For anyone who could not attend or watch tonight’s Vipers game here are my thoughts and views from tonight’s game. You may agree or disagree but we all have our own view and opinion on any game we watch. This is my opinion and my thoughts on how I saw tonight’s game. I try to be unbiased and give a fare recap on both sides. Thanks for stopping by & visiting my blog.
I was at tonight's Silverbacks home opener as Vernon defeated Salmon Arm 3-0 in front of 1,128 fans at the Shaw Centre.
Vernon: Austin Smith
Salmon Arm: Colin Dzijacky
1st Period: It took both teams about the first two and a half to three minutes to get a feel for each other before the Vipers slowly started to pull away and run away with the 1st period. It took the Vipers two and a half minutes to record their first shot on goal but it was shortly after that Vernon slowly started to get rolling and get a few decent chanes early. Five minutes into the game Jedd Soleway & Riley Hunt on a two on one, Soleway had to wait for the Silverbacks d-man to commit before making a late pass over to Hunt who just couldnt get the puck up and over the pad of Colin Dzijacky who come across reading the play making a big pad save. Vernon kept coming and with some pressure deep in the Backs zone the Vipers didnt create alot of chances but held Salmon Arm in the offensive zone for most of the opening period. The Vipers with atleast three nice plays in close come close but couldnt hit the net. Adam Tambellini couldnt connect after a nice give and go in the slot on a great chance to open the scoring. It took Salmon Arm ten minutes to record their first shot on goal after getting a bit of a cheer from the Silverback faithfull. Just past the midway mark Jeff Kennedy challenged and dropped the gloves with Michael Statchuk as Vernon would get the games first powerplay on the play after Kennedy was given two minutes for instigating. The Vipers with very little pressure struggled with the man advantage getting just a single shot as Salmon Arm would kill off the penalty. On the next shift the Backs would get their first shot with the powerplay, with some good puck movement Salmon Arm didnt really generate any real good chances as Vernon would kill off the penalty. But the Silverbacks kept hold of the play and come back with a hard working shift getting two flurries in front of Austin Smith before Adam Tambellini and Aaron Hadley almost had a two on one but Hadley was just offside at the Silverbacks blueline. On the next shift Pearce Eviston with a nice play cut through the Salmon Arm zone, making two nice moves just inside the blueline before losing control of the puck and then getting it right back ripped a hard shot from the slot beat Colin Dzijacky shortside giving Vernon a late 1-0 lead at 17:39 Adam Tambellini with the lone assist on the goal. Just after Vernon product Michael Roberts took a high stick to the mouth wich gave Vernon a late four minute powerplay. The Vipers with some good pressure moved the puck around well setting up Ryan Renz who wired a hard shot from the point that was stopped by Dzijacky. The Vipers couldnt capitalize before the final buzzer but took a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes. Vernon carried the better of the play and was the better of the two teams. The Vipers outshot the Silverbacks 10-3.
2nd Period: The Vipers started the second period with the powerplay that was carried over from the end of the opening period. Vernon would get the play in deep, moving the puck well setup Colton Sparrow at the side of the net who couldnt get his shot up and over the pad of Colin Dzijacky who come across the crease to rob Sparrow with a huge pad save. On the next shift Ryan Renz made a diving play-save at the blueline to keep the puck in, the Vipers once again moved the puck around before finding Aaron Hadley this time at the other side of the net who went high beating Dzijacky giving the Vipers a 2-0 lead at 1:36 Colton Sparrow and Adam Tambellini with the helpers. The Vipers come right back with a small flurry of chances in close. Logan Mick with a hard shot from the slot just missed the high corner as the Vipers were buzzing in and around the goal. Salmon Arm would then get an early powerplay. A strong Vernon penalty kill would kill off the minor with very little pressure by the Backs. Both teams had a few good shifts back and forth before once again the Vipers took over the edge in play. It took the Silverbacks seven and a half minutes to record their first shot of the period. The Vipers once again come back with a few solid shifts down in the Backs zone, as Salmon Arm was having all kinds of trouble containing the Vipers down low. Vernon with atleast four or five chances from in close but all missed the net. Salmon Arm would get their best scoring play of the 2nd after Jeff Kennedy walked in from the slot before being hooked but got off a quick shot from in close that gave Austin Smith a little trouble before making the tough save as traffic crashed the goal. The Silverbacks would head back to the powerplay but again no real quality chances after another solid penalty kill by Vernon. In the second half with a goal mouth scramble the Vipers crashed the net but somehow Colin Dzijacky managed to keep the puck out with traffic in and around the his crease. With three and a half minutes remaining the Vipers come close on a three on two after Landon Robin setup Viper newcomer Mitch Van Teeling who was stopped by Dzijacky who was out at the top of his crease ready to challenge made a nice chest save holding onto the puck as TJ Dumonceaux went crashing hard into the net. The Vipers once again were the better of the two teams but alot of their chances missed the net this period. Vernon was up 2-0 after 40 minutes of play. The Vipers outshot the Backs 10-9.
