Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Vipers-Warriors Highlight's:

Here are the game highlight's from Royal Le Page Place Tuesday night in West Kelowna. Keyvan Mokhtari opened the scoring for the Vipers, while Jagger Williamson & Jesse Lansdell both collected two points each. Ty Taylor made 26 saves for the shutout-victory, while Nik Amundrud made 37 saves in the loss as Vernon defeated West Kelowna 5-0 in front of 797 fans.

Game Highlight's from Warriors website:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLmiM_S3yY_OtxfNBwGOAIdB5RxW0-N1Wb&v=CLa7A4REGuI

Game Highlight's from Shaw Cable

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIX-md7IYgk

Wray Service Set For Saturday:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Wray service set for Saturday

Kevin Mitchell

Jan. 17, 2018

On game nights, Duncan Wray strolled around Kal Tire Place chatting with friends and fans while watching his beloved Vernon Vipers. He got there early and stayed late.

It was his second home so it’s only fitting Wray’s celebration of life will be held at the facility’s concourse Saturday from 3-5 p.m. There will be a more formal service for close family and friends Saturday morning at a local church.

Wray, who owned the B.C. Hockey League franchise for 25 years and was on the board of governors for the Junior A circuit, died in his sleep, on his 68th birthday, last Thursday in Victoria.

Born in Montreal, James Duncan Wray is survived by: Libby, his loving wife of more than 40 years; his brother Fred (Linda); sisters Eleanor and Joanie (Jim). He also leaves behind five adoring children: Jonathan (Anna), Andrew (Eliza), Nicholas (Julie), Erica (Jason) and Alexander (Ashley) as well as his grandson and namesake, James.

Duncan lived in several cities while pursuing his education and career. In 1986, he moved to Vernon, where he practised as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon until 2011. He often performed emergency surgery on his players during the hockey season.

In 1999, Victoria became his second home for a time, and again upon retirement. It was there where he was overjoyed to welcome his grandson and was looking forward to welcoming a second in March.

An avid photographer and traveller, Wray loved to share the amazing photos he took with his wife by his side, across the world’s seven continents.

His sixth kid was the Vipers, who be purchased in 1992. He was a father-figure and loved seeing the Vipers advance on college scholarships or other paths in life.

In lieu of flowers, people are asked to make a donation to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the BC Cancer Foundation or another charity of their choice.

The Vipers honoured Wray by wearing the Wray name bar on their jerseys during warmup of their game versus the Cowichan Valley Capitals. A video tribute was played after executive vice-president Todd Miller read a touching life capsule of his boss from the Viper bench.

“Duncan Wray was instrumental in shaping the lives of so many individuals who knew him and so many players who were fortunate enough to wear his team colors,” read Miller. “Under his watch, the Vipers claimed six Fred Page Cup BCHL titles and four RBC Cup national titles. He was inducted into the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011 and his 1999 Vipers team was also inducted last year.

“Dr. Wray served the BCHL faithfully for over a quarter century and was the chairman of the league’s board of governors right up to the time of his passing this week. Duncan always wanted his teams to succeed and provided any tools necessary to make that happen.

“No one will ever understand the type of commitment he had to his family, staff, the BCHL, and his beloved Vipers.

“He was never about the personal accolades as much as he was about the victories and the championships and no one wanted to win more than him. However, win or lose, it was his players and the community that were most important and close to his heart.

“His legacy will forever be the influence he had in helping young boys turn to young men when their time in Vernon was complete. Duncan’s saying was always ‘Once a Viper Always a Viper’ and it rang true so often when alumni would make their return to Vernon. He was like a proud Papa when ex players would return with their families and talk about how important their time was with the Vipers.”

Wray’s adult children attended the game Saturday, won 2-0 by the Vipers. Chris Crowell, a huge favourite of Wray, Dave Robinson and Bryce Kakoske were among former players who showed up. Crowell’s number 18 is retired in the arena rafters.

Added Miller in his address: “Along with his Viper family, Duncan would always speak highly and proudly of the accomplishments of his children Alexander, Nicholas, Andrew, Jonathan and Erica. He was a family man, a proud father and grandfather and would always take the time to update everyone on each one of his kids.

“For those who knew him though, he never referred to the boys by name but more by number. It was always #1 son, #2 son, #3 son or #4 son, The numbers were not a ranking system but were given by age and sometimes probably to remember which one was which. He was so looking forward to escorting Erica down the aisle next month at her wedding.

“Among all the kids Erica could do no wrong. She was the apple of Duncan’s eye and would bat her eyes at him and receive anything she pleased. His wife Libby was not a huge hockey fan but somehow she had the patience and understanding to allow Duncan to chase his passion for so many years.”

Vipers Win One For Wray:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers win one for Wray

Jan. 17, 2018

Kevin Mitchell

Morning Star Staff

The Vernon Vipers all donned Wray name bars on the back of their jerseys as they stood on the blueline for a 20-minute tribute to owner Duncan Wray Saturday night at Kal Tire Place.

Once team executive vice-president Todd Miller read a touching reflection from the Viper bench and a video presentation was showed, the teams slapped their sticks on the ice in appreciation of Wray, whose family was in attendance.

From then on, the night pretty much belonged to Cowichan Valley Capitals goalie Michael Corson, who tried his damnedest to stop the Vipers from honouring their beloved late owner with a victory.

Corson, an 18-year-old goalie from Chicago who just joined the Caps, delivered 50 saves and didn’t allow a goal until Josh Prokop converted on a gorgeous powerplay snipe at 9:52 of the third period.
Prokop, who buried a feed from Jesse Lansdell from the far side, became the first 20-goal man with the Snakes.

Lansdell added an empty-netter, from d-man Michael Ufberg and Williamson, with 38 seconds remaining, his 11th of the season.

Corson, who swiped two points in Prince George Friday night with a 38-save showing, robbed a handful of Vipers while also making his 6-foot-4 frame look big as the Vipers often hit him square in the logo. Corson earned first star ahead of Vernon goalie Ty Taylor and Prokop.

Corson said he was locked in and following the puck through the traffic as the Vipers carried the majority of play. He even got some help from affiliate d-man Alex Benger, who blocked a Josh Latta shot from ‘gimme range’ with his chest in the second period.

Roadrunner Jimmy Lambert put on a penalty killing seminar midway through the middle stanza. He took a long, high stretch pass from blueliner Cam Trott and skated in alone on Corson, only to completely miss the net. Seconds later, Lambert enjoyed a partial breakaway but shot right at Corson’s stomach.

Corson said the pre-game tribute didn’t both the Caps’ preparation at all.

“We gotta pay our respects. Obviously, he was a big part of making this organization and helping the whole league too. It definitely didn’t affect us in any way.”

Corson also recorded a stellar save off d-man Chris Jandric on a second-period powerplay and scooped up a soft shot by Prokop from in tight.

“I played water polo in high school for four years and I was a goalie. I guess it’s in my blood; I love getting hit with things,” laughed Corson.

The Caps, whose hit parade leader was third-line centre Brendan Cherwalk, didn’t get a serious Grade A scoring chance until Nick Wilson drove the net hard and knocked Taylor down, earning a penalty, with 5:33 left in the second. Azzaro Tinley was robbed by Taylor in front after a turnover with 40 seconds to play in the same session.

Taylor’s best save of the night came with 8:27 left when he flashed leather on a wrister from the ringette line by towering Tate Coughlin.

Best hit of the night was a monster clean check by the sidewall in the Cowichan zone by Viper forward Keyvan Mokhtari on Ethan Scardina.

Williamson said the Vipers, who lost 5-0 in Merritt Friday night, topped off a special night by winning before 2,240 fans. He gave the Caps props for pushing them to the limit.

The Vernon minor hockey product and several teammates looked up to Wray as a father-figure among other things.

“It is like we have lost a relative,” said Williamson. “Especially for me, being here for four years, we kind of built a relationship. It’s losing our leader, kind of losing our alpha. Every time he came to the rink, everyone greeted him and said hi. Obviously, he was a great man we lost way too early.
Tonight’s game was definitely for him. For the rest of the year, we’re gonna try and bring him something he’s always wanted and that’s another one (national title).”

Vernon improved to 28-10-1-4 atop the Interior Division, while Cowichan dipped to 8-29-3-2 in the Island Division basement.

