Monday, May 22, 2017

Bears Sign Viper Alumni Weinstein:

The American Hockey League (AHL) Hershey Bears have signed former Vernon Vipers defenceman Steve Weinstein.

After four seasons at Bentley University (2011-2015) Weinstein has spent the past two seasons playing in the American Hockey League & East Coast Hockey League with four different teams. Weinstein spent the 2015-16 season with the East Coast Hockey League Cincinnati Cyclones and the American Hockey League Lake Erie Monsters. This season Weinstein has played with the East Coast Hockey League South Carolina Stingrays.

Weinstein played three seasons in Vernon (2008-2011) in 153 regular season games with the Vipers collected (10-goals-49-assists-59-points).

Steve Weinstein's Player Profile:

This was posted on the Bears website:

Bears Sign Steve Weinstein to PTO

01/19/2017 - (Hershey, PA- January 19, 2017)-The Hershey Bears have signed defenseman Steve Weinstein to a professional tryout agreement, Vice President of Hockey Operations Bryan Helmer announced today.

Weinstein, 26, has appeared in 32 games this season with Hershey’s ECHL affiliate, the South Carolina Stingrays. The native of Los Angeles, California is South Carolina’s leading defensive scorer, collecting 19 points (three goals, 16 assists) to go along with a plus/minus rating of +15. The second-year pro was acquired by Stingrays on June 3, 2016 from the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones. During his rookie season with Cincinnati, Weinstein posted 22 points (three goals, 19 assists) in 52 games.

The 5-foot-10, 175-pound defender has skated in seven career AHL games, posting two assists. He played three contests with the Springfield Falcons in 2014-15, and dressed for four games with Lake Erie last season.

Weinstein played four seasons of collegiate hockey at Bentley College, skating in 145 games and registering 105 points (14 goals, 91 assists). He served as an alternate captain during his senior season, and was named the Atlantic Hockey Association's (AHA) Best Defenseman during the 2014-15 campaign. Prior to his time in the NCAA, Weinstein helped the Vernon Vipers of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) to three straight championships.

Hershey also announced that defenseman Colby Williams will be away from the team this weekend on personal leave. He will return to the club next week.

Hershey hits the road to battle Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Saturday evening at 7:05 p.m. The game may be heard on the Bears Radio Network. On Sunday, Hershey hosts Lehigh Valley at 5 p.m. for Hometown Heroes Night and Dietz & Watson Dollar Dog Night. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Day 3 Report From Vipers Spring Camp:

I stopped by Priest Valley Arena this morning to catch three final three games of Spring Camp. Each game-scrimmage consisted of two thirty minute periods with a full ice clean in between periods. A penalty was an automatic penalty shot.

I have had season tickets for the past twenty seven seasons and have been watching Junior hockey in Vernon for close to thirty five years. Here are my thought's from today's Spring Camp.

In the opening game-scrimmage Team Green defeated Team Black 6-4. Team Green jumped out to a 2-0 lead, were up by two goals after the first period. Team Black battled back with two quick back to back goals before taking a 3-2 lead. In the end Team Green held on for the 6-4 victory.

Players I thought stood out-played well

James Johnston (G) 2001 Has played very well at camp this weekend. Played well again this morning.

Brendan Mongey (F) 1999 (1 goal) Caught my eye this weekend and played very well this morning. Showed a lot of hustle, battled hard and competed. Played fairly physical at times, wasn't afraid to back down from laying out some hits. Was Blacks best player.

In the second game-scrimmage Team Gold defeated Team Blue 5-2. It was 3-0 Team Gold after the 1st period before having a 4-1 lead in the 2nd.

Players I thought stood out-played well

#9 Is listed as Jaryd Hibbert but was told it wasn't him playing today. Whoever #9 was had a strong game for Team Blue. Carried the puck often, created-generated chances. Looked good.

Aidan Rysen (D) 2000 I thought played fairly well on the blueline for Team Gold.

Lucas Gaudet (D) 2000 Was another defenceman for Team Gold who I thought was fairly good this morning.

In the third and final game-scrimmage from Spring Camp saw Team White defeated Team Red 5-2. It was 4-0 Team Red after thirty minutes before Team White got on the scoreboard in the 2nd period.

No players really stood out in the final game-scrimmage.

I overheard several people talking, several of these kids will be attending the Penticton Vees Spring Camp next weekend.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Second Report From Day 2 At Vipers Spring Camp:

I stopped by Priest Valley Arena this afternoon-evening to catch two out of the three games. Each game-scrimmage consisted of two thirty minute periods with a full ice clean in between periods. A penalty was an automatic penalty shot.

I have had season tickets for the past twenty seven seasons and have been watching Junior hockey in Vernon for close to thirty five years. Here are my thought's from today's Spring Camp.

In the opening game-scrimmage Team Gold defeated Team Black 5-4. Team Gold jumped out to a 4-1 lead after the 1st period before Team Black made things interesting in the 2nd period-second half.

Players I thought stood out-played well

Ryan Buchan (G) 2001 After Team Black allowed four goals in the 1st period, Buchan replaced Billy Cawthorn to start the 2nd period, only giving up one goal, played very well between the pipes.

Evan Hughes (F) 1999 Battled-played physical, had a strong game up for Team Gold.

In the second game-scrimmage of the evening saw Team Blue defeat Team White 6-1. Team Blue was up 3-0 after the 1st period before scoring three more in the 2nd period. Team White couldn't find the offence, missed on two penalty shots.

Players I thought stood out-played well

Geoffrey Drought (G) 2000 Started the game, played well in net for Team Blue didn't allow a goal through thirty minutes.

Jordan Wilde (G) 2000 Replaced Geoffrey Drought to start the 2nd period, also looked good in goal for Team Blue. Was forced to make some big stops in the second half, stopping two penalty shots.

Cole Cripps (D) 1999 Played very well on the backend for Team White. Played physical, was engaged in the play, didn't back down from the rough stuff, was mixing it up on several different occasions.

Side Notes:

Former Vernon Vipers Head Coach Joe Oliver was in attendance.

The arena was pretty much full for the two games.

The third and final game is at 8pm Team Green vs Team Red

Spring Camp will wrap up tomorrow with three games.

8am Black vs Green
10am Blue vs Gold
12pm White vs Red

Day 2 Report From Vipers Spring Camp:

I stopped by Priest Valley Arena this morning to catch the second day of Vipers Spring Camp. Each game-scrimmage consisted of two thirty minute periods with a full ice clean in between periods. A penalty was an automatic penalty shot.

I have had season tickets for the past twenty seven seasons and have been watching Junior hockey in Vernon for close to thirty five years. Here are my thought's from today's Spring Camp.

In the opening game-scrimmage Team White defeated Team Black 8-6. Team Black opened the scoring, before Team White roared back with four straight goals. It was 4-1 Team White after the first period. Team White was the better of the two teams in the first half, seemed to generate-create lots of offensive chances. In the 2nd period Team Black fought back, battled hard getting to within a goal cutting the deficit to 5-4 before Team White scored to late goals to break the 6-6 tie to come away with the 8-6 victory. Four penalty shots in this game/scrimmage.

Players I thought stood out-played well

Billy Cawthorn (G) 1998 Attended the Vipers Spring Camp & Training Camp last season played the second half of the game and was solid between the pipes. Made some good saves, giving his team a chance to get back in the contest. Looked calm and confident in goal.

Brendan Mongey (F) 1999 Scored a highlight reel goal for Team Black. I didn't really notice him until about halfway through the scrimmage, when he slowly got his game going and looked good down the stretch.

Josh Mead (F) 1998 I thought played well for most of the game.

Ryan Cooper (F) 1998 (2 goals) Was by far the best player on the ice this morning. Had at least two-maybe three good chances in close to record the hat trick, was very dangerous with the puck in the offensive zone. Battled hard down low, was going to the net all morning. Has a quick release, can skate and hold his own along the boards. Very impressive.

In the second game-scrimmage Team Gold defeated Team Green 5-3. Team Green jumped out to a 2-0 lead held the two goal lead heading into the 2nd period-second half of the game. Team Gold scored two quick back to back goals just seconds apart to tie the game before taking their first lead of the morning shortly after. Team Gold would eventually jump out to a two goal lead before Team Green scored to get within a goal but couldn't make the comeback falling 5-3.

Players I thought stood out-played well

James Brendeland (G) 1999 started the game for Team Green was solid between the pipes, didn't surrender a single goal before being replaced by James Johnston in the 2nd period-second half. Brendeland plays his position very well, dosnt give up many if any rebounds. Plays large in goal.

James Johnston (G) 2001 May have gave up five goals but early on to start the 2nd period he was very sharp. Was forced to make several big stops with Team Gold pressing. Quick on his feet, was hard to beat down low. Was very impressed with Team Green's goaltenders.

Jake Gudjonson (F) 1999 (2 goals) Was Team Gold's best player this morning. This kid was all over the rink in the offensive zone. Had several quality chances in and around the net, battled-played hard all scrimmage.

