I was at tonights Vernon Vipers Blue & White game, as Team White defeated Team Blue 8-7 at the Wesbild Centre.
Team Blue: Mike Vlanich "92"
Team White: Kirby Halcrow "91"
1st Period: Just like last night's inter-squad game, both teams got off to a bit of a slow start before Team Blue carried the early edge in play. Team Blue looked very good early and often before Adam Tambellini opened the scoring at 8:32 giving Team White the 1-0 lead. Aaron Hadley with the lone assist. This goal seemed to give a little energy to Team White as they slowly started to get rolling and just over a minute later jumped ahead 2-0 on a soft goal by, Marc Hetnik at 9:54 after Mike Vlanich should have stopped this goal. Riley Hunt and John Knisley collected the helpers. Team Blue looked very disorganised and was getting caught out of position as Team White was really controlling the better of the play. Riley Hunt made it 3-0 at 13:16, Alex Hagen and John Knisley picked up the assists. Kirby Halcrow who didnt see a whole lot of action made two huge saves after robbing Nick Newman in front. Team White would get two three on ones in the opening period. Before the period come to an end, Steven Alldridge gave Team White a 4-0 lead at 19:30 with Alex Jewell picking up the lone helper. Team White was up 4-0 after twenty minutes of play. Team White outshot Team Blue 10-9.
2nd Period: Both teams started out fairly even with not alot of action at either ends of the rink. Both teams switched goaltenders at the midway mark, as Mike Hails replaced Kirby Halcrow who stopped all 14 shots. Darren Hogg replaced Mike Vlanich who seven out of eleven shots. On the next shift, Vipers captain, Patrick McGillis wired a high shot over the glove of Hails getting Team Blue on the scoreboard at 10:17. McGillis's goal was unassisted as Mike Hails allowed his first shot of the evening. Off the next faceoff, Aaron Hadley with a nice move in tight beat Darren Hogg on his first shot giving Team White a 5-1 lead at 10:48, Brett Corkey with the only assist on the play. The goals really started to come now as just over two minutes later, Jedd Soleway beat Mike Hails at 12:54 making it a three goal game. Jon Saunders would pick up the only assist. On the next shift, Tanner Burns would cut the lead to two at 14:11 as Team Blue was coming on. Marcus Basara with the only helper on Burns goal. Mike Hails didnt look very good between the pipes. The physical play slowly started to pick up a bit late in the second half of the period. Team Blue was the better of the two teams in the 2nd period. Team White with a 5-3 lead after fourty minutes of play. Team Blue outshot Team White 14-7.
3rd Period: Just 4:04 into the final frame, Connor Hartley with a real slick move beat Mike Hails making this a one goal game. Hartley's goal was unassisted. Alex Hagen with a real nice move in front made a wicked pass out front but Team White couldnt find the back of the net after Darren Hogg made a good save. Jesse Nehr made it 6-4 at 6:38 with a nice wrist shot down low that beat Hogg. Mat Lambert and Mitch Ferguson collected the assists. Just four minutes later some nice three way passing between, Mike Zalewski, John Knisley and Marc Hetnik setup a highlite reel goal by Hetnik at 10:20 for his second of the night giving Team White a 7-4 lead. Knisley and Zalewski picked up the helpers. Team White now was coming on strong, showing their skill and finess up front. But dont count out Team Blue after Marcus Basara made it 7-5 (unassisted) Adien Hooker on a penalty shot in the final minute of play cut the lead to a single goal. Jedd Soleway would then win the draw deep in Team White's zone setting up Patrick McGillis's onetimer at 19:17 tying the game 7-7, Soleway with the lone assist on the game tying goal. Before we could say overtime, back come Team White and with a goal mouth scramble, Team White scored at the buzzer to win the game 8-7. They didnt announce who scored the game winner, and the goal should have never been counted as the puck went in after the buzzer and the green goal light was on but the referee allowed the goal, giving Team White a thrilling 8-7 victory.
Top Players: (Team Blue)
Ryan Renz "93" I thought played well defensively and through out a few big checks through out tonights contest.
Geoff Crisfield "93" Played his second straight solid game on the backend.
Marcus Basara "93" (1 goal and 1 assist) Had spurts of good signs. Basara looks to me that he has put on some weight and size this summer.
