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 Penticton defeated Vernon 3-1 in front of 1,527 fans at the Wesbild Centre.
Vernon: Austin Smith
Penticton: Chad Katunar
1st Period: Both teams come ready to play and played well in the opening period. Adam Tambellini would get the games first opportunity just three and a half minutes into the period, with a good rush through the neutral zone, Tambellini carried the play into the Vees zone before getting around the Penticton defenceman before being stopped by Vees starting goaltender Chad Katunar who come up with the big save early. Coming back the other way on a four on two on the same play, with some nice passing the Vees setup former Salmon Arm Silverbacks defenceman Sean Flanagan who was stopped in the slot by Austin Smith who made a nice blocker save. A quick pace to the game early as both teams were going back and forth with very little stopages making for a very quick 1st period. Adam Tambellini would get stopped again just a few minutes later. Vipers defenceman Geoff Crisfield started the hockey game but left the game during the period and never returned. Vernon would get the games first powerplay but it was the Vees who took advantage of a Viper turnover at the blueline. Pearce Eviston coughed up the puck sending former Westside Warrior forward Travis Blanlei in for the shorthanded breakaway, Blanlei beat Vipers starting goaltender Austin Smith fivehole giving the Vees a 1-0 lead at 8:12 Blanlei's goal was unassisted. Former Penticton Vees forward Dexter Dancs would beat Katunar in the dying seconds of the man advantage but hit the post as Penticton with a good penalty kill capitalized early would kill off the penalty. Just after the powerplay expired with traffic in front, the Vipers had the Vees running around. Adam Tambellini in close was stopped by Chad Katunar, with the Vipers buzzing and the Vees scrambling for the puck a pile in front of the Vees net Vernon got off atleast three or four shots before Michael Statchuk jumped in from the point, with Katunar down and out looking for the puck Brad McClure come up with a huge shot block blocking Statchuk's shot from the slot before the Vees were able to excape and clear the zone after some good pressure by the Vipers. On the next play Penticton would get their first shot with the man advantage, and the Vipers would lose Adam Tambellini for ten minutes after picking up a misconduct call on the same play. Vernon's penalty kill was good early before the Vees moved the puck around but the Vipers did a great job at closing off the shooting lanes as Vernon was able to kill off the minor. On the next play the Vipers would head back to the penalty box as the Vees would get a four minute powerplay. Again Penticton moving the puck well had a few chances but no real threat as Vernon would kill off the penalty. The Vipers with another good penalty kill. Adam Tambellini come down the left wing snapping a quick hard shot from just outside the circle that forced Chad Katunar to make a tough glove save off balance not able to hold onto the puck. Former Vernon Vipers forward Jedd Soleway with a tipp in front redirected the puck just wide of the goal. Vernon would get a late powerplay but unable to capitalize as Penticton would kill off the penalty. Both teams played well & very evenly matched. With very little whistles made for a very quick period. The Vees with a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play. Vernon outshot Penticton 9-8.
2nd Period: Another very evenly matched period as both teams went back and forth with very little scoring chances. Ryan Gropp with a nice rush through the neutral zone in the first half got through into the Vipers zone before getting in close ripping a hard shot that just missed the far corner. Another quick period with very few whistles and not alot of action. Pearce Eviston setup Dexter Dancs on a Vipers two on one but the former Vees forward missed the net. Just before the midway mark Ryan Renz's point shot got through a maze of players in front was somehow stopped by Chad Katunar who made the pad-leg save. A few shifts later Pearce Eviston outwaited Katunar before sliding the puck under the Vees netminder tying the game 1-1 at 10:14 Eviston's goal was unassisted. Just a few minutes later Dexter Dancs with a shot from the circle forced Katunar to make another good save. Just past the midway mark Vees captain Troy Stecher with a point shot that was deflected along the way just missed the net. Cody DePourcq went hard into the end boards getting up rather slowly before limping off to the Vees bench, but the Penticton forward would stay in the game. Austin Smith who has a very quick glove hand was forced to make several glove saves in the second period. With about eight minutes remaining the Vipers would lose captain Brett Corkey after the d-man went down deep in the Vernon zone. Corkey was down for atleast a minute before being helped off the ice. Corkey was later seen leaving the arena on a stretcher on his way to the ambulance. With about five minutes remaining in the middle frame Jedd Soleway with two big back to back checks got the Vees in control of the puck, coming back the other way on an odd man rush Louie Nanne dropped back to Sean Flanagan who roofed his shot just under the bar giving Penticton a 2-1 lead at 15:14 Nanne with the lone assist. Over two minutes later the Vees struck again, with some nice passing Troy Stecher setup Wade Murphy on another odd man rush giving the Vees a 3-1 lead at 17:58 Stecher and Sam Mellor collected the helpers. With very few opportunities this period the Vipers gave up two late goals wich may have put the game away at the time in a fairly evenly played period. Penticton capitalized on their chances up 3-1 after 40 minutes of play. The Vees outshot the Vipers 12-11.
