Friday, July 31, 2009

Hockey Bid Requires Time:

This letter was in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Hockey bid requires time

Published: July 28, 2009

There is no question that Vernon is a hockey town and any chance to celebrate the sport is welcome.
So the prospect of bringing the RBC Royal Bank Cup here in 2011 would have been extremely enticing. After all, anyone who was here when Vernon hosted the 1990 national Junior A tournament knows what a major boost it was for the community. It bolstered civic pride and fuelled greater interest in tourism.
But council was right Monday not to launch a bid for the 2011 event.
As beneficial as the tournament would have been, there just isn’t enough time to put a bid package together before the Aug. 19 deadline. Besides needing a volunteer committee in place to oversee the bid process and organize the event if selected, there is a need for considerable dollars to be guaranteed.
Given the looming deadline, it would have been virtually impossible for Vernon to bring corporate sponsors on board, particularly during the current economic downturn.
But while council was wise not to pursue 2011, it is equally right to look at possibly hosting a major sports event for 2012, whether it’s the Royal Bank Cup or international hockey.
Sports tourism is extremely lucrative as demonstrated in the past by the World Women’s Curling Championship and cross-country skiing at Sovereign Lake. Vernon has demonstrated it can host such events, and residents will sign on as volunteers.
But for a bid package to be successful, planning is required and that takes time. Instead of rushing towards 2011, let’s get our ducks in a row and work towards 2012.

Twin Falls Defeat Jones Twins & The Jays:

This is posted on Shawn Mullins Smoke Eaters Blog:

The Trail Jays lost 9-6 to Twin Falls this evening at the Idaho State AA American Legion Baseball double elimination tournament. Kellen Jones got tagged with the loss. Trail now moves to the loser's bracket and will play a do or die game against Treasure Valley tomorrow at 4pm. Cam Strachan is the probable starter for Trail. They need a strong effort from their #3. Treasure Valley and Trail are both top seeds from their region, but they both lost in the second round. Both are now on loss away from the end of their seasons. Tune in to Mountain FM news tomorrow for more details.

Many thanks to Shawn Mullin for updating us Vernon fans on the Jones Twins and the Trail Jays Baseball team, much appreciated.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Jays Win Opener:

This is posted on Shawn Mullins Smoke Eaters Blog:

Connor Jones went 8 1/3 innings today to get the win as Trail beat the Boise Centennial Cannons 11-5 in the opening game of the Idaho AA American Legion Baseball State Tournament. Brady Glover had 2 hits and 3 RBIs in the game for the Jays. Trail got up 10-0 but couldn't hold Boise off the board to secure an early mercy rule win. Kellen Jones gets the start tomorrow in their second round game. The tournament is double elimination. Pitching Cocah Collin Gibbs joins me on Mountain FM's Overtime tonight. The West Kootenay Diamondbacks head to the U16 Washington State Tournament on Saturday.

For more info and stats on the Trail Jays check out the team's website,

Tight Deadline Ices Bid For National Final:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Tight deadline ices bid for national final

By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star

Published: July 28, 2009

Any quick stick-handling by Vernon to host a major hockey tournament has been benched.
Council voted Monday not to bid for the 2011 RBC Royal Bank Cup because it just learned about the event and the deadline for submissions is Aug. 19.
“It’s a good event, but with what’s needed, it takes a big commitment. For Aug. 19, it’s too tight,” said Mayor Wayne Lippert.
Hockey Canada had been considering either Thunder Bay, Ont. or Summerside, P.E.I. for the national Junior A tournament but both of those communities have now been rejected. That means the bidding process has been launched again and communities with Junior A teams are being approached.
City officials met with the Vernon Vipers last week to discuss the prospect of putting together a bid package.
“It’s an excellent opportunity but a lot more investigation needs to be done,” said Kevin Poole, economic development manager.
The primary issue to be considered is financial and how to generate the funds needed for hosting.
“You are responsible for everything. You put together the tournament and find local sponsors,” said Poole.
When Prince George hosted the Royal Bank Cup in 2007, it raised $250,000 in cash and $100,000 in in-kind services.
Poole believes it would be difficult to bring sponsors on board in a short time period, and the recession also plays a role.
“Try hitting up sponsors right now. It’s a tough game,” he said.
A volunteer committee would also have to be established to oversee the bid process.
Michelle Jefferson, tourism manager, also urged council not to launch a bid for 2011.
“There would be a profile and great things happen but we would need to analyze it,” she said.
“If we’re putting up money for it, what return on investment would we get?”
Jefferson also pointed out that Greater Vernon will also be hosting the B.C. Winter Games in 2011 and that could place significant pressure on resources.
“It’s an issue of volunteer fatigue,” she said.
While the 2011 Royal Bank Cup has been turned down, council has instructed staff to look at possibly pursuing a sports event for 2012, whether it’s the Royal Bank Cup or an international hockey tournament.
“This is the kind of thing we’d have lots of buy-in on and support from the hockey community,” said Coun. Mary-Jo O’Keefe.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Jones Twins Advance To State Tournament:

