Sunday, April 27, 2008

Thoughts From Day 2 At Spring Camp:

Day 2 From Vipers Spring Camp:

Saw some of the Vipers Camp this afternoon. Heres some kids that I thought stood out,

Brooks Christensen (Team Yellow) For the 2nd straight day, Christensen played well and stood out. Smooth skater with some nice hands. Really handles the puck well.

Connor Jones (Team Red) Looked good, had a few good scoring chances.

Tyler Brandon (Team Red) Played well on the backend. Looked good defensively.

Doug Orr (Team Red) Really stood out, reads the play well, likes to move the puck up ice, plays solid on the backend. Was impressed with this kid.

Dylan Smith (Team Blue) A big kid who moves the puck well, made some nice plays up ice. May need some work on his skating.

Sean Menton (Team Blue) A very small kid but is quick and handles the puck well. Smooth fast skater who has some nice moves in close. Was wearing a visor, someone said he played Jr last year. Very impressed.

Kris Glinsbockel (Team Blue) A Vernon product who played with Merritt last season. Looked very impressive in the 1st & 2nd periods. Scored two Goals. Really skates well, nice puck handler, always looking at making a play. On the same line with Menton, both kids played very well together. Very quick at getting back into position. Was impressed.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

My Thoughts From Day 1 At Spring Camp:

Vipers Spring Camp Rosters:

Team Rosters:

Team Yellow:

Brad Irving
Anthoni Sheppherd
Reece Matheson
Dylan Mooney
Evan Ripley
Luke Challier
Justin Palazzo
Brooks Christensen
Cody Barendregt
Darcy Backstrom
Trevor Gustafson
Luke Hannas
Kurtis Hagen
Jordan Hirano
Colton Dahlen
Braden Redman
Tyler Steel
Christian Karl
Lucas Gore

Team Red:

Tyler Brandon
Doug Orr
Riggs Young
Tyrelle Louis
Reed Blinkhorn
Zach Eurchuk
Luc Blinkhorn
Brandon Luff
Justin Taber
Daren Schmautz
Logan Stockley
Brendan Fagan
Brantley Shopansky
Bill Garnett
Eric Brabander
Jordan Vallance
Dylan Bierwrth

Team Blue:

Nick Amies
Dylan Smith
Lynden Enger
Jeremy Wiebe
Ryan Skinner
Sean Menton
Kris Glinsbockel
Kyle Buckley
Scott Austin
Karson Holt
Jordan Swetlikoff
Trevor Fitzgerald
Zach Henry
Rylan Pickett
Connor Barrie
Ryan Farghar

Team White:

Darin Robak
Ryan Callebrese
Taylor Greatrex
Danny Vlanich
Bennett Hambrook
Kyle Franzius
Danielle Donnachie
David Sabey
Brad Friedrich
Colton Donselaar
Ryan Kallis
Keegan Hunter
Shawn Halliday
Spencer Asuchuk
Brock Fraser
Ryan Gross
Mike Vlanich

Team Black:

Colt Ruthven
Sam Rockwell
Tyler Gavin
Sina Pourmahktar
Trent Dorais
Tye Sanford
Chad Olsen
Sawyer Mick
Curtis Summerfelt
Corey Savoia
Matthew Peddie
Rob Short
Jordan Norstrom
Burhan Pourmakthar
Brock Bolson
Conor Tamai
Alex Wind
Peter Megoritis
Nick Broesler

Saw some of the Vipers Camp this afternoon. Heres some kids that I thought stood out,

Kyle Franzius (Team White) Looked very solid up front. A bigger kid who skates very well, and really handles the puck. Seems to read the play very well. Has some nice hands.

Colton Donselaar (Team White) Played well defensively. Rob Short (Team Black) Scored 2 Goals & atleast 1 Assist. Short was by far the best player on the ice. Played well at both ends, showed alot of hustle. Was really skating strong all afternoon.

Curtis Summerfelt (Team Black) Played as an "AP" two years ago with Vernon, played last season in the WHA with Lumby. I liked the looks of this kid when he played with the Vipers 2 seasons ago and thought he stood out this afternoon. Very strong skater, with some soft hands around the net. Had many good scoring chances, nice moves down low. Outskated most of the kids on the ice.