Newcomer Derek Brown wore No. 9 in his debut with the Vipers, who traded for the high-scoring Arizona State commit last week. D Shane Kelly sat out Game 1 of a six-game suspension for leaving the bench to join an altercation in Merritt.

In other play, the Penticton Vees shelled the Chilliwack Chiefs 6-2, the Wenatchee Wild iced the West Kelowna Warriors 6-0, the Trail Smoke Eaters shaded the Cents 5-4 and the Alberni Valley Bulldogs bounced the Salmon Arm Silverbacks 5-4.

The Vipers visit West Kelowna Tuesday night and face the Spruce Kings Friday night in Prince George.

Vipers Ranked 18th In CJHL Top 20 Weekly Rankings:

This is posted on the BCHL website:

CJHL Weekly Top 20

January 16, 2018

CALGARY, Alta. – The latest Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) Top 20 rankings released Monday sees the Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) moving back into the No. 1 slot nationally while the Thief River Falls Norskies (SIJHL) slipped to No. 2 and the Okotoks Oilers (AJHL) stayed at No. 3 in the 132-team CJHL.

MHL: The Edmundston Blizzard were tabbed 19th in the country in the latest listings with fellow division-leading Yarmouth Jr. A Mariners named Honourable Mention.

LHJAAAQ: In the LHJAAAQ No. 10 College Fran├žais de Longueuil are four points up on the No. 8 Cobras de Terrebonne with the latter holding two games in hand.

CCHL: Carleton Place and the Fred Page Cup-host Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators, who are now No. 4 in the
CJHL are running away with the divisional races in the CCHL.

OJHL: Moving to No. 7 nationally, the Toronto Patriots pace the OJHL in points and winning percentage. The Wellington Dukes earned No. 15 in the rankings with the North York Rangers and Aurora Tigers getting Honourable Mention status.

NOJHL: The NOJHL-leading Powassan Voodoos are tabbe No. 5 in the CJHL this week while the surging Soo Thunderbirds were slotted 17th overall.

SIJHL: Back-to-back shutout losses over the weekend to the now No. 9 Dryden GM Ice Dogs, the Thief River Falls Norskies slipped to No. 2. The Dudley-Hewitt Cup host GM Ice Dogs have posted three shutouts in a row.

MJHL: Clicking on all cylinders, the Steinbach Pistons still lead the MJHL and remain No. 13 in the

CJHL. The second place Portage Terriers are Honourable Mention.

SJHL: The SJHL is represented by three teams in the rankings this week with the Nipawin Hawks up to No. 6; the Battlefords North Stars dropping to No. 12 in the CJHL while Melfort Mustangs were slotted No. 16.

AJHL: Staying at No. 3 in the national rankings is Okotoks. Securing the No. 11 placing is the Fort McMurray Oil Barons while the Spruce Grove Saints slid up to No. 14 and Brooks Bandits picked up a HM nod.

BCHL: The highly-competitive BCHL sees the Vernon Vipers rated 18th and defending league champion Penticton Vees are Honourable Mention this week.

CJHL 2017-18 TOP 20 (As of Jan. 15/18)

RANK TEAM (LEAGUE) (LAST RANKING)

1. Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) (2)
2. Thief River Falls Norskies (SIJHL) (1)
3. Okotoks Oilers (AJHL) (3)
4. Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators (CCHL) (6)
5. Powassan VooDoos (NOJHL) (8)
6. Nipawin Hawks (SJHL) (7)
7. Toronto Patriots (OJHL) (11)
8. Les Cobras de Terrebonne (LHJQ) (4)
9. Dryden GM Ice Dogs (SIJHL) (12)
10. College Francais de Longueuil (LHJQ) (10)
11. Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL) (9)
12. Battlefords North Stars  (SJHL) (5)
13. Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) (13)
14. Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) (19)
15. Wellington Dukes (OJHL) (HM)
16. Melfort Mustangs (SJHL) (HM)
17. Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) (16)
18. Vernon Vipers (BCHL) (14)
19. Edmundston Blizzard (MHL) (18)
20. Brooks Bandits (AJHL) (HM)

Honourable Mention: Penticton Vees (BCHL);  Portage Terriers (MJHL); North York Rangers (OJHL); Aurora Tigers (OJHL); Yarmouth Jr. ‘A’ Mariners (MHL)

Vernon 5 West Kelowna 0

I have had season tickets for the past 28 years and been following Junior hockey in Vernon for close to thirty five years. I've 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 Vipers-Warriors game as Vernon defeated West Kelowna 5-0 in front of 797 fans at Royal Le Page Place.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Ty Taylor
West Kelowna: Nik Amundrud

Before tonight's game the Warriors honoured Vipers owner Duncan Wray with a moment of silence.

1st Period: Just twenty nine seconds into the contest Cavin Tilsley went after Viper captain Jagger Williamson in front of the Snakes bench. Tilsley started throwing punches at Williamson, with the Viper forward putting his gloves over his face before the officials broke up the play. Williamson would get a two minute minor, while Tilsley would get five minutes and a game misconduct, giving Vernon an early five minute powerplay. Seconds into the man advantage, Derek Brown spotted Brett Stapley in the high slot who was robbed by Nik Amundrud who made a quick pad save, keeping this a scoreless hockey game. With a goal mouth scramble, the Vipers somehow missed an open net in close, before Keyvan Mokhtari buried the rebound into the open cage, giving Vernon a 1-0 lead at 2:47 Jesse Lansdell & Josh Prokop drew the assists. The Vipers unable to really create/generate much on this five minute major. Cameron Trott walked in from the blueline, before shooting right into the Warriors logo on Nik Amundrud's jersey on a last opportunity with the man advantage. The Vipers managed just one goal on four shots on the powerplay. Give credit to the Warriors who were aggressive on the penalty kill, played Vernon strong. Four minutes after the five minute major, Jimmy Lambert setup Brett Stapley in front who was denied by Nik Amundrud. The Snakes stayed with the play, on another scramble in front of the West Kelowna net, Brett Stapley would eventually find the back of the goal, giving Vernon a 2-0 lead at 9:17 Jimmy Lambert & Jordan Sandhu picked up the helpers. On the following shift, Jagger Williamson couldn't get the pass across on a two on one rush. The Snakes outshooting the Tribe 10-1 at the halfway mark. Just minutes later, Chase Dubois with some wheels, hustled his way into the Vernon zone, before wiring a low shot from the circle that forced Ty Taylor into make a big stop, on just the Warriors second shot of the night. Back come the Vipers on the following shift, Connor Marritt collected the puck in the slot, facing the other direction was able to turn around, before ripping a quick shot from the slot that beat Nik Amundrud giving Vernon a 3-0 lead at 11:43 Coleton Bilodeau with the lone assist. WK allowed Marritt all kinds of time and space to make this goal happen. With just less then three minutes remaining the Warriors would get a late powerplay, but it would be Jimmy Lambert leading the attack shorthanded. Lambert tried feeding Brett Stapley going to the goal, but Michael Ryan with a solid defensive play, broke up the play. Just minutes before the final minute, The Warriors would get a late five on three powerplay. West Kelowna with good pressure late, eventually forced Ty Taylor into making two big stops in the dying seconds. Taylor made a big stop off a shot from the point with about fifteen seconds left, before making a final save at the buzzer. It was 3-0 Vernon after 20 minutes of play. It was all Vipers for most of the entire period. The Snakes were ready to go off the puck drop, played with a ton of jump/energy, were flying through out the opening twenty minutes. Vernon was outshooting West Kelowna 10-1 halfway through the game. The Snakes created/generated several quality chances. The Vipers were easily the better of the two teams. Cavin Tilsley took an undisciplined penalty twenty nine seconds into the game, putting his team shorthanded very early. The Warriors played most of that 1st period in their own end, gave up way too many opportunities. West Kelowna had all kinds of troubles containing the Viper attack, struggled offensively. It wasn't until the final few minutes on the two man advantage where WK had some late pressure. Vernon outshot West Kelowna 15-8.

