Sunday, October 31, 2010

Brett Corkey's Thoughts On Tough Overtime Loss To PG:

Vernon Vipers colour commentator, Don Klepp interviews Vipers defenceman, Brett Corkey on his thoughts after a tough 3-2 overtime loss to the Prince George Spruce Kings last weekend.

Vipers Bow In Overtime Again:

This is on the Vipers website:

Vipers bow in overtime again

by Don Klepp | Added 2010-10-30

Two tired teams duked it out at the Wesbild Centre in Vernon, with the Victoria Grizzlies defeating the Vipers 3-2 in double overtime.

Both teams pulled into Vernon about 4 am, Vernon from Quesnel and Victoria from Trail. Both teams displayed energy at times, but they also coughed up the puck more often than usual.

In the first minute of the game, a Viper letdown allowed sniper Dustin Johnson to rattle the puck off Blake Voth’s post.

The Grizzlies were the better team in the early going, but then the Vipers started to exert pressure and Victoria’s Matt Ginn had to be very sharp. He also was fortunate on several occasions as the puck bounced around in the crease.

Ginn made a superb blocker save on a rising Dylan Walchuk shot with four minutes left in the period and then he absolutely robbed a Viper with two seconds remaining.

Despite being out shot 13-7, Victoria went into the first intermission with a 2-0 lead. The first came at 9:50 when Joel Lowry picked the top corner after a good forecheck by David Morley and Pearce Eviston.

A strange power play goal by Madison Dias extended the lead. A shot bounced off the back glass and settled to the right of Blake Voth, who didn’t see it. Dias swooped in to poke it in.

In the second, the Vipers had numerous chances while out shooting the visitors 15-5, but could manage just one goal. On at least five occasions, they had Ginn at their mercy but shot wide or into the goaltender.

Also, Ginn made several game savers on good Viper shots. On one shift with a minute remaining in the period, Ginn somehow stopped shots by Kakoske, Murphy, and Robinson.

Malcolm Lyles did get the Vipers on the board with a hard wrist shot from the top of the left faceoff circle at 6:42. Max Mowat set up Lyles with a nice cross-ice pass.

In Friday evening in Quesnel, the Vipers mounted a third period comeback, and they duplicated the feat on Saturday.

In Quesnel with the game on the line, Mark Ferner placed Dylan Walchuk with John Knisley and Mike Zalewski, and Zalewski scored a late winner. That combination struck again at 11:25 of the third period to tie the game at 2-2.

The rest of the period kept the Viper fans on the edge of their seats as the teams traded chances. Both goaltenders were spectacular at times, with Ginn getting more work.

The Vipers wasted a golden opportunity to go ahead when Pearce Eviston’s vicious hit from behind on Bryce Kakoske earned Eviston a five-minute major and a game ejection.

Good Grizzly defending and a series of Viper miscues meant the Vipers wasted their opportunity.

Victoria had a late power play of their own, but Blake Voth was solid. Then, Matt Ginn wowed the fans with a succession of brilliant saves and the game moved to overtime.

The Grizzlies started the first overtime buzzing in the Viper zone, and the home team was strong in the latter stages, but nothing was decided so the game went to three-on-three hockey in the second overtime.

Big saves by both goalies characterized the first minute of the second OT as the play was wide open. Ginn had the biggest save, robbing Dylan Walchuk.

Finally, Sean Robertson decided the contest with an 8-foot backhand shot that squeaked through Blake Voth’s pads at 3:58.

Game Notes:

• Matt Ginn earned the first star of the contest, stopping 40 of 42 shots, many of them point blank.

• The Grizzlies won their third overtime contest this season, while the Vipers lost their fourth overtime decision versus one OT win.

Vipers Rally At The Vault:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers rally at The Vault

Published: October 30, 2010 11:00 AM

The Vernon Vipers rallied with three-straight third-period goals to ambush the host Quesnel Millionaires 4-3 in B.C. Hockey League play Friday night at The Vault.

Mike Zalewski, with his fourth goal of the season, recorded the winner before 625 fans with 76 seconds to play.

Despite peppering Mills’ netminder Kirby Halcrow with 17 first-period shots, and 43 overall, the Vipers trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes as second star Malcolm Gould (3rd and 4th goals) potted the first of his two goals on the night.

Gould had the lone second-period marker as well, scoring on a powerplay at 17:24.

The last-place Mills (4-13-1) went 2-for-7 on the powerplay, while Vernon (11-5-1-3) went 3-for-9.

The Vipers went to work with the extra man early in the third period as first star Dylan Walchuk jumpstarted the Vernon offence with his team-leading 11th goal at 2:01.

Spencer Graboski (6th) restored Quesnel’s two-goal lead, but Vernon surged with a three-goal spree in a five-minute span to seal the win.

John Knisley and Kyle Murphy, both with their fifth goals of the season, pulled the Vipers even on the powerplay.

Walchuk, Bryce Kakoske and defenceman Adam Thompson chipped in with two assists apiece as Blake Voth recorded 18 saves for the win.

Meanwhile, the Penticton Vees maintained their grasp on first place in the BCHL with a 4-2 win over the Salmon Arm SilverBacks Friday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Joey Holka led the Vees (14-5-0-1) with 2+1, while Mark MacMillan supplied 1+2.

Morgan Zulinick and Devin Muller supplied singles for the 13-7 SilverBacks.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Victoria 3 Vernon 2 (Double Overtime)

I was at tonights BCHL game as Victoria defeated Vernon 3-2 in double overtime in front of 1,806 fans at the Wesbild Centre.

Startuing Goaltenders:

Vernon: Blake Voth
Victoria: Matt Ginn

1st Period: Off the opening faceoff former Merritt Centennial Dustin Johnson stepped over the Vernon blueline and snapped a quick shot that beat Blake Voth but hit the post. The Vipers would get back to back two on ones in the games first few minutes but couldnt find the back of the net. Bryce Kakoske with a great chance couldnt beat Matt Ginn and then Trevor Fitzgerald setup Colton Sparrow who couldnt get the puck past Ginn. The Vipers would then get the games first powerplay but struggle as Victorias penalty kill was very sharp blocking several shots, or getting bodies in front to break up the Vipers passes as the Grizzlies killed off the minor. Back come Vernon on another two on one, John Knisley setup Dylan Walchuk who had a wide open goal but couldnt find the back of the net shooting high and over the net. Victoria would open the scoring at 9:50 after a scramble in front of the Vernon goal, Joel Lowry with a great chance couldnt beat Voth from in close, but the Grizzlies battled hard in front keeping the play alive getting the puck back to Lowry who beat Voth with Pearce Eviston and David Morley collecting the assists. Back come Vernon with some good presure but again couldnt burry their chances. The Vipers were the better of the two teams controlling the better of the play. The Grizzlies with very little offence had troubles getting the puck into the Vernon zone. The Vipers would get another powerplay but again struggle getting just a single shot as the Grizzlies penalty kill was very strong killing off the minor. Victoria would get a late powerplay and take advantage. With only seconds left on the man advantage Blake Voth made the first save in front but lost sight of the puck before Madison Dias caught Voth looking the other way, Dias slide the puck around the net catching Voth off gaurd giving the Grizzlies a 2-0 lead. Dias's goal was unassisted. The Vipers with a great chance to get on the board in the final minute of play, but John Knisley couldnt beat Matt Ginn who made a nice save in close. Vernon outplayed Victoria but were down 2-0 after 20 minutes of play. The Vipers outshot the Grizzlies 13-7.

2nd Period: Off the opening faceoff Madison Dias stepped over the Vipers blueline getting a quick shot as Voth just got a peice of it with his glove on a close call. Back come the Vipers on the same play, Bryce Kakoske would get the puck in the slot but Matt Ginn made a nice glove save. This was a very scrambly period with very little flow to the game as both teams had troubles getting things going. Alot of whistles really seemed to slow down the play. The Vipers would get a powerplay and finally capitalize. Max Mowat setup Malcolm Lyles at 6:42 whos wicked shot went high past Matt Ginn making this a one goal game. Mowat and Dylan Walchuk picked up the helpers. Victoria was again having all kinds of trouble generating offence as the Grizzlies didnt record their first shot on goal until nine minutes into the 2nd period. Just after Joel Lowry who was one of the Grizzlies better players had a great chance on a two on one, but Lowry couldnt slide the puck into the empty net missing on a great scoring chance. Dustin Johnson would then over power Turner Lawson but couldnt hold onto the puck long enough, after getting in close. Vernon seemed to get things going in the second half getting some good chances from in close. Matt Ginn played very well between the pipes for the Grizzlies. Victoria would get a great chance to re-gain their two goal lead but Wade Murphy couldnt beat Voth from the slot. David Robinson was then stopped by Ginn from in close. Bryce Kakoske with some hard work, carried the puck but couldnt get it past Ginn. Vernon was again the better of the two teams but didnt look as sharp as they were in the opening period. Both teams started to look a little tired as the game went on. Victoria was up 2-1 after 40 minutes of play. The Vipers outshot the Grizzlies 15-5.

3rd Period: Vernon again dominated play for most of the period but couldnt seem to find the back of the net. Some good chances early as Victoria seemed to be a bit back on their heels. The Grizzlies with a great chance in front but Voth come up with a big save, back come the Vipers on the same play, Dylan Walchuk carried the puck out of his own end, setting up John Knisley who would feed Mike Zalewski who beat Ginn at 11:25. Knisley and Dylan Walchuk with the helpers. This seemed to get the Vipers going and get the crowd into the game. Just after the faceoff Pearce Eviston would hit Bryce Kakoske from behind in front of the Vernon bench. Eviston would get five minutes for checking from behind and get tossed from the game. With Vernon on a five minute major the Vipers would get a quick shot towards the goal, with a scramble in front and a loose puck laying in the crease the Vipers couldnt capitalize. From here on in the Vipers struggled on the five minute major getting just a single shot as Victoria would kill off the major and keep the game tied 2-2. This was a huge kill for the Grizzlies and maybe a turning point. Just after Victoria would get a late powerplay but unable to capitalize as Vernon would kill off the minor. In the final few minutes Vernon would press with some good presure but again couldnt find the back of the net. Trevor Fitzgerlad with just over a minute remaining was robbed by the glove off Matt Ginn. It was tied 2-2 after 60 minutes of play. Vernon outshot Victoria 9-7.

Overtime: Off the opening draw Dylan Walchuk would get a great chance but couldnt beat Ginn on the Vipers only scoring chance of the extra period. Victoria would come back and with some good presure move the puck around well but really unable to get any real scoring chances. The Grizzlies carried the play in the extra period but the game was still tied 2-2. Shots were even 2-2.