Lucas Gaudet (D) 2000 I thought looked fairly good at times through out the game-scrimmage.

Evan Hughes (F) 1999 Was another forward who caught my eye and stood out at times during today's game.

In the third and final game of the morning-early afternoon Team Blue defeated Team Red 5-4. It was 2-1 Team Blue after the 1st period/first half before jumping out to an early 3-1 lead in the 2nd period.

Players I thought stood out-played well

Corey Cunningham (F) 2001 Was by far the best player on either side of the ice. Was denied on two breakaways, was a force with and without the puck. A very slick skater, who can move up ice in a hurry, has a hard-quick release, sees-reads the ice very well. Was skating circles around several members of Team Red. Created-generated a ton of good opportunities.

Johnny Derrick (G) 2001 Played the entire game, allowed five goals but easily kept Team Red in the contest. Was very sharp-good in the first half, forced into making several key saves. Got lucky on a few plays, got some help from his defence after the puck was lying in the crease on several goal mouth scrambles. Not the biggest goaltender but quick on his feet, likes to come out and challenge. Reads the play very well.

Owen Reith (F) 1999 Looked pretty good at times, has some speed-quickness.

Dean Whitcomb (F) 1999 (2 goals) Has some wheels, scored twice, was one of the more offensive forwards for Team Red. Stood out-played well in the loss.

Side Notes:

Riley Brandt & Jagger Williamson were in attendance for one of the morning games.

Former Vernon Vipers forward Bryce Kakoske was one of the referee's for all three games today.

The arena was pretty much full for all three games-scrimmages. I saw a lot of Junior B coaches-scouts in attendance.

Spring Camp will continue later this afternoon with three games, with the first game-scrimmage starting at 4pm.

4pm Black vs Gold
6pm Blue vs White
8pm Green vs Red

Vipers Lose Trott & Lambert:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Vipers Lose Trott & Lambert

May 20, 2017

by Vernon Vipers

Recent News

The Vernon Vipers found out that they will have to fill two more roster spots going into the 2017-18 season. Both forward Jimmy Lambert and defenceman Cameron Trott accepted NCAA scholarships for next season. While it didn’t come as a surprise to Vipers management or fans, the team was hopeful there might be a chance the two veteran players could be suiting up for the Snakes again next year.

Lambert has been a standout player with the Vipers over the past two seasons posting 34 goals and 36 assists for 80 points. He’ll be heading to the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Meanwhile, Cameron Trott split this past season with Vernon and Salmon Arm, posting 26 points including 6 goals and had a fantastic playoff run scoring 3 goals and chipping in with 5 points. He will be joining the University of Alaska Anchorage. The Vipers organization would like to wish both players all the best as they continue their careers at the NCAA level.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Day 1 Report From Vipers Spring Camp:

I stopped by Priest Valley Arena after work this evening to catch the first day of Vipers Spring Camp. Each game-scrimmage consisted of two thirty minute periods with a full ice clean in between periods. A penalty was an automatic penalty shot.

In the opening game-scrimmage I caught the final eight minutes between Team Black & Team Blue. Team Blue defeated Team Black 5-3. Team Black had a few big kids with good size on their roster.

In the second game-scrimmage Team White defeated Team Green 4-3 in a game-scrimmage where Team White carried the better of the play for most of the game. Team Green's goaltenders saw a lot of rubber-shots, kept their team in the game. Both teams had several kids with good size. The younger brother of former Vernon Vipers forward Matt Saharchuk, Jett Saharchuk is playing for Team White.

Players I thought stood out-played well

Team White:

Reese Tambellini (1 goal) Has some size, can skate & move the puck. Scored a great looking back hand goal that went top shelf.

Ryan Cooper Played very well through out the game, had some chances-opportunities, skated well, played hard through out the scrimmage.

Erik Ehrmantraut Is another kid with some good size, had some looks-chances, played very well in the loss.

Team Green:

Luca Olivo Had a very strong game on the blueline. Looked like a veteran d-man out there, was steady through out the scrimmage, played well in the defensive zone, can handle the puck, sees the ice well. Made several smart plays through out the night.

Christian Sanda Stood out at times, looked good with the puck in the offensive zone.

James Johnston Started in goal for Team Green before being replaced by backup netminder James Brendeland. Johnston is a big kid, covers a lot of the net, plays his position well. Made some big stops through out the game. Dosnt give up many second opportunities, reads the play well.

James Brendeland Played the second half of the scrimmage, also was very sharp between the pipes for Team Green. Made some key saves, keeping this game close down the stretch.

In the third and final game-scrimmage of the night saw Team Gold defeat Team Red 5-4 in a back and fourth game with some good pace. The play-teams were more evenly matched. Both teams had several chances at either ends of the rink. Not a lot of size on either team, compared to the previous two games-scrimmages. Both teams with much smaller rosters. Goaltending wasn't nearly as sharp-good as in the first two games-scrimmages.

Players I thought stood out-played well

Team Gold:

Tian Rask Has some size and skill. Showed some skill in and around the net looked impressive through out the game.

Side Notes:

Day two of Spring Camp will continue Saturday starting at 8am

Former Vernon Vipers forward Bryce Kakoske was one of the referee's tonight.

Riley Brandt's dad was helping out tonight, was one of the coaches tonight.

The arena was pretty much full for all three games-scrimmages. I saw a lot of Junior B coaches-scouts in attendance.

It looks like the Vipers have brought in a lot of good talent for this year's Spring Camp. Lots of good players through out camp.

Here is a look at all six team rosters-lineups:

Team Black:

Ryan Buchan (G) 2001
Billy Cawthorn (G) 1998 (Attended the Vipers Spring Camp last season)
Zachary Abenante (D) 2001
Cruz Goodman (D) 2000
Elijah Havers (D) 2001
Justin Miron (D) 1999
Noah Montague (D) 1999
Lucas Ty Eagle (D) 2002
Gavin Mattey (F) 2001
Justin Scott (F) 2001
Liam Drager (F) 2000
Ethan Knutsen (F) 2000
Brendan Mongey (F) 1999
Josh Mead (F) 1998
Alex Lee (F) 1998
Tyson Lampreau (F) 2001
Michael Dys (F) 2002

Team Blue:

Geoffrey Drought (G) 2000 (Attended the Vipers Spring Camp last season)
Jordan Wilde (G) 2000
Quinn Slezak (D) 2000
Harrison William Risdon (D) 2000
Timber Lewis (D) 2001
Tyson Feist (D) 2001
Thomas Spink (D) 1999 (Attended the Vipers Spring Camp last season)
Patrick Norman (D) 1999
Matt Baird (F) 2001
Jaryd Hibbert (F) 2000
Colum McGauley (F) 2000
Damian Coljee-Fehr (F) 2000
Carter Eschyschyn (F) 1999
Kyle Sherwood (F) 1999
Brent Koch (F) 1998
Corey Cunningham (F) 2001
Lane Goodwin (F) 2001
Carter Anderson (F) 2001
Nicholas Cherkowski (F) 2000

Team White:

Braedyn Funke (G) 1999
Noah Desouza (G) 2000
Jacob Bourchier (D) 1999
James Hunter (D) 2000
Lucas Wood (D) 2001
Cole Cripps (D) 1999
Evan Simpson (D) 1999
Kaeden Patrick (F) 2000
Brayden Leifker-Lloyd (F) 2000
Reese Tambellini (F) 2000
Jett Saharchuk (F) 2000
Ryan Butler (F) 1999
Julien Dewey (F) 1999
Ryan Cooper (F) 1998
Eric Noren (F) 2001
Mason McLeod (F) 2001
Erik Ehrmantraut (F) 1999
Flynn Perry (F) 2000 (Attended the Vipers Spring Camp last season)

Team Green:

James Brendeland (G) 1999
James Johnston (G) 2001
Lucas Yesaki (D) 2001
Will Dow-Kenny (D) 2000
Myles Whiteside (D) 2001
John Jebamani (D) 1999
Luca Olivo (D) 1998
Isaac Dutka (D) 1999
Luke Harvie (F) 2000 (Attended the Vipers Spring Camp last season)
Nicolas Cirelli (F) 2000
Breckin Erichuk (F) 2000
Jesse Belley (F) 1999
Ethan Trampuh (F) 1999
Logan Morris (F) 1999
Nicholas Teale (F) 2002
Colby Feist (F) 2002
Christian Sanda (F) 1998 (Attended the Vipers Spring Camp last season)
Kristopher Zachary Gibson (F) 2001

Team Red:

Johnny Derrick (G) 2001
Benjamin Colvin (G) 1999
Kyler Shmigelsky (D) 2000
Tyson Soobotin (D) 2000
Zach Cunningham (D) 2001
Lucas Kyle Patton (D) 1999
Robert Wallace (D) 2002
Mitch Andres (D) 1998
Corey Stormer (F) 2000
Owen Reith (F) 1999
Kaden Meszaros (F) 2001
Marc Pasemko (F) 1999
Dean Whitcomb (F) 1999
Blain Worthing (F) 2001
Clark Nelson (F) 2000
Tyson Mitchell (F) 2001
Ty Tippett (F) 2000
Will Reimer (F) 2001

Team Gold:

Kyle Hornock (G) 1998
Conor Webb (G) 1999
Adam Johnson (D) 2000 (Attended the Vipers Spring Camp last season)
Aidan Rysen (D) 2000 (Attended the Vipers Spring Camp last season)
Travis Szafrom (D) 2001
Greg Susinski (D) 1999
Austin Joseph Miller (D) 1998
Lucas Gaudet (D) 2000 (Attended the Vipers Spring Camp last season)
Ethan Grover (F) 2000
Kyle Moore (F) 2000
Tian Rask (F) 1999
Ethan Jones (F) 2001
Evan Hughes (F) 1999
Jake Gudjonson (F) 1999
Ethan Schaeffer (F) 2001
Nicholas Bolin (F) 2001
Yewta Plamondon (F) 2001
Brendon Jorssen (F) 2001

Vipers Open Camp:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers open camp

Kevin Mitchell

May 19th, 2017

The Vernon Vipers’ annual spring camp opens Friday at 4 p.m. with a Black vs Blue scrimmage at Priest Valley Arena.

The Vipers, who lost Game 7 in the B.C. Hockey League Interior Conference final to the Penticton Vees, will watch approximately 90 prospects through Sunday afternoon.

“We have six teams and they are coming in from all over B.C., Minnesota, Boston and Washington State,” said Viper head coach/GM Mark Ferner. “There will be some really good prospects and we still have lots of room on our roster.”

Scrimmages also go Friday at 6 p.m. with White battling green and 8 p.m. with Red meeting Gold. Scrimmages go Saturday from 8 a.m. until 1:45 p.m. and again from 4-9:45 p.m. The Sunday games are at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and noon.

The Vipers just lost key 6-foot-2, 205-pound defenceman Cameron Trott, who signed a scholarship offer with the University of Anchorage Seawolves.

Trott, who turned 20 last month, pocketed three goals and 20 points in 32 games with Vernon last season after being obtained in a trade with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. The Port Moody product racked up six points in 19 games with the Silverbacks.

The core group, including Brett Stapley, Jagger Williamson, Steven and Chris Jandric, Michael Ufberg, Shane Kelly, Jesse Lansdell and Niko Karamanis, is returning to the Viper den. Ferner said sniper Jimmy Lambert has yet to make a decision on joining the NCAA Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks this fall or in 2018.

League scheduling meetings are June 9-11 in Vancouver.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Vipers Welcome Prospects To Camp:

This is posted on the Kiss FM website:

Vipers Welcome Prospects To Camp

Vernon, BC, Canada / 1075 KISS FM

Pete McIntyre

May 18, 2017

Vernon Vipers hold their spring prospects camp Friday to Sunday at the Priest Valley Arena.

Assistant coach Kevin Kraus says over 100 prospects — mostly 16 and 17 year olds — will be taking part in scrimmages.

“We’re looking to build off last year. Last year was a good, young, fast paced group that we were able to pull some prospects from for this year. We’re looking for competitive kids that want to play here in the future, whether it’s next season, or two years down the road,” Kraus tells Kiss FM.

Kraus says all of the players have been invited to the camp.

“The majority are 16 and 17 years old. There is a few 15 year olds and a few 18 years olds.”

Kraus says most of the prospects played midget last year, with few who were at Junior B.

He says some of them will be invited to main camp in the fall.

“That’s the goal. We want to get them to main camp to compete against the veterans coming back.”

The public is invited to come watch the games at the Prtiest Valley rink, with Kraus adding, “Bring your winter coat.”

Pederson-Team BC Wins U15 Provincial Tournament:

Vernon Vipers Assistant Coach-Head Scout Kevin
Pederson & Team BC/Male U15 won the 2017 Male U15 Provincial Tournament with a 6-3 victory over Team BC Maroon in the championship game Sunday.

Pederson has been with the Vipers for four seasons (2009-2011 & 2015-present) Pederson will be entering his fifth season as an Assistant Coach-Head Scout with the Vipers next season.

Kevin Pederson's Player-Coaching Profile:

This is posted on the BC Hockey website:

Team BC White Wins 2017 Male U15 Provincial Tournament

Monday, May 15, 2017

Team BC White won the 2017 Male U15 Provincial Tournament with a 6-3 victory over Team BC Maroon in the championship game on Sunday, May 14, 2017 at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton.  The event featured eight (8) teams made up of the top 160 players who were selected from their performances at region camps earlier in the year.

Jarret Watson (West Kelowna) opened the scoring for Team BC White, scoring with less than a minute to go in the first period. Team BC Maroon would respond in the second period with goals from Jaden Uy (Richmond) and David Wang (Vancouver) to put them ahead 2-1. Team BC White answered back with two (2) goals of their own late in the second period from Desmond Arthurs (Victoria) and Liam Bressette (Langley) as they held a 3-2 lead going into the third period. In the final frame, Team BC White would add three (3) more goals as Keaton Hartness (Terrace), Olen Gelineau (Kamloops), Quinn Paterson (Kelowna) all scored.

Earlier in the day, Team BC Black defeated Team BC Blue 4-3 to take third place.

The BC Hockey Male Program of Excellence was introduced in 1980 with the mandate to systematically identify and train the province's elite-level players for high performance hockey events. The overall objective of the program is to increase the chances of athletes from BC to compete provincially, regionally, nationally and internationally with the ultimate goal being selected to Hockey Canada’s National Junior or National Senior Team.

For more information about BC Hockey, please visit the BC Hockey website at or email or follow along through social media at,, or

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

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:

Dubois Commits To Smoke Eaters:

The Trail Smoke Eaters are excited to announce the commitment of Cariboo Cougars forward, Daine Dubois for the 2017/18 season. The product of Williams Lake, BC tied for the BC Major Midget scoring title, posting 27 goals and 40 assists this past season. Dubois also led his team in playoff scoring, registering 14 points as the Cougars captured the BCMML League title. Dubois is currently preparing for the Midget National Championship (Telus Cup), being hosted by the Cariboo Cougars, from April 24th to 30th. Smokies Coach, Cam Keith is very pleased that Daine has committed to the Smoke Eaters this coming season, saying, “Daine brings an element of elite skill and scoring ability. His experience in leading his Midget team to a championship and his upcoming Telus Cup experience will help him transition into an immediate impact in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). While speaking to his new coach, Dubois relayed his excitement in joining the team. “It’s exciting to be playing in a new spot. I’ve been to Trail a few times and really like the town. I’m looking forward to joining such a successful and historic organization.” Adding players with character and skill, such as Daine’s – along with championship credentials – falls into the culture the Trail Smoke Eaters want to instill in the orgranization. The Smoke Eaters would like to welcome Daine and his family to the city of Trail.

Financial Reasons To Spell End Of Western Canada Cup:

The Western Canada Cup will end after five years where it began — in B.C. Five years ago the Western Canada Cup (WCC) was launched in Nanaimo and it was held for the final time in Penticton, having wrapped up on May 7. B.C. Hockey League commissioner John Grisdale confirmed effective the 2017-18 season that entry in the RBC Cup for B.C. and Alberta will come via the Doyle Cup, while for Saskatchewan and Manitoba, it will be the Anavet Cup. Grisdale said the four Western Canadian Junior Hockey Leagues will finalize moving from all four leagues playing in the WCC to determine the two RBC teams back to the old format of the Doyle and Anavet Cups at the upcoming CJHL meeting. “It was a decision that the other leagues made that they didn’t feel they wanted to continue,” said Grisdale. “It was a profit issue more than anything else. I think at the end of the day, with it not being the end of the year tournament, a lot of expense.” Grisdale said for Penticton to host it was a terrific gesture adding he is quite hopeful that it’s a profitable tournament. He said it was pretty well attended. The WCC total attendance was 28,038 over nine days with the largest crowd being 3,021 between the Vees and Battlefords North Stars. “It ended on a positive note,” said Grisdale. The commissioners of the four leagues had been discussing the future of the tournament for a while, Grisdale said. He added if the other partners feel different about it, it makes it hard to justify. No teams had submitted bids to host the tournament next year. Grisdale said the future of the WCC had been pretty much finalized while Penticton was hosting last week. Having the tournament go for five years was giving it a good shot, according to Grisdale. “Five years is pretty good to see how it was vetting out,” he said. “There was a lot of positives. If it was the end of the year, if it was the last tournament, I think we might have had different results. It would have had more impact.” After Nanaimo hosted the first tournament, the WCC went to Dauphin, Man., in 2014, Fort McMurray in 2015, where the Penticton Vees won and in Estevan, Sask., in 2016.

