Monday, February 28, 2011

Vipers Finish 9th In CJHL Final Standings:

Final CJHL Top-20 has Kings second, Vipers ninth, Vees 19th

Monday, February 28, 2011 - Submitted by CJHL Network

The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) announced today its Final 2010-2011 Weekly Top 20 rankings in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting. Last week’s rankings and the leagues in which the teams belong to are in parenthesis.

The CJHL Final Weekly Top 20 as of Monday, February 28, 2011

1. (1) Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL)
2. (2) Powell River Kings (BCHL)
3. (4) Okotoks Oilers (AJHL)
4. (7) Pembroke Lumber Kings (CCHL)
5. (5) Newmarket Hurricanes (OJHL)
6. (3) Cornwall Colts (CCHL)
7. (6) Wellington Dukes (OJHL)
8. (8) Burlington Cougars (OJHL)
9. (9) Vernon Vipers (BCHL)
10. (10) Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL)
11. (11) La Ronge Ice Wolves (SJHL)
12. (12) Portage Terriers (MJHL)
13. (15) Wisconsin Wilderness (SIJHL)
14. (13) Woodstock Slammers (MHL)
15. (14) Bonnyville Pontiacs (AJHL)
16. (16) Oakville Blades (OJHL)
17. (18) Brockville Braves (CCHL)
18. (HM) Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL)
19. (19) Penticton Vees (BCHL)
20. (20) Les Cougars du College Champlain - Sherbrooke (LHJAAAQ)

Honorable mention goes to the Yorkton Terriers (SJHL), Kindersley Klippers (SJHL), Winkler Flyers (MJHL), Soo Eagles (NOJHL), and the Summerside Western Capitals (MHL).

Best wishes to all CJHL teams in their respective playoffs on the road to the 2011 RBC Cup in Camrose, Alberta.

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

BCHL Interior Conference Playoff Preview:

This is in the BC Hockey Now Newspaper:

BCHL Interior Conference Playoff Preview

Thursday, February 24, 2011 /

By Ryan Pinder /

The Final Week of February brings the BCHL playoffs to a dozen BCHL markets, as the 60-game dress rehearsal gives way to best-of-seven match-ups that pave the way to the National Championship in Camrose, Alta. come May.
It appears it will be quite a feat to escape the Interior Conference this season given the parity shown through the regular season. There are five very good hockey clubs that are legitimate contenders; the others aren’t slouches either. Here’s a look at the first round match-ups.

Vernon Vipers (1)

The Vipers wrapped up their third consecutive Interior Conference pennant with a 36-win campaign that saw the defending back-to-back national champions require overtime in a mind-boggling 20 games. Their first place finish and first round bye means the Vipers won’t play a game for 15 days. No question, the Vipers will be healthy when they host their first playoff game on March 8, but will there be rust? Coach Mark Ferner has dealt with the bye for the last two post-seasons; the Vipers will be ready.

Penticton (2) vs. Quesnel (7)

The Vees got some help from the Coquitlam Express on the final day of the regular season, coming in the form of a 10-5 win over Salmon Arm. The Vees have finished with 20 or more home wins in each of Fred Harbinson’s four-year tenure. The Vees draw a favorable match-up with the Quesnel Millionaires – a team they beat five times in six tilts. The Vees’ powerplay finished the season at 28 per cent and will face the second most penalized team in the Interior.
The Mills survived a scare in the final weeks of the season as a surging Prince George team ran out of games in their attempt to earn the final playoff spot. The health of G - Bryton Udy (‘93) is of note, he missed the final week of the season with a concussion. The Mills are in tough with a deep Penticton club, and a second season with a first round upset may be too much to ask of a young club.

Salmon Arm (3) vs. Merritt (6)

The Silverbacks did their best to earn second spot - including the team chartering a flight from the lower mainland to Powell River - on a four-game and five-day roadie that ended their regular season. The Gorillas couldn’t complete the feat, no thanks to flight delaying weather or a Coquitlam Express club on a roll. The silver lining is that F - Mike Hammond (‘90) won the scoring title with 93 points. Salmon Arm swept the season series with the Centennials, but three were one-goal games.
The Centennials closed out a season of organizational growth with a rough month that saw more losses than wins, but the Cents beat Trail and Vernon down the stretch. A big and physical group on the blueline will be given the daunting task of slowing down a deep and talented group of Salmon Arm forwards. The Cents will be leaning heavily on G - Lino Chemienti (‘91), who has been great since arriving in the Fall. Luke Pierce will have this group’s blue collars on display.

Westside (4) vs. Trail (5)

Surprisingly, the Warriors finished the season as the highest scoring club in the BCHL, with a veteran laden group of forwards led by Grayson Downing (‘92) and captain Alex Grieve (‘90). The Warriors have ended the Smokies season in each of the last two years, and won all six games against Trail this season. No question which team has the mental edge in this match-up. Neither Cole Holowenko (‘93) nor Kevin Boyle (‘92) have had any significant BCHL playoff experience stopping pucks.
The Smoke Eaters have had fits with the Warriors over the past few seasons, so perhaps it is fitting that they’ll have to overcome that obstacle in the first round if they are to make a run in this season of opportunity. While there isn’t much of an edge up front or on the blue-line in this series, one area the Smokies are at an advantage in is between the pipes. G - Kiefer Smiley (‘90) has led the Smokies with solid play all season.

Prince George Spruce Kings (did not qualify)

The Spruce Kings have missed the playoffs for the second year in a row. Interim Head Coach Dave Dupas had his club playing great hockey down the stretch, but the revival came too late in the season. The good news is that all but two members of the Spruce Kings young roster can return next season. Plus, 6-6, 230-pound rearguard Ben Woodley (‘91) looks like a great find on the back end.

BCHL Coastal Conference Playoff Preview:

This is in the BC Hockey Now Newspaper:

BCHL Coastal Conference Playoff Preview

Thursday, February 24, 2011 /

By Mark Janzen /

Really, it all begins now.

After the BCHL’s 60-game regular season came to an end last week, the trek to Camrose, Alta. – home of this year’s RBC Cup – begins this weekend.

But just getting out of the Coastal Conference will be a feat in itself.

With Powell River securing top spot and a first round bye and awaiting a first-round victor, and with Coquitlam sneaking into the playoffs on the last weekend of the year, the match-ups have been set.

Now the fun can begin.

We preview the Coastal Conference’s three opening round match-ups.

Powell River (1)

The Kings earned a well-deserved bye with a 46-9-3-2 record. They finished the season winning 12 of their last 13 games and go into the playoffs ranked No. 2 in the CJHL Top 20. Goalie Michael Gartieg finished the season with a 1.69 GAA and .934 save percentage, both league records and seven shutouts, which has him tied for the league record.

Surrey (2) vs. Coquitlam (7)

For the first time since 2008, the Express organization is back in the playoffs. And it just so happened that their playoff-clinching win on the last Friday of the regulars season was a 7-4 decision over the very same Eagles they’ll be playing in the opening round. And with Surrey having won the previous six meetings between the teams, including a game the night before, the win is most certainly a huge confidence boost for Coquitlam.
While there was a 19-point disparity in the standings between the two teams, when it comes to goals for, Coquitlam averaged 3.63 goals per game while Surrey averaged 3.60 goals per game.
The difference between the teams and the factor that could well decide the series is defence. Surrey gives up 3.12 goals per game compared to Coquitlam, which surrenders 4.22 goals per contest. Eagles goalie Karel St. Laurent is third in the league in save percentage at .916 and will give Coquitlam’s offence far more trouble than his opposing netminder Khaleed Devji.
Up front, the Eagles will need the tandem of Bradley McGowan and Richard Vanderhoek to continue to lead the offence while much is expected of Mitch Jones and Riley Sweeney on the back end.
As for Coquitlam, they’ll be in tough. Massimo Lamacchia caught fire near the end of the year with nine points in his last three games so they’ll need him to keep on sniping and Devji will need to take his game to a new level if the Express hope to win.

Langley (3) vs Alberni Valley (6)

While the Langley Chiefs made their way to the playoffs with a respectable 6-4-0-0 record, the same can’t be said for the Bulldogs, who limped into the post-season with a 3-7-0-0 record. So this series has the makings of being short and to the point.
And the difference in the series could well be as simple as offensive firepower. The Chiefs have been the highest scoring team in the conference all year, averaging 4.00 goals per game, while the Bulldogs were the lowest scoring team in the conference, averaging 2.93 goals per game.
To continue the contrast, Langley’s Josh Myers led his team with 40 goals and 40 assists, while Josh Mitchell, who had just 17 goals and 45 assists, led Alberni Valley.
So the question becomes: can Bulldogs goalie Frank Slubowski keep Alberni Valley in the series? Last year, in 13 playoff games, Slubowski’s numbers proved that he could be the man between the pipes. But he had a much better team in front of him and in this series he might have to steal every game.