Brooks Christensen (Team Yellow) Looked very solid up front, was Team Yellows best player, looked like a Jr A player, was wearing a visor. Solid skater and nice shot. Tyler Steel (Team Yellow) Played very well between the pipes. Very quick on his feet, plays his position well. Made some nice saves down low, stopped two breakaways. Was one of the better Goaltenders in Camp.

Talked to a Vipers season ticket holder who knows a few of the Vipers scouts. He was telling me the Vipers are looking at improving in Goal and have someone they are interested in. Saw alot of kids wearing Revelstoke Grizzlie Jackets, one kid was wearing a Trail Smoke Eaters jacket.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Vipers Searching For Skill:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers searching for skill

By Graeme Corbett - Vernon Morning Star - April 25, 2008

The B.C. Hockey League introduced four-on-four hockey to regular season overtime to wow fans with more offence. Vernon Vipers’ head coach Mark Ferner is taking that strategy to the next level at this weekend’s spring camp. He will use the four-aside scenario to identify the cream of the 70 skaters and 15 goalies battling for a few precious spots on the Vipers’ 2008-09 roster.Rather than go with traditional five-on-five hockey, Ferner is hoping the extra space will allow the better skaters, both offensively and defensively, to show their stuff. Conversely, it will also expose weaker players who won’t have that extra linemate to hide behind.“We want to see the skill level of these kids coming in, so we’re going to play at four-on-four,” said Ferner. “This camp is going to be all about skill. Our goalies are going to see a lot of shots.”Camp registration starts today at 3 p.m. at Wesbild Centre, with practice sessions going at 5:15, 7:00 and 8:45 p.m.The 45 forwards and 25 defencemen will be divided into five squads, with each group getting two scrimmage sessions a day on Saturday and Sunday. There’ll also be a goalie session Saturday night at 7 p.m.There could be one extra spot in the Vipers’ lineup depending on whether or not veteran winger Scott Zurevinski decides to postpone his commitment to the NCAA Quinnipiac Bobcats. Zurevinski posted 25-28-53 in 48 games with the Vipers last season.“We have to move forward like he’s not going to be back. That’s what this league is all about… moving these kids onto the next level,” said Ferner.

Spring Camp Schedule

Friday April 25th




Saturday April 26th

9:00-10:30 AM 1 VS 2
10:45-12:15 AM 3VS 4
12:30-2:00 PM 5 VS 1
2:15-3:45 PM 2 VS 3
4:00-5:30 PM 4 VS 5

Sunday April 27th

9:00-10:30 AM 3 VS 5
10:45-12:15 AM 2 VS 4
12:30-2:00 PM 1 VS 3
2:15-3:45 PM 2 VS 5
4:00-5:30 PM 1 VS 4

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Vernon Move Got Metropolit Going:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vernon move got Metropolit going

