Sunday, August 28, 2016

Exhibition: Merritt 4 Vernon 3

This is posted on the Q101 website:

Postgame: Cents 4 Vipers 3 (Exhibition)

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Written by Mantar Bhandal

The Centennials defeated the Vernon Vipers 4-3 on Saturday

The Merritt Centennials swept their home-and-home with the Vernon Vipers, winning again on Saturday 4-3 at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena. It was a thriller, as the game was within a goal four different times. The Cents featured a different lineup, with Tyler Ward, Ethan Skinner, and Tyler Recchi drawing out up front. On defense, Mark O'Shaughnessy, Tyler Holz, Marshall Skapski and Jake Livingston all drew in. In net, Jake Berger got the night off with Daniel Paul getting the start. This was the third different starting goaltender in three games for the Centennials this preseason.

The game started off with the Centennials scoring first for the second straight game when Chase Bell scored his first of the preseason at the 7:53 mark. Then later in the first period, the team received a scare when forward Nick Wicks took a blindside hit. He finished his shift, but looked wobbly. He left the game and did not return. Cents Assistant Coach/Assistant GM Matt Samson has labelled Wicks as day-to-day with an upper body injury that is not concussion-related. Tyler Pietrowski took Wicks' spot on the second line.

In the second period, the Vipers tied it up at the 3:09 mark when Soi Seibel snapped home his first of the preseason on a two on one. The tie was short-lived, as 25 seconds later John Stein sniped home his first of the preseason to give the lead back to the Cents. A minute and a half later, Vernon tied it up again as Nic Rasovic scored. Both teams then switched goaltenders. Dorian LaBranche came in to relieve Daniel Paul, who stopped 16 of the 18 shots he faced. Vipers starter Gavin Hubbard couldn't get off the ice fast enough as he faced a staggering 32 shots in under 30 minutes of play. His replacement was Cole Demers. Late in the period, with 1:08 remaining, Mark O'Shaughnessy scored to give the Cents their third lead of the night.

In the third period, the Vipers tied the game on a controversial play. LaBranche was out behind the net playing the puck, when the net tilted upwards. The puck slid out to the slot underneath the net, and Cameron Kuhl buried it in the empty net. LaBranche was up in arms as he felt the play should've been blown dead. All four officials gathered, and after discussion, the goal stood. It didn't matter, because at the 11:11 mark, Henry Cleghorn rifled home a loose puck to give the Centennials the lead.

There was some controversy at the end as well, as with the net empty, the Vipers called a timeout. The clock read 20.5 seconds. The actual game clock ran during the timeout. As a result, the clock read 0:00 when the teams lined up for the faceoff in the Centennials' zone. The referees conversed with the timekeepers, and instead of the clock reading 20.5, it read 28.5. The Vipers were given an extra 8 seconds. It didn't matter however, as the Centennials hung on for the 4-3 victory.

The final shots on net were 54-34 Centennials. It was the first time all preseason the Centennials outshot their opposition. The Centennials improved their record to 2-0-0-1 in preseason play, with two games left on the schedule before the regular season begins. The Centennials open a home-and-home with the West Kelowna Warriors on Friday.

Vipers Give Rookies A Chance:

This was in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers give rookies a chance
 Aug 28, 2016

Morning Star Staff

The coaching staff is hardly placing calls to the Hockey Crisis Line after a pair of exhibition losses at Kal Tire Place.

Assistant coach Kevin Kraus makes it very clear the real Vernon Vipers’ roster is still a few weeks from being chosen.

The Snakes lost 3-0 to the Merritt Centennials Friday night, 24 hours after falling 4-1 to the Penticton Vees. Vernon visits Merritt tonight and are in Penticton Tuesday.

“There was some inexperience out there, with just not moving the puck fast enough,” said Kraus, on the loss to Merritt. “It’s tough when you go lineup to lineup and there’s probably 15 new guys in the lineup every night who have never played together. Some guys definitely picked up their game from camp so that was good to see.”

Kraus gave props to top forward recruit Niko Karamanis for a second straight stellar game, also singling out forwards Kaden Black and Justin Lee.

The Vipers iced almost an entirely different B.C. Hockey League lineup from Thursday night, featuring a few veterans including Riley Brandt and Brett Stapley.

“This isn’t our team,” said Kraus. “We’re still making decisions and I don’t think, after two preseason games, you can tell we’re going to have bad scoring or bad goaltending or bad defence. It’s early.”

Ethan Skinner opened the scoring late in the first period, while Tyler Ward added insurance in the second while parked all alone in front of the net.

Merritt made it 3-0 on a fluke goal after Vernon’s Billy Cawthorn  made a routine save, only to have the puck ricochet off of a Viper defenceman and back into his own net.

Milwaukee rookie Grant Cruikshank pocketed 1+2 as the Penticton Vees brushed back the Vernon Vipers 4-1 in B.C. Hockey League exhibition play Thursday night at Kal Tire Place.

The Vipers opted to dress a younger squad with only a handful of veterans suiting up.

“It was a good first exhibition game considering the amount of young kids we played and they (Vees) had most of their lineup,” said Viper assistant coach Kevin Kraus. “It was a good showing for our guys; they played a lot of hockey with not a lot of bodies in camp.”

The Vees carried most of the play in the opening 20, getting goals from Cruikshank and Jared Nash and limiting the Vipers to only three shots. Cruikshank, who has a scholarship locked up for 2017 with the University of Wisconsin Badgers, compiled 21 goals and 40 points with the Milwaukee U18 Junior Admirals last year.

