Saturday, October 31, 2009

Vipers Bury Centennials Again:

Vipers bury Centennials again

by Don Klepp - Oct 31, 2009

Vipers Bury Centennials Again

On a night when Connor and Kellen Jones scored the only two goals for Canada West at the Junior “A” Challenge in Summerside, Dylan Walchuk performed his best “Jones” imitation as he spearheaded a Vernon Viper 10-4 drubbing of the Centennials in Merritt.

Walchuk opened the scoring at 3.32 of the first period and set up Cole Ikkala just 15 seconds later. Late in the period, Walchuk scored again after a fine individual rush down the right wing. Not to be outdone, Ikkala added his second of the period at 19.31 when he and Cory Kane went in short handed on a defenceless Cameron Dagg, an AP who was filling in for flu-bitten regulars Cole Holowenko and Keith Hamilton.

Several Centennials have been ill recently, so Jr. “B” players John Minot and Spencer Kristensen were also pressed into action. Meanwhile, Vernon’s Garrett Noonan was also out of the lineup because of illness. Erik Soderlund played defence in Noonan’s place, and Darrin Robak moved up from defence to play with Patrick McGillis and Drew George.

The new-look line of Cory Kane, Bryce Kakoske, and Sawyer Mick was one of many Viper combinations that compensated for the Jones twins’ absence. That line struck for a beauty at 1.49 of the second period Kakoske glided over the Centennial blue line, hesitated a fraction, and then feathered a perfect pass to Kane, who put several moves on Dagg before depositing the puck.

Late in the period, Dustin Johnson connected on the power play to make the score 5-1. Then, early in the third period he scored again, to briefly give the Centennial fans some hope.

However, that hope was short-lived. Although the Cents scored twice more in a wild third period, the Vipers scored five times. Mike Collins led the parade with two goals and two assists. Another highlight was the first BCHL goal by Darrin Robak, in his first Jr. “A” game as a forward.

Rob Short and Nick Amies rounded out the scoring for Vernon as did Alex Valenti and Mitch Jones for Merritt. (There’s a chance that a review will credit the Jones goal to Andrew Pickering and that Patrick McGillis will get credit for the Amies marker.)

By the Numbers:

The Vipers have won 9 straight, out scoring the opposition 60-14. They have been particularly deadly in the first period, scoring 24 goals and allowing just 2 during that stretch.

In 18 games this season, the Vipers have scored 7 or more goals six times. Meanwhile, the Centennials have allowed 7 or more goals in 10 of their 18 games.
With his four-point outing, Mike Collins moved up to 4th in the BCHL scoring race, with 30 points.

Dustin Johnson leads the Cents with 12 goals and is tied for the team points lead with 15.

The Vipers surrendered 4 goals in a game for the first time this season. Previously, they had allowed more than 2 goals just twice, in 4-3 wins over Salmon Arm and Westside. Also, the Centennials’ 31 shots represented the first time a team had registered more than 29 shots versus the Vipers this season.

After Sawyer Mick was ejected for a check from behind in the second period, Mark Ferner juggled his lines freely. The juggling seemed to work, as 7 of the Viper goals came from new line combinations.

Short Collects Career Point #100:

Vernon Vipers forward, Rob Short picked up his 100th career BCHL point last weekend on Saturday October 24th with a single assist in a 3-2 overtime victory over the Quesnel Millioanires.

Night Out At The Rockets Game With The Vipers:

This is on the Vernon website:

Ikkala & Thompson: Vernon Viper's Editorial

Night Out at the Rockets Game

By : Cole Ikkala

Just this Wednesday Adam Thompson, Garrett Noonan, Graeme Gordon, and I all went to Kelowna for the Rockets game. On the way down we stopped at Cactus Club for a quick meal and then headed to the game. Adam and Graeme both know kids on Calgary so we were able to get free tickets. What was going to be just an average hockey game turned into quite the night. Halfway through the second period Garrett and I went for a snack and drink at the concession. We left Adam behind who said, “I’m here for the game not the food,” an obvious remark that costed him a good time. As me and Garrett were buying our food we were asked to do the intermission relay race. Hesitant at first it was only a matter of seconds before we agreed. As we made our way the zamboni tunnel we were briefed on the event, we were to run down the ice putting on pants, a jersey, and gloves on and then had to shoot the puck into the net. We sent Adam and Graeme a text to make sure they watched and of course they didn’t believe us. After we put on our helmets we made our way to the ice with the other contestants under our fake names of “Adam” ad “Rick”. After the crowd was rallied up for the show we lined up at the goal line. The announcer counted us down and then we were off. Garrett had a false start, but the race went on. The first station was the pants, which didn’t seem to fit at first so I just kept them around the ankles. Garrett continued to try to pull them up which costed him the race. The other two contestants were constantly running and at the red line at this point, I knew I had to make a move. As I got to the jersey I threw it on quick and made my way to the gloves. While I was putting on the gloves I noticed that the net was backwards and the mascot was turning it around. I almost fell as I picked up the stick, grabbed the puck and fired a shot past the two people ahead of me into the net for the win! After a hands in air/running man celebration I looked back to see Garret still grabbing his stick, and then shot his puck past me and everyone into the net. It was a good effort. We were then given our gift bags and made our way back up to our seats where we were able to watch our performances, taped by Graeme. That made the night very entertaining!

Rockets games are just one thing we do in our free time. We spend a lot of time going out to restaurants around town or in Kelowna. On weeknights if we aren’t hanging out together we will all go to a movie at Famous Players. When we get a day off, generally on Sundays, if we aren’t relaxing a lot of time we go to the Kelowna mall and walk around for a bit. As mentioned before our team is big on the NHL 10 game so when were hanging out we always come around to playing that. Currently Garrett Noonan is the best and has continued his winning this past weekend. Other than that we don’t do much, with our busy schedule it’s nice to use the free time to just hang out and catch up on rest.

Were on the road for the next couple weeks so hopefully you can make it to our next home game on Friday, November 13th!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Vernon 10 Merritt 4

1st Period:

Vernon Vipers at 3:32 - Dylan Walchuk from Cole Ikkala
Vernon Vipers at 3:47 - Cole Ikkala from Dylan Walchuk and Rob Short
Vernon Vipers at 19:31 - Dylan Walchuk (unassisted)
Vernon Vipers at 19:31 (SH) - Cole Ikkala from Cory Kane

2nd Period:

Vernon Vipers at 1:49 - Cory Kane from Bryce Kakoske and Jonathan Milhouse
Merritt Centennials at 18:26 (PP) - Dustin Johnson from Andrew Pickering and Jeff Jones

3rd Period:

Merritt Centennials at 1:27 - Dustin Johnson from Andrew Pickering and Ryne Bodger
Vernon Vipers at 4:32 - Mike Collins from Cory Kane and Jonathan Milhouse
Vernon Vipers at 6:10 (PP) - Mike Collins from Steven Weinstein and Kevin Kraus
Vernon Vipers at 9:28 - Rob Short from Mike Collins and Kevin Kraus
Merritt Centennials at 11:23 - Mitch Jones from Alex Valenti
Vernon Vipers at 15:08 - Darrin Robak from Mike Collins and Rob Short
Merritt Centennials at 15:16 - Alex Valenti from Colton Sobchak and Derek Hills Vernon Vipers at 16:04 - Nick Amies from Jonathan Milhouse and Braden Pimm

Vernon outshot Merritt 39-31

3 Stars:

1st Star: Mike Collins
2nd Star: Dylan Walchuk
3rd Star: Dustin Johnson

(Exibition) USA 5 Canada West 2

Game Recap

Team USA Dump Team Canada West

Team USA dumped Team Canada West 5-2 Friday night in Montague in exhibition play at the 2009 World Junior A Challenge.

Shane Berschbach led Team USA with 2 goals and 1 assist while Nic Dowd added 1 goal and 2 assists.

Berschbach opened the scoring at 2:43 to give Team USA an early 1-0 lead. Conner Jones scored at 5:43 to tie the score at 1-1. Jeff Costello (powerplay) scored at 7:41 to regain the lead for the Americans at 2-1. Kellen Jones (powerplay) scored at 19:58 to knot the game at 2-2 after the first period. Dowd (game winner) scored at 4:32 to extend the lead to 3-2 after the second period. John Parker scored at 9:18 to increase the lead to 4-2. Berschbach (empty net, second goal of game) rounded out the scoring at 19:23.

Team USA went 1 for 3 on the powerplay while Canada West went 1 for 4.

Will Yanakeff stopped 28 of 30 shots for the win while Kirby Halcrow stopped 23 of 27shots in the loss.

