Thursday, December 31, 2009

Salmon Arm 4 Vernon 2

I was at tonight's BCHL game as Salmon Arm defeated Vernon 4-2 in front of 1,268 fans at the Sunwave Centre.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Graeme Gordon
Salmon Arm: Tony Ierfino

1st Period: Salmon Arm waisted very little time jumping on Vernon early and often. Just 29 seconds into the hockey game, the Silverbacks got the play in deep, with a very lack luster start to the game, the Vipers looked very flat on the opening shift. Greg Noyes setup David Killip who spotted a wide open Mark Zengerle who beat Graeme Gordon putting the Backs up 1-0. Killip and Noyes with the helpers. Off the draw the Silverbacks got the play again deep in the Vipers zone, Lumby product Jayson Reardon and former Trail Smoke Eater fired the puck towards Gordon, a scramble in the crease with players banging away at the puck, before Josh Manson beat Gordon at 1:03 putting Salmon Arm 2-0 early. Reardon & Bobby Lipsett collected the assists. Graeme Gordon tried talking to Steve Papp as Gordon thought their should have been a whistle on the play. Salmon Arm controlled the play early as Vernon looked flat and disorganised at times. The Backs were up 5-0 in shots early as the Vipers didnt record their first shot till the first three and a half minutes. The Silverbacks had the play in the Vernon zone for the first four or five minutes before the Vipers were rewarded with the games first powerplay. Salmon Arms penalty kill looked very good clogging up the shooting lanes, giving the Vipers no time or space to get any pucks towards the net, as the Silverbacks would kill off the minor. Vernon with just a single shot on the man advantage. The Vipers didnt seem to have any jump-energy getting outshot 9-2 early. League leading scorer Mark Zengerle with a quick shot from the slot was stopped by Graeme Gordon. Gordon had to make a save off David Killip from in close. Devin Gannon played a spirited contest getting under the skin of the Vipers. Both Gannon & Bryce Kakoske had words after a whistle, some pushing and shoving occured before both players were sent to the penalty box. As the period went along Vernon seemed to gain some momentum. Vernon would get a two man advantage and make the Backs pay. Off the draw Connor Jones made a nice pass throught the slot setting up Jonathan Milhouse who beat Tony Ierfino on the powerplay at 14:23 Jones & Curtis Gedig with the assists. With Vernon still on the powerplay the Silverbacks penalty kill went back to work and did a great job at killing off the second of the back to back minors. The Vipers who were being outplayed and outshot early now had climbed back catching up in shots. Vernon would get a late powerplay but once again Salmon Arms penalty kill was solid killing off the minor. Connor Jones with a shot from the side of the net, just about snuck past Ierfino who was quick to clear the loose puck from the side of his crease. Salmon Arm was the better of the two teams haing a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of play. Salmon Arm outshot Vernon 12-11.

2nd Period: Vernon for the second straight period come out flat, as the Backs with some early presure but couldnt register a shot on goal. With no real quality scoring chances early as both teams went the first four minutes without a shot on net. Vernon seemed to turn the tables finally getting their legs going. Braden Pimm with a breakaway was stopped by Tony Ierfino. Shortly after Jonathan Milhouse & Cory Kane with a two on one, Milhouse made a nice pass over to Kane who missed on the open net. Vernon would get another chance with the powerplay, but once again Salmon Arms penalty kill was very sloid shutting down Vernons league leading scoring attack. Vernon struggled with the man advantage all night. The Vipers who played a much better period couldnt burry their chances. Jonathan Milhouse and Connor Jones two on one, but Jones couldnt connect on the pass. The Backs would finally get their first powerplay of the night but it was now the Vipers penalty kill who was very good killing off the minor. Shortly after the Vipers would get another powerplay but once again the strong penalty kill from Salmon Arm killed off another minor. The Backs penalty kill looked very solid tonight. Vernon carried most of the play in the period, give credit to the Vipers defence who played a heck of a period giving up just two shots. Late in the 2nd Adam Thompson took a four minute high sticking penalty and it cost them. Vernon looked very strong on the penalty kill early keeping the Backs to the outside, at one point Rob Short & Dylan Walchuk played keep away between the two players, ragging off some valuable time on the penalty kill, back come the Silverbacks on the odd man rush, Walchuk didnt change and got caught on a long shift, the Vipers couldnt clear the zone as the puck come back to the point where Mark Zengerle's shot was tipped in front by David Killip with just four seconds remaining in the period. Salmon Arm went up 3-1 as Zengerle with the lone assist. The Backs were up 3-1 after 40 minutes of play after the Vipers were the better of the two teams. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 6-2.

3rd Period: For the third straight period the Vipers come out flat, the defence got caught standing around as Tyler Gubb with a shot off the end boards picked up the rebound before Gordon had to be sharp pouncing on the loose puck. Salmon Arm with some good early presure got the Vipers running around in their own end, wich resulted in Connor Jones hauling down his man putting the Silverbacks on just their third powerplay of the night. Vernon with a great chance shorthanded went in three on two as Curtis Gedig setup Mike Collins who tipped his shot just high and over the top corner. The Vipers would kill off the minor. Vernon finally seemed to turn it up a notch just before the midway mark, Braden Pimm with some hard work down low tried setting up a play in front as the Vipers couldnt connect on the pass through the slot. Braden Pimm, Sawyer Mick & Steve Weinstein come in three on one, after some nice three way passing Weinstein eventually found the back of the net at 8:05 cutting the lead to 3-2. Pimm & Mick with the assists. The Vipers carried the play from here on in getting some good chances in close. Kevin Kraus's blast from the circle was stopped by Ierfino. Mike Collins was stopped in the slot. Salmon Arm was back on their heels as the Vipers were putting on some good presure. Rob Short was stopped by Ierfino. Curtis Gedig walked in from the circle, making a nice move couldnt get off a good shot in close. As the clock was now against the Vipers, Salmon Arm with some solid forecheck hemmed the Vipers deep in their own end, as Vernon couldnt get out of their own end, as the Backs killed off a good minute and a half leaving Vernon with just over a minute and a half to try and get the games tying goal. On the next play the Vipers would get the play in deep as Gordon headed to the bench for the extra attacker, with some good presure the Vipers couldnt beat Tony Ierfino who played very well late in the game. Connor Jones tried wacking away at a loose puck in the crease, as Mark Zengerle then put Jones in a headlock as both players exhcnaged words. Salmon Arms strong forecheck forced the play out over the blueline forcing Dan Nycholat back into his own zone, Nycholat with a long pass through the middle ended up on the stick of David Killip who hit the empty net putting the Silverbacks up 4-2 at 19:38 the goal was unassisted. After the final buzzer sounded the Backs would defeat the Vipers 4-2. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 12-7.

Top Players: (Vernon)

Curtis Gedig (1 assist) Was Vernons best d-man on the night. Gedig looked very strong coming out from his own end, carried the puck on several rushes up ice. Looked very strong with and without the puck. Made some nice heads up plays.

Braden Pimm (1 assist) Was strong down low and in front for the Vipers. Didnt win many draws early in tonights game but won some big draws in the 3rd period.

Top Players: (Salmon Arm)

Tyler Gubb had some good chances, played well up front. Was working hard all night.

Josh Manson (1 goal) Had a very strong game up front for the Backs. Manson played physical, was a force down low and in and around the net. Battled hard all game.

Devin Gannon played a spirited game, especially in the first two periods. Was getting under the skin of several Viper players. Getting involved in some minor scrimiages after the whistle.

Mark Zengerle (1 goal & 1 assist) I didnt think Zengerle was as dangerous as in past games but was a force tonight for the Silverbacks. Zengerle with some smart heads up plays setup a nice goal and created chances. Zengerle made some real nice passes tonight.

Tony Ierfino (30 saves) Ierfino picks up his first win against the Vipers this season. Ierfino was very solid between the pipes making some key saves in the 2nd and 3rd periods. Ierfino looked very calm and relaxed between the pipes, didnt give up any big rebounds, and saw everything fired at him.

Game Thoughts: (Vernon)

The Vipers need to play a full 60 minutes if they expect and want to win. I wasnt overly impressed with the teams effort and performance tonight. All three periods the Vipers got off to a slow start, looking very flat. Most of the night the team didnt have much jump or energy. I didnt see that strong aggresive forecheck Vernon fans are use to watching each and every game, the Vipers didnt win many battles or races and I thought didnt compete like we have seen them this season. Vernon did get things going and play a fairly good 2nd period but only recorded six shots on net, couldnt capitalise on two two on ones and a breakaway. In the third it took them the opening six or seven minutes to get going, yes they played hard and finished off strong getting some great chances, but where was this performace during the rest of the game. Specialty teams was the difference, Vernon went 1-7 struggling on the man advantage. Going down 2-0 just over a minute into the game wasnt the start the team wanted, giving up that late powerplay goal with just four seconds remaining in the 2nd period was a killer. I saw several players tonight who looked tired, just didnt have their best game. Mark Ferner was not behind the bench tonight as Jason Williamson was doing the coaching duties.

Game Thoughts: (Salmon Arm)

The Backs come out hungry scoring two quick goals putting Vernon back on their heels. I thought Salmon Arm played one of its best games against Vernon this year. The Silverbacks played some undisaplined hockey but the teams strong penalty kill bailed them out. I was very impressed with the Backs specialty teams, very good on the penalty kill. Salmon Arm burried their chances, took advantage of their opportunities. Rylan Ferster was behind the bench tonight. Salmon Arm picks up its first win of the season against Vernon. Both teams get to play one another Saturday in Vernon.



Darrin Robak
Kellen Jones (Injured)

Salmon Arm:

Rick Soo
Brandon Mistal

3 Stars:

1st Star: Tony Ierfino (30 saves)
2nd Star: Josh Manson (1 goal)
3rd Star: Braden Pimm (1 assist)

Snakes Smoke Trail:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Snakes smoke Trail

Published: December 31, 2009

For a B.C. Hockey League coach, the first game back after the Christmas break is a lot like presents under the tree – they never know what they’re going to get. Players could come out like a lightning quick Playstation 3, or they might come out flatter than a five-pound fruitcake.

It turns out the Vernon Vipers had plenty of holiday spirit left after a nine-day break, as they iced the host Trail Smoke Eaters 4-1 before 981 fans Tuesday night at Cominco Arena.