Double Overtime: The play would really open up with some great chances at both ends of the rink. Steve Weinstein and Kyle Murphy on a two on one, Weinstein would keep and shoot but Ginn made the save. David Morley was left all alone in front but somehow fired high and over the net after a great scoring chance for the Grizzlies. Back come the Vipers, Bryce Kakoske who played very well tonight carried the play, made a few nice moves in close, but held off before trying to go around Matt Ginn as the puck went through the crease. On the same play Dylan Walchuk was left all alone, I dont think Walchuk realized how much time he had before getting off a shot. On the next play back come the Grizzlies Joel Lowry setup Sean Robertson in front who beat Blake Voth fivehole at 3:58 giving Victoria the 3-2 double overtime victory. Shots were even 3-3.

Top Players: (Vernon)

Brett Corkey played a very solid game on the Vipers blueline. With Adam Thompson out of the lineup Corkey was teamed up with veteran Steve Weinstein on the point.

Dylan Walchuk (2 assists) Walchuk saw lots of icetime and looked very tired as the game went late. Had a few good scoring chances.

Colton Sparrow didnt see much icetime as the game went along, but I thought played and looked very good at the start of the game. Sparrow seems to add energy to the Vipers lineup.

Bryce Kakoske was one of if not the best Viper tonight. Kakoske saw lots of icetime, carried the puck alot, was also very hard to knock off the puck tonight. Was very strong down low and in front. Battled hard and worked hard all night.

Top Players: (Victoria)

Nick Buchanan played a strong game for the Grizzlies on the blueline.

Graeme Strukoff played a strong-physical game for the Grizzles tonight. The former Trail Smoke Eater was very hard to play against tonight.

Madison Dias (1 goal) Worked hard for the Grizzlies all night, was one of the better players for Victoria. A bigger kid who can skate and shoot well.

Joel Lowry (1 goal & 1 assist) Lowry didnt quit skating all night, scored a nice goal to open the scoring after some hard work in front. Setup a few nice chances.

Wade Murphy didnt really look all that good to start the game but seemed to play and look better as the game went on. Murphy with a few chances played well.

Matt Ginn (40 saves) Ginn didnt have to stand on his head but played very well between the pipes for the Grizzlies giving them a chance to win the hockey game. Ginn made some key saves at key times through out the game.

Game Thoughts: (Vernon)

After battling back down two goals last night in Quesnel to come from behind for the big 4-3 win and then getting home late after a long bus ride back into Vernon, I thought the Vipers were the better of the two teams. Vernon controlled the better of the play for most of the night, but I dont think the Vipers were very sharp in certain areas. Several missed passes, struggled on the powerplay and just didnt seem to use their speed to their advantage. It looked like both teams were tired come towards the end of the game. How many games have the Vipers now got close to or over 40 shots and cant burry their chances? Some of these pucks have to start going in. It seemed like the Vipers would get 10 chances to Victorias two chances but the Grizzlies would score. I didnt think Blake Voth looked all that good between the pipes tonight, Voth was beat on two shots early to start the game and early to start the 2nd period, but got lucky as both shots went off the post. I thought Voth let out some rebounds and just didnt look very comfortable in goal. Another example tonight, when the Vipers are outshooting the visitors 10-1 they need the big save at the other end of the rink every once in a while. This was the Vipers second straight overtime loss in back to back games on home ice. Vernon seems to have troubles in OT going 1-4.

Game Thoughts: (Victoria)

I didnt see much in the Grizzlies tonight. Victoria was outplayed for most of the night, seemed to sit back and wait for their chances and capitalize on them. The Grizzlies who were playing their fourth road game in five nights finished off the road trip at 2-2. Matt Ginn really kept his team in the game early, Vernon with three two on one chances early in the first half could have gone up 2 or 3-0. I was very impressed with the Grizzlies penalty kill, they blocked alot of Vernon shots, seemed to always get a body or stick in the way. Give the Grizzlies credit they scored on their chances. Congrats to both former Vernon Vipers Taylor Love and Brad Cook on their first visit back to Vernon.



Elliott Richardson (Injured)
Patrick McGillis (Injured)


Josh Bryan
Dylan Nowakowski
Bryce Twa

3 Stars:

1st Star: Matt Ginn (40 saves)
2nd Star: Joel Lowry (1 goal & 1 assist)
3rd Star: Malcolm Lyles (1 goal)

(Game Preview) Victoria @ Vernon:

Victoria (10-6-0-1) @ Vernon (11-5-1-3)

Tonight is the first meeting of the season series between the defending Royal Bank Cup Champion Vernon Vipers & the Victoria Grizzlies. Victoria is playing its final game of a four game road trip, while Vernon is coming home after playing in Quesnel last night.

Last Game Played:

Friday, October 29th Vernon defeated Quesnel 4-3
Friday, October 29th Victoria defeated Trail 5-2

Next Game:

Friday, November 5th Vernon @ Merritt
Tuesday, November 2nd Nanaimo @ Victoria

Let's take a look at the Vernon Vipers:

Games Played: 20
Wins: 11
Losses: 5
Ties: 1
Overtime Losses: 3
Home Record: 4-2-1-2
Road Record: 7-3-0-1
Last Ten Games: 7-1-1-1
Streak: One game winning streak
Goals For: 68
Goals Against: 48
Standings: Tied for 2nd place with Salmon Arm

Since the 2005-06 regular season Vernon is 4-3-0-2 vs. Victoria

Since the 2005-06 regular season Vernon has outscored Victoria 34-26

For more stats & former Vernon Junior Hockey Team rosters & lineups please visit Paul’s Vernon Junior Hockey History website,

Returning Players:

Bryce Kakoske (90)
David Robinson (90)
Blake Voth (91)
Steve Weinstein (90)
Adam Thompson (90)
Dylan Walchuk (92)
Patrick McGillis (91)

Departing & traded players from last years team:

Connor Jones (90)
Mike Collins (90)
Braden Pimm (89)
Cory Kane (90)
Jonathan Milhouse (89)
Kellen Jones (90)
Rob Short (89)
Cole Ikkala (90)
Dan Nycholat (89)
Kevin Kraus (89)
Curtis Gedig (91)
Garrett Noonan (91)
Sahir Gill (92)
Darrin Robak (91)
Graeme Gordon (89)

Key’s and Notes to tonight’s game:

-How will the Vipers respond after a long drive home after a huge comeback win last night in Quesnel

-Getting off to a good start will be key

-The Vipers may be a bit tired after getting home late last night, so will have to keep their shifts short and keep things simple

-Goaltending will be key for both teams

-Vernon has played every home game in the month of October on Saturday while every road game has been played on every Friday night

-The Vipers have atleast a point in ten straight games

-Forward Bryce Kakoske has points in two out of his last three games

-Forward Dylan Walchuk is 20th in league scoring with (11-11-22)

-Goaltender Blake Voth is third amoungst all goaltenders with a 11-5-1 record and a 2.07 GAA

Let's take a look at the Victoria Grizzlies:

Games Played: 17
Wins: 10
Losses: 6
Ties: 0
Overtime Losses: 1
Home Record: 7-3-0-0
Road Record: 3-3-0-1
Streak: Two game losing streak
Goals For: 64
Goals Against: 55
Last ten games: 7-3-0-0
Standings: 3rd place

Victoria has had a busy month in the trades department. The Grizzlies have made several moves over the month of October to try and make their hockey club better. Lets take a look at their moves.

06-Oct-10 The Victoria Grizzlies Hockey Club transfers the playing rights of Ryan Stanimir (90)(F) to the St. Albert Steel Hockey Club of the AJHL in exchange for the playing rights of Kyle Aschim (90)(F).

13-Oct-10 The Merritt Centennials Hockey Club transfers the playing rights of Dustin Johnson (90)(F) to the Victoria Grizzlies Hockey Club in exchange for the playing rights of Brett Kollins (92)(D), Scott Milnthorp (92)(D) and future considerations.

13-Oct-10 The Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey Club transfers the playing rights of Graeme Strukoff (91)(D) to the Victoria Grizzlies Hockey Club in exchange for the playing rights of Wesley Myron (92)(F), Jake Baker (91)(D) and future considerations.

15-Oct-10 The Victoria Grizzlies Hockey Club reacquires the playing rights of Wesley Myron (92)(F) from the Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey Club in exchange for future considerations.

Returning Players:

Joel Lowry (91)
Pearce Eviston (92)
Madison Dias (92)
Sean Robertson (91)
Brandon Fagerheim (90)
Wesley Myron (92)
Gregory Simpson (90)
Nick Buchanan (91)
Dylan Nowakowski (91)
Wade Murphy (93)
Josh Bryan (93)
Bryce Twa (91)
Tanner McGaw (92)

Departing & traded players from last years team:

Dustin Mowrey (91)
Alex Allan (89)
Jordan Heywood (89)
Brad Pawlowski (89)
Spencer Copp (90)
Jared Eng (92)
Derek Bacon (91)
Mike Tebbutt (92)
Graeme McCormack (91)
Sam Grist (93)
Brett Kolins (92)
Ryan Holfeld (89)
Colin Fernandes (90)

Key’s and Notes to tonight’s game:

-This is the Grizzlies one and only visit to Vernon, unless both teams meet in the BCHL Playoffs

-Victorias last visit to the Wesbild Centre was December 18th of last year as Vernon defeated Victoria 8-2

-This is the Grizzlies fourth and final game of their four game road trip. Victoria is currently 1-2 on the trip with a big 5-2 win in Trail last night before falling to Salmon Arm and Penticton

-Defenceman Taylor Love will be making his first visit back to Vernon to face his former team for the first time. Love was traded to Victoria earlier this year for future considerations

-The Grizz are 7-3 at home but 500 on the road with a 3-3-0-1 record

-Victoria needs to jump on a Vernon team that played last night in Quesnel

-The Grizzlies need to keep things simple, compete and play a full 60 minutes

-Tonight will be the Grizzlies fourth game in five nights, does Victoria have enough left in the tank to knock off the Vipers?