Victoria (4) vs. Nanaimo (5)

The two Island rivals battled each other all season for home-ice advantage in the playoffs and ultimately it came down to the final game of the regular season.
With the Clippers only trailing Victoria by one point, the Grizzlies secured fourth-place with a 5-3 win and for their efforts open the playoffs at home.
While there’s not a whole lot between these two teams, the subtle differences that do exist favour Victoria. The Grizzlies score more goals (3.63/game to 3.38/game) and give up fewer goals (3.28/game to 3.42/game). They are also marginally better on the powerplay (21.9 per cent to 21.4 per cent) and penalty kill (79.6 per cent to 76.2 per cent).
Victoria also has David Morley (76 points in 52 games) and Joel Lowry (67 points in 42 games) up front while Nanaimo has Andrew Gladiuk (65 points in 60 game) and Ryan Stanimir (55 points in 56 games).
In net, Matt Gin will dual either Charles-Alexy Premont, who played in Victoria’s last two games, or Charles-Andre Pelletier, who was the starter in 46 games, this year.
All signs point to Victoria, especially because Nanaimo’s record is inflated with seven overtime losses, but the Clppers are still a Bill Bestwick-coached team.

Cowichan Valley (did not qualify)

The Capitals were close to a playoff spot but ultimately fell three points shy of seventh place. Jordan Grant finished the year with a team-leading 89 points, which had him second in league scoring, behind Mike Hammond, who had 93 points and played the first 40 games of the year with Cowichan Valley.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Former Viper Goaltender Olthuis Returned To RiverHawks:

Yesterday Former Vernon Vipers goaltender, Jon Olthuis was returned to the SPHL's Augusta RiverHawks from the CHL's Dayton Gems for a third time this season. Olthuis was loaned to the Gems back on February, 17th 2011. Olthuis played two seasons in Vernon (2004-06)

This is posted on the RiverHawks website:

Olthuis Returned to RiverHawks

The Augusta RiverHawks have announced that goaltender Jon Olthuis was returned to the team by the Dayton Gems of the Central Hockey League.

Volpatti & The Moose Live On CBC Today:

Former Vernon Vipers forward, Aaron Volpatti and the Manitoba Moose take on the Toronto Marlies today, Today's game will be on CBC starting at 10am as Viper fans will have the chance to watch the former Vernon Viper in action. The Marlies defeated the Moose 3-1 Saturday night in the first of back to back meetings between the two teams. Volpatti played three seasons in Vernon (2003-06)

Aaron Volpatti's Player Profile:

Lyles Earns All-Star Nod:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Lyles earns All-Star nod

Published: February 27, 2011

Defenceman Malcolm Lyles has an arsenal of weapons he can use to jumpstart the Vernon Vipers.

Whether it’s a bone-crunching hit, a hard wrister from the point or an explosive end-to-end rush, the Miami Gardens, Fla. product has become a fan favourite at Wesbild Centre.

The B.C. Hockey League must have picked up on his vibe as well, as they honoured him with a selection to the Interior Conference All-Star Team.

There was no all-star game this year, but ballots were distributed to each of the league’s 16 head coaches to recognize the league’s top players.

Joining Lyles on the Interior blueline is Joey Laleggia, who led the Penticton Vees with 20 goals and 62 assists for 82 points, good enough for fifth overall in regular-season scoring.

Up front are BCHL scoring leader Mike Hammond of the Salmon Arm SilverBacks, Alex Grieve of Westside Warriors and Scott Jacklin of the Trail Smoke Eaters. The Smokies’ Kiefer Smiley earned the nod in Interior net.

The Coastal All-Star balloting was led by four Powell River Kings – netminder Michael Garteig, defenceman Justin Dasilva and forwards Matt Garbowsky and Chad Niddery. Rounding out the selection was the Nanaimo Clipper d-man Graeme McCormack and Surrey Eagle forward Brad McGowan.

Meanwhile, in first-round BCHL playoff action Friday night, Hammond collected 2+1 as the host ‘Backs pummeled the Merritt Centennials 7-2 in Game 1 of their best-of-seven series.

Laleggia collected 1+2 and first star as the host Vees hammered the Quesnel Millionaires 5-1 in Game 2 of their series. Penticton won Game 1 by an identical 5-1 score Thursday.

In the other Interior series, the Trail Smoke Eaters doubled the host Westside Warriors 4-2 in Game 1 at Royal LePage Place.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Former Vernon Laker Metropolit Re-Signs With EV Train:

Former Vernon Lakers forward, Glen Metropolit has re-signed with the EV Train. Metropolit played one season in Vernon with the Lakers (1994-95).

This is posted on the EV Zug website:

Glen Metropolit remains a train at eV


EV train and Glen Metropolit go furthermore common ways. The 36-year-old Canadian has extended his running out contract by a year. With it the EVZ has awarded the foreign positions for the season 2011/2012.

Glen Metropolit remains for an other season at eV a train. The 36-year-old Canadian has redeemed his option and because has extended running out contract by a year. With it the EVZ can also count in future for the services of Glen Metropolit. Now at the same time all foreign positions are awarded.

Glen Metropolit pushed on this season from the Montreal Canadiens to eV train. Till present in 44 plays he achieved 13 gates and 35 Assists.

Lyles Named To 2011 Interior Conference All-Star Team:

2011 Coastal and Interior All-Star Teams announced

Friday, February 25, 2011 - Submitted by BCHL Media

The British Columbia Hockey League is pleased to announce its 2011 Coastal and Interior Conference All-Star Teams presented by Save-On-Foods. Since there was no All-Star Game this season, ballots were distributed to each head coach around the league to determine the best player at each position in both conferences.

Coastal Conference:

Goalie – Michael Garteig, Powell River Kings
48 GP, 36-8-3, 1.69 GAA (BCHL record), .934 sv. %(BCHL record)
BCHL Goaltending Award winner

Defence – Justin Dasilva, Powell River Kings
54 GP, 11 G, 32 A, 81 PIM

Defence – Graeme McCormack, Nanaimo Clippers
56 GP, 10 G, 31 A, 41 PIM

Forward – Matt Garbowsky, Powell River Kings
56 GP, 44 G, 36 A, 56 PIM
Coastal Conference Most Valuable Player

Forward – Brad McGowan, Surrey Eagles
59 GP, 36 G, 53 A, 26 PIM

Forward – Chad Niddery, Powell River Kings
56 GP, 28 G, 58 A, 70 PIM

Interior Conference:

Goalie – Kiefer Smiley, Trail Smoke Eaters
47 GP, 23-22-2, 2.83 GAA, .915 sv. %

Defence – Joey Laleggia, Penticton Vees
58 GP, 20 G, 62 A, 47 PIM
Interior Conference Most Valuable Player and Top Defenceman

Defence – Malcolm Lyles, Vernon Vipers
54 GP, 8 G, 22 A, 71 PIM

Forward – Mike Hammond, Salmon Arm SilverBacks
57 GP, 39 G, 54 A, 38 PIM
Brett Hull Trophy winner

Forward – Alex Grieve, Westside Warriors
60 GP, 31 G, 47 A, 53 PIM

Forward – Scott Jacklin, Trail Smoke Eaters
51 GP, 23 G, 50 A, 35 PIM

Seats Are Filling Up Fast As Camrose Prepares For RBC Cup:

This was in last weeks Camrose Newspaper:

Seats are filling up fast as Camrose prepares for RBC Cup

By Vince Burke

Vince Burke

Camrose Canadian

On the seating chart in the Camrose Kodiaks' front office, the colour blue indicates a seat sold for the upcoming Royal Bank (RBC) Cup.

And if you take a look at the chart, there's already a lot of blue on it.

The Kodiaks are the host of the event which will see top junior A hockey clubs from around the country converge on the EnCana Arena this May for the annual tournament.

Organizers told the Canadian that when it comes to tickets for the much anticipated, fast-paced week of hockey, they are going fast.

"We had a great start with ticket sales when we launched them with our Kodiak season ticket sales, and with our fans we had great uptake on initial sales. But, we really haven't seen that slow down," said tournament chairman Kevin Gurr.

"We are consistently selling (ticket) packages daily and it is going well, with the packages sold and the number of tickets we have committed through our sponsorship, we are up over that 1,500 mark."

Gurr said there is some hold on tickets for Hockey Canada, but with only about 400 ticket packages for the tournament left, he said if you are thinking about getting tickets, don't wait.

"We are getting down to the point where there are still some great seats left, but they are going quickly."

Gurr said there have been questions about whether there will be ticket packages based solely on games the Kodiaks are in. He said that has yet to be done because sales for entire tournament ticket packages are still selling well.

"I know in the past a lot of the tournament hosts have resorted to that at an early stage, because they haven't had any luck selling tickets," he said.

"We have set records for the RBC Cup going back years. Hockey Canada hasn't seen this kind of pre-sale for an event, so they are pretty excited about it, and we are pretty excited about it. We really want the place filled for every game, so that we can build that atmosphere."

Gurr said there has been a lot of ticket packages purchased within the Camrose community, but said once more of the teams competing are set, there will probably be requests from fans in those communities for tickets.

When it comes to getting the event organized, from now until the drop of the puck, Gurr said the biggest push, right now, is getting volunteers. Gurr said there is a volunteer rally Feb. 28 in the Gold Room of the CRE.