The Vipers came out playing more physical in the second period with several big checks and just two minutes into the period, Jagger Williamson found the back of the net on a nice 2-on-1 play with fellow veteran Jimmy Lambert.

Penticton added 5-on-3 powerplay goals from Noah Jordan and Phil Leahy in the third period.

Mat Robson kicked out 14 shot while making his debut in the Vees crease. Gavin Hubbard, 19, of Maryland, and 17-year-old Richmond product Ty Taylor split the Vernon goaltending, each allowing two goals.

Penticton unleashed 35 shots in winning their second straight preseason tilt.

Nolan Hildebrand made 20 saves for the shutout, while Desi Burgart and Turner Ripplinger provided the goals as the Vees iced the West Kelowna Warriors 2-0 Wednesday night.

Kraus gave special mention to d-men Shane Kelly and Mike Ufberg while also praising 16-year-old F Josh Prokoff and veteran forwards Steven Jandric and Brett Stapley.

Cruikshank opened the scoring account just over five minutes into the opening frame. The speedy forward kept the puck on a two on one rush and squeezed a shot underneath the arm of Vernon's Gavin Hubbard at 5:49.

From behind the net, Cruikshank then grabbed a loose puck and quickly threw a dart out front to Nash in the crease for the quick tap-in at 8:37.

Snake Bites: Viper grad Mac Ferner is headed to Concordia University Wisconsin Falcons, a Division lll school.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Game Preview: Exhibition: Vernon @ Merritt:

Vernon (0-2-0-0) @ Merritt (1-0-1-0) 7pm

Tonight is second of eight meetings between the Vernon Vipers & Merritt Centennials. The Vipers won the season series last year 4-3

Last Game:

Friday, August 26th Merritt defeated Vernon 3-0

Next Game:

Tuesday, August 30th Vernon @ Penticton
Friday, September 2nd Merritt @ West Kelowna

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

Friday, August 26, 2016

Exhibition: Merritt 3 Vernon 0

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 pre-season game as Merritt defeated Vernon 3-0 in front of a small crowd at Kal Tire Place.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Riley Mathieson
Merritt: Jacob Berger

1st Period: Just thirty four seconds into the game Ethan Skinner left alone in the slot ripped a quick hard shot that missed the net on a good opportunity for the Centennials just seconds into the opening period. Just less then a minute later Viper veteran Steven Jandric held off his defender before cutting to the net hard missed the net on a good opportunity in close. A few minutes later Luke Recchi broke down the left wing, was able to turn on the wheels couldn't hit the net on a breakaway. A few shifts later Nick Wicks couldn't connect on a pass out front on a missed chance in front of Riley Mathieson. Merritt looked like the better of the two teams early as Vernon needed four minutes to record their first shot on goal. The Cents were the better of the two teams early, carried the better of the play and created a few more chances. Just before the midway mark Levi Johnson with a big check in front of the Centennials bench drew a crowd as two Merritt players rushed over started throwing punches at Johnson as a small scrum broke loose before the linesmen broke up the dust up. Both teams were given penalties as the play stayed five on five. Around the halfway mark Centennials starting goaltender Jacob Berger come out of his crease to play the puck, just about coughed the puck up to Viper veteran Riley Brandt who come out of no where to intercept the pass. The puck hit something in front rolled back towards the crease before Berger-a Merritt defender were able to clear the puck from harms way on a close call. This is where the Vipers seemed to get their game going, as Vernon with several good chances in close couldn't beat Berger who come up with several big saves keeping this a scoreless game. From here on in the play picked up as both teams battled and competed for the remainder of the opening frame. Riley Brandt with a physical period laid out three or four big hits through out the 1st. Tyler Ward broke in on the two on one, tried setting up Ethan Skinner who couldn't hit the net on the Cents odd man rush. Steven Jandric who had a strong period had a real good chance with about a minute and a half to go before being stopped by Jacob Berger. The Centennials would get a late powerplay wich would capitalize. Tyrell Buckley setup Ethan Skinner at the side of the net, gave Merritt a 1-0 lead at 19:15 Buckley with the lone assist. It was 1-0 Merritt after 20 minutes of play. The Cents played very well in just their second pre-season game had some good chances early, I thought had the better of the scoring chances in that opening period. The Vipers got off to a bit of a slow start, kinda like last night seemed to pick it up as the game went on. Vernon looked better to finish the frame were only down a goal. Vernon outshot Merritt 14-11.

2nd Period: The Vipers come out with a good start, carried the play early. Vernon with a good forecheck, didn't generate much for offensive chances, did have the better of the play in the opening few minutes. The Centennials would get an early powerplay wich seemed to take away all the momentum the Vipers had. Just seconds into the man advantage, a quick pass setup Michael Van Unen coming in from the point just missed the far corner on a good chance. Merritt with a few goal mouth scrambles couldn't beat Vipers starting goaltender Riley Mathieson who come up with some big saves. Vernon was able to get some solid goaltending on the penalty kill, killed off the minor. Shortly after Ryan Van Unen got in behind the Viper defence couldn't beat Mathieson in close on a good look in tight. Vernon couldn't get much going offensively as the Cents were coming on. Both teams switched goaltenders at the midway mark. Merritt starting goaltender Jacob Berger didn't allow a goal on sixteen Vernon shots was replaced by backup netminder Dorian Labranche. Riley Mathieson allowed one goal on twelve Merritt shots was replaced by Billy Cawthorn. On the following shift Ethan Skinner spotted Tyler Ward in front who beat Billy Cawthorn on his first shot giving Merritt a 2-0 lead at 10:47 Skinner & Nick Wicks with the helpers. The Centennials would get three powerplays in the second half couldn't capitalize with the man advantage after the Vipers come up with some big penalty kills. With about five minutes to go in the middle frame, Levi Johnson ripped a hard shot from the high circle beat Dorian Labranche but hit the post. The Vipers with not a lot of offence had troubles getting any kind of zone time. It was 2-0 Merritt after 40 minutes of play. Vernon had some good pressure to start the 2nd couldn't keep it going, was outplayed most of the period. The Vipers with no real opportunities, didn't generate much for offence. Most of the play was in the Viper end. The Cents with a good period, played well, had some chances couldn't capitalize on three powerplay's that period. Shots were even 8-8.

