times.

Anthony Latina finished off a beautiful play with his first of the campaign, inside the first 5 minutes.  The Grizzlies responded later in the frame on the PP as Kevin Massy put home his own rebound to equalize the game.  The Vipers would re-take the lead just 57 seconds later as Liam Coughlin banged home his first of the season.  That lead would increase 3 minutes later as Trevor Fidler would snap home his first off a great stretch pass from Kenny Citron.

The Vipers then seemed to fatigue a little bit as well as the Grizzlies finding another gear.  Only one goal would go up on the board as Garrett Forster would find a loose puck and it was 3-2 after 2 periods.

It was all Grizzlies to start the third as Brett Gruber would score on the PP and then Forster would score again while shorthanded to give last years Island Division Champions a 4-3 lead.  That momentum held until Anthony Latina would jam home his second of the night.  The goal would be reviewed, but was upheld and this game was destined for OT.

In the extra frame, the Vipers had trouble clearing the zone and Mitch Meek would find himself wide open in front of the net and slip it home to give the Grizz the 5-4 win.

Here is the Scoring Summary:

1st period
Vernon Vipers - Anthony Latina (1) - (Fidler, Schamerhorn) - 4:49
Victoria Grizzlies - Kevin Massy (1) - (PP) - (Gruber, Mackie) - 15:37
Vernon Vipers - Liam Coughlin (1) - (Latina, Booth) - 16:34
Vernon Vipers - Trevor Fidler (1) - (Citron) - 19:32

2nd period
Victoria Grizzlies - Garrett Forster (1) - (Pickup, Barker) - 3:22

3rd period
Victoria Grizzlies - Brett Gruber (1) - (PP) - (Massy, Mackie) - 5:04
Victoria Grizzlies - Garrett Forster (2) - (SH) - (unassisted) - 7:31
Vernon Vipers - Anthony Latina (2) - (unassisted) - 18:44

Shots - Victoria 35   Vernon 24

Powerplays - Victoria 2 for 5     Vernon 0 for 7

Overall a solid showing for the Vipers who now get set for a busy weekend in the Interior with a home and home set with West Kelowna and a Sunday matinee with the Langley Rivermen.  Throw in the return of Mark Ferner to the Vipers and its going to be a weekend of hockey you don't want to miss.