Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Backs’ Blitz Stuffs Snakes:


This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:


Backs’ blitz stuffs Snakes


Published: December 30, 2008 7:00 PM


In their last three B.C. Hockey League games against the Salmon Arm SilverBacks, the Vernon Vipers have scored just one goal in the first period.
The Backs have scored eight times, including four straight in Monday night’s 7-3 win before 1,650 fans at the Sunwave Centre.
The teams concluded their four-game mini-series Tuesday night at Wesbild Centre.
The Vipers (26-10-1-2) wore a rut in the ice towards the penalty box, handing the Gorillas (29-8-1-1) 12 powerplay opportunities, on which they scored twice. The Vipers went 0-for-4 with the man advantage.
“We didn’t do enough of the little things that give us a chance to win every night – getting pucks deep, getting pucks out of our end,” said Vipers’ head coach Mark Ferner. “It’s those little things that make a big difference.
“We had too many passengers, and we just weren’t that good. But that’s why you play 60 games.”
The Vipers’ Mike Collins (14th goal) opened the scoring at 11:59.
Salmon Arm then went on a scoring binge, scoring twice in 20 seconds on goals by Keenan Desmet (21st) and Travis Statchuk (fourth), who was returning from an injury.
Mark Zengerle (25th), on the powerplay, and captain Matt Walters (fifth) scored shortly after, giving the Backs four goals in under four minutes to take control.
While Salmon Arm’s top players left their mark on the game, SilverBacks’ head coach Rylan Ferster was pleased with the contributions of his energy players, especially Statchuk.
“For him to come back like that against a team like Vernon is great to see.
“Any time you get a couple of quick goals like that, you get some momentum, which is certainly nice. It’s obviously a boost. But outside of that (scoring spree), it’s a pretty even game.”
The Vipers’ James Kerr (seventh) gave the Vipers a much-needed spark in the second period when he collected a loose puck and wheeled up ice to snap one past netminder Bryan Gillis, shorthanded at 4:30.
Salmon Arm restored their three-goal cushion as David Killip notched his seventh at 5:50.
Vipers’ d-man Kyle Bigos and Matt Wray of the SilverBacks went toe-to-toe after Bigos and Mike Puddifant started pushing and shoving in a scrum.
“Neither team is going to give an inch, and neither team wants to back down,” said Ferster. “If you play a team three times in a short time frame, physicality is going to be a part of it.”
Vernon’s Sahir Gill got his seventh at 6:53.
The SilverBacks iced the game with third-period goals by Travis Briard, shorthanded, and Ashford McMaster, on a two-man advantage with under a minute to play.
The Vipers host the Westside Warriors (24-13-0-3) and Trail Smoke Eaters (22-13-2-1) Friday and Saturday night respectively at Wesbild.
On Sunday, they entertain the Swedish Under 17 national team in exhibition play.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Vernon 2 Salmon Arm 1 (double overtime)

Was at tonights BCHL game as Vernon defeated Salmon Arm 2-1 in double overtime in front of 2,994 fans at the Wesbild Centre.

1st Period: Vernon got an early powerplay but it was Salmon Arm who got the best scoring chance as, Keenan Desmet & Zac Rasmussen went in two on one, Desmet kept and shot as Andrew Hammond made the save. The Silverbacks penalty kill was superb killing off the minor, the Backs defenders blocked all shooting lanes, keeping the Vipers to the outside, limiting there shots and chances. A fast paced period with loads of action coming at both ends of the rink. Mark Zengerle was stopped by Hammond in close. Captain Chris Crowell had a good chance, cutting towards the goal but Bryan Gillis kicked out the puck, making a nice pad save from in close. Very few whistles with back and forth action, both teams getting some good chances at either ends of the rink. Salmon Arm had a great scoring chance on a bad pinch by the Vipers, but Kevin Kraus showed lots of hustle, getting back into the play, sliding to knock away the puck, breaking up a two on one. The Silverbacks would open the scoring with four minutes remaining in the 1st, Travis Statchuk skated down the wing and ripped a wicked wrist shot from the top of the circle, going under the crossbar, knocking the water bottle off the net putting the Backs up 1-0. The Vipers come very close to tying the hockey game, just two minutes later, Cody Ikkala took a shot from the blueline, the puck was tipped in front but went off the post. The Silverbacks would get a late powerplay towards the end of the period. A very entertaining 1st period as Salmon Arm was up 1-0 after 20 minutes of play. The Vipers outshot the Silverbacks 12-7.

2nd Period: The Vipers penalty killers looked very solid, killing off the minor as both teams were back to even strength. Vernon had some trouble getting things going to start the 2nd as the Backs held the edge in play, getting some chances in close. Vernon would get two powerplay chances but couldnt generate much of an offensive attack, as the Backs penalty kill was solid. The Silverbacks would kill off both minors. The Vipers seemed a little tired in the 2nd period as the Silverbacks seemed to have a bit more jump in there game, getting the extra stride in play. Just past the midway mark the Vipers would go to sleep as the Silverbacks aggresive forecheck and cycle down low paid off getting some glorious chances in front. Andrew Hammond had to be very alert, making some huge saves keeping Vernon in the game. Travis Statchuk would come down the wing and wire a shot off the crossbar as Salmon Arm come very close to going up 2-0. Mark Zengerle basically had the puck on a string cutting in and out of a few Viper players, and then getting a great scoring chance in close. Salmon Arm had some good presure in the Vipers zone for a good seven to eight minutes coming close but couldnt beat Hammond. Vernon couldnt seem to generate much offence getting just a few chances. The Silverbacks carried the better of the play in the middle frame and were up 1-0 after 40 minutes of play. The Silverbacks outshot the Vipers 11-10.

3rd period: Connor Jones had the Vipers best scoring chance, going in on a parcial breakaway but couldnt beat Gillis. Vernon would get a great chance to tie the game on the powerplay but once again the Silverbacks penalty kill did a great job at keeping the Vipers to the outside, killing off the minor. Cory Kane snuck inbehind the Backs defence, going in on a parcial breakaway but rang his shot off the post, beating Gillis blocker side. Kevin Kraus would get a two on one, keeping the puck but was stopped by Gillis. Vernon looked very strong dominating the play for the whole 3rd period. The Silverbacks would get a great chance to jump ahead 2-0 but couldnt capitalize on the powerplay. Salmon Arm would get just three shots in the early stages of the period and then wouldnt record a shot on net for the remainder of the period. The Backs one and only great scoring chance came when the Vipers left Travis Statchuk all alone, Statchuk wired a shot coming down the wing, but rang his shot off the far post. The Vipers breakout looked much better tonight, making some nice plays coming out of there own end. Bryan Gillis was solid in the 3rd facing a ton of shots. Steve Tresierra would hit the post after a shot from the point wich just about got through the maze in front. The Vipers poured on all kinds of presure most of the 3rd but couldnt beat Gillis who stood tall. Gillis robbed Mike Collins in front with a huge glove save, Gillis was down and out but Collins couldnt beat the Backs goaltender. Vernon would get a late powerplay but yet once again couldnt capitalize. With 1:54 remaining Cory Kane would beat Gillis upstairs just barley getting the puck under the crossbar as the Vipers tied the game 1-1. Vernon kept up the presure getting all kinds of shots from in close coming very close to getting the win with seconds remaining. With a mad scramble in front Vernon come very close to winning the game with just ten seconds left, but Gillis come up with a huge save down low. The game was tied 1-1 after 60 minutes of play. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 16-3.

Overtime: Adam Thompson would break his skate blade and would not return for overtime. The Vipers had the best chance with a three on one but the puck would get tangled up in skates, breaking up a great scoring chance. Vernon had the early edge in play, getting two good chances but couldnt score. In the final two minutes the Backs come very close to winning the game, Mark Zenergle was stopped in front, after Hammond had to be sharpe making a tough save. Two goal mouth scrambles late just about sent Salmon Arm home with another victory over the Vipers but Hammond was solid down low, making the two tough saves with a ton of traffic down low. The game was tied 1-1 after 65 minutes of play. Salmon Arm outshot Vernon 5-2.

Double Overtime: The Silverbacks had a glorious chance to end it as Just Cseter made a nice move at the blueline, getting inbehind the Vernon defence but Hammond come up with the save. On the next play and just 46 seconds into the extra period Mike Collins got Gillis moving, going for the wrap around, and then roofing his shot over Gillis's shoulder as the puck dropped inbehind the Backs goaltender as the Vipers bench would pour onto the ice as Vernon defeated Salmon Arm 2-1 in double overtime.

Top Players: (Vernon)

Kevin Kraus (1 assist) Played a solid defensive game, along with jumping into the rush on a few ocations. Kraus looked very solid on the Vipers blueline.

Cory Kane (1 goal) Played a good game up front. Kane was skating hard tonight, had some nice moves, and creating some chances. Was hard to fight off the puck for most of the night.

Braden Pimm (1 assist) Pimm had lots of jump, getting involved in the play. Was really skating well tonight, setting up a few nice plays.

Adam Thompson played a solid defensive game on the backend. Thompson played with lots of poise, looking very confident back there.

Andrew Hammond stood tall for most of the night. Hammond kept the Vipers in the game during a barage of shots and chances in the 2nd period. Looked very confident, got some help from his posts, as the Backs hit one post and one crossbar.

Top Players: (Salmon Arm)

Keenan Desmet looked very dangerous for most of the night. Desmet was flying, had some good chances, really creative with the puck. Very shifty, was hard to get off the puck.

Ashford McMaster (1 assist) Played another defensice game for the Silverbacks for the 2nd straight night. McMaster come up with some huge shot blocks while on the penalty kill. Overall looked very solid all game.

Jason Beatie also played very well on the blueline. Beatie played physical, and was always in the face of many Vipers.

Mark Zengerle didnt record a point tonight but still looked very deadly with the puck. The Vipers need to have someone always on this kid, very creative with the puck, a very smooth skater, soft hands. Had some very good chances. I did notice Zengerle shy's away from the corners or anywhere along the boards. Dosnt like the rough stuff.

Travis Statchuk (1 goal) Hit one goal post, coming close to scoring his 2nd of the night. Another dangerous player the Vipers have to keep there eyes on. This kid played a excellent game up front for Salmon Arm. Very dangerous with the puck at all times.

Bryan Gillis (39 saves) Gillis didnt have to stand on his head in the first two periods, but was there to make the saves when needed too. Gillis really shon come the 3rd making some outstanding saves robbing many Vipers. Gillis looked very solid in the 3rd and was 1:54 away from recording a shutout but was beat by a tough shot. Kept the Backs in tonights game, especially come the 3rd period.

