Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Coyotes Sign Former Viper Watkins:

This is posted on the Phoenix Coyotes website:


Wednesday, 09.30.2009 / 2:42 PM / News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:Wednesday, September 30, 2009

GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have signed forward Matt Watkins to an entry level contract. As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Watkins participated in training camp with the Coyotes on a professional tryout and has joined the team’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage. The 22-year-old Watkins recently completed his senior season at the University of North Dakota, where he collected 7-7-14 and 40 penalty minutes (PIM) in 41 games. In 168 career games with North Dakota, Watkins registered 26-32-58 and 150 PIM. He was also a three-time All-WCHA Academic Team member.

A native of Aylesbury, Saskatchewan, Watkins recorded career-highs in goals (8) and points (18) during his junior year in 2007-08. As a freshman in 2005-06, he appeared in all 46 of the team’s games.
The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Watkins was originally drafted by Dallas in the fifth round (160th overall) of the 2005 Entry Draft.

This is posted on the San Antonio Rampage website:

Rampage add Hollweg, send Watkins & Ross to Vegas

09/30/2009 5:47 PM

San Antonio Rampage General Manager Brad Treliving announced today that the Phoenix Coyotes (NHL) have assigned left wing Ryan Hollweg to the Rampage. In addition, defenseman Nick Ross and right wing Matt Watkins have been assigned to the Las Vegas Wranglers (ECHL).

For more on the Wranglers check out the team's website,

Blues Assign Former Viper Strachan to Peoria:

This is posted on the St.Louis-Peoria website:

Blues Assign Strachan to Peoria

Team roster has now been reduced to 26 players

Wednesday, 09.30.2009 / 10:36 AM / News

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced Wednesdayday the club has reduced their roster to 26 players. The Blues has assigned defenseman Tyson Strachan to the Blues’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen.

Strachan, 24, has skated in 73 games for the Rivermen over the past two seasons. He made his NHL debut with the Blues in 2008-09 and collected three assists and 39 penalty minutes in 39 games. For the Rivermen last season he had five points (2g, 3a) and 67 penalty minutes in 29 games. He also had 11 PIM in three playoff games against Houston.

The native of Melfort, Sask. was originally selected in the fifth round (#137 overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Rivermen open the 28th season of professional hockey in Peoria on Saturday, Oct. 3 against the Grand Rapids Griffins.

For more on the Rivermen check out the team's website,

Former Viper Bayda Signs Deal With Penguins:

This is on the Pittsburgh Penguins website:

Penguins Sign Forward Ryan Bayda to One-Year Contract

Monday, 09.28.2009 / 7:21 PM / News

The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed forward Ryan Bayda to a one-year contract, it was announced by Executive Vice President and General Manager Ray Shero. Financial terms were not disclosed. Bayda, who attended the Penguins’ 2009 training camp on a professional tryout, earned a two-way contract from the club.The 5-11, 195-pound winger played parts of five seasons with Carolina after the Hurricanes drafted him with the 80th overall pick (third round) in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. Bayda, 28, has tallied 40 points (16G-24A) in 179 career games. Last season, he posted 12 points (5G-7A) in 70 games and four points (2G-2A) in 15 post-season contests, which included four games against the Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals.The Saskatoon, Canada native played three collegiate seasons at the University of North Dakota.

Milhouse Locates Scoring Touch:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Milhouse locates scoring touch

By Graeme Corbett - Vernon Morning Star

Published: September 29, 2009

Jonathan Milhouse won’t win any style points for the two goals he scored in the Vernon Vipers’ 5-1 win over the Williams Lake Timberwolves Saturday night at Wesbild Centre.
One was a weak backhander that trickled over netminder Evan Dauenhauer’s right pad as he drove to the net early in the first period. The Yorba Linda, Calif. product’s second came midway through the second frame when he only got a piece of his one-timer from the slot that still somehow slid into the left corner past the screened Wolves’ keeper on the powerplay.
Pretty goals or not, Milhouse (3rd and 4th goals) will take them. More importantly, the underlying work ethic that he and linemates Braden Pimm and Mike Collins (3A) used to create offence indicates they’re gelling nicely as a line.
The talented forward wishes he could have added a third goal in front of 1,736 fans.
“I’ve never had a hat trick,” grinned Milhouse. “I’ve had tons of two-goals, but never three so it would have been good to get it, but there is still lots of season left.
“Pimmer is probably one of the hardest workers I have ever had the chance to play with and Mike’s very skilled and I’m pretty lucky to be playing with them. We’re just starting to get used to each other and good things are happening.”
Dauenhauer, a Vernon product who played last season with the PIJHL Ridge Meadows Flames, wishes he could have had a few of those goals back.
“Vernon’s a good team. They’re tough to play against. We’re a good team too, we’re just having a rough start to the season,” said Dauenhauer, as he headed to the back parking lot to meet with friends and family before hopping on the bus for Castlegar.
“I was so excited to play here, so excited to come back. It’s always a good game with Vernon. I had a whole bunch of (friends watching)... in the 20s or 30s.”
The Vipers, who debuted their new third jerseys, dominated the first period, outshooting Williams Lake 15-5 (38-15 overall).
Snakes’ forward Connor Jones had several solid chances, but couldn’t convert. Linemate Cory Kane fed him a slick pass under a defender’s stick on an odd-man rush, but he couldn’t get a touch on the open net. Jones then missed on a glorious shorthanded chance as he danced around a defender but missed the final touch.
Rookie Dylan Walchuk set up the Vipers’ other first-period goal as he wheeled up the wing, hit the brakes at the sidewall and spotted Sawyer Mick (2nd) driving to the net. Mick went top shelf as he crashed the net.
Vipers’ head coach Mark Ferner says they will take the points, but knows they need to be better when they visit the Westside Warriors Friday night at Royal LePage Place. They host the conference-leading Penticton Vees Saturday at Wesbild.
“I thought we had a good first period, but we took things for granted in the second,” said Ferner. “We started taking some shortcuts and that’s not how we want to play.
“The neutral zone is going to dictate whether you’re going to play offence or defence, and we weren’t hard enough on pucks, we turned pucks over... and that’s an area we need to get better at.
“This week coming up is going to be a very good test for this hockey team.”
Williams Lake answered late in the second period as the Vipers got caught at the blueline. On the ensuing odd-man rush, Jason Diehl (2nd) ripped a hard wrister past netminder Blake Voth (14 saves), who was making his Vipers’ debut, from 30 feet out.
Shortly after, Walchuk (2nd), on a clever chip pass from Collins, walked in alone shorthanded and mesmerized Dauenhauer with a flurry of forehands and backhands before tucking the puck low left side.
Jones, who has looked snake-bitten all season, pocketed his first goal on a gorgeous one-timer set up by twin brother Kellen.
“It’s good that we’re getting the chances so it means we’re doing something right. It was nice to see him score – I was pretty pumped,” said Kellen.
“He really beared down there. The first couple chances he was a bit lackadaisical, but he really put it in the net and made sure it went in.”
Added Timberwolves head coach Dave Dupas: “We knew it was going to be difficult, so we just tried to relax and try and gain some confidence playing against these guys.
“The boys just have to keep learning and playing these sort of games and eventually maybe we can start to compete a little bit.”

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Former Viper Bayda Hopes To Crack Penguins' Lineup:

Bayda hopes to crack Penguins' lineup

Friday, September 18, 2009

By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

WILKES-BARRE -- This is not the first time Ryan Bayda has had to try out for a hockey team.

Just the first time since the days when his other pressing concerns were things like lining up a date for the prom.

Bayda, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound winger, was a teenager then, playing midget hockey and moving down a path that eventually would lead him to the University of North Dakota. Today, he is 29, a veteran of seven-plus pro seasons and trying to defy some daunting odds and convince the Penguins he is worthy of a contract.

Not that such a lack of security is a major issue for him.

"I've never really been in a situation where I've had anything guaranteed, so it's the same situation," he said. "I'm here to try to prove myself and prove that I can play and do it at a high level.

Bayda, like nearly everyone else, was overshadowed last night by defenseman Alex Goligoski, who scored all three goals in the Black squad's 3-2 victory against the Gold team in the Penguins' intrasquad scrimmage before a sellout crowd of 8,322 at Wachovia Arena.

Bayda is coming off his most-productive season as a pro -- he had five goals and seven assists in 70 games with Carolina, and did not take a minor league shift for the first time in his career -- and said the Hurricanes offered him a two-way contract, which pays a reduced salary if the player is not in the NHL.

He declined because "I thought maybe it was time to try somewhere else, see what other options were out there," but it turned out he did not have many. Not that came with any certainty, at least.