With very few whistles and just 12 penalty minutes (three minors for each team), the game had plenty of flow and was over in less than two hours.

After a scoreless first period, the Snakes, who regrouped for practice Sunday at Wesbild Centre, got on the board when Sawyer Mick found a loose puck in a goalmouth scramble and backhanded his ninth of the season at 3:04 of the second.

“Everyone was trying to feel out the pace of the game and get back into things at first,” said Mick, who, along with three turkey dinner, and getting the usual clothes and gift certificates for Christmas, helped sponsor an African village with some pigs.

“A simple game in a first game back is what you need. Winning battles, taking the body – that’s what’s going to get you back in the swing of things.”

Added Vipers’ head coach Mark Ferner: “When you’ve got guys coming back from holiday, both coaches were probably a little concerned with how their teams were going to come out.

“We were happy with our start being on the road. We didn’t score (in the first period), but we took some momentum going into the second.

“It was pretty physical at times, but the guys (referees) just let us play, which was nice. I can honestly say we didn’t have any passengers.”

With the Vipers (34-2-0-2) getting some pressure in Trail’s zone, Jonathan Milhouse fed Connor Jones (24th) in the slot where he beat netminder Garrett Beckwith for the eventual winner at 15:36.

Thomas Abenante (5th) pulled the Smokies (12-24-1-2) within a goal late in the second period when defenceman Garrett Noonan fanned on a pass, allowing the Trail native to go in on netminder Graeme Gordon. Third star Wade Bennett earned the assist.

Gordon made 25 stops for his 25th win, while the trigger-happy Snakes peppered Beckwith with 40 shots.

Early in the third, the Snakes’ Bryce Kakoske showed some good backchecking to cause a neutral zone turnover. The Vernon product got the puck back to Noonan, who sent Braden Pimm on a solo mission, dangling past a defender and solving Beckwith for his 16th goal.

Second star Cory Kane took a slick 2-on-1 setup pass from Jones, ripped a shot past Beckwith from the slot to complete the Vipers’ attack midway through the third period.

“Very rarely does a goalie make a save on him from there because he shoots it so well,” said Ferner. “He either picks his spot, misses the net or hits the goalie.”

The Vipers ended 2009 with a New Year’s Eve tilt against the Salmon Arm SilverBacks (20-15-2-2) at the Sunwave Centre. The two teams meet again Saturday night at Wesbild.

(Game Preview) Vernon @ Salmon Arm:

Vernon (34-2-0-2) @ Salmon Arm (20-15-2-2)

Last Game Played:

Tuesday December 29th Vernon defeated Trail 4-1
Tuesday December 29th Westside defeated Salmon Arm 7-3

Tonight is the fifth meeting of the season & back to back games between the defending Royal Bank Cup Champion Vernon Vipers & the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. Vernon comes into tonights game on a three game winning streak. Salmon Arm is riding a one game losing streak.

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 34-2-0-2 six points up on the 2nd place Penticton Vees. Vernon has scored a league high 199 goals and given up the least amount of goals with just 67. Vernon has the leagues best road record at 18-0-0-1 Vernon is 7-1-0-2 in their last 10 games. The Vipers have three players in the leagues top 20 in scoring. Mike Collins (23-33-56), Connor Jones (24-25-49) & Braden Pimm (16-28-44). Graeme Gordon & Blake Voth also lead the league as the BCHL’s top two goaltenders. Gordon with a record of 25-4 with 1 shutout and a GAA of 1.80 Voth has a record of 9-0 with 2 shutouts and a GAA of 1.44 Tonight is the final game of a small two game road trip for the Vipers (Trail & Salmon Arm).

The Vipers need to jump on the Silverbacks early, a team that has just one win in their last five games.

Kellen Jones is still out of the Vipers lineup with a broken jaw.

Vernon needs to get lots of pucks and traffic towards Tony Ierfino, a goaltender that has played very well against the Vipers this season.

Dylan Walchuk & Cole Ikkala need to get going, both players have been very quiet as of late.

Graeme Gordon will try to go 5-0 against his former team.

The Vipers need to play a full 60 minutes, in their last three games vs. Salmon Arm the Vipers have allowed the Silverbacks back into the games giving up some late 3rd period goals to make the final few minutes very interesting.

Players To Watch:

Mike Collins (23-31-56)
Connor Jones (24-25-49)
Braden Pimm (16-28-44)
Jonathan Milhouse (15-28-43)
Dylan Walchuk (14-25-39)
Kellen Jones (7-29-36)
Cory Kane (17-20-37)
Bryce Kakoske (10-21-31)
Rob Short (12-17-29)
Dan Nycholat (4-25-29)
Cole Ikkala (12-15-27)
Kevin Kraus (3-16-19)
Curtis Gedig (9-5-14)
Graeme Gordon (25-4 Record-1 Shutout-1.80 GAA)

Let’s take a look at the Salmon Arm Silverbacks:

The Silverbacks currently sit in 4th place with a record of 20-15-2-2 The Backs have scored 154 goals but have had troubles keeping the puck out of their net giving up 141 goals. Salmon Arm is 9-6-2-2 on home ice. Salmon Arm is 4-5-0-1 in their last 10 games. The Silverbacks have two players in the leagues top 20 in scoring. Mark Zengerle (22-62-84) & David Killip (23-32-55)

League leading scorer Mark Zengerle needs to carry the Silverbacks on his back if the team wants any chance at knocking off the Vipers.

Tony Ierfino who is 0-4 against Vernon this season, has played well against the Vipers but has yet to come up with a victory. Ierfino will have to make the big save when needed tonight to give his team a chance to win.

The Backs need to get off to a good start and cant fall behind early. Salmon Arm seems to turn things up late in their last three meetings vs. Vernon but fall one goal short.

The Backs need a full 60 minute effort in order to knock off the defending RBC Cup Champions.

Tonight is the first game of a home and home series between these two teams.

Salmon Arm needs to watch the Vipers speed, cycle and strong forecheck.

Specialty teams will be the difference in tonights game. Both teams need to stay out of the penalty box.

Players To Watch:

Mark Zengerle (22-62-84)
David Killip (23-32-55)
Corey Chakeen (23-18-41)
Greg Noyes (15-26-41)
Travis Statchuk (14-24-38)
Tyler Gubb (17-19-36)

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

Friday, September 11th @ Vernon: Vernon wins 3-2

The Vipers raised the 2009 RBC Cup banner to the rafters in the teams home opener in a 3-2 victory over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. Mike Collins (2 goals) & Braden Pimm (2 assists) lead the attack for the Vipers, Cole Ikkala scored the game winner at 17:23 of the 3rd to give Vernon the 3-2 victory. Graeme Gordon defeated his former team making 21 saves between the pipes. Greg Noyes & Charlie Vasaturo scored for Salmon Arm, Tony Ierfino made 39 saves in the loss.

Saturday, September 12th @ Salmon Arm: Vernon wins 4-3 Overtime

Vernon took a 2-0 lead into the 3rd period on goals from Mike Collins and Jonathan Milhouse before the Silverbacks scored three goals in the final period sending the game to Overtime. David Killip, Mark Zengerle & Travis Statchuk scored for Salmon Arm. Dylan Walchuk scored Vernons only goal in the 3rd. Vipers d-man Adam Thompson ended the game at 2.37 of the extra period giving the Vipers the 4-3 win to improve to 2-0 on the season. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 32-26 Graeme Gordon made 23 saves for the win, while Tony Ierfino made 28 saves taking the loss.

Tuesday, November 3rd @ Salmon Arm: Vernon wins 4-3

David Killip & Tyler Gubb put Salmon Arm up 2-0 after the 1st period before the Vipers would get 2nd period goals from, Jonathan Milhouse (shorthanded) & Sawyer Mick. Bryce Kakoske & Dylan Walchuk would give Vernon a 4-2 lead in the 3rd scoring four straight goals before Greg Noyes got the Backs within one goal at 15:49 of the 3rd period. Vernon would hang on for the 4-3 victory. Graeme Gordon made 22 saves vs. his former team, while Tony Ierfino made 24 saves in the loss.

Friday, December 11th @ Vernon: Vernon wins 3-2

Sawyer Mick put Vernon up 1-0 at 7:18 of the opening period giving the Vipers a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play. Braden Pimm put the Vipers up 2-0 at 18:01 of the 2nd period, as Vernon was up 2-0 after 40 minutes of play. Bryce Kakoske just 32 seconds into the 3rd on the powerplay gave Vernon a commanding 3-0 lead. Josh Manson put Salmon Arm on the scoreboard at 2:28 cutting the lead to 3-1. Mark Zengerle got the Backs to within one at 17:55 but Vernon would hang on for the 3-2 victory. The Vipers outshot the Silverbacks 31-14.

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

Salmon Arm:

Mark Zengerle
David Killip
Corey Chakeen
Greg Noyes
Travis Statchuk
Tyler Gubb
Charlie Vasaturo
Josh Manson
Christopher Hoe
Devin Gannon
Bobby Lipsett
Matt Cassidy
Matt Ridley
Josh Monk
Rick Soo
Brett Knowles
Jayson Reardon
Justin Krabben
Brandon Mistal
Levi Hantula
Tony Ierfino
Kurt Williams

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Persley Traded To Chilliwack:

This is posted on Gregg Drinnan's Blog:

Prince Albert-Chilliwack Trade:

One small trade from Monday as the Prince Albert Raiders dealt F Brendan Persley to Chilliwack for a 13th-round pick in the 2010 bantam draft. Persley,a 16-year-old from Kelowna, was an eighth-round pick in the 2008 draft. He has 25 points in 18 games with the junior B Penticton Lakers of the Kootenay International junior league.

Persley started the season with the BCHL's Vernon Vipers before being assigned to the KIJHL's Penticton Lakers back on October 15th. Since then Persley has been called up as an "AP" player with the Vipers playing in two games since being assigned with Penticton.

Former Viper Dubielewicz & Team Canada Eliminated From Spengler Cup:

This is posted on the National Post website:

Canada eliminated from Spengler Cup

Published: Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Canadian men's team lost 4-3 to Dynamo Minsk on Wednesday to end the hockey team's quest for the gold medal.

Minsk, from Belarus, will face either Germany's Adler Mannheim or Davos in the finale. The two squared off later Wednesday as the round-robin portion of the tournament came to a close.