Gervais Commits To Clippers:

The Nanaimo Clippers are very pleased to announce that Jeremy Gervais has committed to play for the Team for the 2017-2018 season.  The 1999 born defenceman joins the Clippers after playing the past two seasons for the Cariboo Cougars of the British Columbia Major Midget Hockey League.  During the 2016-2017 regular season, the 5’11” – 175 lb Prince George, BC native led all defencemen in BCMML scoring with 15 goals and 34 assists for 49 points in 37 games played.  In the playoffs, Gervais tallied 12 points in 8 games helping the Cougars win the BCMML Championship.  Gervais and his Cougars teammates will be participating in the upcoming Telus Cup Canadian Midget Hockey Championship April 24-30 in Prince George.

BCHL Playoff Attendance Records:

The 2017 BC Ford Dealers Road to the Fred Page Cup BCHL Playoffs featured some of the best hockey and top moments of any recent postseason. And the league’s attendance figures show fans got caught up in the excitement. Playoff-bound BCHL teams combined to attract 138,852 fans over the course of 73 playoff games for an average of 1,902 per game. That is an increase of 23.7 per cent from last season, when just 60 playoff games took place. “Playoffs always bring out the best in our teams and players and this season, that carried over to our fans,” said BCHL commissioner John Grisdale. “With our champions from Penticton going to Game 7 in each round and the Fred Page Cup being decided on an overtime goal, there were plenty of highlights and I’m thrilled so many fans got out to watch.” From the middle of the second round onwards, there were only two crowds that did not reach four figures in size and both those games were within a few bodies of reaching that mark. The largest crowd of the entire postseason came opening night in Round 1 in Wenatchee as 4,300 fans saw the Wild defeat the Prince George Spruce Kings 4-1 on March 4. There were 15 crowds of 3,000 fans or more, and seven of 3,500 or more. Even in some of the league’s smaller buildings, record crowds came to see the BCHL playoffs. The Merritt Centennials drew a season-high 1,080 fans for a March 24 game against Penticton and the Powell River Kings drew a season-high 1,461 in a March 25 game against Victoria.

Head Commits To West Kelowna Warriors:

The West Kelowna Warriors Junior ‘A’ Hockey Club is pleased to announce the commitment of defenseman Wyatt Head (’99) for the 2017/18 season. Head, 18, comes to the Warriors after spending last season with the Okanagan Rockets of the British Columbia Major Midget League (BCMML), where he played in 37 games amassing 12 goals and 39 points to go along with 20 penalty minutes. The 6’3”, 180-pound rearguard is no stranger to the Warriors and the BCHL as he got into eight games as an affiliate player for West Kelowna in the 2016/17 season earning two penalty minutes while also drawing into one playoff game in the Warriors first round series against the Merritt Centennials. “He’s a very good young player that plays well at both ends of the ice,” commented Warriors head coach and general manager Rylan Ferster, “In the games that Wyatt played with us this past season, he was poised with the puck and made good decisions without any hesitation.” The newest member of the Warriors is excited for what lies ahead, “I am super excited to be playing with a great organization in West Kelowna. They’ve had great success in the past and continue to grow the program year after year and I’m excited to be a part of it.” “I think it will definitely help having played quite a few games last year and practicing in West Kelowna,” continued Head on his familiarity with the Warriors and the players from last season, “I know most of the guys so I think that the feeling out process should take less time and hopefully that transfers into me having an impact right away.” The Warriors would like to welcome Wyatt and his family to the Warriors and West Kelowna.

McLean, Burgan & Clark Added To Clippers Marketing Team:

Joining Andrea Trepanier and Darcy Olsen will be Samantha McLean, Kait Burgan and Phil Clark. We are excited to get out into the community and meet our fans and supporters. We will be actively promoting our Clippers Hockey Society donation campaign so watch for news and media posts regarding this exciting campaign. Kait Burgan comes to us from Shaw TV and other media related projects. Phil Clark is the former owner of the Corner Lounge and has been active in downtown Nanaimo business strategies. Samantha McLean is one semester away from her Business Marketing Degree at VIU and has Dean’s List recognition. The Clippers are excited to welcome these dynamic and energetic individuals to the team.

Antisin Steps Down As Silverbacks Head Coach:

Salmon Arm Silverbacks President & General Manager Troy Mick today announced that Head Coach Misko Antisin will be stepping down as Silverbacks Head Coach effective May 30, 2017. “I appreciate the confidence and support of Troy Mick and the Silverbacks ownership group over the last 3 years, however I will be moving back to the USA to pursue professional opportunities down there” stated Coach Antisin. I would like to thank my immediate staff Darrell Hay, Brooks Christensen, Jade Viegas, Heather Sims and Phil Stewart for all of your diligent work and efforts as well as your friendship & support. To the players thank you for giving me your best every night and to the best fans in the league, thank you being patient with the young group we had this past season as I believe you will be very pleased with the team this coming season. It has been an honor to work with such a prestigious and professional organization and I will miss it all. I will also stay on as a consultant to help continue to find the best players available for the Backs down south. “This is a tough day for me personally as I have known Mish for many years however I’m very excited for his future down in the states” says GM Troy Mick. He turned the program around when he agreed to take the team over in November and we will be a better team this year because of it. He is an amazing coach, friend and role model for all players in the game of hockey…he will be missed. The search for Misko’s replacement will begin immediately.

Alberni Valley Bulldogs Name Hughes New Head Coach/GM:

The Port Alberni Junior Hockey Society and the Alberni Valley Bulldogs hockey club are pleased to announce that they have hired Mr. Matt Hughes as Head Coach and General Manager of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. It is a 2-year agreement with an option for a 1-year renewal. Matt comes to the Bulldogs from the highly respected Pursuit of Excellence hockey academy in Kelowna BC where he was the Head Coach of the U18 Midget Prep team. Pursuit’s emphasis on hockey development, academic excellence and community service deemed Matt an excellent fit for the Alberni Valley Bulldogs core beliefs. Matt has helped more than 30 of his past players obtain NCAA Division 1 Scholarships. “Our search for a new head coach saw an overwhelming amount of interest in the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.” says Port Alberni Hockey Society President Ron Paulson. “It speaks volumes to the reputation of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs franchise, and the reputation of the BCHL.” Over 100 resumes were received for the Bulldogs Head Coach/GM position. Prior to the Pursuit of Excellence academy, Matt spent 11 years coaching competitive junior hockey in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), North American Hockey league (NAHL), and BCHL. Matt coached the AJHL Grande Prairie Storm as Assistant Coach, Head Coach and General Manager from 2012 to 2014. Matt also served as Assistant Coach and Assistant GM of the NAHL Dawson Creek Rage from 2010 to 2012. Prior to the Rage, Matt served as Head Coach and Assistant GM of the BCHL Salmon Arm Silverbacks. In 2008 & 2009 Matt was the Assistant Coach and Video Coach for the Hockey Canada World U17 program, winning Silver in 2009 and helping develop young player such as Ryan NugentHopkins, Mark Pysyk, and Brendan Gallagher. Matt’s career started in 2003 with coaching stints with the KIJHL Summerland Kings, Columbia Valley Rockies and the BCHL Quesnel Millionaires. “I would like to thank the Bulldogs organization for this opportunity. The Alberni Valley is an amazing community with a knowledgeable and enthusiastic fan base.” said Matt. “I’m looking forward to the work we have ahead of us.” Matt starts work immediately, recruiting for the 2017/18 season. He will be overseeing the Bulldogs Osoyoos spring identification camp along with Assistant Coach Alex Even and the rest of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs scouting staff. Matt’s also burning up the phone lines contacting his network of players and scouts, identifying new players and key prospects.