-Forward Joel Lowry is 12th in league scoring with (8-19-27)

-Goaltender Matt Ginn is 6th in league goaltenders with a record of 10-6 and a 2.67 GAA

-Before Victoria headed out on this four game road trip, the Grizzlies had won six straight

Here’s a look at last years season series between these two teams:

Friday, December 18th @ Vernon: Vernon wins 8-2



Vernon Vipers at 6:09 - Jonathan Milhouse from Dan Nycholat and Connor Jones
Victoria Grizzlies at 8:41 - Derek Bacon from Alex Allan
Vernon Vipers at 9:17 - Cory Kane from Connor Jones and Jonathan Milhouse
Vernon Vipers at 16:09 (PP) - Curtis Gedig from Bryce Kakoske and Mike Collins


Vernon Vipers at 3:09 - Curtis Gedig from Dan Nycholat and Cole Ikkala
Vernon Vipers at 7:02 - Cory Kane from Jonathan Milhouse and Connor Jones
Vernon Vipers at 19:56 - Curtis Gedig from Bryce Kakoske and Mike Collins


Vernon Vipers at 2:01 (PP) - Dylan Walchuk from Cole Ikkala and Steven Weinstein
Victoria Grizzlies at 12:53 - Joel Lowry from Spencer Copp and Nick Buchanan
Vernon Vipers at 18:49 - Connor Jones from Steven Weinstein

Vernon outshot Victoria 41-21. Graeme Gordon made 19 saves in the win, while Colin Fernandes made 33 saves in the loss.

Saturday, January 16th @ Victoria: Victoria wins 5-3



Victoria Grizzlies at 14:38 (PP) - Mike Tebbutt from Derek Bacon and Joel Lowry


Victoria Grizzlies at 1:57 - Jordan Heywood from Madison Dias and Dustin Mowrey
Victoria Grizzlies at 5:57 (SH) - Dustin Mowrey from Madison Dias and Jordan Heywood
Vernon Vipers at 14:01 - Jonathan Milhouse (unassisted)
Vernon Vipers at 18:05 (SH) - Connor Jones from Kellen Jones


Vernon Vipers at 0:54 - Braden Pimm from David Robinson and Dan Nycholat
Victoria Grizzlies at 9:29 - Madison Dias from Alex Allan and Dustin Mowrey
Victoria Grizzlies at 14:06 - Alex Allan from Dustin Mowrey and Madison Dias

Victoria outshot Vernon 30-28. Ryan Holfeld made 25 saves picking up the win, while Blake Voth made 25 saves in the loss.

Here's a look at both teams rosters:


Dylan Walchuk (11-11-22)
Bryce Kakoske (7-12-19)
David Robinson (9-8-17)
John Knisley (5-11-16)
Kyle Murphy (5-9-14)
Michael Zalewski (4-7-11)
Adam Thompson (3-8-11)
Marcus Basara (5-5-10)
Aaron Hadley (3-7-10)
Malcolm Lyles (2-8-10)
Steven Weinstein (2-7-9)
Patrick McGillis (4-4-8)
Trevor Fitzgerald (5-3-8)
Brett Corkey (0-7-7)
Darren Nowick (0-6-6)
Max Mowat (1-5-6)
Elliot Richardson (1-3-4)
Todd Skirving (1-3-4)
Colton Sparrow (0-2-2)
Philip Patenaude (0-1-1)
Austin Baecker (0-0-0)

Bryton Udy (0-3 Record, 3.84 GAA)
Blake Voth (11-5-1 Record, 2 Shutouts, 2.07 GAA)


Joel Lowry (8-19-27)
David Morley (7-15-22)
Pearce Eviston (9-11-20)
Madison Dias (7-6-13)
Graeme Strukoff (6-7-13)
Dustin Johnson (6-8-14)
Sean Robertson (1-12-13)
Michael Colantone (6-6-12)
Brandon Fagerheim (2-6-8)
Wesley Myron (4-4-8)
Gregory Simpson (3-6-9)
Taylor Love (2-3-5)
Nick Buchanan (0-5-5)
Dylan Nowakowski (4-0-4)
Wade Murphy (1-3-4)
Evan Richardson (1-2-3)
Josh Bryan (0-3-3)
Chase Paylor (1-0-1)
Bryce Twa (0-1-1)
Braxton Bilous (0-0-0)
Bruin McDonald (0-0-0)

Matt Ginn (10-6 Record, 1 Shutout, 2.67 GAA)
Tanner McGaw (0-1 Record, 7.29 GAA)

Vipers Mount Comeback In Quesnel:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Vipers mount comeback in Quesnel

by Don Klepp | Added 2010-10-29

You never know what you’ll get from Quesnel Millionaire goaltender Kirby Halcrow; sometimes he’s brilliant and sometimes he loses his focus. On Friday in Quesnel, he was often brilliant but still lost 4-3 as the Vipers mounted a big third period comeback.

The Millionaires took a 1-0 lead at 4:34 of the first period, when Devin Balness and Justin Hogan combined to free the puck for a Malcolm Gould tap-in on the home team’s first shot on goal. For most of the remainder of the period, the Vipers were dominant, out shooting the home team, 17-6.

A key point in the period came when the Mills killed off a Viper five-on-three man advantage that lasted for a minute and 50 seconds. Halcrow played a key role in that kill.

At the other end of the ice, Blake Voth had some shining moments as well, including two big stops on Malcolm Gould. In the opening period, the other Viper to really impress the Quesnel fans, Malcolm Lyles, laid on three bone crunching hits.

Halcrow had less work in the second period, although he did have to make a couple of big stops on a Viper power play late in the third.

Blake Voth was busier than Halcrow, and was very good. He made an excellent save on Burgart who was in short handed, but could not handle a puck that came off at a strange angle from the lively back boards. The puck bounced some more in the crease. Malcolm Gould got credit for the goal, his third of the year against the Vipers.

The fortunate bounce created just the fifth power play goal of the year for the Millionaires.

Inexperienced referee Justin Neufeld continued to call a series of penalties in the third period. The Vipers started the period on the power play that they were unable to convert. However, they did draw to within one goal with a Dylan Walchuk deflection of a Bryce Kakoske point shot while Devin Balness was in the box. That goal came at 2:01.

The Mills restored their two-goal lead with a power play marker at 7:02. Spencer Graboski notched his sixth of the season with helpers by Chris Kerr and Chris Blessing.

However, as the string of penalties continued, the Vipers tied the game on two more power plays, by John Knisley and Kyle Murphy, both on rebounds from Adam Thompson slap shots.

The Vipers forged ahead on another rebound goal. Shortening his bench, Coach Mark Ferner put Dylan Walchuk on a line with John Knisley and Mike Zalewski. They clicked at 18:44, when Zalewski banged in the puck after Walchuk took the shot.

In the end, Halcrow stopped 39 of 43 shots, but gave up some rebounds that the Vipers were able to cash in.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Vernon 4 Quesnel 3



Quesnel Millionaires at 4:34 - Malcolm Gould from Devin Balness and Justin Hogan


Quesnel Millionaires at 17:24 (PP) - Malcolm Gould from Devin Balness and Skyler Smutek


Vernon Vipers at 2:01 (PP) - Dylan Walchuk from Bryce Kakoske and Brett Corkey
Quesnel Millionaires at 7:02 (PP) - Spencer Graboski from Chris Kerr and Chris Blessing
Vernon Vipers at 13:29 (PP) - John Knisley from Adam Thompson and Dylan Walchuk
Vernon Vipers at 14:46 (PP) - Kyle Murphy from Adam Thompson and Bryce Kakoske
Vernon Vipers at 18:44 - Michael Zalewski from Dylan Walchuk and John Knisley

Vernon outshot Quesnel 43-21. Blake Voth made 18 saves in the win, while Kirby Halcrow made 39 saves taking the loss.

Baecker Still A Thunderbird, Atleast For Now:

After listening to Mark Ferners pre-game comments on the Vipers-Millionaires brodcast this evening, it sounded like Gus Correale was looking for more icetime, so Mark Ferner found him a place (Grande Prairie) to play. Mark figures Gus will get a regular shift with a young Storm hockey club and have a chance at being a top six forward. Mark Ferner said it dosnt look like the Vipers will see defenceman, Austin Baecker anytime soon but thinks maybe he will be a Viper later on in the season. If Baecker dosnt report to Vernon, this means the Vipers will be short a forward.

Why would Mark Ferner make a trade for a player if he wasnt sure if the player would report-play here? There was also future considerations in the deal, so if Baecker dosnt report to Vernon maybe the Storm will have to give up somebody in return for next season? Kinda like what the Vipers had to do with Darrin Robak and the Cowichan Valley Capitals this summer.

It dosnt look like Baecker will be leaving Seattle anytime soon. On October, 20th the Thunderbirds traded defenseman Ryan Aasman to the Swift Current Broncos for a conditional 5th round selection in the 2012 Bantam Draft. Seattle GM Russ Farwell said on the teams website that the Thunderbirds had nine defensemen and needed to reduce their roster. Seattle is now left with eight defenceman (Austin Baecker (92), Travis Bobbee (90), Erik Bonsor (91), Brenden Dillon (90), Erik Fleming (92), Austin Frank (93), Scott Ramsay (91) & Dave Sutter (92).

(Game Preview) Vernon @ Quesnel:

Vernon (10-5-1-3) @ Quesnel (4-12-1-0)

Tonight is the fourth meeting of the season series between the defending Royal Bank Cup Champion Vernon Vipers & the Quesnel Millionaires. Vernon is making its second visit to the Vault after playing its last two games vs. Quesnel at home. Vernon is coming off a 3-2 overtime loss Sunday afternoon to the Prince George Spruce Kings. The Vipers have won three out of their last four games and have points in none straight games. Quesnel is coming off a 4-1 loss to the Merritt Centennials Sunday afternoon, the Millionaires are riding a four game losing streak. You can listen to tonights game live with Todd Miller & Don Klepp on 107.5 Kiss FM starting at 7:15pm

Last Game Played:

Sunday, October 24th Prince George defeated Vernon 3-2 (overtime)
Sunday, October 24th Merritt defeated Quesnel 4-1

Next Game:

Saturday, October 30th Victoria @ Vernon
Saturday, October 30th Merritt @ Quesnel

Let's take a look at the Vernon Vipers:

Games Played: 19
Wins: 10
Losses: 5
Ties: 1
Overtime Losses: 3
Home Record: 4-2-1-2
Road Record: 6-3-0-1
Last Ten Games: 6-2-1-1
Streak: One game losing streak
Goals For: 64
Goals Against: 45
Standings: 4th place

Since the 2002-03 season Vernon is 38-7-2-1 vs. Quesnel

Since the 2002-03 season Vernon has outscored Quesnel 227-101

For more stats & former Vernon Junior Hockey Team rosters & lineups please visit Paul’s Vernon Junior Hockey History website,

Returning Players:

Bryce Kakoske (90)
David Robinson (90)
Blake Voth (91)
Steve Weinstein (90)
Adam Thompson (90)
Dylan Walchuk (92)
Patrick McGillis (91)

Departing & traded players from last years team:

Connor Jones (90)
Mike Collins (90)
Braden Pimm (89)
Cory Kane (90)
Jonathan Milhouse (89)
Kellen Jones (90)
Rob Short (89)
Cole Ikkala (90)
Dan Nycholat (89)
Kevin Kraus (89)
Curtis Gedig (91)
Garrett Noonan (91)
Sahir Gill (92)
Darrin Robak (91)
Graeme Gordon (89)

Vernons Powerplay vs. Quesnel this season:


At Home vs. Quesnel:


On The Road vs. Quesnel:


Vernons scoring leaders vs. Quesnel this season:

John Knisley (1-4-5)
David Robinson (3-0-3)
Bryce Kakoske (2-1-3)
Trevor Fitzgerald (2-1-3)
Steven Weinstein (1-2-3)
Brett Corkey (0-3-3)
Dylan Walchuk (1-2-3)
Kyle Murphy (1-2-3)
Darren Nowick (0-3-3)
Max Mowat (0-2-2)
Todd Skirving (0-2-2)
Marcus Basara (2-0-2)
Malcolm Lyles (0-1-1)
Michael Zalewski (1-0-1)
Colton Sparrow (0-1-1)
Patrick McGillis (0-1-1)
Aaron Hadley (0-1-1)
Adam Thompson (0-1-1)

Blake Voth (2-0-1 Record)

Key’s and Notes to tonight’s game:

-The Vipers have won 14 straight games in Quesnel. The Millionaires last win at home vs. Vernon was a 3-1 victory back on November 26th 2004

-Vernon has won three out of its last four games on the road

-The Vipers cant take the 6th place Millionaires too lightly

-Vernon has to get off to a good start

-The Vipers will have to adjust to the smaller ice surface at the Vault

-Vernon has scored 15 goals in their last three games

-The Vipers will be without forward, Patrick McGillis who is out of the lineup with an injury. McGillis has four goals in his last five games

-Blake Voth seems to have come into his own as of late and been playing his best hockey of the season. Voth is 3rd amoungst the leagues top ten goaltenders with a 2.02 GAA

-The Vipers have given up just five goals in their last five games

-The Vipers have outscored the Millionaires 14-4 in three games this year

Let's take a look at the Quesnel Millionaires:

Games Played: 17
Wins: 4
Losses: 12
Ties: 1
Overtime Losses: 0
Home Record: 3-6-0-0
Road Record: 1-6-1-0
Streak: Four game losing streak
Goals For: 34
Goals Against: 70
Standings: 7th Place

Returning Players:

Clayton Chessa (91)
Justin Hogan (90)
Spencer Graboski (93)
Skyler Smutek (90)
Chris Kerr (92)
Tyler French (90)
Sam Higgins (90)
Anderson White (91)
Kirby Halcrow (91)

Departing & traded players from last years team:

Trever Hertz (89)
Taylor Holst (89)
Darick Ste-Marie (89)
Eliot Raibl (89)
Joshua Desmarais (89)
Jacob Verheyden (89)
Rylan Stanyer (90)
Mitch Galbraith (90)
Tyler Billon (92)
Tyson Price (91)
Marley Keca (93)
Brandon Watson (92)
Luke Siemens (92)

Quesnels Powerplay vs. Vernon this season:


At Home vs. Vernon:


On The Road vs. Vernon:


Quesnels scoring leaders vs. Vernon this season:

Daryl DeVries (1-1-2)
Sam Higgins (0-2-2)
Justin Hogan (1-1-2)
Skyler Smutek (0-1-1)
Derek Huisman (1-0-1)
Spencer Graboski (0-1-1)
Malcolm Gould (1-0-1)

Kirby Halcrow (0-1-1 Record)
Adam Harris (0-1 Record)

Key’s and Notes to tonight’s game:

-The Millionaires last win against the Vipers was way back during the 2004-05 season when Quesnel defeated Vernon 3-1 in Quesnel back on Friday, November 26th 2004. Since then the Millionaires have just two ties in their last 30 games vs. Vernon. Before picking up a 1-1 tie with Vernon back on October 6th of this year Quesnel had lost 26 straight to the Vipers

-In four career regular season games vs. Vernon Kirby Halcrow is 0-3-1 vs. the Vipers. Halcrow has stopped 138 out of 152 Vernon shots

-The Mills will need to get off to a good start, and try not to fall behind early against a Vernon team that plays well on the road

-Quesnel needs a much better effort and performance vs. the Vipers tonight, after falling to Vernon 8-1 last weekend

-The Millionaires are riding a four game losing streak, in those four games the Mills have been outscored 24-8

-Quesnel is going to have to try and slow down the Vipers and stop their excellent forecheck

-Kirby Halcrow or Adam Harris will have to be on their game, in order if the Mills want a shot at defeating Vernon

Here’s a look at the season series between these two teams:

Saturday, September 25th @ Quesnel: Vernon wins 5-2



Vernon Vipers at 11:46 (PP) - Michael Zalewski from Steven Weinstein and John Knisley
Vernon Vipers at 16:27 - Trevor Fitzgerald from Todd Skirving and Colton Sparrow


Vernon Vipers at 7:16 (PP) - Bryce Kakoske from Steven Weinstein and John Knisley


Vernon Vipers at 0:41 (PP) - Steven Weinstein from Dylan Walchuk and Kyle Murphy
Quesnel Millionaires at 1:51 - Justin Hogan from Spencer Graboski and Sam Higgins
Vernon Vipers at 12:46 (PP) - Kyle Murphy from Todd Skirving and Brett Corkey
Quesnel Millionaires at 14:26 - Derek Huisman from Daryl DeVries and Sam Higgins

Vernon outshot Quesnel 35-15. Blake Voth made 13 saves for the win, while Kirby Halcrow made 30 saves in the loss.

Wednesday, October 6th @ Vernon: 1-1 Tie



No Scoring


Vernon Vipers at 9:43 - John Knisley from Brett Corkey and Darren Nowick


Quesnel Millionaires at 17:52 - Devin Balness from Skyler Smutek


No Scoring

Vernon outshot Quesnel 48-23. Blake Voth made 22 saves while Kirby Halcrow made 47 saves.

Saturday, October 23rd @ Vernon: Vernon wins 8-1



Vernon Vipers at 12:29 - Dylan Walchuk from Patrick McGillis and Darren Nowick
Vernon Vipers at 15:04 - David Robinson from Bryce Kakoske and Brett Corkey
Vernon Vipers at 19:59 - David Robinson from Darren Nowick and Dylan Walchuk


Quesnel Millionaires at 6:10 - Malcolm Gould from Justin Hogan
Vernon Vipers at 12:47 - Bryce Kakoske from Aaron Hadley and John Knisley
Vernon Vipers at 14:45 - Marcus Basara from Max Mowat and Trevor Fitzgerald
Vernon Vipers at 17:09 (SH) - David Robinson from Max Mowat
Vernon Vipers at 18:24 - Trevor Fitzgerald from Malcolm Lyles and Kyle Murphy


Vernon Vipers at 5:49 (PP) - Marcus Basara from John Knisley and Adam Thompson

Vernon outshot Quesnel 36-25. Blake Voth made 24 saves for the win, while Adam Harris made 28 saves taking the loss.

Here's a look at both teams rosters:


Dylan Walchuk (10-9-19)
Bryce Kakoske (7-10-17)
David Robinson (9-8-17)
John Knisley (4-10-14)
Kyle Murphy (4-9-13)
Michael Zalewski (3-7-10)
Marcus Basara (5-5-10)
Aaron Hadley (3-7-10)
Malcolm Lyles (2-8-10)
Steven Weinstein (2-7-9)
Adam Thompson (3-6-9)
Patrick McGillis (4-4-8)
Trevor Fitzgerald (5-3-8)
Brett Corkey (0-6-6)
Darren Nowick (0-6-6)
Max Mowat (1-5-6)
Elliot Richardson (1-3-4)
Todd Skirving (1-3-4)
Colton Sparrow (0-2-2)
Philip Patenaude (0-1-1)
Austin Baecker (0-0-0)

Bryton Udy (0-3 Record, 3.84 GAA)
Blake Voth (10-5-1 Record, 2 Shutouts, 2.02 GAA)


Spencer Graboski (5-7-12)
Justin Hogan (4-8-12)
Devin Balness (3-5-8)
Clayton Chessa (6-1-7)
Skyler Smutek (1-6-7)
Chris Kerr (1-6-7)
Mike Zgraggen (1-5-6)
Daryl DeVries (3-3-6)
Sam Higgins (1-4-5)
Tyler French (0-5-5)
Malcolm Gould (2-3-5)
Derek Huisman (2-1-3)
Stefan Gonzales (0-2-2)
David Thompson (1-0-1)
Anderson White (1-0-1)
Quin Buckellew (1-0-1)
Rigby Burgart (0-0-0)
Chris Albee (0-0-0)
Ryan Crossen (0-0-0)
Bradley Buckingham (0-0-0)

Kirby Halcrow (3-10-1 Record, 1 Shutout, 3.42 GAA)
Adam Harris (0-1 Record, 7.50 GAA)

Vipers Pay Visit To Vault:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers pay visit to Vault

By Graeme Corbett - Vernon Morning Star

Published: October 28, 2010 4:00 PM

It is difficult to predict which Quesnel Millionaires team the Vernon Vipers will face tonight at The Vault.

The one that gave up three first-period goals on the way to an 8-1 shelling courtesy of the Snakes last weekend? Or the one that got a 47-save showing from netminder Kirby Halcrow to salvage a 1-1 tie earlier this month?

Vernon forward Kyle Murphy said it doesn’t really matter if Quesnel is hot or not; the Vipers just want to stick with the simple game-plan that earned them five out of six points last weekend.

“We just need to keep getting pucks to the net and keep getting people in front,” said Murphy, a Fair Haven, N.J. product who played last season with the NCAA Division 1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

“Lately we’ve had a whole team effort every game, all four lines are going.”

After missing the start of the B.C. Hockey League season with a shoulder injury, Murphy, 20, has picked up his game of late, skating on an all-veteran line with Bryce Kakoske and Dave Robinson.

“It’s a lot of fun. We joke a lot about it (being one of the oldest lines in the BCHL), but we have a responsibility to lead by example. We have a pretty young team,” he said.

Given the infusion of new players into his lineup, head coach Mark Ferner is pleased to see the Vipers (10-5-1-3) just three points back of the first-place Penticton Vees (13-5-0-1). Being that close to the top is good incentive.

“It’s great, especially for a younger team. Every night we know we’ve got to come out and be close to our best to gives ourselves an opportunity to win.”

The Vipers return to Wesbild Centre Saturday night to host the Victoria Grizzlies (9-6-0-1), losers of the first two of a four-game Interior swing. They bowed 6-3 to the Vees on Tuesday and fell 10-7 to the Salmon Arm SilverBacks (13-6) Wednesday.