Canada received goals from Shawn Heins of Eganville, Ont., Kurtis McLean of Kirkland Lake, Ont., and Jean-Pierre Vigier of Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes, Man.

Canada and Dynamo Minsk traded goals in the first period before the Belarusians broke it open with a pair of goals in the second.

Canada finished the Spengler Cup at 2-2.

Vipers Prevail In Trail:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Vipers prevail in Trail

by don klepp | Added 2009-12-30

Once again, Connor Jones was the difference in Trail on Tuesday, as the Vernon Vipers prevailed 4-1 in a tight contest that showed how far the Smoke Eaters have progressed since their slow start to the season.

In the opening period, the teams took a few minutes to shake off the rust and then the game accelerated into an exciting affair, with both teams generating scoring chances. In a fast-paced opening 20 minutes, the Vipers had six chances to Trail’s three, but goalie Garrett Beckwith was fortunate that several bounces in his crease did not cross the goal line. Also, Cole Ikkala hit the post at the 10 minute mark, but the period ended scoreless.

The line of Ikkala, Dylan Walchuk, and Rob Short continued to play with verve and intensity in the second period. However, they had no puck luck and they were the only Viper line to be held off the score sheet in this game.

Vernon’s fourth line opened the scoring at 3:04 of the second period. Defencemen Curtis Gedig and Dan Nycholat took turns holding the puck in at the Trail Blue line. Then, Sawyer Mick picked the pocket of Trail defenceman Eric Walker and swept a low 20-foot backhand past Beckwith.

Trail had come out of the first intermission with fire in their eyes and had controlled much of the first three minutes of the second period, but Mick’s goal gave the momentum back to the Vipers, who directed rush after rush at Beckwith for the next 15 minutes.

Connor Jones notched the eventual game winner at 15:36 on a combination play with line mates Cory Kane and Jonathan Milhouse. Kane dumped the puck in the Trail zone’s right corner where Milhouse retrieved it and fed Jones who was coming though the faceoff circle. His quick shot beat Beckwith high on the stick side.

Thomas Abenante brought Trail back into the game with a goal at 17:34. He received a crisp pass from Wade Bennett who had stolen the puck on an aggressive forecheck. Abenante rifled a shot past Graeme Gordon from the high slot. The goal energized the Smoke Eaters, who finished the period as strongly as they had opened it.

Braden Pimm’s hustle and tenacity led to several scoring chances in the first two periods, but the puck did not bounce favorably for him. However, he finally capitalized at 5:01 of the third. After a neutral zone turnover, he and Mike Collins raced into the Smoke Eater zone with one Trail defenceman back. Using Collins as a decoy, Pimm moved left and then right, before tucking a backhand under Beckwith.

On another odd-man rush that resulted from a red line turnover, Connor Jones waited for just the right moment and slipped a backhand pass to Cory Kane who promptly ripped a wrist shot past Beckwith at 10:27.

Kane’s goal capped a freewheikkalaeling third period during which the Vipers edged the Smokies in shots, 14-13. The lively back boards coughed up several unexpected bounces, especially at Vernon’s end, but Graeme Gordon alertly snapped up all of them with his glove.

Game Notes:

• With this victory, the Vipers swept the six-game season series with Trail, by a combined score of 35-10.

• Connor Jones and Cory Kane led the Vipers with six goals each in the six contests.

• Each team went scoreless on two power plays in this game, as referee Grant Tyson was content to let the teams play.

• The Vipers have now scored the first goal in 28 of 38 games this season. They have won 26 of those games and lost two in overtime.

• The Vipers have a chance to shatter goals-against record of 137 set by Penticton in 2006-07. At their current pace, the Vipers will allow just 107 scores this year.

• With Jonathan Milhouse subbing for the injured Kellen Jones on the line with Cory Kane and Connor Jones, the line has registered 12 goals and 28 points in the past four games.

• The line of Sam Mellor, Scott Jacklin, and Nick Sandor looked the most dangerous of the Trail combinations, but they were unable to solve Graeme Gordon, who was sharp on plays in and around the Viper crease.

• With the win, Vernon moved went six points ahead of Penticton in the race for first in the Interior Division.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Vernon 4 Trail 1

1st Period:

No Scoring

2nd Period:

Vernon Vipers at 3:04 - Sawyer Mick (unassisted)
Vernon Vipers at 15:36 - Connor Jones from Jonathan Milhouse and Cory Kane
Trail Smoke Eaters at 17:34 - Thomas Abenante from Wade Bennett

3rd Period:

Vernon Vipers at 5:01 - Braden Pimm from Bryce Kakoske and Garrett Noonan
Vernon Vipers at 10:27 - Cory Kane from Connor Jones and Jonathan Milhouse

3 Stars:

1st Star: Dan Nycholat
2nd Star: Cory Kane
3rd Star: Wade Bennett

Former Viper Dubielewicz & Team Canada Drop First Game:

This is posted on the CBC website:

German team trips Canada at Spengler Cup

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Daniel Steiner and Francois Methot also scored in Mannheim's 5-2 win at Davos, Switzerland.

Jean-Guy Trudel and Shawn Heins replied for the Canadians, who dropped to 2-1 after opening the event with a pair of wins.

"If this was the stinker, it was good to get it out of our system tonight," said Canadian assistant coach Doug Shedden.

The win improved Mannheim's record to 2-1.

Canada will play Russian club Dynamo Minsk on Wednesday and can lock up a spot in Thursday's championship game with a victory.

Minsk hammered Czech club HC Energy Karlovy Vary 8-0 in the late game Tuesday.

"I think we believed we could just go out and win without going out and playing with our heads and trying to win," Shedden said. "I think it's one of those lessons that you learn.

"You pick yourself up tomorrow."

Spylo is one of 12 Canadian-born players on the Mannheim roster.

Ottawa native Fred Brathwaite, who spent nine season in the NHL, got the win in the Mannheim net.

"I would like to say it would have been special regardless of the team we were playing," Spylo told reporters after the game.

"To do well and win against Canada is always a big thing. They're always the top team."

'I haven't looked back since'
Spylo was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in 2002 and after three years in the NHL club's minor league system, made the move to Europe.

"I haven't looked back since," he said. "It's been a real treat and an honour to play for different nationalities."

Canada pulled starting goaltender Wade Dubielewicz midway through the second period in favour of David LeNeveu.

"I think a few guys with the effort let us down tonight," Shedden said. "If they're true Canadians, they're going to bounce back really hard tomorrow."

(Game Preview) Vernon @ Trail:

Vernon (33-2-0-2) @ Trail (12-23-1-2)

Last Game Played:

Saturday December 19th Vernon defeated Nanaimo 5-3
Saturday December 19th Trail defeated Victoria 4-0

Tonight is the sixth & final meeting of the season between the defending Royal Bank Cup Champion Vernon Vipers & the Trail Smoke Eaters. Vernon comes into tonights game on a two game winning streak. Trail is riding a two game winning streak.

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 33-2-0-2 four points up on the 2nd place Penticton Vees. Vernon has scored a league high 195 goals and given up the least amount of goals with just 66. Vernon has the leagues best road record at 17-0-0-1 Vernon is 7-1-0-2 in their last 10 games. The Vipers have three players in the leagues top 20 in scoring. Mike Collins (23-33-56), Connor Jones (23-24-47) & Braden Pimm (15-28-43). Graeme Gordon & Blake Voth also lead the league as the BCHL’s top two goaltenders. Gordon with a record of 24-4 with 1 shutout and a GAA of 1.83 Voth has a record of 9-0 with 2 shutouts and a GAA of 1.44 Tonight is the first of a small two game road trip for the Vipers (Trail & Salmon Arm).

This being the Vipers first game back after the Christmas break, Vernon needs to get off to a quick start and not fall behind early.

If Garrett Beckwith gets the start between the pipes for Trail, Vernon needs to get lots of traffic and shots towards the Smokies goaltender. Beckwith made 39 saves in a 3-2 overtime loss against the Vipers at the start of the month.

The Vipers cant take Trail lightly, a team that may be near the bottom of the Interior Division standings, but is fighting for the BCHL’s final playoff spot.

Mike Collins & Connor Jones have 9 pts in five games vs. Trail.

Cory Kane & Braden Pimm have 8 pts in five games vs. the Smokies.

Kellen Jones has 7 pts in five games vs. the Smoke Eaters.

Both Graeme Gordon (3-0) & Blake Voth (2-0) are undefeated against the Smoke Eaters this season.

Cole Ikkala has 6 pts in five games vs. Trail.

Players To Watch:

Mike Collins (23-31-56)
Connor Jones (23-24-47)
Braden Pimm (15-28-43)
Jonathan Milhouse (15-26-41)
Dylan Walchuk (14-25-39)
Kellen Jones (7-29-36)
Cory Kane (16-19-35)
Bryce Kakoske (10-20-30)
Rob Short (12-17-29)
Dan Nycholat (4-25-29)
Cole Ikkala (12-15-27)
Kevin Kraus (3-16-19)
Curtis Gedig (9-5-14)
Graeme Gordon (24-4 Record-1 Shutout-1.83 GAA)

Let’s take a look at the Trail Smoke Eaters:

The Smoke Eaters currently sit in 7th place with a record of 12-23-1-2 one point back of the 6th place Prince George Spruce Kings. The Smokies have scored 140 goals but have had troubles keeping the puck out of their net giving up 180 goals. Trail is 7-8-0-2 on home ice. Trail is 5-4-0-1 in their last 10 games. The Smoke Eaters have two players in the leagues top 20 in scoring. Nick Sandor (21-23-44) & Scott Jacklin (12-31-43) Tonight is the 6th game of a seven game home stand for the Trail Smoke Eaters. For more info, stats and great game coverage check out Shawn Mullins Smoke Eaters Blog,

The Smokies need to jump on the Vipers early, a team that may have some bus legs after the long trip to Trail.

Trail is 0-5 against Vernon this year.

The Smoke Eaters need to play a full 60 minutes in order to have any chance at knocking off the defending RBC Cup Champs.

Travis St. Denis has 4 pts in five games vs. Vernon & needs to be Trails best player if they want to knock off the Vipers.

Sam Mellor & Scott Jacklin both have 3 pts in five games vs. the Vipers.

Trail has been outscored 30-9 in five games vs. the Vipers this year.