(Game Preview) Vernon @ Merritt:

Vernon (16-1-0-0) @ Merritt (6-10-0-1)

Last Game Played:

Saturday October 24th Vernon defeated Quesnel 3-2 in Overtime
Tuesday October 27th Salmon Arm defeated Merritt 10-2

Both teams got a bit of a scare late yesterday afternoon after 107.5 Kiss FM had reported that several Merritt Centennial hockey players had picked up the flu, and with not enough players to replace them, the game may had to have been cancelled. Well word late last night on Brian Wiebe’s Merritt Centennials blog is that tonights game will be played.

Tonight is the second meeting of the season between the Merritt Cetennials and the defending Royal Bank Cup Champion Vernon Vipers. This is the second meeting between these two teams in just over a week after Vernon defeated Merritt 7-2 at home back on Wednesday October 21st. The Vipers are riding a nine game winning streak heading into the teams longest road trip of the season. Tonight is the first of a six game road trip for Vernon. The Centennials have won three of the last five games coming home after a quick trip up to Salmon Arm early this week. You can listen to tonights game live with Todd Miller starting with the pre game at 7:15pm live on 107.5 Kiss FM

Let’s take a look at the Vernon Vipers:

The Vipers currently sit #1 overall in the league as the BCHL’s best team with a record of 16-1-0-0 one point up on the Penticton Vees. Vernon has scored 87 goals for, 2nd behind the Penticton Vees who have scored 88 goals. The Vipers have given up the least amount of goals with just 25. The Vipers have won nine straight heading into tonights contest with Merritt. This is the first of six straight on the road as Vernon heads out on its longest road trip of the season. Vernon is undefeated on the road with a record of 7-0 & are 9-1 in their last 10 games. The Vipers have four players in the leagues top 20 in scoring. Mike Collins (10-16-26), Connor Jones (12-11-23), Braden Pimm (8-15-23) & Kellen Jones (4-18-22). Graeme Gordon also leads the league as the BCHL’s top goaltender with a record of 13-1- 1 shutout and a GAA of 1.49 The Vipers will be without forwards, Kellen and Connor Jones who are away playing for Team Canada West at the 2009 World Junior A Challenge in Summerside PEI The Vipers will have their hands full with the Cents after Merritt played Vernon tough just over a week ago back at the Wesbild Centre. Vernon defeated Merritt 7-2 but it was the Centennials who held a 2-1 lead heading into the 3rd period before the Vipers exploded for six goals. Merritt who has defeated both Westside and Penticton this season have beat some of the Interiors top teams. Vernon is going to have to try and get lots of pucks and traffic in front of Cole Holowenko who made 40 saves against the Vipers just over a week ago. Tonight will be a big test without the Jones Twins, everyone is going to have to step up their play and roles on the team. Vipers will need a full 60 minute effort vs. a hard working Centennials hockey club.

Players To Watch:

Mike Collins (10-16-26)
Braden Pimm (8-15-23)
Connor Jones (12-11-23)
Kellen Jones (4-18-22)
Jonathan Milhouse (7-13-20)
Dylan Walchuk (6-14-20)
Cory Kane (8-9-17)
Rob Short (5-8-13)
Cole Ikkala (4-7-11)
Dan Nycholat (1-10-11)
Kevin Kraus (2-9-11)
Adam Thompson (1-6-7)
Graeme Gordon (13-1 Record-1 Shutout-1.49 GAA)

Let’s take a look at the Merritt Centennials:

The Centennials currently sit tied for 6th place with the Quesnel Millionaires with a record of 6-10-0-1. Merritt has scored just 58 goals this season and has had troubles keeping the puck out of the net giving up a league worst 105. The Cents who are 4-5-0-1 in their last 10 games come into tonights game 6-4 on home ice. The Centennials who are a big physical team need to take advantage of the smaller ice surface and play physical vs. a much smaller Vernon hockey club. Merritt also needs to get a lot of pucks and traffic towards Graeme Gordon. The Cents who gave the Vipers a pretty big scare just over a week ago, needs to play a full 60 minutes if they want to knock off the defending RBC Cup champs. Merritt will have their hands full with one of the leagues top scoring teams. Defenceman, Steve Tresierra and Cents assistant coach, Luke Pierce will once again face their former team. Jeff Jones & David Sabey who both were cut by the Vipers during training camp-pre season will want to play well against Vernon to prove Mark Ferner wrong. For stats, info and more news and notes on the Merritt Centennials, visit Brian Wiebe’s Merritt Centennials Blog,

The Cents are 7-30-0-2 in the last six seasons against Vernon

The Centennials are on a 15 game winless skid (0-14-0-1) against the Vipers.

The last time Merritt defeated Vernon was on January 14, 2007 by a final score of 3-2Wade MacLeod scored the winner while Casey Fratkin and Tyler Halliday also scored for the Centennials. Nick Stermer, Mike Naito, Nick Kang, Casey Pierro-Zabotel, Jason Wright and Cody Butcher each had an assist in the win. Brad McInnis made 45 saves in goal for the Cents.

Players To Watch:

Colton Sobchak (4-9-13)
Andrew Pickering (3-10-13)
Alex Valenti (6-7-13)
Dustin Johnson (10-3-13)
Jeff Jones (5-7-12)
Jordan Soquila (5-7-12)
Derek Hills (6-5-11)
David Sabey (6-4-10)
Ryne Bodger (3-7-10)
Cole Holowenko (2-5 record with a GAA of 5.69)

Heres a look at the season series between these two teams:

Wednesday, October 21st @ Vernon: Vernon wins 7-2

Merritt held a 2-1 lead heading into the 3rd period but couldn’t hold on for the win, as Vernon exploded for six goals in the final 30 minutes. Connor Jones (2), Kellen Jones, Jonathan Milhouse, Rob Short, Steven Weinstein, & Bryce Kakoske scored for the Vipers. Derek Hills & Dustin Johnson scored for the Centennials. Graeme Gordon made 14 saves for the win. Cole Holowencko made 40 saves in the loss. Vernon outshot Merritt 47-16.

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


Nils-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
Darrin Robak
Blake Voth
Graeme Gordon


Jordan Soquila
Colton Sobchak
David Sabey
Alex Valenti
Jeff Jones
Andrew Pickering
Dustin Johnson
Ryne Bodger
Jeff Zmurchyk
Steve Tresierra
Silvan Harper
Derek Hills
Stephen Wall
Daniel Chang
Matt Mazzarolo
Kevin Philp
Mitch Jones
Joey McEwan
Kameran Crawford
Cole Holowenko
Keith Hamilton

Hoon Digs Viper Den:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Hoon digs Viper den

By Kevin Mitchell - Vernon Morning Star
Published: October 29, 2009

A self-described utility player who “wasn’t very good” in his minor hockey days, Gord Cochran still managed to make the B.C. Hockey League as a young teenager in Williams Lake.

Cochran and his twin brother, Cam, used to earn spending money as linesmen at the Cariboo Memorial Arena, home of the Timberwolves.

When he wasn’t tackling treacherous winter roads to reach Quesnel and Prince George for games, Gord worked in a sporting goods store. The two experiences helped him understand the culture of a junior A hockey team.

He later spent one season as a trainer with the T-Wolves, who suspended operations three years ago before re-joining the BCHL this year. Cochran, nicknamed, for some unknown reason, Hoon, by his twin, is loving life as trainer with the Vernon Vipers.

“It’s nice here because everyone’s pretty chill about everything,” said the 23-year-old. “In the past, we’ve had some guys that would whine about everything if they didn’t like it. Here, everyone’s really good and everyone’s well-mannered. If someone needs something, they’ll come talk to you, they’re not going to start screaming at you. They’re a really good group of kids.”

Game day means getting to Wesbild Centre at 11 a.m. for laundry and skate sharpening duties before the morning skate. In the evening, he gets towels and ice ready for the visiting team, while doing more skates and getting the stick room ready for the Vipers.

During the game, he has to follow the action like a scout, quickly grabbing a stick if somebody shatters one of the expensive one-piece shafts. He’s also first on the scene if a player comes to the bench with an injury.

Cochran, an avid snowboarder, is impressed with the make-up of the Vipers. He doesn’t have to enforce a no-shoes rule in the comfy and spacious dressing room.

“It just goes to show you what kind of respect they have for the Viper history and what it means to be a Viper. It’s just kind of one of those things that the whole team does it, and if one guy goes in and wears his shoes, everybody is on his case about it, and it only happens once.

“The leadership in this organization, right down from the owner to the players is phenomenal. They set a really good example for the boys and it shows. We’ve been doing really good this year and it just goes to show you it starts at the top and trickles all the way down.”

