Monday, November 30, 2009

Who's The Best:

This is posted on the Vernon website:

Vipers Blog

Who's the best

By : Adam Thompson

The “Who Is The Best” Blog – Adam Thompson # 28

Before I get started on this extremely biased and potentially controversy article, I’d like to take a moment to thank my parents for everything they have given me in life. Recently I was able to obtain a scholarship to Yale University and it wouldn’t have been possible to do such a thing without their constant help, support and guidance throughout my hockey career and life. Yale is a very prestigious University and therefore it doesn’t come cheap. I am lucky enough to have parents that worked extremely hard in their lives earning a living and instilling good morals and ethics upon my brothers and I. I consider this scholarship a great family achievement and I am happy to share it with them. On that note, I’d also like to thank our coaches, especially Willy, for helping me through the whole process.

Anyhow, our game tonight was unfortunately canceled due to power outages; as I’m sure my fellow blogger Garret Noonan will tell you. Therefore, I have been given a good opportunity to take some time and write another blog article. Thus, the “Who Is The Best” blog is about to be created. For most of these categories, I’m sure I will stir up conflict and arguments, but that’s half the fun. I’m still looking for an equal challenger in NHL10…

THE BEST PING PONG PLAYER –And the acknowledgment goes to… Cole Ikkala. Ikky has managed to climb to the top of the Vernon Vipers “BCS Poll/rankings” for his exceptional ping-pong skills. The top 8 or so players on the team every now and then switch spots, but I think its clear to say that Cole is the best player. Connor and Kellen Jones are close seconds and thirds even though at the moment I retain the 2nd spot on the list and the top contender for the belt. Kak (Bryce Kakoske), Mike (Collins) and Stevie (Weinstein) are also commendable with the paddle.

THE BEST PASSER- This one might be up for great debate, but I’d have to give this award to Stevie Weinstein. If you ever watch Stevie, his head is always up when he is carrying the puck, looking for that good headman pass. I’ve seen some pretty sick passes from Stevie that are almost always tape-to-tape and usually have a lot of zip on them due to his massive Pectoral muscles.

THE BEST SAUCE PASSER- Bryce Kakoske. I think everyone will agree that Kak throws some pretty filthy sauce. Usually Caesar. One of the funniest quotes of the year came from Kak as he threw a lopsided, yucky sauce pass and exclaimed, “That was plum sauce... And I hate plum sauce”.

THE BEST NHL10 GAMER – We haven’t gotten the chance to have a big full team NHL tournament, however I have won the last two 5 man tournaments and maintained the title. My neck hurts a lot these days because the crown is so heavy… Honorable mention goes to Garret Noonan because he held the crown before me.

THE BEST WRIST SHOT- Cory Kane. Kaner has probably the hardest wrist shot that I have ever seen for this age group at least. Most Vipers fans will probably recall Hunter Bishop as having the hardest and most accurate wrister, which is probably true. However, Kaner is the first player I have ever got the chance to skate with that has stuck a puck in the net 5s+ times in warm-ups before games. Makes for a good laugh watching Krauser or the goalies try and hit the puck out.

THE BEST (FASTEST) SKATER- I have to give this one to Jonathan Milhouse or Rob Short. Milly is silky smooth and when he wants to go, he goes. Milly has scored numerous goals this year where he has just flat out burned by defenseman and left them in his dust. On the flip side, Shorty probably has the most back door tap in goals in BCHL history simply because he skates so hard to the net and catches defenseman off guard. A skate off might be in order to get the decision, but until then I have to call it a tie.

THE BEST DRESSED PLAYER- And the honor that has no award goes to…. Patty McGillis. I knew Patty had to potential to be a model when on the first exhibition game of the season, he showed up with white dress shoes on. Boy did he hear it from us! To no ones surprise, he hasn’t worn them since. Nowadays he just wear some flashy crocodile skin dress shoes and a nicely trimmed beard. To say the least, he is always looking good, as most boys from Calgary do.

THE BEST HITTER- The Jones twins have been known to throw a lot of solid body checks, but overall I have to give this honor to your captain, Kevin Kraus. Krauser can throw a pretty mean hip check and believe it or not, they are very difficult to initiate. Regardless, it takes a lot of skill to line these hip checks up and time them right.

THE BEST AT BEING A GOOF (FUNNIEST PLAYER)- Braden Pimm is hands down the smelliest goof of the team. Large emphasis on smelly. Sometimes it’s hard to comprehend the fact that Pimmer 20 years old, however everyone loves the guy. He is almost always up to something but is one of the funniest guys I have ever met. I will always remember the first time I met Pimmer as he told a hilarious story about his adventures on the way back to training camp last year. I distinctively remember Chris Crowell proclaiming how big of a dummy he was and my first impressions did not disappoint.

THE BEST JOKES – Mike Collins is probably my leading candidate for the best humor. For a lot of reasons I can’t fully describe the sniper from Boston’s antics, however he does bring up a lot of funny lines in court and always has a quick, witty reply to personal attacks. Gotta love Mike’s Aunts as well and his accent. Hearing him and Noonan talk about paaarking their carrr always gets a good laugh.

THE BEST FIGHTER- Garret Noonan and Darren Robak have some good dusts in practice (as jokes) however, Krauser has had the best fight this year so I’ve got to give him the nod thus far.

That is basically about as much as I can think up in regards to the Best of the Bests. Hope I didn’t cause any problems. Until next time.

Vipers Retain Hold On #1 Position In CJHL's Top 20:

Vipers retain hold on #1 position in CJHL's Top 20

Monday, November 30, 2009 - Submitted by CJHL Network

The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) announced today its Weekly Top 20 rankings in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting.

Last week’s rankings and the leagues in which the teams belong to are in parenthesis. The CJHL Weekly Top 20 as of Monday, November 30th:

1. (1) Vernon Vipers (BCHL)
2. (2) Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL)
3. (4) Dauphin Kings (MJHL)
4. (3) Kingston Voyageurs (OJAHL)
5. (6) Penticton Vees (BCHL)
6. (7) Pembroke Lumber Kings (CJHL)
7. (5) Georgetown Raiders (OJAHL)
8. (8) Oakville Blades (OJAHL)
9. (12) Cornwall Colts (CJHL)
10. (11) Woodstock Slammers (MJAHL)
11. (9) Weyburn Red Wings (SJHL)
12. (14) Grande Prairie Storm (AJHL)
13. (15) Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL)
14. (NR) Flin Flon Bombers (SJHL)
15. (16) Abitibi Eskimos (NOJHL)
16. (18) Fort William North Stars (SIJHL)
17. (10) Camrose Kodiaks (AJHL)
18. (13) Surrey Eagles (BCHL)
19. (19) Burlington Cougars (CCHL)
20. (20) Le College Francais de Longueuil (LHJAAAQ)

Honorable mention goes to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (BCHL), Westside Warriors (BCHL), Swan Valley Stampeders (MJHL), Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL), and the Brockville Braves (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, November 29, 2009

Vipers Load Up Blueline:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:
Vipers load up blueline

By Graeme Corbett - Vernon Morning Star
Published: November 29, 2009

The Vernon Vipers served notice Thursday they are willing do whatever it takes to repeat as Royal Bank Cup champions. Even mortgage a piece of their future perhaps.

In trading prospect defenceman Nick Amies and highly-scouted forward Drew George in exchange for Cowichan Capitals’ star blueliner Curtis Gedig, the Snakes sacrificed what would have been two key building blocks for the foreseeable future.

George instantly becomes Cowichan’s leading scorer with 10-7-17 in 24 games. Amies, a 6-foot-1, 180 pounder, has five points in 28 games, and has steadily grown in confidence since September.

“It was a little bit of a shock, but it’s a good deal for both sides,” said Amies, a 17-year-old Enderby product. “I’m going to be getting more ice time, and the Vipers look like they’re going to make another run at the cup.”

In return, Vernon gets a top-two defenceman that will boost the Snakes’ back end for the remainder of the season. The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder is committed to play with the NCAA Division 1 Ohio State Buckeyes for the 2010-11 season.

Gedig knows first-hand just how lethal the Vernon assault can be. He still has nightmares from the 14-0 shellacking the Snakes handed Cowichan in October.

“I remember them scoring what seemed like every minute – it was terrible,” chuckled Gedig. “I never want to go through that again.

“I was really excited (about the trade). To go from a last-place team to a first-place team is exciting. You saw what they did last year at the RBC and they have a chance of going again this year.”

There is no denying Gedig, 18, comes with impressive credentials. He was a seventh-round pick (204th overall) of the New Jersey Devils in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, and he played alongside twins Connor and Kellen Jones for Canada West at the Junior A Challenge earlier this month in P.E.I.

In 23 games with the Capitals, the West Kelowna product posted 6-3-9.

Yet Vipers’ head coach Mark Ferner admits he has already had people question the deal.

His response: “We didn’t do this on a whim.

“We gave up two really good, young players, but we also knew we were getting a very good player in return. Even though he’s only 18 and we only get him for the rest of the season, we feel like we got a lot in return.

“When you have a chance to add a No. 1 or No. 2 defenceman, you have to at least take a look at it. Those players don’t come up very often.”

With the Vipers spoiled for talent at every position, Ferner adds this move will give both George and Amies a chance to shine, albeit on a weaker team.

“I know it’s tough for them to digest this now, but they’re going to play in all situations and it’s only going to help their development,” said Ferner. “They need to be seen to get scholarships.”

Having played on three different junior teams in two leagues over the last four seasons, Vipers’ captain Kevin Kraus has a pretty good idea what George and Amies are going through.

“I was 17 when I got traded, so I’ve been in their shoes before. The best thing you can do is just look at it as a positive and go there. They’re going to get more shifts, they’re going to get more ice time and they’re going to get better.

“It’s hockey, it’s going to happen at one point in your life.”

The Vipers pulled a similar deal last season, bringing in veteran d-men Cam Brodie and Mike Leidl at the Jan. 10 trade deadline. Both played integral roles in the Vipers earning a fifth national title. While Gedig might be known more for his puck-moving ability and his play in the offensive zone, he is willing chip in any way he can.