"It is an opportunity for people to come out and sign up for the event and then kind of pick where they would like to fit in and where they would like to volunteer during the event," he said.

"So that is the next big push. We have a lot of great Kodiak volunteers and I'm sure lots of them will jump on board as well for the event. The next few (Kodiak) games we will be doing a volunteer sign up at the games. Then we will be getting the word out about the volunteer rally."

Gurr said there will around 200 to 250 volunteers needed.

"Everything from security to 50/50 sales to drivers and all that kind of stuff. So there is probably 20 different areas where they can come and volunteer," said Gurr.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Salmon Kings Loan Former Viper MacMurchy To Heat:

The ECHL's Victoria Salmon Kings have loaned former Vernon Vipers forward, Ryan MacMurchy to the AHL's Abbotsford Heat. MacMurchy played one season in Vernon (2000-01).

Ryan MacMurchy's Player Profile:

This is posted on the Heat website:

Salmon Kings Loan MacMurchy to Heat

Feb 24, 2011

Victoria, BC – The Victoria Salmon Kings, proud affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks and Manitoba Moose, announced today that forward Ryan MacMurchy has been loaned to the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League (AHL).

The Regina, SK native has appeared in 36 games for the Salmon Kings this season, recording 32 points (15g-17a) to go along with 48 minutes in penalties.

MacMurchy will join the Heat with 80 games of AHL experience between the Springfield Falcons (2009-10) and Peoria Rivermen (2006-07). Over his AHL career he has tallied six goals with 13 assists for 19 points with 58 penalty minutes.

The 27-year-old forward, a ninth round pick (#284 overall) of the St. Louis Blues in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, has accumulated 132 points (57g-75a) and 285 minutes in penalties across 212 career professional games.

The Fog Of Injury Has Lifted For Former Viper Chay Genoway:

Here's an article I found on former Vernon Vipers defenceman, Chay Genoway. It talks about Genoways previous injury and how he recovered and got back to playing hockey. Genoway played just one season in Vernon (2005-06).

This was posted on the Lowe's Senior Class Awards website:

The fog of injury has lifted for North Dakota’s Chay Genoway

by Jess Myers

January 27, 2011

in Hockey, Ice hockey, especially at the college level, is a game played with the hands and the legs and the body. But mostly, it’s a game played with the head.

The lightning-fast on-ice action requires the reflexes of a cat, and the ability to think fluidly, and make decisions that can change the nature of a game in seconds, and mean the difference between winning and losing.

So what is a student-athlete to do when the doctors tell a thinking man’s hockey player to stop playing hockey, and, for the most part, to stop thinking? That sums up the long, cold winter University of North Dakota senior defenseman Chay Genoway struggled through a year ago.

What was expected to be his final season of college hockey was going great, with him moving the puck and garnering attention for national awards, while the Fighting Sioux were winning games. Then, on a November night during a home game, everything went fuzzy for Genoway in the blink of an eye. While corralling a loose puck against the end boards, Genoway was hit hard from behind by a much larger opponent. His helmeted head hit the glass and Genoway crumpled to the ice.

“Everything went foggy, and right away I knew something was wrong,” said Genoway, a business management major who hails from Morden, Manitoba. The concussion Genoway suffered was so severe and the after effects lingered so long, that his hockey season was over right then and there.

Some student-athletes, when injured, take the time to re-focus on academics while their body heals. But Genoway and his doctors quickly learned that the injury was of such severity, this would be a long a difficult recovery, and reading textbooks or trying to concentrate on a computer screen would only make it worse.

“The first couple months were terrible. Anything I did would spark a migraine,” Genoway said, after facing the only kind of injury from which you cannot work your way back. Even watching his teammates play caused pain, as the speed of the game was more than Genoway’s injured head could process and focus upon. “I did a whole lot of nothing. I’d start to get stressed, and that would make the migraines worse. I went on a lot of long walks.”

Sioux coach Dave Hakstol remembers many weekday afternoon practices last winter when he’d glance up to the top row of the team’s cavernous arena and see Genoway, sitting as far away as he could to balance being with the team while trying to avoid the migraines that have become a part of his daily existence.

“Literally and figuratively, he was at a distance,” Hakstol said. In March, when the Fighting Sioux won their conference’s post-season tournament, the WCHA Final Five, Genoway came out on the ice in a Sioux jersey and street shoes, and celebrated with his team, despite not getting a chance to play. “For a player with the natural competitiveness that Chay has, that was one of the most difficult things he could go through.”

The hockey season was over by the time Genoway felt good enough to resume his studies. Given incompletes in his fall and winter classes, he took a full credit load in the spring, and added on the makeup work from earlier in the school year to his daily schedule, meaning there was little time for anything but cracking the books.

At some point, he applied for a medical hardship from the NCAA and was granted another year of eligibility, meaning that if he could get back on the ice, he could end his collegiate hockey career on his own terms.

By June, he started skating a little bit, but admits that the workouts were still very difficult, and the fog of the concussion returned, in some form, when he’d push himself on the ice. But this is the part of the story where sheer dogged determination took over, and the competitive streak that Sioux fans got so used to seeing during sold-out games became evident, even if it was just one man skating in an empty rink. Something had been taken away from Genoway, and through sheer force of will, he was going to get it back.

Despite his average size, Genoway’s skating skills and smarts have made him a solid professional hockey prospect, but losing his starting defenseman to a pro contract was a secondary concern for Hakstol. Getting Genoway back onto the ice in good health, free of the migraines that plagued his life for much of last winter, was the only goal.

On the first Sunday in October, Genoway came down the tunnel from the locker room and stepped back onto his home rink, wearing a Fighting Sioux hockey sweater and all his gear, for an exhibition game with the University of Manitoba. Surely some in the near-sellout crowd had their eyes trained on the kid wearing No. 5, wondering how he’d play, what impact he’d have, and how he’d react the first time he took a hit from an opponent.

“I knew going in that you can’t play tentative,” Genoway said. “I’m the type that’s going to compete no matter what.”

He was credited for nothing more than a third period penalty that night but by the end it felt like a major step forward toward re-claiming a hockey career.

“I always get butterflies and goose bumps before a game, but that time they were even bigger,” Genoway said. “I love to play the game, and I’d spent a long time not knowing whether I’d have a chance to do it again.”

By the middle of the season, Genoway was playing at a level that would make one not believe that he’d ever missed time with an injury. While the Sioux flirt near the top of the national polls, Genoway leads the team in assists from his perch on the blue line, and is routinely mentioned as a candidate for major post-season honors like the Hobey Baker Memorial Award and the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. He’s back to playing a thinking man’s game, putting those skating skills and innate knowledge of the game to good use.
“Chay is an ultra competitive athlete, and he’s the kind of player that just has a certain presence to him,” Hakstol said. “That’s a very special attribute.”

Vernon Vipers Winter Classic Video:

107.5 Kiss FM's, Rob Abramenko & Vernon Vipers Marketing Manager, Heidi Shrader head up to Silver Star Mountain as the Vernon Vipers play hockey on the outdoor pond in the Home Depot Winter Classic. Looks like the boys had alot of fun,

For previous Viper video's click on the link below,

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Former Vernon Laker-Viper Whitecotton Re-Signs With Tigers:

Former Vernon Lakers-Vipers forward, Dustin Whitecotton has re-signed with the Straubing Tigers. Whitecotton is the youngest player ever to play for the Lakers or Vipers making the Vernon Lakers at the young age of 14. Whitecotton played three seasons in Vernon with the Vernon Lakers and Vernon Vipers from (1993-96)

Dustin Whitecotton's Player Profile:

This is posted on the Tigers website:

Dustin Whitecotton extends with the tiger till 2012


Straubing of tiger have announced with Dustin Whitecotton the next contract lengthening. The 31-year-old Canadian forward remains another year in the powder tower and goes with it in 2011/12 to his fourth season with the tiger. The sporty leader Jürgen Pfundtner praises the attacker playing since 2003 in Germany who also states the plus deficit evaluation of the tiger: „ Dustin is simply Mr. Zuverlässig. A pattern pro who gives 100 percent in every play. “

Whitecotton which came in 2008 from the Schwenninger game Wings to Straubing has denied up to now 140 DEL plays in which he achieved 28 gates and prepared 53 other. Against him only 54 penal minutes were covered in three Saisonen.

Former Viper Roy Named Most Sportsmanlike At Eagles Year End Banquet:

On Saturday, February 19th 2011 Former Vernon Vipers forward, Kory Roy was named the Eagles most sportsmanlike player at the Canmore Eagles year end banquet. Roy finished the year with 45 penalty minutes and served as a symbol of sportsmanship throughout. Roy was also awarded a gold ring emblemized with the Eagles logo in recognition of his efforts. Roy played one season in Vernon (2008-09) before being traded on August, 20th 2009 to the AJHL Canmore Eagles for defenceman, Dan Nycholat. Roy and the Eagles will face off against #2 Brooks Bandits in the first round of the AJHL playoffs starting tonight.

