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 BCHL game as Vernon defeated Trail 7-2 in front of 1,377 fans at the Wesbild Centre.
Vernon: Austin Smith
Trail: Lyndon Stanwood
1st Period: The Vipers got off to a quick start and come up with several scoring chances early. Vernon got the play in deep off the opening draw, Mitch Van Teeling collected the dump in behind the Smoke Eaters net, Van Teeling went for the wrap around but hit the outside of the net before Lyndon Stanwood tried to cover up the loose puck, as the puck bobbled around Stanwood was caught out of position as Pearce Eviston come in, collected the loose puck, skated back before cutting hard towards the front of the net but was stopped by Stanwood all this in the first fifteen seconds. The Vipers kept coming and were throwing everything towards the goal. Eviston again with a chance in front beat Stanwood through the fivehole as the puck come out the other end went through the crease but missed the open cage. Adam Tambellini with a quick shot from the bottom of the circle snapped a low shot that was stopped by Stanwood. On the same play Tambellini through a shot-pass through the middle wich went off Garrett McMullen's arm and into the back of the Smokies goal giving Vernon a early 1-0 lead at 1:14 Tambellini's goal was unassisted. Trail who played last night at home vs West Kelowna looked to have the bus legs as the Vipers with lots of energy and scoring chances carried the play and dominated the edge in play in the opening period. Pearce Eviston with another great scoring oportunity in front missed the net on a one timer from the slot. Eviston with atleast three or four good chances in the first half was working hard. Vernon would get the games first powerplay but a strong penalty kill by Trail would kill off the minor. The Smoke Eaters with just two shots in the first half finally got their first scoring chance of the night in the second half after Connor Collett come down the left wing, snapping a low hard shot from the circle that kinda fooled Austin Smith who was forced to make a bit of a tough pad save. Logan Mick & Michael Roberts come right back with a two on one, but Lyndon Stanwood made another big save keeping the Smokies in the contest. Just two minutes later Kevin Guiltinan stepped over the blueline and ripped a hard low shot from the top of the circle that was stopped by Stanwood who made a nice pad save off the Viper d-man. Trail finally put together a few good hard working shifts as the play evened out a little bit more in the second half of the period but the Smoke Eaters couldnt generate any offence. Vernon again this time on a three on two with some nice passing was stopped again by Stanwood. The Vipers were by far the better of the two teams, dominating the opening period. Lyndon Stanwood come up with some big saves keeping his team in the game early as Vernon was up 1-0 after 20 minutes of play. Vernon outshot Trail 11-6.
2nd Period: Trail come out hard to start the second period, with some good hard working shifts early the Smokies with some good pressure moved the puck around well before Austin Smith had to come up with a nice glove save off Garrett McMullen in the opening few minutes. The Vipers held off some early pressure by the Smoke Eaters before coming right back with some nice three way passing on an odd man rush. A nice smart heads up play from the Vernon d-man setup the Viper odd man rush, Mitch Van Teeling setup Pearce Eviston before Eviston found Jedd Soleway who beat Lyndon Stanwood with a hard shot high giving Vernon a 2-0 lead at 5:01 Van Teeling & Eviston picked up the helpers. The Vipers kept coming and come right back just under two minutes later. Brendan Persley who was just cut by the WHL Tri-City Americans was making his debut tonight battled and worked hard down low setup Colton Sparrow in front giving the Vipers a 3-0 lead at 6:47 Persley with the lone assist. The Vipers kept coming again getting some good chances in front. Tempers heated up at the midway mark after some pushing and shoving occurred deep in the Vipers zone before everyone gathered in the corner as more pushing and shoving went on along with a few punches being thrown. After the dust settled it was the Smoke Eaters who would come out of the minor scrum with their first powerplay of the night. Kevin Guiltinan would be lost for the remainder of the period after picking up a ten minute misconduct. With the Smokies on the man advantage it was the Vernon penalty kill that was the difference after Colton Sparrow with some hard work, collected the puck dishing off to Adam Tambellini who was robbed in front after Lyndon Stanwood come across to make a nice glove save. The Vipers would kill off the minor before both teams would play a little four on four action. Both goaltenders were sharp as Stanwood made two nice saves at his end before Austin Smith had to be alert making a quick pad save off Braeden Jones point shot. Trail would eventually get a very late powerplay but the Vipers would kill off the final few seconds. Shortly after the Smokies would finally get on the board. Geoff Crisfield's blocked shot went right on the stick of Tyler Berkholtz who beat Smith fivehole down low at 15:24 on a soft goal cutting the lead to within two goals. I think Smith thought Berkholtz was going to try and setup a guy in the slot and was cheating before being scored on. Just over a minute later the Vipers would get a late powerplay and capitalize Brendan Persley and Colton Sparrow both with some hard work kept the play alive setup Jedd Soleway for his second of the night at 17:08 giving Vernon a 4-1 lead. Persley and Sparrow with the assists. The Vipers with a great chance tried to go up by four goals after a scramble in front Logan Mick who was tied up in the crease couldnt get his stick loose as the puck sat in the crease before the Smokies cleared the puck from the crease. Vernon who I dont think dominated the play as much as the 1st period still was the better of the two teams and did carry the better of the play for the second straight period. The Vipers were up 4-1 after 40 minutes of play. Vernon outshot Trail 19-8.