“I want to play solid, no mistakes,” said Gedig. “I’m more of an offensive sort of defenceman, but I’ll try to pick up my physical play too.

“There’s a little pressure, but that’s part of hockey, and that’s fun for me.”

The trade deadline is more than a month away, but Prince George Spruce Kings’ head coach Ed Dempsey thinks this trade might be a bit of a wake-up call for other elite Junior A teams across the country.

“With the trade Vernon made today, that’s obviously a deadline deal, which I’m sure will send shockwaves to the other big four teams (Penticton Vees, Salmon Arm SilverBacks, Westside Warriors),” Dempsey told The Morning Star after the Sprucies bowed 6-2 to the Vipers Thursday night. “The arms race is on.

“Penticton’s going to have to move...Grande Prairie (Storm), Fort Mac (Oil Barons), Dauphin (Kings), and maybe Spruce Grove (Saints) and Camrose (Kodiaks) because that’s a big trade for Vernon.

“Those next-level teams, if they’re going to have any hope, they can’t wait around until January 10th because they’re not going to have enough bullets to catch up now.”

Vipers Fall One Shy Of Record:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:
Vipers fall one shy of record

By Graeme Corbett - Vernon Morning Star
Published: November 29, 2009

If records are meant to be broken, then so are win streaks. The Vernon Vipers had theirs snapped at 21 games, one shy of the club record, as they bowed 2-1 to the Westside Warriors in double overtime Friday night at Wesbild Centre.

Kyle Singleton (12th goal) collected the winner for the Warriors, unbeaten in their last seven B.C. Hockey League games, stripping Vipers’ newcomer Curtis Gedig at the blueline and rushing in alone to bury one past netminder Graeme Gordon.

"It was probably the biggest goal of the year, and the biggest game of the year for our team,” said Singleton, first star. “This is the second time we played and the first time we let them walk away with a win (Mike Collins scored with two seconds remaining to give Vernon a 4-3 win on Oct. 2). This time we got to pay them back."

The Warriors weathered some serious penalty trouble early in the third frame, and Singleton says they were able to rally off that.

"Killing off the 5-on-3 and then the four-minute penalty (Matthew Maher clipped Cole Ikkala with his stick, drawing blood), we felt a little down but once we killed it off we had all the momentum in the world and just kept getting shots and the tying goal and we knew were in the right position."

Regarding the streak, Vipers’ head coach Mark Ferner says it was never a discussion point in the dressing room.

“Our guys just go out and play. We never once talked about it and I don’t think our guys thought about it. The people that bring it up are the media and fans.

“They’re kids, so maybe there was a bit of pressure but it certainly didn’t come from us. We’re not going to be perfect, ever. If we were going to go 59-1, I would have been shocked.”

Ferner also had nothing but praise for Gedig, and for Vernon’s overall effort.

“Missed assignment in the offensive zone as far as our alignment is concerned, and it’s unfortunate for Curtis he bobbled the puck. But I thought he was very good and just what the doctor ordered.

“We talked before the game about staying as close to our systems as possible for as long as possible, and I thought we did that tonight.”

Added Vipers’ captain Kevin Kraus: “He (Gedig) played a heckuva game tonight. He’s pretty down on himself right now, but he’ll be fine. We’ve all done it before. He’s going to be a great acquisition for us.”

It was the first game in a while where the Vipers have been pushed for a full 60 minutes, and the 2,200 fans at Wesbild were treated to a hard-hitting contest between two hungry teams.

The Warriors (20-9-1) were able to hem the Vipers (28-1-0-1) in the own end on occasion, forcing them into handling errors with constant pressure.

"We've been working on our forecheck, just two guys hard and trying to keep our third guy high so if we do get caught we still have a backchecker,” said Singleton.

Added Kraus: “It was real back and forth, a playoff-style hockey game and it was exciting to play tonight. We haven’t seen a hard forechecking team in a while, so it kind of caught us by surprise at points, but we managed to figure it out and picked up the pace.

“It’s great to play teams like this. We can play teams like Quesnel, Merritt and Prince George as much as we want, but these are the games that are going to prepare us for the playoffs and a long run.”

Kevin Jebson was the story in the early going. The Westside keeper could easily have earned a star for his mohawk and handlebar mustache, a touching homage to former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck (The Iceman) Liddell. Instead, he turned aside all 12 Viper shots in the first period, and 34 overall, to claim second star.

He even earned a hearty round of Wesbild boos after he perhaps embellished a goalie interference call in a minor collision with Robbie Short in the first period, then proceeded to give a bow to Section B after his theatrics.

"He's been playing well for probably 10 games now,” said Singleton, of Jebson. “He's been getting 40 shots a night and saving probably 38 of them.”

Added Westside head coach Darren Yopyk: “Any great team has a great goaltender and I think he’s the best in the league. That’s an advantage that keeps us in games and it allows us to get where we need to be.

“We’ve got a lot of young guys that haven’t had a lot of experience in junior hockey, but they’re starting to figure it out little bit. The biggest difference between us and them (Vernon) is their consistency. It doesn’t matter who they play, they play hard and compete every night and we haven’t been able to do that on a consistent basis yet.”

The Vipers kept pressing in the second frame, as Dylan Walchuk rang iron on an early powerplay, and Adam Thompson maintained a physical presence as he sent Alex Grieve for a ride, standing him up at the blueline.

Gordon (28 saves) was thoroughly tested in the second. The Warriors’ Max French took a rebound off end boards and tried to sneak puck in, but Gordon came across to cover up. Cole Wilson then broke up right wing and drilled a hard, low shot that Gordon flashed a right pad on.

The Vipers’ Connor Jones (20th) broke the stalemate on a late second-period powerplay, beating a screened Jebson with a wrister from the point. Kellen Jones and Gedig, with his first point as a Viper, drew assists.

“We just need to keep firing pucks, but one of the things we weren’t as good at was getting guys in front of him (Jebson). He saw pretty much everything and goalie can’t stop what he can’t see.”

Like Kraus, and perhaps all the Vipers, Connor thrives under big-game pressure.

“I loved it. It was an intense game, playoff atmosphere. I’d like it if it was that way every night. Our team has to be that determined and work that way every single game.”

After surviving their penalty woes early in the third – Westside handed Vernon nine powerplays – French worked the puck deep and connected with Dru Morrison (2nd), who was left alone on Gordon’s doorstep.

Vernon swarmed Westside in OT. Late in the first session, Gedig’s hard point shot dropped just behind Jebson at side of net, but no one was there to tap the rebound. In the second OT, Jebson denied Dan Nycholat point blank, then back the other way, Gordon stopped Wilson with his right pad off a faceoff.

The Vipers now get a six-day rest before hosting the Penticton Vees (23-4-0-2) Friday night at Wesbild. On Saturday, they journey to Trail to tangle with the Smoke Eaters (10-19-1-1) at Cominco Arena.

Third-Period Barrage Stops Kings:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:
Third-period barrage stops Kings

Published: November 27, 2009

The Prince George Spruce Kings hung with the Vernon Vipers for 40 minutes, but fell short in the final 20.

Trailing by a goal heading into the final frame, the Sprucies allowed three straight Viper goals to fall 6-2 before 2,000 B.C. Hockey League fans Thursday night at Wesbild Centre.

The Kings’ Nick DeSousa (12th goal) opened the scoring midway through the first period, assisted by Justin Fillion.

Kellen Jones equalized for Vernon when he created a neutral zone turnover and skated in alone to beat netminder Kyle Nielson (26 saves) with a nice backhand-forehand move.

First star Mike Collins (21st) collected the lone second-period marker early in the second period.

Viper d-man Dan Nycholat and the Kings’ Zac Rasmussen dropped the gloves in a second-period scrap, but neither combatant landed any serious blows.

Prince George (11-17-1-1) matched Vernon’s work ethic up until the third period, testing netminder Graeme Gordon with 25 shots, but Vernon found that extra gear to blow the game wide open, scoring three goals in less than three minutes midway through the final period.

“We actually had a good first period and got ourselves in the game. The bottom line from our perspective is we don’t have enough guys that want to compete on an every-day basis,” said Kings’ head coach Ed Dempsey. “Credit to them, they’re a good team and you see why. They play hard and they play simple and they pay attention to detail.

“They don’t panic...they stayed patient and know if they stick with it they’re going to start forcing some mistakes. They did that and capitalized on it.”

Robbie Short (12th) got Vernon (28-1) rolling with a wicked shorthanded one-timer from the faceoff dot, picking the top corner at 9:17.

A minute later, Patrick McGillis (6th) cut in on the left wing and threw a puck on net that bounced past Nielson far side.

90 seconds after that, Jonathan Milhouse (2A) set up Collins (22nd) with a gorgeous backdoor feed for an easy tap-in.

“They’re ranked No. 1 in Canada for a reason,” said Kings’ enforcer Jeremy Wiebe, a Vernon native. “I thought we were able to hang in there for the first two (periods), but in the third we had a couple breakdowns and they capitalized.”

Added Vipers’ captain Kevin Kraus: “We came out kind of flat...but we had an explosive third period which helped us out there.”

Lyndon Martell (7th), assisted by Brooks Robinson, completed the Kings’ attack.

Towering defenceman Nils-Erik Soderlund netted his first BCHL goal in the final minute to round out the Vipers’ attack.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Vipers Player Profile With Dylan Walchuk:

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, Dylan Walchuk. Check it out,

Warriors Stop Viper Winning Streak At 21

warriors stop viper winning streak at 21

by don klepp | Added 2009-11-2

A tense battle at Vernon’s Wesbild Centre was settled by Kyle Singleton, whose breakaway goal in the second overtime period gave the Westside Warriors a dramatic 2-1 victory over the Vipers.

The first period featured the goaltending of Westside’s Kevin Jebson, while Vernon’s Graeme Gordon got his chance to shine in the second period.

Jebson’s first period heroics kept his team in the game. Among his stops, he made two stellar saves on Braden Pimm, one on a short-handed net drive and one on a bang-bang play following Jonathan Milhouse’s feed from behind the net. Although the Vipers out shot the Warriors 14-6 in the opening frame, Gordon had to be very sharp on efforts by Brendan Ellis and Trevor Bailey.

