Monday, April 30, 2012

Bulldogs Name Former Viper Bishop North American Van Lines Man of the Year:

The AHL Hamilton Bulldogs named former Vernon Vipers forward Hunter Bishop North American Van Lines Man of the year at the Bulldogs year end awards banquet.  Bishop now in his third season with the Bulldogs missed the entire 2011-12 season with an undisclosed injury.  Bishop played three seasons in Vernon (2005-2007) before playing one season at the University of North Dakota.  Bishop then returned to Vernon and played his final season with the Vipers (2007-2008) before playing the next two years at Ohio State University.  In 140 regular season games with the Vipers Bishop collected (93-84-177).  On March. 18th 2010 the Montreal Canadiens signed Bishop as a free agent to a two year contract 

Hunter Bishop's Player Profile:

This is posted on the Bulldogs website:

Hamilton Bulldogs Weekly Press Release

Tuesday, April. 17th 2012

Bulldogs 2011-12 Award Winners:

The Hamilton Spectator Most Valuable Player Award (selected by Hamilton Bulldogs Players): 

TIE: Brian Willsie and Andreas Engqvist

The Molson Cup Award (Given to the player most frequently named one of three stars): 

Aaron Palushaj (47 points)

The Bill Stirrup Trophy (Bulldogs Fan’s Choice Award, selected by “The Growl”): 

Aaron Palushaj

The Tim Hortons Top Defenceman Award (selected by attending media):

Frederic St-Denis (28 points (3 goals, 25 assists) in 58 games played)

The Flamboro Workhorse of the Game (selected by attending media):

Brian Willsie (8 Flamboro Workhorse of the game titles)

The North American Van Lines Man of the Year Award (selected by Hamilton Bulldogs front office staff)

Hunter Bishop and Brendon Nash (Over 50 community appearances)

The Swiss Chalet Top Rookie Award (selected by the Hamilton Bulldogs Radio Network Broadcast Team)

Louis Leblanc (22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) in 31 games played)

The Andlauer Transportation Services Hamilton Bulldogs Leader Scorer Award:

Brian Willsie (44 points (18 goals, 26 assists) in 68 games played)

      Sunday, April 29, 2012

      Terriers Name Former Viper Noonan Unsung Hero At Year End Awards Banquet:

      Former Vernon Vipers defenceman, Garrett Noonan was named Boston Terriers Unsung Hero Saturday at the Terriers awards banquet last weekend. Noonan finished his second season at Boston University was drafted by the Nashville Predators in round 4 #112 overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Noonan played one season in Vernon (2009-2010) collecting (2-16-18) in 58 regular season games with the Vipers.

      Garrett Noonan's Player Profile:

      This is posted on the Terriers website:

      Megan named 2012-13 captain

      Monday, April 23, 2012

      Wade Megan, who led BU in goal-scoring with 20, was announced as next season’s captain at the 49th annual Friends of BU Hockey Awards banquet Saturday night. The rising senior from Canton, N.Y. also shared the team’s Most Improved Player Award with blueliner Pat MacGregor. 

      The other honorees,

      ●Clifford Fitzgerald Scholarship (Outstanding Jr/Sr Defenseman): Sean Escobedo
      ●Regina Eilberg Scholarship (Excellence in Athletics and Academics:Ryan Ruikka
      ●Ed Carpenter Award (Leading Scorer): Alex Chiasson
      ●Bennett McInnis Award (Spirit of a BU Hockey Player): Chris Connolly
      ●Friends Albert Sidd Unsung Hero: Matt Nieto and Garrett Noonan
      ●George V. Brown Award (MVP) Kieran Millan

      Millan was a repeat winner of the Brown Award.

      In addition to receiving the Eilberg Scholarship, Ruikka will graduate with two bachelor's degrees in economics and math along with a master's degree in economics. He also received the College of Arts & Sciences Prize for Excellence in Economics.

      Saturday, April 28, 2012

      Former Vernon Viper Nyjer Morgan Out Of Brewers Lineup:

      After a mid season slump the Milwaukee Brewers have pulled former Vernon Vipers defenceman Nyjer Morgan out of the Brewers lineup.  Morgan played as an "AP" with the Vipers during the(1996-1997) season. Morgan was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 33rd round ofthe 2002 Major League Baseball Draft. On March 27, 2011, Morgan was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for prospect Cutter Dykstra.

      Nyjer Morgan's Player Profile:'S'§ionType=career&statType=1&season=2012

      This was posted on the Brewers website:
      Fighting slump, Morgan out of lineup

      By Adam McCalvy / | 04/24/12 

      MILWAUKEE -- Nyjer Morgan was his usual smiling self on Monday, though he was admittedly frustrated on the inside.

      The emotional sparkplug of last year's National League Central champs was left out of the Brewers' starting lineup amid a season-opening slump. Morgan entered the night with five singles in 42 at-bats, for a .119 batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. He had one hit in his last 22 at-bats.

      "I've got a bad case of the coldness," Morgan said. "I've just got to battle out of it."

      This is uncharted territory for Morgan, at least since he joined the Brewers in a trade last March. He said he feels good in the batter's box, and has studied video for reassurance that he has not been swinging at pitches outside the strike zone.

      The hits just aren't falling.

      "It's frustrating. It's very frustrating," Morgan said. "You just have to keep grinding. ... It's a weird spell, man. I guess last year the spell would have been my injuries at this time of year. Even though I came out on fire, I got injured and I was out a month. That was my funk.

      "Knowing me, I always start off [lousy] in April and then always progress. But I've never been through a spell like this. I have to hang in there. ... You have to still show up, same attitude, even though you're a little bit frustrated. You can't let that frustration go off and pile onto the next man. You don't want the next man to feel what you're feeling. You want to be a great teammate and be supportive of these guys."

      Morgan said he understood manager Ron Roenicke's decision to start Norichika Aoki in center field. Aoki entered the night 5-for-15 in two starts plus pinch-hit appearances.
      "If the right pieces are clicking, you have to put the right pieces in. It's a business, too," Morgan said.

      Roenicke characterized the Aoki start as a temporary move. Morgan could be back in the two-hole on Tuesday night against Astros right-hander Bud Norris. Astros left-hander J.A. Happ starts Wednesday, so the Brewers will go with Carlos Gomez, and Roenicke suggested that, given Gomez's hot start to the season, he could see more action against right-handed pitchers in the coming days.

      "That's the one position we can play with a little bit because I like all three guys," Roenicke said. "We need to get Nyjer going, that's what we need to do. And before the season's out, he's going to be important to what we do. ... It's two weeks into the season. I don't want to give up on a guy that was really good for us last year. The reason we won was a lot because of him. I don't want to forget that because of two to three weeks of not swinging the bat well."

      Friday, April 27, 2012

      Former Viper Dean Strong Advances To ECHL Eastern Conference Finals:

      Former Vernon Vipers forward Dean Strong & the Kalamazoo Wings faceoff against the Florida Everblades in the ECHL Eastern Conference Finals starting with Game 1 of the best of seven series tonight in Kalamazoo.  Strong in his third season with the Wings was also loaned twice to the American Hockey League this season.  In November Strong was loaned to the AHL Chicago Wolves before returning to Kalamazoo and then was loaned to the AHL Lake Erie Monsters on December 15th 2011, collecting (4-10-11) with the Monsters before once again returning to Kalamazoo after the Monsters missed the playoffs. In 21 games with the K-Wings this year Strong collected (11-12-23) before going to the AHL. Strong played one year in Vernon (2004-05) collecting (35-56-91) with the Vipers during the regular season.

      Dean Strong's Player Profile:
      This is posted on the ECHL website:

      Eastern Conference Finals Preview

      Eastern Conference Finals (Best of Seven)

      #3 Kalamazoo Wings vs. #5 Florida Everblades

      Series Matchup Sheet

      Kalamazoo and Florida meet in the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the second consecutive year. Last year, the K-Wings defeated the Everblades 3 games to 1 in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on their way to capturing the conference title.