Game Thoughts: (Vernon)

This was by far the best performance the Vipers have showen in any of the eight meetings between these two teams. Vernon finally come to play vs Salmon Arm, something they have had troubles with for most of there previous meetings. Other then a few mental lapses in the 2nd period, I thought the Vipers looked and played very good tonight. Tonight was a full team effort. Vernons aggresive forecheck looked very dominate for most of the game, wearing down the Backs d-men, creating lots of chances down low. Connor & Kellen Jones took a beating tonight, for the 2nd straight night. Both Jones boys didnt have much room to move, as Salmon Arm played a very tight checking game against the Twins. The Vipers looked a little tired in the 2nd period but really stepped up there play in the 3rd, playing with more jump. The Vipers didnt quit, pouring on all kinds of presure come the final frame, a very entertaining game and especially 3rd period. The Vipers still need to play physical, something they lacked tonight, get in the faces of guys like Desmet, Zengerle, Statchuk, etc. There allowing these kids to much room to dangle out there. You cant allow such skilled kids that much room, or they will make you pay. Anyone know why Bryce Kakoske & Ryan Santana wern't playing tonight?

Game Thoughts: (Salmon Arm)

The Silverbacks were 1:54 away from sweeping the home and home series but couldnt hold on. The Silverbacks once again looked very good tonight, but didnt play a full 60 minutes. The Backs played very well for the first two periods but were outplayed all 3rd period, getting outshot 16-3. Even though getting outplayed in the 3rd this team still had some great chances to win tonights game in either of the two overtimes. I was very impressed with the Silverbacks penalty kill. They dont give you much room, limit your shots and chances. Salmon Arm didnt play as physical as last night, but still took the body. Salmon Arm really paid alot of attention to the Jones Twins, not giving them much room to move, laid out some good checks on both Jones Boys. This was a fairly matched game tonight with both teams having nemerous chances to win. A very well played game coming from both sides. Both teams would end up splitting this mini four game series winning two games each. After watching all four games, I have to say it's too much vs the same team. I like the home and home series but not much of a fan of the four game mini series in the regular season. I would much rather have seen this two home and home series split up, not having four games all back to back.

Scratches:

Vernon:

Bryce Kakoske
Ryan Santana
Nick Amies

Salmon Arm:

Levi Hantula
Mitch Chapman
Conor Morrison

3 Stars:

1st Star: Travis Statchuk (1 goal)
2nd Star: Kevin Kraus (1 assist)
3rd Star: Keenan Desmet

Salmon Arm @ Vernon: (Game Preview)


Vernon (26-10-1-2) @ Salmon Arm (29-8-1-1)


Tonight will be the 8th meeting between these two hockey clubs as the Silverbacks hold the season series at 5-2. Tonight will be the fourth straight meeting between these two teams within the last week. Both teams split the home and home series before the Christmas break. Salmon Arm defeated Vernon last night in Salmon Arm 7-3 to take the first game of another home & home series. The physical play along with some emotion started to boil over last night, as both teams are starting not to like one another, should be another heated rematch tonight in Vernon.

Heres a look at the season series:

September 5th @ Vernon: Vernon wins 4-1

The Vipers & Silverbacks clashed in the Vipers home opener. The Vipers were carried out onto the ice in the teams opening ceremonies in the back of the Vernon RCMP pickup trucks with the lights flashing as they introduced each player. Then a swat team member come shooting down a rope from the rafters, the officer then ran to a RCMP van on the ice and opened the back doors as the Vipers Captain & Assistant Captains jumped out from the back of the van. Salmon Arm opened the scoring just eleven seconds into the period, with a goal from Conor Morrison. This was the one and only goal the Backs would score as Vernon would beat Bryan Gillis four times going on to the 4-1 victory. Steve Tresierra, Cory Kane, Kellen Jones & Adam Thompson led the attack for Vernon. Andrew Hammond picked up his first win of the season making 27 saves.

September 6th @ Salmon Arm: Salmon Arm wins 5-4 (Overtime)

This was the back of a home and home series between these two Okanagan rivals. Tonight was Salmon Arms home opener and they didn’t let the home town crowd down. Just 1:41 into Overtime, Zac Rasmussen scored the game winner as the Silverbacks record the 5-4 OT win. Mark Zengerle & Conor Morrison collect three points each. Bryan Gillis picks up his first win of the season making 23 saves. John Digness picks up two points in the loss for Vernon.

September 20th @ Salmon Arm: Salmon Arm wins 7-2

This was an ugly game if you’re a Vernon fan. Salmon Arm destroys Vernon in a big 7-2 victory. The Silverbacks outplayed the Vipers as 1st star, Mark Zengerle collects four points. 2nd star, Keenan Desmet scores two goals and picks up two assists. 3rd star, Conor Morrison picks up (1 & 3). Andrew Hammond was given the hook after giving up four goals on just 17 shots. Backup Mark Segal didn’t do much better, allowing three goals.

November 7th @ Vernon: Salmon Arm wins 4-3

The Backs win there third straight against Vernon, in a 4-3 win. David Killip & Colin Lidster each pick up two points in the win. Bryan Gillis makes 31 saves between the pipes collecting the victory. Kellen Jones leads the way for the Vipers with one goal and one assist. The Silverbacks lead the season series 3-1.

December 19th @ Vernon: Salmon Arm wins 4-3

Salmon Arm wins there fourth straight against Vernon with a 4-3 victory, there 11th win in a row. Mark Zengerle led the way with a goal and 2 assists. Zengerle was all over the ice. D-man, Ashford McMaster picked up 2 assists in the win, looking very solid. Bryan Gillis was steady, having to make his best saves for last, in the 3rd period, facing 15 Vernon shots. Matt Walters & Zac Rasmussen played a feisty role, getting under the skin of some Vipers. Walters & Rasmussen both played with that in your face style of hockey. The Vipers played about 7-8 minutes of the game, inwich they made a late rally, but it wasn’t enough as they fell to the Silverbacks on the scoreboard and in the standings. Salmon Arm with the win, moves 5 pts up on Vernon for first in the Interior.

December 20th @ Salmon Arm: Vernon wins 6-4

The Backs jumped out to a early 2-0 lead with goals from, Mark Zengerle and Keenan Desmet before the Vipers scored three straight goals in the 2nd period and went on to the 6-4 victory. Brothers Connor & Kellen Jones lead the way for Vernon with 3 pts each along with Vernon product Bryce Kakoske also putting up 3 pts in the win. Former Silverbacks goaltender, Graeme Gordon makes 21 saves beating his former club, improving his record to 9-0 as a Viper.

December 29th @ Salmon Arm: Salmon Arm wins 7-3

Vernon got off to a good start, scoring first with a goal by Mike Collins, but on the next rush the Silverbacks would score four quick goals just over the next three minutes jumping ahead 4-1 and in full control. Anytime the Vipers would score to climb back to within two goals, Salmon Arm answered right back within minutes after the Vernon goal, re-taking the three goal lead once again. Former Silverback goaltender Graeme Gordon allowed all seven goals, suffering his first loss as a Viper. Viper killer Mark Zengerle lead the way with a goal & a assist. Jason Beatie added two assists, and Captain Matt Walters pitched in with a goal and some physical play. Vernon played most of the 3rd period shorthanded as tempers flared in the final period. Salmon Arm was the far better team, looking very strong on home ice. Should be a war tonight.

Key Players To Watch:

Vernon:

Braden Pimm
Mike Collins
Connor Jones
Kellen Jones
Chris Crowell
Cory Kane
Andrew Hammond
Graeme Gordon

Salmon Arm:

Mark Zengerle
Conor Morrison
Keenan Desmet
Ashford McMaster
Matt Grassi
Justin Cseter
Bryan Gillis
Zac Rasmussen

Salmon Arm 7 Vernon 3

Was at tonight's BCHL game as Salmon Arm defeated Vernon 7-3 in front of 1,650 fans at the Sunwave Center.

1st Period: Off the opening draw the Backs got the puck in the Vernon zone, and with a screened shot from the point wich just missed the net as Salmon Arm come very close to scoring just seconds into the game. On the next rush, Kellen Jones with a parcial brekaway in close, but lost the puck and couldnt get a shot off. Colin Lidster come very close to putting the Silverbacks up 1-0 early on a funny bounce in front of former Silverback Graeme Gordon. The Vipers would get an early powerplay but couldnt get a shot on net, as Salmon Arm's penalty kill was super doing a great job at challenging the Vipers, forcing them to make the quick pass or lose the puck. The Backs would kill off the minor. Alot of whistles in the early goings with the puck going out of play on several ocations stopping the play. The play would eventually pick up with both teams going back and forth but it was Salmon Arm who was up in shots 4-0. Vernon would record there first shot on net almost nine minutes into the period. Connor & Kellen Jones didnt have much room to move tonight, after getting six pts between the twins in the last meeting, both Jones brothers took a pounding in the 1st, as the Backs played a physical period. The Vipers would finally get control of the play and record five straight shots, including Mike Collins shot wich beat Bryan Gillis high to the gloveside with just over eight minutes remaining, putting the Vipers up 1-0. Braden Pimm won the draw, feeding Captain Chris Crowell who then fed a wide open Collins in the slot. The roof would then cave in on the Vipers as the Silverbacks would score four goals within the next four or so minutes. Off the faceoff after the Vernon goal, a turnover just outside the Vernon zone costed the Vipers as some nice three way passing from Keenen Desmet, Mark Zengerle & Greg Noyes, as Desmest would find the back of the net, beating Gordon tying the game 1-1 within a minute after the Vipers goal. Off the faceoff and seconds later Salmon Arm would get the play in deep, a shot would hit someone in front, as Gordon went down the puck went straight up in the air, and would bounce at the side of the Vernon net, where Travis Statchuk was all alone, sliding the puck into the empty net. David Killip & Colin Lidster would get the assists, as the Silverbacks went up 2-1 scoring two quick goals just seconds apart. On the play the Backs were rewarded with a powerplay, and it didnt take long for them to take advantage. Ashford McMaster fed Mark Zengerle who beat Gordon as Salmon Arm jumped ahead 3-1. Shortly after the Silverbacks would strike again, Travis Statchuk fed Captain Matt Walters who beat Gordon with a soft one shortside, as Salmon Arm was up 4-1 and in full control. Vernon would call a timeout to try and rally the troops but it didnt seem to help as the final minutes of the 1st was all Silverbacks, Salmon Arm was in full control moving the puck well, getting some chances in close. Steve Tresierra would get caught on a bad pinch, as Mark Zengerle, Travis Brisard and Keenan Desmet would cut in across the Vernon line three on one, Zengerle would keep and shoot the puck, but Gordon come up with the save. Salmon Arm was up 4-1 after 20 minutes of play. The Silverbacks outshot the Vipers 10-9.

