Sunday, March 26, 2017

Former Vernon Viper Morgan, At 36 Years Old, Is Still Playing Baseball:

Here is an article on former Vernon Vipers defenceman Nyjer Morgan.

Morgan played this past fall-winter with the Caracas Lions (English: Caracas Lions) is a Venezuelan baseball team that currently plays in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League.

Morgan was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 33rd round of the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft. On September 1st 2007 Morgan made his major league debut for the Pirates against the Milwaukee Brewers as a late-season call-up. On June 30 2009 Morgan was traded to the Washington Nationals along with pitcher Sean Burnett in exchange for outfielder Lastings Milledge and pitcher Joel Hanrahan. On March 27 2011 Morgan was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for prospect Cutter Dykstra (son of baseball player Lenny Dykstra). After playing for three MLB teams, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and Washington Morgan elected free agency played the 2013 season in Japan with the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) Yokohama DeNa BayStars. Morgan would return to the Majors in 2014 where he played with the Cleveland Indians.  After just playing in 15 games spending most of his time with the Tribe on the DL Morgan was released on August 5th 2014 before heading to South Korea in 2014. Morgan played last summer with the Puebla Pericos (English: Puebla Parakeets) a team from Mexico.

Morgan attended the Vernon Vipers Training camp in 1996. Morgan played as an affiliated player "AP" as a 16 year old with the Vipers during the (1996-1997) season while playing with the KIJHL North Okanagan Kings.

Nyjer Morgan's Player Profile:

This was posted on the OPSN website:

Nyjer Morgan, at 36 years old, is still playing baseball… and well

Jonathan Powell  November 7, 2016 

Over the last few decades, there were few Major League Baseball players as polarizing as Nyjer Morgan.

Many fans around the league remember Morgan for his outrageous antics, his unrestrained attitude and his frequent suspensions and fines. Most Milwaukee Brewers fans, however, regardless of where they stand on his eccentric personality or alter ego “Tony Plush,” still hold an eternal gratitude for his two-year tenure with the team all thanks to one powerful moment in 2011 – when he delivered a walk-off single in the 10th inning of Game Five of the National League Division Series, giving the Brewers their first playoff series win since 1982.

Morgan only lasted one more season in Milwaukee, batting .239/.302/.308 with three home runs, 16 RBI and 12 stolen bases over 322 plate appearances. After the regular season, he refused his assignment to Triple-A and shortly after hit the free agent market.

Although no major league club picked up him the following year (2013), he did take a job in Japan playing for the Yokohama DeNA BayStars and performed well, hitting .294/.361/.434 with 11 home runs, 50 RBI and three stolen bases in 108 games.

He got another shot in Major League Baseball in 2014, signing a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians after Michael Bourn‘s injury left him starting the season on the disabled list. Morgan earned himself a spot on the 25-man roster and got off to a hot start, hitting .348/.484/.348 with four RBI and seven walks in his first eight games but was demoted to Triple-A after Bourn returned.

He fared worse in the minors, hitting .200/.234/.317 but still managed a home run, seven RBI and stolen base in 15 games. He was again recalled in early May and resumed hitting well, slashing .333/.333/.556 with a home run and two RBI. Unfortunately, Morgan sprained his right knee less than two weeks after rejoining the team, an injury that landed him on the 60-day disabled list and effectively ended his season. In early August, the team activated him and promptly released him back into free agency. It would be his last major league appearance.

For most players, especially those at 34 years old, the injury would have been career ending. For Morgan, it was merely another setback in a career that had seen almost as many ups as downs.

In December of 2014, he signed a one-year $700,000 contract with Korean Baseball’s Hanwha Eagles but was dismissed from the team twice during preseason camp and lasted only 10 games before being released.

With as much resilience as attitude, Morgan again returned to baseball in 2016, this time signing with the Mexican League’s Pericos de Puebla. He enjoyed a considerable resurgence, batting a near-career-high .306/.402/.474 while tying a career-best 11 home runs, setting a career-best in RBI with 58 and leading the team in stolen bases with 22.

Even now, at 36 years old, Morgan is still not done. In early October, he joined the Leones de Caracas of the Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional (Venezuelan Winter League) and has since been playing well. So far through 15 games, he’s hitting .300/.333/.450 with five doubles, two triples, eight RBI and a stolen base.

Barring injury, Morgan may well take his dedication to baseball as far as he possibly can. If his past is any indicator, his body may be the only thing keeping him from taking the field every day, as long as he has a team that is willing to let him do so.

Jonathan Powell is the Managing Editor of Outside Pitch MLB and the Milwaukee Brewers writer. Follow him on Twitter @jonathannashhh.

Vipers Play Waiting Game:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers play waiting game

Kevin Mitchell Mar 26th, 2017

After 225 games in the B.C. Hockey League, Connor Brown-Maloski was in no hurry to shed his Trail Smoke Eater jersey Thursday night at Kal Tire Place.

Instead, the classy captain from Kamloops savoured the final moments of his final junior game with teammates who became brothers in a solid 58-point season.

Even after a 6-2 loss to the Vernon Vipers in Game 5 of the best-of-seven Interior Division semifinal series before 1,825 fans, the Smokies’ dressing room was quiet but proud.

“We’re a family in there and it sucks, but if you look at where we were at the start of the year and what we accomplished, you can’t look at it as a loss,” said Brown-Maloski, who turns 21 in May. “We’re celebrating the year and the time we had together. It was definitely one of the better years of my junior career with the guys in that room, and I’m going to miss them.”

The Vipers are now playing the waiting game since the Merritt Centennials upended the host Penticton Vees 5-4 before 2,856 fans Thursday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Penticton led that series 3-2 going into the sixth tilt Friday night in Merritt.

If the Vees prevail, they will host Vernon in Game 1 of the Interior final series Friday, March 31. If the Cents win, the Vipers host the series opener on the same date.

Vernon captain Riley Brandt, a Trail product who scored one of two Viper empty-netters, hugged his cousin, Spencer McLean, and several close friends as the teams exchanged handshakes. Brandt put on civvies, ran out the back door to bid goodbye to his folks and then walked down the hallway to console several Smokies.

“It’s always tough to see,” said Brandt, who began his career with the Smokies. “I’ve been lifelong buddies with a lot of guys on that team and I have tremendous respect for that group. They battled their bags off every night. They have us nothing really; we had to earn every single goal. Every game was a battle.”

Austin Adamson, d-man Michael Ufberg, Jagger Williamson (shorthanded), blueliner Cooper Watson and Jimmy Lambert (empty netter) completed the Vernon offence in front of Darion Hanson.

Mitchell Barker and Russ Armour replied for the Smoke Eaters, who had former North Okanagan Knight Zach Dyment in net.

The Smokies rang up 10 more points than they did a year ago and trimmed 47 goals against while recording 42 more snipes.

Trail pressured Vernon hard except for a 7-1 loss in Game 3. Armour just missed on a Grade A scoring chance in the opening seconds Thursday and the Smokies briefly led 2-1 in the second period.

“They’re a good hockey club,” said Brown-Maloski, of the Vipers. “They bring it every night. The energy they bring is through the roof. We can’t question what we did. They did everything they had to do. Kudos to them.”

D-man Michael Ufberg was chosen first star with 1+1 and some intelligent plays all over the ice for Vernon. He loved the series.

“It was a lot of fun. I think after we had the two-and-a-half weeks off, we had to get into it early and that first game, the boys really came together right away, (Hanson) Darion made a couple key saves early and that kind of showcased what the series was going to be.”

Ufberg gave props to the entire Viper roster for a gritty showing. The Snakes blocked shots in all zones with Ufberg stretching his right skate to stop a shot from the slot. And the fans even booed the officials which rarely happens in Vernon.