Kory Roy's Player Profile:

Blues Recall Former Viper Strachan From Peoria:

Tuesday, February 22nd 2011 The St.Louis Blues recall former Vernon Vipers defenseman, Tyson Strachan from the Blues’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen. Strachan played one season in Vernon (2002-03).

This is posted on the Blues website:

Blues Recall Strachan from Peoria

Tuesday, 02.22.2011

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced Tuesday the club has recalled defenseman Tyson Strachan from the Blues’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen.

Strachan, 26, has appeared in four games for the Rivermen this season recording one assist.

The 6-2, 215-pound defenseman has also dressed in 24 games for the Blues, recording one assist and 29 penalty minutes.

The Melfort, Saskatchewan native was originally drafted by Carolina in the fifth round, 137th overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft and was signed by the Blues as a free agent on Oct. 9, 2008.

Vipers Player Profile With #18 Kyle Murphy:

107.5 Kiss FM's, Rob Abramenko sit's down one on one with first year Vernon Vipers forward, Kyle Murphy in a series of rapid fire questions. Check it out,

For previous Viper video's click on the link below,

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Former Viper Fraser Returns To Alaska:

Former Vernon Vipers forward, Curtis Fraser has returned to the ECHL's Alaska Aces on Friday, February 18th 2011. Fraser had spent this season with the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League, In 29 games with the Monsters Fraser collected (4-3-7) before being released on January, 27th 2011. Fraser played one season in Vernon (2002-03).

Curtis Fraser's Player Profile:

This is posted on the Aces website:

Fraser Returns to Aces

Feb 18, 2011

Anchorage, AK - Forward Curtis Fraser has returned to the Alaska Aces, Head Coach Brent Thompson announced on Friday. Fraser has spent this season with the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League, and will make his Aces season debut Friday night as Alaska visits the Idaho Steelheads.

Fraser, 28, begins his second season with the Aces after playing 17 games for Alaska in an injury plagued 2009-2010 season. Even though his time last season was cut short, Fraser had a large impact when in the lineup. He had 13 points (8g, 5a) in 17 games. He also added four playoff games for the Aces. This season he played in 30 games with Lake Erie, furnishing seven points (4g, 3a) and 42 penalty minutes. In his pro career, Fraser has played 158 games - all but 22 in the AHL. The 22 games in the ECHL were split between the Aces and five games with the Las Vegas Wranglers. He's added ten AHL playoff games, and 16 ECHL post-season appearances. In his ECHL career, he has over a point per game average with 24 points (11g, 13a) in 22 games.

Fraser is a 6'2", 205 lbs. native of Surrey, British Columbia, who played his collegiate hockey in Alaska at the University of Alaska - Fairbanks. In a solid four-year collegiate career, Fraser had 114 points (59g, 55a) in 148 games. In his final season of junior hockey in the BCHL, Fraser was a 50+ goal scorer and 100+ point player for the Vernon Vipers.

Former Viper Goaltender Gore Sets Franchise Record With 64 Saves In Shoot-Out Loss:

Sunday, February 20th 2011 Former Vernon Vipers goaltender, Lucas Gore made 64 saves but the Chilliwack Bruins fell 4-3 in a shootout in Seattle Sunday night. Gore set a Chilliwack franchise single-season record for saves in one game (64). The previous record (55) was set by Braden Game in a 6-3 loss the night before to the Winterhawks in Portland. With the single point the Bruins move to within three points of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Gore played one season in Vernon (2007-08) before joining the Chilliwack Bruins the following season.

Lucas Gore's Player Profile:

Blues Assign Former Viper Defenceman Strachan To Peoria:

Monday February, 21st 2011 The St.Louis Blues assigned former Vernon Vipers defenseman, Tyson Strachan to the Blues’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen. Strachan played one season in Vernon (2002-03).

This is posted on the Blues website:

Blues Assign Strachan to Peoria

Monday, 02.21.2011

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced Monday the club has assigned defenseman Tyson Strachan to the Blues’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen.

Strachan, 26, has appeared in three games for the Rivermen this season recording one assist. The 6-2, 215-pound defenseman has also dressed in 24 games for the Blues, recording one assist and 29 penalty minutes.

The Melfort, Saskatchewan native was originally drafted by Carolina in the fifth round, 137th overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft and was signed by the Blues as a free agent on Oct. 9, 2008.

Vipers Rest Up Before Third Charge At Fred Page:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers rest up before third charge at Fred Page

By Kevin Mitchell - Vernon Morning Star

Published: February 22, 2011

They have until Tuesday, March 8 to tweak their ineffective powerplay, knock some video-game heads in Call of Duty and catch up on Facebook.

Then, the Vernon Vipers can get serious and begin the B.C. Hockey League playoffs. They are, believe it or not, after losing a dozen regulars, just 16 wins away from a third straight berth in the national Royal Bank Cup.

However, the Fred Page Cup comes first and after an 85-point season which saw the Snakes allow a paltry 2.40 goals a game against – second overall behind the Powell River Kings – Vernon will enjoy the 15-day break before thinking about the post-season.

The Vipers ended the regular season with a sleepy Sunday matinee 3-0 victory over the Quesnel Millionaires before 2,400 fans at Wesbild Centre.

With their third straight Ryan Hadfield Memorial Trophy as conference champions comes a first-round bye. If all three favourites win their series, the Vipers will meet the Westside Warriors, who averaged a league-high 4.10 goals a game.

Dylan Walchuk, who drew two assists against the seventh-place Mills, says the Vipers weren’t taking Quesnel lightly. Vernon outshot the Mills 46-19 and missed a dozen glorious scoring chances. It was pretty much river hockey with Viper d-man Ryan Renz taking the game’s only penalty, for hooking.

“I think it was big for us to come into this game and not step back and just kind of play like it was playoffs so we get on a roll before playoffs start here,” said Walchuk, whose team-high 56 points (24 goals, 32 assists) is second lowest in franchise history behind Jason Williamson’s 50 in the 2000-01 season when Vernon missed the playoffs.

David Robinson fired his ninth game-winner and 32nd goal of the year, on a hard rush to the net, Patrick McGillis buried a rebound in the slot and Bryce Kakoske went roof daddy, with 2:31 left, for Vernon’s offence.

Mills’ rookie goalie Adam Harris was brilliant at times as the Vipers drove the net all afternoon. Walchuk said the Vipers made Harris look good on some plays, while getting stoned on others.

“It was a little bit of both. I know I should have had at least two or three and he made a couple of good saves on me so congrats to him. He played solid for them.”

Power forward Michael Zalewski, who missed his 14th straight game with a concussion, will hopefully be back for the playoffs since the Vipers, who have lacked finish all year, need another bonafide sniper for post-season glory.

“I think we can use the break,” said Walchuk. “We have a few guys sick and I think it’s a huge advantage, actually. It will just give us extra gas for the playoffs. It’ll pay off in the third, fourth round as we go deeper.”

Vipers’ veteran d-man Stevie Weinstein was quick to support the first-round bye.

“I think, obviously, it’s worked the last few years and we’ve got some guys injured, banged up and sick so it will give us a lot of time for those guys to get healed.”

Weinstein says the break will especially boost the Vipers in the early rounds when they tangle with teams who have already been to war once.

The Vipers, who had just two players with 20-plus goals, went to overtime a league-high 20 times which has Hot Stove Leaguers wondering if their lack of depth up front will betray them in the playoffs.

“We have the lowest goals against in our Conference and a lot of people doubted us at the beginning of the year but we just stuck to the system and we got it done,” said Weinstein.

The seriously goal-challenged Millionaires, who earned just 13 wins yet made the playoffs, where they face the Penticton Vees in round one, only had two or three real scoring chances on their former net detective Kirby Halcrow on Sunday.

“Obviously, we wanted to get a good jump into the playoffs and we would have liked to get a win here,” said Mills’ classy captain Skyler Smutek of Seattle. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to do that. It’s pretty light in the dressing room right now. We’re excited for the playoffs. We felt we worked hard all year and totally deserve to be there. Our focus is next week on our next opponent.”

Smutek, who smiled when reminded about how the Mills and Halcrow pushed the Vipers to six games in round two last year, likes Vernon’s chances this year.

“They stole him (Halcrow) from us so that’s one thing. Obviously, they’re not as potent on offence but they’re still a great team and it’s still real hard to play against them. Even when you make mistakes, now they’ve got Halcrow sitting back there to help them out so it makes them that much better.”

SNAKE BITES: Mills’ G Byrton Udy, obtained in the Halcrow trade, sat out with a concussion he suffered Friday night in Westside when the Mills lost 6-0...D Stefan Gonzales of the Mills required 11 stitches to repair a wound near his mouth after a puck came up off a stick in front of the Mills’ net, in the third period...The Vipers finished second overall, followed by the Vees and Salmon Arm SilverBacks, 10-5 losers Sunday in Coquitlam...The Spruce Grove Saints of the Alberta league finished as the No. 1 team in the CJAHL, at 48-8-0-4. The Kings are ranked second and the Vipers ninth. Merritt Centennials’ G Tyler Steel, of Vernon, has been added to the WHL Calgary Hitmen 50-man protected list. Steel went 7-16 with a 3.49 GAA as a rookie.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

St. Louis Recalls Former Viper Strachan From Peoria:

Saturday February, 19th The St.Louis Blues recalled former Vernon Vipers defenseman, Tyson Strachan from the Blues’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen. Strachan played one season in Vernon (2002-03).