3rd Period: The Vipers looked a little flat to start the final frame as the Smoke Eaters jumped on the Vipers early, with some pressure in the Vernon zone Trail would capitalize early after Michael Statchuk turned the puck over in behind his goal as Josh Knowler setup a wide open Tyler Berkholtz in the slot who beat Smith at 1:12 making this a two goal game with lots of time remaining. The Smokies who come out hitting hard battled and won several of the battles along the wall played well early as Vernon looked slow and just not in the game. The Smokies with atleast three or four good chances but Austin Smith looked confident making the saves. The Vipers would get a good chance with a three on two but Wayland Williams with a heads up defensive play broke up the Vipers scoring drive. The play then really slowed down as both teams didnt generate much before Anthony Conti started chasing a few Vipers around the rink trying to get someone to drop their gloves. With no challengers Conti would take a penalty on the same shift resulting in a Vernon powerplay. The Vipers would make Trail and Conti pay as Jedd Soleway with all the work used his upper body and size to cruize through the Smoke Eaters zone before holding off and setting up Colton Sparrow for a nice goal at 7:52 giving Vernon a 5-2 lead. Soleway with the lone helper. This goal seemed to wake the Vipers up as Vernon would blow the game open with three goals in the next five or so minutes. Almost a minute after the goal Vernon would head right back to the powerplay and capitalize again. Brendan Persley with his first of the season in his season debut put Vernon up 6-2 at 10:33 Ryan Renz and Landon Robin with the assists. Just two minutes later tempers heated up once again as some pushing and shoving occurred as a few punches were thrown. In the end Trail would get a four minute powerplay after Logan Mick took two minors. With the Smoke Eaters on the man advantage it was the Vipers penalty kill who went to work. Mitch Van Teeling and Aaron Hadley on the two on one, Van Teeling shot but a diving play by the Smokies d-man took the puck off his leg as the puck went up into the mesh neeting behind the goal. Trail's powerplay couldnt generate much having all kinds of trouble with Vernon's speed and strong forecheck. The Vipers who forced the Smoke Eaters into several turnovers looked very good shorthanded. Still shorthanded Craig Martin with some good hustle tried to race down a loose puck for a shorthanded breakaway got tied up by a Trail defenceman, but Martin who stayed with the puck, battled hard got the puck loose setup a wide open Adam Tambellini who wired a lazer of a shot past Lyndon Stanwood at 13:15 Martin with all the work collected the only helper on the shorthanded goal. This goal took the wind out of the sails of the Smoke Eaters as the Trail bench looked dejected. The Smokies then really started throwing their weight around, never quit battled hard in and around the net looking for some extra pushing and shoving after the whistle. Both teams showing some emotion after the whistles as both teams didnt back down from the minor scrums. In the final two minutes TJ Dumonceaux and Logan Mick showed some good hustle went in on the breakaway but neither of the two could beat Stanwood who stood tall making the save. Trail come out hard, scored early cutting the lead to within two goals but the Vipers specialty teams was the difference in the third scoring two powerplay goals and one shorthanded goal all within five minutes putting this game out of reach. The Vipers would come away with just their second win of the season with a 7-2 victory. Vernon outshot Trail 11-8.