Recommended by outgoing captain Chris Crowell, a Williams Lake product, and assistant coach Jason Williamson, also a Lake City man, Cochran was interviewed by Viper head coach/GM Mark Ferner during last year’s playoffs.

“I don’t think I’d ever been so nervous in my life. I knew nothing about Mark, but I talked to a couple of guys and they said he was really easy going. It went really good and I got a phone call a little while later and he said, ‘yah, come on down.’”

Viper veteran Rob Short is high on Cochran.

“He’s a good guy, he’s willing to do whatever for the team,” said Short. “He’s got a good attitude. He came to the team through Crowell, and he came to our games last year so a lot of guys know him.”

Cochran, who has received big-time help from longtime Viper trainer Lon (Duster) Fraser, loves the challenge of being prepared and “taking care of the boys.”

Asked who the funniest Viper is, he quickly replied: “(Braden) Pimm. No matter what you say to him. You ask him the same question three times and he’ll give you three different answers. He’s really funny. Ferns is pretty funny. He gets some good one-liners in there too.”

Cochran used to hang out in ‘The Puddle’ with Carey Price so follows the Montreal Canadiens.

“My favourite player is Ryan Smyth. He’s not the most flashy guy, but he always gets the job done. He’s been really consistent and always been a real leader.”

Jones Twins Up For Challenge:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Jones twins up for Challenge

Published: October 29, 2009

They’ve only been together for a mini training camp and a few practice sessions out east, but twins Connor and Kellen Jones already like their new linemate.

The Vernon Viper speedsters will skate with Cody Kunyk of the AJHL Sherwood Park Crusaders at the World Junior A Challenge, which starts Sunday in Summerside, P.E.I.

The talented Kunuk, 19, is sixth in AJHL scoring with 13-18-31.

“He’s a really skilled and hard working player and we are practising well together,” said Kellen.

“The team is pretty close already and we’ve been playing cards and just hanging out lots as a team.”

Wanting to keep the players focussed, Canada West head coach Rylan Ferster (also Salmon Arm SilverBacks GM) confiscated their cell phones and laptops for the duration of the tourney.

“By taking the phones and laptops away, one of the things Ferster stressed was to be focused, and that there would be no excuses or distractions for us not winning gold,” said Connor. “I think we’re going to be a real hard working and physical team.”

Canada West opened exhibition play against Belarus Thursday night in Charlottetown, and they tangle with the U.S. tonight in Montague.

They open the six-team tourney Sunday against Russia. Fans can follow WJAC action live on the Internet by visiting

Meanwhile, the Vipers are preparing for a six-game road schedule without the twins, starting tonight against the Merritt Centennials at Nicola Valley Arena. Vernon visits the SilverBacks Tuesday at the Sunwave Centre.

Vipers’ head coach Mark Ferner admits losing the twins will be a blow, but believes the Vipers are deep enough up front to compensate. He adds it will be a good opportunity for other players to step up their play.

“It’s not like we’re losing two guys off two different lines,” said Ferner, who is undecided as to where the twins’ linemate Cory Kane will play. “We’ll test the waters with a few different will be interesting to see how we do without them and see what some of the other guys can do.”

Thursday, October 29, 2009

(Exibition) Canada West 3 Belarus 2 (Shoot-Out)


Canada West 3 - Belarus 2 (so)


CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Kellen Jones (Montrose, B.C./Vernon, BCHL) scored the game-winning goal with one second remaining and then potted the only goal of the shootout as Canada West earned a 3-2 pre-tournament win over Belarus on Thursday night at the Charlottetown Civic Centre.

Jones’ goal at 19:59 of the third period completed the Canadian comeback in the final 10 minutes after Mikalai Susla and Kiryl Brykun had scored shorthanded goals in the second period to give Belarus a 2-0 lead through 40 minutes.

Cam Reid (Delta, B.C./Westside, BCHL) had the other goal for Canada West, which outshot Belarus 49-20 but took more than 50 minutes to put a puck behind Belarussian netminder Stanislau Artynski. Reid’s goal came on the Canadian side’s ninth power play of the game; it finished 1-for-11 while giving up the two shorthanded markers.

The European side will travel to Amherst, N.S. to wrap up its pre-tournament schedule against the MJAHL all-stars on Friday night (7:30 p.m. AT), while Canada West will face the United States in Montague, P.E.I. (8 p.m. AT).

CLICK HERE for a full summary.

Vipers-Centennials Game Cancelled?

107.5 Kiss FM is reporting today that the Vernon Vipers & Merritt Centennials game for tomorrow night in Merritt could be cancelled. The flu has hit the Centennials hockey club and the hockey team may not have enough players to replace the ones who are sick with the flu. The league will make an announcement sometime tomorrow.

Brian Wiebe has more on the story with an interview with Cents head coach, Dylan Forsythe. Visit Brian's Merritt Centennials Blog,

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,

Vipers Alumni Update With Brent Kisio:

Former Vernon Vipers forward, Brent Kisio is in his third season with the WHLs Calgary Hitmen, second focusing solely on duties as an Assistant Coach.

Brent joined the team in the 2007/08 season as Video Coach/Assistant Coach after wrapping up his playing career with the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He graduated with a degree in criminology. Kisio played one season in Vernon back during the 2002-03 season. In 59 games with the Vipers Kisio collected 20 goals -46 assists -66 points -136 pims

The Hitmen currently sit tied with the Portland Winterhawks as the two top teams in the WHL with a record of 12-4-0-0

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Former Vipers Gill & Raley Pick Up Six Points Over Weekend:

Former Vernon Vipers defenceman, Patrick Raley collected 1 assist in the Chicago Steels 7-5 victory over the Lincoln Stars Friday night. Raley now has 5 pts in 8 games with Chicago.

Patrick Raleys profile & stats:

Former Vernon Vipers forward, Sahir Gill picked up 4 pts (2 goals & 2 assists) in Chicagos 7-5 win over Lincoln Friday. Gill collected 1 assist Saturday night in a 4-3 win over Sioux Falls. Gill has 15 pts in 8 games with the Steel.

Sahir Gills profile and stats:

Chicago's next game is this coming Friday when the Steel host Cedar Rapids.

Jones Twins Suiting Up For Canada West:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Jones twins suiting up for canada west

by viper staff Added 2009-10-28

Kellen and Connor Jones left to the east coast earlier this week and they are ready to play for Team Canada West at the 2009 World Junior A Challenge. Canada West will be the first team to lace up for an exhibition game against Belarus on Thursday in Charlottetown, P.E.I. and will start at 3pm Pacific Standard Time. Canada West will then play there second and last exhibition game the next night in Montague, P.E.I. to face team USA before starting the Preliminary Round of the Tournament in Summerside where the remaining games will be held. Canada West will open the tournament against Russia and fans can follow Canada West and the Jones twins, who will be wearing there Viper numbers 10 and 15, live on the internet through Hockey Canada’s website at The Jones twins are 2 of 10 players that will represent the BCHL and join forces to try and capture gold for team Canada West. Last year was the first year in tournament history that Canada West didn’t win gold as they lost to team USA (7-1) in the finals and took home the silver metal. In the three year history team USA had only won bronze before they took the gold metal last year. In three years Canada West leads all other teams in the record books with 10 wins, 2 losses and 1 overtime loss in there 13 games played and have a total of 65 goals for and 33 goals against.

Other Canada West World Junior A Challenge records include;

*Most Points in One Year – 11, set by Kyle Turris in 2006 and tied by Mike Connolly in 2007 (also played for Canada West)

*Most Goals in One Game – 4, set by Kyle Turris, November 6, 2006 vs. Russia

*Most Goals in One Period – 3, set by Casey Peirro-Zabotel, November 8, 2007 vs Belarus in the 3rd period.

*Most Goals by a Team – 10 by Canada West vs Belarus, November 8, 2006 (tied with Russia) *Most Power Play Goals in One Game – 6 by Canada West vs Belarus, November 8, 2006, 4 of those were scored in the 3rd period…also a record for most power play goals in one period.