Gordon had to deal with a number of strange bounces and scrambles in the second period as the Warriors out shot the Vipers 14 to 12. The period featured five power plays, three by the Vipers, but the penalty killing was strong and the goalies were very good. Dylan Walchuk did beat Jebson cleanly on a power play move, but hit the post.

Kellen and Connor Jones came close to opening the scoring while short handed, but the opening goal finally came on a Viper power play at 17:49. The Jones twins combined on the play, with Connor the trigger man. Curtis Gedig also drew an assist on the play, in his first game in a Viper uniform.

The rhythm of play in the second period was spasmodic, with bursts of intense activity followed by cautious play. That rhythm changed in the third period, as the Warriors spent most of the first seven minutes on the penalty kill. The main Warrior culprit was goaltender Jebson who was assessed four minutes for high sticking Cole Ikkala.

During those seven minutes, the Warriors got a huge boost from a determined and successful defensive effort. Although Mike Collins hit the post, the Vipers were basically unable to break through the Warrior defensive box.

Clearly, the Warriors were energized by the defensive stand, and their fourth line scored at 9:45. Dru Morrison and Trevor Bailey won battles deep in the Viper end, and Colton Sissons scored on a 10-foot snap shot. The remainder of the period was a tense affair, with few clear-cut scoring chances.

The first overtime period continued that theme, as the play presented just one gilt-edged scoring chance. Newcomer Curtis Gedig ripped a shot that Jebson managed to deflect with his catching glove.

The three-on-three second overtime session started with plenty of firepower. The Vipers sent out the Jones twins and Dan Nycholat, while the Warriors presented Cam Reid, Trevor Bailey, and Brendan Ellis, their top three scorers. That opening burst featured four successive two-on-one rushes, two for each team. The exciting play kept 2222 fans on the edge of their seats.

Singleton’s winner came at 1:42 when he stripped Curtis Gedig at the Warrior line and raced down the ice to beat Graeme Gordon. He was named the game’s first star for his effort, and Kevin Jebson earned the second star.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Westside 2 Vernon 1 (Double Overtime)

Was at tonights BCHL Game as Westside defeated Vernon 2-1 in Double Overtime in front of 2,222 fans at the Wesbild Centre.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Graeme Gordon
Westside: Kevin Jebson

1st Period: Vernon would get an early powerplay just over a minute into the opening period. A quick one timer by Adam Thompson just missed the far corner as the Vipers come close to scoring on the man advantage. Before the powerplay was over the Warriors would get a man advantage as both teams played a little four on four before Westside would get a late powerplay with no teams scoring. The Vipers come out hitting finishing their checks, Connor Jones laid out some good hits deep in the Warriors zone, Sawyer Mick also laid out some good checks. The Vipers had the early edge in play with no real good scoring chances other then Thompsons shot from the point while on the powerplay. It took Westside six minutes to record their first shot on goal. Vernon would then get its second powerplay of the night but just five seconds later the Vipers would head off to the penalty box cancelling the man advantage. Both teams would go back and forth with some good end to end action four on four, again no real quality scoring chances. Westside would get a powerplay in the second half of the period but the Warriors couldnt capitalize, Vernon would get a few odd man rushes on the penalty kill, thinking offence the Vipers got too fancy trying for the perfect play, wich forced the Warriors back the other way on an odd man rush. Vernon would kill off the minor. Brendan Ellis with a quick blast from the point went through a screen in front as Graeme Gordon somehow made the pad save. In the final five or six minutes the play really opened up with some good end to end action as both teams were skating hard. Vernon would get a late powerplay getting a few good chances but couldnt get one past Kevin Jebson as the period come to an end before the man advantage ended. It was scoreless after the first 20 minutes of play. Vernon outshot Westside 12-5.

2nd Period: The Warriors would go down two men for just a few seconds as Westside would take an early penalty to start the 2nd period. Westside would kill off the first minor and still on the penalty kill the puck would come to Dylan Walchuk at the side of the net who hit the post coming close to putting Vernon up 1-0. Vernon moved the puck well creating chances but couldnt find the back of the net. Westside would kill off the minor. The play would really slow down as both teams looked to be playing very cautious waiting for the other team to make the first mistake. Tyler Krause with a good chance was stopped by Graeme Gordon. Westside then started forcing the play in deep, pressuring the Vernon defence wich caused several turnovers resulting in a scoring chance. The Vipers defence started to panic a little as the strong forecheck by the Warriors was really making the Viper d-men uncomfortable. The Vipers struggled several times getting the puck out as the Warriors come close to opening the scoring. Vernons defence had three chances to clear the zone, and didnt Westside fired the puck back in deep, the puck took a funny bounce off the end boards-glass and just about caught Graeme Gordon off gaurd as the puck was laying at the side of the crease with Gordon looking the way. A mad scramble in front and Gordon and the Vipers were lucky to cover up and stop the play. Westside looked very strong on the forecheck, really punishing the Vipers down low. Another dump in by Westside and again the puck took a funny bounce off the side boards-glass Gordon was already heading in behind the net, losing an edge as the puck come off the side boards out front where the Vipers had to sramble to clear the zone as again the Warriors come close to scoring on a funny bounce off the boards-glass. The Warriors come on strong in the second half of the period outplaying the Vipers for several minutes. Westside would get a powerplay, again Vernon would get a few shorthanded chances but again getting fancy and not shooting on the net, resulted in a turnover and back come the Warriors on the odd man rush. Just before the minor expired the Warriors would get a late two man advantage. Alex Grieve was robbed at the side of the net after Gordon come diving across to get his paddle down keeping the puck out and the game scoreless. Vernon would kill off the late two man advantage. Vernon again played a physical period Max French took a huge check inbehind the Warriors net, French would head to the bench and then was being looked after the by the teams trainer. French looked very daized but would return. The Warriors would take a late penalty giving the Vipers another man advantage. Newcomer Curtis Gedig would setup Kellen Jones who fed Connor Jones in the slot who wired one past Kevin Jebson at 17:49 giving the Vipers the 1-0 lead. Kellen Jones & Gedig would collect the assists. Just seconds later the Warriors would head back to the box giving Vernon another powerplay with just a handfull of seconds remaining on the clock. The Vipers were up 1-0 after 40 minutes of play. Westside outshot Vernon 15-12.

3rd Period: With the Vipers still on the powerplay wich carried over from the end of the 2nd period Vernon couldnt generate much offence as the Warriors penalty kill was very strong, blocking all the shooting lanes keeping the Vipers to the outside. Before the Warriors could even kill off the minor, Westside would get into penalty trouble again giving Vernon a late two man advanatge. With most of the first powerplay almost over Westside would kill off the first minor but before the second minor expired Cole Ikkala took a stick to the face giving Vernon a four minute powerplay and again another late two man advantage. The Vipers couldnt get anything going as the Warriors really forced the Vipers to the outside, attacking the defence with some solid pressure. The Vipers with a great chance to burry the Warriors hit the post on a shot from the circle. Vernon only managed just four shots on the last two man advantages as Westsides penalty kill did an amazing job killing off both minors along with the four minute high sticking minor. You can bet this gave the Warriors life giving them a chance to win tonights game. The play once again would open up but no real quality scoring chances as both teams played a very tight defensive game in the final period. Westsides defence really stepped up in the 3rd shutting down the Vipers high powered offence. Brendan Ellis come back breaking up a Vipers two on one, Peter MacIntosh also showed some good hustle getting back to break up a Vipers odd man rush. A shot from the point was tipped in front by Cole Wilson as Wilson just about beat Gordon on a nice play. Kevin Kraus just about caused a turnover coming out of his own end, after coughing up the puck just outside the blueline, but managed to get back to break up the play on a Warriors rush. As the game went on Vernon really started to look tired. Westside would finally tie the game after some nice three way passing resulted in a Warriors goal at 9:45. Veteran Trevor Bailey and Colton Sissons setup Dru Morrison for the game tying goal. From here on in the Vipers went down to just three lines as the Vipers top two lines looked tired for the remainder of the game. Both teams went back and forth with very little good chances. The Warriors would gain a point forcing overtime. Vernon outshot Westside 6-3.

Overtime: No real good chances until late in the extra period when Curtis Gedigs point shot beat Jebson fivehole as the puck come out the other end, it hit the bottom of the post and stayed out as Vernon come oh so close to winning their 22nd straight game. It was tied 1-1 after 65 minutes of play. The Warriors outshot the Vipers 4-2.

Double Overtime: Off the draw Kellen and Connor Jones would go in two on one but Connor was stoned by Jebson in close and then both Twins come right back with another chance in front as Jebson made a huge blocker save keeping the score tied 1-1. Joel Woznikoski with a blast from the point just missed beating Gordon shortside. With the faceoff deep in the Westside zone, the Vipers would win the draw as the puck would come back to Curtis Gedig, the puck took a funny bounce hopping over the stick of the Viper d-man, Kyle Singleton turned on the jets going in all alone on the breakaway and then beat Gordon fivehole at 1:42 snapping the Vipers 21 game winning streak as the Warriors are now undefeated in their last seven games. Singletons goal was unassisted. Shots were even 3-3.

Top Players: (Vernon)

Braden Pimm worked very hard all night, was a force with the puck down low and in and around the net. Pimm carried the puck lots tonight.

Sawyer Mick I thought played a physical game, especially in the games first two periods. Mick finished his checks playing an all round decent game. Didnt see much icetime in the 3rd.

Steve Weinstein played his second straight good game on the Viper blueline. Weinstein seems to have alot more confidence this year and especially over the last month or so. Really carried and rushed the puck alot tonight. Made a few nice passes.

Curtis Gedig (1 assist) Gedig is a very smooth skating d-man who handles the puck well, makes that nice first breakout pass coming out from his own end. Not a very physical kid but looks calm, looked very good on the Viper backend. This was a great pickup for the Vipers. I really felt bad for the kid on the overtime winning goal.

Graeme Gordon (28 saves) Played well, didnt have many tough saves to make but made the big save when called apon. Made a huge save in the 2nd robbing Alex Grieve at the side of the net.