“It’s a totally different atmosphere,” added Ufberg. “It’s a totally different type of game. There was so much more passion and urgency shown by everyone on the ice; we were doing it for one another.”

Adamson deftly re-directed a pass by d-man Cameron Trott to open the scoring 2:06 into the middle stanza. D-man Cooper Watson drew the secondary helper.

Mitchell Barker levelled the score 3:40 later on a rebound in front of Hanson. The Smokies moved deep into Vernon territory after Brett Stapley was thwarted by Dyment.

Armour put Trail ahead 85 seconds later from the right side. Luke Santerno and blueliner Jeremy Lucchini garnered assists 56 seconds into a powerplay.

Ufberg equalized 45 seconds later on a low slapper from the left sidewall, assists going to Jesse Lansdell and Trott.

With the game apparently up for grabs, Trott sent a long shot off the end boards while killing a penalty. Jagger Williamson hustled to recover the puck, wait a second and beat Dyment with a low blast 60 seconds into the kill.

Watson’s wrister from the point somehow eluded Dyment at 7;03 of the third period. Brandt, with 3:04 to play, and Jimmy Lambert, with 1:51 remaining, counted empty-netters.

Junior B call-up Brady Berger enjoyed some strong shifts for the Smokies, but absorbed two open-ice heavy body blows from Brandt and Hunter Zandee.

Trail head coach/GM Cam Keith and assistants Barry Zanier and Curt Toneff gave props to their players for a stellar season after the playoff exit.

“We told them we were proud of their efforts this year,” said Keith. “Our 20-year-old group were just tremendous through the season. We were a team not expected to make the playoffs. A lot of kids stepped up and had great years. It’s hard to say after losing but that was a very good Vernon team.

“We were a little short (four regulars on IR) and it kind of hurt us trying to have that energy consistently. It was a good year, considering those factors.”

The Vipers finished sixth overall in the 17-team BCHL with 69 points. The Smokies were eighth.

Barker, Brown-Maloski, Josh Laframboise, who played hurt on the fourth line in Game 5, Carter Cochrane and Zyment all age out with Trail.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Former Vernon Viper Ciocco vs Former Penticton Panther Prpich:

Former Vernon Vipers forward-captain Josh Ciocco #15 takes on former Penticton Panthers forward Mike Prpich #20 during a Vipers-Panthers game in 2001-02 at the Penticton Memorial Arena.

Ciocco is an assistant coach in his first season at Brown University, Ciocco spent the previous three seasons as Assistant Coach with the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves. Prior to joining the Seawolves Ciocco was an Assistant Coach with the Milton Academy varsity hockey team and prime contributor to the U.S. Hockey Report.

Ciocco played parts of two years in Vernon from (2001-2002). The Vipers traded Mark Nelson & Tyler Scofield January 10th 2001 to Prince George for Josh Ciocco, Rod Pelley & Dan Rossi. On November 22nd 2002 the Vipers traded Ciocco to Cowichan Valley for Bryan McGregor. In 39 games with the Vipers Ciocco collected (21-goals-24-assists-45-points).

Josh Ciocco's Player-Coaches Profile:

BCHL News & Trades:

I found these press releases off team websites, twitter accounts, blogs or online. All Vipers news-trades are posted on this blog as soon as released-announced.

BCHL News & Trades:

WHL Vows To Bring Team To Nanaimo If New Arena Gets Nod:

The Western Hockey League has committed to opening a franchise in Nanaimo — if residents vote in favour of building a new events centre. League commissioner Ron Robison issued a statement Tuesday stating a franchise would be operational in Nanaimo next season if Saturday’s referendum on borrowing $80 million to build the facility is successful. “The WHL remains fully committed to delivering a WHL franchise to Nanaimo, either through relocation or expansion, and will move forward to obtain the necessary final approvals should the residents of the City of Nanaimo vote in favour of a new events centre,” he said. Robison said the WHL and the City of Nanaimo have entered a memorandum of understanding: If a new centre that meets WHL standards is approved, a franchise will enter a 20-year lease and begin playing out of the existing Frank Crane Arena next season. Frank Crane Arena is home to the Clippers hockey team, which plays in the B.C. Hockey League. The team’s lease with the City of Nanaimo and the arena ends following this season, and team officials have said a WHL team would likely displace them. Robison would not elaborate on the new team’s ownership, but said it would be of the “highest calibre” and include local investment. Nanaimo Coun. Bill Bestwick, who supports building the new events centre, said he has not been informed by the league who is in the potential ownership group. “But this is a clear indication by the league that it will come here,” he said. “And the WHL does not set itself up for failure within a market. It would be very sound ownership.” The referendum proposes borrowing $80 million for an events centre on derelict city-owned waterfront property on the downtown south side. It would have seating for 5,700 for hockey and 7,100 for concerts. Don Bonner, a spokesman for the No Committee, called the WHL promise a “desperate attempt to get more Yes votes out.” He said opponents of the project aren’t against a new arena or a WHL team in Nanaimo. “But this particular project is not in anybody’s interest because of the costs and this being our last bit of waterfront.” Bestwick said the waterfront site is ideal for a showpiece facility and what it can bring to the city. “I am going to see Elton John this weekend in Victoria,” Bestwick said, adding that performers of that calibre would not be in the capital if not for Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre. Advance voting on the referendum takes place today from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Island Conference Centre.

Salmon Arm-Cowichan Trade:

Salmon Arm Silverbacks general manager Troy Mick today announced the team has announced the Future Considerations part of the Jan 10, 2017 trade with the Cowichan Valley Capitals that saw 96 forward Mitch Skapski & 97 forward Haydn Hopkins to the Cowichan Valley Capitals for 98 forward Trevor Ayre (Surrey, BC), Ryan Hogg (Duncan, BC) & Future considerations. The Silverbacks would like to welcome 97 Forward Jared Domin & 97 Forward Michael Montambault to Salmon Arm. Domin from Novi, MI had 21 goals and 23 assists in 49 games this past season for the Caps. His BCHL totals are 37 goals 46 assists for 83 points in 102 BCHL career games. The 6 ft 195 lbs forward also had 137 PIMs to go with his impressive point totals. Montambault from Ann Arbor, MI had 8 goals 19 assists for a total 27 points in 48 games played in his 1st BCHL season as he played last year in the USHL for the Omaha Lancers & Des Moines Buccaneers. He was the leading scorer for the Capitals in the 2016-2017 BCHL playoffs with 1 goal 4 assists for 5 points in 4 playoff games. “We are very excited to add these proven veterans to our line up for next season” stated Head Coach Misko Antisin. They make us better immediately and will add an offensive fire power to our team next year.

Bowes Joins Vees For Playoff Run:

F Cassidy Bowes (18) will be joining the BCHL’s Penticton Vees for the remainder of their playoff run that begins Friday against the Merritt Centennials. Bowes played 30 games this season with Okanagan Hockey Academy collecting 49 points. Bowes is listed at 5'11 180lbs.