The Grizz visit the Trail Smoke Eaters (12-6-0-1) tonight at Cominco Arena.

The Vipers will be without the services of Patrick McGillis for the foreseeable future as he sustained an upper-body injury last Saturday against the Mills. Defenceman Elliott Richardson (upper body) has been day-to-day since Vernon’s 5-0 win over the Vees last Friday. Ferner said Richardson will be a game-day decision.

Meanwhile, the Vipers have traded forward Gus Correale to the AJHL Grande Prairie Storm in exchange for future considerations and the rights to defenceman Austin Baeker.

Correale, a Prince George product, was held pointless in nine games with the Vipers. His older brother, Dan, leads the Storm in scoring with 7-14-21 in 19 games.

Baeker, 18, a 6-foot-6, 240-pound Kelowna product, is scoreless in seven games with the WHL Seattle Thunderbirds.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vipers Aquire Second Former WHL Defenceman:

Just two days after Parents weekend Mark Ferner pulled off his third trade of the BCHL season, aquiring a second former WHL d-man in Austin Baecker. Earlier in the season Mark Ferner picked up Max Mowat who was cut by the WHL Kamloops Blazers.

In order to aquire Austin Baecker the Vipers had to trade 17 year old rookie forward, Gus Correale. Correale who is from Prince George, BC went pointless in nine games with Vernon this year. Correale who played with the KIJHL Nelson Leafs last season is the second Leaf the Vipers have traded this year. Defenceman, Bennett Hambrook was traded earlier this year to the Prince George Spruce Kings for future considerations. The Vipers who started the season with four ex Leaf players, still have former Leafs, Dylan Walchuk and Philip Patenaude on their roster.

From day one of the Vipers Blue & White games Correale stood out and impressed me alot, with his speed, shifty moves and hard work. Not the biggest kid on the ice at the time, but seemed to play with a big heart. Once the regular season started Correale along with 17 year old rookie forward, Colton Sparrow both seemed to be the odd man out of the Vipers lineup (healthy scratches). Over the past month or so I have really started to notice the strong play from Vernon product, Colton Sparrow who seems to get better the more he plays. Maybe Sparrow beat Correale out of a job? I thought Correale was a great young player that would mature, bulk up, and improve as the season went on. Here's a kid that would have been a good future prospect. I guess Mark Ferner and Jason Williamson figure they need to upgrade on defence and Austin Baecker is the kid they were looking for. I guess you need to give up someone good in order to pick up someone good. If you check out the Storm roster, Grande Prairie has a 19 year old forward, (Dan Correale) who is also from Prince George, BC You have to wonder if this is Gus's older brother? I wish Gus all the best in Grande Prairie and his future in hockey.

After doing some research Austin Correale played in 26 games with the Merritt Centennials last season before jumping to the WHL this year and has played in seven games with the Seattle Thunderbirds. On October 14th Merritt traded the playing rights of Austin Baecker to the AJHL Grande Prairie Storm. (I didnt see Baecker on the Storm roster) so it looks like Baecker never reported to Grande Prairie. You have to wonder if Baecker who is from Kelowna, BC will report to the Vipers? As of now he is listed on the Vipers roster wich is posted on the BCHL website. Id like to welcome Austin to Vernon and wish him all the best with the Vipers.

I dont really know anything about Austin Baecker. Baecker, was selected by the Hurricanes in the 11th round of the 2007 Bantam Draft but was traded by the Hurricanes to Seattle on February 2nd 2010. We know he is from Kelowna, BC so the Vipers will be adding another (so called) local to the roster. Baecker is listed at 6'6 and 220 lbs wich I really like, this means Baecker will be one of the biggest kids on the Vipers roster. With the addition of Baecker this puts Vernon with eight defenceman, meaning one d-man will likely be on his way out. I guess will have to wait and see if Mark Ferner makes any more moves.

Here is a fight between Seattles Austin Baecker & Tri-Cities Tanner Olstad back on September 26th

QU Men's Ice Hockey Is Seeing Double With Former Viper Twins:

Former Vernon Vipers forwards, Connor & Kellen Jones are both leading the Bobcats in scoring in their first season at Quinnipiac University. Both Connor & Kellen played four seasons in Vernon (2006-10) helping the Vipers win back to back National Championships. I come across a good article on the Jones Twins.

This was in Mondays Quad Quinnipiac Newspaper:

Twin Blades

QU Men's Ice Hockey is Seeing Double

By Alex Lippa

Published: Monday, October 25, 2010

With the loss of five senior forwards, three of whom are playing at the professional level, many wondered who would provide for the scoring in their absence.

Enter the Jones twins.

The Quinnipiac men's ice hockey team landed highly touted freshmen Connor and Kellen Jones to play this fall, and they are perhaps two of the best recruits in Bobcat history. Kellen was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the seventh round of this past June's NHL Entry Draft, while Connor also has a chance to play professionally in the future. Both twins attended the Oilers' development camp over the summer.

The brothers have played together on the same team for their entire lives. Connor was originally a defenseman when the two were little, but was turned into a winger, and the two have been inseparable on the ice ever since. It was a package deal for the Bobcats to get them and they are ecstatic about the Jones' decision to play at Quinnipiac.

"The coaching staff are great and were honest with us," Connor said. "The campus is beautiful, and they were one of the only ones to offer free schooling and a full ride."

It doesn't hurt of course that Quinnipiac also has one of the most state-of-the-art facilities in college hockey as well at the TD Bank Sports Center.

"The rink here is unreal," Kellen said. "Our workout facilities are great. We came down with [junior captain Scott Zurevinski] during our fly-down, and we had such a good time with the guys. It seemed like we were already part of the team. So it was a pretty easy decision to come down here. Other schools were here but Quinnipiac was always a little bit higher."

Not only are they identical in their looks, their skill set is identical as well. Both players are only 5'9", yet they are not afraid to throw their body around to deliver rocking hits against the glass. This, and their ability to get to the front of the net, is a reason why the coaching staff put them on the first line with Zurevinski.

"The [physical game] is their biggest asset," said Quinnipiac associate head coach Ben Syer. "They're not very big, but their grittiness level is through the roof. In certain areas you might say that one is grittier than the other slightly, but not enough to make any significant difference between the two."

The line of the Jones twins and Zurevinski has been involved in five of the team's eight goals so far this season which has the junior captain gushing about them.

"They're both really good players," Zurevinski said. "They're good with the puck and away from the puck. They create plays pretty much every shift. You just don't find one player or even two that make plays every time they're on the ice. They are really dynamic players and they will be very exciting for the Quinnipiac community to watch."

Each twin has been hot to start the season. The twins are the top two Bobcats in scoring through four games as Kellen has two goals and three assists, with two goals coming this last Saturday against Holy Cross. Connor meanwhile has a goal and three assists.

While they're here at Quinnipiac now, the biggest thrill in Kellen's life was being drafted this past June by the Oilers.

"It's still quite a shock to be drafted by an NHL team," Kellen said. "You grew up as your dream to be part of an NHL team, so it's still really surreal."

The twins faced adversity throughout their life because of their small stature, and not even their own mother believed in them.

"The day of the draft, my mom told me there's no way either of you get drafted," Kellen said. "You're too small, you're not good enough, you're too short. We went up to play a baseball game and I got about 20 calls and texts saying congratulations, and I heard that I had been drafted in the seventh round."

With Kellen being drafted, and Connor also being highly regarded by NHL teams, there is always the likelihood that the NHL will come knocking on their doors with a contract offer to turn pro before their four years at Quinnipiac are up. But for now they are just centered on being a part of the Bobcats.

"It would be a very tough decision," Kellen said. "To be here four years and to get a free education, that doesn't come to everyone. I'd have to really be able to fill in, in Edmonton and be an impact player. I don't really think about that now though, I kind of just focus on being here and doing well here."

The Jones twins have an opportunity, and the potential, to become two of the most decorated Bobcat athletes of all time, as they attempt to help lead the Quinnipiac men's ice hockey team back to the NCAA tournament.

Former Viper Hammond Collects First Career College Shutout:

Former Vernon Vipers goaltender, Andrew Hammond picked up his first career college shutout with a 3-0 victory over Clarkson. Hammond played two seasons in Vernon (2007-09) helping the Vipers win the 2009 Royal Bank Cup in his final season before heading off to Bowling Green.

Andrew Hammonds Player Profile:

This is posted on the Falcons website:

Falcons Earn First Win in Shutout At Clarkson

by Ryan Gasser, Athletic Communications Graduate Assistant


Andrew Hammond (Surrey, British Columbia) earned his first win as a Falcon. He saved 31-of-31 shots against, including a 14-save first period. The perfect night between the pipes also marked his first career shutout.

Hammond did his part in stopping the Clarkson power play cold. The Golden Knights went 0-for-4, including back-to-back CU power plays in the second period. Hammond stopped seven shots when the Knights were a man up.

Marc Rodriguez put the Falcons on top with his first goal of the season on a break-away effort following a Clarkson turnover in the BG zone. On the all-sophomore goal, Jerry Freismuth (Grosse Point, Mich.) and Jordan Samuels-Thomas (South Windsor, Conn.) touched the puck up the ice to Rodriguez, the Aurora, Ill. native who fought through two Golden Knight defenders on a straight path to the net. On his approach, Rodriguez went stick-side on Clarkson goaltender Paul Karpowich and wristed home the game’s opening goal giving BGSU a 1-0 lead in the 15th minute.

Bowling Green’s defense faced severe pressure all game from the Clarkson offense. The Knights had plenty of scoring opportunities and clear looks to the net, but sailed many of their open shots wide of the cage while being stoned by Hammond’s hot hand.

After a scoreless second period, the Falcons wasted no time in adding to their total when James McIntosh (Holland Landing, Ontatio) plugged his first goal of the season past Karpowich. After Bowling Green pressured the puck into the CU zone, the Knights retook possession but not for long. McIntosh entered a scrum in front of the crease and retook possession of the rock before turning a backhand shot into a goal just 22 seconds into the final period.

Clarkson became more aggressive and chippy in the final five minutes of the contest by pressing into the BG defensive zone late. At 17:30 in the third period, Clarkson pulled Karpowich out of the net and created a 6-on-5 attack. Bowling Green could have had a third goal recorded earlier when Cameron Sinclair (Windsor, Ontario) took a turnover down the ice en route to an easy empty-net goal. Sinclair was tripped up from behind while the puck sailed wide, causing a roar for a penalty shot or an automatically awarded goal. The referee’s whistle stayed quiet and the play was allowed without any damage done.