Connor Hartley "93" (1 goal) Another kid that didnt stand out all night, but looked good in different situations. Scored a real nice goal tonight.
Game Thoughts: (Team Blue)
Team Blue got off to a good strong start but was unable to score early and then fell behind and just couldnt keep up going down 4-0 after just the first period. They were the better team in the 2nd outscoring Team White 3-1. I thought they played well at times in the 3rd, and give them credit for not giving up, battling back to tie the game, only to lose it at the buzzer. Team Blue looked disorganised at times in the 1st period and just didnt seem to gel until the game got going.
Top Players: (Team White)
Kirby Halcrow "91" Didnt see a whole lot of action in his period and a half of time between the pipes, but did come up with two huge saves in the opening period. Halcrow played his position well and shut the door while between the pipes tonight.
Brett Corkey "92" (1 assist) Another player that didnt stand out the entire game, but looked good at different times throught out the hockey game.
Marc Hetnik "92" (2 goals) For the second straight night I was impressed with Hetnik. Last night he looked very good on the blueline, tonight he jumped up into the play more and looked very good on the offensive side of the game.
Turner Lawson "94" Played well on the blueline, made a few nice heads up passes up ice.
Mike Zalewski "92" (1 assist) I thought Zalewski played very well this evening. Looked dangerous at times with the puck down low, especially twice in the third period.
Adam Tambellini "94" (1 goal) Played much better tonight, didnt really see a whole lot in him last night. Didnt stand out but scored a real nice goal to open the scoring tonight.
John Knisley "92" (2 goals) I thought Knisley played and looked fairly good up front tonight.
Jesse Nehr "94" (1 goal) For the second straight night, Jesse Nehr was very impressive. This kid will find a spot on some Jr A Team this season. Can skate, very skilled and has some wheels.
Alex Jewell "94" (1 assist) I was fairly impressed with Alex Jewell last night and again tonight. Didnt stand out, but had spurts of good signs.
Game Thoughts: (Team White)
Team White got off to a bit of a slow start but roared back with four goals to take a 4-0 lead heading into the 2nd period. Didnt seem to have that same jump in the middle frame but managed to come out of the 2nd ahead by two goals. It was a battle in the 3rd as Team Blue tied the game before Team White didnt quit and scored a goal at the buzzer-just after the buzzer to pick up the victory. Team White when they were playing well, were really skating well, moving the puck well and had some skill on their team. Goaltending let them down as Mike Hails didnt look very sharp at all tonight. It will really be interesting now to see what lineup-roster the Vipers will have for Fridays exibition game vs Westside. From what I have heard the Vipers already have their team pick, except do need a backup goaltender.
Here is a look at tonight's roster-line ups:
Patrick McGillis "91" (Returning From Last Year)
Darren Nowick "91" (Returning From Last Year)
Marcus Basara "93" (Returning From Last Year)
Colton Sparrow "93" (Returning From Last Year)
Jedd Soleway "94" (Recruited-Committed)
Tanner Burns "93"
Bron Loiselle "94"
Connor Hartley "93" (Recruited-Committed)
Diego Bartlett "94"
Nick Newman "93"
Logan Mick "96"
Adien Hooker "95"
Jon Saunders "93"
Walker Sidoni "94"
Ryan Renz "93" (Returning From Last Year)
Max Mowat "93" (Returning From Last Year)
Geoff Crisfield "93" (Recruited-Committed)
(No first name) Swales "92"
Darren Hogg "93"
Mike Vlanich "92"
Mike Zalewski "92" (Returning From Last Year)
Adam Tambellini "94" (Recruited-Committed)
Jon Knisley "92" (Returning From Last Year)
Alex Hagen "92" (Recruited-Committed)
Phil Bamber "93"
Mat Lambert "94"
Mike Roberts "95"
Aaron Hadley "93" (Returning From Last Year)
Riley Hunt "95" (Recruited-Committed)
Alex Jewell "94"
Steven Alldridge "96"
Jesse Nehr "94"
Marc Hetnik "92" (Recruited-Committed)
Brett Corkey "92" (Returning From Last Year)
Turner Lawson "94"
Mitch Ferguson "94"
Bryce Eviston "94"
(No first name) Ferner "95"
Kirby Halcrow "91" (Returning From Last Year)
Mike Hails "94"