Preliminary Results Show 80 Per Cent 'no' Vote For Nanaimo Events Centre:

With all polling stations in the City of Nanaimo reporting, 80.3 per cent of voters have rejected borrowing $80 million for the Nanaimo events centre. Polls closed at 8 p.m. in Nanaimo and preliminary results were released at City Hall. All 14 polling stations across the city have reported, with 80.3 per cent of voters rejecting the request to borrow up to $80 million for the proposed project on the waterfront. Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay said he was not surprised at the result. “I expected that based on the conversations I’ve had with members in the community. I didn’t expect it was going to be this high,” said Mayor Bill McKay. “They’ve made their position very clear on this particular project at this time.” McKay said council has five other projects and two strategic initiatives it is working on, including affordable housing and the new field purchased from Nanaimo school district. “This was just one of them. It happened to be at the forefront,” McKay said. At a NoVote2017 event this evening, people were cheering and sharing a bottle of champagne after hearing the preliminary results. Don Bonner, spokesman for NoVote2017, said they're very happy with the percentage. "It was a resounding 'no' to a number of things. It was a resounding 'no' to borrowing $80 million; it was a 'no' to putting an event centre on our waterfront; it was also a 'no' on how the city governance has been happening in our city," said Bonner, who thanked the citizens who voted, volunteers and donors to NoVote2017 and congratulated the 'yes' committee and the work it did. "They put on a pretty good show, and it's just that in this particular case the people in Nanaimo have spoken and they definitely don't want this thing to go," he said. Wanda Thompson, a NoVote2017 member, said she was surprised to see it was such a resounding vote in terms of supporting the no side and is ecstatic there won't be a "huge hockey barn" on the waterfront. "I really hope this city council and mayor are listening to what the citizens of Nanaimo said, because they have very clearly sent a message to council about their poor governance," she said. The 80-per cent vote against borrowing surprised Tali Campbell, spokesman for Yes for Nanaimo Event Centre. "Obviously it's not the way that our team had hoped, but at the end of the day we're thankful that it's a majority because what would have been worse, as like the last referendum, is we're split right down the middle," he said. "We now know Nanaimo is not in favour of the plan, the place, location, the spending amount, whatever it might be, so our job now is to hopefully go into this upcoming week and find a plan that's going to better Nanaimo that everyone wants to see." As for what's next for the site at 1 Port Dr., McKay said there will be more discussion. “I think we're going to see our visioning come forward. I think we're going to see a very diverse type of development down there,” said McKay. “I want to make sure there's lots of people places and there's lots of places for people to live down there.” McKay said there will need to be more public consultation, particularly with chief and council of Snuneymuxw First Nation. “I think we need to finish our conversation with Snuneymuxw First Nation because we do have to remember, this entire area down here at one point was their village sites,” said McKay. Results of the referendum are expected to be finalized at Monday's city council meeting, said Sheila Gurrie, chief elections officer for the City of Nanaimo. She said there were slightly more than 66,000 eligible voters on the voters list with about 37 per cent turnout for Saturday's referendum. “We're just slightly are ahead of 2014 municipal election numbers, so there are slightly more votes than there was then,” said Gurrie. She said there were significantly fewer eligible voters during the conference centre referendum and estimated that there may have been 50-per cent voter turnout then. “I think [turnout] was good. I was expecting a little bit more, based on the advance poll numbers, but I think I was saying earlier that weather played a factor. The rain might've kept some people away,” Gurrie said.

Vees Vying For Royal Bank Cup:

A not-so-funny thing happened to the Penticton Vees last year en route to their anticipated appearance at the national championships. After posting one of their best regular seasons ever in the British Columbia Hockey League, the Vees were expected to move on and advance to the Canadian tourney, which was held in Lloydminster. But the heavily favoured Penticton squad, which featured 2016 NHL first round picks Tyson Jost (Colorado Avalanche) and Dante Fabbro (Nashville Predators), had their campaign come to an end after losing in the second round of the BCHL playoffs against the West Kelowna Warriors. “We ran into a team that had a hot goaltender,” Vees coach/GM Fred Harbinson said of the Warriors, who went on to not only capture the BCHL crown but the national RBC Cup as well. “And we ran into some injuries. Some of our key guys were playing injured.” As for this season, the Vees have reloaded and once again have their sights set on a league crown. They posted an impressive 41-13-3-1 regular season mark, good for top spot in the league’s six-team Interior Division. After an opening-round bye, Penticton is now waiting for first-round action to conclude before commencing its postseason. Harbinson, who is also the Vees’ president, now has 10 consecutive winning seasons as the club’s head coach. Since there is no BCHL draft, clubs have to find players on their own to stock their rosters every year. “We try to go out and recruit the best players year after year and to win championships,” Harbinson said. Regardless of how they fare in their own league playoffs this year, however, the Vees will still have a chance to qualify for the nationals. Penticton will host the five-team Western Canada Cup, which begins Apr. 29 and continues until May 7. The two finalists from that event will move on to the Canadian championship. This year’s national tournament will be staged May 13 to 21. As hosts, the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Cobourg Cougars are the only ones that already know they will be participating in the four-team event. The Vees last won the BCHL title in 2015. “Winning our league championship is a huge accomplishment,” Harbinson said. “There’s nobody left from our team that won it two years ago. It’s something everybody is wanting to do.” He’s also hoping his charges do not have a relaxed approach in their league playoffs, realizing they will still get to compete at the Western Canada Cup. “I hope not,” he said. “We’re trying to do everything possible to make sure our guys understand (the importance of winning the league title).” While last year’s Penticton lineup included a number of highly touted players, Harbinson said his current squad is much like the one that captured the BCHL title two years ago. “I think we shape up quite similar to that,” he said. “We were a four-line come-at-you kind of team. We’re very similar to that to be honest.”

Wenatchee Looking At The Western Hockey League?

Just because Wenatchee isn’t an option for the WHL at the moment, doesn’t mean it won’t re-enter the picture at a later date. Bliss Littler, the BCHL’s franchise’s general manager and head coach, told Taking Note on Monday evening: “We’re not there as an organization yet. We should catch up soon.” The Wild plays out of the 4,300-seat Toyota Town Center. The Wild had the BCHL’s best record (45-9-4) during the regular season and eliminated the Prince George Spruce Kings from a first-round series on Sunday. The Wild is preparing to face the Chilliwack Chiefs in the second round. According to announced attendances, the Wild drew 73,837 fans to 29 home regular-season games this season, an average of 2,546 per game.

Questions Linger About The Future Of The Nanaimo Clippers In Wake Of Referendum:

The Frank Crane arena is seeing a much slower pace today than when the Nanaimo Clippers take to the ice. The Clippers playoff run ended with a 3-2 loss to the Victoria Grizzlies Friday. Despite that Goalie Austin Roden has goals for his team’s future to “just keep getting better every year as a team and bring a championship back to Nanaimo.” A noble goal but one not possible if the Nanaimo Clippers are sold and moved. The team has been up for sale for nearly 2 years publicly, longer say insiders. And their future has been in the air with a Western Hockey League (WHL) team potentially coming to the City. “Probably for the last 8 weeks there’s been some, ‘Where are we going to end up?” says City Councillor Bill Bestwick. “Where will we be next year? Are we going to be here or are we going to be somewhere else?” The Clippers organization, declined an on camera interview today. They say they’ve talked with several potential buyers but no deal has been finalized. They’ve always maintained they would like to see the team stay in Nanaimo with Nanaimo owners. City Councillor Bill Bestwick knows the BCHL well, as a former coach and Clippers owner. He advocated for the Events Centre and a WHL team. He says he hasn’t heard of any potential buyers for the Clippers. “Somebody might come by tomorrow and say they’d like to buy the Clippers but they’ve been for sale for 5 or 6 years now that I’m aware of,” says Bestwick. “I’m not aware of anybody who wants to purchase the Junior A Nanaimo Clipper franchise.” The Clippers lease with the city has expired but Bestwick expects staff will now sit down and negotiate a new one with the team. “I totally hope that now that the citizens of Nanaimo that came out strongly in opposition to the Events Centre and are firmly in favour of our local junior A team now get out and support them.” That’s provided Nanaimo hasn’t lost the Clippers while it was securing a potential team from the WHL.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Capitals Name Former Viper MacDonald Most Popular Player:

After going out in four games to the Powell River Kings for a second straight season in the opening round of the BCHL playoffs, the Cowichan Capitals held their year end awards banquet on March 15th. Former Vernon Vipers forward Ayden MacDonald was named Most popular player.