3rd Period: The Vees got off to a quick start, getting the play in deep and carrying the better of the play early and often. Penticton who was winning the battles, races for the puck and outplaying Vernon for the first five minutes or so didnt really get any real good scoring opportunities. The Vipers slowly turned things around coming back with a few hard shifts but again no real scoring chances. The crowd thought the Vipers got to within a goal after Dexter Dancs beat Chad Katunar down low but the goal was waived off after the play was knocked down with a high stick (Dancs stick). Just shortly after the play Dancs come right back getting a shot in close but couldnt beat Katunar who made a nice save in tight. As the game went on Penticton's defence did a great job at keeping Vernon to the outside, taking away the shooting lanes as both teams with very limited opportunities. The Vipers carried the better of the play in the final frame but again not alot of scoring chances. Chad Katunar was sharp all night making any shot look routine. Late in the game Wade Murphy with a great chance in close couldnt beat Smith to put the game away. The Vipers would pull Austin Smith in the final minute for the extra attacker, but the Vipers just couldnt muster any offence as Penticton would get a very late powerplay putting this game away coming away with a 3-1 victory. The Vees were the better of the two teams in the opening five minutes or so but the Vipers carried the better of the play in the second half. Vernon outshot Penticton 11-9.
Top Players: (Vernon)
Michael Statchuk played very well on Vernon's defence.
Pearce Eviston (1 goal) Turned over the puck at the point on the powerplay allowing Travis Blanlei to go in for the breakaway scoring the opening goal shorthanded. Other then this play I thought Eviston was one of the better Vipers tonight. Worked hard and played very well through out the contest.
Dexter Dancs hit the post in the dying seconds of the powerplay, had a few good scoring chances played very well up front for the Vipers.
Game Thoughts: (Vernon)
With the loss the Vipers have now lost four straight. Other then some turnovers and poor mistakes I thought the Vipers played fairly well tonight in a pretty good hockey game. This was a game where Vernon could have won. A bad turnover at the point on the powerplay gave up the games first goal, and then giving up back to back goals in the final five minutes of the 2nd period put the game away. Im still surprised to see this many turnovers and mistakes as well as poor passes at this time of the season. The Vipers also have no breakout play having all kinds of trouble coming out from their own end. I dont know why Geoff Crisfield left the game, but without Crisfield and now Brett Corkey here come more injuries. Playing in Trail tomorrow night the Vipers will have to call up some "AP" defencemen for the game. Including tonight the Vipers had four games before the Christmas break, in order to stay in the playoff hunt I think Vernon needs to win atleast three out of the four to keep pace with everyone else. If the Vipers dont win some of these key games heading into the break the playoffs could slowly start looking like a dream.
Top Players: (Penticton)
The line of Cody DePourcq, Travis Blanlei (1 goal) & Cam Amantea looked very good for the Vees. This line was the Vees hardest working line, banging and crashing, digging for loose pucks, creating turnovers, winning battles and races for the puck as well as getting under the skin of several Vipers tonight. Played a heck of a game.
Jedd Soleway made his return to Vernon for the first time since the trade in early December. I thought Soleway battled and competed hard most of the night. Was good on the draw and played well at both ends of the rink. Showed alot of hustle getting back into the play as well as playing physical vs his former club.
Sean Flanagan (1 goal) Played very well tonight. A smooth skating d-man that moves the puck well and is very steady on the blueline.
Troy Stecher (1 assist) Also played very strong on the Penticton backend. Jumped up into the play as well as got involved in the play. Good skater and also sees and reads the ice well.
Brad McClure played very well for the Vees tonight. I counted atleast three shot blocks. A tough kid that battles and competes game after game.
Chad Katunar (30 saves) Come up with some big saves and made the remainder of his saves look routine making 30 saves for the win. One of the bigger goaltenders dosnt give up alot of rebounds.
Game Thoughts: (Penticton)
This isnt the same Penticton team we saw last year, this years Penticton Vees are beat able but dont take anything away from them. This years team is still a very good hockey club and very hard to play against and it showed tonight. Capitalizing on their chances, forcing the Vipers into turnovers, playing well defensively and getting solid goaltending all helped the Vees in the 3-1 win. With the game tied 1-1 the Vees capitalized on two late scoring opportunities and then with some strong forecheck early in the 3rd and solid defensive play the remainder of the way Penticton played a greasy road game.
Craig Martin (Injured)
TJ Dumconceaux (Injured)
1st Star: Sean Flanagan (1 goal)
2nd Star: Troy Stecher (1 assist)
3rd Star: Pearce eviston (1 goal)
For more on tonight's game visit the boxscore,
For more on tonight's game and the Penticton Vees visit Fraser Rodger's penticton Vees Blog,