Eventually, he accepted a tryout in St. Louis, but reconsidered after the Blues signed forward Derek Armstrong, late of Los Angeles. The odds are stacked against anyone on a tryout earning a contract. So, when St. Louis added Armstrong to its depth chart, Bayda's prospects for playing there dimmed considerably, and he decided to come to the Penguins' camp.

"Once Derek signed, it kind of took up all their contracts and there wasn't a lot of room left," Bayda said.

NHL teams are allowed to have up to 50 players under contract; it is not known how many spaces, if any, the Blues have remaining, but that will not be an issue with the Penguins. They are believed to be at least three, and possibly four, below the limit.

With that detail moot, Bayda can focus on his efforts on proving to the Penguins that he is worthy of filling one of those spots.

In the salary-cap era, it is not unusual for NHL-caliber talents to find themselves out of work, and more than a few in recent years have gone the tryout route to re-establish themselves. Adam Hall did that with the Penguins in 2007-08, and his solid performance led to a three-year deal in Tampa.

Hall filled a blue-collar role for the Penguins, working on the bottom two lines and killing penalties, and Bayda will be looking to do pretty much the same. He forechecks hard and flashes a nasty edge occasionally, like when he cross-checked Penguins defenseman Kris Letang in the face at the end of Game 2 in the Eastern Conference final in the spring.

He does not make a habit of such things, so management is not likely to worry about Bayda taking more penalties than he kills. And Bayda, for his part, does not anticipate any lingering hard feelings with Letang if the two end up wearing the same sweater.

"It's a game where emotions get up there, and a lot of things happen on the ice," he said. "I'm sure that once I meet Kris, it will be water under the bridge for both of us. Hopefully, at some point down the road, it's something we can joke about. Guys fight each other and then become teammates and become good friends.

Fact is, Bayda has a reputation as a good team guy, and one whose personality makes him a positive presence in the dressing room. That could work in his favor if his on-ice work meets management's expectations.

"I just want to show them I have a good work ethic, that I'm a good guy in the room -- I like to have some fun and keep the room loose -- who plays hard and does all the little things," Bayda said.

"Just be a solid player that they can feel comfortable with playing in defensive-zone and offensive-zone situations. Someone they can rely on.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Vipers Player Profile With Kellen Jones:

Kiss FM's Rob Abramenko has once again made one of his great Vernon Vipers video's, Abro just finished player profile with Vipers Assistant Captain, Kellen Jones. Check it out,

Vipers Player Profile With Connor Jones:

Kiss FM's Rob Abramenko has once again made one of his great Vernon Vipers video's, Abro just finished player profile with Vipers Assistant Captain, Connor Jones. Check it out,

Vipers #1 In CHJL Top 15 For Fourth Consecutive Week:

Vipers #1 in CHJL Top 15 for fourth consecutive week

Monday, September 28, 2009 - Submitted by CJHL Network

The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) announced today its Weekly Top 15 rankings for the 2009/10 season. The previous week's rankings and the leagues in which the teams belong to are in parenthesis.

The CJHL Weekly Top 15 as of Monday, September 28th:

1. (1) Vernon Vipers (BCHL)
2. (7) Dauphin Kings (MJHL)
3. (5) Penticton Vees (BCHL)
4. (4) Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL)
5. (8) Brooks Bandits (AJHL)
6. (3) Humboldt Broncos (SJHL)
7. (10) Kingston Voyageurs (OJAHL)
8. (4) Pembroke Lumber Kings (CJHL)
9. (11) Burlington Cougars (CCHL)
10. (HM) Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL)
11. (HM) Newmarket Hurricanes (CCHL)
12. (NR) Amherst Ramblers (MJAHL)
13. (13) North Bay Trappers (NOJHL)
14. (15) Les Pantheres de Saint-Jerome (LHJAAA)
15. (14) Fort William North Stars (SIJHL)

Honorable mentions go to the Bonnyville Pontiacs (AJHL), Swan Valley Stampeders (MJHL), Buffalo Jr. Sabres (OJAHL), Wellington Dukes (CCHL), Markham Waxers (CCHL), Le College Francais de Longueuil (LHJAAA), and the Summerside Western Capitals (MJAHL).

The rankings are based upon a variety of factors which includes the league in which the teams belong to, their winning percentage, their win-loss record, total points accumulated, their goals-for versus goals-against ratio, amongst other factors.

The CJHL is an amalgamation of ten Junior A hockey leagues from across Canada. More information on the CJHL can be found by clicking on the league website.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Gannon & Leonard Named Assistant Captains Of Wolfpack:

Former Vernon Vipers Korey Gannon and Joel Leonard are playing for the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack in the first season of the seven-team B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League. Gannon & Leonard have been named assistant captains for the Wolfpack.

Last night the Thompson Rivers University defeated Okangan College Crusaders 5-3 in their first season in the BC Intercollegiate Hockey League, Playing before over a thousand fans at Memorial Arena. Joel Leonard scored one of the Wolfpacks five goals.

For more on the Wolfpack check out the University website,

Vipers In A Romp Over T-Wolves:

Vipers in a romp over T-Wolves

by Don Klepp -Sep 27, 2009

The Vernon Vipers outskated the visiting Williams Lake Timberwolves in a 5-1 victory Saturday at the Westbild Centre. Throughout the contest, the Timberwolves defencemen were unable to contain the speedy Viper forwards. Thus, goaltender Evan Dauenhauer, a Vernon product who was playing his first BCHL game in his home town, faced 38 shots, many from close in. Typically, the Viper forwards went wide and fired passes to teammates streaking to the net. The first Viper goal resulted from Jonathon Milhouse’s breakaway speed. After gathering a chipped pass from Mike Collins, he raced down the left wing and cut in on his backhand. His quick shot trickled through Dauenhauer’s pads at 4:02. A big league play by Dylan Walchuk created the second Viper goal at 12:32. The 17-year old from McBride collected Cole Ikkala’s clearing pass and swept across the Williams Lake blue line. Sensing that Sawyer Mick was barreling down the centre of the ice, Walchuk swerved and slowed slightly to allow Mick to catch up, and then he fed Mick for a high tip-in at the crease. The Vipers had two other glorious scoring chances in the period. Playing short handed, Connor Jones created a turnover and rushed in alone, but Dauenhauer was able to block the close-in chance. Later, on the power play, Adam Thompson’s rocket slapper grazed the cross bar with the goalie beaten. The T’Wolves were outshot 15 to 5 in the first period, but they acquitted themselves in the second period as the shots favoured the Vipers by just 8 to 7. The visitors had two good scoring chances and converted on one of them. Jason Diehl, a 20-year old BCHL rookie from San Diego beat Viper goalie Blake Voth with a rising wrist shot on a Timberwolf two-on-one at 16:27. However, the Diehl goal was sandwiched by two Viper goals. On the power play, Milhouse collected his second of the night at 13:44 when his partially-fanned slap shot slipped in the far corner past a screened Dauenhauer. And a minute after the Williams Lake goal, Dylan Walchuk scored a beauty while the Vipers were short handed. Mike Collins earned his third assist of the game, as he vacuumed a loose puck at centreout shot and sent Walchuk through the middle. The elusive Walchuk beat a defenceman at the blue line, faked the goalie to the right, veered left, and slid a low shot back to the right corner of the net. Meanwhile, Connor Jones was having one of the most frustrating games of his Junior A career. Three times in the second period, he was set up by brother Kellen, but Connor either shot wide or fanned on the shot. Finally, Connor connected in the third period. Kellen’s two-on-one feed at 8:06 gave Connor another chance and this time Connor fired the puck over Dauenhauer’s glove hand. The Timberwolves seemed to run out of gas in the third period, perhaps partly because they had traveled all day after playing the previous night in Prince George. (Their odyssey continues with a Sunday afternoon tilt in Trail.) In the third, they were out shot 15 to 3, and were fortunate to concede just one goal. Milhouse nearly scored his hat trick goal shorthanded, Braden Pimm rang one off the post and was denied on a five-footer by Dauenhauer, and Mike Collins missed a wide open net from five feet. Lost to some extent in the one-sided affair was the work of Blake Voth. The 17-year old netminder from Herbert, Saskatchewan was calm and effective in his BCHL debut. Although he faced just 15 shots, he had to make two acrobatic saves in the first period when the score was 1-0. One came on a Justin Bardarson deflection that required Voth to push hard to the right and go into a wide-legged split. Then, he reacted quickly to Josh MacDonald’s shot off the rebound. Viper fans saw why the team was so keen to secure Voth’s services for this year and the future. Another Viper rookie, Darrin Robak, also saw his first BCHL regular season action. An 18 year-old defenceman outnet minder of Red Deer, Robak impressed the crowd with his exuberant physical play. The Timberwolves have 20 BCHL rookies on the roster and, even though their ranks include twelve 19-year old players and three with 1989 birth dates, their lack of BCHL experience showed up in their inability to cope with the Viper’s swift transition game.