MacDonald played his 150th BCHL game with the Capitals this season, January 13th in a 6-3 loss to the Coquitlam Express. In 54 games with the Capitals this season MacDonald collected (24-goals-28-assists-52-points).

MacDonald finished his second and final season with the Cowichan Capitals, started the 2014-15 season with the Vipers played in just five games before being traded to the Victoria Grizzlies October 8th 2014 along with Jake Emilio for Brandon Egli, Mitch Meek & future considerations. MacDonald was recruited by the Vipers went pointless in 5 games. After one season in Victoria the Grizzlies traded MacDonald to Cowichan May 19th 2015.

Ayden MacDonald's Player Profile:

This was posted on the Capitals website:

2016-17 Team Award Winners

March 15, 2017

by Colton

Recent News

The Capitals held their annual end-of-year Awards Banquet at the Cowichan Golf Club on Monday night, celebrating the season that was and recognizing all those involved with the team.

In terms of player awards, 20-year-old goalie Lane Michasiw took home the most hardware, winning three notable awards in the MVP award, 3-Star award and Academic Achievement award.

Max Newton, a 19-year-old center who won the leading scorer award and faceoff award, 20-year-old defenseman Ben Verrall, who won the top defensive defenseman and was co-winner of the unsung hero award, and 19-year-old forward Rhett Kingston, who won most inspirational player and the coaches award, also were winners of multiple awards.

Other notions include captain Chris Harpur winning top gun defenseman, Ayden MacDonald winning most popular player, Ty Pochipinski co-winning the unsung hero, George Sennott winning the rookie of the year, among others (listed below).

Bold = Award Name; ( ) = Sponsors

Most Valuable Player Award (White Spot): G Lane Michasiw

3-Star Award (National Bank): G Lane Michasiw

Leading Scorer (Duncan Lions Club): F Max Newton

Top Gun Defenseman (Cowichan Collision): D Chris Harpur

Top Defensive Defenseman (Cowichan Valley Capitals): D Ben Verrall

Vivian Young Academic Achievement Award (Duncan Rotary Club): G Lane Michasiw

Rookie of the Year (B&H Tire): F George Sennott

Most Popular Player (Cowichan Valley Citizen): F Ayden MacDonald

Coaches Award (Jeff Young): F Rhett Kingston

Unsung Hero (89.7 Juice FM): D Ben Verrall, F Ty Pochipinski

Faceoff Award (Cowichan Valley Capitals): F Max Newton

Most Sportsmanlike Player (CVRD): F John Sladic

Most Inspirational Player (Tim Hortons): F Rhett Kingston

Most Improved Player (RBC): D Simon Chen

Jeff Price Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award (Price Family): Terry Lindsay, Tanya Lindsay

Special Recognition Award (x4): Dr. Harwood (Woody) Reimer, Julie Price-Robichaud, Tony
Spencer, Lions Club of Duncan

Thanks to Norm Jackson and the Cowichan Golf Club for hosting the award banquet. And thanks to all the fans, volunteers, billets and sponsors that make everything happen that goes into running the hockey operation. It couldn’t be done without your help.

On behalf of the Capitals’ organization, congratulations to all the players on a great 2016-17 season. Best wishes to the graduating 20-year-old’s: Josh Owings, Ayden MacDonald, Mitch Skapski, Ben Verrall, Chris Harpur and Lane Michasiw. To the returning players, the team looks forward to what’s ahead next season and beyond.

Smokies Extend Interior Playoff Series:

This was in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Smokies extend Interior playoff series

Mar 24, 2017

A sweep by the Vipers wasn’t the way captain Connor Brown-Maloski wanted to wind up his junior career Tuesday night, so he set up the opening goal 70 seconds in and scored the winner just over two minutes later to lift the Trail Smoke Eaters to a 5-2 victory over the Vernon Vipers in Game 4 of the best-of-seven BCHL Interior Division semifinal.

“Whenever the season’s on the line, I mean we’ve been a group for seven months now, and you never want to end on that note,” said Brown-Maloski. “So I think everyone just dug down a bit more and realized how serious the situation was and everyone just put in a good effort, and we got the result we wanted.”

Down 3-0 in the series, the Smokies flew out of the gate in the must-win match scoring four first-period goals in response to the Vipers’ 7-1 drubbing of the Smokies the previous night.

“Every start needs a lucky bounce,” said Trail coach/GM Cam Keith. “We came out with the idea that we needed that first goal, and we were fortunate to get a bounce early on that (Luke) Santerno capitalized and we kind of rolled from there. We definitely didn’t outplay Vernon tonight, but we capitalized on the early opportunities and we’re able to hang on.”

Brown-Maloski scored the winner 3:34 into the opening frame, firing a quick shot from the hashmark to give the Smokies a 3-0 lead and chase Darion Hanson from the Vipers net.

“Jer (Lucchini) went down to Ross (Armour) and Ross threw it cross-ice to me and I was looking for a shot-pass and somehow it just found it’s way into the back of the net,” said Brown-Maloski.

Game 5 goes Thursday night at Kal Tire Place.

The Smokies scored 1:10 into the period, when Brown-Maloski sent a backdoor pass to Santerno who banged his sixth post-season goal past Hanson for an early 1-0 lead.

Affiliate player Brady Berger picked up his first tally as a Smoke Eater redirecting a Mitch Barker shot by Hanson 1:47 into the period. After Brown-Maloski made it 3-0, the 6-foot-4 Berger notched his second of the game, when Troy Ring sent a pass to the Grand Forks Border Bruin AP in front and he wired it by Ty Taylor for a 4-0 lead.

“Brady Berger played physical, in-your-face style of game, and for a 17-year-old he showed a lot of grit, and wasn’t scared of a more older, physical Vernon group,” said Keith, adding that Berger and Korbyn Chabot injected a much-needed spark from the fourth line.

The Smokies started Zach Dyment in net and the veteran goalie was stellar in a 40-save performance, particularly in the second period when the Vipers outshot the Smokies 16-3. Dyment came on in relief of Linden Marshall in the first period of Game 3 when Marshall was pulled after Vernon jumped out to a 4-0 lead. Marshall had started eight straight playoff games prior to Game 4.

“For Zach, he’d been playing really well in practice, and I was waiting for an opportunity to play him, and there was no better opportunity than now,” said Keith. “Linden was kind of struggling early on, and no better way than to start a 20-year-old goalie, to rally the guys around it, sometimes that’s what you need to spark the other guys.”

Dyment was especially good midway through the second with the Smokies shorthanded, Dyment stopped Jandric on the doorstep and then slid over to rob Brett Stapley at the side of the net.

However, the Vipers finally got on the board at 16:29, when Jimmy Lambert tipped a Steven Jandric shot by Dyment to make it 4-1.

After Tyson Slater was sent off for holding, the Smokies’ penalty kill unit of Armour and Brown-Maloski combined for a glorious chance as Armour whirled in the Vipers corner eluding two defenceman and backhanded a no-look pass to Brown-Maloski, whose one timer was kicked out by a sprawling Taylor. The Vipers regrouped and went the other way, and Lambert hit Jandric flying down the right side and his shot snuck through Dyment’s arm to cut the lead to 4-2 at 18:24.

Things got heated in the second, as the Smokies forward Howarth and Vipers’s six-foot-five defenceman Shane Kelly mixed it up and both were given double-minors for slashing and roughing.

“To be honest, I think us and Trail are built the same way,” said Viper head coach/GM Mark Ferner. “To give yourself a chance to win, you need to have good goaltending, good defence, and good luck … we have some experienced, bigger, older maybe if you want to use the word meaner-type players on the back end and some really good puck movers too, and our forward group play with some energy.