This is posted on the Blues website:

Blues Recall McRae, Strachan from Peoria

Saturday, 02.19.2011

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced Saturday the club has recalled forward Philip McRae and defenseman Tyson Strachan from the Blues’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen.

McRae, 20, has dressed in 46 games for Peoria this season recording 26 points including 12 goals and 14 assists. While with the Blues, the 6’2, 200-pound forward dressed in seven games notching two points including his first career NHL goal on January 26 at Calgary. A St. Louis native, McRae was originally drafted by the Blues in the second round, 33rd overall, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He will wear number 38.

Strachan, 26, appeared in three games during his recent stint with Peoria recording one assist. The 6-2, 215-pound defenseman has played in 24 games for the Blues this season, recording one assist and 29 penalty minutes.

The Melfort, Saskatchewan native was originally drafted by Carolina in the fifth round, 137th overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft and was signed by the Blues as a free agent on Oct. 9, 2008.

Viper Veterans Dominate Team Awards:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Viper veterans dominate team awards

by Don Klepp | Added 2011-02-21

Seven Viper veterans each collected two awards the team’s annual awards gala Monday night at the Best Western Vernon Lodge.

Leading the way was Captain David Robinson, who captured the Most Valuable Player and Short Handed goal awards. The 20-year-old also delivered a stirring speech to conclude the event.

Malcolm Lyles, known as Mr. Excitement among the Viper faithful, was named Top Defenceman and the Fan Favourite. The 20-year-old Miami native will study and play at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell next year.

Lyles’s roommate, Kyle Murphy took home hardware for academic excellence. He also won the “Unsung Hero” award for his determined and effective play.

Bryce Kakoske, who has played five years in the BCHL, received the Blueliners’ scholarship and the Renee Holland Community Service award.

Patrick McGillis’s strong play and work ethic were recognized when he received the Most Sportsmanlike Player and the Wayne Buck Memorial awards.

Dylan Walchuk was honoured for being Top Scorer (24 goals, 32 assists). He also won the Three Stars award. That race was decided in the final game of the season when his first star nod in Vipers’ 3-0 win over Quesnel brought him to 16 points, one better than David Robinson.

Brett Corkey, an 18-year-old from Calgary, was named Rookie of the Year for his steady defensive play and his 24 points as a blueliner.

Vernonite Colton Sparrow was tabbed as the Sun Valley Source for Sports Most Improved Player.

The Vipers now look forward to a two-week hiatus before beginning the playoffs in Vernon on March 8 and 9. They will play the winner of the Trail-Westside series.

Tickets are just $10 for the first two playoff games. If those games draw an average of 2500 fans, the tickets will remain at $10 for the next home game. If that third game hosts 2500 fans, the fourth game will again charge only $19, instead of the normal $15 playoff ticket price. And so on.

Former Vipers Mick & Dorais Pick Up Awards At Bulldogs Year End Banquet:

Former Vernon Vipers forwards, Trent Dorais & Sawyer Mick both picked up awards at the Alberni Valley Bulldogs year end awards banquet Sunday. Dorais who played two seasons in Vernon (2007-2009) before signing with the Bulldogs in 2009-10 was named entrepreneur and community hero. While Mick who played in just 45 games with the Vipers last season (2009-10) was named fan choice.

Powell River Kings & Michael Garteig Break Two Viper-BCHL Records:

The Powell River Kings broke the 2009-10 Vernon Vipers previous BCHL record for giving up the least amount of goals in the regular season with 115. The 2009-10 Vernon Vipers set the BCHL record last year giving up just 119 goals.

Powell River Kings goaltender, Michael Garteig broke Vernon Vipers goaltender, Blake Voth's BCHL record with the lowest goals against average in the regular season with a GAA of 1.69, Garteig went 36-8-3 with 7 shutouts this season. Blake Voth broke the BCHL record last year (2009-10) with a GAA of 1.79

Monday, February 21, 2011

Kyle Murphy Post-Game Interview:

Vernon Vipers colour commentator, Don Klepp interviews Vernon Vipers forward, Kyle Murphy who scored three goals in Vernon's 4-2 home ice victory over the visiting Trail Smoke Eaters Friday night. With the win, the Vipers clinched 1st place winning their 15th Interior Division Pennent.

2011 Final Regular Season BCHL Standings:

Here's a look at the 2011 Final Regular Season BCHL Standings:

Coastal Conference: GP: W: L: T: OTL: PTS:

1. Powell River 60 46 9 3 2 97
2. Surrey 60 35 22 1 2 73
3. Langley 60 31 21 1 7 70
4. Victoria 60 33 24 0 3 69
5. Nanaimo 60 29 23 1 7 66
6. Alberni Valley 60 24 29 4 3 55
7. Coquitlam 60 22 28 1 9 54
8. Cowichan Valley 60 21 30 1 8 51

Interior Conference: GP: W: L: T: OTL: PTS:

1. Vernon 60 36 11 4 9 85
2. Penticton 60 38 17 3 2 81
3. Salmon Arm 60 38 19 2 1 79
4. Westside 60 33 20 2 5 73
5. Trail 60 31 23 2 4 68
6. Merritt 60 22 31 1 6 51
7. Quesnel 60 13 38 3 6 35
8. Prince George 60 13 40 1 6 33

For more stats on the BCHL's Final Standings,

Vipers Fall From 8th To 9th In CJHL Rankings:

BCHL's top two clubs stay in national rankings, each hold top-10 status

Monday, February 21, 2011 - Submitted by CJHL Network

The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) announced today its Weekly Top 20 rankings in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting. Last week’s rankings and the leagues in which the teams belong to are in parenthesis.

The CJHL Weekly Top 20 as of Monday, February 21, 2011

1. (1) Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL)
2. (2) Powell River Kings (BCHL)
3. (3) Cornwall Colts (CCHL)
4. (4) Okotoks Oilers (AJHL)
5. (5) Newmarket Hurricanes (OJHL)
6. (6) Wellington Dukes (OJHL)
7. (10) Pembroke Lumber Kings (CCHL)
8. (7) Burlington Cougars (OJHL)
9. (8) Vernon Vipers (BCHL)
10. (9) Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL)
11. (11) La Ronge Ice Wolves (SJHL)
12. (12) Portage Terriers (MJHL)
13. (13) Woodstock Slammers (MHL)
14. (14) Bonnyville Pontiacs (AJHL)
15. (16) Wisconsin Wilderness (SIJHL)
16. (15) Oakville Blades (OJHL)
17. (19) Soo Eagles (NOJHL)
18. (17) Brockville Braves (CCHL)
19. (NR) Penticton Vees (BCHL)
20. (20) Les Cougars du College Champlain - Sherbrooke (LHJAAAQ)

Honorable mention goes to the Yorkton Terriers (SJHL), Dauphin Kings (MJHL), Winkler Flyers (MJHL), Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL), and the Summerside Western Capitals (MHL).

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

Vipers Blank Millionaires:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Vipers blank Millionaires

by Don Klepp | Added 2011-02-20

In a game that lacked intensity, but did have some fine offensive play and first-rate goaltending, the Vernon Vipers capped their regular season with a 3-0 home ice victory over the Quesnel Millionaires on Sunday.

Both teams have playoff positions decided, so there was little motivation to play at their highest level. Still, the crowd of 2366 saw some pretty plays and some big hits.

The Vipers outshot the Mills, 46-19, and out-chanced the visitors 18-4. As a consequence, Adam Harris had more opportunity to showcase his goaltending skills, especially in the second and third periods.

Harris was a one-man wall in the third as the Mills showed the effects of playing three games in three days. Several times he robbed Vipers at the goal mouth.

At the other end, Kirby Halcrow was severely tested just three times, and he was shy about taking credit for the shutout, his first as a Viper.

“The guys played really well in front of me,” said Halcrow. “I didn’t have to do much.”

He continued, “It’s different playing here than for Quesnel, a lot fewer shots. So I’ve had to adjust my mental approach and keep my head in the game when the guys are controlling the play at the other end. It’s coming; I’m comfortable now with having fewer shots.”

Dylan Walchuk, who had a lot of jump, was prominent in the Vipers’ two goals in the first period. In the middle of a line change, he found himself with David Robinson and Bryce Kakoske and the trio clicked with a pretty three-way passing play at 7:05.

The final touch came when Walchuk feathered a pass to Robinson for a high speed tap in, a play that the Sedin twins would be happy to complete.

Walchuk was instrumental on Patrick McGillis’s goal at 11:35. Out with his regular line mates, Walchuk won the faceoff and carried the puck deep into the Quesnel zone. The puck was knocked off his stick, but he regained it and fed Dane Muench.