Eagles Name West New Head Coach:

The Surrey Eagles owner, Chuck Westgard, is shuffling the focus of the Surrey Eagles in order to get it back to where it is meant to be, the RBC Championships. Three years ago after having the Eagles win the “Fred Page Cup” the “ Western Canada Cup” and eventually lose in overtime in the semi-final of the “RBC Cup” In Charlottetown PEI, Westgard hired an outside management group to run the team. He has now decided the time is right to get actively involved again. Westgard, in addition to his successful Real Estate and Development business, has a long history with sports. Westgard played professional baseball in the early 1980s, and is one of the Country”s  most successful girls’ fast pitch coaches, having led his White Rock Renegades teams to 6 National titles. The same goal he has again while being involved with the Eagles. “We saw a big improvement with last years group and now with the core we have coming back we are looking forward to getting back into the mix with the top level teams in the league, and ultimately the Country.” Westgard commented, “We will continue to add good people to our group that share in our common vision, of making this the place the place to play again”. The Surrey Eagles are proud to announce Brandon West as their Head Coach and Director of Player Personnel to a multi-year deal. West has been in the BCHL for the past seven years, the previous three as the Head Coach for the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. The Prince George, B.C. native comes to the Eagles highly recommended from numerous members of the NCAA coaching fraternity and the BCHL. West was ironically coaching in Surrey for the CJHL Top Prospects game in 2015. He also guest coached with Canada West World Junior A Challenge and assisted with the Canadian Pacific U-17 program in 2013. West, along with his staff at the time, aided in the development and progression of many great players in our league including, Angus Redmond (Michigan Tech/Anaheim Ducks), Shane Hanna (Michigan Tech) and Taro Hirose to (Michigan State). “I am honoured and excited to be joining the Surrey Eagles organization. We have an eager group here that is driven to make an impact on and off the ice. After meeting with all the staff, things just lined up in what we are all looking for and we believe we are heading in the right direction. I’d like to thank the ownership and management for this opportunity. My family and I are very excited to be Surrey Eagles.” says the newly appointed coach.  West, 32, will be the successor on the bench to Blaine Neufeld. Neufeld who has been head Coach for the Surrey Eagles for the past three years will move to General Manager of the hockey team for the upcoming season.  “It is something we have been planning to do for some time now and it was all about finding the right person that shared the same vision as myself and that I’d be willing to trust to carry it out” Neufeld says. “We have taken our hits and have continued to get up and are stronger from them, but now we are so close to winning that it was extra important it was the perfect fit, which we feel it is.” The Eagles have a potential 15 skaters returning for the 2017-18 campaign and a very elite recruiting class joining that. “We’ve been hard at work on next years group. I’ve been out of province traveling since February and we’ve found some amazing kids with great character.” Neufeld added.  “It is the core coming back that we have that is certainly very strong and the recruits to add makes us very optimistic that this will be a very successful year in Surrey.” West explains. The Eagles are a few months away from hitting the ice. The team is excited and the surrounding community is as well. There will be a lot of Eagles talk moving into the Summer months. Up next for the Eagles Organization will be their annual Spring Prospects Camp at the South Surrey Arena May 19th – 22nd, which is open to the public.

Silverbacks Buy Hockey School:

The Salmon Arm Hockey School will be under new management for 2017, but promises to keep up the same tradition of skill development and love for the game that has made them one of the longest-running hockey schools in B.C. The owners of the hockey school announced on May 9 they had reached a deal with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks to sell the hockey school to the team effective immediately. All of the hockey school’s 2017 programs will proceed as planned. After 37 years of operating the Enderby/Salmon Arm Hockey School, co-owners Gord Mackintosh, Tom Marsh and Roy Sakaki felt it was time to move on. In 1981, Mackintosh and Sakaki purchased the Enderby Hockey School from the late Rick Anderson. After 20 successful years working in Enderby, the opportunity came up to transfer the hockey school to the new facility in Salmon Arm. The school has operated at the Shaw Centre for the past 17 years. Mackintosh said it makes sense with the ’Backs taking over the school as they can provide some outstanding instruction from their coaching staff, past alumni and local minor hockey coaches. The outgoing hockey school owners say they wish the new owners the very best. A press release from the Silverbacks on the subject said they are excited to be the new owner and operators of the hockey school, and referred to the outgoing owners as “three legends in our community.” “Roy Sakaki, Gord McIntosh and Tom Marsh have been amazing ambassadors to this community for a long time and we are looking forward to continuing on the great hockey school that they started 38 years ago. We will be honouring these three gentlemen during our opening night ceremonies for the start of the 2017-2018 BCHL season,” the release reads. According to the Silverbacks organization, lots of the team’s players and coaches will be helping to develop the hockey school’s young players both on and off the ice. The release says nothing will change for the 2017 hockey school in August, but those interested should stay tuned for news about the future of the school in 2018.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Vernon Vipers 2017 Spring Camp Schedule:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Vipers 2017 Spring Camp Schedule

May 15, 2017

by Vernon Vipers

The Vernon Vipers 2017 Spring camp opens this weekend and will run until May 21st. Please note the following for games this weekend:

2 30 Min stop time periods
Ice clean after each period
5 min warm up before every game
Exit meetings after your teams last game

Friday May 19th

3:00pm Registration @ Priest Valley Arena
4:00-5:45pm Black Vs Blue
6:00-7:45pm White Vs Green
8:00- 9:45 pm Red Vs Gold

Saturday May 20th

8:00-9:45am Black Vs White
10:00-11:45pm Green Vs Gold
12:00- 1:45pm Blue Vs Red
4:00-5:45pm Black Vs Gold
6:00-7:45pm Blue Vs White
8:00- 9:45pm Green Vs Red

Sunday May 21st

8:00-9:45am Black Vs Green
10:00- 11:45pm Blue Vs Gold
12:00- 1:45pm White Vs Red

Monday, May 15, 2017

Former Viper Andrusiak-Seattle Thunderbirds Advance To Memorial Cup:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Zach Andrusiak & the Seattle
Thunderbirds have advanced to the Memorial Cup after a 4-3 overtime victory Sunday in Regina. The Thunderbirds won their first ever Western Hockey League Championship in six games after their third trip to the Western Hockey League Finals (1997, 2016 & 2017).

Andrusiak is in his first season with the Thunderbirds started the season with the Prince Albert Raiders after signing with the Raiders September 13th 2016. Andrusiak was traded to Seattle October 20th 2016. The Vipers signed Andrusiak October 1st 2015 after being released from the WHL Tri-City Americans. Andrusiak played in 11 games picking up two assists before being released November 5th 2015. In 52 games this season with the Thunderbirds Andrusiak collected (5-goals-4-assists-9-points).

Zach Andrusiak's Player Profile:

This is in the Seattle Times Newspaper:

Seattle Thunderbirds beat Regina in OT to take WHL title

published May 14, 2017

By Seattle Times staff

Regina Leader-Post

REGINA, Saskatchewan – The Seattle Thunderbirds captured the Ed Chynoweth Cup for the first time in franchise history on Sunday night.

They did it in dramatic fashion when Alexander True scored with 7:24 left in overtime to beat the Regina Pats 4-3 before 6,484 fans at the Brandt Centre.

Seattle won the best-of-seven series 4-2 and will represent the Western Hockey League at the Memorial Cup in Windsor, Ontario.

WHL championship

Game 1: Seattle 2-1 (OT)
Game 2: Regina 4-3 (OT)
Game 3: Regina 3, Seattle 2
Game 4: Seattle 6, Regina 1
Game 5: Seattle 7, Regina 4
Game 6: Seattle 4, Regina 3 (OT)

The Thunderbirds have six Saskatchewan-born players, and a healthy contingent of local T-birds’ supporters gathered at the east end to celebrate as the players took turns parading around the ice with
the Ed Chynoweth Cup.

“Seeing the crowd we had, it felt like home ice. Without them I don’t think we could have done it,” proclaimed defenseman Ethan Bear of Ochapowace, Saskatchewan. “It’s amazing to look at all my family and all my friends. I’m not the only guy from Sask so I bet they feel the same. It couldn’t be any better.”

T-birds left winger Tyler Adams is from Regina and said he couldn’t imagine a better place to celebrate his team’s first league championship than at home among family and friends.

“This is definitely No. 1 on the list,” beamed Adams, a longtime Pats fan. “It’s hard to put into words. It’s so surreal right now. Growing up watching this team and winning it on home ice, it feels unbelievable.”

Special teams played a huge role in the first five games of the series and Game 6 was no different.

Regina opened the scoring 7:18 into the contest with a power-play goal from Sam Steel, whose one-timer from the slot beat goalie Carl Stankowski.

Pats netminder Tyler Brown made the lead hold up even though his team was outshot 10-3 in the first period.

Seattle tied the score 8:55 into the second when Pats defenseman Josh Mahura was tripped up in the neutral zone, creating a 2-on-1 for the T-birds.

Sami Moilanen walked in and beat Brown low to the blocker side.

Seattle was outshooting Regina 20-8 at that point.

But the Pats led 3-1 in the third period before a surge by the T-birds.

Ryan Gropp scored with 5:22 left in regulation and Keegan Kolesar blasted a one-timer that found the net with 2:54 left in the third.

In the Memorial Cup, Seattle joins the Ontario Hockey League champion Erie Otters, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion Saint John Sea Dogs, and the host Windsor Spitfires.

The competition begins Friday.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Greenville Swamp Rabbits Release Former Viper Tryout Goaltender Musico:

The East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Greenville Swamp Rabbits have released former Vernon Vipers goaltender PJ Musico.

Musico attended the New York Rangers Training Camp in October, was assigned to the American Hockey League Hartford Wolf Pack before joining the Swamp Rabbits October 11th 2016. The Swamp Rabbits traded Musico to the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Fort Wayne Komets before being placed on waivers February 7th 2017. Musico returned to Greenville after signing with the Swamp Rabbits February 10th 2017.