“This isn’t over, we understand that,” added Ferner. “We go into every series thinking it’s a seven-game series … We’re still looking at this as it’s going to be a long series, and that’s just the respect we have for this (the Smokies) program.”

The teams went into the second intermission with Vernon holding a 25-11 edge in shots and trailing 4-2, but a minute remained on a Smokies’ power play after Hunter Zandee was tagged for boarding at 19:03. Trail worked the puck in the Viper zone, Lucchini sent it to Carter Cochrane at the point who found Armour in the slot, and the Rossland native wired it by Taylor for a 5-2 Smoke Eater lead.

The Vipers had their chances in the third period but Dyment was huge stopping 17 shots, including a breakaway save off Niko Karamanis and withstood a flurry late in the period as the Vipers pressed with Taylor on the bench and desperate for a goal.

“I guess we kind of got ahead of ourselves,” said Viper captain Riley Brandt. “They’re fighting for their season, so we expected nothing less than their best effort going forward. That’s exactly what they did, they came out right off the hop and we came out flat, and we left our goalie to hang out to dry and it was over in the first period.”

The Smoke Eaters repelled a concerted Vernon attack, skating to a well-earned Game 4 victory following a deflating loss the night before. The win for 20-year-olds like Santerno, Cochrane, Barker, Dyment, and Brown-Maloski was especially satisfying.

“I definitely want to go out on my own terms,” said Brown-Maloski. “You never want to lose the last game of the season, so I’m going to do everything I possibly can to do that. We have three games in a row we have to win, and I’m pretty confident in the group that we have that we’re going to be able to do that.”

Vernon outshot Trail 42-18 and went 1-for-5 on the power play, while Trail scored on 2-of-3 opportunities. Brown-Maloski received first star honours, with Jandric earning second star, and Berger the third star.

Game 6, if required, would go Friday night in Trail. A seventh game would be Sunday, 6 p.m., in Vernon.

Elsewhere, Nick Jones scored twice, including the winner at 4:25 of overtime, as the Penticton Vees shaded the Merritt Centennials 2-1 before 925 fans at the Nicola Valley Arena. Penticton leads the series 3-1.

Jordan Kawaguchi provided 3+1 as the host Chilliwack Chiefs grounded the Wenatchee Wild 6-2 before 1,909 fans at Prospera Centre. The Chiefs are up 3-0 on the regular-season champions. Charlie Combs, the league’s only 50-goal man, counted his first of the playoffs.

Nick Guiney converted at 33 seconds of overtime as the Victoria Grizzlies clipped the hometown Powell River Kings 5-4 before 1,061 fans at Hap Parker Arena. Tim Friedmann bagged a deuce for the Grizz. The series is square at 2-2.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Interior Division Semifinals: Game 5 Vernon 6 Trail 2

I have had season tickets for the past 27 years and been following Junior hockey in Vernon for well over thirty years. Ive missed only three home games since 1998-99 season. For anyone who could not attend or watch tonight’s Vipers game here are my thoughts and views from tonight’s game. You may agree or disagree but we all have our own view and opinion on any game we watch. This is my opinion and my thoughts on how I saw tonight’s game. I try to be unbiased and give a fare recap on both sides. Thanks for stopping by & visiting my blog.

I was at tonight's Interior Division Semifinals Game 5 with the Vipers & Smoke Eaters as Vernon defeated Trail 6-2 winning the best of seven series 4-1 in front of 1,823 fans at Kal Tire Place.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Darion Hanson
Trail: Zach Dyment

1st Period: Fifteen seconds into the opening frame Ross Armour is left all alone in the slot, beat Darion Hanson but fired wide of the goal, missing on a great opportunity to open the scoring off the opening faceoff. The Vipers looked a little tentative and sluggish to start with the Smokies skating hard, playing with a ton of jump/energy. The Snakes with a couple of point shots got through traffic inside the opening minute just missed the net. Vernon was up 4-0 in shots early before Trail would get an early powerplay just minutes into the period. The Smoke Eaters with no real threat on the man advantage, didn't record a single shot as Vernon was able to kill off the minor. Just over two minutes later the Snakes would get their first powerplay of the evening, but Vernon was unable to get a shot with the man advantage as the Smokies killed off the minor. Five seconds after killing off the penalty, the Vipers would head back to their second of back to back powerplays. The Vipers with just one shot again couldn't capitalize with the powerplay as the Smoke Eaters killed off another minor. The Snakes with a few good looks didn't really generate much for offence on either of the back to back powerplay's. Just past the halfway mark, Mitchell Barker lead a two on one attack, kept and fired but missed the goal on a quality chance on the odd man rush. Trail needed just over eleven minutes to record their first shot of the 1st period. The Snakes were outshooting the Smoke Eaters 8-1 at this point. On the following shift-play Darion Hanson was forced to make a quick save off the wrap around before the puck was thrown to the front of the net, hit a player in front, come close to bouncing in past Hanson on a weird play-bounce. The Smokies with two good chances in close, were close to opening the scoring. Late in the period a long shot from the neutral zone took a weird bounce off the end boards-glass just missing the back of Zach Dyment before coming out into the slot, luckily for Trail a Vernon player wasn't near the puck. The puck taking some weird bounces in the opening frame. It was 0-0 after 20 minutes of play. With their season on the line, the Smokies come out skating hard, played with a ton of jump/energy, had troubles getting any kind of zone time-pucks to the net in the first half, while the Vipers saw a lot of zone time at the other end of the rink, but had troubles generating-creating any real quality chances through out most of the 1st. Trail had the better of the scoring chances where both teams didn't generate/create much for offence in that opening period. Both teams also struggled with the man advantage. I thought both teams went back and fourth, in the second half with no real team taking over the edge in play. Not a lot of excitement in the opening twenty minutes. Vernon outshot Trail 10-5.

2nd Period: The Snakes come out strong, took it too Trail early and often. The Vipers really turned up their play, were skating and playing with a ton more energy-jump to start the middle frame. Connor Clouston and Shane Kelly both with shots from the point were redirected on it's way to the net, had some good looks early before Cameron Trott's point shot was redirected on it's way to the goal by Austin Adamson giving Vernon the early 1-0 lead at 2:06 Trott & Michael Ufberg picked up the assists. The Vipers with a ton of pressure to open the period, didn't let up, kept coming in waves before Connor Brown-Maloski sprung Mitchell Barker in for the breakaway, Barker caught the Vernon defence napping, before making a drop pass setup Luke Santerno who was stopped by Vipers starting goaltender Darion Hanson before Barker put home the rebound on the Smoke Eaters first two shots of the period, tying the game 1-1 at 5:46 Santerno and Brown-Maloski collected the helpers. Thirty seconds later the Smokies would jump on an early powerplay and capitalize. Luke Santerno's shot was redirected on it's way to the goal by Ross Armour giving Trail their first lead of the night at 7:11 Santerno & Jeremy Lucchini with the assists. Fourty five seconds later former Chilliwack Chief forward Jesse Lansdell spotted Michael Ufberg who stepped over the blueline, riffled a lazer of a shot past former Vernon Vipers goaltender Zach Dyment tying the game 2-2 at 7:56 Lansdell and Cameron Trott with the helpers. Both teams picked up their play, going back and fourth before the Smokies would jump on another powerplay. But shorthanded Trail had troubles with the dump in play before Jagger Williamson beat Zach Dyment fivehole giving Vernon a 3-2 lead at 13:40 Cameron Trott with the lone assist. This is Williamson's second shorthanded marker of the series as Kal Tire Place went into a frenzy. The Snakes were able to kill off the remainder of the penalty. With three and a half minutes to go Mitchell Stapley's point shot hit someone or something on it's way to the goal before Darion Hanson was forced into making his biggest save of the night, off a weird bounce, keeping this a one goal game. The Smoke Eaters would get a late powerplay, wich they would run out of time before the period ended. It was 3-2 Vernon after 40 minutes of play. After a sluggish-tentative opening period, Vernon come out hard and took it too the Smokies off the opening faceoff. The Snakes with a strong opening few minutes, had some good looks, before opening the scoring just minutes in. Trail responded with back to back goals to grab their first lead of the night, before giving up a crucial shorthanded marker to fall back behind heading into the 3rd. I thought the Vipers looked very strong in the opening few minutes before the Smoke Eaters responded. Both teams played hard and were fairly even. Vernon outshot Trail 13-12.

