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 West Kelowna defeated Vernon 4-2 in front of 1,077 fans at Royal Le Page Place.
Vernon: Austin Smith
West Kelowna: Tyler Briggs
1st Period: The Warriors got the play in deep off the opening faceoff, with some pressure in the Vipers zone West Kelowna couldnt generate any scoring opportunities before the Vipers would get the games first scoring chance just two minutes into the contest. Former Penticton Vee Dexter Dancs with a nice give and go setup Braeden Russell who snapped a quick shot from the circle that was stopped by Warriors starting goaltender Tyler Briggs. Max French who returned to the Warriors lineup along with Ambrose Firkus & Shawn Hochhausen come right back a few shifts later getting a three on two rush, French setup Hochhausen who missed the net. Both teams went back and forth for a few minutes before West Kelowna capitalized on a few Viper turnovers. Seb Lloyd & Devon Hascarl came in on a two on one but missed the goal. A few shifts later Seb Lloyd and former Vernon Vipers forward Marcus Basara in a two on one but Vipers starting goaltender Austin Smith stopped Lloyd's shot. Just shortly after Brennan Clark & Seb Lloyd on another odd man rush but again the Warriors missed the net. West Kelowna was the better of the two teams getting the better scoring chances and carrying the better of the play. The Warriors would get their first powerplay late in the final five minutes, with no shots on goal Vernon would kill off the minor before Adam Tambellini setup Pearce Eviston on a two on one just as the penalty expired but Tyler Briggs come across the crease to make a huge pad save off Eviston keeping this game scoreless. The Warriors would open the scoring in the final minute after another Vernon turnover in the neutal zone gave West Kelowna another odd man rush. Matt Anholt setup Brennan Clark who was stopped by Smith before Shawn Hochhausen jumped on the rebound going upstairs beating Smith at 19:35 giving the Warriors a 1-0 lead. Clark & Anholt with the helpers. The Warriors were the better of the two teams had a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play. West Kelowna outshot Vernon 14-9.
2nd Period: The Vipers would get their first powerplay just 1:48 into the middle frame but with no shots on goal West Kelowna would kill off the minor. Just over a minute later the Warriors would get a shot with the man advantage Max French with a quick shot from down low whistled his shot through traffic and the crease but somehow the puck bounced in the crease before being cleared by a Vernon d-man as the Vipers would kill off the minor. Max French with a nice pass through the slot setup Ambrose Firkus who was stopped by Austin Smith who come across making a big pad save. Very limited scoring chances in the period at both ends of the rink. It took the Vipers ten minutes to record their first shot on goal. Just past the midway mark Vernon would get a powerplay but it was the Warriors who killed off the penalty. In the second half Marcus Basara setup Brent Lashuk on an odd man rush but again Smith was there to make another big pad save. The Vipers couldnt generate any offence or pressure as West Kelowna carried the better of the play and was the better of the two teams. Warriors captain Max French come close to giving his team a two goal lead after Austin Smith who was down and out somehow kept the puck out with a goal mouth scramble as bodies were crashing into the Viper netminder. West Kelowna would go on a late powerplay, moving the puck well the Vipers did a good job at closing the shooting lanes killing off the minor. The Warriors were the better of the two teams were up 1-0 after 40 minutes of play. West Kelowna outshot Vernon 8-6.
3rd Period: Vernon would get an early powerplay just 1:43 into the final frame. Aaron Hadley with a shot from the slot was stopped by Briggs as the Warriors would kill off the penalty. West Kelowna with a nice long stretch pass caught Braxton Bilous coming out of the penalty box sending Bilous in for the breakaway but Austin Smith come up with a huge pad save keeping his team in the conest. The Vipers looked much better in the third playing with some urgency and hard work were the better of the two teams in the first half. The Vipers with some hard work down low paid off after Colton Sparrow's shot got through traffic in front before Aaron Hadley banged the loose puck in through Tyler Briggs tying the game 1-1 at 5:06 Sparrow & Ryan Renz with the assists. Vernon come right back on the next shift going hard to the net Brendan Persley with a great chance in close couldnt beat Briggs who made a tough save with Presley crashing the net. Some pushing and shoving continued after the whistle before the scrum was broken up. Shortly after Vernon would get there second man advantage of the period, Adam Tambellini's quick shot from in close made Tyler Briggs look behind him after making a tough save under his arm. The Vipers couldnt capitalize as West Kelowna would kill off the penalty. The Vipers with some good pressure played well in the first half but couldnt hold off the Warriors. At the halfway mark Max French setup Braxton Bilous who jumped up into the play firing a low shot along the ice that beat Smith shortside giving West Kelowna a 2-1 lead at 10:29 French and Shawn Hochhausen collected the helpers. This goal seemed to take the life out of Vernon and put them back on their heels as the Vipers who carried the better of the play in the first ten minutes couldnt get anything going for most of the remainder of the period. West Kelowna played a pretty solid defensive period not giving Vernon any time or space. Tempers heated up on a few different ocassions where both teams got involved with some pushing and shoving, alot of yapping back and forth before the play resumed. The Warriors would put the game away at 16:28 after a three on two. Max French setup Ambrose Firkus who snapped a quick shot from the slot that beat Smith for the game winner. French & Josh Monk with the assists. The Vipers tried to get the play in deep but just couldnt generate any offence. The Vipers would get Austin Smith to the bench with fifty seconds remaining before calling a late timeout in the final minute. Vernon would get the play in deep, moving the puck around Vernon with two quick back to back one timers from the point couldnt get traffic in front of Tyler Briggs who saw both shots. On the next play Mitch McAllister found Adam Tambellini going to the net who roofed his shot high and over Briggs at 19:43 making this a 3-2 game. McAllister with the lone helper on the goal. The Vipers would keep Smith on the bench but ran out of time couldnt get the play in deep before Man Anholt hit the empty cage with 0.4 seconds remaining for the 4-2 victory. Vernon looked very good in the first half played a much better period made the game interesting but couldnt pull out the win. The Vipers outshot the Warriors 15-10.