Since the start of the tournament in 2006, 11 Canada West players have been drafted by the NHL and 4 of those were selected in the first round (Kyle Turris(BCHL) Phoenix, Joe Colborne(AJHL) Boston, Riley Nash(BCHL) Edmonton and Dylan Olsen(AJHL) Chicago)

Vipers Close Mills In OT To Preserve Nine-Game Streak:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers close Mills in OT to preserve nine-game streak

By Graeme Corbett - Vernon Morning Star

Published: October 27, 2009

The Vernon Vipers had been in cruise control the past few weeks in the B.C. Hockey League. Riding a nine-game win streak, the Snakes hadn’t been involved in a one-goal game in their past six outings, so Saturday night’s 3-2 overtime win over the Quesnel Millionaires was a welcome reality check.
Rookie defenceman Garrett Noonan (2nd goal) pocketed the winner at 4:41 of the first OT, walking in from the point to rip a hard wrister past screened netminder Luke Siemens.
“(Robbie) Short and (Dylan) Walchuk were screening and I got a great pass from Krauser (Kevin Kraus) and got a lucky shot,” said Noonan, a Norfolk, Mass. product who leads the Vipers with 25 penalty minutes.
“You’re not going to win every game 9-2 or 14-0 – they’re (Quesnel) a good hockey team. We’re 3-0 in overtime. It’s a good test because later in the season I’m sure it’ll be closer.”
Noonan admits it was an adjustment coming to the Vipers (16-1), but credits his teammates for helping him settle in.
“It was slow at first. I didn’t think I was out of place, but it’s getting easier now and I’m starting to see the play better. Playing with (Adam) Thompson and all the older defencemen has made it really easy on me.”
Play in the first period was fairly even for the first half, but Vernon gradually started firing from all angles to build a 21-5 shot total.
Second star Siemens (47 saves) kept Quesnel (5-9-0-3) in it, stopping Short with a great right pad save on a feed from Cole Ikkala. Siemens then denied Cory Kane on a redirected shot from Dan Nycholat at side of the net later in the period.
“That was our plan – keep them on the outside and just long shots and he’ll (Siemens) handle that. I thought our young goaltender did a good job of controlling rebounds,” said Quesnel head coach Glen Watson.
“I thought we played pretty well. We just wanted to play an easy simple game, but they’ve got lots of offence on that other side.
“Everybody’s saying they are national champions and you just got to get it in our guys’ minds what’s going on. I think we made believers of ourselves that we can play with them. It was a good confidence boost for our guys.”
Vipers’ forward Connor Jones (12th) opened the scoring on a great solo effort midway through the second, ripping up the right wing, dangling around defenceman Tyler Billon before going five-hole on Siemens.
The Vipers’ Braden Pimm (8th) added another highlight reel goal at 12:45. After breaking in on Siemens, he missed his original shot before pulling an unreal spinning backhand that slid under the keeper. Pimm’s linemate, Mike Collins, started the play by tying up Mills’ sniper Trevor Hertz on what would have been an open-netter.
“I ran out of room and just thought I’d spin around and try a shot on net,” shrugged Pimm. “I don’t know what the d-man for them was doing. I just chipped it by and went to the net hard.”
Quesnel, who tested netminder Graeme Gordon with 26 shots, kept pressing in the third. Taylor Holst (8th) got the Mills going with a shorty at 9:57. After chipping a loose puck past Vipers’ d-man Stevie Weinstein in the neutral zone, Holst put a gorgeous backhand past Gordon.
“I saw that he (Mills’ Darick Ste-Marie) was going to get the puck and knew that he was going to throw it out, so I went up high and got it,” said Holst, pleased with his team’s effort.
“We stuck to our game-plan, kept it simple, we collapsed in our zone and blocked the shots, and as soon as we crossed the redline we dumped it in.
“To beat this team you’ve got to stick together as a team. This is the best team in the league and it shows we can play with anyone.”
The Mills’ Matthew Herskovitz (2nd) forced OT when his shot from the faceoff circle appeared to deflect in off Kraus at 12:23.
Vipers’ head coach Mark Ferner credited Quesnel for not giving up, and the Vipers for not caving in.
“We know that they’re going to come out and work hard, and they did. They kept fighting and kept fighting, and then we gave up the shorthanded goal. It was a funny one but that’s part of the game.
“We need to play in some games like that to see how we’re going to react. We settled down there a little bit, it went both ways and then when we got it into overtime I thought we had the better chances.
“We want to puck to do a lot of the work but when we have the opportunity to challenge guys one-on-one we want to do that as well.”
The Vipers, who are ranked third in the CJHL rankings behind the No. 1 Kingston Voyageurs and No. 2 Spruce Grove Saints, visit the Merritt Centennials (6-9-0-1) Friday night at Nicola Valley Arena to begin a six-game road schedule.
n A total of five BCHLers were named to Central Scouting’s Watch List for the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft.
Penticton Vees’ forward Beau Bennett and Westside Warriors’ counterpart Grayson Downing have been listed as B-Level prospects.
Vees’ defencemen Luke Curadi and Joey Laleggia, along with Langley Chiefs’ blueliner Tim Daly have been tabbed as C-level prospects.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Former Viper Genoway Named WCHA Defensive Player Of The Week:

Chay Genoway named WCHA Defensive Player of the Week

Courtesy: Jayson Hajdu, UND Athletic Media Relations

Release: 10/20/2009

Official WCHA Press Release

GRAND FORKS, N.D.--University of North Dakota senior captain Chay Genoway has been named Red Baron Western Collegiate Hockey Association Defensive Player of the Week for his three-goal performance in a win and a tie last weekend against ninth-ranked Minnesota.

Genoway scored a key power-play goal to put the Sioux up 3-0 in an eventual 4-0 win on Friday night, then added two more power-play goals on Saturday as UND and Minnesota battled to a 3-3 overtime tie. Genoway was also named the game's first star on Saturday as voted by the media.

The three-goal performance matched Genoway's output from the entire 2008-09 season when he was a second-team All-American and the WCHA Defensive Player of the Year.

In the two games against the Gophers, Genoway also quarterbacked a Sioux power-play that went 4-for-12 and anchored a penalty kill unit that was a perfect nine-for-nine.

Through four games this season, Genoway leads UND in goals (three) and points (six) and leads all WCHA defensemen in scoring. With 83 career points, the Morden, Manitoba, native is the leading scorer among active WCHA defensemen.

Minnesota Duluth forward Justine Fontaine was named offensive player of the week and Colorado College goalie Joe Howe was named rookie of the week.

Genoway and the Sioux are on the road this week to face Alaska Anchorage on Friday and Saturday.

Vipers Drop Everything And Read:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Vipers drop everything and read

by viper staff Added 2009-10-26

The British Columbia Teacher-librarians' Association has dropped the gauntlet. They challenged the Premier, members of the legislature, and people across BC to "Drop Everything and Read" (DEAR) for 20 minutes on Monday, October 27 and the Vernon Vipers were out at Mission Hill Elementary to take part in the event and read to their students.

Kevin Kraus, Mike Collins, Garrett Noonan and Cole Ikkala all showed up to the school with books in hand to Drop Everything And Read. The Vipers organizations tries to get out to schools as much as possible to help teach kids the importance of reading and this event was one they weren't going to miss.

"We know how some kids look up to us" Captain Kevin Kraus commented, "and for us to be at an event that focuses on the importance of reading we knew we had to participate. It is fun to meet our younger fans, read some books and answer questions."

Teacher-librarians strongly support Premier Campbell's goal of making BC the most literate province in Canada and know the impact that good modeling has on children. BC teacher-librarians are encouraging all British Columbians to participate in the Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) Challenge.

In most schools, the event was held between 11:00 am and 11:20 am, but the timing was not as important as involvement and the Vipers stayed for a lot longer then 20 minutes! The players left the books they brought to be added to the school library and students were already asking if they can take them home first.

The Vipers would like to thank Mission Hill Elementary for inviting them to the DEAR Challenge and look forward to visiting them again to read more books.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Schedule Announced For Pre-Tournament Games At 2009 WJAC:

Schedule announced for Pre-Tournament games at 2009 WJAC

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - Submitted by Hockey Canada

Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Junior Hockey League, announced on Wednesday a pre-tournament schedule consisting of five games in preparation for the 2009 World Junior A Challenge, which will be held Nov. 1-8, 2009 in Summerside, P.E.I.

The five games will be held on October 29 and 30 in five communities across two Maritime provinces: Amherst, N.S., Charlottetown, P.E.I., Montague, P.E.I., O’Leary, P.E.I. and Truro, N.S. The games will feature five of the six teams taking part in the 2009 World Junior A Challenge, as well as a team of Maritime Junior A Hockey League (MJAHL) all-stars.

“We are very excited to bring the 2009 World Junior A Challenge not only to Summerside and Prince Edward Island, but to the Maritime provinces of Canada,” says JP Desrosiers, chair of the host committee. “We expect five thrilling games as the teams gear up to go for gold beginning Nov. 1.”


Thursday, Oct. 29th:

7 PM Atlantic Time – Canada West vs. Belarus – Charlottetown, P.E.I.

7:30 PM Atlantic Time – Canada East vs. MJAHL All-Stars – Truro, N.S.