Trail's play by play man, Shawn Mullin has been doing a great job at covering the Trail Jays baseball team wich features Vernon Vipers twins, Connor & Kellen Jones. I copied some of what Shawn has posted on his Smoke Eaters Blog,

The Trail Jays advanced to the Idaho State Tournament. The Jays beat Cranbrook and Lewis-Clark to start the double elimination North Idaho District Playoffs. The wins put Trail into the finals of the tournament and when Lewis-Clark made it through the loser bracket to get to finals as well it guaranteed Trail the top seed from their region. Lewis-Clark is hosting the State Tournament so they had a special "host" seed and as such it didn't matter who won the district. Kellen Jones got the win in Saturday's game over Lewis-Clark and Connor Jones picked up the save. Jays Manager Nick Schuerman says he'll be counting on the twins for big innings if they have any shot of winning State.

The Jays had their season banquet last night and both Jones Brothers took home some hardware.

MVP: Connor and Kellen Jones
Top Pitcher: Connor and Kellen Jones
Top Hitter: Connor and Kellen Jones

Read the rest of this story on Shawn Mullins Smoke Eaters Blog,

For more info and stats on the Trail Jays check out the team's website,

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bouchard Speaks About Pierce Hiring:

Brian Wiebe has posted on his Merritt Centennials Blog, the interview with Merritt Centennials Head Coach and GM Joey Bouchard on the hiring of former Merritt Centennial-Vernon Viper Luke Pierce as the team's new Assistant Coach. Pierce was named Assistant Coach just over two weeks ago. Check out Brian's Merritt Centennials Blog for the interview,

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Vernon Vipers 2009 RBC Cup Photos:

I come across a fellows website that has some amazing pictures of the Vernon Vipers from the 2009 Royal Bank Cup. Check it out,

Friday, July 24, 2009

Jones & The Jays Win Opening Game:

This is posted on Shawn Mullins Smoke Eaters Blog:

The Trail Jays won the first game of the North Idaho American Legion Baseball district playoffs yesterday. Connor Jones got the win as the Jays beat Cranbrook 11-5. The win guarantees Trail a spot in the state tournament. Stay tuned to Mountain FM for more updates on the Jays.

Many thanks to Trail's play by play man, Shawn Mullin who has been keeping us all updated on the Jones Twins and the Trail Jays. You can catch all updates and info on the Jones Boys and the Jays by checking out Shawns Smoke Eaters Blog,

Tigers Rally To Claim Junior Title:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Tigers rally to claim Junior title

By Nicole Berg - Vernon Morning Star

Published: July 23, 2009

It’s been a few years, but the Vernon Tigers are once again the cream of the crop in the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League.
The Tigers strung together six-straight third-period goals to upend the Kamloops Venom 9-5 in Game 5 of the best-of-five championship final Wednesday night at Wesbild Centre.
It is Vernon’s first league title since they won back-to-back banners in 2002 and 2003. They now advance to the B.C. championship, which goes July 31-Aug. 3 at Archie Browning Arena in Esquimalt.
“It’s just unbelievable and it is such a good feeling to have won the whole championship,” said Tigers’ coach Brian Klein. “We did what we set out to do which was to win every shift and to go out there and break their hearts, and we did just that.
“It was a slow start as we were losing 4-1 at one point, but the whole time I thought we were OK and our leadership of Robbie Short, Steven Clark, Braidy Webb, and Blake Lewis shined through.
“Kamloops is a good team who played a close, tough series. They had really strong goaltending in Stu Ford (37 saves) who was the best goalie in the league, so it’s an accomplishment to have been able to beat him.”
The Tigers had a rough start, trailing 4-3 after 40 minutes.
Ryland DeRose, Liam Hagerty, Ryan Hildebrand, and Duncan Schulz notched the Venom’s first four goals. Riley Soleway, Ryan Landels, and Matt Kolb responded for the Cats, who came alive in the third stanza and played the Venom tough from the start.
Steven Clark ignited the Tigers’ attack, scoring just 21 seconds into the frame.
Clark, who is graduating from the Tigers’ program after five seasons, was ecstatic with the win.
“There are just no words to describe it. I’m so jacked that we won this whole championship. I just wish (teammate) Pat Quigley was here to share this with us, as he is out of town for military training.
“This is probably the biggest thing I’ve won in my whole life. I’m proud of the way the boys came together tonight to win the game. It’s wicked how we were down two games at the beginning of the series but we rallied back to beat them in the end. It’s an awesome feeling.”
Goals by Jordan Jarvis, Steven Kolasko, Miles Jespersen, Skylar Hodgson, and Short rounded out the offence.
Hildebrand fired a late goal for Kamloops.
Said first star Short: “I was really happy to get the win and it feels so good to have won two championships this year (the other was a national Junior A hockey title with the Vernon Vipers).
“We knew we had the right team to win this series because we have such a good group of defencemen, and a great goalie in Josh (Phillips) who’s just played outstanding for us all year long.”
Venom coach Al Forster praised the Tigers’ resiliency.
“This series was so evenly matched that it could have gone either way. We played great the first two periods, but Vernon just came out with more intensity and wanted it more come the third period.”
This was the Venom’s first-ever championship final in only their second year in the league. They finished regular season play in fifth place with a 6-6-2 record. Vernon, who spotted Kamloops a two-game series lead, missed first place by one point at 8-4-2.
“I’m very proud of the way we’ve played all year, considering it’s just our second year in the league and we’ve made it to the league finals already,” added Forster.
Earlier, Jespersen turned the hat-trick as the Tigers grounded the Venom 5-3 in Game 4 Tuesday night at Kamloops Memorial Arena.
“It was a low-scoring game – the goalies were good, it’s tough dee, and it’s tough to get a good scoring opportunity,” said Tigers’ head coach Rich Zecchel.
One of Jespersen’s goals came shorthanded on a smart pass from Phillips.
“He’s been really solid this whole series,” said Zecchel, of Jespersen. “Lots of hustle, and he’s just a hard-working young man.”
“Everybody just put in a real team effort.”
Short and Webb (empty-netter) rounded out the Tigers’ attack.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kellen Jones Throws No Hitter:

Vernon Vipers forward, Kellen Jones threw a no hitter on Friday against Coeur D'Alene in North Idaho American Legion Baseball action. His team (Trail Jays) needed the win to secure second place and Kellen deliverd under huge pressure. Vernon Vipers forward, & twin brother Connor Jones was the catcher and scored the winning run of the game in extra innings.
Trail Smoke Eaters play by play man, Shawn Mullin has more posted on this story wich you can read on his Smoke Eaters Blog,

Vernon Vipers 2009-10 Regular Season Schedule:

Vernon Vipers 2009-10 Regular Season Schedule:

Exibition Schedule:

2009-08-29 at Salmon Arm Silverbacks 7:30pm

2009-08-30 at Revelstoke vs Salmon Arm Silverbacks 7:00pm

2009-09-01 vs Westside Warriors 7:00pm

2009-09-02 at Westside Warriors 7:00pm

Regular Season Schedule:

2009-09-11 vs Salmon Arm Silverbacks 7:00pm

2009-09-12 at Salmon Arm Silverbacks 7:30pm

2009-09-18 at Trail Smoke Eaters 7:30pm

2009-09-19 vs Trail Smoke Eaters 7:00pm

2009-09-25 vs Quesnel Millionaires 7:00pm

2009-09-26 vs Williams Lake Timberwolves 7:00pm

2009-10-02 at Westside Warriors 7:00pm

2009-10-03 vs Penticton Vees 7:00pm

2009-10-04 vs Burnaby Express 2:00pm

2009-10-09 at Penticton Vees 7:00pm

2009-10-10 vs Cowichan Valley Capitals 7:00pm

2009-10-11 vs Alberni Valley Billdogs 2:00pm

2009-10-15 at Quesnel Millionaires 7:30pm

2009-10-16 at Williams Lake Timberwolves 7:30pm

2009-10-18 at Prince George Spruce Kings 3:00pm

2009-10-21 vs Merritt Centennials 7:00pm

2009-10-24 vs Quesnel Millionaires 7:00pm

2009-10-30 at Merritt Centennials 7:00pm

2009-11-03 at Salmon Arm Silverbacks 7:30pm

2009-11-06 at Prince George Spruce Kings 7:00pm

2009-11-07 at Quesnel Millionaires 7:30pm

2009-11-08 at Williams Lake Timberwolves 4:00pm

2009-11-10 at Merritt Centennials 7:00pm

2009-11-13 vs Trail Smoke Eaters 7:00pm

2009-11-14 vs Trail Smoke Eaters 7:00pm

2009-11-18 at Powell River Kings 7:30pm

2009-11-20 at Surrey Eagles 7:00pm

2009-11-21 at Langley Chiefs 7:00pm

2009-11-22 at Burnaby Express 2:30pm

2009-11-26 vs Prince George Spruce Kings 7:00pm

2009-11-27 vs Westside Warriors 7:00pm

2009-12-04 vs Penticton Vees 7:00pm

2009-12-05 at Trail Smoke Eaters 7:30pm

2009-12-08 vs Merritt Centennials 7:00pm

2009-12-11 vs Salmon Arm Silverbacks 7:00pm

2009-12-12 at Penticton Vees 7:00pm

2009-12-18 vs Victoria Grizzlies 7:00pm

2009-12-19 vs Nanaimo Clippers 7:00pm

2009-12-29 at Trail Smoke Eaters 7:00pm

2009-12-31 at Salmon Arm Silverbacks 7:30pm

2010-01-02 vs Salmon Arm Silverbacks 7:00pm

2010-01-05 vs Merritt Centennials 7:00pm

2010-01-08 at Westside Warriors 7:00pm

2010-01-09 vs Williams Lake Timberwolves 7:00pm

2010-01-15 at Nanaimo Clippers 7:30pm

2010-01-16 at Victoria Grizzlies 7:00pm

2010-01-17 at Cowichan Valley Capitals 2:00pm

2010-01-19 at Alberni Valley Billdogs 7:00pm

2010-01-22 vs Westside Warriors 7:00pm

2010-01-23 vs Westside Warriors 7:00pm

2010-01-29 vs Powell River Kings 7:00pm

2010-01-30 vs Langley Chiefs 7:00pm

2010-02-05 at Merritt Centennials 7:00pm

2010-02-09 vs Merritt Centennials 7:00pm

2010-02-12 vs Penticton Vees 7:00pm

2010-02-13 vs Prince George Spruce Kings 7:00pm

2010-02-17 at Penticton Vees 7:00pm

2010-02-19 at Salmon Arm Silverbacks 7:30pm

2010-02-20 at Westside Warriors 7:00pm

2010-02-21 vs Surrey Eagles 2:00pm

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Former Vipers Head Coach Mark Holick & NHL Stars Coming To Penticton:

NHL stars commit to charity classic

by Ryan Pinder July 17, 2009

Three members of the Penticton Vees will be lining up with NHLers at the BC Hockey Hall of Fame Charity Game at the South Okanagan Events Centre on July 25th.

Joining the likes of Jarome Iginla, Chuck Kobasew, Duncan Keith, Cliff Ronning and other pros past and present are local power forward Logan Johnston, diminutive 2009 BCHL Interior Conference Rookie of the Year Garrett Milan and Ohio State bound defenseman Devon Krogh.

Imagine a line of Ryan Smyth, Jarome Iginla and Garrett Milan, or a defense pairing of Devon Krogh and Duncan Keith and you can start to feel the excitement that will fill Penticton on the 25th of July.