Game Notes: • Viper rookie Dylan Walchuk is the only Viper to collect at least one point in each of the team’s six games so far this season. • Kevin Kraus recorded a game-high 7 hits. Meanwhile, big Kyle Beaulieu delivered three thunderous hits for Williams Lake. • The Vipers have now out scored the opposition 26 to 8 in their six wins to start the season.

Gordon Grabs Goose Over Mills:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Gordon grabs goose over Mills

By Graeme Corbett - Vernon Morning Star

Published: September 27, 2009

Netminder Graeme Gordon reckons he probably could have collected a few more shutouts last season with the Vernon Vipers. Four in a row to be exact.
The North Vancouver product had already flirted with shutouts twice heading into the Vipers’ B.C. Hockey League tilt against the Quesnel Millionaires Friday night at Wesbild Centre. Gordon, 20, has allowed just one goal in two of his first four games, compiling a league-leading 1.39 goals against average and a sparkling .944 save percentage.
On Friday, the veteran keeper made 29 stops for his first goose egg as the Snakes brushed back the Mills 2-0 before 1,900 fans. The Vipers entertained the Williams Lake Timberwolves Saturday night.
“Last year there was a couple where I should have had four in a row, but I lost them in the third period, so I was kind of gripping the stick a little hard in the third tonight,” said Gordon, who pocketed first star. “But the guys clamped down for me defensively.”
One of Gordon’s best saves came in the final frame, as Vipers’ defenceman Garrett Noonan got caught pinching, and Taylor Holst breezed by him to go in on an odd-man rush. He dished off to Trevor Hertz, but Gordon came cross-crease with a sensational pad save to protect the bottom on the net.
Gordon later had to race out to clear the puck from Mills’ rookie Erik Hansen to stymie his breakaway attempt.
“I sort of hesitated for a minute, but then I thought I had no other option, so I just turned the jets on and got there luckily just in time,” smiled Gordon, who credited the Vipers’ defensive play for making his life easier.
“They’re just doing a good job of shutting it down. They’re eliminating those second chances, they’re clearing rebounds, making simple outs... just getting pucks out off the glass.”
Offensively, the Vipers (5-0) are giving opposing goalies nightmares, averaging 38.6 shots a game. They tested Mills’ netminder Kirby Halcrow with 37 shots Friday night.
“It was just like Midget again,” chuckled the likeable Halcrow, who played minor hockey in Grande Prairie before joining the AJHL Fort McMurray Oil Barons last season. “But I think I play better when I get more shots.”
In the first period, the Mills looked very much like a team that had just spent half a day riding the bus, but they loosened up as the game wore on.
“Our first period was kind of rough – we were just getting our bus legs out. That’s no excuse really. We should have played better the whole game,” said the hulking Halcrow.
The Vipers’ Drew George (2nd goal), on a sweet setup from Dylan Walchuk, split the Mills’ defence before walking in on Halcrow, beating him five-hole to open the scoring at 5:02 of the first period.
“I don’t know how I got through, but I did and got a lucky goal,” grinned George. “It just opened up for me. I kind of fanned on it a bit and found the five-hole. He (Walchuk) gave me a nice little chip pass and I just took it from there.”
The Vipers’ Cory Kane (5th) iced the game early in the third period after linemate Connor Jones (second star) put on a great solo effort, wheeling up the wing and cutting in hard on Halcrow. Kane simply tapped home the rebound passed the sprawled keeper.
The Mills (1-3-0-1) have already lost a handful of one-goal games this season, but Quesnel head coach Glen Watson says it’s just a matter of building up team chemistry and confidence to turn things around.
“In the first period, there was nothing there. In the second and third I thought we did a good job and got some opportunities there.
“We’re moving in the right direction as a team. The big thing is confidence.
“That’s a pretty good hockey club there. They do a lot of good things. They pressure everywhere, good chip-ins, they’re always on our defence. You’ve just got to move the puck as quick as you can, and if you hesitate they’re on ya.”
Watson says part of the challenge with playing the defending national champions is convincing his players they have to ability to pull the upset.
“It’s always a mental block where you think you’re not going to win. We’ve got to get across to our guys that they’re human too. If you do your things right, you’re going to have a chance.”
Vipers’ head coach Mark Ferner was pleased with his players’ effort, but also credited the Mills for not giving up.
“They played a good road game. They kept it close. It was a well played game by both sides.
“In tight games like that, there’s a tendency to start cheating for your chances. We’re not going to get that two-goal lead by sacrificing play in our defensive zone.
“We’ve just got to be simple. We don’t have to make any better play than the one that’s in front of us.”
The Vipers’ schedule now starts to pick up as they visit the Westside Warriors (4-2) Friday night at Royal LePage Place. They host the powerhouse Penticton Vees Saturday at Wesbild.
“We’ve got some tough games coming up. I know our guys are getting tired of practicing, so playing three games in three nights will be good for us,” said Ferner.

Vernon 5 Williams Lake 1

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Blake Voth
Williams Lake: Evan Dauenhauer

Tonight was the first meeting between the Vernon Vipers & Williams Lake Timberwolves. It’s also the first meeting between these two teams in over two years as Williams Lake took a leave of absence from the league two years ago, and now makes its second return to the BCHL. Vernon was up 2-0 after 20 minutes of play on goals from Jonathan Milhouse at 4:02 Mike Collins & Kellen Jones picked up the assists, Sawyer Mick scored at 12:32 with Dylan Walchuk & Cole Ikkala collecting the assists. The Vipers were up 4-1 after the 2nd. Milhouse with his second of the night on the powerplay at 13:44 from Braden Pimm & Mike Collins and Dylan Walchuk at 17:40 with a shorthanded goal. Collins and Adam Thompson added the assists. Jason Diehl scored Williams Lake's lone goal in the middle frame at 16:27 from Kyle Leung. Connor Jones with his first of the season on the only goal of the 3rd, Kellen Jones & Dan Nycholat recorded the assists. Blake Voth had to make just 14 saves for his first career BCHL win, Vernon product Evan Dauenhauer made 33 saves taking the loss.

3 Stars:

1st Star: Jonathan Milhouse
2nd Star: Mike Collins
3rd Star: Dylan Walchuk

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Streak Comes To An End at 236:

Tonight will be the first Vernon Vipers hockey game I will miss since the 2002-03 season. One of my best friends is getting married today and I wont be at tonights Vipers-Timberwolves game. Over the last six years I have been to every Vipers home game (regular season & playoffs) wich means my current streak of not missing the last 236 Vipers home games comes to an end tonight. The last Vipers game I missed was Game 2 of the Interior Conference Finals vs the Penticton Panthers back on March 8th 2003. I collect and keep all my ticket stubs, after going back through them I noticed I have missed 41 Vernon Lakers-Vipers home games since the 1990-91 season.

Here's a list of the home games I missed since the 1990-91 season.

1990-91 missed 1 home game
1994-95 missed 1 home game
1995-96 missed 3 playoff home games
1997-98 missed 7 home games
1998-99 missed 13 home games and 2 playoff home games
1999-2000 missed 5 home games and 4 playoff home games
2001-02 missed 4 home games
2002-03 missed 1 playoff home game

(Game Preview) Williams Lake @ Vernon:

Williams Lake (1-3-0-0) @ Vernon (5-0-0-0)
Last Game Played:

Friday September 25th Vernon defeated Quesnel 2-0
Friday September 25th Prince George defeated Williams Lake 6-3

Tonight is the first meeting of the season between the defending Royal Bank Cup Champion Vernon Vipers & the Williams Lake Timberwolves. It’s also the first meeting between these two teams in over two years as Williams Lake took a leave of absence from the league two years ago, and now makes its second return to the BCHL. The T-Wolves are currently on a three game road trip, wich started last night in Prince George (6-3 loss) tonight in Vernon and then tomorrow afternoon in Trail.

Let’s take a look at the Vernon Vipers:

The Vipers currently sit in 2nd place in the Interior Division Standings, two points back of the Division leading Penticton Vees (6-1) Vernon improved its record to 5-0 last night with a 2-0 victory over the Quesnel Millionaries. For the second straight night the Vipers are facing one of the Interior Division bottom feeders, that have just a single win so far this young season. Like last night Vernon cant take the T-Wolves lightly as any team can beat anyone on any given night, give fact that everyone also wants to knock off the defending champs. If the Vipers want to win tonight, their going to have to jump on Williams Lake, a team that just finished travelling from here from Prince George. On paper this game looks like an easy two points for Vernon, but that’s not always the case. The Vipers will suit-up in their brand new 3rd jerseys & have said to be rumored to start rookie goaltender, Blake Voth. Veteran forward Robbie Short will miss tonights game, as he is still hampered by the compression cut he sustained in the season opener against Salmon Arm. He is taking light skates with the team on practice days. Jonathan Milhouse will be playing in career game #100 tonight.