2nd Period: John Digness had the Vipers best scoring chance early, cutting down the wing, and then hitting the crossbar as the puck went into the crowd. Salmon Arm would get an early powerplay but it was Vernon who did an excellent job on the penalty kill, the Vipers would get control of the puck and create some chances while on the penalty kill. James Kerr picked up the loose puck and would come down the wing, and snap a low shot fivehole on Gillis as Vernon was back in the game, but still down 4-2 just five minutes into the middle frame. Vernon couldnt hold the fort as just over a minute later Salmon Arm would regain the three goal lead as another turnover would cost the Vipers. Kevin Kraus with a poor clearing attempt, couldnt get the puck out, as Colin Lidster and Jason Beatie set up David Killip as the Backs went up 5-2. Just over a minute later Cody Ikkala made a nice pass up ice to Kellen Jones, Jones would sneak in behind the Backs defence, cutting towards the net, when Jones was hit into Gillis, sending Jones and Gillis to the ice, the puck would come back out front, where Sahir Gill was there to tap the puck into the empty net, as the Vipers were back in the game down 5-3. Salmon Arm's physical play was very noticable as once again Kellen Jones took a huge hit in the nuetral zone, Kellen was caught a few times with his head down. Matt Walters laid out a big hit on Sahir Gill in front of the Vipers bench, Adam Thompson didnt seem to like the check, as Thompson jumped in and would drop his gloves with Lidster, who didnt drop his mits. Vernon and Thompson were lucky as Thompson was called for roughing and not fighting on the play. Shortly after the rough stuff would continue as Kyle Bigos and Mike Puddifant started pushing and shoving in the Vernon zone, both players dropped the gloves, when Matt Wray would come into the scrum and get involved in the altercation. Tempers started to heat up with both teams not liking one another. The Vipers were struggling getting shots towards the goal, but at this point scored both goals on there only two shots of the period. Vernon would get a four minute powerplay in the second half of the period but couldnt capitalize having all kinds of trouble keeping the play in the Silverbacks zone, the Vipers couldnt generate any kind of an offencesive attack going, as Salmon Arm would kill off the double minor. The Silverbacks had a great chance with a late powerplay, Matt Walters wired a screened shot from the point, but somehow Gordon kicked out the left leg with a nice save and then Travis Briard was stopped in the slot as Gordon come up with another big pad save. The Silverbacks were up 5-3 after 40 minutes of play. Salmon Arm outshot Vernon 13-7.

3rd Period: The Vipers would get an early powerplay but this time it was the Silverbacks who would take advantage of some careless passing by the Vipers. Vernon couldnt seem to break out of there own end and after a bad turnover Graeme Gordon come way out of his crease to pokecheck the puck, but Gordon wasnt so lucky, Gordon wasnt even close to the puck as Travis Briard would steal the loose puck and slide it into the empty goal putting Salmon Arm up 6-3 just three minutes into the 3rd. This was the end of the night for Vernon as Salmon Arm carried most of the play for the remainder of the game. The Vipers couldnt stay away from the penalty box as the Silverbacks would get powerplay after powerplay, but couldnt find the back of the net, give the Vipers credit as they looked very good on the penalty kill. Zac Rasmussen and Bryce Kakoske would decide to the drop the gloves after Cory Kane was sent off four minutes for highsticking. Vernon would excape anymore damage, by killing off Kane's penalty. Shortly after Rob Short left the game after being called for checking to the head and also getting a ten minute misconduct, this was the end of the night for Short. Late in the game Kevin Kraus dropped the gloves with Colin Lidster. This was a rough 3rd with a parade to the penalty box for the Vipers, as the Silverbacks played most of the period on the powerplay. In the final few minutes Matt Wray tried dropping the gloves with Kyle Bigos, but Bigos didnt want any part of Wray, skating away. Captain Chris Crowell then tried getting Wray to drop the mits, Wray skated away, as Crowell followed him, beaking away at the Backs tough guy. Crowell then laid a hit on Wray, still trying to get Wray to drop the gloves but Wray skated away. The Vipers were down two men for most of the final few minutes but the Backs couldnt get the powerplay clicking. Cody Ikkala was tossed from the game with seconds remaining and with a two man advantage Salmon Arm would finally find the back of the net as Christoper Hoe & Jason Beatie set up Ashford McMaster. Alot of pushing and shoving after the whistles and during the play in the final minutes of the 3rd, alot of physical and rough stuff going on. Salmon Arm come very close to adding a late goal while on the powerplay, but the buzzer had gone before the pucked crossed the line. The Silverbacks would defeat the Vipers 7-3 moving 5 pts up on Vernon in the race for first place in the Interior. Salmon Arm outshot Vernon 9-5.

Top Players: (Vernon)

James Kerr (1 goal) Showed lots of energy for most of the night. Kerr had a few chances playing with some good jump.

Top Players: (Salmon Arm)

Matt Walters (1 goal) Played a solid game on the Backs blueline. Walters played a physical game, and looked good with the puck while on the powerplay.

Keenan Desmet (1 goal) This kid is very dangerous with the puck at all times. A very slick skater who reads the play well, likes to set up Mark Zengerle.

Ashford McMaster (1 goal & 1 assist) Played another strong game against the Vipers. McMaster looked veryy good on the backend. Seems to play well against Vernon.

Christoper Hoe (1 assist) Had some good energy, had a few chances in close. Seemed to be always involved in the play.

Jason Beatie (2 assists) Another d-man who played well. Made a few nice setup plays on the two goals.

David Killip (1 goal & 1 assist) Looked very strong up front for the Backs.

Zac Rasmussen once again played with that edge, was in the face of many Vipers for most of the night. This kid plays fiesty and dosnt back down from the rough stuff.

Mark Zengerle (1 goal & 1 assist) who now has 16 pts against Vernon this season, is a Viper killer. This kid is very dangerous and nice to watch. Zengerle stays away from the corners and in front, but really reads the ice well.

Travis Statchuk (1 goal & 1 assist) Made his return to the Silverbacks lineup tonight, and didnt dissapoint. Statchuk has some wheels and looked very strong up front. Another very dangerous player Vernon has to watch.

Game Thoughts: (Vernon)

The Vipers got off to a good start, getting the 1-0 lead but then fell apart within a span of about three or four minutes, as Salmon Arm would score four quick goals and never looked back. Anytime Vernon would score to get back within two goals, the Backs seemed to score just minutes later, to regain the three goal lead. This wasnt a good night for Vernon, a few bad turnover's in there own end, cost them two goals. The Vipers just couldnt seem to get much of anything going for most of the night, had troubles getting shots on net, creating chances down low and didnt play with that aggresive forecheck. The Vipers stayed away from the physical battle for most of the night, getting outhit and outplayed for most of the night. The Vipers looked tired at times through out tonights game. Struggled on the powerplay but on a bright side, looked very good on the penalty kill. Vernon need's to be more aggresive, play with an edge, get in the face of guys, and need to keep an eye on Zengerle, Desmet and Statchuk. These three kids will make you pay anychance they can. The Vipers need to get physical against these three. Too many mistakes and penalties isnt going to win you hockey games. The Vipers need a much better performance tomorrow night.

Game Thoughts: (Salmon Arm)

Four quick goals just three-four minutes apart set the pace as Salmon Arm looked very strong for most of the night. The Silverbacks are a very strong club who have a very well coached team. You need to play a full 60 minutes if you expect to defeat this team. They move the puck quickly, with some nice passing plays. Give the Backs defence credit, they did a great job at keeping the Vipers to the outside, limiting there shots along with scoring chances. This was by far the most physical play I have seen from the Silverbacks, laid some big hits on the Jones twins, not giving them much room to move. This score could have been alot worse if the Backs powerplay was clicking. Salmon Arm looked hungry and looked like they wanted this one more, a much deserved win.

Scratches:

Vernon:

Cole Ikkala
Steven Weinstein
Kory Roy

Salmon Arm:

Levi Hantula
Mitch Chapman
Conor Morrison

3 Stars:

1st Star: Travis Statchuck (1 goal & 1 assist)
2nd Star: Matt Walters (1 goal)
3rd Star: David Killip (1 goal & 1 assist)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Vernon @ Salmon Arm (Game Preview)


Vernon (26-9-1-2) @ Salmon Arm (28-8-1-1)


Tonight will be the 7th meeting between these two hockey clubs as the Silverbacks hold the season series at 4-2. Both teams split a home and home series before the Christmas break, as Salmon Arm defeated Vernon in Vernon in the first game 4-3 on December 19th and then Vernon defeated Salmon Arm the next night in Salmon Arm coming up with a 6-4 victory, snapping the Silverbacks 11 game winning streak. Tonights game will be another home and home series between these two teams.

Heres a look at the season series:

September 5th @ Vernon: Vernon wins 4-1

The Vipers & Silverbacks clashed in the Vipers home opener. The Vipers were carried out onto the ice in the teams opening ceremonies in the back of the Vernon RCMP pickup trucks with the lights flashing as they introduced each player. Then a swat team member come shooting down a rope from the rafters, the officer then ran to a RCMP van on the ice and opened the back doors as the Vipers Captain & Assistant Captains jumped out from the back of the van. Salmon Arm opened the scoring just eleven seconds into the period, with a goal from Conor Morrison. This was the one and only goal the Backs would score as Vernon would beat Bryan Gillis four times going on to the 4-1 victory. Steve Tresierra, Cory Kane, Kellen Jones & Adam Thompson led the attack for Vernon. Andrew Hammond picked up his first win of the season making 27 saves.

September 6th @ Salmon Arm: Salmon Arm wins 5-4 (Overtime)

This was the back of a home and home series between these two Okanagan rivals. Tonight was Salmon Arms home opener and they didn’t let the home town crowd down. Just 1:41 into Overtime, Zac Rasmussen scored the game winner as the Silverbacks record the 5-4 OT win. Mark Zengerle & Conor Morrison collect three points each. Bryan Gillis picks up his first win of the season making 23 saves. John Digness picks up two points in the loss for Vernon.

September 20th @ Salmon Arm: Salmon Arm wins 7-2

This was an ugly game if you’re a Vernon fan. Salmon Arm destroys Vernon in a big 7-2 victory. The Silverbacks outplayed the Vipers as 1st star, Mark Zengerle collects four points. 2nd star, Keenan Desmet scores two goals and picks up two assists. 3rd star, Conor Morrison picks up (1 & 3). Andrew Hammond was given the hook after giving up four goals on just 17 shots. Backup Mark Segal didn’t do much better, allowing three goals.

November 7th @ Vernon: Salmon Arm wins 4-3

The Backs win there third straight against Vernon, in a 4-3 win. David Killip & Colin Lidster each pick up two points in the win. Bryan Gillis makes 31 saves between the pipes collecting the victory. Kellen Jones leads the way for the Vipers with one goal and one assist. The Silverbacks lead the season series 3-1.