3rd Period: The Centennials carried a lot of the play early as the Vipers looked lack luster. Merritt would get an early powerplay but again couldn't find the back of the net, after some good pressure. The Vipers looked to be standing around, weren't skating, showed no hustle or intensity come the 3rd period. Merritt with a flurry of chances-shots towards the goal looked to have scored but it was Vernon defenceman Jack Judson who was in the crease to somehow stop the puck from going in, made a big defensive play to keep the puck out of his own goal. The Cents would get a lucky bounce to take a 3-0 lead. Zach Metsa's point shot went in off Viper d-man Callum Volpe and into the back of the open cage, no chance for Vipers goaltender Billy Cawthorn as Merritt was up 3-0 at 7:06 Rylan Van Unen collected the assist. This seemed to take all the life out of the Vipers. Shortly after Vernon would get their first powerplay of the night, the Vipers would generate three real quality chances in close couldn't beat Dorian Labranche who come up with his best saves of the night. Labranche didn't see much action until now. Shorthanded the Cents had a parcial two on one couldn't hit the net, Vernon with a good powerplay, couldn't capitalize. Late in the game Centennials veteran Nick Fidanza lead the attack with a three on one rush but got tangled up with one of his own linemates as Merritt couldn't even get a shot off on a missed opportunity. Riley Brandt laid out two more big hits late in the frame, maybe was trying to send a message for the re-match in Merritt tomorrow night. In the end Merritt would pick up their first win of the pre-season with the 3-0 victory. The Vipers struggled in the 3rd didn't look very good for most of the final twenty minutes. A lot of standing around, showed no real emotion or intensity. The Centennials carried most of the play, were by far the better team tonight. Shots were even 11-11.

Top Player's: (Vernon)

Riley Brandt I thought was a sparkplug in the opening frame, laid out three or four big hits, was skating hard, showed some intensity wasn't nearly as noticeable in the 2nd and 3rd periods.

Levi Johnson hit the post late in the 2nd period played well through out the game. A bigger body is a good skater, plays the body, finishes his checks, worked hard all night.

Steven Jandric I thought was the Vipers best player in the 1st period, had two or three good quality chances, couldn't find the back of the net, was really skating that 1st period. Showed a lot of hustle, battled and was creating chances, like Brandt didn't stand out in the 2nd and 3rd periods.

Riley Mathieson (11 saves) Started tonight's exhibition game before being replaced halfway through the 2nd period played well. I thought the kid stood his own, was quick on his feet, played his position well, made some big saves on the penalty kill, looked calm for his first game with the Vipers.

Game Thought's: (Vernon)

Like last night the Vipers didn't get off to a great start, but also like last night I thought Vernon responded well and got going as the opening period went on along. The Vipers didn't get a lot of scoring chances in that first frame, did get fourteen shots on goal after getting just three all of last night's 1st period. Where did the Vipers go after the opening frame? I didn't think Vernon looked or played very well in the final two periods. Saw a lot of kids standing around, didn't generate or create much offensive chances, didn't get a lot of zone time, looked lack luster, showed very little intensity. Vernon has scored just one goal in two exhibition games, has had their troubles finding the back of the net. Last night the Vipers struggled getting shots-pucks to the goal, tonight they struggled generating chances on a consistant basis. I thought the Viper defence was much stronger, more physical and showed more of a veteran presence last night over tonight's defence. A few marginal calls on the Vipers, while nothing was being called on Merritt. There wasn't a lot of penalties missed but the Vipers had just one powerplay. I thought Vernon iced a better more veteran lineup last night. I thought last night's Vipers roster-team played/looked much better. Saw a lot of  young kids in the lineup tonight, that didn't show me much. The Vipers fall to 0-2-0-0 will travel to Merritt tomorrow night for the second game of the home and home series. These two teams will meet six more times come the regular season.

Top Player's: (Merritt)

Zach Metsa (1 goal) I thought played very well on the Cents backend.

Nick Wicks (1 assist) Was very effective-creative up front. Not very big, was quick on his feet, had some wheels, could really skate, was always involved in the play.

Ethan Skinner (1 goal & 1 assist) One of Merritt's new recruits this season, had a strong night. Picking up two points was one of the Centennials better players. Another kid that created/generated several opportunities.

Luke Recchi Played well in the win, showed signs of skill at times. Was another forward who was involved in the play from time to time.

Tyler Ward (1 goal) I thought played very well, was also involved in the play often. Created-generated some good chances, had a solid night up front for the Cents.