April 23, 2008

ANAHEIM – Former Vernon Lakers forward Glen Metropolit has made a lifetime of beating tough odds and proving doubters wrong.The eldest child of three siblings was raised by a single-mom in Toronto's Regent Park - one of Canada's most violent and drug infested inner-city slums.When his mother couldn't afford the bills, Metropolit and his younger brother, Troy, were shuffled in and out of foster homes. But hockey became a salvation for Metropolit, who despite the chaos, managed to somehow skate his way through the confusing labyrinth of gangs, pimps and crackheads that were the norm of his youth."My childhood was hard," said the 33-year-old Boston Bruins forward. "I would be taking the garbage out and there would be someone there doing crack. My mom did everything she could but it was tough. I bounced around as a kid and there were money troubles so my mom had to send us to a foster home for awhile. I saw it all."But nothing, it seemed, was going to stand in the way of his ultimate goal of playing professional hockey. And he said the time he spent in Vernon was one of the most important stepping stones in his development as both an individual and a hockey player.“I wanted to leave Toronto because of all this other stuff going on," said Metropolit. "I wanted to go to Vernon because I figured it would be good for my schooling. I wanted to get away from the distractions."Vernon head coach Rob Bremner spotted Metropolit at a select junior player camp in Guelph, Ont. following his second year of junior B. "He knew my story and how I was going down the wrong road," said Metropolit, after a regular-season loss to the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center.Metropolit compiled 43 goals and 117 points with Vernon (28-28-4) in the 1994-95 B.C. Junior Hockey League season, and he started to get noticed for the first time by all those scouts who had ignored him growing up in Toronto.His mother, Linda, couldn't afford to let him play travel hockey so he played in neighbourhood house leagues until he was 17.After lighting up the BCJHL, Metropolit signed a letter-of-intent to play for Bowling Green but he couldn't get in because of low grades. He landed in Nashville instead, thanks to a connection one of the Vernon assistant coaches (Troy Mick) had with the ECHL club.After recording 61 points in 58 games in his first season (1995-96) of pro hockey, Metropolit played in Pensacola, Quebec, Grand Rapids and Portland over the next five seasons before being signed as a free agent by the Washington Capitals in July, 1999.He played 138 games over parts of the next five seasons with the Capitals and the Tampa Bay Lightning. After a couple of years with teams in Switzerland and Finland in the European leagues, he returned to the NHL in 2006-07 for his first full NHL season where he split time between Atlanta and St. Louis.Metropolit estimates he moved 20 times  within Regent Park as a youngster and his hockey career has been just as nomadic. He scratched and clawed his way out of the housing projects and it is the same perseverance that has propelled him to the top of the hockey ladder. The married father of three now tries to pass along his personal knowledge and experience to his own children who enjoy a much different childhood than their father. He says he gets his work ethic from his mother."My mother always told me to 'chase your dream'. She would say 'follow your dream and believe in yourself,'" said Metropolit, who was signed as a free agent by the Bruins last September.Metropolit could have just as easily ended up like his younger half brother Troy, who is languishing in an Ontario prison for his role in one of Canada's most notorious kidnappings. Convicted, along with two others, in the kidnapping and torture of a prominent Toronto lawyer and his wife, Troy's 16-year sentence is one of the longest in Canadian history for that type of crime. Glen was determined to let his surroundings stifle his sense of self being."Hockey was my escape," Glen said. "It was my outlet. I had a group of about five friends and we would play any kind of hockey. Ball hockey in the summer and ice hockey in the winter. It was always hockey."Metropolit may not have  had a normal hockey upbringing, and he seldom caused trouble, but in those rare moments he did, Linda, knew how to deal with it."All I would have to say is 'No hockey tonight', and he would  be crying," she told the Washington Post. "And I would never have to do it again. He'd ask for a licking instead. We had to drag him off the ice to get him to eat. There were lot of freezing cold days and there's no one there but him. He's the only one smacking the puck against the boards. Nothing ever distracted him from hockey. He never wanted to stop playing."His first big break came at 17 when he followed a friend on a  whim to a tryout for the Richmond Hill junior B team. Metropolit made the team, barely. In his second year ,he had 100 points in just 49 games earning an invite to the Guelph camp."I never played at a  top level as a kid. The Richmond Hill team recruited one of my best friends and I was the last one to make the team. They couldn't decide whether to keep me or this other younger kid, but lucky for me they eventually decided to send him back to his Triple A Midget team."

Friday, April 4, 2008

Vipers Ink Buffaloes:

This was in Fridays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers ink Buffaloes