Top Players: (Westside)

Joel Woznikoski played a solid game on the Warriors blueline. Woznikoski jumped up into the play a few times getting a few good chances.

Alex Grieve played well up front for Westside. This kid seemed to be always involved in the play when the Warriors had the puck. Had some good chances.

Brendan Ellis was another d-man who looked very solid for the Warriors. Ellis with a few good shots from the point, showed some good hustle breaking up a few Viper odd man rushes. Had a heck of a game, saw a ton of icetime on the penalty kill.

Tyler Krause was another kid who showed alot of hustle, very gritty, didnt quit. Always involved in the play, had some good chances. Good skater, looked good with the puck, really reads the ice well.

Cole Wilson looked good up front.

Kevin Jebson (35 saves) Jebsons two saves early in the second overtime period on both Connor & Kellen Jones was by far game savers. This was the Vipers two chances to end it in Overtime but Jebson had other ideas. Jebson didnt have to stand on his head, as most of the Vernon shots were from the outside and shot right at him, but still had to make the saves when called apon. Jebson did make a few big saves while the Warriors were on the penalty kill. I really like Jebson, always have. I think this kid is the best goaltender in the league. Jebson always gives the Warriors a chance for the win.

Game Thoughts: (Vernon)

The Vipers 21 game winning streak finally comes to an end, after the team was one win away from tying the Vernon record of 22 straight wins, wich is held by the 1998-99 Royal Bank Cup Champion Vernon Vipers. Vernon played well but just couldnt capitalize on their chances. I thought the Vipers had the better of the chances. Specialty teams was the difference as Vernon went 1-9 on the powerplay. The team had several great chances late in the 2nd period and early in the 3rd period with several two man advantages but yet couldnt score. At times the Vipers tried getting too fancy, instead of just shooting the puck, getting a shot on goal, going to the net, looking for a rebound. In the end one too many passes at times, wich resulted in a turnover on a great scoring chance. Vernon allowed Westside to hang around for too long, wich gave them a chance to win. The Vipers had trouble in their own end especially in the 2nd period with strong forecheck coming from the Warriors. The Vipers looked very tired in the 3rd, tonight was the first time I have seen them look tired towards the end of a game all season. Heres a game where Vernon could have burried the Warriors on the powerplay but couldnt make them pay. Overall this was a very entertaing hockey game, a very playoff like game for sure. At times we saw some wide open hockey and then other times we saw some very slow paced defensive hockey. Vernon was by far the more physical team. A loss could be good for Vernon, give Mark Ferner and the coaching staff to really look at the team and a chance for the guys to not get too over confident. You can bet the Vipers will learn from this game and be ready for the next one. In the end this was a great streak and something very special, you just dont see very often. Congrats boys on a great run!

Game Thoughts: (Westside)

First off Id like to congratulate the Westside Warriors for a very well played game and also for snapping the Vipers 21 game winning streak. The Warriors deserve a pat on the back for really other then Penticton (1 game) shutting down the leagues highest scoring team. As the game went on you could really see the chances the Warriors coaching staff did inwich resulted to shutting down Vernons offence. Westside went 0-5 on the powerplay getting very little quality chances. I was very impressed with the Warriors penalty kill, they didnt give Vernon any time or space to creat chances. Vernon was very limited to where they could move, being forced to the outside. The Warriors defence did a great job at shutting down the #1 offence in the league. Westside is a good skating club that also moves the puck well, with some shifty-speedy kids up front this team is a team to watch. Remember it was the Warriors who snapped the Penticton Vees 10 game winning streak just a few weekends back. The Warriors were also very strong on the draw, winning most of the draws all night. Nice to see a good handfull of Warrior fans who made the trip up.



Darrin Robak
Eric Soderlund


Michael Quinn
Patrick Bartoshyk
Izaak Berglund

3 Stars:

1st Star: Kyle Singleton (Scored OT Winner)
2nd Star: Kevin Jebson (35 saves)
3rd Star: Graeme Gordon (28 saves)

R.I.P Allen Wolgram

The Vernon Vipers hockey club lost another dedicated hockey fan.

Allen was born on May 2nd, 1949 in Vernon, B.C. and passed away suddenly at his home in Armstrong, B.C. on November 22nd, 2009 at the age of 60 years.

Allen will be lovingly remembered by his wife Hilary, to whom he was married for 21 years; his children, Michael, Brad, Christina and Candace; one brother, Cliff (Sheryl) Wolgram of Revelstoke, B.C.; two sisters, Phyllis (George) Zimmerman of Vernon, B.C. and Margret (John) Michaud of Savona, B.C.; numerous nieces, nephews and a large extended family. He was preceded in death by his father, Clarence Wolgram; his mother, Esther Eckert; and his step-father, Ervin Eckert.

Allen was a long time fan of the Vernon Vipers and volunteered at all their hockey games in the security department. He was employed in the forestry industry with Riverside and Tolko for 35 years and had just retired in January of this year and was looking forward to a future of enjoyment and adventure. Allen loved everything outdoors: gardening, camping, hiking, fishing and exploring the back roads just looking for an adventure. He loved family get-togethers, with lots of food, laughter, sharing stories and recalling memories of days gone by.
Allen had recently returned to riding motorcycles and this past spring was able to purchase a Harley which he thoroughly enjoyed riding this season.

Allen left us far too early and he will be dearly missed by those who knew and loved him.

A Celebration Of Allen’s Life will be held at Trinity United Church on Friday, November 27th, 2009 at 10:00 A.M. with Reverend Sharon Ferguson-Hood officiating. Cremation will follow. As an expression of sympathy, those who wish to do so may send donations in memory of Allen to the charity of their choice.

My thoughts & prayers go out to the Wolgram family.

Red-Hot Warriors Face Stiff Test In Vernon:

Red-hot Warriors face stiff test in Vernon on Friday night

Saturday, November 28, 2009 - Submitted by John Harding

Nov. 27, 2009

Stiff test for Warriors on Friday night in Vernon

Vernon, B.C. – A successful Junior A hockey season ends with a victory in your last playoff game and a skate around the ice with the RBC Cup.

The Vernon Vipers did just that in May. Thing is, that season hasn’t seemed to end.

The defending national champion Vipers have won 28 of their 29 games this season in the B.C. Hockey League. Their only loss came back on Oct. 3 on home ice against the Penticton Vees.

The Vipers can tie their franchise record of 22 straight victories – achieved by the 1998-99 team, which was coached by the brother of current Viper Sawyer Mick, Troy – with a win over the Westside Warriors at the Wesbild Centre on Friday night (7 p.m. start, listen to John Harding’s play-by-play at

The Warriors would like nothing better than to put a halt to this streak, and they come to Vernon on a modest streak of their own with five wins and a tie in their last six games.

Vernon, ranked No. 1 in the country, has a 28-1-0-0 record and sits first, duh, in the Interior Conference. They are coming off a home win Thursday against the Prince George Spruce Kings. The Warriors have a 19-8-1-0 record, are third in the conference and are also coming off a home win Thursday, 5-4 over Salmon Arm.

Aside from the win-loss record, there are other statistics related to the Vipers that are equally shocking. The have scored two more shorthanded goals than they have power play goals against. They have out-shot their competition every game this season and have held opponents to 25 shots or less 18 times in 29 games this season.

The Warriors, after an up-and-down start to the season, have been playing well of late under first-year head coach Darren Yopyk. After battling flu, injuries and the absence of star forwards Cam Reid and Grayson Downing (at the World Junior A Challenge), the young Warriors are relatively healthy, Yopyk is rolling four lines and he’s also getting great leadership from his 20-year-olds.

Goaltender Kevin Jebson of Surrey has been superb of late. He has an 18-7-1 win-loss-tie record, a 2.85 goals against average and a .910 save percentage. Fellow 20-year-old Trevor Bailey of Winfield is the current BCHL player-of-the-week and is third in league scoring with 26 goals and 24 assists for 50 points. Brendan Ellis, a 20-year-old defenceman from Kelowna who is committed to NCAA Div. 1 Merrimack next season, leads all BCHL blueliners with 11 goals and 21 assists for 32 points.

Reid, an 18-year-old from the Lower Mainland who was chosen in the seventh round by the Nashville Predators in the NHL’s June draft, is eighth in league scoring with 41 points.

The Vipers are led on offence by Mike Collins, a 19-year-old from Boston who is fifth in league scoring with 47 points and headed home next season to play at Merrimack with Ellis. Braden Pimm, a 19-year-old from Fort St. John committed to Northeastern for next season, has 39 points.

They might not lead the team in scoring, but the Jones twins from Montrose, B.C. provide the engine that drives this Vipers ship. Kellen and Connor are 19 and are both headed to NCAA Div. 1 Quinnipiac next season. They starred for Team Canada West in the recent World Junior A Challenge and work as hard as any pair of forwards in the country. Kellen has 35 points this season and Connor, who led the Challenge tournament in scoring, has 34 points.

One can argue whether or not it’s a product of stingy team defence, but goaltender Graeme Gordon’s numbers are shocking. The 20-year-old from North Vancouver has a 21-1 win-loss record, a 1.63 goals against average and a sizzling .928 save percentage.

The Warriors do lead the Vipers in one statistical category, albeit only by a hair. The Warriors have the top power play in the league (they went three-for-six Thursday night against Salmon Arm) at 26.62 per cent, just ahead of second-ranked Vernon (26.24 per cent). Vernon leads the league in penalty killing (89.92 per cent) while the Warriors are sixth (83.54 per cent).

The Warriors return home for a game against the Williams Lake Timberwolves on Saturday at Royal LePage Place (7 p.m. start).

(Game Preview) Westside @ Vernon:

Westside (19-9-1-0) @ Vernon (28-1-0-0)

Last Game Played:

Thursday November 26th Vernon defeated Prince George 6-2
Thursday November 26th Westside defeated Salmon Arm 5-4

Tonight is just the second meeting of the season between the defending Royal Bank Cup Champion Vernon Vipers & the Westside Warriors. Westside makes its first visit to the Wesbild Centre this year. The Vipers are riding a 21 game winning streak heading into tonights game. The Warriors are undefeated in their last 6 games.