Bowling Green captain David Solway (Green Bay, Wisc.) put the game away by taking a loose puck along the far end boards before sliding home BG’s third goal to definitively close the game for the Falcons.

Bowling Green (1-3-0, 0-2-0-0) ends the weekend with its first shutout since Feb. 21, 2009 when they beat Michigan State at the BGSU Ice Arena, 4-0. The last time Bowling Green shut out an opponent on the road was on Feb. 6, 2009 at Northern Michigan after a Falcon 3-0 win. BGSU will return to Bowling Green to begin preparing for a home series with Alabama-Huntsville beginning on Oct. 22 at the BGSU Ice Arena.

David Robinson Talks About His Hat Trick & Victory Over Quesnel:

Vernon Vipers colour commentator, Don Klepp interviews Vipers captain, David Robinson on his three goals in the Vipers 8-1 victory over the Quesnel Millionaires Saturday night.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Vernon-Grande Prairie Trade:

This is posted on the BCHL website:

26-Oct-10 The Vernon Vipers Hockey Club transfers the playing rights of Gus Correale (F)(93) to the Grande Prairie Storm Hockey Club of the AJHL in exchange for the playing rights of Austin Baecker (92)(D) and future considerations.

Correale who is from Prince George, BC was in his first season with the Vipers. Correale went pointless in nine games this season.

Baecker who is from Kelowna, BC started the season with the WHL Seattle Thunderbirds. On October 14th the Merritt Centennials who owned his playing rights, traded Baecker to the AJHL Grande Prairie Storm. But it looks like Baecker never played for the Storm (Wasnt listed on the Storm roster) and stayed with the Thunderbirds. Baecker went pointless in seven games with the T-Birds this season. In 26 games last year with the Merritt Centennials Baecker picked up just one assist in 26 games.

Here is the official trade from the BCHL website that saw Baecker traded to Grande Prairie:

14-Oct-10 The Merritt Centennials Hockey Club transfers the playing rights of recently acquired Scott Milnthorp (92)(D) and Austin Baecker (92)(D) to the Grande Prairie Storm Hockey Club of the AJHL in exchange for the playing rights of Lino Chimienti.

Former Viper George Makes Team West Roster:

Former Vernon Vipers forward, Drew George has made Team Canada West Roster. George who started the 2009-10 season with the Vipers was traded early into the season to the Cowichan Valley Capitals, before getting traded to the SJHL Weyburn Red Wings.

This is posted on the Red Wings website:

George Makes Team West Roster

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League is proud to announce that three of its players will represent Canada West at the upcoming World Junior “A” challenge in Penticton, B.C.

Carrying the SJHL banner into the event will be Yorkton Terriers forward Clarke Breitkreuz( 1991- Springside, SK), Weyburn Red Wings forward Drew George (1991-Regina, SK) and Kindersley Klippers defenceman Sean Flanagan (1992-Kindersley, SK)

Breitkreuz is currently tied for his team lead in scoring as he has 21 pts (9g, 12a) in 16 games. Breitkreuz is no stranger to this tournament as he played in it last year registering one assist in 5 games.

George leads the Red Wings in scoring as he has 18 points (6g, 12a) in 13 games. This will be his first World Junior “A” challenge.

Flanagan is part of a talented defensive group in Kindersley. He has 9 points (1g, 8a) in 13 games.

Klippers coach Larry Wintoneak is on the Canada West coaching staff.

Canada West has appeared in the gold medal game at all four previous World Junior A Challenges, winning gold in Yorkton, Sask. in 2006, and Trail, B.C. in 2007, before settling for silver at the last two events, in Camrose, Alta. in 2008 and Summerside, P.E.I. in 2009.

The Canada West roster is comprised of players from the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) and Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL).

The event will run November 8-14. For a complete look at the Canada West roster, please check out the following link…

Canada West will play in Group B at the tournament, along with Russia and Switzerland. Round-robin play will run through Nov. 10 and both semifinals will take place Nov. 13. The gold-medal game, shown nationally on TSN and RDS, is scheduled for Nov. 14.

Walchuk Nets WJAC Selection:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Walchuk nets WJAC selection

By Graeme Corbett - Vernon Morning Star

Published: October 26, 2010 4:00 PM

Dylan Walchuk hates to miss games with the Vernon Vipers. He is prepared to make an exception when he skates with Canada West at the 2010 World Junior A Challenge, Nov. 8-14 in Penticton.

“It’s a huge honour to put on that jersey. To play that calibre of hockey is great,” Walchuk told The Morning Star during a phone call shortly after the team was announced Monday.

He is the lone Viper on Canada West, but Walchuk is already familiar with some of his teammates. He grew up playing hockey with Mark MacMillan (Penticton Vees) and he skated with Brendan O’Donnell (Vees), Joey Laleggia (Vees) and Grayson Downing (Westside Warriors) at the CJHL Top Prospects Game last December in Winkler, Man.

Other BCHLers on the roster include forwards Travis St. Denis (Trail Smoke Eaters), Madison Dias (Victoria Grizzlies) and Sam Mellor (Trail). RBC Cup host Camrose Kodiaks of the AJHL have five players on Canada West, the most from any one team.

Walchuk, a McBride product who leads the Vipers in scoring (10-9-19 in 18 games), plans to draw on his experience from the prospects game to elevate his play at the WJAC.

“The level of play got me used to playing at this stage. That kind of experience is what brought me here,” said Walchuk.

He also picked up on some pointers from twins Connor and Kellen Jones, who played in the tourney last year.

“I got to see them in the gold-medal game last year, which was cool,” said the 18-year-old.

“How they present themselves and how they do things on the ice was big for me.”

Canada West has appeared in the championship game at all four previous tourneys, winning gold in Yorkton, Sask. in 2006, and Trail in 2007, before settling for silver at the last two events, in Camrose, in 2008 and Summerside, P.E.I. in 2009.

Canada West will play in Group B of the WJAC, joined by Russia and Switzerland. Canada East, Sweden and U.S. will comprise Group A.

The western crew will prepare for the event with an exhibition game against Canada East, Friday, Nov. 5 at Wesbild Centre.

Round-robin play will run until Wednesday, Nov. 10. The gold-medal game, which will be shown nationally on TSN, is set for Sunday, Nov. 14.

All preliminary games, quarterfinals, semifinals and the bronze-medal game can be seen live via webcast at for $7 per game. Tickets are available online at or via phone at 1-877-763-2849.

Sprucies Snap Skid In OT:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Sprucies snap skid in OT

By Graeme Corbett - Vernon Morning Star

Published: October 26, 2010

The Prince George Spruce Kings guaranteed their first point in three weeks by forcing the Vernon Vipers to overtime Sunday afternoon at Wesbild Centre.

Zac Ashdown made it their first win in nine B.C. Hockey League games when he snuck behind the Viper defence off a faceoff and slid the puck under netminder Bryton Udy on the powerplay to earn a 3-2 decision.

“That’s what we do,” smiled the Spruce Kings’ Riley Spraggs, a Vernon product.

“We’ve been on a bit of a slide lately, so to come in here and work hard and have our team gel back together again was good to see. Hopefully this is the beginning of something good.

“Guys will rally around that, have a good week at practice and carry on next weekend.”

Despite earning five of a possible six points this weekend, the Vipers, who are 1-3-1 in overtime, can’t help but feel they let Sunday’s game slip away. That extra point would have tied them with the Penticton Vees (12-5-0-1) and Trail Smoke Eaters (12-6-0-1) for first in the Interior Conference. Instead, the Snakes (10-5-1-3) are a point back with the Salmon Arm SilverBacks (12-6).

“Five out of six points on the weekend is pretty good, but we don’t want to cough points up to teams when we can get that extra point,” said Vipers’ assistant coach Jason Williamson. “It’s a tough one to swallow.

“We’ve got to bear down on our chances to put the game out of reach. If we let teams hang around that’s what’s going to happen.”

It was the third game in as many days for both teams – the Vipers thumped the Vees 5-0 Friday night and pummeled the Quesnel Millionaires 8-1 Saturday; the Spruce Kings dropped a pair of games to the host Smoke Eaters, 7-3 and 4-1, Friday and Saturday night respectively.

Prince George took the night bus from Trail Saturday, and it showed as they appeared lifeless in the first period. The Vipers peppered Kings’ netminder Kirk Thompson with 11 shots before the Sprucies’ offence landed any rubber on Udy.

If not for Thompson’s 39-save, second star showing, the game could have been over early.

Said Spruce Kings’ head coach Ed Dempsey: “We got some great goaltending, which maybe a little earlier on in the season was our Achilles heel.

“Since we got Alex (Wright, Kings’ veteran netminder) back... he’s really helped Kirk out and helped settle the situation down there and they’re both playing pretty well for us.”

The Kings finally applied some pressure to Udy late in the first period when Spraggs intercepted defenceman Max Mowat’s clearing attempt to earn a partial breakaway. Udy (third star) robbed Spraggs with his glove, and shortly after squeezed the pads on Stephen Ryan’s shot from the slot.

Viper rookie Gus Correale looked to have solved Thompson with a sharp-angle shot in the second period, but a Prince George defender cleared the loose puck from the goal line.

The Vipers, sporting their royal blue and pink trimmed limited edition jerseys for Paint the Rink Pink night, opened the scoring when John Knisley circled around the net before setting up Aaron Hadley (3rd goal) for a one-timer at 10:16.

Less than three minutes later, Dylan Walchuk (10th), taking a centring feed from Marcus Basara, danced through a handful of Kings’ defenders and pulled an NHL11-style deke to ignite the 1,600 fans.

The Spruce Kings replied later in the second frame when RJ Berra’s centring feed redirected off Viper d-man Stevie Weinstein’s foot, angling just inside the far post for his 13th goal.

Vernon d-man Malcolm Lyles earned a double-minor for spearing Trevor Esau as he lay on the puck. Referee Kris Hartley then handed captain Dave Robinson an unsportsmanlike when he came off the bench to dispute the call after the whistle.

On the ensuing 5-on-3, Prince George blueliner Trent Murdoch delivered a point-to-point feed to Justin Fillion (4th), who ripped a one-timer by Udy, blocker side, with a minute left in the frame.

Saturday night against the Millionaires, Robinson recorded his second hat trick as a Viper to pace Vernon’s offence.

Basara chipped in with a pair of goals, while Trevor Fitzgerald, Bryce Kakoske and Walchuk each added a goal and an assist.

Blake Voth made 24 saves for his 10th win of the season.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Former Viper Zurevinski Turns Down Contract Offer From Canucks:

Former Vernon Vipers forward, Scott Zurevinski recently turned down a contract with the Vancouver Canucks to stay in school and play another year at Quinnipiac University. Zurevinski played two seasons in Vernon (2006-08) before joining the Quinnipiac Bobcats.

