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:
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
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