The rebound of Muench’s shot came directly to McGillis, who buried it from 15 feet.

A physical second period resulted, nonetheless, in just one penalty. The Vipers easily killed a hooking call to Ryan Renz.

After being repeatedly stymied by Adam Harris in the third, Vernon finally capitalized when Bryce Kakoske ripped a wrist shot from the slot at 17:29. Harris got a piece of the puck, but not enough to prevent it from entering the top corner.

Darren Nowick and Steven Weinstein, both of whom were very active for the Vipers in this game, drew assists on Kakoske’s 50th point of the season, the first time he has reached that mark in five BCHL seasons.

After the game, Coach Jason Williamson reflected on the team’s capture of first place in the Interior Division. “I don’t think a lot of people expected us to finish first, but the guys really earned it. We’ve seen steady improvement in individual effort and team play. Mark [Ferner] and I take our hats off to them.”

Game Notes:

• A head injury to Bryton Udy, courtesy of a wayward stick in Westside, kept him out of the game, or the goalies traded for each other would have duelled each other in Vernon for the first time.

• Dylan Walchuk finished the season with a team-leading 56 points, the first time in the history of the Vernon franchise that the team’s leading point getter has had fewer than 60 points.

• The Vipers’ mark of 141 goals against is the second best defensive record in team history.

• The Millionaires will face the Penticton Vees in the first round of the playoffs, starting Thursday in Penticton.

• The Vipers will play their first playoff series, starting March 8 and 9 in Vernon.

• The Vipers finished the season with a league-best average attendance of 1858, which is 283 better than Langley's second-rated attendance.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Vernon 3 Quesnel 0

I was at this afternoons BCHL game as Vernon defeated Quesnel 3-0 in front of 2,366 fans at the Wesbild Centre.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Kirby Halcrow
Quesnel: Adam Harris

1st Period: It took both teams the first five or so minutes to get going as some scrambly play went on in the opening few minutes before the Vipers took over and carried the better of the play for most of the 1st period. Dylan Walchuk with a good chance early from the high slot was stopped by Adam Harris who played very well this afternoon. Steve Weinstein with a nice rush up ice, carried the puck in over the Millionaires blueline before ripping a quick shot from the circle was stopped again by Adam Harris. Quesnel who couldnt get much of anything going needed the first five minutes to record their first shot on net. Vipers captain, David Robinson opened the scoring at 7:05 after a nice rush from his own blueline Robinson carried the play through the neutral zone feeding Dylan Walchuk before Walchuk gave the puck back to Robinson who beat Harris giving Vernon the 1-0 lead. Walchuk with the only assist on the goal. A few minutes Adam Thompsons big shot from the point was stopped by the quick glove hand of Harris who made atleast three good glove saves through out the afternoon. Dane Muench battled hard just to the outside of the Mills net, winning the battle and then feeding Patrick McGillis in front who beat Harris at 11:35 giving the Vipers a 2-0 lead. Muench with the lone helper. The Millionaires with very little offence, had troubles getting the puck and play deep in the Vernon zone, as the Vipers defence played very well shutting down Quesnels offence. The Mills with just one real good quality chance as former Quesnel Millionaire Kirby Halcrow had troubles making a glove save from a shot in close, as the puck bounced out of his glove before the veteran goaltender covered up to stop the play. With a big crowd of players in front of Adam Harris, Patrick McGillis was stopped from the high slot as Vernon controlled and carried the better of the play. The Vipers were up 2-0 after 20 minutes of play. Vernon outshot Quesnel 15-7.

2nd Period: The Vipers looked a little slow and sluggish to start the 2nd period, as Vernon couldnt seem to get much going. Quesnel looked like a much better hockey club in the middle frame coming out with some good jump, playing physical and being a little more aggresive as the Mills were the team carrying the better of the play early and often. Thomas Hardy with a good chance from in close in the opening few minutes couldnt beat Halcrow. Quesnel would get the games only powerplay of the afternoon early in the period but the Millionaires struggled with the man advantage, It was Vernon's penalty killers who looked strong, playing aggresive wich forced a turnover deep in the Mills zone allowing Darren Nowick a chance all alone in slot but Nowick couldnt beat Harris who made a big shoulder save keeping Quesnel in the game. Vernon would kill off the penalty. The Millionaires carried the better of the play in the first half but couldnt generate any real good chances as the Vipers kept the Mills to the outside. Vernon slowly started to come along and get better in the second half of the period. Kyle Murphy with a wrap around, setup Marcus Basara at the side of the net, Basara beat Adam Harris but rang his shot off the post on a great scoring chance. Dylan Walchuk with a nice little move come out from the corner, but couldnt get the puck past Harris who stood tall. In the final three and half minutes Dylan Walchuk fed Patrick McGillis who come down the wing but was stopped by Harris. The Vipers looking much better in the second half. Vernon was up 2-0 after 40 minutes of play. The Vipers outshot the Mills 12-7.

3rd Period: Off the opening draw Vernon would get the play deep in the Quesnel zone, David Robinson drove hard towards the goal but couldnt get the puck past Adam Harris who got his right pad down to make the huge save from in close. Just seconds later with Harris down Patrick McGillis at the side of the Quesnel net had two shots to try and get the puck up and over Harris's pad but couldnt as the Millionaires goaltender was solid in the 3rd. Vernon with a flurry of chances in the opening five minutes really started to pour it on and take it to the 7th place Mills. Dane Muench would wind up with a big shot from in close from the top of the circle but Harris come out to challenge making the save. Aaron Hadley with two great back to back chances couldnt beat Harris, Hadley was stopped on his first attempt after Harris made a huge pad save and then Hadley couldnt beat Harris from in close as the Mills goaltender was giving his team a chance to win. The Vipers owned the 3rd dominating play early and often. It took Quesnel tweleve minutes to record their first shot of the period. The Mills were basically standing still at times, playing with very little emotion or energy. Vernon then fed John Knisley who missed a wide open net shooting wide of the goal. Dylan Walchuk with a ton of chances this afternoon was stopped three or four times by Harris who robbed the second year Viper. Harris stopped Walchuk who got inbehind the Quesnel defence and then through up the quick glove to make a nice glove save giving his team a chance. Darren Nowick with a shot from the high slot beat Harris but hit the post on a good scoring play. The Millionaires with no presure or offence at all in the 3rd made Kirby Halcrows job look very easy this afternoon. Dylan Walchuk and Bryce Kakoske with some nice two way passing, eventually setup Walchuk who was robbed by Harris in close. Mark Ferner was really mixing up his lines this afternoon, trying a bunch of different line combinations. A scary momement midway through the 3rd after Stefan Gonzales took a puck to the face going down hard, and ended up leaving the game and didnt return. Late in the 3rd Darren Nowick setup Bryce Kakoske in front who beat Harris glove side at 17:29 giving Vernon a 3-0 lead. Nowick and Steve Weinstein collcted the assists. Vernon dominated the entire 3rd and come away with the 3-0 victory. The Vipers outshot the Mills 19-5. Kirby Halcrow made 19 saves for his first shutout as a Viper. At the end of the game, both coaches exchanged hand shakes.

Top Players: (Vernon)

Malcolm Lyles didnt jump up into the rush as he normally does but played very well defensively this afternoon.

Brett Corkey played very well today, Corkey who jumped up into the play twice had a nice rush from his own end in the opening period.

Dylan Walchuk (1 assist) Walchuk could have easily scored three or four goals this afternoon after having some great chances. Walchuk looked very strong with the puck. One of his better games in the last few weeks.

David Robinson (1 goal) The line of David Robinson, Kyle Murphy and Marcus Basara looked very good. This line was broken up in the 3rd but Robinson played hard like he normally does.

Marcus Basara played fairly well up front for Vernon. Come up with a few good scoring opportunities, hitting the post once.

Patrick McGillis worked hard and had his fair share of scoring chances.

Adam Thompson looked very solid on the Vipers backend. Thompson played a very steady game for the Vipers all afternoon.

Top Players: (Quesnel)

Spencer Graboski showed the most hustle and hard work out of any of the Mills players today. Graboski seemed to be competing and battling hard.

Adam Harris (43 saves) With former Vernon Vipers goaltender, Bryton Udy out of the lineup, Adam Harris made 43 saves giving his team a chance to win or atleast pot a goal in the 3rd and mae a game of it. Without Harris this could have easily been seven or eight nothing. Harris has a nice glove hand, dosnt give up alot of rebounds and plays his position very well. Made some huge saves early and often in the 3rd.

Game Thoughts: (Vernon)

Give full credit to the Vernon Vipers and their coaching staff for being ready to play today and not sitting back in a mean nothing game. Before todays game I wasnt too sure what we were going to witness this afternoon, but the Vipers battled and other then maybe the first half of the 2nd period outplayed Quesnel most of the game. Vernons passing looked very good, as well as their transition game. Some real nice setup plays and different line combinations made for some exciting plays at times. Vernon will now get a few weeks off until the second round of the BCHL playoffs, wich gives them a good chance to rest up and heal any minor injuries. It will be interesting to see who the Vipers will face in the second round.