3rd Period: The Snakes were one period away from moving onto the Interior Division Finals were very aggressive playing a dump and chase style of play to start the 3rd. Vernon was able to kill off the remainder of the minor that was carried over from the end of the 2nd period before really dominating the play early and often. The Vipers would dump the play in, before sending in the forecheck, killed off valuable minutes off the clock. The Smokies having all kinds of trouble getting any kind of offence going, struggled to gain the attacking zone. Cooper Watson would give the Vipers some insurance beat Zach Dyment with a seeing eye shot from the blueline, gave Vernon a 4-2 lead at 7:03 Brett Stapley and Jimmy Lambert collected the assists. Trail needed almost nine minutes to record their first shot of the period. The Snakes carried most of the play, were wearing down the Smoke Eaters who looked to be out of gas, didn't have much energy-life left. Cameron Trott come within inches of giving Vernon a three goal lead, beat Zach Dyment with about eight minutes remaining but hit the post. Kale Howarth looked to be in discomfort was slow making his way to the Smoke Eaters dressing room with the help from the trainer, didn't return before Carter Cochrane left the ice with wich looked to be a shoulder injury, made his way to the dressing room before returning later. Trail playing with a short bench, didn't show much life on the bench had some late rushes but no real scoring threats before getting Zach Dyment to the bench for the extra attacker with over three minutes remaining. Jagger Williamson spotted former Trail Smoke Eater Riley Brandt for the empty netter giving Vernon a 5-2 lead at 16:56 Williamson with the lone helper. The Smokies would once again get Zach Dyment to the bench for the extra attacker, this time Brett Stapley setup Jimmy Lambert who hit the open cage giving Vernon a commanding 6-2 lead at 18:45 Stapley with the assist. The Snakes would get a late powerplay to finish the game, would eventually wind down the clock taking Game 5 6-2 taking the best of seven series 4-1 moving on to the Interior Division Finals. The Vipers will face the winner of the Penticton-Merritt series. Both teams would congratulate their team mates before making their way to centre ice for the handshake. Viper captain Riley Brandt was hugged by close to every member of the Smoke Eaters during the handshake. The Snakes with a one goal lead, took full control of the final twenty minutes, played a very smart executed 3rd period, dumping and chasing, killing lots of valuable time off the clock, before Cooper Watson basically put the game away giving Vernon a two goal lead. The Vipers carried most of the play, were by far the better team come the 3rd period. The Smoke Eaters just hanging on in the final frame, didn't have much left in the tank, had all kinds of troubles getting control of the puck, getting through the neutral zone, and getting any kind of sustained pressure in the offensive zone. Trail looked to run out of gas-looked deflated after seeing the Snakes take a 4-2 lead with about twelve minutes remaining. The Smokies didn't put up much of a fight in the 3rd, were outworked for most of the final period. Vernon outshot Trail 11-2.

Top Player's: (Vernon)

Michael Ufberg (1 goal & 1 assist) I thought looked/played a very strong game on the Viper backend. A very smooth skating d-man, really settles down the blueline. Scored a huge 2nd period goal to tie the game.

Cameron Trott (3 assists) The former Salmon Arm Silverbacks defenceman was another d-man who played very well on the blueline. Trott collecting three helpers, come close to scoring hitting the post in the 3rd, played very well.

Ryan Brushett Has really stepped up his game and come along ways since joining the Vipers through the season. Brushett has really gained a ton of confidence, really used his wheels, puck handling skills and strong skating, to dangle in and around several Trail defenders. I thought Brushett really showed his strong skating skills and soft hands tonight, made some very impressive moves moving the puck up ice or through the attacking zone, to create-generate some chances,. Really opens up the ice-creates a lot of room. Gave the Smokies all kinds of troubles, was hard to defend against.

Jagger Williamson (1 goal & 1 assist) The Vernon product scored a huge 2nd period goal, shorthanded to give the Snakes a 3-2 lead, wich was the eventual game winner. Williamson with his second shorthanded goal of the playoffs, was very strong at both ends of the rink.

Jimmy Lambert (1 goal & 1 assist) Picked up his game in the 2nd and 3rd periods, got his legs going and really used his speed and skill, to try and open up the ice. I thought gave Trail all kinds of trouble in the final two periods.

Steven Jandric lead the team in points coming into tonight, was very good with the puck, was hard to defend against. Was driving to the net, creating/generating offensive chances, was skating strong, giving the Smokies defenders havoc.

Game Thought's: (Vernon)

After a tough 5-2 loss in Game 4 Tuesday in Trail, Game 5 didn't get off the start Vernon wanted. I thought the Vipers looked very sluggish, tentative and didn't seem to show much jump-energy through out the opening period. The Snakes looked flat-maybe nervous in that 1st period, were getting pucks to the net, but no real quality chances. Vernon was outskated most of the 1st were lucky to be scoreless heading into the 2nd period. Give the Snakes credit for turning things around-picking up their game. I thought the Vipers come out strong-hard, took it too Trail early and often before playing much better through out the 2nd and 3rd periods. The Vipers would open the scoring before falling behind 2-1 but two big goals from Michael Ufberg & Jagger Williamson to re-take the lead heading into the 3rd. Talk about a statement period, the Vipers really stepped up their game in the final twenty minutes, never looked back, got a huge fourth goal from Cooper Watson of all people before adding two empty netters to seal the victory-series. Vernon played very reluctant in the 3rd on the forecheck, wore down the Smoke Eaters defensively, didn't give Trail much time or space, shutting down the Smokies offence limiting Trail to just two shots come the 3rd period. Other then the 1st I thought Vernon played well, worked-battled hard to open the scoring-come from behind before putting the game away with three 3rd period goals. The Snakes didn't want to lose on home ice, before travelling back to Trail tomorrow night for Game 6. The Vipers wanted too-needed to put Trail away on home ice tonight, will now get a full week off before starting the Interior Division Finals March 31st either vs Penticton or Merritt. The Vees lead the series 3-2. Former Vernon Vipers David Robinson, Trevor Keenan & Bryce Kakoske were in attendance tonight.

Top Player's: (Trail)

Jeremy Lucchini (1 assist) I thought had a strong game on the Smokies backend. Was really moving the puck, getting involved in the play, played well defensively.

Luke Santerno (2 assists) Played well vs the Snakes in the series, collected two helpers in the loss tonight, was skating hard, battled-competed, tried to create/generate chances through out the game.

Connor Brown-Maloski (1 assist) Had control of the puck often, played hard in the loss.

Andre Ghantous Was under the skin of several Vipers through out the series and even during the regular season, played hard tonight, didn't back down, was trying to get under the skin of a few Vipers tonight, competed-battled.

Braeden Tuck I thought showed a lot of jump in his game, was skating hard, played hard.

Brady Berger "AP" Played hard-competed for sixty minutes. If it wasn't for no name bar, you wouldn't guess this kid was an "AP" Had a strong game.

Mitchell Barker (1 goal) Was dangerous at times, gave Vernon defenders trouble at times, has some size, has some skill, made some nice plays in the loss.