2nd Period: Josh Propkop didn't come out for the start of the 2nd period, didn't return to the Viper bench. The Warriors started the middle frame on the man advantage, that was carried over from the 1st. The Vipers would basically kill off the remainder of the penalty, but with just a second left on the penalty kill, West Kelowna would be called for too many men, sending Vernon to an early powerplay. The Snakes moved the puck around and around, killed off most of the penalty themselves only managed one shot was the Tribe killed off the minor. Five minutes in, Alex Swetlikoff on a wrap around was denied by West Kelowna Warriors goaltender Nik Amundrud. Minutes later the Vipers sprung Jordan Sandhu who lead the odd man rush. Sandhu decided to keep and fire, was stopped by Nik Amundrud. Just before the midway mark, Willie Reim with a great chance from the high slot, would be stopped by Vipers starting goaltender Ty Taylor. The Snakes would get just their second powerplay of the evening around the halfway mark. Cameron Trott setup Jagger Williamson who beat Nik Amundrud giving Vernon a 4-0 lead at 11:48 Trott and Jesse Lansdell collected the assists. Minutes later the Warriors would jump on the man advantage. WK unable to capitalize as Vernon killed off the minor. With about three and a half minutes left a big scrum in the corner heated up with lots of pushing and shoving. Jimmy Lambert & Tyler Jutting both given minors on the play. Lambert was very upset with the call, let the official know on his way to the penalty box. Things got a little chippy from here on in until the final buzzer, with several small altercations after a stoppage in play. It was 4-0 Vernon after 40 minutes of play. A little more balanced play in this period with the teams, going back and fourth at times. West Kelowna did look/play much better, were finally able to get some pressure in the offensive zone. The Warriors top line had the Viper fourth line hemmed in their own end for a good two minutes, but unable to capitalize. I thought the Vipers had the better opportunities this frame. Vernon outshot West Kelowna 14-7.

3rd Period: Vernon needed a few minutes before opening up the gates. The Vipers slowly started to take over the edge in play and basically carried the play for most of the final frame. Seven minutes in Jimmy Lambert setup Brett Stapley in front, who couldn't get the puck up and over a sprawled out Nik Amundrud who somehow managed to make the difficult save. On the following few shifts, Jesse Lansdell and Josh Latta both with quality chances. Nik Amundrud had to be sharp was forced into making at least three glove saves. The Snakes were again flying, really creating/generating a ton of chances in and around the net. With just over nine minutes left, the Vipers setup Vernon product Coleton Bilodeau at the top of the crease, somehow missed the open cage, raised his arms on the play, thought he had scored. The Snakes kept pressing, eventually sprung Alex Swetlikoff in for the breakaway, beat Nik Amundrud giving Vernon a commanding 5-0 lead at 12:14 Jagger Williamson with the lone helper. After the goal, the Vipers all went hard into the end boards in celebration. When lining up for the faceoff, both teams went to their benches, while the referee's looked to be talking things over. The scoreboard was showing 5-0 but no announcement over the pa system. After several minutes the officials finally skated over towards the Zamboni entrance where they were talking to someone. One fellow in a black shirt or jacket standing behind the Warriors goal was pointing up towards the glass. Several more minutes passed by with nothing happening. Minutes later an arena staff brought out a ladder had to reinforce the dividers that hold the glass together at the top of the glass. After a few minutes, and both officials checking it over, the game resumed after easily ten minutes. On the faceoff, the Vipers goal was eventually announced over the pa system. During the lengthy delay a good chunk of fans left the game, with the game/score out of hand. The rink was well over half empty with just over seven minutes left. Vernon still moving the puck, carrying the play, had several more attempts, with some good looks. With just over two minutes left, a big hit on a Viper in front of the Vernon bench. A Viper was crosschecked from behind. Jesse Lansdell skated down the ice, before going after a Warriors player, giving him at least two crosschecks in return before taking an undisciplined penalty very late in the game. The Snakes tried springing Jimmy Lambert twice for the breakaway, were unsuccessful. West Kelowna with a few good looks, couldn't solve Ty Taylor as Taylor and the Vipers would come away with the 5-0 victory. I thought the Vipers were the better of the two teams in the 3rd, carried most of the play, had several good looks-opportunities. The Snakes looked to have the puck on a string at times. Vernon would catch several breaks, had all the bounces go their way in the 3rd and through out the contest. The Tribe didn't create or generate much for offensive chances in the 3rd, gave up a ton of opportunities. WK had troubles containing the Viper speed/skill. Nik Amundrud was sharp in the 3rd made some solid saves. Vernon outshot West Kelowna 13-11.

Top Player's: (Vernon)

Brett Stapley (1 goal) Was in and around the goal all night. Was going to the net, had several good looks/chances.

Jesse Lansdell (2 assists) Had a strong night. Was hitting everything in his way, was physical through out the game, played with an edge, played with a ton of jump/energy, was in the face of the Warriors all night.

The Snakes fourth line of Alex Swetlikoff (1 goal), Coleton Bilodeau (1 assist) & Connor Marritt (1 goal) Were very good. Saw some good minutes, played hard, went to the net, were skating hard. Really competed.

Jimmy Lambert (1 assist) Was all over the rink tonight. Was really flying, was dangerous with the puck, had several good looks, made things happen in a hurry. Created/generated chances through out the game.

Chris Jandric I thought played very well on the Viper backend. Played with a ton of jump, was getting involved in the play, made things happen.

Ty Taylor (26 saves-Shutout) Wasn't forced into any real difficult saves, but made the big stops when called apon. Ty Taylor also got some help from his d-men & forwards. The Vipers blocked several shots, played very well in front of Taylor. Taylor is getting huge props and a pat on the back for his seventh shutout of the season. Taylor has back to back shutouts and shutouts in four of his last five games/starts.

Game Thought's: (Vernon)

The Vipers come ready to play and played pretty close to a complete game from start to finish. Jumping on the five minute powerplay just twenty nine seconds into the game I think helped. It gave Vernon some early pressure, gave them a chance to get into the game early and open the scoring early. The Snakes dominated the play for most of the period in the 1st and 3rd periods. I thought the Vipers were the better of the two teams in that 1st and 3rd periods. Jumping out to a fairly quick 2-0 lead on the road was big, but also not taking their foot off the gas. Vernon didn't quit forcing the play, kept pressing and pressing hard. All four lines come ready to play and worked hard. Vernon could have easily scored five or more goals tonight. Coleton Bilodeau somehow missed an open cage. Specialty teams was good. The Snakes go 2-3 with the man advantage and kill off all four minors. Newcomer Derek Brown still without his name on his jersey. Viper assistant coach Kevin Pederson wasn't on the Viper bench tonight. Very few to no Viper fans at tonight's game. With all the freezing rain/snow this morning and into the afternoon, I was questioning making the trip down for tonight's game. The Vipers have the Warriors number this year, have won all five games vs the Tribe, will be back in West Kelowna on the 26th to wrap up their four game road trip. With the win Vernon improves to 29-10-1-4 sit atop the Interior Division and overall league standings are six points up on Penticton and five points up on Wenatchee. The Vees with four games in hand. Speaking of the Vees, Fred Harbinson was in attendance tonight.

Top Player's: (West Kelowna)

Tyler Jutting I thought played very well on the West Kelowna blueline. A veteran defenceman, sees a lot of ice, is very strong at both ends of the rink.

Chase Dubois I thought was the lone Warrior forward to shine up front. Not the biggest kid, but is quick on his feet, has some skill/hands. Dangerous with and without the puck, made some nice plays tonight to try and create/generate some offence.

Michael Ryan Was another Warriors d-man that played well on the backend. Made a heads up defensive play late in the opening period to break up a Viper odd man rush shorthanded.

Nik Amundrud (37 saves) Played well between the pipes. Was forced into making several stops through out the evening, keeping his team in the hockey game. If it wasn't for Amundrud at times, the Vipers could have easily blown this game wide open. A bigger goaltender, covers a lot of the net.