The Smokies need to get lots of pucks and traffic towards Graeme Gordon or Blake Voth.
Players To Watch:

Nick Sandor (21-23-44)
Scott Jacklin (12-31-43)
Sam Mellor (20-19-39)
Travis St. Denis (17-20-37)
Steve Koshey (6-22-28)

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

Friday September 18th @ Trail: Vernon wins 7-1

Tonight was the first of a home and home series between these two teams in the Smoke Eaters home opener. Newly acquired defenceman Marc-Antoine Chaput, a 17-year old from Quebec, suited up for Trail after arriving in town today. The Vipers exploded for five 1st period goals taking out the Smoke Eaters 7-1 in front of 1029 fans at Cominco Arena. Cory Kane with 3 goals, Jonathan Milhouse, Steven Weinstein, Braden Pimm & Bryce Kakoske scored for Vernon, Mike Collins picked up 2 assists. Travis St. Denis broke Graeme Gordons shutout midway through the 3rd. Gordon made 23 saves for the win, while Devon Murtagh & Garrett Beckwith split the duties between the pipes for Trail, Murtagh took the loss.

Saturday September 19th @ Vernon: Vernon wins 5-1

After no scoring in the opening period the Vipers were up 2-1 after 40 minutes of play. Mike Collins * Sawyer Mick scored for Vernon. Tye Lewis scored for Trail. Kevin Kraus, Cole Ikkala & Cory Kane scored for the Vipers in the 3rd giving Vernon the 5-1 victory. Graeme Gordon made 19 saves getting the win. Garrett Beckwith made 35 saves taking the loss.

Friday November 13th @ Vernon: Vernon wins 8-4

Vernon was up 3-2 after the 1st period on goals from, Cole Ikkala, Braden Pimm & Drew George. Sam Mellor and Travis St. Denis replied for the Smokies. Specialty teams was the difference in the 2nd period as Connor Jones and Dan Nycholat (powerplay) scored for Vernon, while Travis St. Denis scored his 2nd and 3rd goals of the game on the man advantage. The Vipers put the game away in the 3rd after Dan Nycholat (powerplay), Rob Short & Kellen Jones scored for Vernon in a 8-4 victory. The Vipers have now won 16 straight games. Kiefer Smiley made 42 saves in the loss while Graeme Gordon made 17 saves picking up the win. Vernon outshot Trail 50-21

Saturday November 14th @ Vernon: Vernon wins 7-1

Cole Ikkala, Connor Jones & Bryce Kakoske put Vernon up 3-0 after 20 minutes of play. Mike Collins & Connor Jones with two put the Vipers up 6-0 after 40 minutes of play. Paul Mailey broke Blake Voths shutout bid at 4:34 of the 3rd getting the Smokies on the scoreboard. Cory Kane added a shorthanded marker giving Vernon the 7-1 victory. Blake Voth made 29 saves for the win, while Kiefer Smiley made 17 saves taking the loss. Garrett Beckwith came in for relief making 17 saves. The Vipers outshot the Smoke Eaters 41-30.

Saturday December 5th @ Trail: Vernon wins 3-2 (Overtime)

Scott Jacklin put Trail up 1-0 after the opening period after scoring on the powerplay at 16:46. Kevin Kraus & Bryce Kakoske put Vernon ahead 2-1 before Matt Wilkins goal at 18:03 tied the game 2-2 after 40 minutes of play. No scoring in the 3rd resulted in both teams heading to overtime for the first time this season. Connor Jones at 3:36 gives the Vipers their 17th straight road victory tying them with the 1989-90 New Westminster Royals for the BCHL record. Vernon outshot Trail 42-25. Blake Voth makes 23 saves for the win improving to 9-0 on the season. Garrett Beckwith makes 39 saves taking the loss.

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


Nick Sandor
Scott Jacklin
Sam Mellor
Travis St. Denis
Steve Koshey
Darnell Dyck
Paul Mailey
Matt Wilkins
Michael Betz
Mitch Kaufmann
Wade Bennett
Tommy Rizzardo
Ben Matthews
Thomas Abenante
Eric Walker
Sean Nugent
Justin Brown
Graeme Strukoff
Curtis Tonello
Josh McEwan
Garrett Beckwith
Kiefer Smiley

Monday, December 28, 2009

Former Viper Raley Traded:

Former Vernon Vipers defenceman Patrick Raley has been traded. The USHL Chicago Steel have traded Raley to the NAHL St. Louis Bandits. I have yet to find any word on this trade but thanks to Trail Smoke Eaters play by play man, Shawn Mullin, Shawn has posted some of the details and info on his Smoke Eaters Blog, Check it out,

Former Viper Dubielewicz & Team Canada Move To 2-0

This is posted on the website:

Canada defeats HC Davos 6-2 at Spengler Cup

Mark Bell scored twice as Canada defeated HC Davos 6-2 on Monday to remain unbeaten at the Spengler Cup.

Canada (2-0) took control of the game early, storming out to a 4-0 second-period lead in a battle of undefeated teams. The host Davos squad (2-1) came in having won its first two games of the tournament.

Jean-Pierre Vigier, Yannick Tremblay, Alexandre Daigle and Jean-Guy Trudel had the other goals for Canada.

Nick Naumenko and Oliver Setzinger replied for Davos.

In the early game, Adler Mannheim edged Karlovy Vary 2-1 in a shootout. The win evened the German side's record at 1-1 while Karlovy dropped to 0-3.

Canada takes on the Mannheim squad on Tuesday.

Vigier and Bell had the goals to give Canada a 2-0 lead after the first period. Davos appeared to score in the frame but the goal was disallowed after it was ruled the puck was kicked into the Canadian net.

Bell put Canada ahead 3-0 in the second, converting a 3-on-2 situation with the Canadians shorthanded. Tremblay made it 4-0 when Davos couldn't clear the puck from its zone.

Naumenko cut the Canadian lead to 4-1 after scoring on a long wrist shot that beat goalie Wade Dubielewicz before Daigle converted a 2-on-1 to put Canada ahead 5-1.

Setzinger countered three minutes later, scoring on another wrist shot to round out the second-period scoring.

Trudel cemented the win, converting another 2-on-1 break near the midway point of the third. Davos had a chance to get back into the game with a two-man power play with about seven minutes remaining, but the Canadians successfully killed off the advantage.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Former Viper George Traded To Weyburn:

This is posted on the Cowichan Valley Website:

Friday, December 25, 2009 - Submitted by Cowichan Capitals

The Cowichan Valley Capitals are pleased to announce they have acquired 18 year old Chris Daniels from the Weyburn Red Wings for forward Drew George. The 6'0, 185 lbs Daniels, a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba is having an excellent rookie campaign scoring 13 goals and added 11 assists in 37 games.

"Chris is excited about playing in the BCHL and he will have a tremendous opportunity to contribute here," stated Head Coach Dale Purinton. "Chris is a gritty right winger who hustles at both ends of the ice. He has played in all situations for the Red Wings which includes scoring 5 power play goals''. "We are very pleased to have Chris join our Club."

Former Viper Dubielewicz Picks Up Victory For Canada:

This is posted in yesterdays National Post Newspaper:

Canada opens Spengler Cup with victory

Serge Aubin scored the decisive goal in the shootout and six different players found the back of the net in regulation time as Canada defeated Czech champions HC Energie Karlovy Vary 7-6 in the Spengler Cup opener for both clubs.

Mike Siklenka, Shawn Heins, Travis Roche, Kurtis McLean, Mark Bell and Alexandre Daigle, the Ottawa Senators' first-overall pick in the 1993 NHL entry draft, each scored for Canada, which boasts a roster comprised mostly of European-based players.

Jaroslav Kristek lead the offence for Karlovy Vary with two goals, while Michal Dobron, Dmitry Zyuzin, Lukas Pech, Jan Kostal each added singles.

David LeNeveu started the game for Canada and gave up five goals through 40 minutes, including four in a second period in which the teams combined for seven goals.

Wade Dubielewicz took over at the start the third period and allowed only Kostal's game-tying goal in with roughly seven minutes remaining in the frame. Dubielewicz later turned aside all three Karlovy Vary shooters in the shootout, including former NHLer Ziggy Palffy, for the victory.

Canada next plays Monday against host Davos, which posted a 3-2 victory against Dynamo Minsk in Saturday's other game.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all the hockey fan's out there who have taken their time to visit my Vipers blog through out the hockey season. Thanks for visiting, Id like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Drew George About To Become A Red Wing:

This is posted on Greg Harders Blog:

Drew George about to become a Red Wing

By Greg Harder Wed, Dec 23 2009

It has been apparent for some time now that Drew George would eventually end up with the SJHL’s Weyburn Red Wings. Well, after roughly three weeks of on-again, off-again negotiations, Weyburn has finally agreed to terms on a trade with the BCHL’s Cowichan Valley Capitals. Red Wings GM Ron Rumball confirmed the news to CKRM’s Rod Pedersen on Wednesday and did the same in a subsequent conversation with the Leader-Post. The latest on the deal is that George has apparently agreed to join the Red Wings, but the deal is pending league approval.
Rumball said he doesn’t expect any snags, so it should be a formality for the two leagues to officially sign off — perhaps when the trade moratorium is lifted after Christmas Day.
Rumball admitted the deal took a lot longer to come together than he anticipated because the sides couldn’t agree on compensation. At one point, Cowichan pulled the plug on direct negotiations with Weyburn and asked to involve a third team in the deal. Then the BCHL club had another change of heart so the sides went back to the original deal with Weyburn, which is a one-for-one swap.
In the midst of it all, the WHL’s Regina Pats had offered George a contract but he turned them down for the second time in less than a year because he wanted to pursue an NCAA scholarship. The Pats eventually cooled in their pursuit of the former midget AAA scoring star when the situation began to drag on and it became clear that he had other priorities. The Red Wings have apparently been contacted by three NCAA teams who encouraged the club to acquire George if possible.
In conversations with the family, Rumball said he was given the indication that George’s decision wasn’t a matter of turning down the Pats or having any issues with playing for them. It had simply been his goal for some time to play in the NCAA so he didn’t want to lose his eligibility by joining the WHL club. The 18-year-old Regina native originally turned down the Pats last spring to join the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers, who later traded George to Cowichan. He refused to play for the last-place Capitals and subsequently turned down four other SJHL teams, resulting in a prolonged saga that is now approaching its long-anticipated conclusion.
Regardless, it’s a nice Christmas present for George, who gets what he wants, and for the Red Wings, who will certainly benefit from the deal if George becomes the player that many believe he can be.