Let’s take a look at the Vernon Vipers:

The Vipers currently sit #1 overall in Canada & in the league as the BCHL’s best team with a record of 28-1-0-0 ten points up on the Penticton Vees. Vernon has scored 165 goals and given up the least amount of goals with just 47. The Vipers have won 21 straight games heading into tonights contest with Westside. Vernon will be looking for their club record 22 game winning streak tonight, wich is held by the 1998-99 Royal Bank Cup Champion Vernon Vipers. The League record is 29 straight wins held by the 1989-90 New Wesminster Royals. The Vipers are 12-1 on home ice and have the leagues best attendance with an average of 1928 fans per game. The Vipers have five players in the leagues top 20 in scoring. Mike Collins (22-25-47), Braden Pimm (14-25-39), Dylan Walchuk (13-25-38), Kellen Jones (7-28-35) & Connor Jones (19-15-34). Graeme Gordon & Blake Voth also lead the league as the BCHL’s top two goaltenders. Gordon with a record of 21-1 with 1 shutout and a GAA of 1.63 Voth has a record of 7-0 with 2 shutouts and a GAA of 1.43 Tonight will be a true test for the Vernon Vipers as the Westside Warriors come into town playing their best hockey of the season. The Vipers had to work extra hard last night to knock off the Prince George Spruce Kings 6-2 but will have to work just as hard if not harder against the Warriors tonight. Tonight should be one heck of a hockey game as both these two teams don’t like one another. Both teams will be playing back to back games. Vernon needs to get off to a good start, jump on Westside and take control early. Vernon needs to watch Trevor Bailey (26-24-50), Cam Reid (13-28-41), Brendan Ellis (11-21-32), Cole Wilson (9-18-27), Kyle Singleton (11-11-22), Tyler Krause (9-12-21), Grayson Downing (11-9-20) & Alex Grieve (9-10-19). You can bet superpest Joel Woznikoski will be doing his best at trying to get under the Vipers skin, Woznikoski needs to try and rattle Vernon, and do his best at getting the Vipers off their game. Hes famous for sucking players into penalties, Vernon is going to have to watch and stay away from him. The Vipers also need to get lots of traffic and pucks towards veteran all-star goaltender, Kevin Jebson. Jebson is a bigger goaltender who always seems to play the Vipers tough. Dan Nycholat has atleast one assist in five straight games. Mike Collins has points in ten straight games & goals in five straight games, Dan Nycholat has points in eight straight games, while Kellen Jones have points in six straight games. Yesterday the Vipers made a big trade, as the team traded Nick Amies, Drew George & Future Considerations to Cowichan Valley for Curtis Gedig & Future Considerations. Gedig is rumored to be in the lineup tonight to make his Viper debut.

Players To Watch:

Mike Collins (22-25-47)
Braden Pimm (14-25-39)
Dylan Walchuk (13-25-38)
Kellen Jones (7-28-35)
Connor Jones (19-15-34)
Jonathan Milhouse (9-23-32)
Cory Kane (12-17-29)
Rob Short (12-15-27)
Dan Nycholat (4-19-23)
Cole Ikkala (10-13-23)
Bryce Kakoske (6-14-20)
Kevin Kraus (2-16-18)
Adam Thompson (2-11-13)
Graeme Gordon (21-1 Record-1 Shutout-1.63 GAA)

Let’s take a look at the Westside Warriors:

The Warriors currently sit in 3rd place with a record of 19-9-1-0 seven points back of the Penticton Vees. The Warriors have scored 127 goals and given up 89 goals. Westside is 10-3-0-0 on home ice but is just three games over 500 on the road with a 9-6-1-0 record. Westside is 7-2-1-0 in their last 10 games. The Warriors have two players in the leagues top 20 in league scoring. Trevor Bailey (26-24-50) & Cam Reid (13-28-41) Kevin Jebson is 10th in the leagues top 10 goaltenders. Jebson is 18-7-1 with 1 shutout and a GAA of 2.85 Trevor Bailey who was just named this weeks BCHL player of the week has goals & points in five straight games. Westside has been playing their best hockey of the season and will give Vernon a good run for their money tonight. The Warriors who just about knocked off the Vipers in their first meeting of the season need to try and stop the Vipers speed, skill and depth. Westside also needs to get lots of traffic and pucks towards Graeme Gordon. The Warriors need to really watch Vernons penalty kill who has scored 15 shorthanded goals so far this season. The Warriors need a full 60 minutes and cant take a shift off against a very strong Vernon club. Westside snapped Pentictons 10 game winning streak three weeks ago, can they snap the Vipers 21 game winning streak? The Warriors will have newcomer Tyler Brickler in the lineup. Brickler played five games for the Sioux City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League this season and recorded three assists before joining the Warriors. Brickler made his Warriors debut last night against Salmon Arm.

Players To Watch:

Trevor Bailey (24-26-50)
Cam Reid (13-28-41
Brendan Ellis (11-21-32)
Cole Wilson (9-18-27)
Kyle Singleton (11-11-22)
Tyler Krause (9-12-21),
Grayson Downing (11-9-20)
Alex Grieve (9-10-19)
Quinn Gould (7-5-12)
Joel Woznikoski (0-11-11)
Max French (6-4-10)

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

Friday, October 2nd @ Westside: Vernon wins 4-3

Both teams took turns taking the lead. Braden Pimm opened the scoring before Trevor Bailey tied the game late in the 1st. Cam Reid put the Warriors ahead early into the 2nd before Steve Weinstein tied the the game on the powerplay. With the game tied 2-2 heading into the 3rd period Cam Reid on the powerplay put Westside up 3-2 just 30 seconds into the final period. With Vernon having the better of the play for most of the period, Kellen Jones tied the game at 16:12 and then Mike Collins scored the game winner at 19:58 giving Vernon the 4-3 victory. Graeme Gordon made just 16 saves for the win, Kevin Jebson made 52 saves taking the loss. The Vipers outshot the Warriors 52-19.

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
Adam Thompson
Sawyer Mick
Steven Weinstein
Kellen Jones
Rob Short
Curtis Gedig
Bryce Kakoske
Garrett Noonan
Patrick McGillis
Darrin Robak
Blake Voth
Graeme Gordon


Trevor Bailey
Cam Reid
Brendan Ellis
Cole Wilson
Kyle Singleton
Tyler Krause
Grayson Downing
Alex Grieve
Quinn Gould
Joel Woznikoski
Max French
Colton Sissons
Matthew Maher
Dru Morrison
Michael Quinn
Spencer Humphries
Patrick Bartoshyk
Izaak Berglund
Jason Nash
Peter MacIntosh
Tyler Brickler
Kevin Jebson
Cam Gorchynski

Vipers Depth Sinks Spruce Kings:

Vipers Depth Sinks Spruce Kings

by Don Klepp

Nov 27, 2009

The Prince George Spruce Kings came into Vernon with an upset in mind, but the Vipers broke out with four goals in the third period to win their 21st straight BCHL game, this time by a score of 6-2.

The game’s theme was established early as the Spruce Kings came in with plenty of jump. Import Kyle Manlow led the charge in the opening minutes. By the three minute mark, the Vipers started to respond, with Cole Ikkala and Rob Short testing PG goalie Kyle Nielsen. The period featured ebb and flow as the two teams exchanged bursts of effective forechecking.

During a spell of Prince George pressure, Justin Filion set up Nick DeSousa for a goal at 8:21. The Spruce Kings had a glorious chance to add to their lead when a series of Viper penalties gave the visitors two minutes and 33 seconds with a two-man advantage. They were unable to dent the league’s best penalty kill, however. Their best chance came when Wes McLeod’s screen shot hit iron.

As the penalties concluded, Kellen Jones stole a puck at centre ice and burst in on Nielsen. His series of dekes froze the big goaltender and Kellen put the puck up high. So, the exciting first period ended 1-1.

The second period featured a series of breakaways and partial breakaways. Despite the free-wheeling action, there was just one goal. A neat pass by Jonathan Milhouse helped Mike Collins burst in on the right wing. Collins cut back against the flow and beat Nielsen in tight.

The Spruce Kings kept up their pressure, however, as they sent two and three forwards in to forecheck deep in the Viper zone. The pressure nearly paid off as the Vipers uncharacteristically started to cough up the puck. At the midway point of the period, Lyndon Martell stole the puck at the Viper line and broke in on Gordon, who made a fine skate save to deny the 16-year old Martell.

Later, Connor Jones was sent free by Steve Weinstein’s heads-up pass, but Nielsen thwarted Connor’s breakaway move. On the penalty kill, Rob Short had a partial breakaway. His move beat Nielsen, but the puck slid away from Short as he tried to tuck it home. Finally, Lyndon Martell came close to a clean breakaway, but was headed at the last moment by Adam Thompson.

The Vipers’ depth showed up in the third period as they scored four times and finished the night with all four lines and a defenceman contributing at least one goal. The period started tamely, though, as both teams seemed reluctant to take a chance. Tight neutral-zone checking and cautious forechecking was the norm.

The back breaker for the Spruce Kings came when their power play was stymied in their own zone. Eventually, Dylan Walchuk put on a stick handling clinic, out-maneuvering three Spruce Kings and sweeping behind the net. Seeing Rob Short open in the high slot, Walchuk feathered a pass to Short, whose first-time slap shot overpowered Nielsen.

Soon after, Patrick McGillis picked off an errant pass at the Spruce King blue line. From the top of the right circle, he cut left and slid a shot just inside the right post. Now, Nielsen was under siege and he did well to deny Ikkala and Short. He couldn’t stop them all, though. Mike Collins notched his second of the game and 22nd of the season after being set up by Jonathan Milhouse’s pass from the end boards.

Lyndon Martell got one back for the Spruce Kings at 13:57, putting a well-placed screen shot past Gordon. With a hard shot from the point that went right through Nielsen, Nils-Erik Soderlund scored his first BCHL goal to close the scoring at 19:10.

Game Notes:

•The Vipers have now scored two more short handed goals than power play goals allowed.