Jacob Berger (16 saves-Shutout) Started the game for Merritt, was replaced halfway through the middle frame didn't give up a single goal, made sixteen saves ended up sharing the shutout with backup goaltender Dorian Labranche. I thought played well, made the saves when called apon, was quick on his feet, got lucky on a few occasions but still managed to keep the puck out of the back of the net.

Game Thought's: (Merritt)

The Cents got off to a good start, played fairly well for most of the night. I thought were the better of the two teams, played with a lot more consistency and close to sixty minutes. The Centennials had the better scoring chances, saw a lot more zone time, were good with the puck, didn't give up a lot of zone time. Played most of the night in the Vernon zone. Went 1-4 with the man advantage could have really put this game away if they clicked with the powerplay. Merritt is quick, moves the puck well, has some skilled forwards that are quick on their feet, created/generated some good chances, played well defensively really limiting the Vipers scoring chances. This team also wasn't afraid to back down from the pushing and shoving after the whistles, stood up to the challenge. Merritt improves to 1-0-1-0 in the pre-season host the Vipers Saturday.

Three Stars:

No three stars were announced



No scratches were announces. There was about seventeen players-scratches sitting in the stands through out the game.


No scratches were announced. There was nine or ten players-scratches sitting in the stands.

Here is a look at both teams lineups-rosters:


Sol Seibel (99) D
Nolan Gallager (97) D
Chris Jandric (98) D
Jack Judson (99) D
Brett Stapley (99) F
Niko Karamanis (98) F
Riley Brandt (96) F
Derek Osik (98) F
Aiden Bar-Lev Wise (98) F
Kaden Black (98) F
Levi Johnson (97) F
Coleton Bilodeau (00) F
Jake Garmen (98) F
Ryan Cooper (99) F
Callum Volpe (98) D
Justin Lee (98) F
Darren Rizzolo (98) D
Steven Jandric (97) F
Billy Cawthorn (98) G
Riley Mathieson (98) G


Zach Metsa (98) D
Joel Scrimbit (98) D
Michael Faulkner (96) D
Andrew Troy (98) D
Michael Van Unen (99) D
Tyrell Buckley (97) D
Nick Wicks (98) F
Ethan Skinner (97) F
Rylan Van Unen (99) F
Tyler Pietrowski (96) F
Henry Cleghorn (97) F
Luke Recchi (00) F
Michael Regush (98) F
Brett Jewell (96) F
Tyler Ward (99) F
John Stein (99) F
Nick Fidanza (96) F
Juanre Naude (99) F
Jacob Berger (97) G
Dorian Labranche (98) G

Game Preview: Exhibition: Merritt @ Vernon:

Merritt (0-0-1-0) @ Vernon (0-1-0-0) 7pm

Tonight is first of eight meetings between the Vernon Vipers & Merritt Centennials. The Vipers won the season series last year 4-3

Last Game:

Thursday, August 25th Penticton defeated Vernon 4-1
Wednesday, August 24th Merritt tied Salmon Arm 5-5

Next Game:

Saturday, August 27th Vernon @ Merritt

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

Jagger Williamson's BDO Goal Of The Game:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

#11 Jagger Williamson BDO GOAL OF THE GAME 8-25-16

August 26, 2016

by Vernon Vipers

Home Goal Of The Game

Vernon Forward #11 Jagger Williamson scores against the Penticton Vees just a couple of minutes into the second period to cut Penticton’s lead in the game to 2-1. #23 Jimmy Lambert assisted on the goal by making a nifty cross ice pass on the 2-on-1. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE about this game and hear the coach’s comments.

(Make sure you select the gear on the youtube player and watch in 1080P HD 60fps)

Vipers Overloaded On Defence:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers overloaded on defence

by Kevin Mitchell - Vernon Morning Star

Aug 26, 2016

Everybody can see how powerful the Vernon Vipers will be up front this B.C. Hockey League season.

Led by muscle-bound returnees Christian Cakebread and Riley Brandt and ultra-talented Niko Karamanis, Jimmy Lambert, Steve Jandric, Jagger Williamson and Brett Stapley, the Snakes will generate plenty of offence.

The mystery remains on the back end where Mitch Oliver, Callum Volpe and Darren Rizzolo are the only returnees. They accounted for 11 goals last year with Oliver tops with 27 points and all four of his snipes on the powerplay.

“There’s only three d-man returning and there’s a lot of good players in the mix so it should be good,” said Oliver, a 19-year-old Kelowna product. “We also have to figure out what we’re gonna do for goalies, but there are some good ones here.”

Oliver, who worked in the gym and on the ice while making money at the downtown Kelowna marina all summer, isn’t taking anything for granted.

“It’s been a good competitive camp with lots of skilled guys here vying for jobs. I have two years under Mark Ferner as head coach so I pretty much know exactly what he wants. I feel good; I wouldn’t say I feel more comfortable but  I know more what to do and I try and lead by example.”

Ferner, whose crew host the Penticton Vees tonight to open a six-game exhibition slate, isn’t overly concerned with his dee corps.

“We have 13 dee in camp who we believe can play in this league,” said Ferner, moments after a morning skate Thursday. “Everybody left here (37 in camp) will get an opportunity to play in at least one of the exhibition games. It’s our job to give these kids an opportunity.”

It appears that monster Americans Shane Kelly and Cameron Kuhl will take up two import spots on defence.

Kelly is a 6-foot-4, 214-pounder from Orchard Park, Mich.