Friday, Oct. 30th:

7:30 PM Atlantic Time – Belarus vs. MJAHL All-Stars – Amherst, N.S.

7:30 PM Atlantic Time – Canada East vs. Russia – O’Leary, P.E.I.

8 PM Atlantic Time – Canada West vs. United States – Montague, P.E.I.

Also, both Canadian teams have announced additions to their coaching staffs. Troy Ryan of the MJAHL’s Halifax Lions, who was an assistant coach with Canada East in 2006, 2007 and 2008, has joined the Canada East staff as an assistant coach, while Jomar Cruz of the MJHL’s OCN Blizzard has been named the video coach with Canada West.

The 2009 World Junior A Challenge will follow the same format as previous years – two Canadian entries will be joined by four international teams, with two groups of three teams. The group winners will receive an automatic bye to the semifinals, while the second and third place teams will crossover for the quarter-finals.

All 13 games of the 2009 World Junior A Challenge will take place at Credit Union Place, home of the MJAHL’s Summerside Western Capitals.

Vipers, Vees Maintain Top-5 Spots In CJHL Rankings:

Vipers, Vees maintain Top-5 spots in CJHL rankings

Monday, October 26, 2009 - Submitted by BCHL Media

The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) announced today its Weekly Top 15 rankings for the 2009-2010 season. Last week’s rankings and the leagues in which the teams belong to are in parenthesis.

The CJHL Weekly Top 15 as of Monday, October 26th:

1. (2) Kingston Voyageurs (OJAHL)
2. (1) Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL)
3. (3) Vernon Vipers (BCHL)
4. (5) Dauphin Kings (MJHL)
5. (4) Penticton Vees (BCHL)
6. (6) Georgetown Raiders (OJAHL)
7. (8) Weyburn Red Wings (SJHL)
8. (7) Pembroke Lumber Kings (CJHL)
9. (10) Newmarket Hurricanes (CCHL)
10. (9) Bonnyville Pontiacs (AJHL)
11. (HM) Oakville Blades (OJAHL)
12. (11) Woodstock Slammers (MJAHL)
13. (14) Fort William North Stars (SIJHL)
14. (13) Abitibi Eskimos (NOJHL)
15. (15) Les Pantheres de Saint-Jerome (LHJAAA)

Honorable mention goes to the Surrey Eagles (BCHL), Grande Prairie Storm (AJHL), Dryden Ice Dogs (SIJHL), Soo Eagles (NOJHL), Burlington Cougars (CCHL), Wellington Dukes (CCHL), and the Cornwall Colts (CJHL)

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, October 25, 2009

Noonan Deflates Millionaires:

Noonan deflates Millionaires

by Don Klepp -Oct 25, 2009

Garrett Noonan’s rocket wrist shot with 20 seconds remaining in the first overtime gave the Vipers a 3-2 win over the Quesnel Millionaires Saturday night in Vernon. The play in overtime was one-sided as the Vipers out shot the Mills 6-0 in extra time. Leading to the winning goal, the Vipers hemmed in the visitors, but Luke Siemens held the fort as he had done all night. He stopped 47 of 50 Viper shots. He was also helped by his D-men who blocked many shots, and he had shots by Dylan Walchuk, Dan Nycholat, and Nick Amies ring off his goal posts. Nycholat’s blast from the point with 35 seconds remaining in the third period would have averted overtime. The first period was scoreless thanks to Siemens, a 16-year old who played Jr. B in Summerland last year. In that opening frame, the Vipers had 21 shots while the Millionaires managed just 5. Siemens was half of the story the other half was the Vipers’ quickness and team speed. Play was much more even in the second period as the Mills had 11 shots compared to the Vipers’ 10 and each team had 4 scoring chances. However, the Vipers scored two sensational goals to take the lead. In his last BCHL game before going with brother Kellen to play for Canada West at the international Jr. A challenge in PEI, Connor Jones broke the ice at 8:02. In his zone, Steve Weinstein chipped the puck to Kellen, who was surrounded just outside his blue line. However, he banked a clever back hand to Connor who roared down the right wing. Connor went hard to the net and beat Siemens through the 5-hole. At 12:45 Braden Pimm replicated Connor’s rush down the right side after Kevin Kraus had picked his way through a tangle of bodies in the Viper zone. Like Connor, Pimm went hard to the net and tried 5-hole, but Siemens closed the gap. Still, the puck followed Pimm and he managed a twisting backhand as he flew by the crease. Unlike the 9-1 debacle in Quesnel on October 15, the Millionaires kept battling and they tied the score in the third period on goals by Taylor Holst and Matthew Herskovitz. Holst scored with team mate Spencer Graboski in the penalty box. When a pass at centre missed Steve Weinstein, Darick Ste. Marie pounced on the wayward puck, and fed Holst, whose breakaway move beat Viper goalie Graeme Gordon. Matthew Herskovitz, a Montreal native who played at Connecticut’s Taft Prep School last year, completed the comeback at 12:23. The rangy defenceman found a loose puck at centre and made some nifty moves as he entered the Viper zone. His long range shot deflected off a Viper D-man and fooled Gordon. Before the period was out, Siemens had to make a sensational pad save on Dylan Walchuk’s one-timer. At the other end, Gordon robbed sniper Trever Hertz on a point blank shot. In the overtime, the Vipers found another gear, while the Millionaires could only hope that Siemens would continue to thwart the Vipers.

Game Notes:

The Vipers have now won nine in a row, while the Mills dropped their second straight road game after two consecutive home victories. This year, they have lost seven of eight road games. Mike Collins, Jonathon Milhouse, and Dylan Walchuk had their consecutive games point streaks stopped at 8. The Mills were without Rylan Stanyer, Brendan DeCock, Lucas Ford, Anderson White, and Brandon Watson. Viper healthy scratches were Patrick McGillis, Darrin Robak, and Erik Soderlund. Holst’s short handed goal was the second the Vipers have surrendered this year. Denver Manderson tallied the other in the only game the Vipers have lost so far in 2009-2010. Referee Nick Swaine called just four penalties, three to Quesnel.

Ikkala & Thompson Blogging On The Northern Road Swing:

This is posted on the Vernon website:

Ikkala & Thompson: Vernon Viper's Editorial

Northern Swing

By : Adam Thompson

Blogging On The Northern Road Swing

Day 1 – Thursday- Game vs. Quesnel @ 7 Pm

Thursday morning marked the first day of our first Northern Road swing of the year, with an early 9 am departure time. I picked up some Tim Horton’s for breakfast on the way to the rink, specifically a couple sesame seed bagels and an Iced Cappuccino. After we pack our bags and allow the rookies to load the bus, we get settled in our regular spots on the bus (veterans in the back, rookies closer to the front and coaches/staff at the head of the bus). This road trip we lucked out because a little less personnel came on the trip thus allowing everyone to get there own two seats for more room and comfort on the long trip. I spent a solid 3-4 hours sleeping and the rest listening to music or watching movies on my ipod. On this specific trip we decided to stay in Williams Lake for the first two nights because of the close proximity between Williams Lake and Quesnel. We dropped off our belongings into our rooms, ate a quick pregame meal consisting of spaghetti and meatballs and then headed back to our rooms for some rest and relaxation before the game. I had to pleasure staying with Darren Robak, or Dale Dobak as most teammates call him. He is quite the character and we had some good times. Before we knew it, we were required to shake off our bus legs and get on the ice for a big game against Quenel.

didn’t get to play the first two games this weekend due to an undisclosed injury (along with my fellow teammate Cole Ikkala); therefore I got to watch the team from a different perspective. I was fortunate enough last year to only sit out one game, so it was somewhat of a new experience for me. After a good group effort and a solid 60 minutes of play, we went onto win the game 9-1. The whole team came to play tonight but I was particularly amazed by the efforts of our so-called fourth line. Just goes to show our team depth is a definite strong point. Before we knew it, we were in, out, and back on the bus to the hotel in Williams Lake.