Game Thought's: (West Kelowna)

Cavin Tilsley put his team down shorthanded just twenty nine seconds into the hockey game. I don't know what or if Jagger Williamson did something to Tilsley, but this penalty was uncalled for. It put West Kelowna back on their heels early, were forced into killing off a five minute major off the drop of the puck. The Tribe managed to only give up one goal on the penalty kill, just couldn't find their game tonight. Fell behind 2-0 in the first half before down three goals heading into the 2nd period. West Kelowna saw/played a ton of the 1st and 3rd periods in their own end, had troubles containing and defending against Vernon's speed/skill. The Tribe had all kinds of troubles creating/generating any kind of offence in the 1st and 3rd periods. WK didn't get a whole lot of offensive zone time, were chasing the Snakes most of the night. West Kelowna had troubles getting any traction, couldn't catch a break-bounce all night. The Warriors with a small crowd on hand for tonight, have been shutout in back to backs games. The Tribe has just one win in their last five home games. The Warriors were wearing their third set jersey's tonight. With the loss the Warriors fall to 21-20-1-1 sit 5th in the Division are seven points up on Merritt and twelve points back of Trail. West Kelowna is nineteen points back of Vernon. Vernon, Wenatchee, Penticton & Trail have all clinched a playoff spot.

Scratches:

Vernon:

Shane Kelly (Suspended)
Jack Judson (Injured)

West Kelowna:

Cody Paivarinta
Matt Kowalski
Chase Stevenson

Energy Player of the Game:

Michael Lombardi

Three Star's:

1st Star: Jimmy Lambert (1 assist)
2nd Star: Ty Taylor (26 saves)
3rd Star: Jesse Lansdell (2 assists)

Boxscore-Game Summary,

http://bchl.ca/stats/game-summary/8211

Trevor Miller's West Kelowna Warriors Blog,

https://westkwarriors.wordpress.com/

Game Report,

https://lscluster.hockeytech.com/game_reports/official-game-report.php?lang_id=1&client_code=bchl&game_id=8211

Text Boxscore,

https://lscluster.hockeytech.com/game_reports/text-game-report.php?lang_id=1&client_code=bchl&game_id=8211

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Duncan Wray Funeral Scheduled:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Duncan Wray Funeral Scheduled

January 16, 2018

by Vernon Vipers

Recent News

James Duncan Wray

January 11, 1950 – January 11, 2018

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the sudden and unexpected passing of James Duncan Wray on his 68th birthday in Victoria, British Columbia. Duncan is survived by: Libby, his loving wife of more than 40 years; his brother Fred (Linda); sisters Eleanor and Joanie (Jim). He also leaves behind five adoring children: Jonathan (Anna), Andrew (Eliza), Nicholas (Julie), Erica (Jason) and Alexander (Ashley) as well as his grandson and namesake, James.

Duncan was born in Montreal and lived in many cities while pursuing his education and career. In 1986 he moved to Vernon, British Columbia, where he practiced as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon until 2011. In 1999, Victoria became his second home for a time, and again upon retirement. It was there where he was overjoyed to welcome his grandson and was looking forward to welcoming a second in March.

Duncan’s biggest loves were Libby and his children. His family meant everything to him. He was a devoted, loving and giving husband and father who cared tremendously and always supported his kids to pursue their dreams. An avid photographer and traveller, Duncan loved to share the amazing photos he took with his wife by his side, across the world’s seven continents.

Duncan’s passion was his Vernon Vipers Hockey Club and the British Columbia Hockey League. For over 25 years he took immense joy in the sport of hockey and providing the opportunity for young men to achieve hockey, professional, and personal successes. It was the growth and development of the Vernon players that was the true reward for Duncan.

There will be a celebration of Duncan’s life at Kal-Tire Place in Vernon on January 20 from 3pm to 5pm. In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the BC Cancer Foundation or another charity of your choice.

Game Preview: Vernon @ West Kelowna:

Vernon (28-10-1-4) @ West Kelowna (21-19-1-1) 7pm

Tonight is the fifth of six regular season meetings between the Vernon Vipers & West Kelowna Warriors. The Vipers lead the season series 4-0

Last Game:

Saturday, January 13th Vernon defeated Cowichan 2-0
Saturday, January 13th Wenatchee defeated West Kelowna 6-0

Next Game:

Friday, January 19th Vernon @ Prince George
Friday, January 13th West Kelowna @ Trail

To read more of this post, please click the "read more" button in the bottom left hand corner of this article.

Monday, January 15, 2018

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:

Alberni Valley-West Kelowna Trade:

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have completed a trade with the West Kelowna Warriors, acquiring 1999-born defenceman Spencer Hora and future considerations in exchange for 1997-born forward and team captain Ryan Steele. Hora hails from Kelowna, BC and is in his second full BCHL season. He played his rookie campaign with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, scoring once and adding seven assists in 54 regular season games. He totaled 10 assists in 21 games with Salmon Arm to begin the season before being dealt to West Kelowna, where he chipped in one goal and three assists in 14 contests. “Spencer is a player we’ve been targeting since very early on in the season,” says Bulldogs head coach Matt Hughes. “He brings a great blend of skill and toughness that will be a welcome addition on our blueline. He’s a young guy who already has nearly 100 games of BCHL experience under his belt and he will be a big part of our future as we build a winning team and culture.” Meanwhile, Steele joins West Kelowna after suiting up in 86 regular season games for the Bulldogs over two seasons. The 20-year old was named captain in September and holds the team lead in scoring with 28 points. “It’s a very difficult decision any time you look at trading a player of Ryan’s ability level and character,” says Hughes. “But ultimately, Ryan’s junior hockey career is nearing an end and we were able to acquire a young man who fits in well with both the short and long-term vision of our team. We also feel we have some younger players up front who will step up and thrive with the added opportunity in Ryan’s absence.” Hora is expected to join the Bulldogs for Friday’s game in Victoria, and will make his home debut on Saturday against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

Powell River Kings Make Roster Moves:

The Powell River Kings have made a pair of roster moves ahead of Wednesday night’s trade deadline, with 2000-born defenceman Sam Pouliot and 2000-born forward Ethan Schmunk joining the team for the rest of the season. Pouliot, a product of North Vancouver, comes to the Kings from the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. The 6’1, 165lb defenceman has been around the Kings organization for a couple of seasons, having attended Main Camp in previous years and is the younger brother to former King affiliate defenceman Ryan Pouliot. In 12 games this season with Red Deer, Pouliot tallied one goal. Last season, he played for the Greater Vancouver Canadians along side Nathan Kelly. “Sam provides us with a great deal of options and flexibility on the back end” says Kings Head Coach and GM Kent Lewis. “To be able to add a player at this stage of the season that you’re very familiar with is good for our program and we’re excited to bring Sam to Powell River.” Also joining the team is forward Ethan Schmunk. The 5’10, 175lb forward from Powell River has been suiting up for the VIJHL’s Campbell River Storm this year, scoring 6 goals and assisting on 11 in 29 games. Schmunk has also joined the Kings for 6 games as an affiliate this year. “Ethan has shown this season in Campbell River and when he’s been here with us that he has a great work ethic” says Lewis. “He makes us deeper down the middle and will show up every day with his work boots on.” The moves brings the Kings roster to a league-maximum of 23 players, with 14 forwards, 7 defencemen and 2 goaltenders. Both Pouliot and Schmunk will join the Kings ahead of three games this coming weekend beginning Friday night at home to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

Malgunas Commits To Spruce Kings For 2018-19 Season:

The Prince George Spruce Kings have added to their defense group for the 2018/2019 season, as they have committed to local Brennan Malgunas of the Cariboo Cougars. Malgunas (00), was recently named to the First All-Star team at the 2017 Mac’s Midget Tournament in Calgary, and is a solid piece on the Cougars blueline in BC Major Midget League play. Spruce Kings GM Mike Hawes states “We are excited to add Brennan to our team next season. He is a great kid and a very good player who competes hard and can play in all situations. He is the best defenseman I’ve seen this season in the BC Major Midget League. Our fans will enjoy watching this young man play for the next few seasons.” In 23 games this season with the Cougars, Malgunas has 9 goals and 13 assists for 22 points in 23 games. He has also appeared in 2 BCHL games with the Spruce Kings this season. Last season, Malgunas put up 9 goals and 15 assists in 38 games in the BCMML.

Penticton Vees Report:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZI5QpYsBhs

Dawson Joins Rivermen:

blueliner Jordan Dawson has shifted his career closer to home as a member of the B.C. Hockey League’s Langley Rivermen. The 19-year-old defenceman spent two seasons with the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings. Dawson has played eight games for Langley and scored his first BCHL goal Dec. 30 at Prince George.