•The Viper record of 22 straight wins was set by the 1998-99 team, coached by Sawyer Mick’s brother Troy, who attended this Thursday contest.

•Super pest Zac Rasmussen was effective in his disruptive role in this game. His whack to the back of Dan Nycholat’s legs led Nycholat to challenge Rasmussen. Nycholat out-punched the shorter Rasmussen in the second-period scrap that ensued.

•The Vipers maintained their record of out shooting their opponents in every game this season, this time by 31 to 25, the 18th time in 29 games that opponents have registered 25 or fewer shots against the Vipers.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Vipers Bolster Blueline With Size:

Going into this weekend and Tuesdays December 1st BCHL Card Deadline I didnt think Mark Ferner and the Vernon Vipers would make any moves. A: The Vipers currently sit at #1 in the BCHL and in Canada with an incredible record at 28-1 B: The Vipers have won 21 straight games. C: The team leads the league in goals, goals against and holds the leagues best powerplay. D: Vernon has five players in the leagues top 20 in league scoring along with having the leagues top two goaltenders. What else can you ask for? Do you want to mess with the team chemistry? Who do you try and aquire or trade? Their are so many questions many Viper fans have been asking. The question now is, did the Vipers give up too much for Curtis Gedig?

Well tonight when I arrived at the game I didnt even get a chance to sit down and had heard the rumors rumbling on todays trade. I think If you overlook the teams record & stats and look towards the BCHL Playoffs, you could see the Vipers needed another solid, big d-man that would add size, toughness and experience to the backend. Is Curtis Gedig that guy? Time will tell. I dont know much on the young man. Vernon does have some younger kids that can be used for trade bait, If your looking for that veteran-experienced player. But do you want to trade away your future prospects for a kid thats only here for the remainder of the year? I think after last years blockbuster trade Mark Ferner pulled off at the BCHL trade deadline, Ferner really saw how much that move improved his hockey club and had the chance again to bring in another big d-man, he wasnt going to say no. With Westside & Penticton having some bigger bodies I think the Vipers felt they needed to add some size.

I personally hate to see two young future prospects go in Drew George & Nick Amies but do think the Vipers needed some size and toughness. After watching last years Playoff run with the Vipers you need size and toughness to get you through those tough seven game series. Sure the Vipers have lots of speed, skill and depth but when it comes down to the Playoffs and the overall physical battles you need that size and toughness. Just look at what Cameron Brodie and Mike Leidl did for the Vipers last year. Lets take a look at the trade.

Curtis Gedig

Gedig is joining his 3rd BCHL team, a West Kelowna kid is coming home, well atleast to the Okanagan. Gedig will add size and hopefully some toughness and grit to the Vipers blueline. Gedig started his BCHL career last year with the Merritt Centennials. On January 5th 2009 the Cents traded Gedig to the Cowichan Valley Capitals for playing rights of Scott Jacklin (90)(F) and Jimmy Geerin (89)(D). Gedig put up (2-10-12) in 30 games with Merritt last year before being traded to Cowichan Valley. In 16 games with the Capitals Gedig put up (2-4-6) This season Gedig put up (6-3-9) in 23 games with the Capitals. Gedig is a seventh-round pick (204th overall) of the New Jersey Devils and is committed to play with the NCAA Division 1 Ohio State Buckeyes for the 2010-11 season.
Id like to welcome Curtis to Vernon and look forward to watching him play in a Vipers uniform.

Drew George

George was highly recruited this past summer by the Vipers. Drew spent last season playing for the Notre Hounds AAA Midget hockey team. George helped lead his team to a national title as they were able to capture the Telus Cup in Winnipeg last month. Drew scored 2 goals and 1 assist in the championship final. Drew was a highly sought after recruit. He received loads of interest, not only from many BCHL teams but WHL teams as well. Last season, Drew was second in the SMAAAHL (Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League) in scoring. He compiled 27 goals 46 assists for 73 points in 43 games played. George got off to a bit off a slow start with the Vipers, before playing his best hockey of the season over the past month. George has (10-7-17) in 24 games with Vernon this year. George is a goal scorer and can put the puck in the net, but wasnt seeing a regular shift in Vernon. With so much talent and depth its hard to get George into the lineup game after game. Drew wasnt the biggest kid and did shy away from the corners and physical play. George needs to be a little more physical and dont back down from the rough stuff, if given the icetime George could be a sniper in this league. Id like to thank Drew for his time with the Vipers and wish him all the best in Cowichan Valley.

Nick Amies

Amies was another kid recruited by the Vipers but also was drafted by the WHL Kelowna Rockets. Amies a local kid from Enderby showed up at Vernons training camp last summer before heading to Kelowna, for a shot at the WHL Rockets Camp. Amies just 16 at the time returned to Vernon and stayed with the Vipers for the remainder of the season. Amies saw very limited icetime due to a solid experienced blueline. Playing in just 25 regular season games with the Vipers recording 2 assists. Amies played in just 1 playoff game and then saw action in 1 game at the 2009 Royal Bank Cup. This season Amies has played in 28 games with the Vipers collecting (2-3-5) Nick come to camp in great shape, and looked to have bulked up over the summer. Really improved on his skating and even stick handling was seeing a regular shift with the #1 ranked Vipers. Amies is a good young future prospect that will give Caps fans lots ot cheer about. Amies will be a solid d-man in this league if given the chance. I was a big fan of Nick's and thought he was playing very well this year. When I heard the rumors at tonights game, I was sad to hear Nick was traded. One of the nicest young men on and off the ice, Amies never complained due to no icetime. The old saying always goes, you always have to give up someone good to get someone good. Im going to miss Nick in a Vipers uniform and wish him nothing but the best with the Capitals.

Vernon-Cowichan Valley Trade:

The Vernon Vipers have let go of two talented prospects to land an NHL draft pick.

The Vipers dealt rookies Nick Amies and Drew George, plus future considerations, to the Cowichan Valley Capitals in exchange for defenceman Curtis Gedig and futures.

Gedig, an 18-year-old seventh-round pick (204th overall) of the New Jersey Devils, posted 6-3-9 in 23 games with the Caps.

In George, the Vipers are giving up a highly-touted forward. The 18-year-old Cupar, Sask. product posted 7-10-17 and 24 penalty minutes in 24 games with the Vipers.

Amies, a well-liked Enderby product, had started to establish himself as a steady presence on the back end, recording 2-3-5 and nine penalty minutes in 28 games.

Gedig, 6-foot-3, 190-pounds, is expected to make his Viper debut tonight as the Snakes entertain the Westside Warriors in B.C. Hockey League action at Wesbild Centre. The Vipers will only have his services for the remainder of the season, as he is committed to play with the NCAA Division 1 Ohio State Buckeyes for the 2010-11 season.

Vernon 6 Prince George 2

Was at tonights BCHL game as Vernon defeated Prince George 6-2 in front of 2,005 fans at the Wesbild Centre.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Graeme Gordon
Prince George: Kyle Nielsen

1st Period: Cory Kane with a nice move inside the PG blueline had a good scoring chance just two minutes into the game but was stopped by former Merritt Centennials goaltender, Kyle Nielsen. Veteran Sam Muchalla come up with two big shot blocks early in the period. The Vipers carried the better of the play in the first five-six minutes getting a few good chances but couldnt find the back of the net. Cole Ikkala with some hard work down low was stopped in close by Nielsen. In that span the Vipers had the games first powerplay, but couldnt connect on the man advantage. Prince George come out physical laying out some solid checks. But it was the Spruce Kings who would open the scoring, Justin Fillion knocked Eric Soderlund off the puck and then fed a wide open Nick DeSousa who was all alone in the slot, DeSousa beat Graeme Gordon putting PG up 1-0 at 8:21 Fillion recorded the lone assist. Shortly after the Spruce Kings would get their first man advantage, veteran Wes McLeod would sneak in from the point with traffic in front of Gordon McLeod rang his shot off the post as PG come very close to going up 2-0. Late in the powerplay the Vipers would take two minors having three in the penalty box. Vernons penalty kill was solid blocking the shooting lanes, not giving the Spruce Kings much time or space as the Vipers killed off the first minor. Still down two players, Connor & Kellen Jones would go in on a two on one shorthanded, Connor made a nice pass over to Kellen, who got in too deep and got off a weak shot on Nielsen who made the easy save. Vernons strong penalty kill would only give up one shot killing off all three minors. Just as the final two minors expired Kellen Jones snuck inbehind the PG defence going in scoring on the breakaway beating Nielsen tying the game 1-1 at 14:19 Jones goal was unassisted. The play really opened up in the second half of the period with both teams going back and forth getting some good chances. Graeme Gordon couldnt cover the loose puck wich resulted in a PG scoring chance. Some wide open hockey with some good flow, made for some very entertaining hockey to end the period. The Vipers defence was having troubles in their own end with the strong forecheck by the Spruce Kings. The Spruce Kings come close in the final seconds getting two chances in close. A fairly even period tied 1-1 after 20 minutes of play. Prince George outshot Vernon 11-9.

2nd Period: The Spruce Kings come out skating hard, again really forchecking the Vipers defence causing several turnovers wich resulted in some early scoring chances. Eric Soderlund had troubles early in the period but was lucky to have Graeme Gordon bail him out with some big saves keeping Vernon in the game. After some early pressure by PG Mike Collins with a nice move inside the Prince George blueline scored a real nice goal at 5:09 putting Vernon ahead 2-1. Braden Pimm & Jonathan Milhouse recorded the assists. Steve Weinstein made an unreal stretch pass up ice feeding Connor Jones who went in all alone but was stopped by Kyle Nielsen. Back the other way Kyle Manlow was sent in on the parcial breakaway but with a Viper d-man right behind him, couldnt beat Gordon. Both teams seemed to be playing a little more cautious, waiting for a break. Vernon would get its first powerplay of the period. Braden Pimm was stopped at the side of the net on a good chance. Just as the penalty was coming to an end superpest Zac Rasmussen & Dan Nycholat dropped the gloves. Prince George was playing Vernon tight skating hard, laying out some good checks. Luke Hannas with a nice move at the Vernon blueline was stopped by Gordon. Late in the 2nd the Spruce Kings would get a late powerplay but it was the Vipers who had the better of the play while shorthanded. Rob Short on the parcial breakaway was stopped by Nielsen. Connor & Kellen Jones went in two on one but again couldnt beat Nielsen. Nielsen made some big saves in the 2nd period giving the Spruce Kings a chance to win. Mike Collins shorthanded with another chance as the Vipers were swarming with a man down. Vernons penalty kill was once again solid killing off the minor. After being outshot in the 1st period the Vipers did a much better job at only giving up seven shots in the 2nd period. Vernon was up 2-1 after 40 minutes of play. The Vipers outshot the Spruce Kings 12-7.