Players To Watch:

Mike Collins (4-3-7)
Braden Pimm (1-6-7)
Cory Kane (5-1-6)
Dylan Walchuk (1-5-6)
Jonathan Milhouse (2-3-5)
Cole Ikkala (2-2-4)
Kevin Kraus (1-3-4)
Connor Jones (0-4-4)
Kellen Jones (0-2-2)
Graeme Gordon (5-0 Record-1.39 GAA)

Let’s take a look at the Williams Lake Timberwolves:

The Timberwolves currently sit tied for 7th place with the Merritt Centennials in the Interior Division standings. This is Williams Lake second road game of the season, playing their first last night. The T-Wolves have scored just sixteen goals and given up twenty two. Williams Lake has a very young roster, going with just three 20 year olds. The Timberwolves have Evan Dauenhauer a 19 year old goaltender from Vernon, BC on the team. Dauenhauer is currently 0-2 with a GAA of 7.11 If Williams Lake wants to become the first team this season to defeat the defending Nation Champs, they are going to have to try and shutdown all four lines, Vernon’s speed and depth up front. Blake Voth is rumored to be making his first career BCHL start between the pipes for the Vipers, get lots of traffic and shots in and around Voth, try and get the young 17 year old off his game. Tonights matchup is a big test for this young Williams Lake hockey club, a big win tonight will give them some much needed confidence for later on down the road.

KEY RETURNEES: Despite rejoining the BCHL after a two-year absence, the Timberwolves will be looking to establish themselves as a factor in the league's Interior Conference immediately.

ROOKIE SENSATIONS: F Trent Murdoch has the hands and skill set to make an immediate impact in the BCHL. The son of Timberwolves' GM Geoff Murdoch, Trent was second in VIJHL scoring (27-38-65) with the Comox Valley Glacier Kings. Joining him from the Glacier Kings is G Kirk Croswell, who led all VIJHL netminders with a 91.85 save percentage.

STRENGTHS: Perhaps the Timberwolves' strengths will pour from their biggest weakness – inexperience. Head coach Dave Dupas is in the unique position of having the ability to mold the squad into roles and play-styles he sees will most benefit the club.

COACH'S QUOTE: Dave Dupas: "My style is all about puck pursuit. It's pressure pucks all over the ice – d-zone, offensive zone, neutral zone – we're going to try to force teams into mistakes...The work ethic is non-negotiable."

Williams Lake has been fairly quiet in the trading department so far this young season. Since the end of August the T-Wolves have pulled off just one move.

10-Sep-09 The Victoria Grizzlies Hockey Club transfers the playing rights of Cody Abby and Craig Eisenhut to the Williams Lake Timberwolves Hockey Club in exchange for future considerations.

Players To Watch:

Ryan Stanimir (2-4-6)
Trent Murdoch (3-2-5)
Justin Bardarson (2-2-4)

Here's a look at both team's rosters:


Erik Soderlund
Mike Collins
Braden Pimm
Cory Kane
Dylan Walchuk
Jonathan Milhouse
Cole Ikkala
Kevin Kraus
Connor Jones
Dan Nycholat
Drew George
Adam Thompson
Sawyer Mick
Steven Weinstein
Kellen Jones
Rob Short
Nick Amies
Bryce Kakoske
Garrett Noonan
Patrick McGillis
Brendan Persley
Darrin Robak
Blake Voth
Graeme Gordon

Williams Lake:

Ryan Stanimir
Trent Murdoch
Justin Bardarson
Jake Harcoff
Laine Keyes
Dane Rupert
Kyle Leung
Riley Sweeney
Keagan Little
Keenan Bailey
Anthony DeLong
Jason Diehl
Kyle Beaulieu
Darren Tarasoff
Colin Wandfluh
Craig Eisenhut
Josh MacDonald
Manny Haider
Calvin Johnson
Cody Abbey
Joshua Garneau
Kirk Croswell
Evan Dauenhauer

Vipers Gain First Shutout Of Season:

Vipers gain first shutout of season

by Don Klepp -Sep 26, 2009

Graeme Gordon stopped all 29 Quesnel Millionaire shots Friday in Vernon as the Vipers defeated a hard-working Quesnel team, 2-0. Quesnel goaltender Kirby Halcrow also played a strong game, stopping 35 of 37 Viper shots. His best saves came from close-in chances by Connor Jones and Braden Pimm in the first period, as the Vipers out-chanced the visitors 8-2 in the first period and out-shot them, 16 to 7. The opening goal came at 5:02 when Drew George took a precise pass from Dylan Walchuk and split the Mills defence. Cutting slightly to his right, George fired a low, hard-shot wrister that beat Halcrow stick side. Kevin Kraus drew an assist on the play after he had controlled the puck at centre and dished off to Walchuk. Quesnel came out of the room with more energy to start the second period. Helped by aggressive fore check and three Viper penalties, the Millionaires out shot the Vipers 10 to 9 in the period. Vernon’s veteran players regrouped, however, and Kellen Jones very nearly scored on the power play. His shot through traffic beat a screened Halcrow, but the puck rang off the goal post. Both goalies were very good in the period, playing their angles well and controlling rebounds. In the third, Cory Kane backhanded a loose puck past Halcrow at 1:45 in. Kane’s insurance marker was preceded by a spirited Connor Jones rush. After receiving Dan Nycholat’s pass at his own blue line, Connor roared down the right wing and drove to the net. As the period progressed, the play started to open up, resulting in 12 shots on goal by each team. Still, the game’s outcome did not seem to be in doubt and the only issue was whether Gordon would record his first shutout of the season. Gordon’s superb sprawling save on Oliver Koo preserved the shutout with about five minutes to go in the third period. Koo had been set up with a clever pass by Taylor Holst, Quesnel’s most active and effective skater in this game. After coach Glen Watson pulled Halcrow for an extra attacker with just over a minute remaining, Gordon had to be alert on some bouncing pucks, but then the Vipers killed off the last 30 seconds with a concerted effort, especially by Jonathon Milhouse who maintained possession deep in the Quesnel zone for several seconds.

Game Notes: Gordon has allowed just two goals in his last three games. Quesnel’s 29 shots were the most the Vipers have allowed in a game so far this season. Patrick McGillis continued to deputize for the injured Rob Short. He played on a line with centre Bryce Kakoske and right winger Drew George. Meanwhile, Dylan Walchuk centred Cole Ikkala and Sawyer Mick, who were the Vipers’ most physical players. The Millionaires used two forwards on defence, Skyler Smutek and Spencer Graboski.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Vernon 2 Quesnel 0

Was at tonights BCHL game as Vernon defeated Quesnel 2-0 in front of 1,914 fans at the Wesbild Centre.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Graeme Gordon
Quesnel: Kirby Halcrow

1st Period: The Vipers would get the puck in deep off the opening draw, with some good puck movement Vernon was buzzing early in the Millionaries zone. Steven Weinstein snuck up the middle and then walked in but was stopped by Kirby Halcrow. Shortly after Cory Kane setup Kellen Jones in front who was stopped by Halcrow. 5:02 into the period Dylan Walchuk made a nice pass up the middle catching Drew George who went up the middle, in all alone for the breakaway beating Halcrow as Vernon jumped up 1-0. Assists going to Walchuk & Kevin Kraus. Quesnel's best and only real good scoring chance was when Taylor Holst tried putting a move on Graeme Gordon, Gordon dove across the crease and was down and out, Holst took a long shot from the corner and missed on the emoty net as Gordon was caught way out of position. Vernon come very close to going up 2-0 after a shot from the slot hit Halcrow in the pads and was lying in the crease, with a mad scramble in the crease the puck was still loose as no Viper was able to bang the puck home. Vernon carried the better of the play for most of the 1st, as the Vipers were up 11-3 in shots at the midway mark. The Mills would get the first powerplay of the game but it was the Vipers who with some solid penalty kill only allowed Quesnel to get one shot on net on the man advantage. Nick Amies broke up a Mills scoring chance, after a great defensive play on the backcheck. Cory Kane was stopped in the slot on another good scoring chance by the Vipers. Vernon was up 1-0 after the first period, outshooting Quesnel 16-7.