Top Players: (Vernon)
The Vipers 4th line of Logan Mick, Mitch McAllister (1 assist) & Michael Roberts was Vernon's best unit tonight. This buzzsaw line of rookies played with alot of spark, emotion and energy worked hard all night.
Aaron Hadley (1 goal) Stepped up his play in the 3rd going hard to the net, battling and competing.
Geoff Crisfield played one of his better games in a long time as the Vipers best defenceman. Crisfield played very well on the blueline.
Austin Smith (28 saves) Where would the Vipers be without Austin Smith this season. The 19 yr old goaltender has kept Vernon in alot of their games played well tonight. Smith made atleast two or three big saves in the 2nd and then made a huge save off Braxton Bilous's breakaway in the 3rd.
Game Thoughts: (Vernon)
With the loss and a Salmon Arm & Trail win tonight the Vipers drop to 6th place in the Interior Division falling two games below 500. Cowichan Valley & Langley are the only other two teams in the league below Vernon in the standings. The Vipers have now lost back to back games in this three game weekend. The Vipers have now lost six straight in West Kelowna. Vernon's last win at Royal Le Page Place was a 5-2 win back on Saturday,
September 24th 2011 It dosnt get any easier as Vernon has to travel back home to face off against the 2nd place Alberni Valley Bulldogs who will be out for revenge after a loss in Salmon Arm tonight. The Bulldogs lead the season series 1-0. These were three big games for the Vipers this week-weekend and not coming away with a win in the first two games is pretty dissapointing. Two big games vs Division opponents they needed both of these games to try and move up into 3rd or 4th spot. Tomorrow will be the midway mark of the regular season and the Vipers have just ten wins to show for it. The remainder of the season isnt going to get easier. This team needs to start stringing some wins together and fast. Andrew Tegeler made his Vipers debut tonight. The kid has some size but didnt stand out. I thought the Vipers played a very good third period but couldnt recover after the Warriors 2nd goal. The Vipers played with some urgency and drive but should have come ready to start the game like this. For the second straight night the Vipers with some turnovers as well as gave up way too many odd man rushes. I thought the Vipers should have got Austin Smith to the bench with about two minutes remaining, they were down by two goals not one. Getting the extra man with under a minute left didnt make any sence to me. If they could have got the extra attacker out earlier maybe scored a quick one and still have a minute or so to try and tie the game.
Top Players: (West Kelowna)
Seb Lloyd who picked up five goals in last weekends home & home series vs Vernon didnt record a point tonight but was dangerous and played very well tonight. Lloyd always involved in the scoring seems to always find open ice.
I liked the line of Ambrose Firkus (1 goal), Max French (2 assists) & Shawn Hochhausen (1 goal & 1 assist). This line was involved in the play alot, had some good chances and did alot of the Warriors scoring. Max French who returned to the Warriors lineup tonight played well, made some smart heads up plays, found guys open to create scoring chances.
Brent Lashuk played well up front for West Kelowna. had a few good chances.
Matt Anholt (1 goal & 1 assist) Played well vs Vernon. Seemed to get under the skin of several Vipers through out tonight's game.
Brett Zarazun played very well on the Warriors backend.
Braxton Bilous (1 goal) also played very well on the blueline. Really saw the ice well, made some smart heads up plays and jumped up into the play on several ocassions.
Game Thoughts: (West Kelowna)
The Warriors tie the season series 2-2 and pick up just their fourth win in thirteen games. I thought the Warriors were the better of the two teams for most of the game. West Kelowna moved the puck well but both teams with not alot of scoring chances through out the game. A few scrums took place in between whistles as both teams have played each other three times in the last week. The Warriors couldnt capitalize on Vernon's turnovers getting several odd man rushes only scoring twice. Give West Kelowna credit they allowed Vernon to tie the game early in the 3rd but didnt panic, they came back scoring twice before playing very well defensively for the remainder of the game.
TJ Dumonceaux (Injured)
Craig Martin (Injured)
Warriors Energy Player Of The Game:
Shawn Hochhausen (1 goal & 1 assist)
1st Star: Braxton Bilous (1 goal)
2nd Star: Aaron Hadley (1 goal)
3rd Star: Max French (2 assists)
For more on tonight's game visit the boxscore,
For more on the West Kelowna Warriors & tonight's game visit Jon Zack's West Kelowna Warriors Blog,