Devon Krogh is already feeling that rush: “I’m just so honoured to be selected to be on the same sheet of ice as these guys.” Off to Ohio State next year Devon will have his hands full defending the cast of stars.

Committed to the charity event to date are 4 invited players to Team Canada’s 2010 Olympic Camp in Ryan Smyth, Jarome Iginla, Duncan Keith and Shea Weber.

The inaugural event is set to benefit minor hockey and young kids looking to get involved in hockey. Former Penticton Bronco and current St. Louis Blues VP of Sales Bruce Affleck is organizing the event after hearing registration numbers at the grassroots level have been dropping in Penticton in recent years.

Here is a look at the roster of players committed to the event.

Jarome Iginla (Calgary Flames)
Chuck Kobasew (Boston Bruins)
Ryan Smyth (LA Kings)
Andrew Ladd (Chicago Blackhawks)
Duncan Keith (Chicago Blackhawks)
Shea Weber (Nashville Predators)
Matt Pettinger (Tampa Bay Lightning, UFA)
Justin Pogge (Toronto Maple Leafs, RFA)

Cliff Ronning (1137 NHL Games, 869 Points)
Dave Babych (1195 NHL Games, 723 Points)
Paul Reinhart (648 NHL Games, 560 Points)
Stan Smyl (896 NHL Games, 673 Points)

Garret Milan (2009 Interior Conference Rookie of the Year)
Devon Krogh (Ohio State 2009/2010)
Logan Johnston (Local Power Forward)

Pat Quinn (Edmonton Oilers)
Tom Renney (Edmonton Oilers)
Fred Harbinson (Penticton Vees)
Mark Holick (Kootenay Ice & Under 18 National Team)

Taylor Kitsch (Actor from TV show Friday Night Lights)

Tickets are available at, or by phone at 1-877-763-2849.

Ryan Pinder is the play-by-play voice of the Penticton Vees. Check out his blog at

Tigers Stay Alive:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Tigers stay alive

It was a nail biter, but the Vernon Tigers prevailed with a thrilling 5-4 overtime win against the Kamloops Venom in Game 3 Saturday night at Wesbild Centre to keep their Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League final hopes alive.
Playing in his first game of the playoffs, Tigers’ veteran Darren Kirby collected the winner with 5:07 remaining in double-overtime on a spectacular pass from Jordan Jarvis. Jarvis faked a shot on Venom netminder Stu Ford then fed a great pass to Kirby who slammed it in the net.
Game 4 of the best-of-five series went Tuesday night at Kamloops Memorial Arena.
A fifth game, if required, goes tonight at Wesbild Centre (7:30).
“That was such an intense game,” said Kirby, who can only play parttime with the Tigers, as he attends school in Vancouver. “Having not played in like three weeks, I felt fine out there.
“Everyone felt nervous in the beginning of the game, but the nerves wore out by the second period.
“This has definitely been a series of defensive plays and as the saying goes, defence wins championships, so our guys on the back end are going to have to keep up what they did tonight and keep the Venom shooters away.”
Despite the Tigers winning the overall game, the Venom scored the first goal of every period. Ryland DeRose, Tyler Reid, Ryan Hildebrand, and Zach Bruneau handled the Venom attack.
Riley Soleway, Brennan Plante, and Miles Jespersen, with a pair, rounded out the Tigers’ offence.
Jespersen’s first came after the Venom had put a ton of pressure on the Tigers’ defence, but netminder Josh Phillips was a rock. Vernon finally got possession after Jarvis made a big hit on a Venom player and then sprung Jespersen for the goal.
Even though the Tigers scored only five goals, they threw 77 shots Ford’s way. Ford led the league’s goaltenders with a .871 save percentage.
Phillips stopped 36 Venom shots.
Said Tigers’ coach Brian Klein: “The game turned out the way I thought. All the games in this series have been really close with lots of defence.
“Both goalies on both teams played extremely well. Our defence was really outstanding and it’s been a big accomplishment to us to keep Riley Donahue, one of the league’s top scorers, scoreless.
“Also, this was Darren’s first game of the playoffs so it was really nice to see him get the winner. He played a great game.”