2nd Period: The Millionaries come out with some good jump to start the 2nd period, carrying the early edge in play. The Vipers were back on their heels a little as Quesnel moved the puck well, generating some offence. Trevor Hertz was stopped in close by Gordon. Gordon made several key saves in the middle frame to keep Vernon in the hockey game. Vernon would get into penalty trouble taking back to back minors, former Vernon Vipers defenceman, Eliot Raibl's quick point shot gave Gordon a little trouble but managed to make the save. The Vipers would kill off both minors. Dylan Walchuk & Sawyer Mick went in two on one, Walchuk with a little spin a rama move, made a nice backhand pass over to Mick in front, who couldnt connect on the pass as the Vipers come close to going ahead by two. Quesnel had the better of the play in the first half of the period outshooting the Vipers 7-1. The play got a little scrambly at times, with some poor passes. The Vipers made two poor plays coming out of their own end, Adam Thompson's pass ended up right on a Mills player, wich resulted in a scoring chance. Steven Weinstein's pass in his own end also ended up on a Mills stick, two bad plays wich could have cost Vernon a goal. In the second half of the period Kellen Jones hit the far post from inside the circle after beat Halcrow but couldnt beat the post. The Vipers seemed to get their game going late in the 2nd getting some chances and getting back in the shot department. Once again with a scramble in front of Kirby Halcrow the puck was loose in the crease, as the Vipers banged away before Halcrow covered up the loose puck to stop the play. The Millionaries had the better of the play in the 2nd period after a scoreless period. Quesnel outshot Vernon 10-9.

3rd Period: The Vipers turned it on early to start the 3rd buzzing around the Quesnel net. Dan Nycholat with a nice long pass over to Connor Jones who turned on the jets, flying down the wing, and then drove towards the goal, but was stopped by Halcrow before Cory Kane banged home the game winner at 1:45. Jones & Nycholat would collect the assists. Vernon looked very strong in the first five minutes getting some good chances, Braden Pimm outworked his man and then cut towards the net but was stopped by Halcrow. Jonathan Milhouse beat his man downlow, but couldnt beat Halcrow. Shortly after the play would go back and forth, Erik Hansen with a quick shot from the circle was stopped by Gordon who made the big pad save. Former Victoria Grizzly Jonathan Milhouse setup Mike Collins in close, as Halcrow robbed Collins. The play would go back the other way as Taylor Holst, Trevor Hertz & Oliver Koo went in three on one, Holst setup Hertz who was stopped by Gordon who looked very sharp all night. Matthew Herskovitz looked very strong on the Millionaries backend, Herskovitz carried the puck alot tonight, especially in the 3rd. At times Vernon had troubles clearing the zone, as the Mills forecheck was hard at work. Patrick McGillis who played with alot of energy plowed his way through the Quesnel zone, getting a quick shot off from the circle as Halcrow made the save. The Millionaries would get the puck in deep, Erik Hansen thought he had a breakaway, before Graeme Gordon come racing out from his crease towards the Vernon blueline to shoot the loose puck away, breaking up a good scoring chance for Quesnel. Vernon would get back to back powerplays, Quesnel looked very good on the first penalty kill killing off the minor, the Vipers with some good quality shots from the point and slot couldnt beat Halcrow who looked very solid as the Mills got a big boost killing off both minors. Late in the 3rd the Vipers who looked very strong with the puck downlow, generated some good chances. Quesnel would call a late timeout and with thirty seconds remaining would pull Kirby Halcrow for the extra attacker, but it was the strong play from Jonathan Milhouse would kill off the final few seconds off the clock with some strong forecheck down low inbehind the Mills goal. Vernon would improve to 5-0 with a 2-0 victory over the Quesnel Millionaries. Graeme Gordon would make 29 saves for his first shutout of the season. Shots were even 12-12 in the final twenty minutes.

Top Players: (Vernon)

The Vipers 2nd line of Mike Collins, Jonathan Milhouse and Braden Pimm looked very strong and very dangerous all night. Collins & Milhouse were the most impressive Vipers tonight. Pimm once again was a workhorse downlow, was very hard to knock off the puck. Pimm had several scoring chances. Milhouse played his best game as a Viper. Was very good downlow, very hard to get off the puck, made some very smart plays all game.

Drew George (1 goal) looked very good in the 1st period but wasnt as noticable in the 2nd and 3rd periods.

Dylan Walchuk (1 assist) Once again looked very dangerous up front. made a few real nice passes, wich resulted in a scoring chance.

Steven Weinstein looked very good on the Vipers blueline. Come very close to opening the scoring just minutes into the game. Stevie played very well at both ends of the rink, coughed up the puck once.

Nick Amies also played a very solid game on the backend. Was physical, didnt give the Mills much room down low.

Patrick McGillis played with alot of energy this evening. McGillis showed alot of spark and hustle most of the game, was involved in the play getting some chances.

Graeme Gordon (29 saves-1st shutout of the season) Gordon looked very sharp, made some key saves early into the 2nd period keeping Vernon in the game. Looked very confident between the pipes.

Top Players: (Quesnel)

Matthew Herskovitz looked very strong and solid on the Mills blueline. This kid has some size, likes to move the puck and get involved in the play. Good skater, very good puck handler.

Trevor Hertz always plays well against Vernon. Played good tonight, was skating hard, had some good chances.

Taylor Holst also played well up front for Quesnel. Has some speed and good hands. Was stopped by Gordon on a three on one in the third.

Erik Hansen had several chances, but couldnt find the back of the net.

Kirby Halcrow (35 saves) Played very well between the pipes for Quesnel. Made some key saves early in the 1st and in the 3rd to keep the Millionaires in the hockey game. Needs some work controlling his rebounds, gave out alot of big rebounds. Got lucky on a few plays when the puck was lying loose in the crease but no Viper could slide the puck home.

Tyler French looked fairly good up front. Was involved in the play several times.

Eliot Raibl played well at both ends of the rink. Jumped up into the play on several plays. Played his position very well.

Game Thoughts: (Vernon)

Vernon looked very strong and good in the opening period outplaying Quesnel for most of the first. The Vipers with several good scoring chances couldnt get more then one past Halcrow in the first two periods. At times the Vipers made some poor passes, coughing up the puck a few times but played fairly well to get the win. The Vipers at times had troubles defensively but looked very dangerous offensively. The Vipers speed and depth up front was too much for Quesnel, as the Mills had troubles containing and shutting down Vernons offence.

Game Thoughts: (Quesnel)

Quesnel gave Vernon a good run, but in the end, didnt have the finish in and around the net. The Mills couldnt stop the Vipers speed and depth up front, as Halcrow gave the Mills a chance to win. The Millionaires have played all of the top Interior Division teams very well, coming up short in all four games. (4-3 loss to Westside, 4-3 loss to Penticton, 3-2 OT loss to Salmon Arm and then tonights 2-0 loss to Vernon) Quesnel has a fairly quick team with some veteran kids up front. Tonights game reminded me alot like last Saturdays Vipers 5-1 win over Trail. A bounce here or there and we have a different hockey game. If the Mills connect on one of their scoring chances early in the 2nd we have a tied hockey game and who knows what happens next. Quesnel played hard but in the end couldnt match the Vipers four lines. I was fairly impressed with the Mills, a much better looking team then past years. This team didnt quit and showed alot of hustle. I like the Mills new away jerseys, at times it was hard to tell the two teams apart, when two players got tangled up with one another, both jerseys blended in looking alike.



Eroc Soderlund
Darrin Robak
Brendan Persley
Rob Short (Injured)


Brandon Watson
Chris Kerr
Tyler Billon

3 Stars:

1st Star: Graeme Gordon (29 saves-1st shutout)
2nd Star: Connor Jones (1 assist)
3rd Star: Drew George (1 goal)

(Game Preview) Quesnel @ Vernon:

Quesnel (1-2-0-1) @ Vernon (4-0-0-0)
Last Game Played:

Vernon: Saturday September 19th Vernon defeated Trail 5-1
Quesnel: Saturday September 19th Salmon Arm defeated Quesnel 3-2 Overtime

Tonight is the first meeting of the season between the defending Royal Bank Cup Champion Vernon Vipers & the Quesnel Millionaires. The Millionaires come into Vernon playing the next three games in three nights. Quesnel plays tonight in Vernon, Saturday night in Trail & Sunday afternoon in Westside.

Let’s take a look at the Vernon Vipers:

The Vipers currently sit tied for 2nd place with the Westside Warriors, Vernon is the last team that is undefeated sitting at 4-0 two points back of the Interior Division leading Penticton Vees (5-1). Vernon is coming off a weekend sweep of the Trail Smoke Eaters last weekend with scores of 7-1 & 5-1. After going 0-13 on the powerplay in their first two games of the regular season the Vipers seem to have figured out the man advantage, going 6 for 11 in their last two games. Vernon does need to work on staying out of the penalty box as in the teams first four games the Vipers have given the other team twenty four powerplays in just four games. Give credit to the Vipers penalty kill wich has killed off twenty one of the twenty four penalties. & this without their best penalty killer Rob Short who is out of the teams lineup with a cut on his leg. Vernon is a very quick puck moving team with loads of depth up front, and four solid lines that can contribute. Kellen & Connor Jones have yet to find the back of the net, Drew George has gotten off to a bit of a slow start recording just two points in just three games. George was a healthy scratch last Saturday night vs. Trail.