3rd Period: A minute and a half into the final frame Vernon product Alex Gillies in close somehow couldnt burry his shot through a maze of traffic in the Vipers crease. With the puck bouncing around and traffic everywhere Austin Smith was diving everywhere trying to cover the puck on a wild goal mouth scramble before finally the Vipers would clear the puck and the zone. Just a shift or two later a mad goal mouth scramble at the other end, this time the Vipers were the ones trying to burry the loose puck as bodies were everywhere. The puck come rolling out into the slot still with a maze of players in front Craig Martin wired a hard shot from the slot but somehow Colin Dzijacky with traffic in front stuck out his right leg making a huge pad save keeping his team in the hockey game. After the whistle both teams started pushing and shoving and tempers heated a little. Former Viper Bennett Hambrook and Jedd Soleway exchanging punches with one another. On the next play Salmon Arm would get an early powerplay, with some good pressure the Backs come up with a few good chances from in close before Smith just like Colin Dzijacky on one of his pad saves in the 2nd period come up with a pad save of his own keeping the Silverbacks off the scoreboard. This was Salmon Arm's best powerplay of the night but the Backs couldnt capitalize. Just as the penalty expired Vernon would jump on the man advantage just a few shifts later. The Vipers with some good pressure moved the puck around well set up Colton Sparrow at the top of the circle whos shot beat Dzijacky but hit the post, on the same play the Vipers setup Pearce Eviston who walked in from the slot also beat Colin Dzijacky but rang his shot off the crossbar on two great scoring chances. Salmon Arm would kill off the penalty. Both teams were fairly even in the first half. Salmon Arm come close to getting a lucky bounce go in off the end boards after a long dump in play went in off the end boards before hitting Austin Smith's skate as he come out to play the puck. Luckily for the Vipers Smith was alert and settled the bouncing puck down before it got away on him. At some point in the final frame the Vipers would lose Kevin Guiltinan to an injury after leaving the ice and not returning. Vernon would get the almighty important third goal just two minutes past the midway mark after Adam Tambellini won the draw deep in the Silverbacks zone back to Geoff Crisfield who's blast from the point went high and upstairs past Dzijacky at 12:00 Tambellini with the lone helper. From here on in the Vipers used their muscle and grit to dump the play in and win most of the battles along the boards and in front of the net to eat alot of time off the clock. Salmon Arm would get a few late rushes but no real scoring threats as in the end the Vipers would finish their three game road trip collecting their first win of the season with a 3-0 victory. Austin Smith would make 20 saves for his first career BCHL shutout. It was fairly even in the first half but the Vipers were the better team in the second half of the third. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 10-8.
Top Players: (Vernon)
Brett Corkey was very steady on the Vernon blueline all night, jumped up into the rush on a few plays making some smart heads up plays.
The line of Adam Tambellini (3 assists), Aaron Hadley (1 goal) & Pearce Eviston (1 goal) looked very good up front for the Vipers. Tambellini had several scoring chances but just couldnt get the puck on his stick or connect on a pass. Hadley looked very strong tonight, played very well on the powerplay, penalty kill and at both ends of the rink. Was really playing with alot of jump and skating hard. Won several battles along the boards and in and around the net.
The line of Jedd Soleway, Craig Martin and Colton Sparrow also played very well tonight. Soleway who looks like hes beefed up over the summer was a horse for the Vipers tonight. Really used his size and strength down low to win the battles along the boards and in and around the net. Martin is a very good skater made a few smart plays tonight. Sparrow who come up with a few good chances showed lots of hustle and finished his checks.
Ryan Renz played a very solid game on the Vipers backend.
Game Thoughts: (Vernon)
With the win the Vipers improve to 1-1-0-1 and finish a three game road trip before returning home for the teams home opener tomorrow night vs Salmon Arm. Tonight was Duncan Wray's 750th win as owner of the Vernon Lakers-Vernon Vipers. I was very impressed with the Vipers overall this evening. Give credit to the coaching staff and the entire Vipers team for showing up and coming ready to play tonight. Tonight was a very strong and pretty dominating road game for the Vipers who struggled away from home last year. I thought the Vipers specialty teams was very good, I thought the passing was very good with most passes tape to tape and I liked the hustle and overall energy from the team tonight. Everyone battled hard and won the battles, they played as a team tonight and won as a team. I thought Vernon did a great job at shutting down Salmon Arm's offence and only giving up 20 shots. The Vipers defence was very solid tonight. All four lines were rolling and played well. The Vipers carried the better of the play for most of the night and had several flurries at times but missed the net on some great chances in close. This was a full team effort and fully deserve the victory. A fairly big crowd of Viper fans at tonight's game wich was nice to see.
Top Players: (Salmon Arm)
Colin Dzijacky (27 saves) Played and looked very well tonight making some tough saves. A bigger kid is very quick and can come across the crease very quickly wich he showed tonight making some big pad saves. Without Dzijacky this could have been a five or six goal lead for the Vipers. Plays his position well and dosnt give up alot of rebounds.
Alex Gillies played with alot of jump, hustled hard all night coming up with a good chance in an early goal mouth scramble to start the third period.
Jeff Kennedy played well on the Salmon Arm blueline.
Bennett Hambrook played with an edge and was the only Silverback who played with and showed some emotion tonight.
Game Thoughts: (Salmon Arm)
I thought the Silverbacks played and looked much better in the two exhibition games vs Vernon compared to tonight. Salmon Arm struggled most of the night, didnt get alot of pucks through to the net, both teams didnt lay out any real punishing checks, Salmon Arm didnt have alot of scoring chances and didnt show alot of emotion tonight. I didnt see alot of kids play with energy or jump in their game. The Backs struggled offensively and relied heavily on their goaltender tonight. The Silverbacks had all kinds of trouble with Vernon's speed, skill and pressure down low. Vernon was the better team for most of the game and really outplayed Salmon Arm for most of the night.
Braeden Russell (Injured)
Marc Hetnik (Injured)
Mitch McAllister (Injured)
1st Star: Adam Tambellini (3 assists)
2nd Star: Colin Dzijacky (27 saves)
3rd Star: Austin Smith (20 saves-1st career BCHL Shutout)
Energy Player Of The Game: Adam Tambellini
For more on tonight's BCHL game please visit the boxscore,