      Last season, Kalamazoo defeated Wheeling 4 games to 2 in the Eastern Conference Finals before falling to Alaska in five games in the Kelly Cup Finals. The K-Wings have won the North Division regular-season title in each of their three seasons in the ECHL, and return seven players from last year’s Kelly Cup finalist.

      Florida is making its fourth appearance in the Conference Finals. The Everblades captured the Eastern Conference title in 2004 and the American Conference title in 2005, and lost in seven games in the 2007 American Conference Finals. Florida has advanced to the postseason in each of its 14 seasons.

      The two teams met five times during the 2011-12 regular season, with Kalamazoo going 2-2-1 against the Everblades while Florida was 3-0-2 against the K-Wings.
      Trent Daavettila led Kalamazoo in the season series with six points (2g-4a) while goaltender Maxime Clermont was 1-0-1 with a 2.62 goals-against average and a save percentage of .901. Florida was led in the head-to-head series by Rylan Galiardi, who registered nine points (4g-5a), and by David Rutherford, who tallied six goals. Pat Nagle was 2-0-0 in two appearances against the K-Wings with a 2.00 goals-against average and a save percentage of .953.

      Kalamazoo opened the 2012 Kelly Cup Playoffs with a 3 games to 1 win over Wheeling in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, and followed that up with a 4 games to 1 victory against South Carolina in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
      Nick Sirota leads all players in the postseason with seven goals, and his 11 points are tied for the playoff lead with two others, including Daavettila. Riley Gill’s seven wins are tops among goaltenders in the playoffs, while he is fifth with a 1.90 goals-against average. The K-Wings lead all playoff teams in goals per game (3.67) and power-play percentage (34.5 percent), while ranking second on the penalty kill (92.6 percent) and fourth in goals-against per game (2.11).

      Florida is 7-1 through two rounds, sweeping Greenville 3 games to 0 in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals and defeating Elmira 4 games to 1 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
      Cedric Lalonde-McNicoll is tied for first in the postseason with eight assists and 11 points, while Sebastien Piche is tied for third among defensemen with six points (1g-5a). Nagle and John Muse have shared the goaltending duties, and both rank among the top goaltenders in the playoff with Nagle tied for second with a 1.36 goals-against average and Muse checking in sixth with a 1.94 goals-against average. The Everblades are second with 3.38 goals per game in the playoffs and are third with 1.75 goals-against per game.

      Game 1 – Friday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Kalamazoo
      Game 2 – Saturday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Kalamazoo
      Game 3 – Wednesday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida
      Game 4 – Thursday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida
      Game 5 – Saturday, May 5 at 7 p.m. ET at Florida (If Necessary)
      Game 6 – Tuesday, May 8 at 7 p.m. ET at Kalamazoo (If Necessary)
      Game 7 – Wednesday, May 9 at 7 p.m. ET at Kalamazoo (If Necessary)

      RiverKings Waive Former Vipers Tryout Defenceman Hlookoff:

      The SPHL Mississippi RiverKings have waived former Vernon Vipers tryout defenceman Tanner Hlookoff (March 16th 2012).  Hlookoff attended the Vipers 2008 training camp.  In 23 regular season games with the RiverKings Hlookoff collected (2-1-3)  Hlookoff played for three teams in the SPHL this season (Mississippi, Louisiana & Fayetteville). 

      Tanner Hlookoff's Player Profile:

      Thursday, April 26, 2012

      Barons Eliminate Former Vipers D-Man Chay Genoway In Opening Round Of AHL Playoffs:

      Former Vernon Vipers defenceman, Chay Genoway & the AHL Houston Aeros lost 5-2 Tuesday night in Game 4 of the opening round of the AHL playoffs to the Oklahoma City Barons after the Barons took the best of five first round playoff series in four games.

      Genoway is in his first season with the AHL Houston Aeros played in 72 regular season games this season collecting (7-29-36) made his NHL debut with the Minnesota Wil on April, 7th 2012 collecting 1 assist and being named 2nd star vs the Pheonix Coyotes. Genoway played one season in Vernon (2005-2006). In 56 regular season games with the Vipers Genoway collected (17-32-49). The Minnesota Wild signed Genoway to an entry-level contract back on April, 12th 2011.

      Chay Genoway's Player Profile:

      This is posted on the Aeros website:


      APRIL 24: OKC 5, HOU 2

      Tues., April 24, 2012

      OKLAHOMA CITY --- Josh Green scored twice, Mark Arcobello had a goal and an assist, Tyler Pitlick added a pair of assists, and the Oklahoma City Barons skated to a 5-2 win over the Houston Aeros in Game 4 of the AHL's Western Conference Quarterfinals Tuesday at Cox Convention Center. The Barons eliminated the Aeros from the 2012 Calder Cup Playoffs three-games-to-one with the win.

      Nate Prosser and Kris Foucault scored Houston's goals, and goaltender Mike Brodeur made xx saves. Yann Danis stopped xx Houston shots to seal the series.

      Arcobello staked OKC to a 1-0 lead 6:13 into the first period, but Prosser responded with 1:51 left in the opening stanza to knot the game at 1-1. It was the first playoff goal for both players.

      Green gave the Barons a 2-1 lead 45 seconds into the middle period, but Foucault answered less than four minutes later to make a 2-2 game. Dylan Yeo scored the eventual game-winner with 8:51 gone by in the second period.

      Phillippe Cornet added a goal at the 8:28 mark of the third period, and Josh Green tacked on an empty-netter with 1:30 left in the game.


      Houston is now 10-8 in Game 4 AHL playoff action... The Aeros are 9-8 in games when they face elimination... Minnesota Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo was in attendance.


      HOU: Prosser, Foucault
      OKC: Arcobello, Yeo, Cornet, Green (2)


      F – Almond, Bulmer, Palmieri
      D – Bagnall, Fredheim
      G – Brodeur


      Olson, Penner, Scandella, Medvec, Mignardi, Lorenz, Palmer, Jobke, Clackson, Caron, Hackett, Kuemper, Cuma


      Yeo (8:51, 2nd)


      HOU: 0/4
      OKC: 0/4


      HOU: Brodeur (22/26)
      OKC: Danis (19/21)

      Alumni Profile With Former Vernon Viper Tyson Strachan:

      Here is a article that was posted on the ECHL website yesterday on former Vernon Vipers defenceman Tyson Strachan. Strachan played just one season in Vernon (2002-03) collecting (6-22-28) in 56 regular season games with the Vipers, before playing four years at Ohio State University. Strachan was drafted by Carolina in the fifth round (137th overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Strachan signed as a free agent with the Florida Panthers back in July after playing the last four seasons with the AHL Peoria Rivermen & the NHL St. Louis Blues.

      Tyson Strachan's Player Profile:

      This is posted on the ECHL website:

      ECHL Alumni Profile - Tyson Strachan


      Special to
      NEWARK, N.J. – Tyson Strachan knew he'd be playing in the playoffs. He just didn't know which team he'd be playing for.

      The 27-year-old defenseman, who played in 25 games for the Las Vegas Wranglers in 2007-08, spent the majority of his season with the AHL's San Antonio Rampage, but also filled in admirably during a 15-game stint with the Florida Panthers.

      Strachan had already played in one Calder Cup Playoffs game with the Rampage when he got called up to the NHL after injuries sidelined both Jason Garrison and Keaton Ellerby. For Strachan, who has split the last four seasons between the AHL and NHL, it's not as challenging of a scenario as you may think.

      "I don't think it's too difficult, it's the playoffs either way," said Strachan after Florida's Game 6 loss.

      "It's that time of year that we all get excited for. I'm just trying to jump in and help out any way I can, whether I'm up or down. At the end of the day, there's a Cup at the end of the rainbow, so either way I've got to fight for that."