Players To Watch:

Mike Collins (4-3-7)
Braden Pimm (1-6-7)
Cory Kane (4-1-5)
Jonathan Milhouse (2-3-5)
Dylan Walchuk (1-4-5)
Cole Ikkala (2-2-4)
Connor Jones (0-3-3)
Kellen Jones (0-2-2)
Graeme Gordon (4-0 Record, 1.73 GAA)
Kevin Kraus (1-2-3)

Let’s Take A Look At The Quesnel Millionaires:

The Mills currently sit in 4th place in the Interior Division, four points back of the 3rd place Salmon Arm Silverbacks. During the off season, the Mills brought in a new head coach with the addition of Glen Watson. Watson will try and get the Millionaries out of the basement of the Interior Division this year, a place Quesnel is all too use to the past few seasons. Quesnel is coming off a 3-2 Overtime loss last Saturday night in Salmon Arm in the teams first road game of the season. Former Vernon Vipers defenceman, Eliot Raibl makes his return to the Wesbild Centre this time as a Quesnel Millionaire. Raibl played with Vernon back in the 2007-08 season before being traded to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. Chris Kerr the younger brother of former Vernon Vipers forward, James Kerr plays for the Mills. Chris tried out for the Vipers this year but was cut during the exibition season. Quesnel’s lone victory of the season come after a 4-1 win over Prince George.

KEY RETURNEES: The Mills moved a fistful of 20 year-olds to make room for new faces, but have retained a solid core of veterans. Trevor Hertz starts his third BCHL season as team captain. The 20-year-old netted 36 goals and 72 points last year, splitting the season between the Mills and Victoria, following a 56-point rookie year with the Mills. Glen Watson, coach of the Mills, is counting on Hertz to provide leadership on and off the ice. Watson will also look to defencemen Eliot Raibl (25 points/40 games) and Sam Higgins (17 points; from Victoria Grizzlies).

ROOKIES: The Millionaires will rely on several rookies to make the adjustment to Junior A. At the top of the list are 18-year-old twins Bond and Brendan Hawryluk, who tallied 68 and 69 points, respectively, with the Peace River Royals of the Alberta Rural Midget AAA league. The brothers previously played for Watson. Homegrown 16-year-old Spencer Graboski, shortlisted for the under-17 Team Pacific team, is sure to be a crowd favourite.

STRENGTHS: After a tough last season, the signing of Watson in the offseason can be viewed as somewhat of a coup for Quesnel. Watson brings a ton of playoff experience, including the finals of the Royal Bank Cup, Allan Cup, as well as MJHL and SJHL championships.

COACH'S QUOTE: Glen Watson: “We're in a tough division with Vernon and Penticton. We want to make it into the pack behind them, get ourselves into a playoff spot. The team's starting to look like the way we want it to look, we have to change our identity as a team.”

The Mills have been busy in the trade department, making six trades since the end of August. Here’s a look at the moves Quesnel has made since August 30th

30-Aug-09 The Quesnel Millionaires Hockey Club acquires the playing rights of Cody Ballard (91) from the OCN Blizzard of the MJHL in exchange for future considerations.

04-Sep-09 The Quesnel Millionaires Hockey Club transfer the CJHL playing rights of Matt Strong to the Llyodminster Bobcats Hockey Club of the AJHL.

10-Sep-09 The Penticton Vees Hockey Club transfers the playing rights of James Bettauer (91)(D) to the Quesnel Millionaries Hockey Club in exchange for future considerations.

11-Sep-09 The Quesnel Millionaires Hockey Club transfers the playing rights of Rob Bailey (89)(F) to the Powell River Kings Hockey Club in exchange for future considerations.

21-Sep-09 The Quesnel Millionaires Hockey Club transfers the playing rights of Josh Martin (90)(F) to the Winkler Flyers Hockey Club of the MJHL in exchange for future considerations.
24-Sep-09 The Quesnel Millionaires Hockey Club transfers the playing rights of Cody Ballard (91) to the Sioux Lookout Flyers of the SIJHL in exchange for future considerations.

Players To Watch:

Trevor Hertz (3-2-5)
Taylor Holst (1-3-4)
Skyler Smutek (1-2-3)
Matthew Herskovitz (0-3-3)

Heres a look at last year's season series:

October 15th @ Vernon: Vernon wins 7-0

Andrew Hammond makes 23 saves for his first shutout of the BCHL season. 2nd star Kellen Jones lead the way with three assists. 1st star Connor Jones had two goals. Captain Chris Crowell, Ryan Santana, Braden Pimm, Cory Kane, & Mike Collins all lead the way with two points each. Joshua Fersovitch had a goal & an assist for the Mills in the loss.

November 1st @ Quesnel: Vernon wins 7-4

Connor & Kellen Jones both lead the way for Vernon with three points each. Bryce Kakoske, Ryan DePape and Braden Pimm each collected two points each. Graeme Gordon picked up the win between the pipes, making 21 saves.

November 16th @Vernon: Vernon wins 4-0

Braden Pimm scores two goals for the Vipers, Connor & Kellen Jones both pick up two points. Graeme Gordon picks up the win in goal. This is the second meeting this season where the Vipers have shutout the Millionaires.

December 7th @ Vernon: Vernon wins 4-1

The Vipers lead the season series 4-0 with a 4-1 win over Quesnel. Evan Karambelas makes 41 saves, keeping Quesnel in this afternoons hockey game, but it wasn’t enough as John Digness collects three points in the win. Chris Crowell & Cory Kane each pick up two points. Graeme Gordon gets another win against the Mills. Thomas Kala breaks Gordons shutout bid with just five minutes remaining in the 3rd. The Vipers outshoot the Millionaires 45-12.

December 13th @ Quesnel: Vernon wins 6-3

The Vipers exploded with three 2nd period goals to jump ahead 4-1 after 40 mins of play and roll to a 6-3 victory in Quesnel. Mike Collins, Connor Jones, & Kory Kane with two assists each, Kellen Jones scored two goals for Vernon. Andrew Hammond made 23 saves getting the win between the pipes. Joshua Fersovitch, Ben Payne & Joshua Martin scored for the Millionaires. Kiefer Smiley took the loss in goal for Quesnel.

January 18th @ Quesnel: Vernon wins 4-2

Vernon scored three first period goals enroute to the 4-2 victory. Sahir Gill, Cole Ikkala, Bryce Kakoske, & Rob Short scored for the Vipers. Graeme Gordon made 25 saves for the win. Ben Payne & Brett Howe scored for Quesnel, Evan Karambelas made 27 saves taking the loss. Vernon sweeps the regular season series 6-0.

Here's a look at both team's rosters:


#3 Defence Garrett Noonan 91 Norfolk, MA 6'1" 205
#4 Defence Erik Soderlund 90 Carlsbad, CA 6'4" 205
#5 Forward Mike Collins 90 Boston, MA 6'1" 180
#6 Defence Darrin Robak 91 Red Deer, Alb 6'2" 180
#7 Defence Dan Nycholat 89 Calgary, Alb 6'2" 190
#9 Forward Dylan Walchuk 92 McBride, BC 5'9" 170
#10 Forward Connor Jones 90 Montrose, BC 5'10" 170
#11 Forward Cory Kane 90 Irvine, CA 6'3" 198
#12 Forward Cole Ikkala 90 Philadelphia, PA 6'0" 205
#14 Forward Braden Pimm 89 Fort St John, BC 6'0" 190
#15 Forward Kellen Jones 90 Montrose, BC 5'10" 168
#16 Forward Drew George 91 Cupar, SK 6'0" 165
#17 Forward Bredan Persley 93 Kelowna, BC 6'1" 200
#19 Forward Jonathan Milhouse 89 Yorba Linda, CA 5'10" 185
#20 Forward Rob Short 89 Coldstream, BC 6'0" 207
#21 Defence Kevin Kraus 89 Garden Grove, CA 6'2" 200
#22 Forward Sawyer Mick 91 Vernon, BC 6'1" 180
#24 Defence Steve Weinstein 90 Los Angeles, CA 5'9" 175
#25 Defence Nick Amies 92 Enderby, BC 6'2" 190
#27 Forward Bryce Kakoske 90 Vernon, BC 6'0" 205
#28 Defence Adam Thompson 90 Calgary, Alb 6'1" 198
#29 Forward Patrick McGillis 91 Calgary, Alb 5'10" 185
#30 Goaltender Blake Voth 91 Herbert, SK 5'10" 170
#35 Goaltender Graeme Gordon 89 North Vancouver, BC 6'2" 197