After playing four years of University at Penn State, Musico signed his first professional contract with the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Greenville Swamp Rabbits October 13th 2015 before being traded February 9th 2015 to the ECHL Quad City Mallards. The American Hockey League (AHL) Chicago Wolves signed Musico February 27, 2016 where he would finish the season. Musico would head back to Greenville signing with the Swamp Rabbits July 7, 2016.

Musico attended the Vernon Vipers 2008 Training Camp before being released.

PJ Musico's Player Profile:

This was posted on the Swamp Rabbits website:

Goulakos Recall by Wolf Pack Headlines Transactions

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Greenville, SC – The Greenville Swamp Rabbits (31-20-4-1), proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, announced today that defenseman Spiro Goulakos has been recalled to the AHL by the Hartford Wolf Pack. In addition, goaltender Jeff Malcolm has been activated from injured reserve and P.J. Musico has been released.

Goulakos returns to Hartford for the second time this season. The blue-liner has played in five AHL games, earning two assists with the Wolf Pack. The ECHL All-Star has played 15 career AHL games, earning a goal and three assists during his two-year pro career.

Now in his second ECHL season, Goulakos has matched his rookie point production through just 38 games. The Montreal, QC native has scored 14 goals and added 17 assists for 31 points. His goals are the most by a Swamp Rabbits defenseman and rank second among all ECHL blue-liners. The former captain at Colgate University earned his second career three-point game on Sunday in Reading, netting a power play goal and adding two assists.

The subsequent moves involving Malcolm and Musico complete the day’s transactions. Malcolm has missed 11 games. Prior to being placed on the IR, the fourth-year pro started in six straight contests from January 20th to February 1st. Malcolm owns an 11-8-4-1 record, 3.51 goals against average, and .899 save percentage.

Musico was acquired as a free agent on February 10th. The netminder earned his third win of the season and second with Greenville, making 28 saves on Saturday night. Now in his second season, Musico has accrued a 3-3-1-0 record, 3.20 goals against average, and .895 save percentage between the Swamp Rabbits and Fort Wayne Komets. The Penn State University alum has seen action in 31 career ECHL games, owning a 16-9-3-0 record.

Malcolm will be active for the Swamp Rabbits ahead of a two-game trip to Orlando, FL. Goulakos joins the Wolf Pack who face off with the Springfield Thunderbirds tomorrow night at 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Ex Vernon Vipers Twins Leading Sound Tigers To Special Season:

Here is a article-video on former Vernon Vipers forwards Connor & Kellen Jones.

Kellen Jones is in his first season with the American Hockey League (AHL) Bridgeport Sound Tigers after playing with three different teams last season (Missouri Mavericks, Bakersfield Condors & Utica Comets).

After four years at Quinnipiac University, Kellen Jones signed his first pro contract with the American Hockey League (AHL) Oklahoma City Barons on April 3rd 2014.

Kellen Jones played four years in Vernon (2006-2010) playing in 154 regular season games with the Vipers collecting (39-goals-134-assists-173-points). Jones is also the all-time franchise assists leader (regular season & playoffs) with 150. Jones was drafted in Round 7 of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft #202 overall by the Edmonton Oilers.

Kellen Jones Player Profile:

Connor Jones is in his second season with the American Hockey League (AHL) Bridgeport Sound Tigers, signed a one-year, two-way (NHL/AHL) contract with the New York Islanders February 22, 2017. Jones made his NHL debut, April 2nd 2017 with the New York Islanders after being called up from the American Hockey League (AHL) Bridgeport Sound Tigers April 1st 2017. Jones played once with the Islanders before being sent back down to the American Hockey League April 4th 2017.

After four years at Quinnipiac University Connor Jones signed his first pro contract along with twin brother Kellen Jones with the American Hockey League (AHL) Oklahoma City Barons April 3rd 2014. Connor has spent the past two seasons playing with three teams in three different leagues. (ECHL-Bakersfield Condors, AHL-Oklahoma City Barons & the AHL-Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Connor played In 163 regular season games with the Vipers collecting (80-goals-118-assists-198-points) Connor also is the Vipers all-time franchise points leader (regular season & playoffs) with 228 & all-time franchise goals leader (regular season & playoffs) with 95.

Connor Jones Player Profile:

This was posted on

Ex-Quinnipiac stars Connor and Kellen Jones leading Sound Tigers to special season

By Erik Dobratz

Published: March 24, 2017

(WTNH)–We like to keep up with the Joneses here at SportzEdge, and what do you know? We’ve got the Jones Brothers, former Quinnipiac stars and current Bridgeport Sound Tigers Connor and Kellen, in studio.

The bros are helping the Sound Tigers make a playoff push, leading Bridgeport to one of its best seasons in years.

“It’s been a playoff-like atmosphere the last two months it seems, it’s really close in our division, and we just have to keep winning now,” said Kellen.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Cougars Invite Taylor To Training Camp:

The Western Hockey League Prince George Cougars have invited Vernon Vipers goaltender Ty Taylor to Training Camp.

The Cougars were interested in Taylor at the start of the season, after reports of members from the Cougars flew to Vernon to approach Taylor during the Vipers Training camp in August. Taylor was in his first season with the Vipers this season, played in 29 games going 13-12 with a 2.96 GAA

Ty Taylor's Player Profile:

This is posted in the Prince George Citizen Newspaper:

Cats goalie McBride chooses school over hockey

Ted Clarke / Prince George Citizen

May 11, 2017

Nick McBride has left the Prince George Cougars.

The 20-year-old goaltender informed the team about a month ago he plans to attend university this fall and won’t be coming back to the WHL team for what would be his final season of junior hockey.

"He had some injuries and two years ago he was the WHL’s scholastic player of the year, so school’s a big thing for him - he’s very smart and that’s a positive thing that he wants to move on and get his education," said Cougars general manager Todd Harkins.

"He won us a lot of hockey games in his two years and we were very fortunate to have him. I totally support any player that’s moving on to go to school or play pro hockey, that’s what we do this for. I don’t think there’s one negative thing about it, I think it’s great.

"I’m not too worried about it because we’ve got young goalies and we have Tavin Grant," he said.

The thin goaltending ranks Harkins inherited when he took over as GM three seasons ago was the reason he traded for McBride.The Cougars acquired him in November 2015 from the Prince Albert Raiders for a second-round bantam draft pick in 2017. The Raiders used that pick last week to select forward Jakob Brook.

McBride, a native of Maple Ridge, played 50 games over two seasons for the Cougars and also played 64 games the previous two seasons with the Raiders, compiling a 3.14 goals-against average with a .902 save percentage and three shutouts in his WHL career.

In 22 games with the Cats this past season playing behind 20-year Ty Edmonds, McBride had a 14-5-1-0 record and posted a 3.14 average, .902 save percentage and one shutout.

McBride could not be reached for comment.

With the 20-year-old Edmonds moving on to the University of Lethbridge, Grant, who will play as a 19-year-old next season, appears to have the inside edge on the starting job right now, having been the Prince George Spruce Kings’ starting netminder for most of the 2016-17 season. Grant was thrust into a backup role with the Cougars as a 16-year-old in 2014-15 and played 18 games as a junior rookie that year backing up Edmonds. Grant was the only goaltender on the Cougars’ protected list at the time and was called into service when 19-year-old incumbent Brett Zarowny returned to Alberta to play in the AJHL for the Spruce Grove Saints.

Also on the Cats’ horizon is Taylor Gauthier, the Cougars first-round (10th overall) pick in the 2016 bantam draft. The Calgary native turned in a solid season in his first midget season in the Alberta triple-A league with the Calgary Buffaloes. In 17 regular season games he compiled 2.06 GAA and .925 save percentage and was even better in six playoff games, posting a 1.65 average and .940 save percentage.

The Cougars will also be bringing in 1999-born Ty Taylor to their training camp. Taylor, a native of Richmond, played 29 games in the BCHL for the Vernon Vipers this season. He finished with a 2.96 GAA and .908 save percentage in his first year of junior A.

Cale Elder, who turns 17 in December, is also in the mix. In 24 games this season for the Prince George Mintos midget team he sported a 1.85 GAA and .927 save percentage and also played eight playoff games (2.72 GAA, .913 save percentage).

McBride’s age, as a 20-year-old, might have also been a factor in his decision. The Cougars had 12 other 1997-born players on the roster this year and can keep just three of them to play as 20-year-olds next season. As Harkins pointed out, if McBride changes his mind before the Jan. 10, 2018 roster deadline he could return to the WHL.

"We just know now we can concentrate on the defence and forwards that we have and which ones we have to trade," said Harkins. "He’s just one less we have to worry about because now we’ll just park him on our overage list and we don’t have to deal with him until he wants to come back, if he ever does.

"I’ve talked to some teams in regards to the 18- and 19-year-old goalies that are (available) and there are options for sure, but I’m not going to do anything at this point until we know what’s going to happen with Ty Taylor, and Cale Elder and Tavin Grant and where these guys fit in on our depth chart at training camp."