      The Melfort, Saskatchewan native played in 50 games for the Rampage this season, registering three goals and 14 assists. While obviously grateful for an opportunity to see his first playing time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Strachan admits it was a little difficult to leave his teammates behind to do so.

      "Obviously, you're excited about coming here, but at the same time you feel bad for the guys that are in the middle of a battle down there," he said.

      "You've got to say, 'OK, I'll see you later.' Obviously, that's a tough situation, but without me last game, they did fine. They're in good shape, but we just need to rebound and come back for the game on Thursday."

      Strachan, who tallied his first NHL goal earlier this season, registered his first Stanley Cup Playoffs point on Tuesday, tallying an assist on Florida's second goal. Whether he'll get a chance to record another one remains to be seen, as reports out of Florida have Garrison being a game-time decision to play in Game 7 on Thursday. But if he does get the opportunity, Strachan has the right mindset to help the Panthers to the second round.

      "It's a one game series now, and we worked all year to get this home ice advantage, and this is why," Strachan told "So we just need to win one game at home and I know our fans will be there to root us on. Obviously, we'll look at this game and reflect on it a little bit and move on. We'll look forward to Thursday and bring our best game."

      Wednesday, April 25, 2012

      2014 RBC Cup Group "Cautiously Optimistic"

      This is posted on the website:

      RBC Cup Group "Cautiously Optimistic"

      RBC Cup Bid Committee

      March 31 2012

      Mike Lane, Co-chair of the committee vying to host the 2014 RBC Cup in Vernon, is cautiously optimistic that the committee’s March 28 presentation to Hockey Canada will help achieve the group’s goal.

      “It went well, I think,” said Lane. “We identified six main factors that contribute to successful events of this sort and provided evidence that Vernon excels in
      each of these categories.  Is it enough? We’ll know at the end of May when the bid is announced.”

      One of the group’s main points is the passionate support that Vernon area hockey fans consistently demonstrate. That point, coupled with pent up demand for championship hockey in the Okanagan, was demonstrated by a closing video sequence.

      The video showed various views of Cam Sylven’s overtime winning goal when the Vernon Lakers defeated the heavily favoured News Westminster Royals at a packed Civic Arena in 1990. Those views, taken from TSN’s pioneering coverage of the then-Centennial Cup, was intercut with  comments by fans who were at that game and who’d love to see the event return to Vernon.

      Joining Lane in the presentation team were Patrick Nicol, Betty Chan Klepp, and Don Klepp. “Don took the lead,” says Lane, “but Patrick was our star performer. He spoke eloquently about Vernon’s passion for the game, about strong fan support, and the amazing group of volunteers in the area.”

      “We also made a point of wanting to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the CAHA and Hockey Canada. After all, we have plenty of history of our own here in the Okanagan. Having the Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame here at the Wesbild Centre is a big plus.”

      The presentation was held in Hockey Canada’s state-of-the-art new facility at Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park. Vernon’s group followed the group from Terrebonne, Quebec.

      A poignant note was provided by 9-year-old Beamer Wigley, a Penticton resident who’s appearing in this year’s Our Kids Have Talent gala. Beamer has written a hockey song especially for the Vernon bid committee.

      As Vernon RBC Cup group’s multimedia presentation drew to a close, a still photo of Cam Sylven’s winning shot was accompanied by Beamer singing “so come to Vernon, head to our rink, it’s hockey time tonight.”   

      For the next step in the bid process, Vernon’s RBC Cup committee is preparing to answer follow-up questions from Hockey Canada’s selection committee.

      Tuesday, April 24, 2012

      Brewers Trying To Get Former Vernon Viper Morgan Going At The Plate:

      Will the Milwaukee Brewers play former Vernon Vipers defenceman Nyjer Morgan or let him sit and give him a break?  Morgan played as an "AP" with the Vipers during the(1996-1997) season. Morgan was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 33rd round ofthe 2002 Major League Baseball Draft. On March 27, 2011, Morgan was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for prospect Cutter Dykstra.
      Nyjer Morgan's Player Profile:'S'§ionType=career&statType=1&season=2012

      This was posted on the Brewers website:

      Brewers trying to get Morgan going at the plate

      By Adam McCalvy / | 04/19/12

      MILWAUKEE -- Play on or give him a break? That is the decision the Brewers will make regarding slumping center fielder Nyjer Morgan.

      "We'll see how that goes," manager Ron Roenicke said Wednesday, unwilling to tip his hand. "I want to get him going, and whatever we feel is best to get him going, we'll try to do."

      Morgan, an emotional engine of the Brewers' club-record-setting 2011 season, is sputtering to start 2012. He went 4-for-32 with eight strikeouts, no walks and no extra-base hits in his first 10 games. Last season, Morgan batted .304.

      He was out of Wednesday's lineup because the Brewers faced a left-hander in Chris Capuano. With righty Aaron Harang starting for the Dodgers on Thursday, Roenicke and his coaches will face a decision. Go back to Morgan and try to get him going, or give Morgan another day of mental rest and start Norichika Aoki instead.

      "Yes, [Morgan] is frustrated," Roenicke said. "He had such a good year last year. He really didn't have any major slumps that he went into. He had, maybe, a week where he wasn't swinging the bat well. ... To start off, his Spring Training was a little bit off, and he hasn't found it. It is frustrating to him. He wants to help us win, and he knows he needs to do his part. That's never easy."

      Monday, April 23, 2012

      Defending Champs Eliminate Former Vernon Viper Brodie From ECHL Western Conference Semifinals:

      Former Vernon Vipers defenceman, Cameron Brodie and the ECHL Stockton Thunder were eliminated 4-1 Saturday night in Game 5 of the Western Conference Quarterfinal after the defending Kelly Cup champion Alaska Aces finished off the Thunder in five games.

      Cameron Brodie is in his second season with the Thunder, also played three games with the AHL Texas Stars this season before returning to Stockton. In 52 regular season games with the Thunder Brodie collected (0-7-7) collected just one assist in eight playoff games. Brodie played parts of one season in Vernon (2008-2009) after being aquired from the Coquitlam Express at the BCHL trade deadline.

      Cameron Brodie's Player Profile:

      This is in the Anchorage Daily News:

      Aces finals bound

      Kissel nets three points in Alaska's victory over Stockton, winning semifinal series 4-1.

      Saturday night, the defending Kelly Cup champions dismissed the home-standing Stockton Thunder for the third straight game, 4-1 in Game 5 of the conference semifinals, to lock their spot in the Western Conference Finals.

      This marks the third time in four seasons and the sixth time in those nine ECHL seasons that the two-time Cup winners have qualified for the conference finals.
      And this club that proved exceedingly average on the road in the regular season -- Alaska's 14-13-9 record in hostile rinks tied for 10th on the 20-team circuit -- did so by overwhelming Stockton in its own barn.
      After splitting the first two games of the best-of-7 series in Anchorage, the Aces reeled off three straight road kills at Stockton Arena by a combined score of 12-3, and Saturday never gave the Thunder more than a brief, faint sniff of hope.
      "Stockton for the most part is a very good hockey team, they're a hard-working hockey team,'' Aces coach Rob Murray said by cellphone. "But at the end of the day we had more depth and it showed through.