Kuhl is a 6-foot-2, 205-pounder from Clifton Park, N.Y. who knocked Kelowna product Chase Stephenson out of camp first shift Monday with a thundering hit. Kuhl attended the New York Islanders prospect camp this summer.

Defenceman Mike Ufberg of Philadelphia, a powerplay specialist, is also making a strong bid to make the team as are Chris Jandric of Prince George and Carter Stephenson of Vancouver.

The Vipers will dress seven or eight veterans tonight.

Ferner released 20 players Wednesday night, mostly 16-year-olds.

“We have some 16s who are going to play tonight and then go to Western League camps. We have 11 guys going to WHL camps.”

Vernon’s Coleton Bilodeau, whose WHL rights belong to the Moose Jaw Warriors, will play versus the Vees.

Speedy 19-year-old Nicholas Bondra left the team  after checking the import numbers.

“If he was a non-import, he would have stayed,” said Ferner. “He’s going to play somewhere in the NAHL.”

Bondra is the son of Peter Bondra, who rang up 503 goals and almost 900 points in 15 NHL seasons, mainly with Washington Capitals.

“My dad retired when I was 10 so I remember quite a few games,” said the soft-spoken and likeable Bondra, after a Wednesday scrimmage. “(Jaromir) Jagr was a really impressionable guy and (Alex Ovechkin) Ovy and all those guys were great. I didn’t really realize what was going on at the time but it was fun.”

Bondra rang up eight goals and 31 points with the Buffalo Jr. Sabres last year.

SNAKE BITES: The Vipers entertain the Merritt Centennials Friday night and then visit the Cents Saturday...Toronto’s Mathew Robson, 20, has joined the Vees after spending a year practising with the Clarkson University Golden Knights in New York. Robson was sitting out after he won an appeal against the NCAA as he had signed with an Ontario Hockey League team at 16 but never played due to injury. While Robson won the ruling, the NCAA gave him a 1.5-year suspension. Robson chose to leave Clarkson to get back to playing and earn a scholarship with another school. “I’m hoping to backstop a lot of them and if they need me to steal a game here and there, that’s what I’m here for,” said Robson...Former Penticton/Portland/Kelowna G Bruno Campese has left the Okanagan Hockey Academy to scout fulltime for the new NHL Las Vegas franchise.Campese, who was the GM of the WHL Prince Albert Raiders, was contacted by Kelly McCrimmon, former GM of the Brandon Wheat Kings, who is the assistant GM of Las Vegas.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Exhibition: Penticton 4 Vernon 1

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 pre-season game as Penticton defeated Vernon 4-1 in front of a small crowd at Kal Tire Place.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Gavin Hubbard
Penticton: Mat Robson

1st Period: Both teams come out hitting early on before the Vees would take control of the game within the opening minutes. Penticton would get the games first shot of the night about a minute and a half into the period before Jonny Tychonick with a quick shot from the high slot just seconds later handcuffed Vipers starting goaltender Gavin Hubbard who was forced to make an awkward save. About a minute later Hubbard come across the crease to rob Noah Jordan cruising to the front of the net, made a big pad save off the Vees forward to keep this game scoreless. Penticton now in full control were carrying the better of the play as Vernon was back on their heels, were having trouble getting the puck out of their own end. The Vees strong forecheck kept coming

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

Game Preview: Exhibition: Penticton @ Vernon:

Penticton (1-0) @ Vernon (0-0) 7pm

Tonight is the first of eight meetings between the Vernon Vipers & Penticton Vees. The Vees won the season series last year 6-0

Last Game:

Wednesday, August 24th Penticton defeated West Kelowna 2-0

Next Game:

Friday, August 26th Merritt @ Vernon

Tuesday, August 30th Vernon @ Penticton

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

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Day 3 From Vipers Training Camp:

I stopped by Kal Tire Place tonight for the final day of Vipers Training Camp.

Team White defeated Team Blue 6-4 in the first game-scrimmage of the night. It was 1-1 after the 1st period and tied 2-2 after the 2nd period before Team White scored four third period goals to come away with the 6-4 victory. This game was actually pretty close for most parts until Viper veteran Riley Brandt scored three third period goals to lead Team White to the win. Viper veteran Darren Rizzolo got tangled up in the corner, mixed it up with a player on Team Blue. Viper veterans Riley Brandt & Jimmy Lambert exchanged words with Viper veteran Jagger Williamson on the way to the benches, as there was a little more edge in tonight's game. 

Riley Mathieson started in goal for Team White, allowed just one goal before being replaced by backup goaltendert Cole Demers halfway through the game. Demers would give up three goals in the second half.

Team White Goals:

Riley Brandt (4)
Justin Lee
(I missed one goal-Didn't catch the # who scored)

Vipers Will Have New Captain:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Vipers Will Have New Captain

August 24, 2016

by Vernon Vipers

Vernon, B.C. | August 24, 2016 — A different Vernon Viper will be wearing the ‘C’ once the 2016-17 season begins. Head Coach Mark Ferner announced last year’s captain Colton McCarthy would not be returning for his final year in a Vipers uniform. The hard nosed forward who was able to rack up 33 points including 21 goals last season has opted to go the Canadian university route. McCarthy played two seasons with the Vipers after leaving the Western Hockey League where he played three seasons with Moose Jaw and Prince Albert.

Watch Mark’s interview below about Colton’s decision and when the team will decide a new captain for the coming season.