Day 2 – Friday- Game vs. Williams Lake @ 7 pm

Day two began with breakfast in the hotel lobby, a pregame skate at the arena in Williams Lake and more rest and relaxation. I got to participate in the pregame skate but unfortunately I was unable to play in the game tonight. That meant Cole Ikkala, Dan Nycolat (who unfortunately got suspended in Quesnel for standing up for a teammate) and I had to participate in a conditioning skate. Lets just say the sausages and so-called “eggs” did not sit well during this event. Dobak and I watched numerous episodes of Wild N’ Out, which might be the best show on these days. While it may not be good for the younger kids, there are a lot of good laughs for the more mature audiences. After a lot of sitting around, we were getting our suits on and heading back to the rink for another big game against the Williams Lake Timberwolves. They are a new expansion team that entered the league this year, therefore they have a whole bunch of rookies on their squad that are new to the BCHL experience. That being said, they have a bunch on young speedsters that are known to put in a good effort and work hard… which they did, for about 45 minutes of tonight’s game. The other 15 minutes was lost in an onslaught of goals by your very own Vipers. Another 9-goal game with only 2 against highlighted the night. Blake Voth got to start tonight and looked solid. It’s hard not to with such a solid defense corps in front of him. Captain Kraus looked really good and Eric Soderlund and Darren Robak both got to play. There were also two spirited fights by Sawyer Mick and Darren Robak, in which both of them won (obviously). Dobak was again standing up for a teammate, which is good to see from the young kid from Red Deer (not quite as good of a city as Calgary, but nonetheless in the great province of Alberta). However the best news of the night came from the P.A. announcer after he told the disgruntled crowd that the Calgary Flames had beat the Canucks again. Back to the hotel again where we got to relax after 2 solid games and got to look forward to a well-deserved day off on Saturday.

Day 3 – Saturday- Day off

Today we woke up, had another delicious breakfast, which was sooo delicious that most people went to the gas station Market after it, to get more food. This was definitely one of the more boring and uneventful days of the season for me. The team hopped back on the bus and drove to Prince George, the location of our third and final game that is going to be played tomorrow afternoon. This time I got to room with the two goalies. Blake Voth is a good kid, but seems to enjoy squirting me with water. This incident was settled on the bus ride home Sunday. The other, Graeme Gordon is a great guy and a person that I will most likely remember for the rest of my life. I was lucky enough to room with him all season last year and we had some good times. As I said before, this day consisted largely of time wasting. Vother and I watched American Pie and about 5 hours more of useless television. The ALCS baseball game was ridiculously entertaining and much to Gordo’s dismay, Vother and I were both happy to hear that the Stampeders and Roughriders (CFL) got a point in an exciting tie. A lot of ice followed by sleep capped the day off.

Day 4 – Sunday – Game vs. Prince George @ 3 pm

We got to sleep in longer this morning and the breakfast was a lot better. I knew today was going to be a good day and I luckily got to play in today’s game. Prince George is known to be a bit of a tough challenge for us especially on the road in their barn. It was our first meeting against them this year, but for the most part we had no trouble. Winning the game 5-1 we collected 2 more points to help us maintain in first place in the Interior Conference and league standings. Today’s game was a solid team effort as we stuck to our systems and put together a solid 60-minute game. Gordo had a pretty ridiculous glove save and nice passing plays were highlighted in some of the goals. The team offense in the last 7 games has been pretty unbelievable and has allowed us to take the lead for the most goals for in the league. Perhaps more impressive is that we also have the lowest goals against in the league as well. The team is coming together well I’d say. All in all it was a great road trip as we got all six points that we came for. We got to enjoy a good Boston Pizza meal on the way home and have now watched a few movies.

Keep on cheering for your first place Vipers and be sure to come to Wednesday’s game against Merrit. It will be a special night as we will dawn our special edition breast cancer jerseys and lots of money will be raised for a great cause. I plan on going to bed now so until next time, in the words of the great Ron Burgundy (with our own twist) stay classy Vernon.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Vernon 3 Quesnel 2 (Overtime)

Was at tonights BCHL game as Vernon defeated Quesnel 3-2 in Overtime before 1,899 fans at the Wesbild Centre.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Graeme Gordon
Quesnel: Luke Siemens

1st Period: Just a few minutes into the game Cory Kane with a nice chance in front was stopped by Luke Siemens. Both teams looked fairly even in the first half of the period with some good back and forth play. The Vipers took over control of the play in the second half of the 1st getting some good chances. Rob Short drove wide and then cut towards the front of the net, but Siemens just got his toe on the play to rob Short down low, Dylan Walchuk picked up the rebound hitting the post as Vernon come very close to opening the scoring. Connor Jones was stopped by Siemens who played very well keeping the Mills in the game during the 1st period. Vernon started pulling away in shots as Quesnel with just one single shot in the final seven to eight minutes of the period. Graeme Gordon wasnt tested often only having to make five saves as the Mills with very little good scoring chances. Former Vernon Vipers defenceman, Eliot Raibl made a strong defensive play to break up a Vipers scoring chance. The Vipers with a late powerplay moved the puck well, Cory Kane with two cracks at a loose puck down low was stoned by Sienmens who made two big saves but couldnt cover up the rebound, the puck come back to the point and fired right back in as Kane tipped the puck in front but again was stopped by Siemens. Vernon having the better of the play in the second have couldnt beat the Mills goaltender. It was scoreless after 20 minutes of play. Vernon outshot Quesnel 21-5.

2nd Period: Dan Nycholat and Nick Amies had troubles clearing the zone in the opening seconds as the Millionaires were really forechecking the Viper d-men, wich forced Trever Hertz to get off a quick shot from the circle as Gordon made the save. The Mills strong forecheck forced the Vipers defence into turning over the puck in the defensive zone. Both teams looked a little slow to start the 2nd period as the play was a little scrambly at times. Mike Collins with the Vipers best early scoring chance was stopped at the side of the net after Siemens come up with the big pad save. Skyler Smutek made a solid defensive play to break up a Vipers scoring chance. Kellen Jones setup his brother Connor Jones who beat Siemens down low in front putting Vernon up 1-0 at 8:02 with Steven Weinstein collecting the other assist on the play. After some four on four action Veteran Trever Hertz with a glorious chance at the side of the net, had Graeme Gordon down and out but somehow missed the empty net. The Vipers couldnt control the rebound as the puck come back out front, with a mad scramble in front of Gordon the Mills were banging away at the loose puck but couldnt slide the puck past Gordon who smothered the rebound to stop play. On the next play Captain Kevin Kraus made a nice pass up ice to Braden Pimm with some amazing undividual effort put an unreal backhand past Siemens as the Vipers jumped ahead 2-0 at 12:45. Kraus with the lone assist. With 1:35 remaining Brett Howe with a shot through a screen of players in front, couldnt beat Gordon who smothered the rebound making a tough save with lots of traffic in front. Both teams had some chances in a fairly even played period. Vernon was up 2-0 after 40 minutes of play. The Millionaires outshot the Vipers 11-10.

3rd Period: Quesnel come out hard taking it to the Vipers early. Trever Hertz with a chance in front was stopped by Gordon. The Mills defence looked very solid most of the night, especially in the 3rd period shutting down the highest scoring team in the league. The Vipers were having all kinds of trouble getting past the Mills defence. Quesnel really moved the puck well creating some chances in the Vernon zone. Vernons defence seemed to have troubles with the strong forecheck by the Mills turning over the puck several times in their own end. The Millionaires carried the better of the play in the first half of the 3rd getting some good chances. Trever Hertz was robbed in front after Gordon made a big pad save on the veteran Millionaire in close. Matt Hutchinson really stepped up the physical play laying out some big checks on Sawyer Mick, Braden Pimm and Garrett Noonan. Cole Ikkala tried splitting the Quesnel defence but couldnt get through losing control of the puck. Just before the midway mark Vernon would get its second man advantage of the night but it was Quesnel that did the damage. Taylor Holst somehow got behind the Vernon defence, going in one on one shorthanded with Steven Weinstein, Holst put an unreal move on Weinstein before making a sweet move on Gordon going high over the Vipers goaltender getting the Mills on the board at 9:57. Darick Ste-Marie with the lone assist. On the next play Dylan Walchuk was robbed down low after getting a quick shot off from in close, before Siemens made the big pad save keeping the puck out. Quesnel kept coming, just over two minutes later Matthew Herskovitz (unassisted) dumped the puck in on a line change, the puck took a good two or three bounces before hoping over Gordon and into the back of the net on a weird bounce as Quesnel tied the game 2-2 at 12:23 as the Millionaires bench erupted. The Mills now had the defending RBC Champs on the ropes and kept coming. Trever Hertz who played a heck of a hockey game went for the wrap around and almost beat Gordon who was slow getting across to rob the veteran Millionaire at the side of the net. From my angle it looked as if the puck had went past Gordons glove and over line, before Gordon had swooped the puck back across the goal line. No argument from the Mills so the game was still tied. Just two minutes later Sam Higgins went for a wrap around and again Gordon was slow getting across as Howe's shot went through the crease. The Vipers were back on their heels getting outworked and outplayed in the final few minutes. Mike Collins got the play in deep in the final minute and went for a wrap around of his own but didnt have enough strength to get off a quality shot as Siemens made the easy save. Quesnel would call a timeout in the final minute of play. With 33 seconds remaining the puck come back to Dan Nycholat who wired his screened shot that beat Siemens but hit the post, the puck would come back to Nycholat who wired another shot from the point, the shot was deflected in front and just went over Siemens just missing the far corner as the Vipers come very close to ending the hockey game twice in the dying seconds. Vernon would call a late timeout with just seconds remaining. Quesnel would clear the zone on the final play of the period as both teams headed to overtime. The Millionaires had the better of the play for most of the 3rd. Vernon outshot Quesnel 13-10.