Game Thought's: (Trail)

With their season on the line, the Smoke Eaters come out strong, were skating-playing hard. Ross Armour just fifteen seconds into the game, missed the net from in close after being left all alone in the slot had a great opportunity to open the scoring. If Armour scores here, this could be a totally different hockey game-outcome. The Vipers get lucky and may have excaped the 1st still scoreless. I thought Trail played well in that opening frame, had troubles getting any real sustained pressure, had a few good chances, only managed five shots. The Smoke Eaters give up an early goal to start the 2nd before scoring two quick back to back goals to take their first lead of the evening, were looking-playing well. Jagger Williamson's shorthanded goal to give Vernon a 3-2 lead was a tough goal to give up. This goal was or close to the heart breaker as the Smokies were now down a goal heading into the final period on the road in a rink they haven't had much success in over the years. Trail only down a goal entered the 3rd with not a lot of jump-energy, as the Smoke Eaters were having all kinds of trouble with the Viper forecheck. Trail couldn't seem to get out of their own end, had troubles defending Vernon's dump and chase style, now had the clock against them before giving up the fourth goal, really took the wind out of their sails. The Smoke Eaters couldn't get through the neutral zone-get any offensive zone time, managed just two shots in the final twenty minutes, gave up three goals in a tough 3rd period. Give Trail full credit, they battled hard, gave Vernon a good run for the first two periods, just didn't have much gas left in the tank come the final frame. The Smokies didn't have the same jump-energy they played with in the first two periods, were playing with a short bench and I'm guessing several injured players playing hurt. Joshua Laframboise didn't see much ice time, was limited to ice time. You have to give Cam Keith and the Trail Smoke Eaters full credit for a great season overall. The Smokies have been near the bottom of the standings for many years, make the playoffs for the first time in six years, advanced to the 2nd round ran into a pretty strong Viper team. Lets hope the future looks bright for the City of Trail and their diehard fans back home. I would like to take this time to thank the Smoke Eaters and their organization on a great series and wish them and their team all the best next season. To the graduating players, nothing but success in the future in whatever your future holds. Thanks for a great season! Hold your heads up high, you made the city of Trail proud.



Sol Seibel
Brody Dale


Kyle Chernenkoff
Korbyn Chabot
Ryan Moon

Energy Player of the Game:

Hunter Zandee

Three Star's:

1st Star: Michael Ufberg (1 goal & 1 assist)
2nd Star: Cameron Trott (3 assists)
3rd Star: Cooper Watson (1 goal)

Boxscore-Game Summary,

Game Report,

Text Boxscore,

Game Preview: Interior Division Semifinals: Game 5 Trail @ Vernon:

Trail (5-4) @ Vernon (3-1) 7pm

Tonight is the twelvth meeting of the season between the Vernon Vipers & Trail Smoke Eaters. The Vipers won the regular season series 5-2

Last Game:

Game 4 Tuesday, March 21st Trail defeated Vernon 5-2

Next Game:

Game 6 Friday, March 24th Vernon @ Trail (If Necessary)

To read more, click on the "Read More" button In the bottom left hand corner of this post.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Devils Give Ex Viper Lord Contract Extension:

The British Elite Ice Hockey League (BEIHL)
Cardiff Devils have given former Vernon Vipers forward Andrew Lord a two year contract extension. 

The Devils are a Welsh ice hockey team that play in the BEIHL.  Lord is in his fourth season with the Devils, third as player-coach. Former Vernon Lakers defenceman Todd Kelman (1992-93) is in his third season with the Devils as Franchise Owner-General Manager.

After a scholarship to RPI (Rensselaer Poly Inst) Lord spent four years with four different teams in the East Coast Hockey League & American Hockey League.  (ECHL-Wheeling Nailers, AHL-Milwaukee Admirals, AHL-Okloahoma City Barons & AHL-Rochester Americans) Lord missed the entire 2011-12 season due to injury returned the following year playing one season in Germany with SC Riessersee before signing with the Devils last season.

Lord come to the Vipers in a trade with the Burnaby Bulldogs playing two years in Vernon (2002-2004).  In 116 regular season games with the Vipers Lord collected (22-goals-50-assists-78-points).

Andrew Lord's Player Profile:

This was posted on the Devils website:

Devils Extend Coach Andrew Lord’s Contract for 2 More Seasons


Andrew Lord will continue to lead the Devils through the 2018-19 season.

The Devils head coach has signed an extension for another 2 seasons after this one, which means that the Vancouver native will be in charge for at least the next three years.

Devils Managing Director Todd Kelman made the announcement to the team earlier today and was met with a great reception.

“I told the guys before training this morning and there was a lot of cheers and clapping. You don’t usually get that kind of reaction, but they all seem as pumped as I am to have completed this deal.

“I spoke to the owners a couple of weeks ago about offering Lordo this extension and we decided that it was better to get it done early so he knew that we are behind him and so he can focus on the season instead of worrying about his own future.

“We did the whole thing in about 10 minutes, we both wanted to get it done and he is happy with the deal.” 

Catch Kelman’s full interview with Icetime TV here, including his thoughts on Brian McGrattan and Patrick Bordeleau coming to the league, the GB game in Cardiff and the future of Zorb football.

Andrew Lord spoke about his contract extension with Icetime TV ahead of the weekend.

Vipers Take Command Of Series:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers take command of series

Kevin Mitchell

Mar 22, 2017

The Vernon Vipers scored early and often in a Game 3 victory over the Trail Smoke Eaters Monday night at the Cominco Arena.

Seven different snipers connected and goalie Darion Hanson made 34 saves as Vernon humbled the Smokies 7-1. The Vipers hold a 3-0 series lead in the B.C. Hockey League Interior Division best-of-seven semifinal series. Game 4 goes tonight in Trail.

“We knew our start was going to be really, really important for our hockey team, so fortunately for us we got off to one,” said Vernon head coach Mark Ferner. “But that game was a lot closer than the score indicated.”

Trail overcame two-goal deficits against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in at least two games of the opening playoff series, but the Vipers are a different animal, and Smoke Eater coach Cam Keith knew the Smokies needed to score first and play with a lead if they hoped to derail the Vipers.

The Vipers jumped out to an early lead, scoring four times in the first period to go up 4-0. Steven Jandric beat Trail starter Linden Marshall just 62 seconds in, and Ryan Brushett slid one short-side past the Trail goalie less than two minutes later to put the Vipers up 2-0.

“Our team is playing really good right now,” said Vipers’ captain and Trail native Riley Brandt. “Our goalie is hanging in there for us. We’re just coming together as a group, we’re chipping in, doing the right things and it’s working out for us.”

The Vipers are a team built for playoff hockey with a towering defence, a quick explosive offence that plays with an edge, is balanced, and can score in bunches, and backstopped by a big-time, big-save goalie that racked up the best numbers in the BCHL in the last half of the season with a 1.85 GAA.

“I don’t pigeonhole kids into roles, I expect everyone to play the same way,” said Ferner. “I expect everyone to play good defence, neutral zone, and I expect everyone to score, I mean we’re dealing with kids anywhere from 16-20 year olds and that’s our expectation where we’re all trying to play a certain style.”

Stillwater, Minn. native Simon Sagissor set up Luke Gingras in the slot, and he wired it glove side at 12:34 to put the Vipers up 3-0 and chase Marshall. Jimmy Lambert then welcomed Zach Dyment to the Smokies’ crease, finishing an efficient cross-crease pass from Jandric with 4:43 remaining in the opening frame to leave the 2,000 Smokies fans searching for answers, as the Vipers outshot the Smokies 9-7 in the period.

“I thought we played well, we came out hard, and we came out to that big lead, which makes it a lot easier to play defence when you’re up 4-0,” said Hanson, a Union commit. “We had a lapse in the second there, but we expected they were going to push hard, and in the third period we shut it down again.”