Monday, July 20, 2009

2009-10 BCHL Roster Preview:

With just over a month to go before BCHL training Camps open, I thought I would take a look at each team and get a early preview on rosters. I copied each teams roster from the BCHL website, now not all team rosters are current and reliable as some trades and new recruits havnt been added to some team rosters. Of course some if not most rosters are going to change before the season, I just wanted to take a peak at wich players are returning from last year and get a basic idea on each teams lineup. Williams Lake isnt listed as they were not in the league last season.

Coastal Conference:

Alberni Valley Bulldogs

Burnaby Express

Cowichan Valley Capitals

Langley Chiefs

Nanaimo Clippers

Powell River Kings

Surrey Eagles

Victoria Grizzlies

Interior Conference:

Merritt Centennials

Penticton Vees

Prince George Spruce Kings

Quesnel Millionaires

Salmon Arm Silverbacks

Trail Smoke Eaters

Vernon Vipers

Westside Warriors

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cats Trail Series 2-0

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Cats trail series 2-0

Published: July 19, 2009

With the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League championship series heating up, the Vernon Re/Max Tigers’ offence went cold Thursday night at Memorial Arena in Kamloops.
The Tigers lost 3-1 to the Kamloops Venom and went into Game 3 of the best-of-five series Saturday night at Wesbild Centre down 2-0. A fourth game, if required, would go Monday night in Kamloops. Game 5 would be played Wednesday night in Vernon.
The Tigers jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the opening few minutes on a breakaway beauty by Craig Bigsby.
After that, the Tigers’ defence went soft, allowing three straight goals by Ryan Hildebrand, Tyler Reid, and Steve Bordon.
“We played a poor game and couldn’t hit the net tonight,” said Tigers’ coach Rich Zecchel. “We had lots of trouble trying to break through Kamloops’ defensive zone and didn’t get very many good outside shots.
“Their goalie Stu Ford (36 saves) played well and we just couldn’t get anything past him. Even though our offence played poorly, our defence did play well, which was led by Joel McKenzie, Jake Soleway, Steve Kolasko, Ryan Oliverius, Blake Lewis, Russell McLean, and Joey Klein.
“Our goaltender Josh Phillips (40 saves) played a solid game and let in the least amount of goals he’s let in all year.”
The Tigers took 22 penalty minutes to the Venom’s six.
In what could be their final game of the season Saturday, Zecchel said: “We’re going to have to turn this ship around really quick. We should be up 2-0 in this series. It’s been really close and the games could have gone either way. Our big guns are going to have to put all the pressure they can on Ford and our defence will have to do their best to blank their top scorers, such as Riley Donahue.”

Friday, July 17, 2009

Pelley Set To Fill John Madden's Role:

This is in the New Jersey Star Ledger Newspaper:

by Matt Gelb

Thursday July 16, 2009

Rod Pelley hoping to live up to comparisons to former NJ Devils center John Madden:

When the Devils let John Madden walk as a free agent, they had Rod Pelley in mind.

"We have to make room for Rod Pelley and a couple of others," general manager Lou Lamoriello said on July 1.

High praise for someone who has played all of 67 NHL games, considering Madden's celebrated 10-year career with the Devils. Whether or not Lamoriello intentionally wanted to send Pelley a message, it worked.

"To come out public like that, there's a lot of confidence," Pelley said. "You're basically telling the player, 'You better be ready. This is your opportunity. It's in your hands now.' That's basically how I interpret that. That's what I'll be ready in September for."

This week, the 24-year-old Pelley is the resident veteran at the Devils rookie camp at the Prudential Center practice facilities. He is expected to fill the role of defensive forward that Madden, who signed with the Blackhawks, excelled in for so long.

Pelley said he doesn't like comparing himself to Madden, simply because he hasn't accomplished what Madden has. But there are similarities in the way both forwards play defensively. Both are listed at 5-11, while Pelley is five pounds heavier at 195.

"Just even being mentioned, his name in the same sentence as mine, that's pretty humbling for myself," Pelley said.

Pelley is fully aware of the opportunity the Devils will award him in training camp. He would have preferred the chance come a year earlier, but the time he spent in the minors last season might have been for the better, he said.