Overtime: Off the opening draw Connor Jones with a tip in front just missed the net on a close play. Back come the Mills with Trever Hertz & Tyler French with the two on one, couldnt connect as the Vipers got lucky. Rob Short with a quick shot from the circle was easily stopped by Luke Siemens. After the first two minutes Vernon took over play and controlled the better of the play for the remainder of the extra period. The Vipers moved the puck well but again had troubles getting past the Quesnel defence who really played well against the Vipers offensive attack. Mike Collins with some great individual effort down low battled hard inbehind the Mills net, coming out with the puck and then got off a weak shot that almost fooled Siemens who made the save. After a Vipers late linechange-stop in play the Quesnel bench erupted yelling at the ref and linesmen. Not sure what they were yelling at, but Im guessing maybe the Vipers had too many men on the ice. In the dying seconds Vernon got the play in deep, moving the puck around Kevin Kraus fed Garrett Noonan who walked into the circle and then roofed his shot past Siemens giving Vernon their 9th straight win, as the Vipers bench poured onto the ice. As the Mills were heading off the ice, the coaching staff was really giving it to the ref-linesmen. Vernon outshot Quesnel 6-0.

Top Players: (Vernon)

Dylan Walchuk played well up front for the Vipers. Walchuk had some nice moves in close getting some good chances, hitting the post once in the opening period. Walchuk is very shifty and with his speed is very hard to stop.

The Vipers #1 line of Connor Jones (1 goal), Kellen Jones (1 assist) and Cory Kane played well. Kane had three solid chances on a 1st period powerplay but was robbed by Siemens.

Garrett Noonan (Overtime winner) was very strong on the backend. Noonan took a big check in the 1st period and went into the boards hard, seemed to be shaken up a bit but come back for his next shift and didnt miss a beat.

The line of Braden Pimm (1 goal), Mike Collins and Jonathan Milhouse played well. Pimm was by far the better of the three playing well at both ends of the rink. Collins started off slow but played well in the 3rd and Overtime.

Top Players: (Quesnel)

Matthew Herskovitz (1 goal) Looked very solid on the Mills blueline. Looked very confident with and without the puck, made several heads up plays during tonights game. Herskovitz's goal was just a plain dump in play, that took two or three funny bounces before surprising Graeme Gordon who had no chance on the goal.

Trever Hertz played a heck of a game tonight. Hertz could have easily had three goals getting several real good scoring chances. Was robbed a good two or three times by Gordon. As the game went on Hertz was double shifting and out their almost every second shift, saw a ton of icetime in the 3rd period. Was Quesnel's most dangerous player.

Taylor Holst (1 goal) Scored an unreal shorthanded goal midway through the 3rd period to get the Millionaires on the board. Great individual effort on the play.

Darick Ste-Marrie also played very well up front for the Mills.

Matt Hutchinson played a very physical game, laid out several big checks in tonights game. Was very physical and effective in the 3rd laying out some huge hits.

Eliot Raibl played well on the Mills blueline. The former Viper and Alberni Valley Bulldog was very strong on the backend.

Luke Siemens (47 saves) Played a heck of a game tonight. 21 saves in the opening period gave the Mills a chance to win. Siemens plays his position well, cuts down on all angles, dosnt give up many if any rebounds. Made some huge saves in the 1st period to keep the Millioanires in the game. If it wasnt for Siemens this game would have never gotten to overtime.

Game Thoughts: (Vernon)

For the second straight game the Vipers had to work very hard to pull out the win and extend the teams season high nine game winning streak. After defeating Quesnel 9-1 just over a week ago Vernon faced a much stronger Mills team who gave Vernon all they had. Vernons defence seemed to have troubles with the Millionaire forecheck, wich caused alot of turnovers in the Vipers zone. The Vipers with 50 shots tonight should have been up by a few goals after the 1st period but couldnt beat Luke Siemens who kept the Mills in tonights game. Vernon had troubles getting past the Millionaires defence who was very solid all night. A very entertaining game, maybe the kind of a game Vernon needed before heading out on a six game road trip next weekend. Your not going to win all games 9-1, maybe the team was getting a little over confident so to make them work a little harder and gut out an OT win maybe will be good for the guys. The Vipers now head out on the road for their biggest road trip of the year, playing their next six on the road.

Game Thoughts: (Quesnel)

This was one of the toughest games the Vipers have had to play all season, maybe other then wins over Penticton, Westside and Merritt. The Mills played a very good road game, getting the extra point to finish off a small two game road trip at 0-1-0-1. This was one of the more better efforts I have seen from a Quesnel team in a long time. The Mills really played the Vipers hard, with some very aggresive forecheck turning over the puck several times. I was very impressed with the defence, these kids didnt give the Vipers much time and space to create any chances. Did a great job at shutting down the leagues highest scoring team. Give this team full credit they battled hard and comeback down 2-0 to send the game into OT getting the single point. The Mills with some very good but yet close chances in the 3rd could have went home with the victory in regulation time.



Erik Soderlund
Darrin Robak
Patrick McGillis


Anderson White
Justin Sotkowy
Lucas Ford
Breyden Decock
Brandon Watson
Rylan Stanyer

3 Stars:

1st Star: Garrett Noonan (Overtime winner)
2nd Star: Luke Siemens (47 saves)
3rd Star: Braden Pimm (1 goal)

(Game Preview) Quesnel @ Vernon:

Quesnel (5-9-0-2) @ Vernon (15-1-0-0)

Last Game Played:

Wednesday October 21st Vernon defeated Merritt 7-2
Friday October 23rd Merritt defeated Quesnel 7-5

Tonight is the third meeting of the season between the Quesnel Millionaires and the defending Royal Bank Cup Champion Vernon Vipers. The Vipers are coming off a come from behind 7-2 victory over the Merritt Centennials Wednesday on home ice. Quesnel is coming off a 7-5 loss last night in Merritt.

Let’s take a look at the Vernon Vipers:

The Vipers currently sit atop the BCHL with a record of 15-1 and are riding a season high eight game winning streak. Vernon has scored a league high 84 goals, while only giving up 23 goals against. The Vipers are 8-1 at home and 9-1 in their last 10 games. Vernon has six players in the leagues top 20 in scoring. Mike Collins (10-16-26), Connor Jones (11-11-22), Braden Pimm (7-15-22), Kellen Jones (4-17-21), Jonathan Milhouse (7-13-20) & Dylan Walchuk (6-14-20) Blake Voth (3-0 record-1 shutout and a GAA of 1.00) & Graeme Gordon (12-1 record-1 shutout and a GAA of 1.46) lead the league as the leagues top two goaltenders. Tonights game is the final home game before Vernon heads out on the road on their longest trip of the season, playing the next six on the road. The Vipers play 10 of their next 12 games on the road. The Vipers and Mills are meeting for the second time in just over a week, after the Vipers defeated the Millionaires 9-1 back in Quesnel on Thursday October 15th. With the Mills playing last night in Merritt the Vipers will have to try and jump on Quesnel taking advantage of having last night off. Quesnel has a few kids that can put the puck in the net, so the Vipers will have to watch Trevor Hertz (11-6-17), Taylor Holst (7-9-16) & Darick-Ste-Marie (4-8-12) who are all dangerous with the puck.

Players To Watch:

Mike Collins (10-16-26)
Braden Pimm (7-15-22)
Connor Jones (11-11-22)
Kellen Jones (4-17-21)
Dylan Walchuk (6-14-20)
Jonathan Milhouse (7-13-20)
Cory Kane (8-9-17)
Rob Short (5-7-12)
Cole Ikkala (4-7-11)
Dan Nycholat (1-10-11)
Kevin Kraus (2-7-9)
Adam Thompson (1-5-6)
Graeme Gordon (2-1 Record-1 Shutout-1.46 GAA)

Let’s take a look at the Quesnel Millionaires:

The Millionaires currently sit in 6th place in the Interior Division one point back of the Prince George Spruce Kings. Quesnel has just two wins in their last games and are currently on a one game losing streak. This is the Mills final game of a two game road trip. The Mills have scored just 45 goals this season, and have had troubles keeping the puck out of the net, giving up 56 goals. The Millionaires are 1-5-0-1 on the road and are 3-6-0-1 in their last 10 games. The Mills have two former Vipers who will be facing off against their former team. Defenceman, Eliot Raibl & forward, Chris Kerr. (younger brother of former Vernon Viper James Kerr) Quesnel is going to have their work cut out for them tonight, after falling to Vernon just over a week ago 9-1 the Mills have scored just one goal in two games against Vernon this season. Quesnel is going to have to try and get through the Vernon defence and get lots of pucks and traffic in front of Graeme Gordon who has shutout the Mills once already this season. (2-0) Kirby Halcrow and the Millionaires defence is going to have to try their best at shutting down the leagues highest scoring team. Vernon is also going to have to get lots of pucks and traffic towards Kirby Halcrow who is known to come up big and steal a win for the Mills.