Barry Heads For Clippers Crease:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Barry heads for Clippers crease                 

by Kevin Mitchell - Vernon Morning Star

Aug 24, 2016

Gone are goalie Brendan Barry and captain Colton McCarthy. The Vernon Vipers, however, will carry on just fine without both veterans. It’s all part of the business end of the B.C. Hockey League.

While McCarthy told family, friends and teammates last spring he was considering spending his 20-year-old season in college, Barry’s no-show at training camp Monday was the talk around Kal Tire Place. He got his release and signed with the Nanaimo Clippers.

Barry is the son of Kelowna’s J.P. Barry, one of the world’s top hockey agents, representing $554 million in NHL contracts. He represents 62 players, including Roberto Luongo, Evgeni Malkin and Dougie Hamilton.

“That’s a tough situation no question about it,” said Viper head coach/GM Mark Ferner. “We wanted Brendan to come to camp and compete for a job. That’s all we basically asked, considering how things ended last year, we weren’t happy with it. The returning players weren’t necessarily guaranteed a spot: they had to come and earn it. Talking to his dad, J.P., we felt it was better for both parties and Brendan thought it would be a better opportunity in Nanaimo.”

Barry, 18, got in 13 games with the Snakes last year, going 4-6 after one tilt with the Penticton Vees. He went 10-2 with the Vees his rookie year.

“We told him we didn’t bring a lot of goalies here, he would have been our eighth one,” added Ferner. “He would have been part of three ‘97s. We have some young kids here, but we’re not gonna stop looking to try and help our hockey team. I have no hard feelings towards Brendan whatsoever.”

Gavin Hubbard, who played for the Omaha AAA Lancers in the NAPHL 18U last year, is favoured to earn one net detective spot. The 19-year-old Maryland product was sharp in the Blue-Red scrimmage Monday night, stopping Trevor Longo on an early penalty shot.

The goalie situation is not creating any chaos in the Viper den. Three-year veteran Riley Brandt, who spent the summer working at a winery and playing baseball in Trail, knows Ferner will solidify the crease issue.

“I’m sure he’s got something up his sleeve,” said Brandt, who along with Jagger Williamson, Christian Cakebread and Hunter Zandee, will likely wear a letter this season.“It’s never really a problem We got a long time until the season starts and I’m sure he’ll keep his eyes open and we’ve got a couple of good goalies in camp so we don’t have to worry about it.”

There were 66 players in camp and the pace in the drills and games was pretty high.

“It was a lot better than I expected,” said Brandt. “I thought it was going to be a little slow but the first period was good. It was a lot of fun out there and everybody looked good.”

Ferner figures all the young players will become more comfy each day and be able to enjoy the six exhibition games.

“I think the biggest thing when you bring  young players in that they need to know that they have an opportunity. We make sure our veterans  treat our young players properly and make them feel comfortable. The quicker you can come together as a team, the better you’re gonna be off. That’s the one thing that we’re gonna address our group with. It’s fine to be friends but more importantly you have to be a teammate and I think that’s how you become a team. Last year we brought in a lot of really young kids we knew who weren’t really quite ready. Everyone here is gonna have an opportunity...

“The warning shot has gone out to our returning players that no job is safe right now. That’s why we’re going through training camp. Some teams may do it a little bit differently but our training camp has to mean something. There will be players making this team out of training camp. It may be old school but I don’t want to hand a job to someone that’s not willing to work for it.”

On losing McCarthy, a Salmon Arm product who played 113 games in the WHL, to the SAIT Trojans in Calgary, Ferner considers it the circle of life in hockey. The two had several coffee talks in Ferner’s office this summer.

“That was a summer thing,” said Ferner. “He was on the fence for a while. He really hadn’t made his mind up. I didn’t want to say something and then he ends up coming back. He had an opportunity to go to a real good school and keep playing hockey and get an education. Our job is to obviously win hockey games, but more importantly move kids on to where they want to get to.”

The Vipers will sorely miss McCarthy’s 21 goals and physical play, but appear solid up front with prize recruit Niko Karamanis of Courtenay pulling the hat trick as Team Black bounced Team White 8-5 Monday night. Karamanis, 18, spent the last five years in the Shattuck St. Mary’s program in Minnesota. He rang up 58 points in 47 Midget Prep games last year and posted 56 goals and 131 points in two U16 Midget seasons.

SNAKE BITES: Cakebread owned the puck every shift with Team Black, whose ‘99 G Austin Poulin stopped vet D Darren Rizzolo on a penalty shot...Returning F Nick Rasovic showed some sick hands, scoring a pair of beauties for Team Blue. He went top cheddar for his deuce....Jack Judson, a 16-year-old D out of the Delta Hockey Academy, turned Zandee upside down with one of the best hits of the night...The camp ends with four scrimmages Wednesday, starting at 8 a.m. and ending at 9:15 p.m...The Vipers host the Vees Thursday night and the Merritt Centennials Friday in preseason play

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Day 2 Report From Vipers Training Camp:

I stopped by Kal Tire Place tonight for Day 2 of the Vipers Training Camp.

Team White defeated Team Blue 4-1 in the first game-scrimmage of the night. It was 1-1 after the 1st period and 2-1 Team White after the 2nd period before Team White added two 3rd period goals to come away with the 4-1 victory. This was a fairly evenly matched game until Team White took over in parts of the 2nd and 3rd periods. Give full credits to Team White who played with basically two lines going with a short bench.