Trail came out determined in the second, and peppered Hanson on an early powerplay but came up empty. Smokies’ d-man Troy Ring finally beat Hanson midway through the period, when the Vancouver native settled a drop pass from Luke Santerno on the rush and fired it low stick side to cut the lead to 4-1.

The Smokies had a glorious chance to cut the lead in half after Niko Karamanis was sent off for tripping but Hanson slid across and robbed Howarth on a point-blank shot, and then denied Spencer McLean in close. Moments later, Karamanis jumped out of the penalty box behind the Smokies’ defence, and Vipers’ d-man Connor Clouston hit him with a breakaway pass. Karamanis made no mistake, streaking down the left side and pulling Dyment across the crease before slipping it between his pads for a 5-1 Viper lead.

The Smokies outshot Vernon 19-13 in the period, but Hanson stayed calm, cool, and collected throughout the middle frame in repelling the Smokie onslaught.

“At the end of the day, I just try to give my team a chance to win every night,” said the Minnesota native. “Try to be a rock back there, and I feel when a team has confidence in their goaltenders they play much better.”

The Smokies had their share of chances in the third, including a Connor Brown-Maloski effort when he split the defence and walked in all alone, went back-hand-forehand then fired a quick shot, but Hanson kicked out the left pad to stymie the Smokie captain.

The Vipers added two more, with Hunter Zandee making it 6-1 and Brett Stapley finished the scoring with 7:46 to play counting his second of the playoffs.

With the Smokies demoralized, Ethan Martini fought back and dropped the gloves with Zandee in an effort to give the Smokies a lift heading into Game 4.

The Smoke Eaters will need to find a way to shut down the Vernon forwards and beat Hanson if it expects to prolong the series after tonight.

“That’s a good hockey team, and we understand that fourth one is always the hardest to win,” said Ferner. “They’ve got good players, they’re well coached, we have all the respect in the world for them, and we know tomorrow’s going to be a real tough game.”

Vernon won the second game 5-2 before 1,945 fans Saturday night at Kal Tire Place.

“We played OK,” said Ferner. “The game was closer than the score indicates since we got an empty-netter.”

It was scoreless until 15:27 of the first period when Karamanis scored to put the Vipers up 1-0.

Brett Stapley converted just 27 seconds into the middle stanza to make it 2-0, while first star Jagger Williamson clicked at 14:35 give Vernon a 3-0 margin.

The Smokies connected on a power play at 17:56 when Santerno sniped his fifth of the playoffs, assisted by Brown Maloski and Carter Cochrane. The goal came just 27 seconds into Jandric’s minor penalty for roughing.

Less than a minute later, Jandric responded with an unassisted tally.

Trying to mount a comeback, the Smokies scored at 12:57 of the third when Brown Maloski supplied his seventh of the post-season with assists going to Santerno and Andre Ghantous. Trail pulled Marshall for an extra attacker and were pressuring the Vipers when Williamson broke away and hit the empty net with 54 seconds remaining.

Karamanis had 1+1 and took second star, while Santerno was third star with 1+1.

“We’re disappointed that we weren’t able to get a win in Vernon but you have to move past it and take care of your home ice,” said Smoke Eater head coach Cam Keith.

Jandric and Lambert of the Vipers and McLean and Ryan Warner of the Smokies all received misconducts at 12:37 of the third period.’

“Emotions got ramped up a bit, but that’s to be expected,” said Ferner. “It’s playoffs.”

Smokies’ all-star forward Josh Lamframboise collided with Lambert on a Trail powerplay in the second period and didn’t return for the remainder of the game. He missed Game 3.

In other action the Merritt Centennials iced the Penticton Vees 5-1 to cut the Vees edge to 2-1, while the Powell River Kings edged the Victoria Grizzlies 2-1 for a 2-1 series lead.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Interior Division Semifinals: Game 4 Trail 5 Vernon 2


1st Period:

1:10 TRA Luke Santerno (6) ASST: Connor Brown-Maloski (4)

1:47 TRA Brady Berger (1) ASST: Mitchell Barker (3), Jeremy Lucchini (6)

3:34 TRA Connor Brown-Maloski (8) ASST: Ross Armour (5), Jeremy Lucchini (7) (PP)

14:09 TRA Brady Berger (2) ASST: Troy Ring (5)

2nd Period:

16:29 VER Jimmy Lambert (4) ASST: Steven Jandric (4)

18:24 VER Steven Jandric (4) ASST: Jimmy Lambert (3) (PP)

3rd Period:

1:02 TRA Ross Armour (3) ASST: Carter Cochrane (12), Jeremy Lucchini (8) (PP)

Vernon outshot Trail 42-18 Zach Dyment made 40 saves in the win, while Ty Taylor made 12 saves in the loss.

Boxscore-Game Summary,

Game Report,


Game Preview: Interior Division Semifinals: Game 4 Vernon @ Trail:

Vernon (3-0) @ Trail (4-4) 7pm

Tonight is the eleventh meeting of the season between the Vernon Vipers & Trail Smoke Eaters. The Vipers won the regular season series 5-2

Last Game:

Game 3 Monday, March 20th Vernon defeated Trail 7-1

Next Game:

Game 5 Thursday, March 23rd Trail @ Vernon (If Necessary)

To read more, click on the "Read More" button In the bottom left hand corner of this post.

Jandric & Lambert Recieve Honourable Mention For Player Of The Week:

This is posted on the BCHL website:

Galajda grabs BCHL POW honours

March 20, 2017

Victoria Grizzlies goalie Matthew Galajda has been named the BCHL Player of the Week for the week ending March 19, the league announced Monday.

Galajda stopped 86 of 89 shots while picking up a win and a shutout as the Grizzlies split the first two games of the Island finals against Powell River. The native of Aurora, Ont. stopped 56 shots in a 3-2 overtime loss in Game 1 and came back to make all 30 saves in a 4-0 victory in Game 2 where he was named 1st Star.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound netminder had a .966 save percentage in the two games and a 1.26 goals-against average for the weekend. He is committed to Cornell for next season.

Honourable Mentions this week:

Chilliwack Chiefs F Jake Smith: 2G, 2A, 1st Star

Chilliwack Chiefs F Ben Fanjoy: 2G, GWG, 2nd Star

Victoria Grizzlies F Cole Pickup: 2G, 2A, 2nd Star

Penticton Vees D Gabe Bast: 2G, 1A, 1st Star

Vernon Vipers F Steven Jandric: 2G, 2A

Vernon Vipers F Jimmy Lambert: 2G, 1A, GWG, 1st Star

Monday, March 20, 2017

Interior Division Semifinals: Game 3 Vernon 7 Trail 1


1st Period:

1:02 VER Steven Jandric (3) ASST: Jimmy Lambert (2), Brett Stapley (2)

2:50 VER Ryan Brushett (1) ASST: Hunter Zandee (1), Austin Adamson (1)

12:34 VER Luke Gingras (1) ASST: Simon Sagissor (1)

15:17 VER Jimmy Lambert (3) ASST: Steven Jandric (3), Brett Stapley (3)

2nd Period:

9:52 TRA Troy Ring (1) ASST: Luke Santerno (7)

14:13 VER Niko Karamanis (1) ASST: Connor Clouston (2)

3rd Period:

2:02 VER Hunter Zandee (1) ASST: Cameron Trott (1), Chris Jandric (1) (PP)

7:46 VER Brett Stapley (2) ASST: Hunter Zandee (2), Ryan Brushett (1)

Trail outshot Vernon 35-31 Darion Hanson made 34 saves in the win, while Zach Dyment made 20 saves in the loss.

Boxscore-Game Summary,

Game Report,