Bulldogs Make Roster Moves:

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs made a pair of moves before the British Columbia Hockey League’s trade deadline on Wednesday evening, signing 1999-born defenceman Lucas Patton from the VIJHL’s Nanaimo Buccaneers and trading 1997-born defenceman Connor Welsh to the Trail Smoke Eaters in return for future considerations. Patton hails from Sechelt, BC and was in his rookie season with the Buccaneers, having dressed in 28 regular season games while picking up five assists. The 18-year old also suited up in a pair of games with the Bulldogs as an affiliate player and has practiced regularly with the club over the past three months. “Lucas is a strong defensive defenceman who skates well and competes at a high level,” says Bulldogs head coach Matt Hughes. “He’s impressed us as a person and player in his time as an affiliate and we feel he’s ready to step into our lineup on a regular basis. Lucas has a great deal of upside and we’re excited to see him continue his development in a Bulldogs jersey.” Meanwhile, Welsh joins a Smoke Eaters team that is currently tied for second in the overall BCHL standings. The 20-year old has been a potent offensive performer from the blueline in his two seasons in the Alberni Valley, with 12 goals and 45 points to show for 97 regular season appearances. “Connor is a great person and a skilled player who has made a big impact on our team both on and off the ice,” says Hughes. “Making the decision to move him today wasn’t easy, but we made a trade that fits with the best interests of our organization moving forward. We’d like to thank Connor for all he did as a Bulldogs player and as a positive ambassador for our team in the community.” Patton will play his first game as a full-time member of the Bulldogs on Friday night when the team travels south to face the Victoria Grizzlies. Friday’s game also marks the return of 1998-born forward Julian Benner and 1999-born forward Michael Sacco, who had each been out with long-term injuries. “Getting Julian and Michael back in the lineup is really like making two big additions on top of the other moves we completed at the deadline,” says Hughes. “Both guys have shown they can make a real impact offensively and we’ll look forward to their contributions down the stretch run.” The Bulldogs have also announced that forward Liam Lytton and defenceman Ezra Paddock will miss the remainder of the season due to injury.

Bowen Returns To Chilliwack:

The Chiefs made just one roster move at the BCHL trade deadline Wednesday. Returning to the Chiefs is 19 year old forward and Chilliwack native Ryan Bowen. Bowen spent the 2014-15 season with the Chiefs, scoring ten goals and 28 points in 53 games before moving on to the Western Hockey League’s Moose Jaw Warriors and Lethbridge Hurricanes for the last two plus seasons.  In 143 WHL games, he scored 21 goals and added 36 assists. “We’re excited to have Ryan back,” said Chiefs General Manager and Head Coach Jason Tatarnic. “We expect him to be an important player for us as we finish the regular season and through the RBC Cup here in May.” Earlier this season Ryan’s younger brothers Jason (2001) and Ethan (2002) made their BCHL debuts with the Chiefs, suiting up as affiliate players. Ryan is expected to be in the Chiefs lineup this weekend when the Chiefs host the Coquitlam Express Friday and the Penticton Vees Saturday.

Cowichan-Rockland Trade:

Beating the BCHL Trade Deadline of Jan. 10th, the Cowichan Capitals have traded forward #12 Raphael Gosselin to the Rockland Nationals Jr. A Hockey Team of the Central Canadian Hockey League (CCHL) for future considerations. The Capitals would like to thank Raphael for his commitment and contributions during the 2017-18 season while with the team and wish him all the best in his future career with the Rockland Nationals. Thanks “Goose” & Good Luck!!!

Spruce Kings Make Roster Moves:

The Prince George Spruce Kings filled out their roster at the BCHL Trade Deadline by swinging a pair of deals. The Spruce Kings added forward Sam Anzai (98) from the Vernon Vipers in exchange for future considerations. Anzai is a former captain with the Drayton Valley Thunder of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. Anzai is a veteran of 90 junior hockey games between the AJHL and BCHL, picking up 3 goals and 2 assists in 14 games with the Vipers this season. GM Mike Hawes “Adding a player of Sam’s calibre is very important for our stretch run. Sam is a veteran player with leadership abilities who is going to add depth to our already deep group of forwards.” In the second deal, the Spruce Kings add defenseman Oliver Lester (97) from the Coquitlam Express in exchange for forward Ryan Stack (00) and future considerations. In Lester, the Spruce Kings add an experienced defenseman who has played for the Brooks Bandits (AJHL) and Dauphin Kings (MJHL) in the past. GM Mike Hawes “Adding Oliver rounds out our defense group and gives us a good balance of forwards and defensemen. After seeing Oliver play, he’s a good puck moving defenseman, and will benefit us moving forward in our already strong back end.” “We would like to thank Ryan for his time here in Prince George. Ryan has a lot of room for growth and will have that opportunity in Coquitlam.” added Hawes.

Salmon Arm-Bonnyville Trade:

Salmon Arm Silverbacks General Manager/Head Coach Scott Atkinson today announced the team has acquired D-Man Sol Seibel from the Bonneyville Pontics of the AJHL for Future considerations. "We are very pleased to announce that we have acquired 1999 born defenceman Sol Seibel. Sol spent the last two seasons in Vernon with the Vipers and was recently traded to Bonneyville and we were able to strike a deal to bring Sol to Salmon Arm. Sol is a skilled player who can contribute in all areas of the game, but we were very attracted to his gritty style of play. He has a high compete level and is very difficult to play against."

Cowichan-Surrey Trade:

Capitals beat the Trade Deadline and Acquire NEW Veteran Defenceman – Domenic Masellis from the Surrey Eagles for Future Considerations. Domenic is a 20 year old BC native from Burnaby. Domenic brings veteran leadership and solid defensive strength with his 5th year in the BCHL

Eagles Make Roster Moves:

With the BCHL trade deadline passing Wednesday, January 10th at 8 PM, the Surrey Eagles were a busy team – bringing three players in and moving three players out. In total, general manager Blaine Neufeld completed three trades, signed one player, and released another. Forward Dryden Michaud has signed with the Eagles after being released by the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades. Ty Schultz, a 20-year-old defenceman, has been acquired from the Coquitlam Express for future considerations. In a corresponding move, defenceman Domenic Masellis has been traded to the Cowichan Valley Capitals for future considerations. Lastly, a move for a goaltender was made as Mario Cavaliere was acquired from the Georgetown Raiders of the OJHL in exchange for Dominic Dumas and future considerations. Goaltender Nic Tallarico was released to make room for Cavaliere. Michaud, 19, appeared in 29 games for the Saskatoon Blades this season scoring 2 goals and 2 assists. He came up through the Yale Hockey Academy system, also appearing in 50 PJHL games with the Abbotsford Pilots from 2014 through 2017. “Dryden gives us a multi-faceted player,” Neufeld told SurreyEagles.ca. “He can help at both ends of the ice. We love his speed, competitiveness, and ability to play in all situations.” Schultz, 20, is a former 16th overall pick in the WHL draft. He has appeared in 186 WHL games with the Medicine Hat Tigers since 2014. Prior to that, he spent two seasons in the BCMML with the Greater Vancouver Canadians and Vancouver Northwest Giants. GM Neufeld calls the 6-foot-1, 200 pound Schultz a “key piece” that they were able to add late in the day. Cavaliere, 20, comes to the Eagles with stellar numbers in the OJHL. With the Georgetown Raiders he appeared in 28 games, posting a 19-8-1 record and .932 save percentage. In the previous season with the Burlington Cougars, he had a .918 save percentage in 39 games and followed that with a .929 in 10 playoff games. “In Mario, we added a mature, experienced goaltender,” GM Blaine Neufeld said, calling it a “very large” acquisition. “He’s had tremendous success at the junior A level.” “I’m extremely excited and satisfied with our roster. We went into the day looking to add a 20-year-old defenceman, 20-year-old goaltender, and quality forward. We did exactly that.” The Eagles would like to thank Domenic Masellis, Dominic Dumas, and Nic Tallarico for their time with the organization and wish them the best of luck with their new teams.

Trail-Alberni Valley Trade:

The Trail Smoke Eaters are pleased to announce the acquisition of defenceman, Connor Welsh. The 5’7″, 154lb Halifax native has played with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs the past two seasons, racking up 7-17-24 in the past 40 games. The Trail Smoke Eaters would like to welcome Connor and his family to the Home of Champions.