In the first season of a two-year, $1.1 million contract, Pelley played in 75 games for Lowell, the Devils' AHL affiliate, and had 15 goals and 23 assists for a professional career-high 38 points. The assignment gave him a chance to polish the little things missing from his game.

"It helped me a lot," Pelley said. "I played a lot of hockey in all different situations."
While Pelley called Lamoriello's anointing "humbling," he has since moved past the surprise phase. Beginning with this week's rookie camp, it's time to start living up to it.

"It's definitely an opportunity," Pelley said. "It's up to myself to take advantage of it."

Rod Pelley played in the BCHL with the Prince George Spruce Kings during the 2000-01 season before being traded to the Vernon Vipers during the 2001-02 season. Pelley then went on to play the next four years at Ohio State University.

Venom Sting Tigers In Final Second:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Venom sting Tigers in final second

By Nicole Berg
Morning Star

The outcome was all decided in less than a second.
Duncan Schulz corralled a loose ball in the corner, quickly cut to the net, and took a diving shot which eluded goalie Josh Phillips with 0.4 of a second remaining as the Kamloops Venom bounced the Vernon Re/Max Tigers 9-8 in Game 1 of the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League championship series Tuesday night at Wesbild Centre.
Game 2 in the best-of-five final series went Thursday night in Kamloops. The third game goes Saturday night (7:30) at Wesbild Centre. Game 4, if required, is Monday, while a fifth game would o Wednesday in Vernon.
The winner advances to the provincial tournament, July 31-Aug. 3 at Archie Browning Arena in Victoria.
"It was unbelievable to get that goal right before the buzzer sounded to win the game," said Venom coach Al Forster. "We didn't play as well as we could have in the first period as we came out of the period down 3-1, but we came back and held a 6-5 lead coming out of the second. In the third, we pulled together, determined not to give up. Vernon's a strong team who never gives up and their captain Robbie Short (three goals) played incredible. We have to watch out for him."
The fifth-place Venom opened the scoring 61 seconds in with slick Riley Donahue pocketing his first of four goals on the night.
"Knowing we were down in the third period, we knew we had to step it up and really play hard if we wanted to win," said Donahue, who had 33 points in the regular season. "Vernon played us hard and they're a really tight team defensively so it's hard to get any balls past them, but we found a way tonight, and we'll have to keep that up if we want to win this series."
Vernon pulled away with a 3-1 first-period lead on goals by Ryan Landels, Jordan Jarvis and James Dobrowolski.
The game turned in Kamloops' favour in the second period, as they outscored Vernon 4-2 on goals by Cole Eustache, Rob Peterson, and a pair by Donahue, to take over the lead at 6-5. Short provided two goals for the Cats.
Eustache, Schulz, and Donahue notched the remaining Kamloops goals. Jarvis, Braidy Webb, and Short replied for Vernon.
Stu Ford made 46 saves in net for Kamloops, while Phillips stopped 43 shots.
"It was up and down both ways," said Vernon coach Rich Zecchel. "It was a good, hard-fought game on both sides. We ran into a few problems defensively when Kamloops got the majority of their goals in the second period. We showed lots of heart though by battling back and came within a tie but it wasn't enough to win the game."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cats Get Venom:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Cats get Venom

Published: July 14, 2009

The Vernon Re/Max Tigers were expecting to open the Thompson-Okanagan Junior Lacrosse championship series in Kelowna Tuesday night.
Instead, the Tigers hosted the upstart Kamloops Venom in the best-of-five final series. The fifth-place Venom stunned the first-place Warriors 8-5 Saturday night in Kelowna to win the semifinal series 2-1.
“We were surprised the Venom beat Kelowna,” said Vernon co-coach Rich Zecchel. “They have a really good goalie in Stu Ford, who has had a few Junior A stints. Doug Clark has coached Team B.C. at various levels at the nationals so they are well coached.
“They also have one of the best players in the league, Riley Donahue (ninth in scoring with 16-17-33). They’re smaller than us and they don’t like to get hit. They’re not as quick as Kelowna which is good for us. We match up well with them.”
The Venom’s top scorer in the regular season was Quinn Smith, who finished fifth with 17 goals and 41 points.
The Tigers won the season series 2-1, winning 11-4 on June 24 in Kamloops, the last time the teams met. Vernon finished at 8-4-2, while the Venom went 6-6-2, knocking off the fourth-place Kamloops Rattlers in first-round playoff action.
Game 2 in the championship series goes Thursday night in Kamloops, while a third game is Saturday night (7:30) at Wesbild Centre. A fourth game, if required, is scheduled for Monday night in Kamloops. Game 5 would go Wednesday, July 22 in Vernon.
The winner advances to the provincials, July 31-Aug. 3 in Victoria.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Vernon Tigers Lacrosse Playoff Schedule:

Vernon Vipers forward, Rob Short & the Vernon Tigers start the Championship Final tonight vs the Kamloops Venom. Here's a look at the Tigers Playoff Schedule,