3rd Period: Mike Collins and Braden Pimm with a two on one early couldnt beat Nielsen who played well. Both teams come out looking very cautious waiting for one another to make the games first mistake. Prince George couldnt get much offence going as Vernons defence really stepped up their game playing a much more defensive game in the final period. The Spruce Kings would get a man advantage, a chance to tie the game, but once again it was Vernons penalty killers who had the better chances. Kevin Kraus, Connor Jones and Kellen Jones went in three on two but couldnt connect on a glorious scoring chance, back come PG with an odd man rush before Kraus showed good hustle coming back into the play to break up the scoring play. Still shorthanded a turnover in the PG zone Dylan Walchuk fed a wide open Rob Short who was all alone in the slot, blasting his shot topshelf past Nielsen at 9:17 giving Vernon the 3-1 lead. Walchuk & Adam Thompson picked up the assists. Just over a minute later Patrick McGillis cutting towards the goal, through a shot towards the net wich caught Kyle Nielsen off gaurd, as McGillis's shot beat Nielsen at 10:16 putting the Vipers up 4-1. McGillis's goal was unassisted. Shortly after Jonathan Milhouse went in for the breakaway but was stopped by Nielsen. The Vipers really started turning on the gas at this point as PG was having all kinds of trouble stopping the Vipers speed and skill up front. Mike Collins would add his 2nd goal of the night at 11:45 putting Vernon ahead 5-1 and in full control. Jonathan Milhouse & Braden Pimm with the assists. Pimm made an unreal pass through traffic in front, finding Collins in front who just had to tap the puck past Nielsen. Nick DeSousa with a great chance in front was stopped by Graeme Gordon. This was PGs only real good scoring chance of the period. The Vipers were really skating hard in the 3rd now taking it to the Spruce Kings. Cole Ikkala with a burst of speed was stopped on a parcial breakaway. Lyndon Martell would beat Gordon at 13:57 cutting the lead to 5-2. Brooks Robinson with the lone assist. Martells shot looked to have taken a funny bounce wich got past Gordon. In the final minute of play Eric Soderlund with a bit of a weak shot towards the net, somehow got past Nielsen and just crossed the goal line at 19:10 This was Soderlunds first BCHL goal. Dan Nycholat assisted on Soderlunds goal. Vernon would defeat Prince George 6-2 winning their 21st straight game. Shots were even 8-8.

Top Players: (Vernon)

Graeme Gordon (23 saves) Played well, made some big saves in the first two periods giving the Vipers a chance to win.

Dan Nycholat (1 assist) Played a heck of a game on the Vipers backend. Nycholat played very well at both ends of the rink, jumping up in the rush as well as looking very solid defensively. Nycholat has really come into his own as of late as one of Vernons best d-men.

Mike Collins (2 goals) Collins scored a real nice goal with a nice move to put Vernon ahead 2-1. Collins also played well at both ends of the rink, played well on the penalty kill.

Dylan Walchuk (1 assist) was flying all night, looked very strong up front. Walchuk with some amazing moves down low, went in and out of a few PG players.

Connor & Kellen (1 goal) Jones looked very dangerous shorthanded. Both brothers always seem to know where one another is, both made some nice passing plays shorthanded to come up with some good scoring chances. Connor was stopped on a breakaway in the 2nd period. Connor then setup Kellen shorthanded on a two on one, but Kellen was in too deep and couldnt get off a good quality shot.

Rob Short (1 goal) Was another player who was very dangerous shorthanded. Short played a solid game at both ends of the rink. This kid always comes to play, works hard and gives it his all. Short had some good chances through out tonights game.

Braden Pimm (2 assists) Made some real nice heads up plays all night. Pimm reads the ice very well, always seems to know where his two linemates are at all times. Pimms pass to setup Collins goal in the 3rd was unreal, the space he had to get that puck through the slot, to find Collins stick was incredible.

Jonathan Milhouse (2 assists) Also played well up front. Milhouse was stopped on the breakaway in the 3rd. Played very well, was skating hard. Milhouse battled hard down low.

Steve Weinstein played his best game of the season. Weinstein also made some real nice heads up plays all game. Weinstein setup Connor Jones for the breakaway in the 2nd period. Made some unreal passes through out tonights game. Weinstein has come along way from the start of last year and looked very strong tonight.

Top Players: (Prince George)

Wes McLeod rang a shot off the post while on the powerplay in the 1st period, wich would have given his team a 2-0 lead over Vernon. McLeod played very well on the PG point.

Justin Fillion (1 assist) another Spruce Kings d-man who looked very solid on the backend. Fillion made some smart plays, didnt panic clearing the front of the net.

Sam Muchalla The Spruce Kings Captain played very well. Come up with two big sht blocks early in the 1st. Showed alot of hustle all game, was always involved in the play.

Kyle Nielsen (26 saves) I think Nielsen would like to have back two goals but played well especially in the first two periods giving his team a chance to win. I think anytime a goaltender can keep the leagues highest scoring team to just two goals heading into the 3rd deserves a pat on the back. Nielsen made some big saves with the Vipers putting up some good scoring chances shorthanded. Nielsen didnt have much help in the 3rd giving up four goals.

Game Thoughts: (Vernon)

For most of the season the Vipers have been winning at ease with some very lopsided scores but tonight was a game where if you didnt catch the game you would think it was just another one of those games. Well it wasnt, tonight Vernon had to work very hard in order to win there 21st straight game. The Vipers were challenged by the Spruce Kings, wich forced the Vipers to really turn on the gas in the 3rd scoring four goals to end up winning 6-2. I thought Vernons defence had troubles in the 1st period and the first half of the 2nd period with Prince George's aggresive forecheck. PG's physical play, strong skating and hard work gave Vernon a bit of a scare until the final period. This team can score and score almost at will and it showed in the 3rd, give any of the teams four lines time or space and they will kill you. Im sure hearing about the big trade today losing two good team mates, must not have been easy to go out and still be focused. This was a good game for Vernon to play in, and right at the perfect time. The Vipers now move into the second half of their schedule now facing some tougher opponents. Games and wins were coming to easily, this was a good test for the Vipers. Give them credit they battled hard and come up with the two points. The Vipers will have to play just as hard if not harder when they face the Westside Warriors tomorrow night. Former Vipers head coahc and GM Troy Mick was at tonights game.

Game Thoughts: (Prince George)

Gice full credits to the Prince George Spruce Kings, they rolled into town and was the first time in a while to give the defending National Champs a real good scare. Down 2-1 heading into the final period this was anybodys game. PG was skating hard, played physical and didnt back down. The Spruce Kings had several good chances, really attacked the Vernon defence, causing several turnovers in the Vipers zone. In the 3rd I think the Vipers were just too strong and too powerful to try and slow down or even stop. PG just couldnt handle the Vipers speed, skill and overall depth as it was all Vernon in the 3rd period. The Spruce Kings got many of the bounces tonight but just couldnt capitalize. PG worked extremely hard and deserves a pat on the back for giving the Vipers a good run tonight. If Wes McLeods shot goes in and dosnt hit the post, you have a 2-0 PG lead.



Darrin Robak
Nick Amies
Drew George

Prince George:

Tyler Miller
Jeff Earnest
Stewart Lambert

3 Stars:

1st Star: Mike Collins (2 goals)
2nd Star: Jonathan Milhouse (2 assists)
3rd Star: Sawyer Mick

(Game Preview) Prince George @ Vernon:

Prince George (11-16-1-1) @ Vernon (27-1-0-0)

Last Game Played:

Sunday November 22nd Vernon defeated Burnaby 8-1
Saturday November 21st Prince George defeated Quesnel 11-4

Tonight is the third meeting of the season between the defending Royal Bank Cup Champion Vernon Vipers & the Prince George Spruce Kings. Prince George makes its first visit to the Wesbild Centre this year. The Vipers are riding a 20 game winning streak heading into tonights game. The Spruce Kings are playing their first game of a current three game road trip after coming off a huge 11-4 win over Quesnel over the weekend.

Let’s take a look at the Vernon Vipers:

The Vipers currently sit #1 overall in Canada & in the league as the BCHL’s best team with a record of 27-1-0-0 eight points up on the Penticton Vees. Vernon has scored 159 goals and given up the least amount of goals with just 45. The Vipers have won 20 straight games heading into tonights contest with PG returning from a perfect 3-0 road trip over the weekend with wins over Surrey, Langley & Burnaby. Going back to last years Playoffs the Vipers are 38-1 in their last 39 games. The Vipers are 11-1 on home ice and have the leagues best attendance with an average of 1928 fans per game. The Vipers have five players in the leagues top 20 in scoring. Mike Collins (20-25-45), Braden Pimm (14-23-37), Dylan Walchuk (13-23-36), Connor Jones (19-15-34) & Kellen Jones (6-28-34). Graeme Gordon & Blake Voth also lead the league as the BCHL’s top two goaltenders. Gordon with a record of 20-1 with 1 shutout and a GAA of 1.61 Voth has a record of 7-0 with 2 shutouts and a GAA of 1.43 Vernon is finally back home after playing its last 10 of 12 games on the road. The Vipers now home faceoff against Prince George & Westside this week. Vernon is 2-0 against the Spruce Kings this season winning 5-1 and 5-2 in PG. The Vipers cant take the Spruce Kings lightly and will need a full team effort tonight, PG is 7-4-0-1 on the road & has won four out of its last five games away from home. Both teams will be looking for a good start, Vernon needs to jump on the Spruce Kings a team that may have some bus legs after a long trip up to the Okanagan. If the Vipers can jump on Prince George early and get up by a few goals, it will be hard for the Spruce Kings to have to try and battle back down a few goals against the leagues top defensive teams. Kellen Jones has atleast one assist in five straight games, while Dan Nycholat has atleast one assist in four straight games. Mike Collins has points in nine straight games, Dan Nycholat has points in seven straight games, while Connor & Kellen Jones have points in five straight games. Vipers Captain Kevin Kraus & Sawyer Mick both missed last Sundays game vs. Burnaby due to minor injuries, both players are suppose to make their return to the Vipers lineup tonight.