George Headed To Weyburn:

This is posted on Rod Pedersen's Blog:

George Headed To Weyburn has learned that the Weyburn Red Wings and Cowichan Valley Capitals have worked out a trade for disgruntled winger Drew George of Regina.
Red Wings Director of Player Personnel Ron Rumball told me this morning that the paperwork has been filed, and all that's needed now is the players' approval.

The Regina Pats had been vigorously pursuing George, however he was reluctant to give up his NCAA elligibility.

Vipers Hit Break At No. 1

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers hit break at No. 1

Published: December 22, 2009

After picking apart the Victoria Grizzlies like they were a Christmas tree ornament, Friday night, the Vernon Vipers found the Nanaimo Clippers actually had a holiday spirit Saturday night.

The Vipers worked extra hard to brush back the stubborn Clippers 5-3 before 1,900 B.C. Hockey League fans Saturday night at Wesbild Centre.

Determined to not begin his Christmas break on a bad note, Jonathan Milhouse capped off his hat trick with 4:08 remaining to put the game away. Vernon will spend the festive season in the Canadian Junior A penthouse at 33-2-0-2.

“The game today wasn’t our best,” said Milhouse, who has 41 points on the year. “Maybe it was the fact it was our last game before the Christmas holidays and the guys were excited to get home for the break. We played a great third period though and that’s when we really pulled it together to win.”

The Vipers return to Wesbild Sunday night for a practice and then face the host Trail Smoke Eaters Tuesday night.

The Vipers took an early 1-0 lead on a gorgeous goal by Cory Kane at 1:43. Connor Jones went streaking up the left wing, jumped past a Nanaimo defender, and fed a crisp pass to Kane for his 16th of the year.

The Clippers, sixth place in the Coastal Conference at 15-13-1-8, answered back six minutes later when Luc Olivier Blain connected (15th).

Milhouse potted his first midway through the first period on a nice feed from Jones behind the net. Dan Nycholat earned the second assist.

The teams swapped a pair of goals in the second, with Cody Bremner notching two for Nanaimo and Milhouse and Adam Thompson scoring for Vernon.

Bremner’s second goal came on a bad clearing pass from the Vipers with just 0.8 of a second remaining in the period.

“That goal came on a weird play where the puck went up in the air and I just closed my eyes and hoped for the best and shot it on net,” said Bremner, who is in his first year in a Clipper uniform, after playing for the Grizzlies the past three seasons.

“I didn’t know how much time was left on the clock so I just shot it. I was lucky to get it in before the buzzer seeing as there was just less than a second left in the period.”

The Clippers, playing their fourth game in five nights, went home with only one point on the road trip, thanks to a 2-1 overtime loss to the Westside Warriors last Tuesday.

“Our trip wasn’t very productive from a points perspective,” said Clippers’ head coach Bill Bestwick. “Westside was our closest game where we lost in double overtime. The fact that this was our fourth game in five days, and that we had four guys out tonight with injuries, we still pulled off a good game. We played well tonight for the most part. Vernon has some considerable talent. They’re very dangerous and solid in all areas. We held our own. It was our objective to compete with them every shift.”

The Vipers were without captain Kevin Kraus, sidelined with an upper-body injury., and sniper Kellen Jones, who has missed the last six games with a broken jaw.

The Penticton Vees stayed four points back of the Vipers with a 4-3 win over the host Surrey Eagles before 1,100 fans Saturday night. Luke Curadi scored the power play winner from Beau Bennett at 14:04 of the third period. Penticton is ranked third in the country. The Spruce Grove Saints are second.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Inside The BCHL With Graeme Gordon:

Inside the BCHL is an exclusive video series hosted by veteran sport broadcaster Bernie Pascall. Bernie interview's Vernon Vipers Goaltender, Graeme Gordon.

Former Viper Dubielewicz Added To Spengler Cup Roster:

This is posted on the CBC website:

Dubielewicz added to Spengler Cup roster

Monday, December 21, 2009

Goaltender Wade Dubielewicz was added Monday to the Canadian team that will compete in this year's Spengler Cup hockey tournament in Davos, Switzerland.

Dubielewicz, who plays for the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League, replaces Brent Krahn of the AHL's Texas Stars.

Krahn, defenceman Brendan Bell of the AHL's Syracuse Crunch and forward Stacy Roest of Swiss club Rapperswil are all unable to play.

Defenceman Mike Siklenka (Austrian club Salzburg) and forwards Michel Ouellet, Cory Pecker and Jean-Guy Trudel — who are all playing for clubs in Switzerland — have also been added to the Canadian roster.

Jean-Pierre Vigier, who plays for Swiss club Bern, has been named an assistant captain for the Canadian squad. He joins captain Serge Aubin and assistant Shawn Heins, who both play for Swiss side Fribourg.

The tournament begins Saturday.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Vipers Alumni Update With Ryan Kakoske:

Former Vernon Vipers defenceman, Ryan Kakoske is in his second season with the UBC Thunderbirds. Kakoske played two years with the Vernon Vipers (2006-2008). In 16 games this year the Thunderbirds are 5-10-0-1 In 16 games this season Kakoske has 1 assist.

Ryan Kakoske's Bio,

Vipers Highlights From November-December:

Kiss FM's Rob Abramenko has once again made one of his great Vernon Vipers video's, Here are some Viper highlights from November & December, some of the best Viper hits, fights, goals and more. Check it out,

Vipers Steady At #1 In CJHL's Final Top-20 Rankings Of 2009:

Vipers steady at #1 in CJHL's final Top-20 rankings of 2009

Sunday, December 20, 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. Best wishes for a wonderful Holiday Season – The CJHL Top 20 Weekly Rankings will return on January 11, 2010.

The CJHL Weekly Top 20 as of Monday, December 21st:

1. (1) Vernon Vipers (BCHL)
2. (2) Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL)
3. (3) Penticton Vees (BCHL)
4. (4) Dauphin Kings (MJHL)
5. (5) Kingston Voyageurs (OJAHL)
6. (7) Georgetown Raiders (OJAHL)
7. (6) Grande Prairie Storm (AJHL)
8. (8) Woodstock Slammers (MJAHL)
9. (11) Flin Flon Bombers (SJHL)
10. (HM) Brockville Braves (CJHL)
11. (12) Oakville Blades (OJAHL)
12. (9) Pembroke Lumber Kings (CJHL)
13. (16) Fort William North Stars (SIJHL)
14. (17) Westside Warriors (BCHL)
15. (18) Alberni Valley Bulldogs (BCHL)
16. (15) Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL)
17. (16) Weyburn Red Wings (SJHL)
18. (19) Burlington Cougars (CCHL)
19. (13) Abitibi Eskimos (NOJHL)
20. (NR) Les Cobras de Terrebonne (LHJAAAQ)

Honorable mention goes to the Olds Grizzlys (AJHL), Dryden Ice Dogs (SIJHL), Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL), Aurora Tigers (OJAHL), and the Toronto Junior Canadiens (CCHL).

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, December 20, 2009

Milhouse Leads Vipers Past Clippers:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Milhouse leads Vipers past Clippers

by Don Klepp

Dec 20, 2009

For the seventh time this season, a Vernon Viper player has scored a hat trick to lead his team to victory. On Saturday, Jonathan Milhouse’s highlight reel goals paced a 5-3 decision over the visiting Nanaimo Clippers.

Milhouse scored once in each period as his line participated in all five Viper goals. The scoring started early, with a Cory Kane goal 1:43 into the game. A pass from Adam Thompson was slightly behind Connor Jones, who pulled the puck through his legs to his forehand and then neatly through Kiefer McNaughton’s legs before feeding Cory Kane in front.

Luc-Olivier Blain tied the score at 7:33 on a Nanaimo power play. The 'Killer B' line of Blain, Teal Burns, and Cody Bremner was good all night. On a line rush, quick passes by Burns and Bremner gave Blain an opening to whip a low shot past Graeme Gordon.

Connor Jones made another fine play to set up Milhouse at 10:52. From behind the Clipper net, Jones spotted Milhouse, whose backhand slipped between Loic Boivin’s pads.

Cody Bremner scored early and late for Nanaimo in the second. At 3:28 he deflected a Teal Burns shot past Gordon after Burns had picked off a Viper clearing attempt. However, Jones and Milhouse once again went to work. Jones outraced a defender to a puck that Cory Kane had dislodged and backhanded a pass that Milhouse swept in on his backhand.

Adam Thompson gave the Vipers a two-goal cushion at 18:01. A Brayden Jaw penalty led to a faceoff in the Clipper zone. After a Jones faceoff win and some good work by Cory Kane, Steve Weinstein found Thompson over at the left faceoff circle and Thompson’s wrister beat Boivin cleanlface offface offface offy.

With five seconds remaining in the period, a casual Viper clearing pass was blocked by Victor Newell. The puck bounced to Cody Bremner whose long range wrist shot beat Gordon with less than a second left in the period.

In the second intermission, coach Mark Ferner firmly reminded his charges that the Christmas break had not yet started, and the Vipers responded with a better defensive effort in the third period. They held the Clippers to six shots and two scoring chances, while generating five scoring chances of their own.

The only goal of the final frame came when Jonathan Milhouse picked defenceman Nick Bell’s pocket and went in to stick handle the puck past Boivin.

Game Notes:

•Milhouse has scored six goals in his past three games.

•The other Vipers to register hat tricks this year have been Cory Kane, Connor Jones (twice), Mike Collins, Dylan Walchuk, and Curtis Gedig.

•Nanaimo lost all four games on its Interior Division five-day trip, and has lost all eight games played in December, four in overtime.

•The Vipers remain four points ahead of Penticton in the race for top spot in the BCHL, with a game in hand. Vernon returns to action December 29 in Trail and December 31 in Salmon Arm.

Gedig Goes Big To Ground Grizz:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Gedig goes big to ground Grizz

By Graeme Corbett - Vernon Morning Star
Published: December 20, 2009

Defenceman Curtis Gedig would probably admit his first few weeks with the Vernon Vipers have been a little more like a finger painting, and less like the Picasso he envisioned. The victim of several unlucky bounces that have resulted in opposition goals, the New Jersey Devils draft pick appeared to be having difficulty finding his defensive bearings with the Snakes since being brought over from the Cowichan Valley Capitals in a late November trade.

