Monday, 2 November 2015

Game 19 - Vipers 5 Smokies 2

After 3 straight losses, the Vernon Vipers came to play Friday night against the Trail Smoke Eaters.  Main focuses were attention to deal, playing with a high compete level and simplifying the game.  They were able to do all 3 of those things and with the help of one line and some fantastic goaltending the Vipers were able to snap a 3 game losing streak with a 5-2 victory.

It was a pretty even first ten minutes with a lot of flow and back and forth play.  The Vipers would open the scoring when Riley Brandt tipped in a point shot from Jagger Williamson.  Just over 2 minutes later, Colton McCarthy would score a highlight reel goal from his knees as he would wrist a shot off the cross bar off the back of MacBurnie then into the back of the net.  McCarthy would add another one a few minutes later as Jagger Williamson would drive the net from the corner and McCarthy would re-direct a puck in the crease to make it 3-0 after 1 period.

The second was pretty even with both teams still playing well.  The Vipers at time this season when they have a lead early have taken their foot off the gas.  This game was different as they went shift for shift with the Smokies who kept moving their feet trying to get back into the game.  Both goalies were perfect in the frame and it remained 3-0 after 2.

The scoring continued in the third as the Vipers were able to simplify their PP and would make it 4-0 after a hard point shot from Callum Volpe, his first in the BCHL.  Five minutes later Colton McCarthy would get his hat trick goal with a bit of hand eye coordination batting a rebound out of mid air to make it 5-0.  The Smokies refused to go away despite being shorthanded as the Smokies slapped a puck out to centre off a faceoff and the speedy Nick Halloran skated on to it and snapped it low blocker on Shortridge to make it 5-1.  Kurt Black would make it 5-2 a few minutes later from a shot from the left circle.  That was as close as the Smokies would get and the horn sounded to make it 5-2 Vipers.

Here is the official box score:

1-0 Vernon Vipers at 13:10 Riley Brandt from Jagger Williamson and Callum Volpe
2-0 Vernon Vipers at 15:17 Colton McCarthy from Riley Brandt and Bo Pellah
3-0 Vernon Vipers at 18:24 Colton McCarthy from Jagger Williamson and Bo Pellah
No Scoring
4-0 Vernon Vipers at 5:20 (PP) Callum Volpe from Jagger Williamson and Bo Pellah
5-0 Vernon Vipers at 10:40 (PP) Colton McCarthy from Riley Brandt and Jagger Williamson
5-1 Trail Smoke Eaters at 13:57 (SH) Nick Halloran from Ross Armour
5-2 Trail Smoke Eaters at 16:51 Kurt Black from Max Newton

 1st STAR 2nd STAR 3rd STAR
Vernon Vipers
Colton McCarthy
Vernon Vipers
Jagger Williamson
Vernon Vipers
Riley Brandt

Trail Smoke Eaters0022
Vernon Vipers3025
Trail Smoke Eaters11121942
Vernon Vipers17141142
Trail Smoke Eaters0 for 5 (00.0%)
Vernon Vipers2 for 6 (33.3%)

The Vipers leadership group really seemed to respond after a tough loss on Wednesday, with the second line of McCarthy, Brandt and Williamson being in on all of the Viper goals.  The Smokies just didn't seem to have an answer for the combination of speed and skill this line possesses.

Andrew Shortridge responded nicely after giving up 6 goals the game previous.  He stopped 40 of 42 for his 8th win of the season and really forced the Smokies to be really accurate and at times they missed the net trying to get the perfect shot.

This was a nice game to wrap up the month of October, a month which saw them play 8 of 12 at home.

The Snakes now embark on a 3 game in 3 day road trip starting in Alberni Valley on Friday night.  You can hear all the action on FastHockey or 107.5 KissFM

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