Martinson Commits To Langley Rivermen:

The Langley Rivermen are proud to announce the commitment of Defensemen Logan Martinson from Allen, Texas, USA. The 2000 born Martinson sits at 6’2 180 pound and urrently plays with the Dallas Stars U18 in the T1EHL League where he currently has 2 goals 11 assists in 28 games played so far this season. I am super excited to be joining such an organization. I have heard nothing but great things about Coach Henderson and his staff and the program they run, they have had success moving players onto the next level, and thats something I want to be apart of. Fans can expect Logan to fit right into the Riv style of play; I see myself as a puck moving, good first pass with the ability to read when the right time is to jump up into the play. I try to play big down low and lay it on the line for my teammates. Said Martinson. Logan’s father Steve, played a total of 49 NHL games and 179 AHL games before moving to the coaching ranks in the WCHL with the San Diego Gulls. He is currently with the Allen Americans in the ECHL as Head Coach and GM. He  has won 10 minor Championships as a Coach in his Professional Career.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Fans Say Goodbye:

This is posted on Castanet.net

Fans say goodbye

Darren Handschuh - Jan 14, 2018

Friends, family and fans bid an emotional farewell Saturday to Vernon Vipers team owner Duncan Wray.

Wray passed away unexpectedly last Thursday, his 68th birthday.

In honour of the respected team owner, all of the Vipers took the ice with the name Wray on the back of their jerseys, to the appreciation of the crowd.

Todd Miller, Vipers executive vice president, gave a heartfelt speech at Kal Tire Place before the home team faced off against the visiting Cowichan Valley Capitals.

Wray owned the team for the past 25 years, guiding them to six BC Hockey League titles and four national titles.

Wray showed obvious pride whenever player received a hockey scholarship or moved on to the Big Leagues with several players under his time as owner making the NHL.

John Grisdale, BCHL commissioner, said Wray was well respected among his peers and will be a hard man to replace.

“I would reach out to him for advice and direction to see what he thought,” said Grisdale, adding Wray was not just a team owner, he was a fan of the sport and the league.

Grisdale said Wray's passing is a “huge loss” to the league.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EoR5AeghsI

Vipers Pay Emotional Tribute:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Vipers Pay Emotional Tribute

January 14, 2018

by Vernon Vipers

Recent News

It was without question an emotional evening, that featured a fantastic tribute video, a moving speech and a fantastic effort by the home team, as Josh Prokop scored the game winner and Ty Taylor stopped 28 for the shutout, as the Vipers paid tribute to the passing of Duncan Wray with a 2-0 win.

A very quick moving first period with a lot of great chances for both teams. The goaltending was on point as both Ty Taylor and Michael Corson went save for save. Both teams had close calls as Marshall Skapski cleared a rolling puck off the goal line, and then Taylor matched that as he stretched out to keep a rolling puck from crossing the line after a tip in the high slot. Tons of shots and tons of saves as the first period would conclude scoreless.

Lots of chances, no results. The Vipers peppered Michael Corson with 18 shots in the middle frame, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Jimmy Lambert had the best chances on back to back breakaways while shorthanded, but Corson made both saves in fine form. The Vipers killed off both Capital powerplays, while getting chances of their own while up a man. The Snakes put up 18 shots in the middle period, but the period ended as it began, scoreless.

In the third, the Vipers remained focused and continued to put a ton of pucks at the Cowichan goal. The Vipers finally had an opportunity go their way on the powerplay as Jesse Lansdell set up Josh Prokop for his 20th goal of the year to make it 1-0. Ty Taylor wasn’t the busiest of the two goalies, but he made a timely save while his team was shorthanded to keep the Vipers ahead by a goal. Jagger Williamson would help ice the game as he fought off two Caps players to find Lansdell who found the empty net to seal a 2-0 victory in front of 2200 fans.

The Vipers are back in action as they kick off a four game road trip against the West Kelowna Warriors, Tuesday night.

Post game interview-highlight's,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3daF_Cr2aR8

Fragile Vipers Fall To Cents:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Fragile Vipers fall to Cents

Kevin Mitchell

Jan.14, 2018

A week after saying goodbye to the franchise’s ancestral home, the Vernon Vipers bid a tearful goodbye to longtime beloved owner Duncan Wray Saturday night at Kal Tire Place.

Wray, who was introduced and honoured on the red carpet prior to a throwback B.C. Hockey League game at Civic Arena last Saturday, died Thursday in his sleep in Victoria, on his 68th birthday.

A father-figure to young Junior A players since he bought the team in 1992, Wray celebrated four national championships, including back-to-back in 2009 and 2010.

Each BCHL team will hold a moment of silence in his honour prior to their next home game. The Vipers entertained the Cowichan Valley Capitals Saturday.

A fragile group who huddled together on their knees to honour their fallen owner at Thursday’s practice, the Vipers struggled in a 5-0 loss to the Merritt Centennials before 400 fans Friday night at the Nicola Valley Arena.

“It’s tough,” Viper head coach Mark Ferner told The Morning Star, moments after the loss. “You put on a brave face and play the game. I don’t know if there is a right thing to say; there’s no manual for this. It was a pretty quiet and emotional dressing room tonight.”

Ferner, who coached those back-to-back title teams, is on his second tour of duty with the Vipers, leaving once to coach the Everett Silvertips of the Western League for two years and serve as an assistant with the WHL Kamloops Blazers. He returned to Vernon in 2015.

“Duncan and I had mutual respect for one another,” said a disraught Ferner. “Absolutely, I will remember him as a great owner. He just let you do your job. You still sit here with your thoughts with no time to reflect. We had a lot of good times. Duncan had five kids, four boys and a girl. Actually, he had six kids, he had the Vernon Vipers. This isn’t about me, this about the Wray family.”

The Vipers fell to 27-10-1-4 atop the Interior Division, four points ahead of the Penticton Vees, who have three games in hand. The sixth-place Cents improved to 17-19-2-1.

Merritt got goals from Colten Gerlib, Mathieu Gosselin, Bradley Cocca, Christian Sabin and Henry Cleghorn. Austin Roden made 24 saves for his first shutout of the season.

Zach Ristau, who just returned to Merritt from the USHL, pocketed three assists. Anthony Yamnitsky took the loss with 19 stops.

Meanwhile, the Trail Smoke Eaters tied the Vees 2-2 before 3,108 fans at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Vernon’s Blaine Caton gave Trail the lead in the first period with his 11th of the season.

West Kelowna edged Wenatchee 5-4 in OT.

Wray Will Be Missed:

This was in Fridays Morning Star Newspaper:

Wray will be missed

Roger Knox

Jan. 12, 2018

Just this past Saturday, The Morning Star had a chance to reminisce with Vernon Vipers owner Duncan Wray. It was at the Celebrate The Civic game against the Prince George Spruce Kings, the final Junior A game to be played in the Vernon Civic Arena, 80 years to the day the facility opened.

Wray, who died suddenly Thursday morning, was talking about his national championship teams of 1996 and 1999. He was laughing with 1999 captain Lennie Rampone. He was remembering a lot of the players who played in the Civic under his ownership from 1992 to 2000 before the team moved over to Kal Tire Place.

He was introduced to the crowd at the beginning of the game and received a large ovation. Why not? Since he bought the team in 1992, Wray’s teams have won seven BCHL titles and four Royal Bank Cup Canadian championships. At the end of the night, Wray – an avid photographer – took back the long lens he loaned Morning Star photographers on numerous occasions.

That was Wray in a nutshell.

He would give you the shirt off his back. He would walk around the Civic or Kal Tire Place and talk with fans and the media.

He might not have agreed with all the things written about him and the Vipers – and believe us, he let The Morning Star know – but he knew we had a job to do and respected that, as much as we respected him.

Wray continued on a winning tradition established by then Vernon Lakers owner Mel Lis, but also created his own legacy when the team became the Vipers in 1996. There has not been a more successful Junior A franchise in Canada in the last 26 years.