Vernon Tigers VS Kamloops Venom

Game 1 Tuesday, July 14th Kamloops @ Vernon 7:30pm
Game 2 Thursday, July 16th Vernon @ Kamloops 7:30pm
Game 3 Saturday, July 18th Kamloops @ Vernon 7:30pm
Game 4 Tuesday, July 21th Vernon @ Kamloops 7:30pm
Game 5 Wednesday, July 22nd Kamloops @ Vernon 7:30pm


To View "Official" Schedule & Scores @

For more on the Vernon Tigers, check out the teams website,

Vipers Announce Exibition Schedule:

This is on the Vipers website:

Vipers Exibition Schedule:

The Vernon Vipers have set their exhibition schedule with four pre-season games lined up, the Vipers will first play in Salmon Arm on August 29th against the Silverbacks. The following night, August 30th, the two teams will face each other again but in Revelstoke. The Grizzlies organization invited the two teams last year to play in their arena and had great success with the event and are looking forward to hosting the game again. The Vipers will then be taking a night off before playing a home and home series with the Westside Warriors on September 1st and 2nd, starting in Vernon on the Tuesday night and then in Westside on Wednesday night.

The Vipers are looking forward to starting the 2009-2010 season and fans looking to buy season tickets can call the Vipers office at 250-542-6022.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Former Vernon Laker Ferster No Longer Behind The Bench:

This is on the Silverbacks website:

Restructure to hockey operations

Monday, July 13, 2009 - Submitted by Shawn Rogers

The Salmon Arm SilverBacks Junior “A” Hockey Club has restructured their hockey operations for the 2009-2010 season. Matt Hughes will become the Head Coach while Rylan Ferster will be the General Manager. Previously, Ferster held both titles while Hughes was the Associate Coach/Assistant GM.

“I hired Matt the same year I bought the team making this season his third year in Salmon Arm. Since that time, Matt and I have developed a positive working relationship. When Rylan and I first discussed his return to Salmon Arm, our vision was for him to operate as the General Manager. It took one year for this plan to fall into place and enabled us to hire from within making it a smooth transition. This will allow Rylan to concentrate on general manager responsibilities and recruiting along with myself. Matt has done a great job here and we are very confident in his abilities as we all share the same philosophies” commented Team Owner Randy Williams.

Randy Quakenbush will return as an Assistant Coach, Jamie Walters will remain the team Trainer, Mickey Sims continues as the Strength & Conditioning Coach, Brady Robinson will be the Goaltending Coach, Heather Sims returns as the Office Administrator while Shawn Rogers continues as the Director of Marketing.

Rylan Ferster played with the Vernon Lakers back in 1989-90 winning the Centennial Cup defeating the New West Royals in a dramatic 6-5 overtime thriller.

Vipers Celebrate 10 Years:

This is on the Vipers website:

Vipers celebrate 10 years

by viper staff Added 2009-07-13

The Vernon Vipers 1999 Championship team came back to Vernon for a ten year reunion last weekend to celebrate their victory and see some familiar faces and a very familiar trophy. 1999 Vipers Captain Lennie Rampone organized the weekend event which started with a Friday afternoon wine & cheese gathering at one of the Vipers parents house. On Saturday the Vipers Team headed to Spall Golf Course for a round of golf and they finished the day at Boston Pizza where billet families, fans and players gathered for a “post-game show”. On Sunday the players were able to spend one more afternoon together for brunch before going back home. The event was very well attended, with a total of 16 players coming into town along with their Coach Troy Mick, Trainer Tim Cooper and Owner Duncan Wray participating in the weekend event. The highlight of the weekend was being able to carry the RBC Cup along side with them, reading their names and hoisting it again for pictures. The Vernon Vipers would like to congratulate the 1999 team on their success from 10 years ago until today.

Bigos Attends Oilers Development Camp:

The Edmonton Oilers finished hosting their 2009 Development Camp from July 6-10, 2009. Millennium Place in Sherwood Park hosted the Oilers top prospects, with 23 players reporting to camp. All off-ice workouts took place at Rexall Place and a special team building session was scheduled at CFB Edmonton.

Former Vernon Vipers defenceman, Kyle Bigos spoke with the media for the first time this past week after attending the Edmonton Oilers development camp. When you click on the link below, on the right hand side you have to scroll down till you find the interview with Kyle Bigos.

Heres a list of the Oilers development roster

Welcome Home Luke!