Friday night was all about redemption for Gedig, 18, who collected first star, his first-ever B.C. Hockey League hat trick and his first goals as a Viper as Vernon crushed the Victoria Grizzlies 8-2 before 1,700 fans at Wesbild Centre.

“It was definitely a surprise. I didn’t think I’d score three, but I had to start somewhere and it felt real good,” grinned the West Kelowna product, adding that he is starting to feel more settled with the team and his new surroundings. “I’m used to the billets now, I’m all moved in, I’m getting used to the guys and the coaching is awesome.

“In Cowichan it was a lot more grind it out type hockey. Out here we got a lot more skill so you can hang onto the puck in the zone a little more and make a lot more plays.”

Added Vipers’ head coach Mark Ferner: “You’ve seen what type of player he can be. He’s got lots of get up and go, he’s a big body that can skate really well with a good shot, so it was nice to for him to have a little bit of success offensively tonight.”

After a tentative first few minutes, former Grizzly Jonathan Milhouse put Vernon (32-2-0-2) on the board when he pounced on a rebound in front of Colin Fernandes, and calmly tucked the puck around the sprawled keeper for his 12th of the season at 6:09.

While he says it was great to face his old team, Milhouse noted it wasn’t much of a reunion. Only three of his old teammates remain from last year’s Grizzlies – Dustin Mowrey, Jordan Heywood and Madison Dias.

“I really loved it in Victoria, but it’s good playing them. I have a couple good buddies on that team – not many – and it was good seeing them.

“I noticed they’re a little bigger. They were probably more physical than our team last year, but ultimately they seem to play relatively the same way.”

Derek Bacon (6th goal), banking one of those aforementioned unfortunate bounces off Gedig’s leg on a wraparound attempt, replied for the Grizz (19-13-2-5) at 8:41.

Vernon, who tangled with the Nanaimo Clippers Saturday night at Wesbild, restored the lead on the very next shift. Going in 2-on-1 with Connor Jones, Cory Kane (14th) kept the puck and fired a backhand that crept up and over Fernandes.

Victoria head coach Vic Gervais could have played starting keeper Ryan Holfeld, who recorded back-to-back 4-0 shutouts over the Merritt Centennials and Salmon Arm SilverBacks earlier in the week, but decided to rest him for Victoria’s Saturday-night tilt against the host Trail Smoke Eaters.

“The kid (Fernandes) battled in there, but he hasn’t played in a while. That’s the way it is when you don’t get in the net. You’re not as confident.

“We battled hard all game long, but it’s tough playing against a team like that. They’re fairly experienced and they just play simple hockey. They’re young kids and it’s a learning experience playing against a team that comes at you hard.”

Gedig’s first of the night (7th), a crisp snapshot through traffic on a late first-period powerplay, stood as the winner. His second goal came early in the second frame as he fired home the rebound off a Dan Nycholat point shot from a sharp angle.

Vernon’s veteran forwards began pressuring the Grizzlies’ inexperienced backend, causing turnovers and working the puck down low.

After Mike Collins provided much of the grunt work to kill off a Viper penalty, Kane converted a nice 2-on-1 pass from Milhouse (second star) to put Vernon in control.

Said Ferner: “That’s what it’s about – taking advantage and playing to our strengths. We feel we’re a talented group up front, so let’s put some pressure on the young dee back there and make them try to do things under pressure, and if we take away their time and space we know we’re going to get our opportunities.”

Goals by Gedig (9th), Walchuk (14th) and third star Jones (21st) completed the Viper attack. Joel Lowry (9th) added a third-period consolation marker for Victoria.

“Unfortunately for us, we came in thinking we were going to lose...and whenever you play a good team that’s never a good attitude,” said Lowry. “We gotta make sure next time we play them at home (Jan. 16 at Bear Mountain Arena) we come out expecting to win and come ready to play hard because that’s the only way we can compete with them.”

The only real emotion on the night came when Viper captain Kevin Kraus hammered Dias coming across the middle early in the third period. Mowrey took exception and challenged Kraus to fight.

The Vipers now get a nine-day break before they visit the Smokies (11-23-1-2) Tuesday, Dec. 29 at Cominco Arena.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Vernon 5 Nanaimo 3

I was at tonights BCHL game as Vernon defeated Nanaimo 5-3 in front of 1,899 fans at the Wesbild Centre.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Graeme Gordon
Nanaimo: Loic Boivin

1st Period: The Vipers got off to a quick start, Connor Jones with a nice move inside the Clippers blueline going in two on one with Cory Kane, Jones made a nice pass over to Kane who beat Loic Boivin at 1:43 putting Vernon up 1-0. Jones & Garrett Noonan drew the assists. Just over two minutes later Nanaimo would get the games first powerplay, Cody Bremner with a good scoring chance getting a quick shot off from in close at the side of the net was stopped by Graeme Gordon. Brember then setup Luc Olivier Blain beat Gordon on the man advantage at 7:33 as the Clippers tied the game. Bremner & Teal Burns collected the assists. Just after Nanaimo's goal Vernon would get its first powerplay of the night. Dan Nycholat setup Bryce Kakoske at the side of the net who was robbed after Loic Boivin slide across with his left pad to make the big save. The Clippers would kill off the minor. A fairly tight checking opening period with both teams feeling one another out. Nanaimo was the more physical of the two teams, even getting the second shots in after the whistle, trying to get the Vipers off their game. Sawyer Mick & Carsen Schell had words after a stopage in play, as both players were yapping at one another heading to the benches. Cole Ikkala setup Adam Thompson who wired a blast from the circle but was stopped by Boivin. The Vipers line of Connor Jones, Jonathan Milhouse & Cory Kane was by far the teams top line, after some nice cycle down low Milhouse through the puck out front, going in off Victor Newell and past Boivin at 10:52 giving Vernon the 2-1 lead. Like last night Vernon seemed to take control in the second half of the period, having the better of the play. Jonathan Milhouse with a shot from the slot just missed the far corner. The Vipers would get their second powerplay of the night but once again come up empty handed as the Clippers penalty kill was 2-2. The Vipers speed and skill took over the the final six or seven minutes as they skated circles around the Clippers creating all kinds of chances. Loic Boivin played well between the pipes for Nanaimo. Vernon was up 2-1 after 20 minutes of play. The Vipers outshot the Clippers 13-6.

2nd Period: The Vipers didnt get off to a good start, looking very flat and dissorganised in their own end. Nanaimo's strong forecheck kept forcing the Vipers d-men to re-group and try and break out of their own end again. A few turnovers and bad plays gave the Clippers some early chances. Cody Bremner with a shot from in close just missed the net. Dan Nycholat fired the puck up ice right onto the stick of Bremner who walked in and beat Gordon at 3:38 to tie the game for the second time tonight. Teal Burns with the lone assist. After being out skated in the 1st period Nanaimo changed things up a bit to start the middle frame playing the trap, trying to slow down the speedy Vipers. Vernon did manage to get around the trap as Connor Jones & Cory Kane setup Jonathan Milhouse for his 2nd of the night at 5:14. A very tight checking period with very little scoring chances, the Vipers with just two shots in the first half of the period didnt look good at all, several turnovers, bad passes, and very little energy. The team looked like it just quit skating. Nanaimo was by far the better team in the first half of the period. The Clippers battled hard, finished their checks and played with a strong forecheck. Both teams exchanged penalties twice as Andrew Guest was calling a tight game. With eight minutes remaining the Vipers finally seemed to wake up getting some fire in them, playing with some jump again getting some chances in close. Vernon won the draw in the Clippers zone, the puck come right to Jonathan Milhouse who once again with a quick shot was stopped by Boivin. With the Vipers on a late powerplay, it took Adam Thompson just six seconds to beat Boivin at 18:01 after a wicked shot went high over Boivin. Vernon was up by two for the first time tonight. Steve Weinstein & Cory Kane with the helpers. Weinstein made a super nice pass over to Thompson who scored the goal. Cody Bremner come close to getting his 2nd of the night after beating Gordon but hitting the post with just minutes remaining. In the final minute the Vipers once again got real sloppy coughing up the puck several times, well it cost them. The Vipers got the puck deep into the Clippers zone, but couldnt kill off the final few seconds, a turnover led to a Nanaimo rush up ice, Cody Bremner picked up the puck and then walked into the Vernon zone and wired a wicked high shot over Gordon with just .8 seconds remaining in the period. The Clippers cut the Vernon lead to just one goal. Victor Newell with the lone assist. Vernon was up 4-3 after 40 minutes of play. The Vipers outshot the Clippers 9-6.

3rd Period: Nanaimo again come out with the trap, trying to slow down Vernons speed and skill, sending one guy in deep to forecheck, this seemed to work as the Vipers had troubles at times breaking out of their own end. Another tight checking period as both teams wernt giving one another much room. Carson Schell was stopped by Gordon after the Clippers broke through the Vernon zone with some nice three way passing. Rob Short at the other end hit the post. Some fairly even play sent both teams back and forth but it was the Clippers who had the first few early chances. Connor Jones with speed come flying down the wing but missed the net. Nanaimo with the only powerplay of the period couldnt take advantage after some strong penalty killing by the Vipers. For the second straight period very few shots coming from both teams. Luc Olivier Blain with a chance in front was stopped by Gordon. Late in the period Adam Thompson with a nice pass up ice, setup Jonathan Milhouse for the breakaway, Milhouse with a nice move in close beat Boivin scoring his third of the night giving Vernon the 5-3 lead at 15:52. Thompson with the lone assist. The puck took a funny bounce, hoping over Adam Thompsons stick, as Teal Burns was right their to pounce on the rebound, but Gordon was quick enough to cover up the puck to stop the play. In the final few minutes Braden Pimm with some strong forecheck down low, knocked off two Clipper players and then tried cutting towards the net for a scoring chance. Braden Pimm & Bryce Kakoske battled hard in the final minute and a half, both kids worked extremely hard down low ragging a good minute off the clock as the Clippers couldnt get Boivin out of his net for the extra attacker. Nanaimo would finally clear the zone as Boivin left his net with 30 seconds remaining but the Clippers couldnt get any real good chances as Vernon knocked off Nanaimo 5-3 winning back to back games. Nanaimo drops its eight straight. The Vipers outshot the Clippers 8-6.