#4 Justin Sotkowy 90 Victoria, BC 5"11 175
#5 Sam Higgins 90 Calgary, Alt 5"11 170
#6 Spencer Graboski 93 Quesnel, BC 6"2 170
#7 Matthew Herskovitz 89 Montreal, Quebec 6"2 200
#9 Brett Howe 90 Lethbridge, Alt 5"11 190
#10 Lucas Ford 91 Strathmore, Alberta 5"11 195
#12 Huck Saunders 90 Seattle, Washington 6"1 190
#14 Skyler Smutek 90 Seattle, Washington 6" 175
#16 Trevor Hertz 89 Jaffray, BC 6" 185
#17 Taylor Holst 89 Kelowna, BC 6"1 185
#18 Eric Hansen 89 Minnetonka, Minnesota 5"11 175
#19 Breyden DeCock 90 Calgary, Alt 5"9 180
#20 Darick Ste-Marie 89 St-Bruno, Quebec 5"11 195
#21 Tyler French 90 Westside, BC 5"7 165
#22 Mitch Galbraith 90 Quesnel, BC 6"3 190
#23 Oliver Koo 90 GREENWICH, CT 5"10 175
#24 Braden Watson 92 Keremeos, BC 5"11 173
#25 Rylan Stanyer 90 Burns Lake, BC 6"2 195
#26 Chris Kerr 92 Penticton, BC 6" 175
#27 Eliot Raibl 89 Vancouver, BC 6" 184
#28 Tyler Billon 92 chilliwack, BC 6"2 190
#35 Luke Siemens 92 Delta,, BC 5"11 165
#31 Kirby Halcrow 91 Grande Prarie, Alberta 6"2 218

Former Viper Cumming Traded:

22-Sep-09 The Merritt Centennial Hockey Club transfers the playing rights of Matt Cumming to the Grande Prairie Storm of the AJHL in exchange for the playing rights of Cole Penner.

Matt Cumming played with the Vernon Vipers back in the 2007-08 season. In 20 games with the Vipers Cumming recorded 1 assist. Cumming left the team that year in November to join the WHL Prince George Cougars who owned his playing rights. Prince George traded Cumming back in July to Kamloops for a conditional 7th round selection in the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft. The Blazers then ended up releasing Cumming during the exibition schedule just a few weeks back. The Vipers had traded Matt Cummings rights last year to the Merritt Centennials.

Jones Boys Net Challenge Invite:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Jones boys net Challenge invite

By Graeme Corbett - Vernon Morning Star

Published: September 24, 2009

Twins Connor and Kellen Jones looked right at home playing on the national stage last May in the Royal Bank Cup. The duo’s relentless forecheck and ability to play as if mind-linked were a key ingredient in the Vernon Vipers’ record-setting fifth Canadian Junior A hockey championship.
The twins, who grew up in Montrose, will look to take their act to the global level as they compete for roster spots on Canada West for the upcoming World Junior A Challenge.
They will join the top-40 players from the five western leagues of the CJHL at a four-day evaluation camp starting Sunday in Okotoks, Alta. The Jones boys are two of 13 B.C. Hockey League products to receive camp invites.
If selected, the twins would travel to Summerside, P.E.I for the tourney, Nov. 1-8.
“We’re not there yet, but hopefully we can be some of the top players on the team,” said Connor. “It would be a great experience to play with such talented players.
“They’re just looking for me and Kel to play our game... just do the exact same thing that got us here.”
Added Kellen: “Playing in Summerside would be pretty sweet. I haven’t gone any place else other than where I’ve gone with Junior A.”
While the brothers would be happy for one another if only one of them made the cut, there is no denying they are a lethal combination. Like Cherry without MacLean, there would be something missing.
“We both play better when we’re together,” said Kellen, who, along with Connor, is taking anthropology and geography courses at Okanagan College.
Added Connor, laughing: “I think they’ve seen me play without Kellen, and they probably wouldn’t want me.”
Fortunately for the Vipers, the twins won’t miss any BCHL action as a result of the camp. However, should they make the team (the final rosters will be announced in mid-October), the duo would miss four league games.
“I don’t really like being away from the guys and missing team games,” said Kellen.
Salmon Arm SilverBacks’ GM Rylan Ferster, who was an assistant with Canada West last year, will move up to head coach.
Canada West have won gold twice since the tournament began in 1996.
There will be five other teams competing at the WJAC – Canada East, U.S., Russia, Sweden and Belarus.
The gold-medal game will be aired on TSN. All other games can be viewed online at
Meanwhile, the Joneses will suit up as the 4-0 Snakes entertain a pair of sub .500 teams – the Quesnel Millionaires (1-2-0-1) and expansion Williams Lake Timberwolves (1-2) – tonight and Saturday night respectively at Wesbild Centre.
The challenge, says Vipers’ assistant coach Jason Williamson, is to not overlook either club because both are hungry for points.
“They’ve just got to go out and push each other. When they jump over the boards and see a line come back after a good shift, they’ll try to go out and match that, or be better.
“They’re a pretty focussed bunch. They just take it game by game. We can still be better. It’s about playing a certain way, and not so much about wins and losses.”
Williamson admits to not knowing much about either Northern team, but expects they will both be motivated to take down the defending champs.
“Quesnel’s got a veteran coach (Glen Watson), so you know they’re going to work hard. And Williams Lake is eager and young.
“Our guys can’t take them too lightly – Williams Lake beat Westside (4-2 win), and Quesnel pushed Penticton and Westide (a pair of 4-3 losses).”
Kellen says Vernon’s ability to roll four lines has been a big part of the team’s success so far this season.
“It’s kind of a lot like last year. We’ve got four lines that can all score. I think that’s a key because a lot of teams have two or even one line.

SNAKE BITES: Rookie netminder Blake Voth is expected to make his Vipers’ debut Saturday night against Williams Lake...Vipers’ veteran forward Robbie Short will miss the weekend action, as he is still hampered by the compression cut he sustained in the season opener against Salmon Arm. He is taking light skates with the team on practice days...Although practising with the Snakes, defenceman Nils-Erik Soderlund’s BCHL future remains in limbo. The towering blueliner has been unable to get his rights released from Chadder’s Midget Tier 1 program in Salt Lake City, Utah. “It’s a hang-up with USA Hockey,” said Williamson, adding that a ruling on the situation is pending.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

In The Crease With Graeme Gordon:

This is posted on the Kiss FM website:

Get behind the scenes information with the man who has the best seat in the house, netminder #35 Graeme Gordon. Listen to KISS FM Thursday mornings for 'In The Crease' with the Vernon Vipers goalie to get the inside scoop on and off the ice. The 20-year old goaltender from North Vancouver has spent the last three years in the B.C.H.L, helping the Vipers win a record breaking 5th National Championship last season.

Kiss FM's Rob Abramenko will be interviewing Vipers Goaltender, Graeme Gordon every Thursday Morning with "In The Crease" I will be posting the interviews on my blog. Check out todays interview,

Jones Twins Make Team White Canada West Camp Roster:

Red & White rosters announced for Team Canada West camp

Thursday, September 24, 2009 - Submitted by Hockey Canada

Hockey Canada and the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) today announced the rosters for Team Canada West's Evaluation Camp ahead of the 2009 World Junior A Challenge.

A total of 42 players -- included two who are injured and will not participate at the camp -- have been invited to the three-day event in Okotoks, Alberta.

Full camp rosters are below. For more information on the players participating at this year's camp, click HERE.



31 Andrew Bodnarchuk -- Humboldyt Broncos (SJHL)
33 Sean Bonar -- Penticton Vees (BCHL)


2 Curtis Gedig -- Cowichan Valley (BCHL)
3 Wes McLeod -- Prince George (BCHL)
4 Kyle Breukelman -- Fort William (SIJHL)
5 Peter Stoykewych -- Winnipeg South (MJHL)
6 Joey Laleggia -- Penticton (BCHL)
7 Dallas Drysdale -- Dauphin (MJHL)


8 Madison Dias -- Victoria (BCHL)
10 Brett Cameron -- Spruce Grove (AJHL)
11 Derek Rodwell -- Okotoks (AJHL)
12 Garrett Milan -- Penticton (BCHL)
14 Ryan Marshall -- Swan Valley (MJHL)
15 Tanner Fritz -- Grand Praire (AJHL)
16 Adam Stoykewych -- Winnipeg South (MJHL)
17 Brennan O'Donnell -- Winnipeg South (MJHL)
18 Clarke Breitkreuz -- Yorkton (SJHL)
20 Sam Dubinsky -- Fort William (SIJHL)
21 Daniel Carr -- St. Albert (AJHL)
22 Rodger Craig -- Okotoks (AJHL)