Team White Goals:

Jimmy Lambert (2)
Josh Prokop
Carter Stephenson

Team Blue Goals:

Hudson Schandor

Riley Mathieson started for Team White allowed just one goal played the entire game. While Gavin Hubbard started for Team Blue allowed two goals before being replaced by #30 who wasn't on the lineup sheet-roster allowed two goals to finish the game.

Players that I thought stood out,

Team White:

Carter Stephenson (1 goal) who has committed to the Vipers for this season scored once, looked very impressive on the backend for Team White. Was getting lots of pucks to the net, looked good with and without the puck.

Jimmy Lambert (2 goals) I thought looked pretty good this evening.

Matteo Pecchia I thought was one of the better forwards for Team White tonight. Was really skating, moving the puck, created-generated some good opportunities.

Riley Mathieson was the lone goaltender for Team White, played the entire game-scrimmage allowed the lone goal played well between the pipes.

Team Blue:

Mitch Oliver was pretty steady on the blueline

News & Notes:

Both teams were missing several players, had shortened benches. Team Blue had a #7 & #30 on their bench who didn't play last night and isn't listed on the roster-lineup.

Team Black defeated Team Red 5-2 in the second and final game-scrimmage of the night. It was 2-1 Team Black after the 1st period and 4-1 after two periods. Both teams exchanged goals in the 3rd as Team Black come away with the 5-2 win. Viper veterans Steven Jandric, Brett Stapley and Christian Cakebread got involved in a little scrum in the 1st period before Jandric and Cakebread dropped the gloves at the buzzer to end the 2nd period. This was one of the more spirited games of the Camp this week. Team Black was the better of the two teams for most of the night.

Team Red Goals:

Hunter Zandee (2)

Team Black Goals:

Niko Karamanis (2)
Liam Ryan
Coleton Bilodeau (2)

Billy Cawthorn started for Team Black allowed just one goal before being replaced halfway through the game in favor of Austin Poulin who didn't give up a goal the remainder of the game. Jordan Naylor started for Team Red who allowed four goals before being replaced by Ty Taylor halfway through the game, who gave up just a single goal.

Players that I thought stood out,

Team Red:

Jarrod Isley I thought played very well on the backend. Was steady all game.

Steven Jandric played with a little spark, got involved with Christian Cakebread on a few occasions.

Hunter Zandee (2 goals) I thought looked good for a second straight night. Zandee has been impressive so far at Camp this week.

Team Black:

Austin Poulin played the second half of tonight's game, looked pretty good between the pipes. Didn't give up a goal, made the saves when called apon.

Mike Ufberg was solid on the blueline. Made atleast two big defensive plays.

Niko Karamanis (2 goals) Looked good for his second game at Training Camp. Has committed to the Vipers for this season, has played very well in the two games so far.

Coleton Bilodeau (2 goals) Showed signs of skill scoring twice.

News & Notes:

Both teams went with shortened benches just like in the first game-scrimmage. All four teams were missing players.

Tomorrow is the final day of Training Camp before the Vipers open the season Thursday with an Exhibition game vs Penticton at Kal Tire Place.

Ferner On Day 1 Of Camp:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Ferner On Day 1 Of Camp

August 23, 2016

by Vernon Vipers

Kal Tire Place – Vernon, B.C.

The BCHL Vernon Vipers opened their 2016-17 main camp today and according to the Viper’s coaching staff and ownership it’s off to a great start. Team Owner Duncan Wray, who had been attending the entire day including the scimmage games says he was ‘impressed’ with the talent he’s seen so far. Meanwhile Head Coach Mark Ferner says he expects to see more from the players over the next couple of days reminding everyone that ‘jobs are on the line’. Watch the video below to hear Mark’s thoughts on the camp so far.

A Closer Look At The Vipers Training Camp Roster:

I did some homework & found some info on almost all of the new Viper try-outs.  Here is a more in depth look at most of this years Viper try-outs from Training Camp.

Austin Poulin (99) Goaltender

From Kelowna, BC Listed at 6'2 174 lbs Played last season with Pursuit of Excellene Program

Billy Cawthorn (98) Goaltender

From Vernon, BC

Mike Ufberg (97) Defenceman

From Richboro, PA USA Listed at 5'9 174 lbs Played last season with North Jersey Avalanche 18U

Owen Williams (2000) Defenceman

From Delta, BC Listed at 5'10 150 lbs Played last season with Notre Dame Hounds Midget AAA

Garrett Ewert (99) Defenceman

From Kamloops, BC Listed at 6'1 165 lbs Played last season with BCMML Kamloops Blazers

Coleton Bilodeau (2000) Forward

From Vernon, BC Listed at 6'1 170 lbs Played last season with Okanagan Rockets

Garin Butler (2000) Forward

From Weslock, AB Listed at 5'9 154 lbs Played last season with Northern Alberta Elite 15s

Monday, August 22, 2016

Day 1 Report From Vipers Training Camp:

I stopped by Kal Tire Place tonight for the first day of Vipers Training Camp.

In the first scrimmage-game Team White defeated Team Black 8-4. Team Black had a 2-1 lead after the 1st period but were down 4-2 after the 2nd period. Team White would score the next two goals to grab a 6-2 lead before Team Black got within two goals, Team added two late goals to win 8-4. Team Black looked pretty good in the 1st but looked like a different team in the 2nd period and first half of the 3rd before getting to within two goals couldn't keep the puck out of their net. Team White didn't get off to a great start but really got their game going in the 2nd and 3rd periods scoring seven goals.