Id like to congradulate former Merritt Centennial-Vernon Vipers forward, Luke Pierce on being named the new Assistant Coach of the Merritt Centennials. After playing with the KIJHLs Revelstoke Grizzlies back in 2000-01 Luke had the chance to come home and play for his hometown Merritt Centennials. Pierce played with the Cents from 2001-03 before being traded to the Vernon Vipers in the 2003-04 season. Pierce was aquired by the Vipers by former Merritt Centennials Head Coach & GM, Mike Vandekamp. Pierce was named Assistant Captain that season, a real leader on and off the ice. In 53 games with the Vipers Pierce would score 7 goals, collect 21 assists wich was good for 28 pts. Luke racked up 223 penalty minutes in his final season of Junior Hockey. In just 5 Playoff games that year, Pierce would collect just 1 assist but would lead the team in penalty minutes with 61. That season the Vipers (37-15-1-7) finished 2nd place in the Interior Division 3 pts back of the Interior Division Champion Salmon Arm Silverbacks. Vernon was upended that year in 5 games by the Trail Smoke Eaters. Pierce would move on to play the next five years at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario. He graduated with a Master of Business Administration.

Luke Pierce is one of the most hated players in the entire BCHL. Pierce was one of those players you use to hate to play against but would love to have him on your team. I will be one of the first to admit I use to hate Mr. Pierce everytime the Cents would make their trip to Vernon, but when I first read the paper and found out Luke was traded to Vernon, I was very thrilled. I love his intensity and spark he brings to the rink, he always plays with an edge and is willing to go to battle each and every game. This kid is fearless and never backs down from a fight. After watching Luke his entire BCHL career over the yrs as a Centennial and Viper this is one of the toughest kids I have seen play. Most fans hated Luke Pierce, calling him a goon. Pierce was always involved after the whistle, well knowen for giving out his specialty cheap shots. At 5'8 and 170 lbs Luke wasnt afraid to drop the gloves, Pierce stood in against some of the leagues heavyweaights many times, winning and losing. I seen this kid take a pounding but never backed down.

Luke played each and every game like it was his last, you always got the most and best out of this kid game in and game out. A fan favorite in Merritt during his playing days as a Centennial, I talked to a few Cents fans who were very sad to see him leave. One of my first road trip's down to Merritt, I was checking out the minor hockey trophy display cases in the concesion area, & I was amazed to see Lukes name on several minor hockey trophies. Next time you make a trip out to a Centennials game, check it out.

Id like to wish Luke all the best with the Centennials and am looking forward at seeing him behind the bench next time Merritt comes to town.

Former Viper Pierce Named Centennials New Assistant Coach:

This is on Brian Wiebes Merritt Centennials Blog:

Former Merritt Centennial-Vernon Viper Luke Pierce has joined the Centennials as an assistant to head coach and GM Joey Bouchard.

Pierce is a 25-year-old who grew up in Merritt, playing in the Merritt Minor Hockey Association before join the KIJHL's Revelstoke Grizzlies for the 2000-01 season. He played in the BCHL for the Cents from 2001-03 and was traded from Merritt to Vernon prior to the 2003-04 season. Pierce wrapped up his playing career last season after five years at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario. He graduated with a Master of Business Administration

Brian hopes to have Joey Bouchard's thoughts on Luke's addition to the coaching staff posted sometime tomorrow.

Capitals Coach Suspended & Fined:

This is in the Summerside P.E.I Journal Newspaper:

Coach on suspension: ‘dangerous precedent’

NANCY MACPHEE The Journal Pioneer

SUMMERSIDE — Kenny MacDougall says his former team has hung him out to dry. The Summerside Western Capitals’ ex coach has received a 10-game suspension and a $1,000 fine from the Maritime Junior ‘A’ Hockey League following conduct at the 2009 RBC Cup in Victoria, B.C. in May. MacDougall said Sunday he’s being unfairly singled out and wants a chance to have his side of the story heard. “I feel like I’ve been made a scapegoat here for what happened in Victoria,” he said. “I understand the league trying to send out a message that they don’t want something like this to happen again.” But, he added, “The message sent is you as a player can break curfew, break team rules, you can be disrespectful in a public place and you can do damage to property and nothing will happen to you. Your coach will be suspended.”MacDougall learned of the suspension on June 15 and immediately requested a hearing with the league. He and Caps general manager Gabe Keough met with MJAHL president Derryl Smith, who had handed down the suspension.“He already had his mind up before we met. That was frustrating.”The Caps then filed a formal appeal on MacDougall’s behalf. “At the eleventh hour the Summerside Western Capitals pulled that appeal,” said MacDougall. “Now, I’m out there, an island onto myself here.” By letter, the league reprimanded a player neither it nor the team would name. MacDougall said that player caused a disturbance where alcohol was involved at the resort’s restaurant and later damaged a television. “You put rules and structure in place and you expect people to follow them. When they don’t it’s very disappointing,” he added. “But it’s hard to swallow that I’m totally responsible for the actions of people that made conscious decisions to break rules.”MacDougall, who’s sought legal representation, has written the league and Hockey P.E.I. seeking an appeal.“The league is setting a dangerous precedent for guys who are going to get into trouble away from the rink that the coach is going to be held responsible for it. That’s a pretty big responsibility for a coach. I don’t know how many people are willing to take that on, to be responsible for guys 24-7,” he added. “I need to know what I did that was conduct unbecoming of the league. Players broke those rules. Grown, consenting adults made decisions to break those rules and I have to pay the price for them, which I find to be a little upsetting.”