      "Good goaltending, and the guys played well to a man. The cream rose to the top, I guess you could say, and we were able to manage the series real well when we got down here.''
      The Aces regained home-ice advantage, though it turned out they never needed it, with Wednesday's 4-0 win, and they pushed the Thunder into a win-or-book-tee-times position with Friday's 4-2 victory.
      Aces goaltender Gerald Coleman, who stopped 30 shots Saturday, said a speech by assistant coach and former Aces defenseman Louis Mass about commitment and passion prior to Game 3 furnished inspiration and energy for a veteran team. About half the club consists of returners from last year's Kelly Cup champs, who blitzed through three rounds of playoffs with a 12-1 record.
      Also, energy from newcomers like Ryan Cruthers and Chris Bruton boosted the vets, Coleman said. He said the Aces also found a bit of motivation in hearing the Thunder celebrate their 3-2 overtime win in Game 2.
      "Last year was kind of a fluke -- you're not going 12-1 again,'' Coleman said. "It's going to be a grind.
      "Experience played a big part. We heard them hooting and hollering like they won the Stanley Cup (after Game 2). We don't have that mentality. For us, it's just another day at the office. We look at it like, 'That's just one game.' "
      Consecutive goals midway through the first period Saturday furnished the Aces a quick lead and put them on their way to three straight road wins for the first time since late November and just the second time all season.
      The Aces await the winner of the Las Vegas-Idaho series, in which Las Vegas holds a 3-1 command entering Sunday's Game 5 in Boise.
      Dan Kissel, who opened the scoring, led Alaska's assault Saturday with two goals and an assist. Defenseman Steve Ward, who furnished the game-winning strike in Game 4 with a power-play goal, added another power-play marker, and Garry Nunn notched his second goal of the series.
      As Murray pointed out, though, the series victory hinged on collaboration. Nine different Aces scored goals and 18 players, including Coleman (Game 3 assist) generated at least one point. Also, the Aces permitted seven goals in five games. Coleman racked a goals-against average of 1.36 and a save percentage of .946, and his only loss of the series came on Chris D'Alvise's overtime, power-play snipe job, which was of the highest quality.
      In the last two postseasons combined, Coleman is 15-2 with a 1.62 goals-against average and .940 save percentage -- those are the kind of numbers that get guys fitted for rings.
      "Recently, he's been lights out,'' Murray said.
      Kissel's goal midway through the first period, after Brian Swanson deflected a Wes Goldie shot, furnished a 1-0 lead. Ward soon cranked his power-play goal, which appeared to change direction after hitting a Stockton stick, to push the margin to 2-0.
      Though Stockton's Jesse Fratkin answered three minutes into the second period when Mike Little's floating shot banked off Fratkin's lower body, Nunn redirected a Nick Mazzolini pass behind Olivier Roy (22 saves) about four minutes later to restore Alaska's two-goal cushion at 3-1.
      Kissel late in the second period had a 2-on-1 with Goldie and roofed a left-circle rocket over Roy's glove.
      Coleman and company, who were unhappy with their defensive performance in Game 2, when they surrendered an abundance of scoring chances, applied the clamps after that, just as they did throughout the three games in California.
      "We knew we didn't play well defensively in Game 2, and we took that to heart, and we wanted to be better,'' Coleman said.
      Shuffling the deck
      Murray said a Stockton fan doused him with beer in the waning seconds of the game and was removed by security.
      "Some guy poured a beer over my head and ruined my hairdo,'' Murray, who keeps his locks cut trim, joked to broadcaster Josh Bogorad in a post-game television interview. "I got out on the ice and Colesy looked at me funny because I smelled like beer.''
      Aces defenseman Brandon Gentile sat out with an upper-body injury suffered in Game 4. Rookie David Shields, in his pro playoff debut, filled in nicely, furnishing two assists and a plus-2 rating.
      Also missing was Bruton, out with a lower-body injury. Rookie Tim Hall took his spot in the lineup.
      Both teams lost pivotal players just six minutes into the game. Cruthers speared D'Alvise on a face-off and D'Alvise, Stockton's most dangerous player, countered by cross-checking Cruthers in the back of the head. Both players received major penalties and game misconducts. Still, pretty good trade-off for the Aces.
      Mazzolini led Aces scorers in the series with 3-3--6 totals, and Kissel (3-2--5) and Goldie (1-4--5) each furnished five points. Goldie was the only player in the series to have a point in each game, and he led the Aces with a plus-6 rating. Chad Anderson led Aces defensemen with a plus-4 rating.
      After struggling on the power play late in the regular season and in the first two games of the series -- the Aces went 0 for 27 during that stretch -- Alaska scored a power-play goal in each of the last three games of the series.
      Aces 2 2 0 -- 4
      Stockton 0 1 0 -- 1
      First Period -- 1, Aces, Kissel 2 (Swanson, Goldie), 11:13; 2, Aces, Ward 2 (Miller, Goldie), 13:04 (pp). Penalties -- Foy, Stockton (interference), :08; D'Alvise, Stockton, major-game misconduct (cross-checking), 5:57; Aces, Cruthers, major-game misconduct (spearing), 5:57; Deck, Stockton (holding the stick), 12:34.
      Second Period -- 3, Stockton, Fratkin 2 (Little, Foy), 3:14; 4, Aces, Nunn 2 (Mazzolini, Shields), 7:30; 5, Aces, Kissel 3 (Shields), 18:32. Penalties -- Anderson, Aces (roughing), 14:26.
      Third Period -- None. Penalties -- Hunt, Stockton (high-sticking), 11:28; Miller, Aces (cross-checking), 13:09; Squires, Stockton (tripping), 14:53; Foy, Stockton (slashing), 16:04; Kwiet, Stockton, misconduct-game misconduct (unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:08; Anderson, Aces, misconduct (unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:08; Brodie, Stockton (boarding), 19:53.
      Shots on goal -- Aces 8-11-7--26. Stockton 8-16-7--31.
      Power-play Opportunities -- Aces 1 of 6. Stockton 0 of 2.
      Goalies -- Aces, Coleman, 4-1 (31 shots-30 saves). Stockton, Roy, 4-4 (26-22).
      A -- 3,914 (9,737). T -- 2:22.
      Referee -- Joe Sullivan. Linesmen -- Todd Owen, Wally Lacroix.

      Read more here:

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      Read more here:

      Panthers Recall Former Vipers Defenceman Strachan From American Hockey League:

      The Florida Panthers have recalled former Vernon Vipers defenceman, Tyson Strachan from the AHL San Antonio Rampage. Strachan played just one season in Vernon (2002-03) collecting (6-22-28) in 56 regular season games with the Vipers, before playing four years at Ohio State University. Strachan was drafted by Carolina in the fifth round (137th overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Strachan signed as a free agent with the Florida Panthers back in July after playing the last four seasons with the AHL Peoria Rivermen & the NHL St. Louis Blues.
      Tyson Strachan's Player Profile:
      This is posted on the Panthers website:

      Panthers Recall Tyson Strachan from San Antonio (AHL)

      Saturday, 04.21.2012
      Florida Panthers Executive Vice President & General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the club has recalled D Tyson Strachan from the San Antonio Rampage (AHL).

      Strachan, 27, played in 15 games with Florida this season scoring one goal while netting two assists. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound defenseman made his Florida Panthers debut on Jan. 24 vs. Philadelphia, registering his first Panthers point, an assist, on Feb. 1 vs. Washington. He scored his first National Hockey League goal on Feb. 12, in Florida’s 4-1 victory over the New York Islanders.

      The Melfort, Sask., native registered a plus-1 rating in San Antonio’s 5-4 overtime victory vs. the Chicago Wolves Thursday in Game 1 of their AHL playoff series. Strachan registered 17 points (3-14-17) in 50 games with the Rampage this regular season.

      For his career in the NHL, Strachan has appeared in 82 games with St. Louis (2008-11) and Florida (2012), scoring one goal with eight assists and 87 PIM. He was drafted by Carolina in the fifth round (137th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Strachan signed a one-year contract extension with Florida on Feb. 15.

      With the series tied, 2-2, Florida hosts the New Jersey Devils tonight in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at 6:30 p.m. The game can be seen on FOX Sports Florida locally, NHL Network nationally and heard on 560 WQAM.

      The Panthers’ 2012 postseason is presented by Party City and tickets are on sale now at all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (800-745-3000), at and at the BankAtlantic Center box office or by calling 954-835-PUCK.