▪ The Cougars will have either one or two selections in the CHL import draft on Tuesday, June 27. The number of picks they receive depends on whether 18-year-old winger Nikita Popugaev gets picked in the first round of the NHL draft. If that happens, the Cougars will get a second pick.

▪ The Cougars Alumni golf tournament is scheduled for July 14-15 at Prince George Golf and Curling Club.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Grizzlies Call Up Viper Alumni Robertson From Southern Professional Hockey League:

The East Coast Hockey League Utah Grizzlies have called up  former Vernon Vipers defenceman Sean Robertson.

Robertson was invited to the Grizzlies training camp in September, was released during camp before signing with the Grizzlies on a later date. Robertson was later released October 21 2016 before signing with the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) Fayetteville FireAntz. In 35 games this season with Fayetteville Robertson has 22 assists in 35 games while going pointless in 7 games with the Grizzlies.

Robertson played In 11 games with Merrimack College during the 2012-13 season before leaving for the University of Guelph. Robertson spent his first six seasons playing for the Victoria Grizzlies before being traded to Vernon in his final year of Junior hockey. On December 12th 2011 the Vipers traded Zach McPhee and future considerations to Victoria for Robertson.  In 31 games with the Vipers Robertson collected (0-goals-4-assists-4-points).

Sean Robertson's Player Profile:

This was in the Fayetteville Observer Newspaper:

FireAntz’s Robertson, Porter take call-ups to ECHL teams

Posted Feb 15, 2017

By A staff report

A pair of Fayetteville FireAntz players have been called up by ECHL teams, coach Jeff Bes announced Wednesday.

Defenseman Sean Robertson, who has played in 33 of the Antz’s 35 games this season, was called up by the Utah Grizzlies, based in a suburb of Salt Lake City. Utah is fifth in the ECHL’s Mountain division.

Left winger Chris Porter, who is fifth on the team with 24 points, was called up by Adirondack of Glens Falls, New York. The Thunder are third in the North division.

The FireAntz, who are in fourth place in the Southern Professional Hockey League at 22-12-1 (45 points) host league-leading Huntsville (26-7-3, 55) on Friday night at the Crown Coliseum.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Wolf Pack Recall Ex Vipers Defenceman Noonan From ECHL:

The American Hockey League Hartford Wolf Pack have recalled former Vernon Vipers defenceman Garrett Noonan from the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Greenville Swamp Rabbits.

Noonan attended the New York Rangers training camp in October before being assisgned to the Wolf Pack. The Wolf Pack loaned the ECHL Greenville Swamp Rabbits October 13, 2016. In 26 games this season with Hartford Noonan has three assists, while picking up (1-goal-9-assists-10-points) in 24 games with Greenville.

Noonan started last season with the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Cincinnati Cyclones, split last year between Cincinnati & the American Hockey League (AHL) Milwaukee Admirals.

After four seasons at Boston University Noonan signed a Entry-Level Deal with the Nashville Predators on April 22nd 2014 also signed an amateur try-out contract (ATO) with the American Hockey League (AHL) Milwaukee Admirals. Noonan has spent the past two seasons playing with Cincinnati & Milwaukee. Noonan was drafted by Nashville in Round 4 #112 overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Noonan played one season in Vernon (2009-2010) In 58 regular season games with the Vipers Noonan collected (2-goals-16-assists-18-points).

Garrett Noonan's Player Profile:

This was posted on the Wolf Pack website:

Pack Recall Defenseman Garrett Noonan from Greenville

Dec 31, 2016

Wolf Pack general manager Jim Schoenfeld announced today that the Wolf Pack has recalled defenseman Garrett Noonan from its ECHL affiliate, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits.

Noonan, a third-year pro out of Boston University who signed an AHL contract with the Wolf Pack just prior to the start of this season, has skated in 19 games with the Swamp Rabbits, registering eight assists and 18 penalty minutes.  Noonan split his first two pro years between the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL and the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones, logging 17 games with Milwaukee last season (0-1-1, 8 PIM) and notching 9-34-43, with 61 PIM, in 55 games with Cincinnati.  Those totals led Cyclone defensemen in points, goals and assists.

A fourth-round pick (112th overall) by the Nashville Predators in the 2011 NHL Draft, the 25-year-old Noonan has totaled four goals and six assists for ten points, plus 25 PIM, in 57 career AHL games and ten goals and 51 assists for 61 points, along with 101 PIM, in 97 career ECHL appearances.  Prior to turning pro, he skated in 144 total games in four seasons with Boston University, posting 30 goals and 51 assists for 81 points, with 289 PIM.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Hanson Receives Honourable Mention For Top Goaltender Award:

This was posted on the BCHL website:

May 5, 2017

CALGARY, Alta. (Thursday, May 4, 2017) – The Canadian Junior Hockey League announced Thursday the six finalists for its Top Goaltender Award, which is awarded annually and determined through voting by the 10 leagues that comprise the CJHL.

Earning CJHL finalist accolades for this honour are Logan Drackett (Calgary Canucks – AJHL); Henry Johnson (Brockville Braves – CCHL); Roman Bengert (Steinbach Pistons – MJHL); Nate McDonald (Powassan Voodoos – NOJHL); Josh Astorio (Georgetown Raiders – OJHL) and Kristian Stead (Nipawin Hawks – SJHL).

Listed below you will find information on each of the finalists:

AJHL: Logan Drackett, Calgary Canucks: The 19-year-old from Calgary, Alta., was earlier named the AJHL’s top goaltender for 2016-17. … Was also a finalist for AJHL MVP honours. … Drackett finished among the Top 5 AJHL netminders with a 2.35 goals-against average and .918 save percentage. … He recorded the second-most shutouts in his league with six, wins at 29 and minutes played with 2,788. … Drackett represented the AJHL at the 2016 World Junior A Challenge as a member of Team Canada West. … He was a three-time recipient of the AJHL Defensive Player of the Week Award in 2016-17 while being selected Star of the Game eight times. … He was earlier named to the 2016-17 AJHL South Division All-League Team.

With files from Charla Flett, Vice-President, Communications (AJHL)

CCHL: Henry Johnson, Brockville Braves: Finished up his final year of Jr. ‘A’ by earning his second straight CCHL Top Goaltender Award. … The native of Minneapolis, Minn., is considered very athletic, with quick reflexes, good focus and concentration. … Johnson finished second in the CCHL in saves with 1,502 while leading his 12-team league in save percentage at .929 SV%. … Was credited as being a main reason for Brockville making the playoffs. … Has committed to Bemidji State University for 2017-18 on NCAA D-I scholarship. … Went 25-18 on the year with a 2.56 GAA, his .929 save mark and two shutouts.

With files from Sean Marcellus, Operations Manager (CCHL)

MJHL: Roman Bengert, Steinbach Pistons: The 20-year-old native of Cole Harbour, N.S., led the MJHL in three goaltending categories: wins (38), minutes played (2,743) and shutouts (five). In fact, his 38 wins were tops among all CJHL goaltenders. … His efforts resulted in him winning the MJHL Top Goaltender Award and he was also named a first-team, all-star selection. Bengert was twice chosen MJHL Goaltender for the month and picked up one league Player of the Week honour. … At six-foot-three-inches, Bengert provides a large physical presence in the net. … Has committed to Lake Superior State University of the NCAA.

With files from Brian Smiley, Media Relations Officer (MJHL)

NOJHL: Nate McDonald, Powassan Voodoos: The 17-year-old North Bay, Ont., product was instrumental in leading Powassan to their first place finish in the overall NOJHL standings and their initial league regular season title in franchise history. … McDonald led all NOJHL netminders in goals-against average at 2.159 and wins with 30. … He was also third in save percentage at .923 and finished tied for second in shutouts with three while playing the fourth-most minutes in the league at 2,112. … McDonald was also a member of Team NOJHL at the Eastern Canada Challenge Cup.

With files from David Harrison, Statistician & Historian (NOJHL)

OJHL: Josh Astorio, Georgetown Raiders: The 20-year old Niagara Falls, Ont., native was a rock between the pipes for the Raiders during his first season in the OJHL, helping lead the club to a third consecutive West Division and South-West Conference regular season title, while also capturing the OJHL regular season championship for the first time since 2011-12. … Was named OJHL Goaltender-of-the-Month in January. … Posted an impressive 28-3-2 record for the league’s second-best win total, along with two shutouts. The 1st Team All-Star allowed just 67 goals against this season in 35 games played for a 1.93 goals against average which also ranked second-best to finish as runner-up for the OJHL Top Goaltender Award (lowest GAA), while his 974 saves saw him post the OJHL’s best save percentage at .936%. … Had three win streaks of five or more, including a nine-game run.