Players To Watch:

Mike Collins (20-25-45)
Braden Pimm (14-23-37)
Dylan Walchuk (13-23-36)
Connor Jones (19-15-34)
Kellen Jones (6-28-34)
Jonathan Milhouse (9-21-30)
Cory Kane (12-17-29)
Rob Short (11-15-26)
Dan Nycholat (4-18-22)
Cole Ikkala (10-12-22)
Bryce Kakoske (6-13-19)
Kevin Kraus (2-16-18)
Adam Thompson (2-10-12)
Graeme Gordon (20-1 Record-1 Shutout-1.61 GAA)

Let’s take a look at the Prince George Spruce Kings:

The Spruce Kings currently sit in 5th place with a record of 11-16-1-1 one point up on the 6th place Quesnel Millionaires. The Spruce Kings have scored 105 goals but have had troubles keeping the puck out of the net, giving up 120 goals. Prince George is 4-12-1-0 on home ice but is an amazing 7-4-0-1 on the road and are 4-6-0-0 in their last 10 games. Can Prince George be just the second team other then Penticton to knock off the Vipers? Well its going to take a full 60 minutes to try and snap the Vipers 20 game winning streak. Vernon is the first BCHL team to win 20 straight games since the Alberni Valley Bulldogs won 20 straight games back in the 2005-06 season. The Spruce Kings need to try and stop or atleast slow down the leagues highest scoring team. Vernons speed, skill and depth is keys in their winning ways, PG needs to play physical against a smaller Vipers hockey club. Superpest Zac Rasmussen knows all about the Vipers after playing with Salmon Arm before being traded to PG earlier this season. Rasmussen needs to try and get the Vipers off their game, get under their skin. The Spruce Kings will need lots of pucks and traffic at either Graeme Gordon or Blake Voth, in order to try and beat the leagues two top goaltenders. Prince George has two players in the leagues top 20 in scoring. Brooks Robinson (10-31-41) & Sam Muchalla (13-23-36). Lyndon Martell has goals in three straight games, while Josh Pineiro has atleast one assist in his last six games. Joe Morgan & Brad Bourke also have atleast one assist in their last four games. RJay Berra currently is the Spruce Kinsg ironman playing in 29 consecutive games. For more info, stats and news on the Spruce Kings check out the Spruce Kings Crusader blog,

Players To Watch:

Brooks Robinson (10-31-41)
Sam Muchalla (13-23-36)
Zac Rasmussen (11-15-26)
Wes McLeod (7-18-25)
Josh Pineiro (6-17-23)
Joe Morgan (6-15-21)
RJay Berra (8-10-18)
Justin Fillion (3-15-18)
Nick DeSousa (11-6-17)
Brad Bourke (5-11-16)
Jeff Earnest (8-7-15)
Steve Papciak (4-1-1 Record 3.37 GAA)

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

Sunday, October 18th @ Prince George: Vernon won 5-1

The Vipers went up 3-0 on goals from, Connor Jones, Dylan Walchuk, & Bryce Kakoske before Sam Muchalla got PG on the board. Cory Kane & Braden Pimm finished off Vernons scoring giving them the 5-1 victory. The Vipers had period leads of 2-0 and 4-1. Connor Jones, Cory Kane, & Kellen Jones each had two point nights. Graeme Gordon made just 18 saves for the win. Alex Wright made 36 saves taking the loss. Vernon outshot Prince George 41-19.

Friday, November 6th @ Prince George: Vernon wins 5-2

RJay Berra opened the scoring at 5:49 of the 1st period before Dylan Walchuk with two, Mike Collins and Drew George scored four straight goals for Vernon putting the Vipers up 4-1 in the 3rd. Jonathan Gibson would score PGs second goal of the game midway through the 3rd cutting the lead to 4-2 before Dylan Walchuk would score his 3rd goal of the night into an empty net giving Vernon the 5-2 victory. Graeme Gordon made 24 saves for the win, while Kyle Nielsen made 26 saves taking the loss. Vernon outshot Prince George 30-26

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

Prince George:

Brooks Robinson
Sam Muchalla
Zac Rasmussen
Wes McLeod
Josh Pineiro
Joe Morgan
RJay Berra
Justin Fillion
Nick DeSousa
Brad Bourke
Jeff Earnest
Lyndon Martell
Jonathan Gibson
Kyle Manlow
Luke Hannas
Tyler Miller
Jeremy Wiebe
Stewart Lambert
Jesse Scrimbit
Clayton McEwan
Jeff Datoff
Steve Papciak
Kyle Nielsen

R.I.P Gerry Green

The Vernon Vipers lost long time season ticket holder Gerry Green who passed away November 19th, 2009 after a courageous battle with cancer. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Green family.

Former Viper Pierce Named Centennials Interm Head Coach:

Brian Wiebe has posted on his Merritt Centennials blog that head coach/assistant GM Dylan Forsythe and GM/assistant coach Tyler Forsythe are no longer with the Merritt Centennials. We don't know at this time whether the two brothers resigned or were dismissed and reportedly Luke Pierce will take over on an interim basis as head coach and GM. No word on who his assistant coaches may be. I will have more on this situation when I hear more. For now keep posted on Brian Wiebe's Merritt Centennials Blog,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Vipers Wipe Out Coast:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers wipe out coast

Published: November 24, 2009

Even strength, powerplay, or shorthanded – it doesn’t seem to matter to the Vernon Vipers. They are going to find a way to score.

The Snakes, who remain No. 1 in the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s weekly power rankings – the Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) and Kingston Voyageurs (OJAHL) are second and third respectively – have scored more shorthanded goals (14) than they have given up on the powerplay (13).

They fired shorties 27 seconds apart on the same penalty in B.C. Hockey League play Sunday at Bill Copeland Arena, derailing the Burnaby Express 8-1.

Vernon gonged the Langley Chiefs 6-2 Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre, and are now riding a 20-game win streak, two shy of the franchise record. Going back to last year’s playoffs, the Vipers have been virtually untouchable at 38-1.

“You have to give our guys credit that they come to play,” said Vipers’ assistant coach Jason Williamson. “Even if the other team shows up, our guys seem to be able to crank it up a notch and we’re able to wear other teams down.”

Bryce Kakoske (6th goal) walked in from the point, took a nice feed from Cole Ikkala and snapped one top shelf to open the scoring before 572 fans against Burnaby (8-17-0-3).

Mike Collins (18th), who earned first star with his first-ever BCHL hat trick, made it 2-0 Vernon on an odd-man rush with Braden Pimm and Garrett Noonan at 14:24.

Rookie Drew George added another for Vernon (27-1) before the period ended.

Burnaby’s best chance came when Simon Denis threaded a nice stretch pass to send Dylan Herold on a breakaway, but the Express captain was stopped by netminder Graeme Gordon (12 saves).

“They (Burnaby) were pretty frustrated after the first period,” said Williamson, noting the shots were 17-2 in Vernon’s favour after 20 minutes, and 38-13 overall.

Collins (19th), who buried a gorgeous cross-ice feed from Jonathan Milhouse, kept Vernon rolling in the second frame.

Pimm (14th), on a shorthanded 2-on-1 with Kellen Jones, and Collins (20th), stripping David Dotan as he came out from behind the net, again shorthanded, put the game out of reach.

Harrison May, who allowed six goals on 20 shots, was pulled in favour of Nick Enegren (10 saves).

“It feels good, it’s been two years coming,” grinned Collins, of his hat trick. “It’s (shorthanded goals) all down to hard work, taking time and space away from them to force plays.”

Connor Jones (19th), on a one-timer set up by Kellen, and Ikkala (10th), crashing the net to drive home a rebound off Dylan Walchuk’s shot, completed the Vernon assault.

Express call-up Malcolm McKinney spoiled Graeme Gordon’s shutout with 45 seconds remaining, banking a shot off the Viper keeper from the corner.

Defenceman Kevin Kraus and forward Sawyer Mick missed the game to nurse minor injuries.

On Saturday, it was the line of Connor (2+1), Kellen (1+3) and Cory Kane (1+2) that did the damage against Langley (14-12-1-2).

Ikkala rounded out the Snakes’ attack with a late first-period marker.

“They came out pretty hard, and Blake (Voth, 23 saves) was pretty good in the first period,” said Williamson. “Then Connor (second star) and Kellen (first star) took over the game. There’s not much you can do when they’re on.”

Mac Roy handled the Chiefs’ offence with his 12 and 13th goals of the season.

Regarding their win streak, Collins says the Vipers don’t really get too worked up about it.

“We don’t let that bother us too much. We know the task at hand and all we can do is control our effort.

“Krauser (Vipers’ captain Kevin Kraus) keeps us online – the leadership is definitely there and we all know what we have to do.”

Added Williamson: “We’ve just got to keep pushing them. If they want that extra ice time, they have to play on both sides of the puck. The older guys like Pimm just do it automatically. If the younger guys see our 20s doing that, then they realize they better do it too.”

Vernon faces the Prince George Spruce Kings (11-16-1-1) Thursday night, and the Westside Warriors (18-9-1) Friday night at Wesbild Centre.

In their only other meeting, Collins scored with two seconds remaining to ground the host Warriors 4-3 at Royal LePage Place in October.

“They’ve (Kings) got some skilled guys that can hurt you, so you’ve got to be ready to play,” said Williamson. “And obviously Westside is rolling (7-2-1 in their last 10 games).”