      Sunrise Sports & Entertainment is the premier company of its kind in South Florida. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Home to the Florida Panthers hockey club and internationally recognized concerts and events, the Broward County-owned BankAtlantic Center is one of the top ranked venues of its kind in the world.


      Sunday, April 22, 2012

      Day Three & Final Day From Vipers Prospects Camp:

      I missed this mornings game but did catch the final game of the morning as Team Yellow defeated Team Red 9-4.  Team Yellow got off to a slow start as Team Red with the better scoring chances was the better team in the first period.  It was tied 2-2 after the opening period before Team Yellow picked up their game in the 2nd and 3rd periods taking a 5-2 lead after the 2nd and coming away with the 9-4 victory.

      Here is a list of players that I thought stood out

      Team Red:

      Both goaltenders Conrad McMillan and Dan Oordt played well between the pipes for Team Red.  Conrad McMillan didnt see alot of rubber in the opening period but did come up with a few big saves early.  McMillan is quick on his feet, didnt give out alot of rebounds and moves around quickly.  Oordt come in relief midway through the second frame and also made some good-big saves at times.  Oordt is a fairly big kid that covers alot of the net, more of a stand up goaltender looked confident between the pipes this afternoon.

      Daniel Anhorn looked very good on defence.  A very steady-solid d-man that played his position well, didnt give you alot of room to get by.  A real shutdown defenceman.

      TJ Dumonceaux looked good up front for Team Red.  Made some nice plays.

      Brendan Persley scored once was noticable and looked good at times. 

      Team Yellow:

      Mat Lambert scored twice (once on a penalty shot) stood out for Team Yellow this afternoon, was in and around the net several times, made some nice heads up plays and was noticable in todays game.  This kid has a wicked hard shot, picked the top shelf on both of his goals.

      Joe Serpico collected atleast two assists today, played well.  I liked this kid Friday night at camp and he caught my eye again today.  Really reads and sees the ice well.

      Jake Matkin scored once, isnt the biggest kid but looked good today.  Played hard, and was another player that looked good with and without the puck.

      Bron Loiselle scored once has impressed me at camp this weekend.

      Bobcats Name Former Vipers Connor & Kellen Jones Assistant Captains For 2012-13:

      The Quinnipiac Bobcats have named former Vernon Viper forwards Connor and Kellen Jones Assistant Captains for the 2012-2013 season.  The Jones twins both just finished their second season with the Bobcats.  Connor and Kellen both played four years in Vernon (2006-2010).  In 163 regular season games with the Vipers Connor collected (80-118-198) Connor also is the Vipers all-time franchise points leader (regular season & playoffs) with 228 & all-time franchise goals leader (regular season & playoffs) with 95.  while in 154 regular season games with the Vipers Kellen collected (39-134-173).  Kellen is also the all-time franchise assists leader (regular season & playoffs) with 150.

      Connor Jones Player Profile:

      Kellen Jones Player Profile:

      This is posted on the Bobcats website:

      Quinnipiac Men's Ice Hockey Announces Connor Jones, Kellen Jones and Cory Hibbeler As Assistant Captains For 2012-13

      April 10, 2012

      HAMDEN, Conn. – Quinnipiac men's ice hockey head coach Rand Pecknold has announced that juniors Connor Jones (Montrose, British Columbia), Kellen Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) and Cory Hibbeler (St. Louis, Mo.) have been named assistant captains for the 2012-13 season.

      "Connor, Kellen and Cory epitomize Quinnipiac Men's Ice Hockey," Pecknold said. "All three student-athletes display great character on and off the ice. They are excellent students and outstanding players. Along with our captain, Zack Currie, they will lead us in 2012-13."

      Connor Jones Connor Jones is coming off a 2011-12 season in which he led Quinnipiac with 41 points on 13 goals and 28 assists on his way to All-ECAC Hockey Third Team honors. Jones also posted a team-best 12 multiple-point games en route to becoming just the fourth player in Quinnipiac's seven year history in ECAC Hockey to earn all-league honors. Jones was the Bobcats first 40-point scorer since the 2008-09 season.

      Kellen Jones Connor and twin brother Kellen Jones were the only two players in the Bobcats' line-up to reach double figures in goals and assists. Kellen tallied 14 goals and 22 assists for 36. He ranked second on the team in goals and third in assists while the Jones brothers and freshman stand-out Matthew Peca gave Quinnipiac its first trio of 30-point scorers in two seasons. The duo came to Quinnipiac after leading the Vernon Vipers of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) to the 2009 and 2010 Royal Bank Cup National Championships.

      Cory Hibbeler Hibbeler, who played for the Lincoln Stars of the United States Hockey League (USHL), emerged as a consistent player and locker room presence in his second season at Quinnipiac. Hibbeler originally joined Quinnipiac as a defensemen but has spent the entire season as a mainstay in the Bobcats' top four lines. Hibbeler tallied six goals and two assists for eight points, improving on his goal and point totals from a year ago 

      Saturday, April 21, 2012

      Day Two From Vipers Prospects Camp:

      I was unable to attend the Vipers prospects camp today but did manage to catch the final game of the evening as Team Dark Blue defeated Team Red 7-4.  Team Red got off to a good start getting some good chances but couldnt beat Jesse Gordichuk who played very well between the pipes for Team Dark Blue.  Team Red controlled the better of the play early before Team Dark Blue come back with a few good shifts.  Team Dark Blue was up 2-1 after the 1st period and finally got their game going and were the better of the two teams before the game ended.  Team Dark Blue was up 5-2 after the 2nd period before coming away with the win.

      Here are a list of players I thought that stood out

      Team Dark Blue:

      Both goaltenders Devin Green and Jesse Gordichuk were solid between the pipes.  Gordichuk got the start between the pipes and like I mentioned earlier kept his team in the game early making some big saves in the first opening minutes of the game.  Team Reds first goal was a softie fivehole but other then the opening goal Gordichuk allowed two goals before giving way for Devin Green.  Green didnt face alot of rubber but made some good saves when tested.

      Logan Mick who was an "AP" with the Vipers last season looked very good up front for Team Dark Blue.  Mick who was good with and without the puck, also played physical laying out some solid checks.

      Connor Fynn wasnt very noticable early but had a few good shifts late in the 2nd period and then looked real good in the 3rd.  This kid has some wheels, is shifty in and around the net and has some soft hands.  Really reads and sees the ice well.  A playmaker

      Kurt Black with two goals looked impressive tonight. 

      Josh Bowes with one goal impressed me last night, got off to a bit of a slow start tonight but seemed to rebound and get his game going as the game went on.  Played and looked much better late in the 2nd period and in the 3rd period.  This kid has a wicked shot and can handle the puck.

      Aaron Hadley returning for another season with the Vipers scored twice, and added atleast one assist was big up front for Team Dark Blue.  Played very well all game.

      Team Red:

      Scott Davidson was Reds best player, had a few good chances to pot atleast two goals.  This kid can skate and handle the puck, was always in and around the net looking to either make a play or setup a play.

      TJ Dumonceaux with one goal played fairly well through out tonights game.

      Former Vernon Viper Greg Beller Breaks SPHL Playoff Record:

      Former Vernon Vipers forward Greg Beller set a new SPHL postseason record with a +12 rating, eclipsing the mark of +9 held by Chris Greene (Mississippi, 2010) and Ryan Aikia (Columbus, 2005).  Beller scored the game winner last weekend (Saturday) as the SPHL Columbus Cottonmouths defeated the Pensacola Ice Flyers 3-1 sweeping the best of three championship series 2-0 to win the SPHL Championship and their second Championship since 2005.   

      Beller & the Cottonmouths finished the season on a nine-game win streak, winning their final three regular season games and going a perfect 6-0 in the playoffs. Its the team's third franchise championship and second as members of the SPHL.

      In 33 regular season games with Columbus Beller collected (16-20-36) while putting up (5-5-10) in six playoff games this season.