Rest in peace Duncan. Thank you for your amazing contribution to Vernon’s history.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Vernon 2 Cowichan 0

I have had season tickets for the past 28 years and been following Junior hockey in Vernon for close to thirty five years. I've 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 Vipers-Capitals game as Vernon defeated Cowichan 2-0 in front of 2,240 fans at Kal Tire Place.

There was about a five minute delay before tonight's game as the end glass broke behind the Capitals net during warmup. Only a small handful of Cowichan players finished the warmup after the glass shattered. The game was then delayed about fifteen minutes with a very special/emotional tribute to Vipers owner Duncan Wray who passed away Thursday. A small speech and video was shown during the tribute. The Vipers had the name "Wray" on the back of their jersey's during warmup in honour of Duncan Wray.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Ty Taylor
Cowichan: Michael Corson

To read more of this post, please click the "read more" button in the bottom left hand corner of this article.


Kelly Suspended:

This is posted on the BCHL website:

13-Jan-18 The Vernon Vipers Shane Kelly is suspended  6 games for leaving the bench to engage in an altercation

Shane Kelly's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=317178

Game Preview: Cowichan @ Vernon:

Cowichan (8-28-3-2) @ Vernon (27-10-1-4) 6pm

Tonight is the first of two regular season meetings between the Vernon Vipers & Cowichan Capitals. Last years season series was split 1-1

Last Game:

Friday, January 12th Merritt defeated Vernon 5-0
Friday, January 12th Cowichan defeated Prince George 2-1

Next Game:

Tuesday, January 16th Vernon @ West Kelowna
Sunday, January 14th Cowichan @ Surrey

To read more of this post, please click the "read more" button in the bottom left hand corner of this article.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Merritt 5 Vernon 0

Scoring Summary:

1st Period:

1:10 MER Colten Gerlib (3) ASST: Zach Court (15)

5:05 MER Mathieu Gosselin (9) ASST: None


2nd Period:

No Scoring

3rd Period:

3:07 MER Bradley Cocca (7) ASST: Nicholas Wicks (21)

7:43 MER Christian Sabin (4) ASST: Zach Risteau (1), Tyrell Buckley (20) (PP)

17:03 MER Henry Cleghorn (17) ASST: Zach Risteau (2), Mathieu Gosselin (18)

Merritt outshot Vernon 25-24 Austin Roden made 24 saves for the win-shutout, while Anthony Yamnitsky made 20 saves in the loss.

Boxscore-Game Summary,

http://bchl.ca/stats/game-summary/8196

Merritt Centennials Blog,

http://q101.ca/sports

Game Report,

https://lscluster.hockeytech.com/game_reports/official-game-report.php?lang_id=1&client_code=bchl&game_id=8196

Text Boxscore,

https://lscluster.hockeytech.com/game_reports/text-game-report.php?lang_id=1&client_code=bchl&game_id=8196

‘Duncan Would Want Us To Play’

This is posted on the Beach Radio website:

‘Duncan Would Want Us To Play’ — Coach Comments on Loss of Owner

Vernon, BC, Canada / 1075 Beach Radio Vernon

Pete McIntyre

January 12, 2018

Members of the Vernon Vipers organization are still trying to come to grips with the unexpected death of their long time owner Duncan Wray.

Wray died of unknown causes Thursday at age 68.

He had owned the team since 1992 when it was the Vernon Lakers, changing it to Vernon Vipers in 1995.

Head coach and director of hockey operations Mark Ferner says the team is trying to proceed — but it’s been very difficult, especially given how sudden the death was.

“I spoke with Duncan at — I looked at my phone at 8:59 — so I spoke with Duncan at 9 pm on Jan. 10th, and then I get a phone call (from a family member) first thing in the morning with the news. It was shocking, to say the least,” Ferner tells Beach Radio News.

Ferner says he and team management will be meeting with the Wray family to talk about the future perhaps next week, but at this point, the team is trying to carry on and do what’s best.

“It’s tough on everyone, not just me. It’s the players, the league, the city, the fans, but more importantly, it’s about the Wray family, and I think we have to respect their wishes.”

Ferner says the Centennials called him and asked if he wanted to postpone Friday’s game, but he felt playing the game is what Wray would have wanted.

“What would Duncan want? He would want us to play,” says Ferner who has served two stints with Wray as Vipers coach, starting in 2007 to 2010, and returning from the WHL in 2015 to present.

The team won national titles in 2009 and 2010, two of four won during Wray’s 25 years of ownership.

Ferner says some of Wray’s family members are expected to be part of a tribute to the retired oral surgeon prior to Saturday’s home game against Cowichan Valley, with the plans still being put together.

Ferner was asked if Wray’s death could be an emotional rally point for the team that is currently leading the BCHL.

“Maybe, but this is new to everybody. We have great kids, and I know Duncan was passionate about this group, and we’re going to do what right by Duncan.”

Listen to interview with Mark Ferner with Beach Radio’s Pete McIntyre who talks about how it could impact the team going forward:

http://www.beachradiovernon.ca/2018/01/12/duncan-would-want-us-to-play-coach-comments-on-loss-of-owner/

Wray Fondly Remembered:

This is posted on the Morning Star website:

Wray fondly remembered

Vernon Vipers owner Duncan Wray died suddenly Thursday on his 68th birthday

Roger Knox

Jan. 12, 2018

Tributes have been pouring in for Duncan Wray.

The beloved owner of the Vernon Vipers died suddenly on Thursday, his 68th birthday, at his Vancouver Island home near Victoria.

“We were shocked and saddened to receive word today about Duncan,” said B.C. Hockey League commissioner John Grisdale. “He was the lifeblood of the Vipers franchise for a very long time and he leaves a huge void in our league and in our hearts.”

Wray bought the then Vernon Lakers in 1992, and changed the team name to Vipers in 1996. Under Wray’s ownership, the Vipers were four-time national Junior A champions, including back-to-back in 2009 and 2010. In addition, the Vipers claimed six Fred Page Cup BCHL titles and five Doyle Cup wins over the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

Each BCHL team will hold a moment of silence in his honour prior to their next home game. The Vipers, who entertain the Cowichan Valley Capitals Saturday at 6 p.m. at Kal Tire Place, have not announced, as of Friday, if they will do something else to honour Wray.

Condolences and tributes to the Vipers and social media outlets have been steady, from former players:

“Dunc was so much more than just an owner. The way he treated the players and people around him was like no other. He made Vernon one of the best places to play in all of junior hockey. I’m incredibly grateful I was able to spend 3 great years with him and to win 2 championships with him behind us was so special. The team would not have been the same without him. I’ll always have the picture of him in my mind, standing behind the glass in the corner of the rink cheering us on. Thanks for everything and rest easy.” – Kellen Jones

“This is truly sad sad news. Duncan was the best owner I ever played for and has created truly what I believe to be the best place to play Jr A hockey in Canada. He will be greatly missed but what a legacy he has left behind. God bless.” – Chris Budnick

Former reporters:

“A great team owner, hockey fan, dentist and level-headed hockey parent. I knew him as all four, and it’s the last quality that might be the rarest.” – Dan Ebenal

NHL scouts:

“A huge loss for Jr hockey and Vernon. He built a model hockey organization which reflected his genuine belief in people and family.” – Ernie Gare

And fans:

“This man can never be replaced. Condolences to the Wray family. Vernon lost one of their best.” – Cody Vigeant;

“What a tragic loss. We will miss talking and joking with him before Viper games. Fran and I send our deepest condolences to the Wray Family and the Vipers organization past and present. R.I.P Duncan.” – Dennis Sponholz

In 2011, Wray was inducted into the BC Hockey Hall of Fame and last July, the 1999 RBC Cup-winning Vipers team was inducted as well. Wray was also recognized in 2011 with a Freedom of the City award from the City of Vernon.

Several Vipers alumni went on to NHL careers during Wray’s tenure including Mike Santorelli, Andrew Hammond, Aaron Volpatti, Tyson Strachan and Rod Pelley and soon-to-be Canadian Olympian Chay Genoway. Countless others went on to successful collegiate and professional careers in hockey.

Professionally, Wray was an accomplished and well-respected oral surgeon. On more than one occasion, he was pressed into service performing dental repairs on his own players.

Wray’s service to the BCHL was unmatched and he was chairman of the league’s board of directors right up to the time of his passing. He also served as chairman from 1999 to 2006 before resuming the role in 2011.