This was in the New Haven Register Newspaper just over two weeks ago

QUINNIPIAC HOCKEY: Following his heart, not the check

Published: Friday, October 15, 2010

0diggsdigg ShareThis2By Chip Malafronte, Register Staff

HAMDEN — A few weeks before the college hockey season ended last March, Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold got a phone call from a front office representative of the Vancouver Canucks.

He told Pecknold the team was set to make a contract offer to then-sophomore forward Scott Zurevinski when the Bobcats’ season was finished. It was a courtesy call so Pecknold could begin making plans to fill the voided scholarship for the next season.

Pecknold got back on the recruiting trail almost immediately because, he says, “not too many kids say no to the NHL”.

True to form, shortly after the season ended, Zurevinski got an offer: a two-year contract for the maximum allowable money under the Canucks’ salary cap. It was a tempting deal that would have put a hefty chunk into his bank account. Zurevinski consulted with family, his advisor and Pecknold; mulled it over for all of two days, and then said thanks, but no thanks.

“I didn’t think I was ready,” said Zurevinski, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound winger from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, who’ll lead the Bobcats (1-1) into their non-conference game against Bentley tonight (7 p.m.) at the TD Bank Sports Center. “I thought I needed another year or two to round my game.”

Since he knew he wanted to return to school, and aware of how NHL brass might try to persuade him by tossing actual dollar amounts into the conversation, Zurevinski never spoke directly with the Canucks. He left that to his family advisor.

“I didn’t want to go into deep negotiations with them because I didn’t want to make a decision that I didn’t really want to make, you know?” Zurevinski said. “You talk to one of those general managers, and it’s tough to say no to those guys. It’s a lot of money. But at the same time, you can’t chase the money. I wanted to follow my heart and not the check.”

As a junior player in Vernon, British Columbia, Zurevinski was recruited by several colleges, including Alaska and Ohio State. But the pro scouts weren’t aware of him until he arrived at Quinnipiac, where he scored 18 points as a freshman and upped that total to 30 points last winter.

“I thought he’d have a chance at the NHL, but I didn’t think it would be this quickly,” Pecknold said. “We played a game at Yale his freshman year. Scouts were there to see Brandon Wong, David Marshall and Brian Leitch, but afterward they were coming to me and saying ‘who’s this No. 19?’ That’s kind of when I realized there would be a lot more NHL interest coming.”

Pecknold, among those who felt Zurevinski needed another year of college to develop, seems resigned to the fact that an NHL deal will be made at the end of this season.

Zurevinski says he hasn’t ruled out returning for his senior season.

“No decision has been made,” Zurevinski said. “When I told Rand I was coming back, I mentioned that there’s a chance I might not be back for my senior year. I don’t want to be that guy that just disappears; I kind of gave him a head’s up because they have to recruit and I said if I feel it’s time to go, then I will be leaving. There’s a chance I could be moving on, but there’s a chance I could be back here. Nothing’s set in stone.”

Already well-respected in the Quinnipiac locker room, Zurevinski only elevated himself in the eyes of teammates after his decision to turn down an NHL offer and return to school.

“Everyone knows he’s fully committed 100 percent to the team,” junior defenseman Mike Glaicar said. “I think we knew that already, but that just solidified it.”

On a young Bobcats team with six freshmen and 12 sophomores, Zurevinski is a leader on and off the ice. Last weekend, the team played well in beating Ohio State 2-1 Friday before a flat performance in a 4-0 loss to the Buckeyes the next night.

Of course, Quinnipiac had opened practice only five days before the series. Zurevinski, in his own, unique manner, was there to deliver the message to the younger Bobcats — there’s plenty of season remaining.

“They’re frustrated, but it’s like ‘guys, we just started,’” Zurevinski said. “We’re going to blow a couple of games. It happens. I mean, it’s a big deal (to lose) and you don’t want it to happen, but let’s get them out of the way and move on. I thought a couple of guys were going to jump off bridges after the game. You try to get them laughing. It’s a learning experience.”

Vipers Parents Weekend Tribute Video:

The Vernon Vipers welcomed their parents to town over the weekend to see their son’s play hockey. Kiss FM's Rob Abramenko once again made one of his great Vernon Vipers video's, Abro just finished a Vipers parents tribute video asking the players about their parents and what they mean to them. Check it out,

Monday, October 25, 2010

Walchuk Named To Team West:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Walchuk named to Team West

by Viper staff Added 2010-10-25

CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL), announced Monday the 22 players that will represent Canada West at the 2010 World Junior A Challenge, November 8-14 in Penticton, B.C.
Canada West has appeared in the gold medal game at all four previous World Junior A Challenges, winning gold in Yorkton, Sask. in 2006, and Trail, B.C. in 2007, before settling for silver at the last two events, in Camrose, Alta. in 2008 and Summerside, P.E.I. in 2009.

The Canada West roster is comprised of players from the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) and Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL).

“Our staff has worked tirelessly to watch players from the five western leagues over the first few months of the season, and we are confident we have a good mix of players to help us regain the gold medal,” said Larry Wintoneak (Kindersley, SJHL), head coach of Canada West. “We’re looking forward to getting on the ice in Penticton next week as we prepare as a team to get back to the gold medal game.”

The selection process for Canada West involved extensive scouting by Wintoneak, head scout Leonard Strandberg, general manager Rylan Ferster and assistant coaches Jomar Cruz (OCN, MJHL), Andrew Milne (Canmore, AJHL) and Barry Wolff (Langley, BCHL). It also included an evaluation camp featuring 40 hopefuls in Penticton in mid-September.

Canada West’s roster for the 2010 World Junior A Challenge includes:

Two (2) goaltenders, seven (7) defencemen and 13 forwards

Five (5) players currently leading or co-leading their teams in scoring (Clarke Breitkreuz – Yorkton, Drew George – Weyburn, Joey Laleggia – Penticton, Sam Mellor – Trail, Dylan Walchuk – Vernon)

Seven (7) players returning from the 2009 World Junior A Challenge (Clarke Breitkreuz, Madison Dias, Grayson Downing, Ben Gallacher, Joey Laleggia, Ryan Marshall, Brendan O’Donnell)

Three (3) players selected in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft (Ben Gallacher – Florida, 4th round, 93rd overall; Mark MacMillan – Montreal, 4th round, 113th overall; Brendan O’Donnell – Tampa Bay, 6th round, 156th overall)

Eight (8) players from the BCHL, seven (7) players from the AJHL, three (3) players from the SJHL, three (3) players from the MJHL and one (1) player from the SIJHL
Two (2) players from Penticton, B.C. (Madison Dias, Mark MacMillan)

Three (3) players that play for the Penticton Vees (Joey Laleggia, Mark MacMillan, Brendan O’Donnell)

Canada West will play in Group B at the 2010 World Junior A Challenge, joined by Russia and Switzerland, while Canada East, Sweden and the United States will comprise Group A. Round-robin play will run until Thursday, November 10, with both semifinals taking place on Saturday, November 13. The gold medal game, which will be shown nationally on TSN/RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, is set for Sunday, November 14 (check your local listings for broadcast times).

All preliminary round games, quarter-finals, semifinals and the bronze medal game can be seen live via webcast through FASTHockey at for $6.95 per game.

Tickets for the event are available at the South Okanagan Events Centre Box Office or at the Wine Country Visitors Centre in Penticton. You can also purchase tickets online at or via phone at 1-877-763-2849.

Spruce Kings Spoil Vipers’ Weekend:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Spruce Kings spoil Vipers’ weekend

by Don Klepp | Added 2010-10-24

Zac Ashdown’s goal at 1:25 of the first overtime period capped a Prince George comeback as the Spruce Kings nipped the Vipers 3-2 in Vernon.

Ashdown won a faceoff in the Viper end and bulled his way past David Robinson en route to slipping the puck under Bryton Udy.

Playing just his third BCHL game, Udy was very good for the Vipers, but fellow rookie Kirk Thompson was even better for the Spruce Kings, stopping 39 of 41 shots.

Many of Thompson’s saves were difficult, none more so than a sparkling glove save on Bryce Kakoske with two minutes remaining in the third period. Kakoske had time in the slot to rip a shot to the top corner, but Thompson guessed correctly as he snapped up his glove and caught the puck.

He had kept his team in the game in the first period, stopping all 19 Viper shots. He absolutely robbed David Robinson and Dylan Walchuk as his team showed the effects of a grueling road trip that taken them from Powell River to Trail to Vernon this week.

At the other end of the Wesbild ice, young Bryton Udy robbed Vernon native Riley Spraggs, who had a partial breakaway.

The second period was wide open as the Spruce Kings out shot the Vipers 18-14, as the Vipers abandoned their usual tight checking.

However, the Vipers scored the first two goals on a pair of pretty plays. At 10:16, Aaron Hadley, who was parked 10 feet in front of Thompson, re-directed John Knisley’s clever pass for his third of the season.

For the second night in a row, Dylan Walchuk scored an absolute beauty, weaving his way through three defenders and deking Thompson at 12:39.

But then PG went to work on the power play. While Brett Corkey was stepping on the ice from the penalty box, RJay Berra’s attempted pass from the corner nicked off a Viper skate past Udy. Jut prior to the goal, Nik deSousa had knocked down a Viper defenceman in the crease, but referee Kris Hartley missed the infraction.

Soon after the Berra tally, Hartley issued a four-minute spearing penalty to Malcolm Lyles for fishing for the puck under a prone Spruce King. He then gave Captain David Robinson two minutes for arguing the call, and the visitors had a two-man advantage.

Justin Filion converted for the Spruce Kings at 18:59 on a slap shot that Bryton Udy nearly stopped with his right shoulder as he slid across from the other side of the net.

The third period saw no scoring, although the Spruce Kings had three good chances in the first half of the period and the Vipers had five gilt-edged chances in the second half.

David Robinson beat Thompson with a rising backhand with four minutes remaining, but the puck rang off the cross bar. On successive shifts, Robinson was open twice in the slot, but his stick was tied up on each occasion.

Kirk Thompson’s heroics set the stage for Zac Ashdown’s overtime winner and Prince George won for the first time in nine games.