      Greg Beller finished his first season with Columbus played with his third team this season (Idaho, Augusta and now Columbus) signed with the Columbus Cottonmouths back on November, 12th 2011 Beller was named to this years SPHL All-Rookie team. Beller played one season in Vernon (2007-08) playing in 23 regular season games collecting (10-10-20). Beller left Yale University during the 2007-08 season joining the Vernon Vipers midway through the regular season. Beller was selected by New York Rangers in round 6 #178 overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

      Greg Beller's Player Profile:

      Friday, April 20, 2012

      Day 1 From Vipers Prospects Camp:

      I attended the Vipers 2012 Prospects Camp this evening catching both scrimage games.  In the opening game of camp Team Dark Blue defeated Team Light Blue 6-3.  Team Dark Blue had a 2-1 lead after the opening period before it was tied 2-2 heading into the 3rd when Dark Blue took over and scored four goals to come away with the victory.  This wasnt much of a game as both teams looked a little rusty and scrambly through out most of the game.  Team Dark Blue was the better of the two teams.  Brett Corkey and Jedd Soleway were the coaches for all four teams tonight, with Turner Lawson and Danny Todosychuk helping out after playing.

      Here is a list of players that I thought stood out on both teams.

      Team Dark Blue:

      Devin Green didnt face alot of action but played very well between the pipes after coming in halfway between the game replacing starting goaltender, Jesse Gordichuk.  Green only allowed one goal, played his position well and looked confident between the pipes.

      Mitch Eden looked very strong on the blueline tonight.  Eden who scored once I think may have scored twice was very impressive on the backend.  Has some good size, plays well defensively and likes to carry the puck-jump up into the rush.  A good skater that can also move the puck.

      Josh Bowes scored twice was another kid that looked very impressive tonight.  Bowes has a wicked shot and looks to be a goal scorer that can put the puck in the net. 

      Team Light Blue:

      Joe Colborne had a strong game up front, has some speed and can shoot the puck. 

      Mitch Collett with atleast two assists looked good for Team Light Blue.  Was always in and around the net.

      In the second and final game of the evening Team Yellow defeated Team Red 6-3 in a game where Team Yellow took a 3-0 lead into the 2nd period before going ahead 4-1 into the 3rd.  Team Yellow looked very strong and was by far the best team out of the four tonight.  Off the opening faceoff it looked like Team yellow had been-played together all season with some of the crazy passing plays they were making.  Alot of speed and skill really took it too Team Red.  Team Yellow outplayed and outshot Team Red pretty bad until Team Red seemed to find and get their game going in the 3rd scoring twice making the game a little closer then it really was.

      Here is a list of players that I thought stood out on both teams.

      Team Red:

      Colton Sparrow really stood out for most of the game, played with alot of jump and energy.  Sparrow was the only player on Team Red that really stood out.

      Team Yellow:

      John Saunders played well on the blueline.

      Sebastien Barrette is very quick, can skate and shoot the puck was impressive for Team Yellow.

      Joe Serpico was another forward who caught my eye.  Not the biggest kid but also has some wheels, and looks to have some soft hands in and around the net.

      Kurt Hildebrand also stood out and played well up front.

      Darren Medeiros scored atleast twice also stood out and looked impressive up front.  Another kid that looks like he can put the puck in the net.

      Here is a look at all four teams rosters:

      Team Dark Blue:

      1. Devin Green
      30. Jesse Gordichuk

      2. Mac Ferner
      4. Mitch Eden
      6. Jordan Steel
      7. Ryan Beach
      8. Dylan Bowen
      9. Brandon Schaber
      10. Logan Mick (Was an "AP" with Vernon last year)
      11. Marcus Russell
      12. JJ Coleshaw
      13. Wyatt Garagan
      14. Connor Fynn
      15. Turner Lawson (Returning from last year)
      16. Riley Creighton
      19. Kurt Black
      20. Josh Bowes
      21. Aaron Hadley (Returning from last year)
      22. Riley Hunt (Returning from last year)
      23. Nick Kovacik
      25. Matt McArthur

      Team Light Blue:

      1. Danny Todosychuk (Returning from last year)
      30. Ryland Pashovitz

      2. Connor Vermeulen
      3. Archie McKinnon
      4. Rhys Webster
      5. Ryley Boomgarden
      6. Dale Nerland
      7. Geoff Crisfield (Returning from last year)
      8. Mitch McAllister
      9. Joe Colborne
      10. Brodie Buhler
      11. Nick Josephs
      12. Tyson Valette
      13. Jared Anderson
      14. Felix LaRouche
      15. Mitch Collett
      16. Jeremy McGregor
      17. Shelby Kostyshen
      19. Mike Roberts (Was an "AP" with Vernon last year)
      20. Matti Jmaeff

      Team Red:

      1. Conrad McMillan
      30. Dan Oordt

      2. Riley Booth
      3. Bryce Eviston
      4. Daniel Anhorn
      5. Jayce Polmantuin
      6. Corey Dubbeldam
      7. Ryan Renz (Returning from last year)
      8. Mitch Foyle
      9. Spencer Hewson
      10. Scott Davidson
      11. TJ Dumonceaux
      12. Blair Oneschuk
      13. James Sorrey
      14. Chris Critchley
      15. Matt Thurston
      16. Kevin Jenkin
      17. Dylan Sakatch
      18. Brendan Persley (Returning from last year)
      19. Colton Sparrow (Returning from last year)

      Team Yellow:

      1. Harrison Whitlock
      30. Brenden Mills

      2. Mitch Dolman
      3. Kyle Krabben
      4. Jordan Burns
      5. Kevin Guiltinan
      6. Cam Dobransky
      7. John Saunders (Was an "AP with Vernon last year)
      8. Max Mowat (Returning from last year)
      9. Cole Sanford (Was an "AP" With Vernon last year)
      10. Sebastien Barrette
      11. Mat Lambert
      12. Joe Serpico
      13. Kurt Hildebrand
      14. Jake Matkin
      15. Austin Donaldson
      16. Colton Thibault
      17. Mitch Cook
      18. Bron Loiselle
      19. Morgan Johnston
      20. Darren Medeiros

      Monsters Return Former Vernon Viper Strong To K-Wings:

      After missing the playoffs the AHL Lake Erie Monsters have returned former Vernon Vipers forward Dean Strong off loan to the ECHL Kalamazoo Wings. Strong was loaned to Lake Erie back on December 15th 2011, collected (4-10-11) with the Monsters. In 21 games with the K-Wings Strong collected (11-12-23) before going to the AHL. Strong played one year in Vernon (2004-05) collecting (35-56-91) with the Vipers during the regular season is in his third season with the Wings. This was Strong's second jump to the American Hockey League this season as the Wings loaned Strong to the AHL Chicago Wolves back in November.

      Dean Strong's Player Profile:

      This is posted on the Wings website:


      Forward Dean Strong will Return to K-Wings Roster in Game Three against South Carolina

      April 17, 2012 - Mike Modugno

      Director of Public Relations and Broadcaster

      Kalamazoo, MI- The Kalamazoo Wings, proud member of the ECHL, two-time defending North Division Champions, reigning Eastern Conference Champions and National Hockey League affiliate to the Vancouver Canucks and New Jersey Devils and American Hockey League’s Albany Devils, announce forward Dean Strong has been returned from loan from the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters.

      Strong, who has been with Lake Erie since December 15th, posted 14 points (4 goals, 10 assists) with the Monsters.

      During the regular season, Strong registered 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) in 21 games with the K-Wings.

      In a separate transaction, Kalamazoo has placed forward Bryan Haczyk on the Playoff Reserved List.

      The K-Wings will continue the Kelly Cup Playoffs with game three of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals this Wednesday, April 18th with a 7:05 p.m. face-off versus the South Carolina Stingrays at the North Charleston Coliseum.