Funeral details have yet to be released.

The BCHL said every team will hold a moment of silence in memory of Wray prior to their home game, and also said it will be “business as usual” for the Vipers through the end of the season in regards to the team’s ownership.

Game Preview: Vernon @ Merritt:

Vernon (27-9-1-4) @ Merritt (16-19-2-1) 7pm

Tonight is the fifth of six regular season meetings between the Vernon Vipers & Merritt Centennials. The Vipers lead the season series 4-0

Last Game:

Saturday, January 6th Prince George defeated Vernon 3-2
Wednesday, January 10th Penticton defeated Merritt 4-3

Next Game:

Saturday, January 13th Cowichan @ Vernon
Saturday, January 13th Merritt @ Trail

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Vipers Owner Dies:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers owner dies

Roger Knox

Jan. 12, 2018

Shock waves and heavy hearts were being felt around the Junior A hockey world and City of Vernon Thursday.

Vernon Vipers team owner Duncan Wray died suddenly earlier in the morning on his 68th birthday.
Wray had just been honoured this past Saturday at the Celebrate the Civic game the Vipers played at the old Vernon Civic Arena. He was the first of 13 hockey dignitaries introduced on the red carpet to the sold-out crowd and received a loud ovation.

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Handicapped Parking: More Flat Spaces Needed At Kal Tire Place

This was in Wednesday's Morning Star Newspaper:

Handicapped parking

LETTER: More flat spaces needed at Kal Tire Place

Jan. 10, 2018

Handicap parking at Kal Tire Place is a wreck. We now have 12 to 13 spaces on a sloped grade. We lost all of the flat spaces in front (east) of the arena and the 10 to 15 spaces at the back as well. I talked with Doug Ross about this issue and suggested giving back the east stalls and also the new ones in front (43rd Avenue).

It would be dangerous to add more on to the front as it is quite a slope. Now to get a place to park you have to go over an hour ahead of game time.

I’ve also noticed there aren’t any steps from the west exit and people just walk down the lawn which is quite steep. In fact, I witnessed one person who couldn’t stop coming down and a truck mirror was his saviour.

Snow could also create a few problems on the front lot.

Drop an email to smitchell@vernon.ca if you have the same concerns.

Bill Roth
Vernon

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Vernon Vipers Owner Passes Away:

This is posted on the Beach Radio website:

Vernon Vipers Owner Passes Away

Vernon, BC, Canada / 1075 Beach Radio Vernon

Tom Mark

January 11, 2018

Shocking news today that the owner of the Vernon Vipers has died.

Duncan Wray, who has owned the franchise since 1992, passed away in his sleep last night.

The voice of the Vipers on Beach Radio, Graham Turnbull, says it’s a tragic loss.

“He’s been the one mainstay since the beginning. He’s bred success. That’s one thing that will always stand out with Duncan. He was so passionate about junior hockey, the BCHL, the Vernon Vipers, this community, that he brought a stable, winning presence to the organization.

Turnbull says Wray’s role as Chairman of the Board of the BCHL has helped the league trend in the right direction for a number of years.

On a personal note, Turnbull says the way Wray treated him was the way he treated everyone he dealt with.

“He treated me like I was a member of the family. He’d give me the shirt off his back if that’s what I needed. Was always there to support me and I know that was something that he did for a lot of people, outside of the organization as well as everybody up and down the office and the hockey staff as well.”

Graham says it is going to be a hard time for the players, but he knows that they will respond with respect and admiration.

“Guys like Jagger Williamson, who have been here for four years, they know the impact that Duncan has had and the love that he had for the team individually and as a group. I don’t think too much will have to be said. The actions and the thoughts will sort of speak for themselves.”

Turnbull says since buying the franchise in 1992, Wray turned it into the number one ranked Junior A
hockey franchise in the CJHL.

He also served on the Board of Governors of the BCHL since 1992 and at the time of his death was the Chairman of the Board.

It’s a tragic loss for the Vernon Vipers and the city as a whole.

Duncan Wray, who has owned the Vernon Hockey Club since 1992 passed away in his sleep last night.

As owner, Wray guided the club to four national championships and  runner-up in 2011.

The team won seven B.C. Hockey League championships and six Doyle Cup B.C.-Alberta championships.

Wray has also been serving as Chairman of the Board of the B.C. Hockey League.

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:


Kings Release Bell:

Powell River Kings free up 20-year-old spot after releasing Trent Bell. Bell has 129 points in 130 career VIJHL games, 12 points in 35 career BCHL games.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Vernon-Prince George Trade:

This is posted on the Spruce Kings website:

Spruce Kings Swing Pair of Deals

January 11, 2018

by Spruce Kings

Recent News

The Prince George Spruce Kings filled out their roster at the BCHL Trade Deadline by swinging a pair of deals.

The Spruce Kings added forward Sam Anzai (98) from the Vernon Vipers in exchange for future considerations. Anzai is a former captain with the Drayton Valley Thunder of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

Anzai is a veteran of 90 junior hockey games between the AJHL and BCHL, picking up 3 goals and 2 assists in 14 games with the Vipers this season.

GM Mike Hawes “Adding a player of Sam’s calibre is very important for our stretch run. Sam is a veteran player with leadership abilities who is going to add depth to our already deep group of forwards.”

For more information, contact the Spruce Kings Office at 250-564-1747.

Sam Anzai's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=474455


Cougars Trade Taylor To Portland:

The Western Hockey League Prince George Cougars have traded the playing rights of Vernon Vipers goaltender Ty Taylor to the Portland Winterhawks.

Ty Taylor's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=297989

This is posted on the Cougars website:

Cougars, Winterhawks Strike Massive Trade Deadline Deal

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Silverbacks Acquire Ex Viper Defenceman Seibel From AJHL:

This is posted on the BCHL website:

10-Jan-18 The Salmon Arm Silverbacks have acquired the CJHL playing rights to Solomon Seibel(99)(D) from the Bonnyville Pontiacs of the AJHL in exchange for future considerations

Sol Seibel's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=299147

Seibel played parts of two seasons in Vernon (2016-2018) playing in 77 games with the Vipers collecting (1-goal-12-assists-13-points). The Vipers traded Seibel and future considerations to the Alberta Junior Hockey League Bonnyville Pontiacs for forward Derek Brown January 8th 2018.

Trade Deadline Information:

This is on Brian Wiebe's Twitter Account:

Brian Wiebe‏
@Brian_Wiebe

10 Jan 2018

Today is the BCHL roster deadline, here’s what you need to know:

• The deadline means BCHL teams must have no more than 23 carded players

• Inter-league transactions must be filed with leagues by 6 pm PST

• BCHL transactions must be filed with the BCHL by 8 pm PST

Vipers Pull Off Trade For Sniper:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers pull off trade for sniper

Jan. 10, 2018

Kevin Mitchell

Morning Star Staff

The Vernon Vipers have added an offensive forward at the B.C. Hockey League trading deadline.

The Vipers, who lead the 17-team circuit, dealt 18-year-old defenceman Sol Seibel to the Bonnyville Pontiacs of the AJHL in exhange for 20-year-old Derek Brown.

Brown, an Edmonton product, led the Pontiacs with 20 goals and 38 points in just 20 games. He rang up 24 gtoals and 57 points last year.

The 6-foot-1, 181-pounder has a scholarship with the NCAA Division I Arizona State Sun Devils for next season. The Vipers made room for Brown by putting forward Tanner Wishnowski, sidelined with a concussion, on a season-ending injured reserve list with BC Hockey. The hard-hitting former Kelowna Rocket is a 20-year-old. Each team is allowed a maximum of six overage players.

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Retro Civic Game Nets $23,000

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Retro Civic game nets $23,000

Kevin Mitchell

Jan. 10, 2018

Viper head coach Mark Ferner resembled a 1938 gangster in his stylish chapeau. His players wore replica jerseys as did the Vancouver Lions exactly 80 years to the day Civic Arena opened.

Even the B.C. League referees and linesman looked the part in oldtime non-striped sweaters, while the intermission skaters wore perfect era fashions.

The fancy skaters and hockey game were likely much faster than they were at the 1938 Civic Arena grand opener, earning major applause from a standing-room-only crowd of 2,100.

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