December 19th @ Vernon: Salmon Arm wins 4-3

Salmon Arm wins there fourth straight against Vernon with a 4-3 victory, there 11th win in a row. Mark Zengerle led the way with a goal and 2 assists. Zengerle was all over the ice. D-man, Ashford McMaster picked up 2 assists in the win, looking very solid. Bryan Gillis was steady, having to make his best saves for last, in the 3rd period, facing 15 Vernon shots. Matt Walters & Zac Rasmussen played a feisty role, getting under the skin of some Vipers. Walters & Rasmussen both played with that in your face style of hockey. The Vipers played about 7-8 minutes of the game, inwich they made a late rally, but it wasn’t enough as they fell to the Silverbacks on the scoreboard and in the standings. Salmon Arm with the win, moves 5 pts up on Vernon for first in the Interior.

December 20th @ Salmon Arm: Vernon wins 6-4

The Backs jumped out to a early 2-0 lead with goals from, Mark Zengerle and Keenan Desmet before the Vipers scored three straight goals in the 2nd period and went on to the 6-4 victory. Brothers Connor & Kellen Jones lead the way for Vernon with 3 pts each along with Vernon product Bryce Kakoske also putting up 3 pts in the win. Former Silverbacks goaltender, Graeme Gordon makes 21 saves beating his former club, improving his record to 9-0 as a Viper.

Key Players To Watch:

Vernon:

Braden Pimm
Mike Collins
Connor Jones
Kellen Jones
Chris Crowell
Cory Kane
Andrew Hammond
Graeme Gordon

Salmon Arm:

Mark Zengerle
Conor Morrison
Keenan Desmet
Ashford McMaster
Matt Grassi
Justin Cseter
Bryan Gillis
Zac Rasmussen

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Vipers Game Worn Jerseys For Sale:

The Vipers website has a bunch of old game worn home & away jerseys for sale.

http://www.vipers.bc.ca./viperzone.php

#1 Nick Olynyk Game Worn Home Jersey Price: $ 175.00
#10 Luke Pierce Game Worn Away Jersey Price: $ 175.00
#16 Kirk Meaver Game Worn Home Jersey Price: $ 175.00
#19 Justin Brossman Game Worn Home Jersey Price: $ 175.00
#20 Rob Short Game Worn Home Jersey Price: $ 175.00
#21 Patrick Cey Game Worn Home Jersey Price: $ 175.00
#22 Chris Budnick Game Worn Home Jersey Price: $ 175.00
#23 Jon Smith Game Worn Home Jersey Price: $ 175.00
#24 Brent Saukarookoff Game Worn Home Jersey Price: $ 175.00
#25 Ryan Kakoske Game Worn Home Jersey Price: $ 175.00
#28 Derek Bradish Game Worn Home Jersey Price: $ 175.00
#31 Steve Thompson Game Worn Home Jersey Price: $ 175.00
#8 Kevin Koopman Game Worn Home Jersey Price: $ 175.00
#9 Matt Watkins Game Worn Away Jersey Price: $ 175.00
#9 Scott Zurevinski Game Worn Home Jersey Price: $ 175.00

Vipers Christmas Highlights:


107.5 Kiss FM has put together some Vipers video highlights in HD


Friday, December 26, 2008

Kane Showing Pro Potential:


This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:


Kane showing pro potential


By Graeme Corbett - Vernon Morning Star


Published: December 26, 2008 4:00 PM

When Cory Kane walked into the Vernon Vipers’ training camp in September, he found out in a real hurry there was work to be done if he was going to survive the B.C. Hockey League.
The 18-year-old pivot came in 10 pounds heavier than his current 190-pound, mid-season form, and he admitted to being a step behind the action.
Yet, the 6-foot-3 Kane still showed the flashes of brilliance that caused the Vipers to invite him in the first place. He’s got a combination of size, speed and skill that make scouts drool, and his wrist shot has left more than a few BCHL netminders shaking their heads.
The Vipers (26-9-1-2), second in the Interior Conference, visit the first-place Salmon Arm SilverBacks (28-8-1-1) Monday at the Sunwave Centre. They wrap up their four-game holiday series Tuesday night at Wesbild Centre.
“After the first few weeks, I got adjusted to the speed, and my endurance got up there pretty quick after they bag skated us a bit,” grinned the half-Chinese, half-Irish Irvine, Calif. native.
“I basically played half a season last year (with the Boston Junior Bruins of the Empire Junior Hockey League), so I just want to turn things around and try to make a difference in every game. Sometimes it’s not always scoring goals, I just try to do what’s best for the team.”
Midway through the BCHL season, and Kane is second on the Vipers’ goal list with 15-14-29 and 26 penalty minutes in 38 games.
He’s currently playing between wingers John Digness and James Kerr in what has proven to be an effective energy line that can put up some points.
“He’s a really explosive player and he’s very dynamic,” said Digness, of Kane. “He can shoot, pass, he skates really well, and he’s a big physical presence too when he wants to throw the body, so he’s got all the right tools.
“I’m not really a flashy player, I just go straight line. I’m just looking for Kaner for that big shot. I like to play physical and he does too, so it’s nice to get some open space from him as well.”
Kane’s play has caught the attention of Central Scouting, who have given him a C rating, meaning he is tentatively pegged as a mid- to late-round draft pick for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
“I don’t really pay attention to that or go to websites to see what they have written about me,” said the likeable teen. “It’s a good thing to hear that you’re on it, but then again, you gotta keep playing every game or you could get off that list real quick.
“I still feel like I haven’t played the best that I can. I still feel like I’ve got more to show out there. I’m hoping towards the end of the year is when you’ll see me come on full wind.”
“He does some things that you can’t really teach – he’s 6-foot-3, he moves really well,” said Vipers’ assistant coach Jason Williamson. “He’s got that game-breaker skill. He can score some goals that nobody else on the ice can score, and when he’s on his game, he can pretty much take over a game.
“He’s a quiet kid, but he works hard. When he’s on the ice, he lets his game speak for itself. He’s always going pretty much every night.”
Kane credits his older brother Chris for getting him involved in hockey.
Chris was a defenceman with the Des Moines Buccaneers and Sioux City Muskateers of the U.S. Hockey League before taking a NCAA scholarship to Merrimack College in Massachusetts.
“I saw my brother playing a lot, so it was the first thing I wanted to do,” said Kane. “When I was three or four they had me on skates and I went public skating all the time, and before you knew it I was scoring goals as a kid.
“I’ve always been trying to keep up with my brother. He’s been the one to show me what to do and what not to do.”
Kane also appears primed to follow his brother in trying to land a scholarship. In the meantime, he’s just happy to be playing in Vernon.
“I don’t plan on going anywhere else,” smiled Kane.

Former Viper Morgan Making His Way In Majors:


This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:


Morgan making his way in majors


Published: December 25, 2008 6:00 PM

Chances of playing Major League Baseball, after being a 33rd-round draft pick, are slim at best.
But then there’s the case of Nyjer Morgan, 28, picked in the 2002 MLB entry draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The former hockey-playing Californian, a defenceman with the Enderby-based North Okanagan Kings of the Kootenay International Junior B League, who also had stints with the BCHL’s Vernon Lakers, simply kept working and working at baseball.
Morgan, who billeted with Ken and Brenda Austring during his North Okanagan stint, reached the Majors as a September call-up in 2007 after five years and five levels of minor-league play. He was a fourth outfielder with the Pirates, called upon to pinch-hit late in games.
“Being asked to pinch-hit is the toughest job to do, because you don’t get a feel for the game,” said Morgan, who singled off Milwaukee’s Matt Wise in his first Major League at-bat.
Morgan, who recently spent a few weeks visiting friends in Vernon, began 2008 with the Pirates as a fourth outfielder, but was sent down to AAA Indianapolis. There, he had to dig deep to break out of an 0-21 slump.
“It’s a struggle, that’s where you find out if you’re ready,” said the six-foot, 175-pound Morgan, referring to the league below the Majors where pitchers are routinely clocking in the 90s, and painting corners with fastballs. “You have to be mentally strong. You’re getting beat by mid-80s fastballs and think to yourself ‘what’s going on?’”
The Pirates never lost faith in the San Francisco native, who left home at 16 and played four years of junior hockey in Canada. They called Morgan back to the big leagues. He appeared in 58 games with the Bucs, batting .294 with seven RBIs and nine stolen bases.
His favourite pitcher to hit against was baseball’s latest multi-millionaire, CC Sabathia. Morgan faced the big lefty when Sabathia, who just signed a seven-year, $161 million dollar deal with the New York Yankees, was a member of the Milwaukee Brewers.
The one pitcher who gave Morgan grief was Cincinnati Reds phenom Edison Volquez.
“He had a changeup that just dropped off the table,” said Morgan, who garnered most of his playing time with the Pirates well out of playoff contention, a common theme in Pittsburgh. The Pirates, who last won the World Series in 1979, have endured 17 straight losing seasons.
“When you’re eliminated from the playoffs with one month to go, it’s hard to get up for games,” said Morgan. “But you have to do it if you’re doing something you love for a living.”
Despite the constant lack of success, the Pirates are a close group, though they lost one of the their true young superstars, Trail’s Jason Bay, when the Bucs dealt the outfielder to the Boston Red Sox.
“We used to talk about how I used to put a beat on his hometown Trail Smoke Eaters,” laughed Morgan, who keeps in touch with current Pittsburgh Penguin, Vernon native Eric Godard. The two know each other from their junior hockey playing days.
And while Morgan thinks the Pirates are a couple of players away from ending the streak of losing seasons, he loves it in Steeltown.
“It’s awesome, a sports-driven, blue-collar city,” he said. “Pittsburgh is a baseball city with all of the history with (Roberto) Clemente and the Negro Leagues.
“The fans are just waiting for us to climb out of the cellar. We’ve got a good team, we’re just a few pieces away from getting into meaningful games in September.”
His favourite road place to play is Wrigley Field in Chicago, “because of all the history, it’s classic, old-school,” and the toughest place to play is in his hometown, San Francisco.
“It’s back home, you got the whole family watching, there is a lot of pressure to do good in front of the family.”
A member of the Pirates’ winter carnival that toured around Pennsylvania, Morgan simply likes to releax in the off-season. On his trip back to the Okanagan, catching up with friends Waylon Folliott, Nathan Mackintosh and others, he spent Sundays cheering on his beloved San Francisco 49ers.
Morgan will join his teammates for spring training in Bradenton, Fla., on Feb. 17. The Pirates start their regular season April 6 in St. Louis.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Snakes Snap SilverBacks’ Streak:


This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:


Snakes snap SilverBacks’ streak


Published: December 23, 2008 7:00 PM

The Vernon Vipers have made a habit of keeping pace with the Salmon Arm SilverBacks.
They did it again Saturday night at the Sunwave Centre, grounding the Gorillas 6-4 to split the first half of a four-game B.C. Hockey League miniseries.
The Snakes (26-9-1-2) bowed 4-3 to the Backs Friday at Wesbild Centre before rebounding on a 2+1 performance from Bryce Kakoske to snap Salmon Arm’s 11-game win streak.
The series continues Monday at Sunwave, and wraps up Tuesday at Wesbild.
Same as Friday, Salmon Arm (28-8-1-1) grabbed an early lead on goals by Mark Zengerle (24th goal) and Keenan Desmet (20th) at Sunwave.
“I was a little worried after the first 10 (minutes) because we were just standing around,” said Kakoske, a Vernon product. “But it turned around after that and we didn’t let up. The guys realized what was at stake, and they anted up.
“We knew coming in it wasn’t going to be an easy series, but we know we’ve got as much talent over here as they do.”
Less than two minutes into the second frame, the Vipers’ Sahir Gill (sixth) broke in on netminder Bryan Gillis (22 saves), snapping a low shot, five-hole.
At 3:46, Kakoske (ninth) skated in 3-on-1, opted to keep it, ripping one short side on Gillis.
Kakoske’s 10th came at 8:48 on the powerplay when third star Kellen Jones found him alone on the backdoor for a one-timer.
“Over the intermission, we went to the room and were able to regroup,” said Vipers’ head coach Mark Ferner. “We just had to stick to the game-plan, and over the next two periods we held them to 13 shots.
“It’s a grind – they’re a hard team to play against and we just played through it.”
Ferner was pleased with how his team responded to the SilverBacks’ physical brand of play before 1,600 fans.
“Being a tough player doesn’t always mean dropping the gloves,” said Ferner. “To me, being a tough player means going into those areas where you know you’re going to take a hit to make the play.”
A pair of fights erupted at 8:12 as the Vipers’ Kyle Bigos took on Jason Beattie, while Vernon’s Steve Tressiera and Bobby Lipsett also danced. Tresierra was sticking up for Jones, who took a high stick from Lipsett earlier in the shift.
Ashford McMaster (ninth) of the SilverBacks completed the second-period scoring.
Salmon Arm head coach Rylan Ferster also knew it was going to be an intense series.
“We’ve played two games and solved nothing,” chuckled Ferster.
“You want to win every game, but you’ve also got to be realistic. From the start of the season, I figured they (Vernon) were going to be a good team, and they haven’t disappointed. They’ve certainly lived up to their expectations.
“It’s (series) not something you can base your whole season on, but it’s a good benchmark.”
One of the linesmen should have earned an assist on Cory Kane’s 15th goal. Midway through the third, Kane one-timed a faceoff to catch Gillis flat-footed, going five-hole.
Goals by second star Connor Jones, on the powerplay, and an empty-netter from Mike Collins, iced the game for Vernon.
On Connor’s goal, Kakoske dove to keep the puck in at the blueline, and with several Gorilla defenders leaving the zone, he found Kellen, who set up Connor for a one-timer in the slot.
Salmon Arm’s Zac Rasmussen (seventh) scored a consolation goal with a second left.
The Snakes’ Kevin Kraus and Backs’ Mike Puddifant capped the game with a scrap at the buzzer.
Both coaches agree the second half of this series will be just as heated.
“It should be that much more exciting for the fans in these next two games,” said Ferner.
Added Ferster. “It’s good for the teams, and it’s good for the communities.”


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Vipers Player Profile With Steve Tresierra:


Player Profile video with Vipers defenceman, Steve Tresierra


Monday, December 22, 2008

Former Viper Strachan Makes Blues Debut:


This is on the BCHL website:


Tyson Strachan Makes Blues Debut:


It may have been unexpected, but Tyson Strachan's National Hockey League debut with the St. Louis Blues last week was equally memorable. The former Vernon Vipers blueliner got the call to the show on Thursday and played against the Washington Capitals that night. Three nights later he recorded his first point, an assist on a Yan Stastny goal. Stachan is now a +1 in three games with the Blues.


This is on the St.Louis website:


ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today the club has recalled defenseman Tyson Strachan under emergency conditions from the Blues’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen. Strachan, 24, skated in two preseason games for the Blues this season, registering one assist, two penalty minutes and a plus-3 rating. The 6-1, 212-pound defenseman has played in 28 games for the Rivermen this season, recording four points (two goals, two assists) and 65 penalty minutes. The Melfort, Saskatchewan native was originally drafted by Carolina in the fifth round, 137th overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Vipers Sputter In Showdown:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers sputter in showdown

By Kevin Mitchell - Vernon Morning Star
Published: December 20, 2008

Give round one of the holiday mini series to the Salmon Arm SilverBacks.
The top-rated team in the Canadian Junior A Hockey League rung up an early 2-0 lead and hung on for a 4-3 win over the Vernon Vipers before 2,700 fans Friday night at the Wesbild Centre.
The same two teams battled Saturday night, and after taking a Christmas break, resume their great rivalry Monday, Dec. 29 at the Sunwave Centre. The four-game set closes the next night in Vernon.
Salmon Arm, who were a step faster than the Vipers most of the night, improved to 28-7-1-1, ensuring a spot in the BCHL’s Interior Conference penthouse for Christmas.
The Vipers, whose powerplay could only muster one goal on seven cracks, fell to 25-9-1-2, five points behind the Gorillas.
“I think we played better in the third and kind of gave ourselves a chance to win there at the end,” said Viper captain Chris Crowell, who buried a gorgeous spin-around pass in the low slot from Braden Pimm to pull Vernon within a goal with 3:32 remaining.
“The first two periods weren’t what we needed to knock them off. The first two, we kind of stood around and watched instead of going out and playing our game and not worrying about them, for the most part. Yah, they’re a good team, but I think we gave them too much respect tonight.”
Keenan Desmet, on a couple of nifty moves in tight, opened the SilverBacks’ offence seven minutes in, his 19th of the year. Bobby Lipsett scored a shorthanded wrister under Viper goalie Andrew Hammond’s left shoulder two minutes later.
“We got off to a good start definitely and they came pretty hard,” said first star Mark Zengerle, who finished with 1+2. “They had some chances at the end, but we held them off. Both teams played pretty good. I think our start was the difference.”
Bryce Kakoske buried a backhander on a scramble three minutes into the second period to get the Vipers’ attack going, but Zengerle restored Salmon Arm’s two-goal lead seven minutes later, taking a feed from third star Ashford McMaster down low.
The Vipers outshot the Gorillas 15-4 in a spirited third period which saw Travis Briard score on a powerplay just 33 seconds into the session on a deflection.
Viper defenceman Kyle Bigos countered 68 seconds later with a seeing-eye wrister from the point, Pimm drawing the powerplay assist.
“We had a bad start,” said Pimm. “It’s tough losing to them. You always want to beat Salmon Arm, especially this year because they’re ranked No. 1. At least we get them tomorrow night so that’s a bonus. We played a good third period. If we play like that for 60 minutes, we get the W. We just have to learn how to do the little things right.”
The Vipers pulled Hammond with just over a minute to play, and gained good control deep in the SilverBacks’ zone. Vernon then enjoyed a six-on-four opportunity when McMaster was called for delay of game with 34 seconds to play.
It was the second time this season the Gorillas came into Wesbild minus some prime-time talent, and pulled out a victory. Their second-leading scorer – Conor Morrison – is in Ottawa preparing to play for Germany in the World Junior Championships.
“I thought it was a pretty good game,” said Silverbacks head coach Rylan Ferster. “They obviously came out hard in the third period and I thought they took advantage of some situations and got some pucks to the net. It was like two top teams. It could have gone either way.”
Ferster said the country’s top ranking is not discussed in the Salmon Arm dressing room.
“Never, absolutely never,” said the former Vernon Laker. “We never talk about that. How can they pick that stat? For me, it means nothing. It’s only December. I want to be the No. 1 team in May.”
Ferster said the SilverBacks are committed to playing responsible in front of all-star goalie Bryan Gillis.
“I think our identity is team defence. I know we gave up a lot of shots tonight, but they had seven powerplays. We work on team defence so much and I think all the guys have bought in. That to me is the strong point of our team. In years gone past, it’s been run ‘n gun and this and that. We’re second in the league behind Vernon for goals against behind so that’s the stat we’re most proud of right now.”
And Ferster pretty much figures the SilverBacks and Vipers will likely decide the Interior title in March.
“They’re a good team. I said right from day one that I think Vernon’s the team to beat and my thoughts haven’t changed.”
Zengerle, who played prep school in Lake Placid, NY last year, was convinced by Morrison and his father, Dave Morrison, Director of Amateur Scouting for the Toronto Maple Leafs, to sign with Salmon Arm. He feels the SilverBacks have the make-up for a title run.
“We have everything. In my eyes, we’ve got skill, we’ve some grit, we’ve got toughness. We’ve got goaltending. We’ve got six, seven D and four good lines. We’re pretty deep.”

Vernon 6 Salmon Arm 4

Was at tonights BCHL game as Vernon defeated Salmon Arm 6-4 in front of 1,592 fans at the Sunwave Center.

1st Period: The Backs got off to a quick start, winning the draw and then just 27seconds into the opening period feeding Mark Zengerle who went in for the breakaway, but was stopped by former Silverback & Centennial Graeme Gordon, who kicked out his right pad for the big save. On the play Adam Thompson was given a minor for hooking Zengerle. Salmon Arm sustained some good presure deep in the Vipers zone, getting some good shots off from the point, but most of there shots missed the net. The Silverbacks had troubles hitting the net and couldnt take advantage of an early powerplay as Vernon killed off the minor. The Backs had the early jump, having the edge in play as Salmon Arm was up early in shots 5-1. The Vipers couldnt generate any offence having all kinds of troubles breaking out of there own end. Just over five minutes into the 1st the Silverbacks got on the board first, a bad line change by the Vernon defence, allowed Bobby Lipsett to break in two on one with Mark Zengerle with Mike Collins the lone man back, Lipsett snapped a quick shot from the circle, Gordon made the save but couldnt handle the rebound, as Zenergle was there to tap the puck into the empty net as Salmon Arm went up 1-0. It was teddy bear toss in Salmon Arm tonight, as the stuffed bears hit the ice, the Vipers headed back into the dressing room, while the minor delay took place to clean up all the stuffed animals off the ice. Just over four minutes later on another powerplay Matt Grassi & Ashford McMaster moved the puck back and forth before setting up Keenan Desmet who beat Gordon and the Backs were up 2-0 and in full control of the play. Vernon got off to a bad start, and with seven minutes remaining, the Vipers only had one shot on net. Zac Rasmussen bursted down the wing, and snapped a quick shot low from the circle wich beat Graeme but hit the post. Late in the period with five minutes left, the Vipers would get a great chance to get back into the game with a two man advantage powerplay, but like last night Vernon struggled on the man advantage, recording just two shots on goal, as the Silverbacks would kill off the two man advantage. Vernon did get control of the play late in the final few minutes of the 1st, getting some play deep in the Backs zone, but didnt generate any real great scoring chances. Salmon Arm carried the better of the play and was by far the better team, up 2-0 after 20 minutes of play. The Silverbacks outshot the Vipers 12-7.