      Kalamazoo and South Carolina will tangle in game four of the series this Friday, April 20th at 7:05 p.m. at the North Charleston Coliseum. If necessary, game five of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals will occur on Saturday, April 21st at 7:05 p.m. at the North Charleston Coliseum.

      Tickets for the K-Wings round two playoff games are $16.05 and $19.95 for adults, $15.05 for seniors (62 years and older) and military (with proper ID) and only $10.05 for kids ages 12 and under. Fans can save money by purchasing K-Wings single game tickets in advance because tickets purchased on the day of a game increase by $1.

      For more information about Dean Strong returning to the K-Wings, please contact Mike Modugno, director of public relations and broadcaster at (269) 349-9772, extension 220.

      Thursday, April 19, 2012

      Barons Open First Round Of Playoffs Without Former Viper Andrew Lord:

      The AHL Oklahoma City Barons will open the first round of the AHL playoffs tonight vs the Houston Aeros without former Vernon Vipers forward Andrew Lord. The Barons clinched the Western Conference regular season title with a record of 45-21-4-5. Lord who is in his second season with the Barons hasnt played all year is still suffering from concussion like symptons. In 34 regular season games with Oklahoma City last season Lord collected (1-6-7). Lord played two years in Vernon (2002-2004) In 116 regular season games with the Vipers Lord collected (22-50-78).

      Andrew Lord's Player Profile:

      This is posted on the Barons website:


      (by Josh Evans, OKC Barons)

      (1) Oklahoma City Barons (45-22-4-5) at (8) Houston Aeros (35-25-5-11)

      TONIGHT: The Oklahoma City Barons, No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, open a best-of-5, first-round Calder Cup playoff series against the Houston Aeros (Minnesota Wild) at the Toyota Center. Games 1 and 2 take place in Houston tonight and tomorrow, with the remainder of the series at OKC starting Sunday. The Barons won 7 of 8 regular-season meetings with Houston, 3 by shootout, while going 3-0-0-1 at Toyota Center. OKC clinched a playoff berth March 30 with a win at Milwaukee and locked up the conference title with a 5-2 decision on Saturday at Texas.

      OFF THE TOP: OKC finished with the second-most standing points in the AHL (99) behind the Norfolk Admirals, who won a professional hockey record 28 consecutive games from Feb. 10 to the end of the season. Norfolk finished with 113 points. OKC’s point percentage of .651 was second only to Norfolk’s .743. The Barons had the league’s third-best road record at 24-10-1-3. They tied for the seventh-best home mark at 21-12-3-2. The Barons averaged the second-fewest goals against per game at 2.32, allowing 1 more goal than the Toronto Marlies, 176-175.

      WESTWARD HO: OKC was 25-8-0-1 against West Division clubs this season, with a 13-3-0-1 mark on the road. The Barons went 8-0-0-1 on the road against West rivals in between losses at San Antonio Dec. 3 and April 15.

      TALE OF TWO SEASONS: The Barons won 7 of 8 meetings with the Aeros this season, with the only loss at Toyota Center on March 18 in a shootout, 2-1. Last season’s inaugural Barons won only once in 10 tries against the Aeros, compiling a record of 1-6-1-2. In a pair of regular seasons, OKC is 4-3-0-2 at Houston.

      DANIS VS. HOUSTON: Yann Danis played every minute of the season series against the Aeros this season, going 7-0-1 with 2 shutouts, a 1.32 goals-against average and .946 save percentage. He allowed 11 goals and made 193 saves on 204 shots. In his career against Houston, Danis is 9-0-2 with a 1.48 GAA and .938 save percentage in appearances with OKC (8), Hamilton (2) and Bridgeport (1).

      DANIS THE TOP GOALIE: Yann Danis was named last week the winner of the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding goaltender for the 2011-12 season, as voted by AHL coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 30 cities. Danis’ other accolades this season have included a scoreless period in the AHL All-Star Classic, the first by a goalie in 7 years, and his being named a first-team AHL All-Star. Danis finished second in the AHL in goals-against average at 2.07, trailing only Toronto’s Ben Scrivens (2.04). Danis tied for fifth in wins (26), tied for second in shutouts (5) and tied for eighth in save percentage (.924).

      POWER TRIPS: The Barons went 27-1-2-4 when scoring at least 1 power play goal during the regular season. When they tallied 2 or more in a game, they were 7-0-0-1. When held without a power play goal, the Barons were 18-21-2-1. The Barons enter the post-season having gone 0-for-29 on the man advantage in the final 9 games and 1-for-36 in the last 11. The Barons killed off 18 of the last 20 times short over the last 4 games, with the only power play goals allowed in that time coming on 2-man disadvantages.

      GOOD OMENS: When the Barons receive a goal from a defenseman they’re 15-2-0-2. The team’s leading goal scorer, Philippe Cornet, scored his 24 goals in 19 different games. The Barons were 18-1-0-0 when Cornet lit the lamp. The only loss was a 3-2 setback at Milwaukee Nov. 13, when Cornet scored both OKC goals.

      Next 5 games (all times Central)

      April 20 Houston Toyota Center
      April 22 Houston Cox Center
      April 24* Houston Cox Center
      April 25* Houston Cox Center
      * If necessary

      Playoff notes and distinctions

      SHORT STOPS: The Barons tied for the fifth-most times shorthanded this season, 348. OKC allowed 50 power play goals in those 348 disadvantages, an 85.6 percent rate that was second in the AHL. In the final 23 games of the regular season, the Barons had more power plays than penalty kills just twice, April 3 and April 14. In 17 of the last 23 games the opposition had more power play chances and on 4 occasions the opportunities were even. In 11 of the season’s final 13 games a Baron took the first minor penalty.

      HUNTING FOR SHORTHANDERS: Hunter Tremblay tied with Manchester’s Stefan Legein and Hershey’s Chris Bourque for the AHL lead in shorthanded goals with 5. For the season, OKC allowed a league-low 1 shorthanded goal while scoring 8.

      EVEN KEELED: The most losses the Barons had in a single month this season was 4, in February and March. The Barons lost back-to-back games in regulation just 3 times all season. Their longest stretch without winning was 4 games on two occasions. The Barons went 0-3-1-0 from Jan. 6-14 and 0-2-1-1 from March 2-7. After a regulation loss this season, the Barons rebounded with a record of 15-3-2-1. The longest winning streak was 7 games from Jan. 15-Feb. 2.

      FRONT-RUNNING: The Barons were the only team in the AHL to not have a regulation loss when leading at an intermission. OKC was 24-0-2-1 when leading after one period and 33-0-4-0 when leading after 2.

      MEN WITHOUT HATS: The Barons did not have a hat trick this season. On 17 occasions a Baron produced 2 goals in a game, led by Philippe Cornet’s five 2-goal efforts.

      SCORE FOUR AND WIN: When the Barons scored 4 or more goals in a game this season they went 21-0-0-0.

      PLUS-MINUS: Ryan Keller tied for ninth in the AHL in plus-minus at +22. Josh Green tied for 14th at +19.

      10 IS TOPS: OKC’s 10-1 win in Game 3 of the season, the Oct. 15 home opener against Texas, stood up as the most goals tallied by a club in a single AHL game this season. The Barons’ 6 goals in the second period remained the most scored in a period by an AHL team this season, and the team’s total of 18 assists and 28 points are also league highs. The Barons’ season high for margin of victory and defeat were established in the season’s first 3 games, a 7-0 defeat at Texas in Game 1 and the 10-1 win over the Stars in Game 3.

      BUNZ SIGNS ATO: Goaltender Tyler Bunz is due to rejoin the Barons when the series shifts to OKC for Game 3. The 20-year-old just finished a 4-season junior career with the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL. Bunz, the club leader in career wins with 115, finished fifth in the WHL this season in goals-against average at 2.57 to go with a 39-17-2 record and a .921 save percentage, which was second in the league. Bunz was Edmonton’s fifth-round pick, 121st overall, in 2010.