Top Players: (Vernon)

The line of Connor Jones (3 assists), Jonathan Milhouse (3 goals) & Cory Kane (1 goal & 2 assists) was Vernons top line. This line was clicking all night. Connor Jones was really skating hard tonight, had tons of jump in his game, was flying all over the ice. Jones was very dangerous down low with the puck. Jonathan Milhouse played a heck of a game. Milhouse had several chances all night, was very dangerous with the puck. Both Jones & Milhouse seemed to know where each other were at all times, all night.

Curtis Gedig played his second solid game. Played much better defensively. Had three big hits, rushed the puck from his own end up ice, coming up with a quality scoring chance.

Adam Thompson (1 goal & 1 assist) Played a solid game at both ends of the rink. Thompson read the ice very well tonight, made some smart heads up plays. Looked solid in his own end.

Bryce Kakoske played very well down low, was very good on the forecheck. Was robbed in the 1st period after a great chance at the side of the net. Kakoske took several little shots and jabs all night, but didnt back down.

Top Players: (Nanaimo)

The line of Luc Olivier (1 goal), Cody Bremner (2 goals & 1 assist), & Teal Burns (2 assists) was by far Nanaimo's top unit. Cody Bremner was all over the ice tonight, this kid come to play. Had several good scoring chances, was very dangerous with the puck. This kid has a very hard but good shot. Scored a real nice 2nd period late goal roofing it over Graeme Gordon. Teal Burns really see's the ice well, setup two Clipper goals. Another kid who looked good up front.

Loic Boivin (23 saves) Played well between the pipes for the Clippers. Made some key saves in the opening period, giving his team a chance to win. Was very good down low. Dosnt give up many rebounds.

Carson Schell also played very well for Nanaimo. Another kid who was strong with and without the puck. Good skater.

Game Thoughts: (Vernon)

I dont think Mark Ferner can be too happy with tonights performance. The Vipers didnt play a full 60 minutes and it just about cost them. The Vipers looked good in the 1st period but come out flat to start and end the 2nd period, way too many turnovers, bad first passes, and quit skating. They played a little better in the 3rd but didnt have that edge they usally have. Another small crowd for the second straight night (1,899) with being so close to the holidays, many people are busy with Christmas activities or away somewhere warm.

Game Thoughts: (Nanaimo)

I was fairly impressed with the Clippers tonight. After losing seven straight and in the middle of the pack in the Coastal Conference, I wasnt too sure what to expect. Nanaimo battled hard, played fairly physical, tried getting in the faces of several Viper players at times. A good skating club that has some scoring up front & good goaltending. After being down two goals late in the 2nd period, this team didnt quit, they kept battling and with a bounce or two could have tied or won tonights game. The Clippers gave Vernon a good run. As the game went on, the Clippers played a very tight checking road game, giving up very few chances.



Kellen Jones (Injured)
Kevin Kraus


Matt Ius
Joe Perry
Todd Gebert
Ty Marton
Mike Puddifant

3 Stars:

1st Star: Jonathan Milhouse (3 goals)
2nd Star: Connor Jones (3 assits)
3rd Star: Cody Bremner (2 goals & 1 assist)

(Game Preview) Nanaimo @ Vernon:

Nanaimo (15-12-1-8) @ Vernon (32-2-0-2)

Last Game Played:

Friday December 18th Vernon defeated Victoria 8-2
Friday December 18th Trail defeated Nanaimo 9-5

Tonight is the first meeting of the season between the defending Royal Bank Cup Champion Vernon Vipers & the Nanaimo Clippers. Vernon comes into tonights game on a one game winning streak. Nanaimo is riding a seven game losing streak.

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 32-2-0-2 four points up on the 2nd place Penticton Vees. Vernon has scored a league high 190 goals and given up the least amount of goals with just 63. The Vipers are 15-2-0-1 on home ice. Vernon has the leagues best road record at 17-0-0-1 Vernon is 7-1-0-2 in their last 10 games. The Vipers have three players in the leagues top 20 in scoring. Mike Collins (23-33-56), Connor Jones (23-21-44) & Braden Pimm (15-28-43). Graeme Gordon & Blake Voth also lead the league as the BCHL’s top two goaltenders. Gordon with a record of 23-4 with 1 shutout and a GAA of 1.79 Voth has a record of 9-0 with 2 shutouts and a GAA of 1.44

The Vipers need to jump on Nanaimo, a team that made the long bus trip up from Trail last night. A team that also has dropped seven straight games.

Tonight is the final game for the Vipers before the Christmas break.

The Vipers have scored 20 goals in their last four games.

Vernon leads the league with 16 shorthanded goals.

The Vipers need to use their speed, skill and depth and not allow the Clippers a chance to hang around late in the game for a chance to win.

Players To Watch:

Mike Collins (23-31-56)
Connor Jones (23-21-44)
Braden Pimm (15-28-43)
Dylan Walchuk (14-25-39)
Jonathan Milhouse (12-26-38)
Kellen Jones (7-29-36)
Cory Kane (15-17-32)
Bryce Kakoske (10-20-30)
Rob Short (12-17-29)
Dan Nycholat (4-24-28)
Cole Ikkala (12-15-27)
Kevin Kraus (3-16-19)
Curtis Gedig (9-5-14)
Graeme Gordon (23-4 Record-1 Shutout-1.79 GAA)

Let’s take a look at the Nanaimo Clippers:

The Clippers currently sit tied in 5th place in the Coastal Conference with a record of 15-12-1-8 six points back of the Victoria Grizzlies. The Clippers have scored 125 goals but have had troubles keeping the puck out of their net giving up 118 goals. Nanaimo is 7-8-0-6 on home ice but is over 500 on the road with a 8-4-1-2 record. Nanaimo is 2-4-0-4 in their last 10 games.

Nanaimo is currently on a seven game road trip and have yet to won with losses in Westside, Penticton & Trail.

The Clippers have lost seven straight games, in those seven games Nanaimo has scored just five goals in a game once, being outscored 33-21.

The Clippers need to get off to a good start and play a full 60 minutes if they want to knock off the Vipers.

Nanaimo needs to be physical with the Vipers, a much smaller team that isn’t very physical themselves.

The Clippers have to watch all four of Vernon’s lines, a team that can score at will racking up 190 goals as the leagues highest scoring team.

You can bet Bill Bestwick will have his team ready to go, wanting to snap this seven game losing streak.

Tyler Mah will be facing his former team. Mah was a late cute three years ago at the Vipers training camp.
Mah was an “AP” with the Vipers playing in just two games with Vernon back in the 2006-07 & 200708 seasons.

Players To Watch:

Cody Bremner (19-18-37)
Luc Olivier Blain (14-23-37)
Teal Burns (13-20-33)
Carson Schell (5-24-29)
Andrew Gladiuk (12-15-27)
Matt Ius (12-15-27)
Joe Perry (7-17-24)

Heres a look at year’s season series between these two teams:

Friday January 16th @ Vernon: Nanaimo wins 4-3 double overtime

The Vipers jumped out to a quick 3-0 1st period lead on goals from, Mike Collins, Rob Short & Kellen Jones. Nanaimo would score four straight to win the game. Matt Betker scored late in the period on the man advantage to get the Clippers on the board. Eric Filiou & Michael Boivin both on the powerplay in the 2nd period tied the game for the Clippers. With no scoring in the 3rd the game was off to overtime. No scoring in the first overtime period, before Nick Chartier scored the ot winner at 1:42 in double overtime giving Nanaimo the huge comeback victory 4-3. Jonathan Jobin gave up two goals on just seven shots and was pulled in favor of Evan Smith who made 27 saves for the win. Graeme Gordon made 27 saves taking the loss.

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


Cody Bremner
Luc Olivier Blain
Teal Burns
Carson Schell
Andrew Gladiuk
Matt Ius
Joe Perry
Victor Newell
Colton Cyr
Kyle Kramer
Brayden Jaw
Nicholas McIntyre
Mike Domsodi
Tyler Mah
Tristan Lowenberger
Kyle Weber
Mike Puddifant
Nick Bell
Todd Gebert
Ty Morton
Zach Martin
Loic Boivin
Rhys Hadfield

Gedig Powers Viper Win:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Gedig powers viper win

by don klepp | Added 2009-12-18

Smooth-skating Curtis Gedig scored three times as the Vipers bombed Victoria 8-2 on Friday night.

The game was never really in doubt – the Grizzlies were unable to match the intensity they showed in 4-0 wins over Merritt and Salmon Arm this week, while the Viper forwards freewheeled all game. Viper defensive lapses gifted two goals to the Grizzlies, who generated just six scoring chances in the game.

Vernon opened the scoring at 6:09 of the first period. Moving to his left along the Grizzly blue line, Dan Nycholat found a shooting lane for a low shot. Ex-Grizzly Jonathan Milhouse pounced on the rebound for his 12th goal of the season.

At 8:41, Derek Bacon was allowed to come out from behind Graeme Gordon and try a wraparound. His attempt was errant, but the puck bounced in off Curtis Gedig’s skate. The 1-1 tie was shortlived: Cory Kane and Connor Jones combined for a score 36 seconds after the Bacon goal. Coming over the blue line, Jones drew two defenders to him and slipped a backhand pass to Kane, who drove the net. The puck rolled up and over the shoulder of goalie Colin Fernandes.

Gedig scored the first of his three on the power play at 16:09. Coming off the right point, he accepted a pass from Bryce Kakoske and snapped it over Fernandes’s left shoulder. Gedig followed with a similar goal at 3:09 of the second period. Again, Dan Nycholat moved along the Victoria blue line until he found a shooting lane. His hard wrist shot rebounded well out to Gedig, who wasted no time in rifling a high shot past Fernandes.

In the second, Cory Kane also notched his second of the game. Shortly after a Viper penalty had expired, Connor Jones headmanned a pass that sent Kane and Milhouse on an odd-man rush. As the two advanced, Milhouse patiently waited for an open pass, which Kane easily converted.

Gedig ‘s speed allowed him to get his hat trick goal with just four seconds left in the period. A Mike Collins pass found Bryce Kakoske who spotted Gedig racing to the net. With his left arm fending off a defender and his right hand on the stick, Gedig directed the puck through Fernandes’s legs.

In the third period, goals by Dylan Walchuk sandwiched a Joel Lowry marker and the teams started to think about their next games. Victoria now heads to Trail, who hammered Nanaimo 9-5 tonight and the Vipers await a wounded, weary, and probably waspish Nanaimo squad.