Game Thoughts: (Quesnel)

In a mean nothing game other then pride the Quesnel Millionaires sure didnt look like they wanted to play this afternoons game. Other then maybe the first half of the second period the Mills were outplayed most of the game. Quesnel couldnt muster any real kind of offence, were being outhit, outworked and outskated all over the ice. The Millionaires showed very little emotion or had much energy in a game where they were lifeless at times. If it wasnt for Adam Harris this could have been a long afternoon. The Millionaires have lost ten straight away from home. Quesnel’s last win on the road was a 5-4 overtime win in Langley back on December, 18th. Quesnel’s last win at the Wesbild Centre was a 4-3 overtime win back on Saturday, October 18th 2003. Quesnel will now face Penticton in the first round of the BCHL playoffs, and if they play like they did this afternoon, that series should be over in four straight.



Phillip Patenaude
Mike Zalewski (Concusion)
Trevor Fitzgerald


Quin Buckellew
Derek Huisman
David Ahl
Bryton Udy

3 Stars:

1st Star: Dylan Walchuk (1 assist)
2nd Star: Patrick McGillis
3rd Star: Kirby Halcrow (19 saves-Shutout)

For more on tonight's game check out the boxscore,

(Game Preview) Quesnel @ Vernon:

Quesnel (13-36-3-6) @ Vernon (35-11-4-9)

Today is the sixth and final meeting of the regular season between the defending back to back Royal Bank Cup Champion Vernon Vipers & the Quesnel Millionaires. Tonight is the Vipers final game of the regular season after coming off a 4-2 victory over the visiting Trail Smoke Eaters Friday night. Today is the Millionaires final game of the regular season after coming off a 5-2 loss to the Penticton Vees. The Mills will finish the regular season on a three game road trip.

Last Game Played:

Friday, February 18th Vernon defeated Trail 4-2
Saturday, February 19th Penticton defeated Quesnel 5-2

Next Game:

Vernon get’s the bye in the first round of the BCHL playoffs
Friday, February 25th (Game 1) Quesnel @ Penticton or Salmon Arm

Let's take a look at the Vernon Vipers:

Games Played: 59
Wins: 35
Losses: 11
Ties: 4
Overtime Losses: 9
Home Record: 17-5-2-5
Road Record: 18-6-2-4
Streak: Two game winning streak
Last Ten Games: 7-2-0-1
Goals For: 194
Goals Against:141
Standings: 1st Place

Since the 2002-03 season Vernon is 40-7-2-1 vs. Quesnel

Since the 2002-03 season Vernon has outscored Quesnel 235-107

Since the 2003-04 season Vernon is 16-0-2-1 at home vs. Quesnel

Since the 2003-04 season Vernon is 18-5-0-0 in Quesnel

The Vipers are 9-0-1-0 in their last ten games at home vs. the Millionaires

The Vipers are 10-0-0-0 in their last ten games on the road vs. the Millionaires

Quesnel’s last win at the Wesbild Centre was a 4-3 overtime win back on Saturday, October 18th 2003. Since then the Millionaires lost 26 straight games to the Vipers before picking up a 1-1 tie in Vernon back on Wednesday, October 6th 2010

The Vernon Lakers changed their name to the Vernon Vipers to start the 1995-96 season. Here’s a look at the Vipers all-time regular season record

Games Played: 959
Wins: 618
Losses: 245
Ties: 15
Overtime Losses: 84

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)

Vernon’s Powerplay vs. Quesnel this season:


At Home vs. Quesnel:


On The Road vs. Quesnel:


Vernon’s scoring leaders vs. Quesnel this season:

John Knisley (2-5-7)
Dylan Walchuk (2-5-7)
Bryce Kakoske (2-3-5)
David Robinson (3-2-5)
Kyle Murphy (3-2-5)
Darren Nowick (0-4-4)
Steven Weinstein (1-3-4)
Trevor Fitzgerald (2-2-4)
Adam Thompson (1-3-4)
Brett Corkey (0-4-4)
Marcus Basara (2-1-3)
Max Mowat (0-2-2)
Michael Zalewski (2-0-2)
Malcolm Lyles (0-1-1)
Colton Sparrow (0-1-1)
Patrick McGillis (0-1-1)
Aaron Hadley (0-1-1)
Zach McPhee (1-0-1)
Dane Muench (1-0-1)

Blake Voth (4-0-1 Record)

Key’s and Notes to tonight’s game:

-Vernon won it’s 15th Interior Division Pennent last night with a 4-2 victory over Trail. The Vipers will now get a first round bye in the BCHL playoffs

-The Vipers have the league's 5th best penalty kill

-Since defeating Quesnel 4-3 back on January, 14th the Vipers have gone 11-2-0-1

-The Vipers have the league’s second best goal’s against, giving up just 141 goals this season

-Blake Voth is 4-0-1-0 against Quesnel in his career

-Vernon is 21-3-3-8 when scoring the games first goal

-The Vipers are 14-8-1-1 when giving up the first goal of the game

-The Vipers are ranked 8th in the CJHL National Rankings

-Blake Voth (24-11-3 Record, 4 shutouts) is second in the league's top ten goaltenders with a 2.12 GAA

-Vernon has won five of its last six home games

-Vernon's powerplay is 12th in the BCHL

-Tonight is basically a game where Vernon can rest up any small nagging injuries as well as work on specialty teams and try and work out some kinks before the second round of the BCHL playoffs

Let's take a look at the Quesnel Millionaires:

Games Played: 59
Wins: 13
Losses: 37
Ties: 3
Overtime Losses: 6
Home Record: 11-15-2-2
Road Record: 2-22-1-4
Streak: Two game losing streak
Last Ten Games: 2-7-0-1
Goals For: 140
Goals Against: 247
Standings: 7th Place

Returning Players:

Clayton Chessa (91)
Spencer Graboski (93)
Skyler Smutek (90)
Chris Kerr (92)
Anderson White (91)

Departing & traded players from last years team:

Sam Higgins (90)
Justin Hogan (90)
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)
Kirby Halcrow (91)
Tyler French (90)

Quesnel’s Powerplay vs. Vernon this season:


At Home vs. Vernon:


On The Road vs. Vernon:


Quesnel’s scoring leaders vs. Vernon this season:

Malcolm Gould (4-0-4)
Justin Hogan (1-2-3)
Daryl DeVries (1-2-3)
Derek Huisman (2-1-3)
Skyler Smutek (0-3-3)
Spencer Graboski (2-1-3)
Sam Higgins (0-2-2)
Devin Balness (0-2-2)
Chris Blessing (0-1-1)
Chris Kerr (0-1-1)
Michael Spring (0-1-1)
Shawn Mueller (0-1-1)
Taylor Orser (0-1-1)

Adam Harris (0-1 Record)
Bryton Udy (0-1 Record)

Key’s and Notes to tonight’s game:

-Quesnel will finish the regular season in 7th place and face either Penticton or Salmon Arm in the first round of the BCHL playoffs.

-The Mills havnt played in Vernon since a 8-1 loss to the Vipers back on October, 23rd

-Quesnel has troubles putting the puck in the net, scoring a league low 140 goals

-The Millionaires also have troubles keeping the puck out of the net, giving up 247 goals wich is 3rd from the bottom

-Quesnel has the league’s worst powerplay, ranked at 16th

-The Mills have the league’s worst penalty kill, ranked at 16th

-The Millionaires have lost nine straight away from home. Quesnel’s last win on the road was a 5-4 overtime win in Langley back on December, 18th

-Tonight could be a battle of two former team mates of both teams. Bryton Udy and Kirby Halcrow both could face their old team this afternoon

-Bryton Udy is 3-15-2 with a 3.79 GAA since being traded to Quesnel

-Since losing 4-3 to Vernon back on January, 14th the Mills have gone 2-9-1-2

-Tonight is also a mean nothing game for Quesnel, other then playing for team pride and preparing for the BCHL playoffs

-Quesnel has struggled away from home collecting just two wins on the road all season

-The Mills have just two wins in their last ten games

-The Millionaires have just two twenty year olds on their current roster

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.

Friday, October 29th @ Quesnel: Vernon wins 4-3



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 in the loss.

Friday, January 14th @ Quesnel: Vernon wins 4-3



Quesnel Millionaires at 7:07 - Derek Huisman from Daryl DeVries and Taylor Orser
Vernon Vipers at 15:10 (PP) - Adam Thompson from David Robinson and Steven Weinstein


Vernon Vipers at 5:04 - Kyle Murphy from Marcus Basara and David Robinson
Vernon Vipers at 7:10 - Dane Muench from Dylan Walchuk and Darren Nowick
Quesnel Millionaires at 14:54 - Malcolm Gould from Derek Huisman and Michael Spring


Vernon Vipers at 3:02 - Zach McPhee from Trevor Fitzgerald
Quesnel Millionaires at 15:14 - Spencer Graboski from Shawn Mueller and Skyler Smutek

Quesnel outshot Vernon 28-27. Blake Voth made 25 saves in the win, while Bryton Udy made 23 saves in the loss.