Top Players: (Vernon)
Brett Corkey who didnt stand out offensively played a very solid defensive game tonight.
Adam Tambellini (2 goals) Had a few good chances played well up front.
The line of TJ Dumonceaux, Logan Mick and Michael Roberts played very well. This line played with alot of energy, grit and didnt back down from the rough stuff.
Pearce Eviston (1 assist) I thought played a very strong game up front for the Vipers. Eviston who come up with atleast three or four real good opportunities in the opening minutes sparked his team with several solid hits, as well as generating chances and working extremely hard all night.
Colton Sparrow (2 goals &1 assist) Was another Viper who played a solid game. Sparrow who always works hard was rewarded tonight with three points.
Jedd Soleway (2 goals & 1 assist) Ive been impressed with Jedd Soleway's play so far this season and really like the way he has stepped up his game. Soleway really used his size and body well in the offensive zone to create and open scoring opportunities. Soleway tried getting a little too cute with two plays turned the puck over but overall played very well tonight.
Brendan Persley (1 goal & 2 assists) Made his season debut tonight made a strong impression picking up three points. Persley who really adds alot to the Viper lineup brings grit, a physical presence and hard work. All three wich he showed tonight. Really battled and worked hard down low created two goals with his hard work.
Game Thoughts: (Vernon)
After allowing Salmon Arm to come back and walk away with a 3-2 overtime victory last weekend in a game wich they should have won I thought the Vipers rebounded with a pretty strong effort and win tonight. Give the boys credit tonight for coming ready to play and playing a almost 60 minute hockey game. Other then a few shifts early in the 2nd and 3rd periods the Vipers pretty well carried and controlled the better of tonight's hockey game. It was nice to finally see the pucks go in tonight after getting so many chances in the previous games with little reward for their hard work. I thought the Vipers battled hard and played with some good energy, didnt back down from the scrums after the stopage in play and played as a team. I thought their breakout and passing looked good as well as specialty teams. Most of the Viper offence came from the bangers and crashers wich was good to see. The Vipers gritty players stepped up and lead the way offensively. A few turnovers in theor own end but overall a pretty good effort tonight. Former Vipers Head Coach Mark Holick was in attendance tonight.
Top Players: (Trail)
Matthew Alexander I thought played very well on the Smoke Eaters blueline.
Connor Collett played with alot of jump and energy, seemed to be the Smokies little spark plug showing lots of hustle and getting involved in the play.
Garrett McMullen was another Trail player who I thought played well. Didnt show alot of signs of offence but worked hard and battled hard most of the night.
Lyndon Stanwood (34 saves) Kept his hockey club in tonight's game early, especially in the first and second periods. Stanwood didnt look very sharp early had troubles with the puck but did make several good saves through out the first two periods. A much smaller goaltender is very quick on his feet. I was surprised the coaching staff kept him in the game once the Vipers got six past him. If it wasnt for Stanwood this could have been a much higher score.
Game Thoughts: (Trail)
Trail wasnt really in tonight's game from the start. The Smokies who played last night looked a little sluggish early and were outplayed most of the night. The Smokies couldnt and didnt generate alot of offence. Trail did have a few good shifts especially off the opening faceoff in the 2nd and 3rd periods but were unable to sustain the pressure for long periods of time. Trail looked to have troubles with the Vipers speed and skill. The Smokies couldnt slow down the Vipers speed or skill and because of this were giving up way too many scoring opportunites. Specialty teams was also the difference as the Vipers scored shorthanded and three powerplay goals. Trail played with a bit of an edge and some chippy play at times wasnt afraid to mix it up after the whistles. Lyndon Stanwood gave his team a chance to win early but couldnt hold off the Vipers attack all night.
Marc Hetnik (Injured)
Mitch McAllister (Injured)
Braeden Russell (Injured)
1st Star: Jedd Soleway (2 goals & 1 assist)
2nd Star: Colton Sparrow (2 goals & 1 assist)
3rd Star: Brendan Persley (1 goal & 2 assists)
For more on tonight's game visit the boxscore,