Game Notes:

• Besides Gedig and Kane, seven other Vipers finished with two or more points in the contest. Connor Jones had a goal and three assists. Jonathan Milhouse contributed a goal and two assists. Cole Ikkala, Bryce Kakoske, Dan Nycholat, Steve Weinstein, and Mike Collins each had two assists.

• The Vipers scored on both of their power plays, while the Grizzlies went 0 for 2.

• Mike Collins and Connor Jones now share the Viper goal scoring lead with 23.

• Dustin Mowrey was unable to add to his team-leading goals total of 25, after he had scored four times in the two other Victoria games this week.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Vernon 8 Victoria 2

I was at tonights BCHL game as Vernon defeated Victoria 8-2 in front of 1,728 fans at the Wesbild Centre.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Graeme Gordon
Victoria: Colin Fernandes

1st Period: Both teams got off to a bit of a slow start with some scrambly play early as it looked like one another were trying to feel each other out. Once the play got going both teams went back and forth with very little scoring chances as both teams were playing a tight checking game. Dylan Nowakowski with the games first great chance in the slot was stopped by Graeme Gordon. Colin Fernandes just about got caught outside of his net after clearing the zone right to Braden Pimm, Pimm wasnt able to get off a quality shot as Fernandes was able to get back into his net on time. Former Victoria Grizzly Jonathan Milhouse would open the scoring at 6:09 after getting a nice crease pass from Dan Nycholat. Nycholat and Connor Jones with the assists. Just over two minutes later Curtis Gedig coughed up the puck in his own end, Gedig couldnt clear the zone wich resulted in the turnover inwich Derek Bacon with the wrap around bounced the puck off Gedig in front and into the net past Gordon at 8:41 as the Grizzlies tied the game 1-1. Bacon's goal was unassisted. Off the draw and seconds later Cory Kane & Connor Jones went in two on one, Jones beat Fernandes at 9:17 putting Vernon ahead 2-1 with Kane collecting the lone assist. As the period went along the some good flow at both ends as both teams were fairly even before the Vipers carried the better of the play in the second half of the period. Cole Ikkala with a big blast from the circle, Fernandes kicked out the huge rebound right to Dylan Walchuk who was stopped on the rebound. Vernon had several odd man rushes looking good on the fly. Mike Collins was stopped in close, as was Connor Jones. The Vipers with some nice three way passing on a three on two were stopped by Fernandes. Vernon would get the first powerplay of the night, Bryce Kakoske setup Curtis Gedig who wired his shot high over Fernandes putting Vernon up 3-1 at 16:09, Kakoske and Mike Collins picked up the assists. Colton Schell with some hard work down low had a good scoring chance but was stopped by Gordon. Victoria struggled offensively in the second half of the period as Vernon carried the better of the play taking a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes of play. The Vipers outshot the Grizzlies 13-8.

2nd Period: The Vipers come out firing in the first two minutes getting three real good scoring chances from in close. Cole Ikkala with some hard work in behind the Grizz net, over worked the Grizzly d-man, stealing the puck, setting up Dan Nycholat who fed Curtis Gedig who beat Fernandes from the side of the net putting Vernon up 4-1 at 3:09 Nycholat and Ikkala with the assists. Shortly after Victoria would get its first man advantage of the night, but it was all Vipers on the penalty kill. Vernon has scored a league high 16 shorthanded goals and showed tonight why they have one of the league best penalty kill. Mike Collins stole and then kept the puck, fighting off three Victoria players ragging valuable time off the clock. The Grizzlies couldnt generate any offensive attack recording just a single shot on the powerplay. Just as the powerplay expired Connor Jones setup Cory Kane who just got out of the penalty box, Kane went in two on one with Jonathan Milhouse who waited and waited before setting up Kane with a nice pace, Kane then beat Fernandes at 7:02 putting Vernon up 5-1 and in full control. Braden Pimm come very close hitting the post on a wicked shot from the slot. Mike Collins with a very nice pass through the slot setup Pimm who once again had a great chance but was stopped by Fernandes. Vernon was all over Victoria who recorded just two shots in the first half of the period. Fernandes once again wondering outside of his crease was just about caught out of position for the second time tonight as the Vipers come close to hitting the empty net. Late in the period Bryce Kakoske made a nice long pass up to Curtis Gedig who went in for the breakaway beating Colin Fernandes at 19:56 giving him his third goal of the night. Kakoske and Mike Collins with the helpers. Vernon was up 6-1 after 40 minutes of play. The Vipers outshot the Grizzlies 12-6.

3rd Period: With the Vipers on just their second powerplay, they once again made the Grizzlies pay as Dylan Walchuk beat Fernandes at 2:01 giving the Vipers the 7-1 lead. Cole Ikkala and Steve Weinstein collected the assists. Victoria had a glorious chance as a Grizzly was left all alone in front, but couldnt beat Gordon. The Vipers took their foot off the gas and played a dump and chase style of game for most of the remainder of the 3rd, just getting the puck in deep and then changing lines. About five minutes into the period Kevin Kraus laid out a huge check in the neutral zone, Dustin Mowrey went after Kraus asking him to dance, Kraus and Mowrey decided to drop the gloves. If the Grizzlies were looking for a fight to get the team going, they should have dropped the mits way sooner then the 3rd period. A pretty dull non entertaining period as both teams just wanted to end tonights contest. Connor Jones with a wicked blast from just across the blueline just missed the far corner. Bradndon Fagerheim with a wrap around couldnt beat Gordon. Madison Dias didnt give up showing good hustle, getting a few decent chances in the final period. The Vipers had two, two on ones but couldnt find the back of the net. Spencer Copp setup Joel Lowry who caught Graeme Gordon out of position putting the Grizz on the board at 12:53 Copp & Nick Buchanan picked up the assists. Colin Fernandes who was having troubles all night handling the puck, coughed the puck up to Patrick McGillis who couldnt beat Fernandes as he tried to hustle back into his crease. Fernandes was having all kinds of trouble handling the puck tonight, along with giving up huge rebounds. Victoria with a chance late in the period couldnt beat Gordon at the side of the net, Steve Weinsten then drove towards the goal, but couldnt beat Fernandes who kicked out the rebound to Connor Jones who scored at 18:49 putting Vernon up 8-2. In the end the Vipers would snap their one game losing streak with a 8-2 victory as the Grizzlies snapped their two game winning streak. The Vipers outshot the Grizzlies 16-7.

Top Players: (Vernon)

Mike Collins (2 assists) Played very well at both ends of the rink. Collins played very well on the penalty kill as well. Made some real smart heads up plays.

Dan Nycholat (2 assists) I thought Nycholat played a heck of a game on the Vipers blueline. Nycholat looked very solid on the backend. Setup two Viper goals.

Curtis Gedig (3 goals) Looked very dangerous with the puck offensively but I thought he struggled with the puck defensively coughing up the puck a few times in his own end, one wich led to Victorias first goal. Nice to see Curtis find the back of the net. Overall had a good game.

Connor Jones (2 goals & 2 assists) Connor played and looked very solid up front, even without his brother Kellen. Jones was really skating hard tonight, didnt seem to have the same drive he does when going to the net, but really read the ice well, making some nice heads up plays.

Steve Weinstein (1 assist) I was very impressed with Steve's play tonight, at both ends of the rink. Weinstein who has been playing his best hockey as a Viper over the last two months or so, looked very solid tonight.

Patrick McGillis didnt see a ton of icetime but when he was out their, I was impressed with Patty's hard work and determination. This kid never quits, battled hard all game. Had a great chance in the 3rd after Colin Fernandes shot the puck right at him, but couldnt find the back of the net.

Jonathan Milhouse (1 goal & 1 assist) Milhouse who played his former team for the first time since the off season trade, scored once and setup another playing very well up front.

Top Players: (Victoria)

Nick Buchanan (1 assist) I was fairly impressed with the defensive play from Buchanan. A solid d-man who dosnt give you an inch to move out their. Played very well for the Grizz.

Dylan Nowakowski isnt the biggest kid but worked extremely hard, battled hard and didnt quit, was skating hard, played with lots of emotion. Very strong skater with a good work ethic.

Madison Dias I thought was Victoria's best player tonight, had several decent chances, carried the puck alot. Good with and without the puck.

Colton Schell I thought didnt get much icetime but looked pretty good when given the chance. Had lots of jump and another kid that battled hard in front of the net.

Game Thoughts: (Vernon)

Both teams started out a little slow, looking fairly even in the first half of the opening period before the Vipers took over and didnt look back outplaying and outchancing the Grizzlies all night. Vernon was by far the better team, won most of the battles in the 1st and 2nd periods, won most of the races and were by far the more skilled team. Vernon's passing was a bit off tonight at times, I really liked the teams breakout, looked very smooth. Nice to see the powerplay clicking again, going 2-2. Tonight was one of if not the smallest crowd of the season (1,728) I heard Kellen is doing well and may return sometime after Christmas. I also heard several rumors that Vernon product and former Chilliwack Bruin David Robinson will be in the Vipers lineup tomorrow night vs Nanaimo. Former Vipers Aaron Volpatti and Ryan Kakoske were at tonights game, along with former coaches Bernie Pimm and Shawn Bourgeous.

Game Thoughts: (Victoria)

I was a little dissapointed in the Victoria Grizzlies tonight. I was expecting much more and a much closer hockey game. This was the Grizz third game in four nights, so maybe the team was tired? The Grizzlies had troubles offensively most of the night, getting under 10 shots a period, not much traffic in front of Graeme Gordon and very little second or third chances. I thought Victoria lacked the jump, emotion and didnt have much overall energy. I was surprised to see the Grizz go with Colin Fernandes tonight, after Ryan Holfeld came into tonight with back to back shutouts. Fernandes looked very shaky at times, had troubles handling the puck, was caught several times wandering outside of his crease, gave up some pretty big rebounds. I was surprised they left him in for all eight goals. I dont think the Grizz can be to happy with tonights ending and performance.



Darrin Robak
Kellen Jones (Injured)


Brad Pawlowski
Sean Robertson
Wesley Myron

3 Stars:

1st Star: Curtis Gedig (3 goals)
2nd Star: Jonathan Milhouse (1 goal & 1 assist)
3rd Star: Connor Jones (2 goals & 2 assists)