      Former Viper Walchuk Falls Short In Game 7 Loss To Americans:

      Former Vernon Vipers forward Dylan Walchuk and the WHL Spokane Chiefs season come to an end last night after a tough 3-2 to the Tri City Americans in Game 7 of the Western Conference semi-finals. The Americans win the series 4 games to 3. In 34 regular season games with the Chiefs this season Walchuk collected (10-14-24) In 13 playoff games Walchuk collected (0-6-6). Walchuk played two years in Vernon (2009-2011) before going to Northern Michigan University this season. After just 19 games with the Wildcats Walchuk returned to Vernon just before the Christmas break playing in just 6 games Walchuk left the Vipers at the BCHL trade deadline day joining the WHL Spokane Chiefs.

      Dylan Walchuk's Player Profile:

      This is posted on the Chiefs website:


      April 19, 2012

      Despite 45 saves from goaltender Eric Williams, the Spokane Chiefs saw the Tri City Americans erase a 2-1 Spokane lead in the third period with two late goals to rally to a 3-2 win in game 7 of the two teams Western Conference semi-final series. With the win, the Americans took the best of 7 series 4 games to 3, and ended the Chiefs season.

      Spokane jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first period when Dominick Uher tipped a Blake Gal shot net front on the power play with just 1:12 left in the frame. Uher's 5th goal of the playoffs was also the 4th straight post season game that Uher scored a goal. Dylan Walchuk also picked up an assist, as the Chiefs were outshot 14-4 in the first. After denying all 14 Ams shots in the first, Williams turned aside 14 of 15 Tri City shots in the second. The Americans Brian Williams was the only one to break through with the tying goal just over 5 minutes into the second to tie the game at 2 after two periods.

      The Chiefs would jump out to a 2-1 lead at 5:47 of the third when Mitch Holmberg scored his team high 11th goal of the playoffs on Mike Aviani's team high 12th assist of the post season. Williams continued to make save after save, many at point blank range until the Americans broke through late in the game. Malte Stromwall scored with less than 6 minutes left to tie the game at two. The Ams Brendan Shinnimin then tallied just 64 seconds later to give Tri City their first lead of the night. Spokane would pull Williams with about a minute and a half left in the game, but couldn't get the equalizing goal.

      Tri City outshot Spokane 48-19 in the game. The Chiefs went 1-1 on the power play and 3-3 on the penalty kill. The game marked the final contest for Uher, Steve Kuhn, Corey Baldwin and Darren Kramer for Spokane. The Chiefs will prepare for the 2012-2013 season when training camp opens the final weekend of August at the Spokane Arena.

      Vernon Vipers 2012 Prospects Camp Schedule:

      This is posted on the Vipers website:

      Prospect Camp Schedule

      Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - Submitted by Vipers Staff

      The Vernon Vipers Hockey Club will be host an Invitation Only prospect camp April 20th-22nd at the Wesbild Center.

      The camp will consist of approximately 80 players who will compete for roster spots on the 2012-2013 roster. Many of the eligible returning players will also be in attendance.

      The camp schedule will be as follows:


      Game 1 5 PM
      Game 2 7 PM


      Game 3 9 AM
      Game 4 11:15 AM
      Game 5 4 PM
      Game 6 6:15 PM


      Game 7 9 AM
      Game 8 11:30 AM

      For further information please contact the Vipers office at 250-542-6022.

      Wednesday, April 18, 2012

      Coyotes Recall Former Vernon Viper Matt Watkins From AHL:

      The Phoenix Coyotes have recalled former Vernon Vipers forward Matt Watkins from the AHL Portland Pirates, the Coyotes American Hockey League affiliate. Watkins played one season in Vernon (2004-05) collecting (36-38-74) in 60 regular season games with the Vipers. Watkins was drafted by the Dallas Stars (5th round – #160 overall) in 2005.

      Matt Watkins Player Profile:

      This is posted on the Coyotes website:

      Coyotes Recall Watkins from AHL

      Wednesday, April 18, 2012

      GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today the Coyotes have recalled forward Matt Watkins from the Portland Pirates, the Coyotes American Hockey League affiliate (AHL).

      The 5-foot-10, 185 pound Watkins appeared in 70 games with the Pirates this season, registering 11-25-36 and 48 penalty minutes (PIM). He made his NHL debut with the Coyotes on February 21 versus the Los Angeles Kings, skating in 6:37 of ice time.

      Watkins was originally drafted by the Dallas Stars in the fifth round (160th overall) in the 2005 Entry Draft.

      Former Vernon Viper Genoway & Aeros Sneak Into AHL Playoffs:

      Former Vernon Vipers defenceman, Chay Genoway & the AHL Houston Aeros sneaked into the playoffs on the last day of the regular season (Sunday) after defeating the Texas Stars 2-1 to clinch the eighth seed in the AHL's Western Conference. The Aeros will face off against the Oklahoma City Barons in the best-of-five first round playoff series with Game 1 starting Thursday.

      Genoway is in his first season with the AHL Houston Aeros played in 72 regular season games this season collecting (7-29-36) made his NHL debut with the Minnesota Wil on April, 7th 2012 collecting 1 assist and being named 2nd star vs the Pheonix Coyotes.  Genoway played one season in Vernon (2005-2006). In 56 regular season games with the Vipers Genoway collected (17-32-49). The Minnesota Wild signed Genoway to an entry-level contract back on April, 12th 2011.

      Chay Genoway's Player Profile:

      This is posted on the Aeros website:

      Aeros pull out of dive just in time

      April 17, 2012

      by Andrew J. Ferraro

      The Houston Aeros, the defending Western Conference champions, sneaked into the playoffs on the last day of the regular season.

      They did so on the back of second-year goalie Matt Hackett, and because they were able to win their last two home games against the San Antonio Rampage and Texas Stars, they are the only team from last year’s AHL final four to make the playoffs.

      The Aeros will be the first to tell you they did not play well down the stretch. They entered the season with a loaded roster full of playoff experience and talented rookies.

      But with myriad injuries to their NHL parent team, the Minnesota Wild, and to several key players including No. 2 goalie Darcy Kuemper, the Aeros lost an edge. They did, however, pull out of their dive at just the right time - the last AHL game of the year.

      They beat Texas 2-1 after allowing the first goal of the game in the second period. Now, as the No. 8 seed entering postseason play, they’ll be heavy underdogs against the No. 1 team from the get-go, the Oklahoma City Barons.

      “It's a big win for us," said head coach John Torchetti. “It was just a lot of fun watching our guys, watching them celebrate. What we went through this year, not to make the playoffs, being so close ... We probably could have fell down and said, ‘Hey, it's okay, we can make it for another time,’ but that just showed you everything right there.”

      Again, Hackett was a big reason why the Aeros were able to sneak in after falling off the pace two months ago.

      After being reassigned to Houston on Mar. 28, Hackett started the last nine games of the season. He only won three of those, but he helped them get points in four others.

      Those extra points helped the Aeros avoid missing the playoffs for just the fourth time in franchise history (18 years).

      “I haven't seen goaltending like that since, probably (Roberto) Luongo in my first pro win against Boston,” added Torchetti about Hackett’s Sunday performance. “I think he stopped 40 shots. I was like, 'Wow, thanks buddy!' I'm proud of him."

      Hackett stopped two shorthanded breakaways and was at his best when it appeared that the three-in-three schedule started to affect the Aeros’ mental sharpness.

      “We’ve had quite a few bad bounces to go against us the last few games,” said Hackett. “(Sunday) it all came together, and that is very nice for our team and for our confidence going into the playoffs.”

      Next up for Hackett and the Aeros a Barons team that won seven of the eight meetings between the two teams and got a point in the game they didn’t win.

      If the Aeros are going to move along like they did a year ago, they are going to need to keep winning at home and have Hackett keep playing just like he has down the stretch.