Players To Watch:

Trevor Hertz (11-6-17)
Taylor Holst (7-9-16)
Darick-Ste-Marie (4-8-12)
Eliot Raibl (1-10-11)
Tyler French (6-4-10)
Kirby Halcrow (4-11 record 3.33 GAA)

Heres a look at the season series between these two teams:

Friday, September 25th @ Vernon: Vernon wins 2-0

Drew George scored the game winner at 5:02 of the 1st period. Dylan Walchuk and Kevin Kraus collected the assists. Cory Kane sealed the victory with a goal at 1:45 of the 3rd period Connor Jones and Dan Nycholat picked up the assists. Vernon outshot Quesnel 37-29. Graeme Gordon picked up his first shutout of the season making 29 saves. Kirby Halcrow took the loss making 35 saves.

Thursday, October 15th @ Quesnel: Vernon wins 9-1

Connor Jones with two, Dan Nycholat, Cory Kane, Braden Pimm, Drew George, Kevin Kraus, Bryce Kakoske and Patrick McGillis scored for the Vipers. Connor Jones, Cory Kane, Jonathan Milhouse & Bryce Kakoske all picked up three points each. Graeme Gordon made 25 saves in the win. Skyler Smutek scored the Mills lone goal. Luke Siemens made five saves giving up three goals while, Kirby Halcrow made 26 saves taking the loss. Vernon outshot Quesnel 40-26.

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


Nils-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
Darrin Robak
Blake Voth
Graeme Gordon


Trever Hertz

Vipers Paint The Rink Pink Video:

The Vernon Vipers held their first ever 'Paint The Rink Pink' night to help raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society. Thanks to Kiss FM's Rob Abramenko for once again making one of his great Vernon Vipers video's. Congrats to the Vipers who raised over $13,000.00 from the event. Check out the video,

Milhouse Collects Career Point #100:

Vernon Vipers forward, Jonathan Milhouse collected his 100th career BCHL point back on October 9th in a 2-1 Overtime win over the Penticton Vees. Milhouse added an assist on Vernons first goal of the game.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Vipers Add Soderlund To Roster:

The Vernon Vipers have added defenceman, Nils-Erik Soderlund to the teams roster after being assigned to an "AP" card two weeks ago. Soderlund has played three games with the Vipers as an "AP" player. Soderlund attended the Vipers training camp, but was unable to start the season with Vernon, as there were issues with his old (major midget) team in Utah regarding team fees. Soderlund sat out the teams first 10 regular season games before finally being able to play October 10th vs Cowichan Valley. With the teams roster already set at "23" (league limit) the Vipers had to sign Soderlund to an "AP" card. In order to make room for Soderlund the team put forward, Brendan Persley on an "AP" card last week. Persley is currently playing with the KIJHL Penticton Lakers. Persley played in just six games with Vernon before joining the Lakers. Persley has played in just one game with the Lakers collecting a single assist.

Vipers Player Profile With Mike Collins:

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

Kellen Jones Collects Career Asisst #100:

Vernon Vipers forward, Kellen Jones picked up his 100th career BCHL assist October 10th adding 1 goal and 5 assists in Vernons 14-0 win over Cowichan Valley. On the night Kellen also picked up his 130th career BCHL point. Jones earned 2nd Star.

Snakes Surge In Third To Roll Cents:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Snakes surge in third to roll Cents

By Graeme Corbett - Vernon Morning Star

Published: October 22, 2009

The Vernon Vipers didn’t find a cure for cancer, but they certainly scored enough Wednesday night at Wesbild Centre to keep the research labs going a while longer.
The Snakes exploded for six third-period goals to brush back the Merritt Centennials 7-2 before 2,000 pink-clad B.C. Hockey League fans on Paint the Rink Pink night.
Through business-sponsored pledges and an auction for their specially designed, pink-trimmed jerseys, the Vipers raised more than $13,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Braden Pimm’s jersey alone fetched $1,000, while Vipers’ players, coaches and staff combined to chip in $200 for every Vernon goal.
Vernon came out in the opening minutes looking like they wanted to beat cancer all by themselves. Defenceman Nick Amies and forward Connor Jones rang iron in the first minute as Vernon buzzed all over Merritt’s zone.
Vernon’s Robbie Short then deflected Dan Nycholat’s harmless looking point shot, nearly beating rookie netminder Cole Holowenko (Chilliwack Bruins high draft) five-hole.
“In the first two minutes we got momentum on our side even though we didn’t score,” said Vipers’ head coach Mark Ferner.
Short put Vernon on the board with a powerplay goal at 8:58 of the first period. His backdoor pass attempt got knocked down in the crease, and he cruised in to hammer the loose puck past Holowenko for his fifth goal.
Dustin Johnson (5th) equalized for the 4-9-0-1 Cents midway through the frame as he beat Graeme Gordon five-hole on the powerplay. Alex Valenti and former Viper Steve Tresierra earned assists.
“We were playing a really good game, we were getting the bounces but come the third period they turned it on pretty good, and some of us playing every second shift were getting really tired, and they capitalized on it,” said Tresierra.
“All four of their lines are gunning all the time and it puts a lot of pressure on you, but it makes you a better player because you realize how hard you have to work. We realized that through the first two periods we were playing good hockey, and we can build from that.”
Despite being outshot 15-12 in the second period, and 47-16 overall, Merritt countered the Vipers’ speed with physical play and started generating chances. The Cents’ Kevin Philp (6-foot-7, 255 pounds) and Joey McEwan threw hits with glee. Braden Pimm, who absolutely devastated Silvan Harper in the corner, and Sawyer Mick, who wallpapered Ryne Bodger to the sidewall late in the first period, answered for Vernon (15-1).
The Cents’ Casey Rogers, a call-up from the Banff Hockey Academy, wheeled up the wing and unleashed a low shot, forcing Gordon to make a nice pad save. Derek Hills (3rd) gobbled up the rebound to give Merritt the lead at 2:48.
Given the Vipers’ scoring prowess in their last few games – Vernon leads the league with a 5.30 goals for average – forward Kellen Jones admits he was a little concerned with their lack of production after 40 minutes.
“I was thinking about that during the second intermission when we only had one goal. I was like ‘geez, the cancer society is going to be down on us.’
“We weren’t getting the right bounces. We worked hard in the offensive end but were having trouble in the defensive end. Once we were in the third period we really started working hard and kept things simple which worked to our advantage.”
Added Nycholat: “It was a good challenge for us coming into the third period down (a goal). We prepared ourselves between periods and got ready for it. We knew it was going to be tough and it worked well.”
Added Ferner: “You can come home from a successful road trip and the first couple of periods you expect it to be easy. In the second intermission we said ‘let’s just take a big, deep breath and let’s go play.’ It was just a matter of time.”
Playing 4-on-4 to start the third frame, the Vipers’ Garrett Noonan (2A) connected with defensive partner Stevie Weinstein sneaking in from point. Weinstein dangled the 16-year-old keeper for his third goal.
Bryce Kakoske (3rd), on a gorgeous top shelf shot, and Kellen (4th), on an unreal forehand-backhand deke in close, sapped Merritt’s will.
“Once they get the tying goal there basically our guys just quit,” said Cents’ head coach Dylan Forsythe. “They figured it was going to be another romp and they ensured that it would be.
“It’s been an issue for us all season long, as soon as someone scores right away or someone gets ahead...we know Vernon is a powerhouse and they tie it up there and our guys just quit. It’s a confidence thing.
“It’s up to the guys. We can try and coach them all the powerplays and skating drills, but the mental aspect of it is huge.
“Our goaltending is pretty young, but they’re the ones that hold the fort for us. My hat is off to those guys. Holowenko had another great night until he was stranded again.”
Goals by Connor Jones (10th and 11th) and Jonathan Milhouse (7th) completed the Vipers’ attack.
The Vipers host the 5-8-0-2 Quesnel Millionaires Saturday night at Wesbild.