2nd Period: Off the opening draw the Vipers got the play in deep, and come out hitting, Cory Kane led the way, starting off the 2nd with three big hits behind the Silverbacks goal, this causing a turnover. Vernon moved the puck well down low, generating some offence and just under two minutes into the middle frame, Kellen Jones setup Sahir Gill who beat Bryan Gillis with a soft goal, as the Vipers cut the lead to 2-1. Two minutes later the Vipers got the play in deep and really forechecked the Backs defence, Vernon was really forcing the play, with an aggresive forecheck. Braden Pimm setup Vernon product Bryce Kakoske who roofed a high shot over Gillis as the game was tied 2-2. The Vipers looked like a different team to start the 2nd having all kinds of jump, playing physical and now were skating, showing all kinds of speed. Vernon kept up the physical play, and strong forecheck down low, really dominating the play in the Backs zone. Salmon Arm's defence were being beat down low to the puck and along the wall, where the Vipers really controlled the play for most of the 2nd period. Just before the midway mark, Steve Tresierra & Bobby Lipsett collided in the corner, Tresierra dropped the gloves with Lipsett. On the same play Jason Beatie slashed Kyle Bigos, as Bigos and Beatie decided to drop the mits. Both Beatie and Bigos were tossed from the game. Vernon was rewarded a powerplay after the two fights, and on the powerplay the Vipers didnt waist much time. Some nice passing down low by Connor & Kellen Jones setup Bryce Kakoske for his 2nd goal of the game putting Vernon ahead 3-2 as the Vipers scored three straight goals. Some good action at both ends of the rink followed the Vernon goal, as both teams went back & forth. Zac Rasmussen went in for a breakaway as the Vipers defence got caught offguard, Rasmussen went in for the breakaway but Adam Thompson hustled back into the play, just getting his stick in the way for a quick second as Rasmussen was stopped by Gordon, Rasmussen went crashing into Gordon and both went into the back of the goal, but the puck stayed out. Some good end to end action but with very little scoring chances as both teams were playing a tight checking game. With 1:17 remaining Travis Briard setup Ashford McMaster at the point, where he wired a blast from the point, wich beat a screened Gordon and somehow found the back of the net. Gordon complained to the ref on the play, about goaltender interference but the goal stood. Salmon Arm tied the game 3-3 late in the 2nd. Vernon would get a late powerplay wich would continue into the 3rd. It would stay tied after 40 minutes of play. Vernon outplayed and carried most of the play as the Vipers outshot the Silverbacks 10-7.

3rd Period: The Vipers started the final period with a powerplay wich was left over from the end of the 2nd period. Salmon Arm did a great job on the penalty kill and would kill off the minor. The Silverbacks got off to the quick start after the penalty kill, as the Backs were going for the long stretch pass. Zengerle, Desmet and Cseter were all floating in the neutral zone, looking for the long stretch pass. Salmon Arm had good control of the play in the early goings, having the edge in play for the first five to six minutes, coming close to taking the lead. Gordon had to be sharpe coming up with some quick saves down low. Christoper Hoe had a great chance, going in for the breakaway, but couldnt get off a clear shot, as Gordon made the save. Vernons defence played well for most of the night, and looked very good come the 3rd keeping the shooters to the outside, tying up sticks, blocking shots. Vernon managed to keep the Backs off the scoreboard and just before the midway mark Cory Kane scored a quick soft goal off the faceoff, deep in the Salmon Arm zone. Kane shot the puck off the draw, wich beat Gillis fivehole. The Vipers jumped ahead 4-3 with just over ten minutes remaining in the game. The Vipers were now dropping three guys back, and trying to hit center and get the puck in deep, trying to wind down the clock. The Silverbacks really moving the puck well, had some good chances but couldnt beat Gordon. The Backs put some good presure on the Vipers but couldnt get the tying goal. Captain Matt Walters was robbed by Gordon on a great scoring chance. Vernons defence come up huge at times, lifting a stick at the last minute, or making the extra effort to beat the player to the puck. The Silverbacks with some good presure, took a very undisplined penalty with five minutes remaining. McMaster would cost his team a chance at tying the game, with the Vipers on the powerplay, Bryce Kakoske made an unreal diving play to keep the puck in at the line, Kakoske then gathered up the puck, fed Kellen Jones down low, who fed a wide open Connor Jones in front who roofed his shot over Gillis's glove as Vernon got the insurance goal they needed going up 5-3 with 3:58 remaining. Salmon Arm poured on the presure late in the game, as Gillis went to the Backs bench with 1:49 left. Travis Briard had a glorious scoring chance, Briard was left all alone at the side of the goal, but was stoned by Gordon who slid across the crease to make the huge pad save, keeping the score 5-3 and shortly after Mike Collins picked up the puck, and then fired it into the empty goal putting Vernon up 6-3 with under a minute remaining. With time winding down, Zac Rasmussen put a nice move around Kevin kraus, cutting towards the Vernon net, and then beat Gordon who was down and out, sliding the puck under Gordon and into the goal. The buzzer had gone off before the red light, but the 4th Salmon Arm goal stood, on the play, Mike Puddifant pushed Kevin Kraus, some pushing and shoving took place and then Puddifant dropped the gloves with Kraus inbehind the Vernon net. As the Backs were skating off the ice, Matt Wray was beaking with Chris Crowell at center ice. The final buzzer had already sounded as the Vipers snapped the Silverbacks 11 game winning streak defeating Salmon Arm 6-4. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 10-7.

Top Players: (Vernon)

Kellen Jones (3 assists) Come to play tonight, Kellen was all over the ice, buzzing around the Backs goal. Jones looked very good in and around the Salmon Arm net, creating all kinds of chances down low. Kellen was being tied up or held up all night, but battled his way through it.

Connor Jones (1 goal & 2 assists) Played a heck of a game. Connor just like Kellen looked very good down low, splayed with alot of jump, really looked good with the puck down low. Hard to fight off the puck. Had guys all over him all night.

Bryce Kakoske (2 goals & 1 assist) Bryce played one if not his best game as a Viper. Scored two nice goals, and made the play of the night, making a 3rd baseman like dive to keep the puck in at the line, on the powerplay, wich resulted in the Vipers 5th goal. Played with alot of hustle and determination all night. Made two big defensive plays as well. Played very well at both ends of the rink. Former Viper & Bryce's older brother Ryan Kakoske was at tonights game.

Cory Kane (1 goal) Really stepped up his play come the 2nd period. Kane started off with three big hits early in the middle period wich seemed to get Vernon going. Kane was hard to get off the puck all game. Had some nice moves in close.

Adam Thompson (1 assist) Thompson played a very solid defensive game for the Vipers. Thompson broke up a few big plays in his own end, made a few nice moves with the puck offensivly. Showed alot of hustle and determination all game, come back into the play, twice to break up two Backs scoring chances. A solid defensive game.

Graeme Gordon (27 saves) Gordon is now 9-0 as a Viper since coming over from Merritt in a trade. Gordon looked very confident between the pipes, playing one of his former teams for the first time as a Viper. Really controls his rebounds and is solid down low.

Top Players: (Salmon Arm)

Mark Zengerle (1 goal & 1 assist) Looked very deadly in the first period but wasnt very noticeble in the 2nd and 3rd periods. Vernon really has to keep an eye on Mark, a very skilled player, who can change the game on a single shift.

Ashford McMaster (1 goal & 1 assist) Played well for Salmon Arm. Took a very undisaplined penalty late in the game wich cost his team a chance at tying up the hockey game.

Game Thoughts: (Vernon)

Vernon didnt get off to a good start, not the start they were looking for. Giving up a breakaway to Zengerle just 27 seconds in, and then having to kill off an early powerplay didnt help. The Vipers looked flat to start the game for the second straight night. Vipers couldnt seem to generate any kind of an offensive attack, getting just one shot on net in the first 13 minutes. A much better performance and effort come the 2nd and 3rd periods. Vernon looked very good in the final two periods, finally playing with some emotion and intensity. A very physical 2nd period with some solid defensive play. Give the Vipers credit, they played a poor opening period but battled back down 2-0 scoring three straight goals. I was very impressed with the teams hustle and extra effort tonight, overall a much better performance. Vipers did much better on the draw, winning a fair amount. Vernons defence really stepped up there defensive play, compared to last night, where they allowed the Silverbacks to dangle in the Vipers zone for most of the night. Vernons defence played a tight checking game, not giving the Backs much room to move or setup. With the win, Vernon moves back to within three pts of the Silverbacks for 1st in the Interior. This was just the 2nd win against Salmon Arm after lossing the last four meetings.

Game Thoughts: (Salmon Arm)

Salmon Arm looked very good in the opening period, just as good as they looked and played last night in Vernon. Got off to quick start, scoring two goals in the first half and really dominating the play. Not sure what happened between periods but this was a different Silverbacks club, lost most of the battles, coughed up the puck a few times in there own end. Took a few undisaplined penalties. Once the Vipers started hitting and playing physical, seemed to get Salmon Arm off there game a little. Last night & tonight the Silverbacks were going for the long stretch pass up ice, as the game went on, the Vipers were aware of it and dropped back a third man. Not scoring on three breakaways dosnt help either. Salmon Arm had some chances but didnt have alot of room to move the puck and create chances like last night up in Vernon, the Vipers played a much more tight checking game, not giving the Backs as much open space like last nights game. Bryan Gillis looked a little shaky at times, giving up two soft goals.

Scratches:

Vernon:

Cole Ikkala
Kory Roy
Steven Weinstein

Salmon Arm:

Levi Hantula
Travis Statchuk
Conor Morrison

3 Stars:

1st Star: Bryce Kakoske (2 goals & 1 assist)
2nd Star: Connor Jones (1 goal & 2 assists)
3rd Star: Kellen Jones (3 assists)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Vernon @ Salmon Arm (Game Preview)


Vernon (25-9-1-2) @ Salmon Arm (28-7-1-1)

Tonight will be the 6th meeting between these two hockey clubs & the back of a home and home series, as the Silverbacks hold the season series at 4-1. The Silverbacks have won four straight against the Vipers, including a 4-3 win last night at the Wesbild Centre. Salmon Arm is riding a 11 game winning streak, where as Vernon has now dropped two of it’s last three games. The Vipers need a much better performance tonight in Salmon Arm, with a full 60 minute effort from everyone, if they want to defeat the Backs.