Team Red Roster from Hockey Canada - CLICK HERE



1 Rob Gunderson -- Brooks (AJHL)
32 Kirby Halcrow -- Quesnel (BCHL)


2 Mat Bodie -- Powell River (BCHL)
3 Dustin Pearson -- OCN Blizzard (MJHL)
4 Dylan Heide -- Selkirk (MJHL)
5 Ben Gallacher -- Camrose (AJHL)
6 Brad Stebner -- Fort MacMurray (AJHL)
7 James Howden -- Notre Dame (SJHL)


10 Travis Statchuk -- Salmon Arm (BCHL)
12 Connor Jones -- Vernon (BCHL)
14 Kellen Jones -- Vernon (BCHL)
15 Grayson Downing -- Westside (BCHL)
16 Cam Reid -- Westside (BCHL)
17 John Dunbar -- Calgary (AJHL)
18 Trevor Cameron -- Notre Dame (SJHL)
19 Cole Brunet -- Portage (MJHL)
20 Dylan Smith -- Estevan (SJHL)
21 Clayton Jardine -- Camrose (AJHL)
25 Andrew Johnston -- Flin Flon (SJHL)
27 Braeden Adamyk -- Kindersley (SJHL)

Inj Casey Dean -- Fort William (SIJHL)
Inj Lee Christensen -- Melfort (SJHL)

Team White Roster from Hockey Canada - CLICK HERE

Jones Twins Via For Spot At Team Canada West Camp:

Thirteen BCHL players set to vie for spots at Team Canada West camp

Thursday, September 24, 2009 - Submitted by BCHL Media

A total of 13 British Columbia Hockey League athletes were amongst the 40 players named to to attend an Evaluation Camp for Team Canada West in preparation for the 2009 World Junior A Challenge. The Okotoks Oilers and Alberta Junior Hockey League will host the three-day evaluation camp at the Centennial Arena in Okotoks, Alberta from September 27th to 29th, 2009.

The BCHL's 13 attendees represents the highest number amongst the five Junior A league that send players to the camp. The Alberta Junior Hockey League has 10 players participating, while the MJHL (8), SJHL (7) and SIJHL (2) are also sending players to Okotoks to be evaluated by team brass.

Penticton Vees lead they way with three players set to attend, including 2009 Interior Conference Rookie of the Year Garrett Milan, Princeton-committed goaltender Sean Bonar and first-year defenceman Joey Laleggia. Twin brothers Kellen and Connor Jones will represent the defending RBC Cup Champion Vernon Vipers, while forwards Grayson Downing and Cam Reid, a Nashville Predators draft pick, will be on hand from the Westside Warriors.

Other Interior Conference players attending the camp include Salmon Arm's Travis Statchuk, who was part of Team Canada West in 2008, and Quesnel Millionaires netminder Kirby Halcrow.

2009 Coastal Conference Rookie of the Year Mat Bodie (Powell River Kings), New Jersey Devils draft pick Curtis Gedig (Cowichan Valley Capitals), and 2009 RBC Cup veteran Madison Dias (Victoria Grizzlies) make up the Coastal contingent at the camp.

Camp Agenda for Team Canada West's 2009 Evaluation Camp :

Monday, September 28th:

9:15 AM - 10:30 AM Team Red practice
10:45 AM - 12:00 PM Team White practice
7:15 PM Game Team Red vs Team White

Tuesday, September 29th:

9:15 AM - 10:15 AM Team White practice
10:45 AM - 12:00 PM Team Red practice
7:15 PM Game Team White vs Team Red

BCHL Players attending Team Canada West's 2009 Evaluation Camp:

Team White:

Sean Bonar -- Goaltender -- Penticton Vees
Curtis Gedig -- Defence -- Cowichan Valley Capitals
Wes McLeod -- Defence -- Prince George Spruce Kings
Joey Laleggia -- Defence -- Penticton Vees
Madison Dias -- Forward -- Victoria Grizzlies
Garrett Milan -- Forward -- Penticton Vees

Team Red:

Kirby Halcrow -- Goaltender -- Quesnel Millionaires
Mat Bodie -- Defence -- Powell River Kings
Grayson Downing -- Forward -- Westside Warriors
Connor Jones -- Forward -- Vernon Vipers
Kellen Jones -- Forward -- Vernon Vipers
Cam Reid -- Forward -- Westside Warriors
Travis Statchuk -- Forward -- Salmon Arm SilverBacks

For more information on the 2009 World Junior A Challenge, visit or

Q & A with Cole Ikkala:

This is on the Vipers website:

Q & A with Cole Ikkala

by viper staff Added 2009-09-22

How did you get into hockey?

My dad played D1 Hockey in Northern Michigan and I’ve been playing ever since I was about 5 years old.

What was it like to win the RBC Cup? And when did you know your team was going to win?

It was a great feeling, we worked hard all year to get there and I knew once we got to the final championship game. We had such a deep team.

How important is it to have fans in the building?

It is so important and great to have fan support. They create such a great atmosphere and it makes it harder for the visiting team.

What was your favourite hockey moment other then the RBC Cup?

I would say winning Nationals as a Pee Wee in Charleston South Carolina when I was 12.

What are you doing when you’re not playing hockey?

In the summer I am hitting up the beach, training and playing golf with my dad.

What do you like about playing in Vernon?

Great coaches, great team, great arena and a great community that cares about their home town team.

What teams are you looking forward to playing against?

Probably Penticton and Salmon Arm because they are both big rivals and usually makes an exciting game.

What is it like playing without your brother?

It’s a little different. I was with him so much last year and I liked playing with him. It was the second time we were on the same team as we played on the same Midget team in Colorado.

What should fans expect from you this season?

A hard working power forward who will create some excitement and offence.

Funniest Viper and why?

Pimmer, he just says some funny stuff.

Messiest Viper and why?

Soderlund, he is always leaving stuff behind every where he goes.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Vipers Player Profile With Captain Kevin Kraus:

Kiss FM's Rob Abramenko has once again made one of his great Vernon Vipers video's, Abro just finished player profile with Vipers Captain, Kevin Kraus. Check it out,

Vipers Heat Up:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers heat up

By Kevin Mitchell - Vernon Morning Star

Published: September 22, 2009

At 4-0, the Vernon Vipers are ranked No. 1 in the Canadian Junior Hockey League for the third straight week.
Four-year veteran Rob Short is on injury reserve, twins Connor and Kellen Jones haven’t scored a goal yet and goalie Graeme Gordon has a shiny 1.80 goals against average.
However, after a 5-1 B.C. Hockey League win over the goal-challenged Trail Smoke Eaters Saturday night at Wesbild Centre, captain Kevin Kraus wasn’t about to talk about this year’s Snakes in relation to the national championship gang.
“This quick, I don’t think we can compare,” said Kraus, who earned first star with 1+2 from the back end. “We still have a lot of things to work out, some kinks, some work ethic, but we’re getting there.”
The Vipers, who are ranked ahead of the Alberta League’s Spruce Grove Saints (5-0), host the Quesnel Millionaires and Williams Lake Timberwolves this weekend. They don’t play teams with winning records until the following weekend when they tangle with the Westside Warriors and Penticton Vees.
Kraus, who just turned 20, wired a point shot past Garrett Beckwith on a powerplay midway through the third period in front of 1,800 fans Saturday night.
He drew assists on Mike Collins’ fourth goal of the season, on an early second-period powerplay which put Vernon up 1-0, and Cory Kane’s fourth, shorthanded, with 1:13 remaining in the game.
Jonathan Milhouse fed Kane a gorgeous saucer pass right in front of Beckwith for a beauty.
Sawyer Mick, with the winner, and Cole Ikkala (2nd) also scored for the Vipers. Tye Lewis (2nd) replied for the Smokies midway through the second period.
Kraus, a Californian who played 57 major junior games with the Kamloops Blazers and Tri-City Americans before joining Vernon for 18 games two years ago, wasn’t totally surprised when he was chosen team captain.
“Yes and no,” said the 6-foot-2, 205-pounder. “You always want to go into it thinking yah, but I’m glad that I got it and hopefully I can lead this team to victory again. Playing in the WHL, I’m sure helped a little bit, and I’m getting old. I wanna be an extra coach for these guys.”
Kraus is impressed with the effort of the rookie corps.
“The rookies are battling pretty hard. It’s good to see. What else can we ask for?”
Trail, who dropped to 0-3, has scored just four times. They competed hard, but lacked finish up front. Vernon outshot the Smokies 40-20.
“A lack of discipline, a lack of leadership in the final 10 minutes,” said Smokies’ head coach Jim Ingram, when asked to assess the game. “We had opportunities. We didn’t bury them. You play like that against this team, you’re going to get penalized. It’s simple. It really is.”
Ingram figures the Snakes are pretty much a carbon-copy of last year.
“They are consistently good. They just do all the little things. Their powerplay is very good because the skill level that they possess affords them to be a little bit carefree on the powerplay. They make nice plays, nice passes, they pick up the puck and they’re gone.”