Goal Scorers:

Team Black:

Callum Volpe (2)
Niko Karamanis (2)

Billy Cawthorn started for Team Black allowed three goals before being replaced by Austin Poulin halfway through the game. Poulin gave up five goals.

Vipers Training Camp Begins:

This is posted on the 107.5 Kiss FM website:

Vipers Training Camp Begins

Posted on  8/22/2016

by Ron Manz
The Vernon Vipers main training camp hits the ice at Kal Tire Place today.

There are morning practise sessions and then two games at 5:30 and 7:30.

Coach Mark Ferner says no job from last year is safe.

"We have four teams that we feel is going to be a very competitive group.  Like I told our veterans and the players coming in, you've got to earn a spot."

Ferner says he hopes to build a much more competitive team this year.

"We've got great kids returning.  They understand what happened.  They are looking foward to getting things started, but at the same time we've done our work and gone out and idenfitied some good talent and they are coming with one thing in mind and that is to make our hockey team."

Ferner says the young players on last year's team should be better this year...but no one's spot is guaranteed.

"We're bringing in older players this year and you kind of have to make the hockey team again.  Just because you played on the team last year doesn't mean you're going to play on our team this year."

The Vipers start their exhibiton season this Thursday and Friday at Kal Tire Place against Penticton and then Merritt.

Vernon Vipers 2016-17 Schedule:

Vernon Vipers 2016 Exhibition Schedule:


Thursday, August 25th Penticton @ Vernon 7pm
Friday, August 26th Merritt @ Vernon 7pm
Saturday, August 27th Vernon @ Merritt 7pm
Tuesday, August 30th Vernon @ Penticton 7pm


Friday, September 2nd Vernon @ Salmon Arm 7pm
Saturday, September 3rd Salmon Arm @ Vernon 6pm

Vernon Vipers 2016-17 Regular Season Schedule:


Friday, September 9th Vernon @ Salmon Arm 7pm
Saturday, September 10th Salmon Arm @ Vernon 6pm
Friday, September 16th Coquitlam @ Vernon 7pm
Saturday, September 17th Vernon @ West Kelowna 7pm
Friday, September 23rd Nanaimo @ Vernon 1pm (BCHL Showcase-Played In Chilliwack)
Saturday, September 24th Vernon @ Wenatchee 7:30pm (BCHL Showcase-Played In Chilliwack)
Friday, September 30th Vernon @ Powell River 7:15pm


Saturday, October 1st Vernon @ Alberni Valley 7pm
Sunday, October 2nd Vernon @ Nanaimo 2pm
Friday, October 7th Surrey @ Vernon 7pm
Saturday, October 8th Vernon @ West Kelowna 7pm
Wednesday, October 12th Vernon @ Merritt 7pm
Saturday, October 15th Vernon @ Chilliwack 7pm
Wednesday, October 19th Chilliwack @ Vernon 7pm
Friday, October 21st Trail @ Vernon 7pm
Saturday, October 22nd Vernon @ Trail 7pm
Friday, October 28th Penticton @ Vernon 7pm
Saturday, October 29th Merritt @ Vernon 6pm


Friday, November 4th Vernon @ Cowichan 7pm
Saturday, November 5th Vernon @ Victoria 7pm
Sunday, November 6th Vernon @ Surrey 4pm
Friday, November 11th Vernon @ Penticton 7pm
Saturday, November 12th Penticton @ Vernon 6pm
Wednesday, November 16th Langley @ Vernon 7pm
Friday, November 18th Vernon @ West Kelowna 7pm
Sunday, November 20th Cowichan @ Vernon 2pm
Friday, November 25th Vernon @ Wenatchee 7pm
Saturday, November 26th Vernon @ Coquitlam 7pm
Sunday, November 27th Vernon @ Langley 2pm


Friday, December 2nd West Kelowna @ Vernon 7pm
Wednesday, December 7th Vernon @ Penticton 7pm
Friday, December 9th Vernon @ Salmon Arm 7pm
Saturday, December 10th Trail @ Vernon 6pm
Wednesday, December 14th Salmon Arm @ Vernon 7pm
Friday, December 16th Vernon @ Merritt 7pm
Saturday, December 17th Vernon @ Trail 7pm
Thursday, December 29th Salmon Arm @ Vernon 7pm
Friday, December 30th Vernon @ Salmon Arm 7pm


Saturday, January 7th Vernon @ Penticton 6pm
Wednesday, January 11th Vernon @ Prince George 7pm
Friday, January 13th Salmon Arm @ Vernon 7pm
Saturday, January 14th Merritt @ Vernon 6pm
Wednesday, January 18th Merritt @ Vernon 7pm
Friday, January 20th Vernon @ West Kelowna 7pm
Saturday, January 21st Powell River @ Vernon 6pm
Wednesday, January 25th Vernon @ Penticton 7pm
Friday, January 27th Penticton @ Vernon 7pm
Saturday, January 28th Nanaimo @ Vernon 6pm
Sunday, January 29th Prince George @ Vernon 2pm


Wednesday, February 1st West Kelowna @ Vernon 7pm
Saturday, February 4th Trail @ Vernon 6pm
Tuesday, February 7th Vernon @ Merritt 7pm
Friday, February 10th Wenatchee @ Vernon 7pm
Saturday, February 11th West Kelowna @ Vernon 6pm
Friday, February 17th Victoria @ Vernon 7pm
Saturday, February 18th Alberni Valley @ Vernon 6pm
Friday, February 24th Vernon @ Trail 7:30pm
Saturday, February 25th Trail @ Vernon 6pm