Heres a look at the season series:

September 5th @ Vernon: Vernon wins 4-1

The Vipers & Silverbacks clashed in the Vipers home opener. The Vipers were carried out onto the ice in the teams opening ceremonies in the back of the Vernon RCMP pickup trucks with the lights flashing as they introduced each player. Then a swat team member come shooting down a rope from the rafters, the officer then ran to a RCMP van on the ice and opened the back doors as the Vipers Captain & Assistant Captains jumped out from the back of the van. Salmon Arm opened the scoring just eleven seconds into the period, with a goal from Conor Morrison. This was the one and only goal the Backs would score as Vernon would beat Bryan Gillis four times going on to the 4-1 victory. Steve Tresierra, Cory Kane, Kellen Jones & Adam Thompson led the attack for Vernon. Andrew Hammond picked up his first win of the season making 27 saves.

September 6th @ Salmon Arm: Salmon Arm wins 5-4 (Overtime)

This was the back of a home and home series between these two Okanagan rivals. Tonight was Salmon Arms home opener and they didn’t let the home town crowd down. Just 1:41 into Overtime, Zac Rasmussen scored the game winner as the Silverbacks record the 5-4 OT win. Mark Zengerle & Conor Morrison collect three points each. Bryan Gillis picks up his first win of the season making 23 saves. John Digness picks up two points in the loss for Vernon.

September 20th @ Salmon Arm: Salmon Arm wins 7-2

This was an ugly game if you’re a Vernon fan. Salmon Arm destroys Vernon in a big 7-2 victory. The Silverbacks outplayed the Vipers as 1st star, Mark Zengerle collects four points. 2nd star, Keenan Desmet scores two goals and picks up two assists. 3rd star, Conor Morrison picks up (1 & 3). Andrew Hammond was given the hook after giving up four goals on just 17 shots. Backup Mark Segal didn’t do much better, allowing three goals.

November 7th @ Vernon: Salmon Arm wins 4-3

The Backs win there third straight against Vernon, in a 4-3 win. David Killip & Colin Lidster each pick up two points in the win. Bryan Gillis makes 31 saves between the pipes collecting the victory. Kellen Jones leads the way for the Vipers with one goal and one assist. The Silverbacks lead the season series 3-1.

December 19th @ Vernon: Salmon Arm wins 4-3

Salmon Arm wins there fourth straight against Vernon with a 4-3 victory, there 11th win in a row. Mark Zengerle led the way with a goal and 2 assists. Zengerle was all over the ice. D-man, Ashford McMaster picked up 2 assists in the win, looking very solid. Bryan Gillis was steady, having to make his best saves for last, in the 3rd period, facing 15 Vernon shots. Matt Walters & Zac Rasmussen played a fiesty role, getting under the skin of some Vipers. Walters & Rasmussen both played with that in your face style of hockey. The Vipers played about 7-8 minutes of the game, inwich they made a late rally, but it wasn’t enough as they fell to the Silverbacks on the scoreboard and in the standings. Salmon Arm with the win, moves 5 pts up on Vernon for first in the Interior.

Key Players To Watch:

Vernon:

Braden Pimm
Mike Collins
Connor Jones
Kellen Jones
Chris Crowell
Cory Kane
Andrew Hammond
Graeme Gordon

Salmon Arm:

Mark Zengerle
Conor Morrison
Keenan Desmet
Ashford McMaster
Matt Grassi
Justin Cseter
Bryan Gillis

Friday, December 19, 2008

Salmon Arm 4 Vernon 3

Was at tonights BCHL game as Salmon Arm defeated Vernon 4-3 in front of 2,694 fans at the Wesbild Centre.

1st Period: Both teams started off a little slow to start the game, looking very catious. No scoring chances, or shots on goal within the first minutie or so. Justin Cseter had the best scoring chance early, getting in behind Steven Weinstein getting a quick shot off in close, but Andrew Hammond come up with the save, give credit to Weinstein who did a great job defensivley trying not to haul down Cseter. The Vipers had a glorious chance early in the period, going on a two man advantage in the early goings. Vernon struggled on the powerplay, getting just three shots on the two man advantage, Kyle Bigos's blast from the top of the circle was the only real solid shot wich had a chance at going in, but Bryan Gillis come out to challenge making the save. The Vipers waisted alot of the powerplay moving the puck around, waiting for the perfect setup, wich didnt happen. The Silverbacks would kill off the two man advantage. Just under seven minutes into the period Steve Tresierra would cough up the puck in the Vernon end, as Mark Zengerle picked up the loose puck, dishing it off to Keenan Desmet who slid the puck fivehole past Andrew Hammond putting the Backs up 1-0. Just over two minutes later Vernon would head back to the man advantage but it was Salmon Arm who would get the first scoring chance shorthanded. Kyle Bigos made a bad pinch at the blueline, leaving Bryce Kakoske as the lone man back, Bobby Lipsett would steal the loose puck going in on the two on one with Zac Rasmussen, Lipsett would keep the puck and wire a shot from the circle beating Hammond high as the Silverbacks jumped out to the quick 2-0 lead scoring shorthanded. The Backs scored two goals on just five shots. Andrew Hammond looked shaky in the 1st period, having troubles with his puck control and rebounds. Both goals seemed to take the life out from the Vipers as the Silverbacks now had all the momentum. The Backs looked very good on the draw, winning most of the faceoffs. Salmon Arm carried the better of the play for most of the second half, moving the puck well, generating all kinds of chances in the Vipers zone. The Backs were by far the more aggresive team, winning all the batles all along the boards and in front of the net. Vernon was giving up way too many odd man rushes with some strong forecheck. Salmon Arm would get there first powerplay of the night with five minutes remaining. The Backs had seven shots on goal, getting some great scoring chances down low but couldnt beat Hammond who looked good on the penalty kill. The Vipers would kill off the minor but come very close to being down 3-0. The Silverbacks were up 2-0 after 20 minutes of play. Salmon Arm outshot Vernon 12-9. Give the Silverbacks defence credit, most of the Vipers nine shots were from way out, as the Backs defence were keeping the Vipers shooters to the outside.

2nd Period: The Silverbacks looked very good off the opening faceoff, getting the puck in deep and on the opening play Mark Zengerle had the puck on a string, weaving in and out dangling the puck in close, and then took a quick snap shot from the slot but Hammond was there for the save. The Backs carried the play in the early minute with some good chances. Just three minutes into the middle frame Vernon finally would get on the scoreboard, after some hard work down low from Sahir Gill and Vernon product Rob Short, who fed Bryce Kakoske who beat Gillis high cutting the lead to 2-1. This goal seemed to give the Vipers some life, Vernon finally sustained some solid play in the Silverbacks zone, moving the puck well but not getting many quality shots. Gillis was seeing everything with no traffic in front. Some good flow to the game as both teams would go back and forth but with very few scoring chances. Matt Walters dove in front of a Viper shot from the point, Walters with the big shot block, skated off in pain. Walters headed to the Silverbacks dressing room, but did return to the game minutes later. The Silverbacks had a great chance to go up 3-1 as Justin Cseter was left all alone at the side of the goal, with Hammond down and out, Cseter couldnt raise the puck as Hammond made the crease save with the paddle of his stick. Just before the midway mark after some nice passing by Salmon Arm, Ashford McMaster with a quick shot from the point, Andrew Hammond had to be quick to make the pad save, but couldnt control the rebound as the puck come out to a wide open Mark Zengerle who tapped in his second point of the night sliding the puck into an empty net as the Backs jumped ahead 3-1. The Silverbacks once again had way too many odd man rushes, as the Backs were looking for the long stretch pass all night. The Vipers were caught standing still on a few plays as the Backs were skating circles around the Vipers, as they were by far the more quicker and hungrier team. Salmon Arm had the edge in play, once again outskating and simply outworking the Vipers. Kevin Kraus took a shot off his foot, late in the period after a shot block down low. Kraus had troubles skating off, favoring his one foot. Kraus was trying to walk it off behind the Vipers bench, but managed to stay in the game. Salmon Arm was up 3-1 after 40 minutes of play. Shots were even 13-13.

3rd Period: The Silverbacks got off to a quick start, starting the 3rd on a powerplay, it took just over thirty seconds for the Backs to find the back of the net. Some nice passing down low as McMaster & Zengerle found veteran Travis Briard out front who beat Hammond as the Silverbacks went up 4-1. A few minutes later with Vernon on a powerplay the Vipers didnt waist anytime as Braden Pimm set up Kyle Bigos who wired a shot from the point wich beat Gillis high just seconds into the man advantage as Vernon cut the lead to 4-2. This goal seemed to give the Vipers life as they seemed to generate some much needed offence. Vernon started moving the puck quickly out from there own end, trying to get the play in deep. The Vipers had some chances but once again didnt get many quality shots. Vernons best scoring chance came when Cory Kane was in front all alone but fired wide. The Backs seemed to have let off the gas a little, sitting back playing more of a defensive style of game come the midway mark of the 3rd. Rob Short was tossed from tonights game after being called for checking from behind. Salmon Arm was really forcing the Vipers defence, coming at them with a strong attack forcing the Vipers to make that quick pass, from there own end. The Silverbacks did get the puck in deep, getting some shots but no real solid scoring chances. Vernon seemed to step up there game, and finally got there legs going, playing with some emotion in the second half of the final period. Vernon looked very good in the final seven to eight minutes, buzzing around the Backs goal, getting some chances in close. This was the Vipers best performance of the night, as they finally seemed to wake up. Steve Tresierra & Bobby Lipsett went into the boards as Tresierra went for the hit, Lipsett went down in pain, and was down on the ice as the play continued, the Silverbacks bench was screaming towards Tresierra for the check on Lipsett. Lipsett would finally crawl to the Backs bench, and head to the teams dressing room, before returning to the bench minutes later. Braden Pimm & Chris Crowell come in two on one late in the 3rd, Pimm made an unreal behind the back pass over to Crowell who beat Gillis glove side, as the Vipers were down 4-3 with just over three minutes remaining. Vernon poured on the presure, getting the puck in deep, really forcing the play down low. Both teams would call a timeout late in the game as Andrew Hammond would head to the Vernon bench for the extra attacker, Salmon Arm would win the draw, get the puck and feed Colin Lidster, Lidster skated up ice and with an empty goal missed on a shot from just passed center, this play just about cost the Backs as back come the Vipers, the puck would come out to the slot, where Kellen Jones took a quick shot but Bryan Gillis made the save of the game, just getting a peice of the puck with his glove. In the dying seconds Vernon would get a late powerplay with just 34 seconds remaining, Salmon Arm won all three draws in the final plays of the game as the Vipers couldnt set up a play, with just a few seconds remaining the puck come back to the point, where Kyle Bigos wired a lazer from the point, just missing the net as the buzzer went, the Backs bench poured onto the ice to celebrate there 11th straight win. At the final buzzer Kyle Bigoes gave Justin Cseter a slash to the leg, as Cseter tried to get back at Bigos but the linesmen got between the two players. The Silverbacks were overly pumped getting the win, as Mark Zengerle was banging his stick on the ice, in the teams celebration in the Backs zone. Zac Rasmussen was waiving his arms in the air at the Vernon crowd. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 15-4. The Silverbacks own the Vipers with a 4-1 record against there Okanagan rivals with a rematch tomorrow night in Salmon Arm.