By Graeme Corbett - Vernon Morning Star - April 04, 2008

Vernon Vipers’ head coach/GM Mark Ferner wasted no time in stocking the cupboard for next year’s B.C. Hockey League season. Centreman Brett Switzer and defenceman Adam Thompson, both from the provincial Midget AAA champion Calgary Buffaloes, have committed to play for the Vipers next season. “We’re pretty excited that they’ve committed,” said Ferner, adding that the announcement was delayed by a week so as not to conflict with the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship. “Switzer’s more of an offensive-minded skill guy, but he’s a really smart hockey player, and Thompson’s a guy that eats up real quality minutes.” Switzer, a 5-foot-9 forward who led the Buffaloes offensively all season, said: “They (Vipers) talked to me and Adam early, and it was nice to get that interest.” The Buffaloes are currently playing the Cariboo Cougars for the Pacific Regional Championship, the winner advancing to the nationals. Before that, Switzer led the Alberta Midget Hockey League in playoff scoring with 12 goals and eight assists in 12 games, helping the Buffaloes clinch the provincial title. He also bagged 28 goals and 20 assists in 36 regular season games, earning a selection to the AMHL All-star team. “I had a really good year this year, which really helped my confidence,” said Switzer. “I try my best to make sure I get into a good offensive position. The past couple of years I’ve been more of a playmaker, but we lost a few guys to injury, so I’ve stepped up more as a goal scorer this year.” Switzer has also been a clutch performer at the prestigious Mac’s AAA midget hockey tournament in Calgary. For the past two tournaments he has been named a second team all-star, putting him in a very elite group. With a solid core of returning players, Switzer is looking forward to joining the fold. “(The Vipers were) a really good young team this year, so I’m really excited to see what we can do next year,” said Switzer. “I really like Mark as a coach. He’s a really approachable guy, and if there’s a problem, he’ll let you know, but he won’t let the whole arena know.” Thompson, a 6-foot-1 blueliner, has been solid on the back end for the Buffaloes while chipping in on offence from the point. Thompson logged a ton of minutes throughout the playoffs, leading his team to the provincial championship. “I want to get into junior hockey and play at that level,” said Thompson, who pocketed three goals and four assists in 12 AMHL playoff games. He was just as steady in the regular season where he collected 11 goals and 17 assists for 28 points in 36 games. Thompson was selected as a starter for the AMHL All-Star game, and at the skills competition, he finished second in the hardest shot. He joined Switzer as a second team All-Star at the Mac’s tournament, attended by Ferner and head Viper scout Larry Black.“I can’t wait to get on the ice and prove myself. I’m more of an offensive defenceman. I like to jump up on the rush.”The Vipers brought the Calgary duo, who will play as 18-year-olds next season, over for a visit in late January, where they watched a couple of home games. Vipers’ captain Chris Crowell happened to be serving a suspension at the time, so he was able to roll out the welcome wagon for the Alberta prospects, who both said they were thrilled with Wesbild Centre, the fans and the organization.Added Thompson: “My dad won the 50/50, which was great.”Ferner and assistant coach Jason Williamson are currently in Buffalo to scout the U.S. Midget AAA Nationals, along with some teams in Southern Ontario.“Even though we haven’t announced too much, we’ve certainly identified some really good players,” said Ferner.Along with veteran forwards Travis Brisebois, Greg Beller, and Interior Conference MVP Hunter Bishop, the Vipers are also losing two sturdy defencemen in Isaac Smeltzer and Ryan Kakoske.“Certainly they’re all really good players, but what they leave behind is the way they showed what had to be done. All five of them have been tremendous in that area.”The possible return of gritty veteran Scott Zurevinski, who has committed to play NCAA hockey with the Quinnipiac Bobcats in Connecticut, but still has a year of B.C. Hockey League eligibility left, is a question mark said Ferner.“We’d certainly love to get him back.”

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Switzer & Thompson Commit To Vernon:

This is on the Vipers website:

Vipers get committments

by viper staff Added 2008-04-01

The Vernon Vipers are pleased to announce two commitments for the upcoming season. Brett Switzer and Adam Thompson, both from the provincial champion Calgary Buffaloes, have committed to play for the Vipers. The two have been teammates for many years and are very excited to come to Vernon. Brett Switzer, a 5’9” forward, has been an offensive threat for the Buffaloes the whole season. Recently he has lead the Alberta Midget Hockey League in scoring through the playoffs with 12 goals and 8 assists in 12 games played. During the regular season he also put up some very impressive numbers, in 36 games played he had 28 goals and 20 assists for 48 points. He was also selected to the AMHL All-star team. Switzer has also been a clutch performer at the Mac’s AAA midget hockey tournament in Calgary, a very prestigious tournament. For the past two tournaments Brett has been named a 2nd team all-star, putting him in a very elite group. Adam Thompson, a 6’1” defenseman, has been very solid on the back end while putting up some very impressive offensive numbers at the same time. Adam has played a ton of minutes throughout the playoffs leading his team to the provincial championship. In 12 playoff games he has 3 goals and 4 assists for 7 points. He was just as steady in the regular season where in 36 games he had 11 goals and 17 assists for 28 points. Thompson was selected as a starter for the AMHL All-Star game and at the skills competition finished second in the hardest shot. Adam was also selected as a 2nd team All-Star at the Mac’s AAA Midget hockey tournament. The Vernon Vipers would also like to wish the two good luck in the upcoming Pacific Championship where the Calgary Buffaloes will face off against the Cariboo Cougars