Meanwhile, the Vipers who had won by scores of 5-0 and 8-1 earlier on the weekend, were left to rue their missed chances in front of a full contingent of parents who had come for Parents’ Weekend.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Prince George 3 Vernon 2 (Overtime)

I was at todays BCHL game as Prince George defeated Vernon 3-2 in overtime in front of 1,599 fans at the Wesbild Centre.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Bryton Udy
Prince George: Kirk Thompson

1st Period: The Vipers started this afternoons game right from where they left off against the Quesnel Millionaires last night. In the opening minutes John Knisley fed Aaron Hadley on a odd man rush but Hadley couldnt hit the net on a good early scoring chance for the Vipers. Vernon would get the games first powerplay just minutes into the game but Kirk Thompson was sharp as PG killed off the minor. The Vipers looked very good in the 1st period controlling the better of the play getting some good chances. Marcus Basara snapped a quick shot from the wing but Thompson was their just getting his glove on it. Steve Weinstein with a good rush up ice, carried the puck over the blueline and then wired a wicked shot that beat Thompson but went off the crossbar. Vernon was all over PG at this point outshooting the Spruce Kings 9-0 at the midway mark. David Robinson with two good chances in front, was stoned by Thompson on the second save after making a huge pad save on the Vipers captain. Prince George would finally get their first shot on goal with aboput seven or eight minutes remaining in the opening period. Jujhar Khaira with a quick shot from the slot was stopped by Bryton Udy. The Spruce Kings only real good scoring chance came after Riley Spraggs caught the Vipers on a bad line change, Spraggs would go in all alone but couldnt beat Udy on the breakaway, on the same play the Spruce Kings kept control of the puck getting it back to Stephen Ryan who come around the net and with traffic in front snapped a quick shot that was stopped by Udy. The Spruce Kings with a little flurry of action in the Vipers zone couldnt capitalize. This was all PG would muster for offence in the period. The Vipers with a few nice give and goes down low couldnt capitalize on their chances. Kirk Thompson was the difference keeping the Spruce Kings in the hockey game as it was 0-0 after 20 minutes of play. Vernon outshot Prince George 19-7.

2nd Period: Mike Zalewski with three nice moves in close couldnt pull the trigger from the slot after having his stick tied up on a great chance in the opening minute. Both teams started out a little slow before the Spruce Kings slowly started to find their mark. Four minutes into the 2nd PG started to get things rolling finally getting some presure in the Vipers zone. Bryton Udy had to be sharp making some tough saves with traffic in front. Vernon on a few occasions had troubles in their own end as PG was buzzing. Udy looked very good with his glove in the middle frame making atleast two or three glove saves. The Vipers would get a great chance to open the scoring, after Gus Correale showed some good work in and around the Spruce Kings net, finding and getting the puck out front for Trevor Fitzgerald who somehow missed hitting a wide open net as Thompson was down and out as the puck went through the crease. After some good presure by Prince George Aaron Hadley wearing Dean Strongs old jersey #14 beat Thompson at 10:16 giving Vernon a 1-0 lead. John Knisley and Mike Zalewski picked up the helpers. The Vipers didnt quit coming right back at PG, just over two minutes later Dylan Walchuk with another highlight real goal from in close put a real nice move on Thompson giving the Vipers a 2-0 lead at 12:39, Marcus Basara and Malcolm Lyles with the assists. Just over a minute later Stephen Ryan would get hooked by Brett Corkey while on a parcial breakaway, Ryan couldnt get off a great shot that was stopped by Udy, this giving Prince George their first powerplay of the afternoon. The Spruce Kings couldnt get much going on the man advantage until just as the minor expired Zac Ashdown fed captain RJay Berra in front, but the puck went in off a Vipers skate and past Udy getting PG on the board at 15:22, Berra was credited with the goal and Ashdown with the lone assist. Just a few minutes later a PG player fell ontop of the puck with nobody around, Malcolm Lyles skated over and jabbed his stick under the PG player trying to get the loose puck, but Lyles was given four minutes for spearing. As captain David Robinson tried talking to refere Kris Hartley, Robinson was given two minutes for Unsportsmanlike conduct, this giving the Spruce Kings a two man advantage. This could be the games turning point. The Vipers penalty kill did fairly well killing off Robinsons minor before veteran d-man, Justin Fillion beat Udy at 18:59 tying the game 2-2. Trent Murdoch would get the only assist. The Spruce Kings who had now battled back down two goals still with time on the man advantage. PG would run out of time as the period would come to an end with the score tied 2-2 after 40 minutes of play. This was a more even played period. The Spruce Kings outshot the Vipers 18-14.

3rd Period: Prince George would start the 3rd with 2:14 remaining in Malcolm Lyles penalty. The Vipers penalty kill was very good giving up just a single shot killing off Lyles double minor. Not much action to start the 3rd with both teams not really generating alot of offence. Not much flow in the first half of the 3rd as both teams now playing their third game in three days started to look a little tired. The Vipers just couldnt seem to connect on their passes, looking a little disorganized in the early going. Vernon would get the only powerplay of the 3rd just four minutes into the period but wouldnt generate any real good chances. With just seconds left in the minor David Robinson who was in front, couldnt connect on the pass as the Spruce Kings would hold the Vipers to 0 shots on the powerplay looking good on the penalty kill. With seven minutes remaining the Vipers would get their first shot of the period after being outshot at this point 3-0. David Robinson in front couldnt connect on another pass that come through the crease. Vernon finally started to get some presure deep in the PG zone and would control the play for the remainder of the game. You could see the Spruce Kings were just hanging on, hoping to pick up atleast a point in overtime icing the play as often as possible. Darren Nowick with a quick snap shot from the corner just whistled his shot past the far corner missing the net. Vernon with some good presure battled hard down low to create some good chances but couldnt find the back of the net. With just 1:22 left in the 3rd Bryce Kakoskes shot from the slot was stopped after Kirk Thompson robbed Kakoske with a big glove save. PG would hang on and hold off the Vipers in the final seven minutes forcing overtime. Vernon outshot Prince George 7-5.

Overtime: Bryce Kakoske with a great chance to win the game was stopped after Thompson made a quick routine glove save. The Spruce Kings would get a odd man rush (I didnt see any of the players numbers) but a nice two way passing play setup a little give and go in close as a PG player was stopped by Udy. On the play Mike Zalewski was forced to take a hooking penalty. Prince George would call a timeout. With the faceoff in the Vernon zone, PG would win the draw before Zac Ashdown went hard to the net and slide the puck under Bryton Udy as the PG bench erupted giving the Spruce Kings a 3-2 ot win. Prince George outshot Vernon 2-1.

Top Players: (Vernon)

Brett Corkey I thought played a very solid defensive game on the Vernon blueline.

Steve Weinstein was another Viper d-man that played a strong game. Weinstein with a good rush up ice in the 1st period wired a lazer of a shot that went off the crossbar.

Dylan Walchuk (1 goal) Walchuk for the second straight night scored a highlight real goal. This kid has some very soft hands, made some unreal plays in both games last night and again this afternoon.

David Robinson worked extremely hard, coming up with some good chances but just couldnt connect on some of the passes.

Aaron Hadley (1 goal) For the second straight night I thought Aaron Hadley played very well. Had a few good hits this afternoon.

Bryce Kakoske played very well this afternoon. I have been very impressed with Bryce's play this year, hes lost alot of weight, getting lots of icetime and playing with more of a role this year. Is also very hard to knock off the puck. Had a few good chances tonight.

Bryton Udy (29 saves) Udy made his third start of the season today and has yet to come up with his first career BCHL win. Udy who made 29 saves played very well between the pipes for Vernon. Didnt see much action in the 1st and 3rd periods but faced 18 shots in the 2nd making some tough saves early. Udy looked good with his glove, seemed a little more comfortable this afternoon, over his two previous starts.

Top Players: (Prince George)

Justin Fillion (1 goal) Scored the games tying goal on the powerplay to force overtime. Fillion played a solid game on the PG backend.

Zac Ashdown (Overtime winner and 1 assist) Was one of if not the Spruce Kings best player.

Kirk Thompson (39 saves) Thompson made his second start vs the Vipers this season. Thompson made 34 saves in a 6-0 loss to Vernon back on September 26th. Thompson was the difference this afternoon, this kid kept PG in todays hockey game, especially in the opening period. Vernon with 19 1st period shots could have easily been up by two or three goals if it wasnt for the Spruce Kings goaltender.

Game Thoughts: (Vernon)

I thought the Vipers played well enough to win but didnt play as well as they did the past two nights (wins over Penticton & Quesnel) Like I said before if it wasnt for Kirk Thompson the Vipers should have walked away with a victory today. But this is why they play the game. I thought Vernon played and looked very good in the opening period and then got a little sloppy at times in the 2nd. You could say the games turning point was when the Spruce Kings were given a two man advantage late in the 2nd on two calls I disagree with. (A) Malcolm Lyles was going for the puck after a PG player had fallen on the loose puck with nobody around, and didnt attempt to get off the puck. (B) How does David Robinson, the Vipers captain get an Unsportsmanlike penalty when he tries talking with Kris Hartley? Robinson wasnt yelling and screaming at the referee, but looked to be asking him about the Lyles penalty, inwich he was given his minor. You could see the Vipers looked a little tired in the 3rd as their wasnt much flow or offence in the first half of the period, the Vipers didnt record their first shot on goal until with about seven minutes left in the period. I thought Vernon did battle hard and put some good presure on the Spruce Kings in the final seven minutes. After watching both Friday and Saturdays games I didnt think the Vipers battled as hard this afternoon, nor did they go to the net as much, I think a little more net presence and playing in the grey area may have gotten them a goal or even a rebound for a shot at a goal. I also didnt think Vernon played as physical as they did in both Friday and Saturdays games, they went finishing their checks like they did vs Penticton & Quesnel. This was the Vipers second loss to the Spruce Kings this season. The Vipers have five regulation losses, one tie and three overtime loses. Four of those loses have come to some of the leagues bottom feeders. (Merrit, Cowichan Valley and now PG twice)

Game Thoughts: (Prince George)

Here's a game where I dont think PG had any business being in, but give them credit they battled back to come back down two goals and managed to hang on in the 3rd period and pull out just the teams third win of the season. Prince George was badly outplayed in the opening period but come out in the 2nd and played a much better period, getting some presure and good chances on the Vipers. In the 3rd you could also see the Spruce Kings were a tired hockey club, just trying to hold on to a tie to try and force overtime. PG's powerplay looked good going 2-4 with one of their goals going in just a second or two after a powerplay. The Spruce Kings scored on their chances and won all three draws in overtime. Prince George snapped a eight game losing streak and picks up its first win in Vernon since (2008-09), a 3-1 victory back on September 13th.



Elliott Richardson
Patrick McGillis (Injured)
Todd Skirving

Prince George:

Luke Hannas
Jeff Earnest
Bennett Hambrook

3 Stars:

1st Star: Zac Ashdown (Scored OT winner & collected 1 assist)
2nd Star: Kirk Thompson (39 saves)
3rd Star: Bryton Udy (29 saves)