Top Players: (Vernon)

Braden Pimm (2 assists) Pimm played well for most of tonights game.

Top Players: (Salmon Arm)

Bryan Gillis had a fairly easy 1st and 2nd period with most of the Viper shots coming from the outside. Gillis had to be ready in the 3rd and looked good. Gillis made a few nice quick glove saves in the final period, but come up with the save of the game late in the 3rd with a huge parcial glove save off Kellen Jones, from the slot.

Matt Walters got into some penalty trouble, but played fiesty, getting in the face of many Vipers. Walters played with alot of emotion, trying to get under the skin of any Vernon players. Come up with a huge blocked shot in the 2nd period.

Keenan Desmet (1 goal) looked good up front. This kid can skate and handle the puck well down low.

Ashford McMaster (2 assists) McMaster played a solid game at both ends of the rink. Really reads the play well, made a few nice plays to keep the puck in while on the powerplay.

Justin Cseter had a strong game for the Silverbacks. Had some good scoring chances but couldnt find the back of the net. This is the second straight game Cseter has played well against Vernon.

Bobby Lipsett (1 goal) Played well up front for the Backs. Lipsett scored a nice goal shorthanded. Always buzzing around the goal.

Zac Rasmussen was getting under the skin of many Vernon players. Didnt get many solid scoring chances, but played with that in your face style of game. Didnt shy away from the rough stuff, was always involved in the after the whistle activities.

Mark Zengerle (1 goal & 2 assists) Zengerle is a Viper killer, this kid seemes to always play strong against the Vipers. Very dangerous with the puck, showed that tonight. Has some soft hands, very good down low, likes to dangle. Very smooth skater.

Game Thoughts: (Vernon)

Its too bad Vernon didnt play the final seven-eight minutes for the whole game. The last three games now the Vipers seem to have troubles getting off to a good start against the Silverbacks. Vernon just cant seem to play a full 60 minutes against this team, other then the first two meetings. The Vipers looked flat for most of the night, no jump, no emotion, didnt have the legs going, and didnt play with that spark or aggresive forecheck they have been playing with the last 10-12 games. It wasnt until the final seven-eight minutes where Vernon stepped up there play, started skating and played very well. The Vipers were outworked and outskated for most of the night, very little contact, and played very soft. Salmon Arm played very aggresive, was hitting guys, getting the gloves up in faces after whistles, as where the Vipers just stood there, very soft tonight. Mark Ferner juggled his lines wich I wasnt much of a fan of, Im not sure why the team would mess with the lines when it has been playing its best hockey of the year. With the new lines, this wasnt the same Vipers team that had just one loss in its last 11 games. They didnt play with that aggresive forecheck, wich where they are very effective with. Vernon struggled on the powerplay, way too many passes, not enough shots. Lost most of the draws all game. Lost most of the battles and the races. Lets hope Vernon plays the final seven-eight minutes like they did tonight, for most of the game or if not the entire game tomorrow night. Vernon needs a better performance tomorrow night.

Game Thoughts: (Salmon Arm)

With the win, the Silverbacks move 7 pts up on Vernon for 1st in the Interior. Tonight was a big game and the Backs showed everyone tonight who was the better team. The Backs carried the better of the play for most of tonights game, Salmon Arm is a very well coached team, wich is very quick, moves the puck well, looks for the long stretch passes, and has a ton of firepower. The Backs worked hard, showed lots of hustle and seemed to be the more hungrier team. Salmon Arm seemed to want this game more, a very strong looking hockey club. This team had a ton of odd man rushes, really moves the puck well, some very nice passing. This team isnt afraid of the rough stuff, always involved in the after the whistle stuff, getting under the skin, trying to get guys off there game. A very well rounded, very focused looking team. Vernon is going to have to be ready for tomorrows game, any team that wins 11 games in a row, is going to be hard to stop.

Scratches:

Vernon:

Cole Ikkala
Kory Roy
Nick Amies

Salmon Arm:

Levi Hantula
Sam Mitchell
Travis Statchuk
Conor Morrison

3 Stars:

1st Star: Mark Zengerle (1 goal & 2 assists)
2nd Star: Justin Cseter
3rd Star: Ashford McMaster

Salmon Arm @ Vernon: (Game Preview)


Vernon (25-8-1-2) @ Salmon Arm (27-7-1-1)

The Vipers come into tonight’s game on a one game winning streak, defeating Quesnel Saturday night 6-3. Vernon has just three losses in there last eighteen games. The Silverbacks come into Vernon riding a ten game winning streak, coming off a big home & home sweep of the Trail Smoke Eaters winning both games 2-1 and 4-1. The Backs have just three losses and one tie in there last twenty seven games. Tonight will be the 5th meeting between these two hockey clubs as the Silverbacks hold the season series at 3-1. The Silverbacks have won three straight against the Vipers.

Heres a look at the season series:

September 5th @ Vernon: Vernon wins 4-1

The Vipers & Silverbacks clashed in the Vipers home opener. The Vipers were carried out onto the ice in the teams opening ceremonies in the back of the Vernon RCMP pickup trucks with the lights flashing as they introduced each player. Then a swat team member come shooting down a rope from the rafters, the officer then ran to a RCMP van on the ice and opened the back doors as the Vipers Captain & Assistant Captains jumped out from the back of the van. Salmon Arm opened the scoring just eleven seconds into the period, with a goal from Conor Morrison. This was the one and only goal the Backs would score as Vernon would beat Bryan Gillis four times going on to the 4-1 victory. Steve Tresierra, Cory Kane, Kellen Jones & Adam Thompson led the attack for Vernon. Andrew Hammond picked up his first win of the season making 27 saves.

September 6th @ Salmon Arm: Salmon Arm wins 5-4 (Overtime)

This was the back of a home and home series between these two Okanagan rivals. Tonight was Salmon Arms home opener and they didn’t let the home town crowd down. Just 1:41 into Overtime, Zac Rasmussen scored the game winner as the Silverbacks record the 5-4 OT win. Mark Zengerle & Conor Morrison collect three points each. Bryan Gillis picks up his first win of the season making 23 saves. John Digness picks up two points in the loss for Vernon.

September 20th @ Salmon Arm: Salmon Arm wins 7-2

This was an ugly game if you’re a Vernon fan. Salmon Arm destroys Vernon in a big 7-2 victory. The Silverbacks outplayed the Vipers as 1st star, Mark Zengerle collects four points. 2nd star, Keenan Desmet scores two goals and picks up two assists. 3rd star, Conor Morrison picks up (1 & 3). Andrew Hammond was given the hook after giving up four goals on just 17 shots. Backup Mark Segal didn’t do much better, allowing three goals.

November 7th @ Vernon: Salmon Arm wins 4-3

The Backs win there third straight against Vernon, in a 4-3 win. David Killip & Colin Lidster each pick up two points in the win. Bryan Gillis makes 31 saves between the pipes collecting the victory. Kellen Jones leads the way for the Vipers with one goal and one assist. The Silverbacks lead the season series 3-1.

Key Players To Watch:

Vernon:

Braden Pimm
Mike Collins
Connor Jones
Kellen Jones
Chris Crowell
Cory Kane
Andrew Hammond
Graeme Gordon

Salmon Arm:

Mark Zengerle
Conor Morrison
Keenan Desmet
Ashford McMaster
Matt Grassi
Justin Cseter
Bryan Gillis

Vipers Seek No. 1 Tag:


This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:


Vipers seek No. 1 tag


By Kevin Mitchell - Vernon Morning Star Published:

December 18, 2008 6:00 PM

There are 141 teams chasing the Salmon Arm SilverBacks for the No. 1 ranking in the Canadian Junior A Hockey League.
The Vernon Vipers, who come in at No. 8, are just three points back of the SilverBacks, and can make a move with four games versus Salmon Arm in the next 10 days. Game 1 goes tonight at Wesbild Centre.
The Vipers-Gorillas rivalry basically started when Salmon Arm’s Joey D’Amico inexplicably won the ceremonial first face-off when Vernon opened its brand new Multiplex in 2001 against the expansion SilverBacks.
Since then, there have been bananas, streakers and fireworks involved in one of the best rivalries in the B.C. Hockey League.
Asked if the SilverBacks deserved to be in the national penthouse, Viper winger Bryce Kakoske said: “We’ll see what we have to say about it (the rankings) after this weekend.”
Kakoske, traded to the Vipers from the Westside Warriors two months ago, noticed the rise in arena temperature when Vernon plays Salmon Arm.
“It’s a completely different atmosphere,” said Kakoske, who will skate on a new line with Rob Short and Sahir Gill tonight. “The rivalry’s a lot bigger (than Westside-SilverBacks) and we’re all really excited about these two games. You really can’t afford to lose too many games after Christmas, and these games are just the start to the more serious part of the season.”
Both Kakoske and veteran defenceman Kevin Kraus said the Vipers will be aware of which SilverBacks are on the ice, and when.
Salmon Arm is led by New York product Mark Zengerle (22-38-60), Ontario’s Conor Morrison (29-28-57) and Albertan Keenan Desmet (18-31-49). Former Vancouver Canuck Doug Lidster’s son, Colin, leads a big and nasty Gorilla backline.
“Everybody gets a little more pumped up for Salmon Arm,” said Kraus, who flies home to California Sunday with four teammates. “We’re pretty much battling for first place, and it would be nice to go home in first place.”
Kraus said the Vipers held some good feisty one-on-one battle drills in practice so will be ready to play a physical contest tonight.
Salmon Arm has won 10 straight games, while the Vipers are 9-1 in their last 10. The same two teams meet Saturday night at the Sunwave Centre.
They resume the rivalry Monday, Dec. 29 in Vernon, followed by a game in Salmon Arm the next night. The Vipers play the Swedish Under 17s Sunday, Jan. 4.