Here's a look at both teams rosters:


Dylan Walchuk (24-30-54)
David Robinson (31-17-48)
Bryce Kakoske (16-32-48)
Kyle Murphy (18-24-42)
John Knisley (10-25-35)
Malcolm Lyles (8-22-30)
Michael Zalewski (12-17-29)
Adam Thompson (7-22-29)
Marcus Basara (12-16-28)
Darren Nowick (9-17-26)
Patrick McGillis (12-12-24)
Aaron Hadley (9-15-24)
Steven Weinstein (5-18-23)
Brett Corkey (1-22-23)
Trevor Fitzgerald (7-11-18)
Max Mowat (2-13-15)
Ryan Renz (4-10-14)
Colton Sparrow (1-6-7)
Dane Muench (1-4-5)
Zach McPhee (3-1-4)
Philip Patenaude (0-1-1)

Kirby Halcrow With Quesnel (5-18-1 Record, 3.56 GAA)
With Vernon (9-4-1 Record, 2.34 GAA)
Blake Voth (25-11-3 Record, 4 Shutouts, 2.12 GAA)


Spencer Graboski (15-21-36)
Skyler Smutek (8-27-35)
Malcolm Gould (14-17-31)
Derek Huisman (14-14-28)
Chris Blessing (10-16-26)
Chris Kerr (7-17-24)
Shawn Mueller (10-12-22)
Daryl DeVries (8-11-19)
Michael Spring (10-8-18)
Thomas Hardy (6-11-17)
David Thompson (5-9-14)
Chris Allbee (5-5-10)
Rigby Burgart (5-5-10)
Anderson White (3-6-9)
Stefan Gonzales (1-8-9)
Bradley Buckingham (4-3-7)
Quin Buckellew (1-4-5)
Kiefer McNaughton (1-4-5)
Chad Roorda (0-1-1)
David Ahl (0-0-0)
Austin Baecker (0-0-0)

Bryton Udy (4-19-3 Record, 3.67 GAA)
Adam Harris (4-9 Record, 1 Shutout, 4.84 GAA)

Murphy Pulls Trick For Interior Title:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Murphy pulls trick for Interior title

By Graeme Corbett - Vernon Morning Star

Published: February 19, 2011

Kyle Murphy couldn’t have picked a more opportune time to collect his first career B.C. Hockey League hat trick.

The Fair Haven, N.J. native recorded the winner late in the first period as the Vernon Vipers grounded the Trail Smoke Eaters 4-2 Friday night at Wesbild Centre. The win improved Vernon to 35-11-4-9, guaranteeing them a third straight Interior Conference pennant and a first-round playoff bye.

“To play that many games and to be at this point and finally get first place and that bye, it’s a good feeling,” said Murphy, who returned to junior A after playing last season with the NCAA Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

“It’s really important, especially for us being a younger team. It’s good to get that win, get that confidence and be heading in the right direction moving into playoffs.”

The Snakes end their regular season this afternoon (2 p.m.) against the visiting Quesnel Millionaires. After that, they won’t play again until Tuesday, March 8, when they host the lowest remaining seed in a best-of-seven Interior Conference semifinal.

With a handful of Vipers playing hurt and rolling with pretty much three forward lines, Ferner credited his team for a gritty performance to secure the pennant.

“It’s been a long time, a lot of hard work and sacrifices, on and off the ice. It took us 59 games to finish first,” said Ferner. “Our guys just went out and it didn’t matter who we had in the lineup, they played a sound game. We had some great efforts out of some guys.”

Despite having to kill off three straight penalties, including a game misconduct to Zach McPhee for a check from behind on Trail’s Curtis Tonello early in the first period, the Vipers managed to break out to a 2-0 lead.

At the end of McPhee’s penalty, Murphy (16th goal) broke in alone on Kiefer Smiley, snapping a shot over the Trail netminder’s shoulder at 6:37. Defenceman Brett Corkey drew the assist after he flipped the puck to centre ice where Murphy collected it behind Trail’s defence.

Viper captain Dave Robinson (31st), who took a thunderous hit from 6-foot-6, 215-pound defenceman Jake Baker early in the game, showed no ill effect as he pounced on the rebound off Darren Nowick’s shot from the top of the circle.

John Knisley earned the Vipers’ third penalty after he piled Cullen Bradshaw into the Vernon net, bowling over netminder Blake Voth. Vernon’s uncharacteristic lack of discipline finally caught up with them as Travis St. Denis (27th) broke across the blueline on the ensuing powerplay and fired a shot that appeared to redirect through a crowd in front of Blake Voth (16 saves).

Vernon pushed ahead four minutes later, scoring seconds after a Trail penalty expired. Malcolm Lyles wristed a puck on net from the point and Murphy (17th) was on Smiley’s doorstep to bury the rebound (Marcus Basara was originally credited with the goal).

Ferner said shutting down the Smoke Eaters down on those early powerplays was crucial.

“That’s where they make their hay most of the time, and I thought our guys did a real good job. To hold that team to 18 shots – that’s a pretty explosive team – it was a great team effort. We were relentless on pucks.”

Murphy (18th) completed his hat trick midway through the second period when he chipped in a loose puck past a sprawled Smiley (23 saves) on a goalmouth scramble.

Earlier in the second period, the Smokies’ Joey Baker drove Adam Thompson into the boards awkwardly, and the Vernon defender laboured to get off the ice. Thompson missed a few shifts, but returned later in the period.

With Mike Zalewski recovering from a concussion and a bunch of other lingering injuries throughout the Viper roster, Murphy said the bye will be a welcome reprieve.

“It’s real important for us to get guys back, to get guys healthy and just to rest up and get our minds right.”

Vernon’s Dylan Walchuk and the Smokies’ Sam Mellor, who were Canada West teammates at the World Junior A Challenge last November in Penticton, dropped the gloves during a second-period scrum. Walchuk earned the decision with a solid takedown, after which the former teammates shared a few words and a smile in the penalty box.

“Not really our best performance. We needed to start chipping pucks into quiet areas and get pucks deep. We had too many turnovers at both bluelines,” said Mellor, who grinned and nodded when asked if he and Walchuk will still be friends after their tussle.

Friday night was the first time in a while that Trail have sported a full lineup at Wesbild, but their big-name players were a non-factor for the most part. Scott Jacklin, Trail’s leading scorer with 73 points, completed the scoring with his 23rd goal with just over a minute to play.

The Smokies will begin the playoffs on the road against the Westside Warriors, starting Friday night at Royal LePage Place.

Said Trail head coach Jim Ingram: “We had a shift here and there where they were OK.

“They are very good hockey players, but things tighten up and you don’t have enough time and space to operate and when that happens the fanciness goes out the window. You just have to roll your sleeves up and go to work,” said Ingram, who holds a high respect for the Vipers.

“They’re not a fancy team, but boy are they ever conducive to winning because of their work ethic. They put pucks deep, they win puck battles against the walls. They look at that loose puck as theirs.”

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Former Viper Olthuis Called-Up By Gems:

Former Vernon Vipers goaltender, Jon Olthuis has been returned to the CHL's Dayton Gems for a third time this season. Olthuis had previously signed with Dayton this past summer but was released on October, 12th 2010 prior to the regular season. Olthuis then signed with the SPHL's Augusta RiverHawks & was currently playing in Augusta before signing with Dayton on January, 13th 2011 but was recently returned to Augusta on February 1st 2011. In one game with the Gems, Olthuis played 64 minutes and recorded 45 saves. Olthuis played two seasons in Vernon (2004-06) before playing four years at University of Alaska-Anchorage.

This is posted on the RiverHawks website:

RiverHawks Announce Player Transactions

Feb 17, 2011

Augusta, GA - Just in time for a full weekend slate of games the Augusta RiverHawks released several roster changes.

The team announced that goaltender, Jon Olthuis, will return to Dayton, Ohio to join the Dayton Gems of the Central Hockey League. Olthuis had a brief stint with the Gems in early 2011, and rejoined the RiverHawks in February. In 24 games with the RiverHawks, Olthuis had a goals-against-average of 2.86 and a .909 save percentage. To replace Olthuis the RiverHawks have signed goaltender Peter Skoggard who most recently played with the Cape Cod Barons of the Federal Hockey League.

It was also announced that forward Kevin Fukala will rejoin the RiverHawks lineup tonight. Fukala was called up to the ECHL to play with the Florida Everblades. After five games with the Everblades, Fukala sustained a concussion that kept him out of the lineup for over a month. Fukala is expected to hit the ice tonight, February 17, as the RiverHawks take on the Pensacola Ice Flyers.

After a weekend game turned ugly in Knoxville, the SPHL chose to suspend forward Aaron McGill for the remainder of the season following a run-in with Mark Van Vliet. The RiverHawks management team appealed the suspension to league officials, but the decision to keep McGill out of the lineup for the rest of the season was upheld. In 41 games with the RiverHawks, McGill posted 25 points and 169 penalty minutes.