With files from Izak Westgate, Director of Operations (OJHL)                           
SJHL: Kristian Stead, Nipawin Hawks: Stead was a double award recipient in the SJHL in 2016-17. … Not only was he named the league’s top goaltender for his efforts in net, but he was chosen as the SJHL’s Most Valuable Player. … The 20-year-old Merritt, B.C. product led all SJHL netminders in wins with 29. … Stead also shared top spot in league save percentage at .936 and led the way in the 12-team SJHL in shutouts with seven. … His 1.97 goals-against average ranked him third overall. …  His win, average and save mark totals all represented personal career single season highs. … Stead has committed to attend the University of Alaska-Anchorage on NCAA Division I Scholarship where he will play for the Seawolves hockey program.

With files from Mike Stackhouse, Communications (SJHL)   

The CJHL would also like to recognize the four honourable mentions for its Top Goaltender Award:

BCHL: Darion Hanson – Vernon Vipers
LHJAAAQ: Stefano Cantali – Collège Français de Longueuil
MHL: Christofer Langlais – Summerside Western Capitals
SIJHL: Patrick Zubick – Dryden GM Ice Dogs

Monday, May 8, 2017

Former Vernon Viper Meek-Penticton Vees Advance To Royal Bank Cup:

Former Vernon Vipers defenceman Mitch Meek & the Penticton Vees have advanced to the Royal Bank Cup in Cobourg Ontario after a 3-2 victory over the visiting Chilliwack Chiefs at yesterday's Western Canada Cup. This is Penticton's seventh trip to the National Championship (1968,1973,1985,1986,2012,2015 & 2017) Penticton has won the National Championship twice (1986 & 2012).

Vees-Chiefs Highlight's,

Boxscore/Game Summary,

Fraser Rodger's Penticton Vees Blog,

Meek is in his first season with the Vees played parts of one season in Vernon (2014-15) playing in 50 games with the Vipers collecting (6-goals-10-assists-16-points) after coming over in a trade with the Victoria Grizzlies. On October 8th 2014 the Grizzlies traded Brandon Egli, Mitch Meek & Future Considerations to the Vipers for Aydan Macdonald & Jake Emilio. Over the off season the Vipers traded Meek in a three way deal with West Kelowna & Prince George. On July 9th 2015 the Vipers traded Meek to West Kelowna for Mac Ferner before the Warriors traded Meek to Prince George for Luke Harrison.  The Spruce Kings traded Meek to Cowichan on August 12th 2015. In 48 games with the Capitals last year, Meek Collected (5-goals-26-assists-31-points). The Cowichan Capitals traded Meek to the Penticton in a three team trade with Surrey on June 6th 2016.

Mitch Meek's Player Profile:

This is posted on the BCHL website:

Vees claim WCC’s final RBC Cup berth

May 7, 2017

Captain Nic Jones scored twice to lead the Penticton Vees to a 3-2 win over the Chilliwack Chiefs that gives Penticton the Western Canada Cup’s second berth to the RBC Cup national championship.

Chilliwack led 1-0 after one on a goal by their captain Jordan Kawaguchi but the Vees tied it with 16 seconds left in the second on Jones’ first of the game.

Jones notched his second at 6:44 of the third and Grant Cruikshank got the winner just over three minutes after that.

Will Calverley got one back for the Chiefs with just over five minutes to go but they could not find the tying goal. The Vees controlled the third outshooting the Chiefs 11-2.

Mat Robson made 16 saves for the win while Mark Sinclair stopped 26 for Chilliwack.

The Vees will head to Cobourg, Ont. at the end of the week to compete in the RBC Cup starting Saturday, May 13.

The Chiefs already know they will be in the 2018 RBC Cup as they are hosting the event.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Let's Build The New Arena:

This was posted on

Let's build the arena

Kate Bouey - Apr 24, 2017

The big equipment has already been busy at the site but Monday was for the bigwigs to put shovels in the ground where Greater Vernon's new arena will be built.

It was all smiles as members of Vernon city council and representatives from electoral areas B and C, MQN Architects, Kal Tire and VVI Construction Ltd. of Kelowna posed for pictures at the site north of Kal Tire Place where the $12 million ice sheet will be placed.

“This officially starts the project so things are underway and on schedule so that's wonderful,” said Doug Ross, director of Recreation Services for the City of Vernon. “We've got a planned, 62-week build which would get us finishing the project sometime late summer (2018) with the building scheduled to open in early fall.”

“It’s great to see the official beginning of construction for this project,” said Mayor Akbal Mund. “Our community is in need of an additional ice, and the new state-of-the-art facility will provide our numerous user groups a home they can be proud of.”

Kal Tire has agreed to extend and expand its sponsorship of Kal Tire Place and the new twinned facility for an additional ten years until August 2027; the original four-year sponsorship agreement was set to expire this May.

“Supporting an active and healthy community is something we are strongly committed to,” said Robert Foord, Kal Tire president. “Kal Tire has been part of Vernon for over 60 years and we are pleased to be able to provide our long-term support to this community.”

Heavy machinery has tearing up the black top north of Kal Tire Place since last week but, despite that, the two-day a week farmers' market continues to operate at the north end of the parking lot.

Ross said: “What we're asking the public to do is use the entrance on the east side of the bulding, the lights and the east lane, and we're going to be closing the west lane off and that will be used just for construction traffic. There will be signage up and we'll be asking people to respect that signage.”

Work is being carried out by VVI Construction which was the lowest bidder on the project, coming in at $11,776,891.

The new ice sheet will replace the Civic arena.

According to a report to city council, staff are hoping to get a detailed cost estimate for the refurbishment of the old arena as a public market, a dry sports/recreation facility and a cultural facility.

A detailed report is expected in May.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Vernon Vipers Highlight Hall Of Fame – #35 Graeme Gordon:

This was posted on

Vipers HHOF – #35 Graeme Gordon

April 10, 2017 HockeyTube

VIPERS HHOF – #35 Graeme Gordon – Former Vernon Viper goalie #35 Graeme Gordon becomes the 6th player to be inducted into the BCHL Vernon Vipers Highlight Hall Of Fame. Born and raised in North Vancouver, Gordon played with BCMML Vancouver Giants, before breaking into the BCHL with the now defunct Williams Lake Timberwolves in 2006-07. He would split the next season with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and Merritt Centennials before being aquired by the Vernon Vipers in 2009.

2009 would be a special year for the 6’2″ goalie as he played back up to Andrew Hammond who went on to play with the Ottawa Senators and was also a Highlight Hall Of Fame inductee. That season Gordon would help the team win it’s 5th RBC Cup. The very next year he would win 30 games for the Snakes while leading them to their 6th National Championship in Dauphin, Manitoba.

Graeme Gordon was one of those goalies who could come up with a game changing save. Acrobatic, flexible and determined…you will see in these highlights that he never gave up on trying to stop a puck. When you see a six-foot plus goalie like Gordon do the splits its amazing the amount of real estate he would cover along the ice. Following his two years with the Snakes, he would go on to play with Simon Fraser University and now works in radio in Vancouver.

Congrats to the latest Vernon Viper alumnus who created a number of fantastic memories for Vernon fans eight years ago!

Gordon is the sixth former Viper to be inducted into the unofficial Vernon Vipers Highlight Hall Of Fame.

The first was long time captain #18 Chris Crowell was inducted July 19th 2014. Crowell played four season's in Vernon (2005-2009) winning the 2009 National Championship in his final year with the Vipers. Crowell holds the club record for most franchise penalty minutes. Crowell was the second Viper to have his jersey retired in team history.

The second former Viper to be inducted into the unofficial Vernon Vipers Highlight Hall Of Fame, is #1 Andrew Hammond was inducted April 4th 2015. Hammond has spent the past three season's with the American Hockey League Binghamton Senators & the Ottawa Senators, played two season's in Vernon (2007-2009) winning the 2009 Royal Bank Cup in his final year of Junior hockey.

The third former Viper to be inducted into the unofficial Vernon Vipers Highlight Hall Of Fame, is #21 Kevin Kraus was inducted September 18th 2015. Kraus is in his third season as Assistant Coach with the Vipers, played three seasons in Vernon (2007-2010), was captain of the 2010 Vipers Royal Bank Cup winning team.

The fourth former Viper to be inducted into the unofficial Vernon Vipers Highlight Hall Of Fame, is #10 Connor Jones was inducted August 7th 2016. (Kellen's twin brother) is in his second season with the American Hockey League's Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The New York Islanders signed Jones to a one-year, two-way (NHL/AHL) contract for the remainder of the 2016-17 season. Jones made his NHL/Islanders debut April 2nd 2017 vs the Buffalo Sabres. Connor played four season's in Vernon (2006-2010) won back to back National Championships with the Vipers in 2009 & 2010.

The fifth former Viper to be inducted into the unofficial Vernon Vipers Highlight Hall Of Fame, is #15 Kellen Jones was inducted August 14th 2016. (Connor's twin brother) was drafted 202 overall by the Edmonton Oilers in Round 7 at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Kellen is in his first season with the American Hockey League's Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Kellen played four season's in Vernon (2006-2010) won back to back National Championships with the Vipers in 2009 & 2010.