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 5-2 in front of 2,742 fans at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Vernon: Austin Smith
Penticton: Hunter Miska
1st Period: Off the opening faceoff Patrick Sexton dropped the gloves with Liam Coughlin to get this long time rivarly going off the drop off the puck. Some good action after the scrap as both teams went back and forth before the Vipers would get the games first good opportunity. Just two and a half minutes into the game Vernon on an odd man rush setup assistant captain Brendan Persley in the slot (who I thought was robbed by Hunter Miska) who stacked the pads. But the shot wasnt counted. On the next play the Vees come right back with a three on two rush before missing on the pass in the slot. Vernon needed four minutes to record their first shot on goal while Penticton needed six minutes for their first shot on net as Austin Smith was forced to make a quick glove save from a shot in close. The Vees would then get another quick shot and slowly begin to take over puck possession. Penticton would eventually carry the edge in play for the next three to four minutes, getting some pressure deep inside the Vipers zone before getting the games first powerplay. The Vipers with a very good penalty kill only gave up a single shot as Penticton couldnt capitalize with the man advantage. But just two minutes later Anthony Conti from a bad angle shot from the corner on the goal line beating Vipers starting goaltender Austin Smith low to the ice on a goal Smith and the Vipers would like to have back giving Penticton the 1-0 lead at 15:00 Max Coatta would collect the lone helper. Late in the period the Vipers would lose Brendan Persley after taking a elbow-check to the head inside the Vees blueline as Persley was very slow to get up going to the Vipers bench. Persley would sit the remainder of the period on the bench and would not return to tonight's game. The Vees would get their second powerplay of the night in the final seconds to finish the opening frame. After the buzzer Jason Williamson and the Vipers bench was really arguing and yelling at both referee's while heading off the ice. Penticton was up 1-0 after 20 minutes of play. Both teams looked good early going with some quick play going back and forth at both ends of the rink before the Vees slowly took over the edge in play and were the better of the two teams. The Vipers had troubles getting through the neutral zone and generating any offence most of the period. The Vees outshot the Vipers 9-3.
2nd Period: The Vees started the middle frame with the man advantage that was carried over from the first period. Austin Smith had to be sharp early after making a difficult save off the opening draw from the circle. Smith closed the fivehole just barely keeping the puck from getting through his pads. The Vees with some pressure rattled off four shots but couldnt find the back of the net as Vernon would kill off another penalty. After a big penalty kill the Vipers come back about four minutes later with a good chance. Chase McMurphy's quick low shot forced Vees starting goaltender Hunter Miska to react with a huge left pad-kick save keeping this a one goal game. On the next play Vernon would get it's first powerplay of the night. The Vipers would struggle after a very aggressive penalty kill by Penticton. Vernon was able to generate one good chance after Liam Coughlin was alone in the slot, received the pass but couldnt connect-handle the pass as the Vees would kill off the minor. Just as the penalty expired Anthony Conti setup former Trail Smoke Eater Brendan Lamont on a two on one, Lamont somehow missed a wide open cage on a great opportuntity to give the Vees a two goal lead. The wheels then fell off as Penticton would score three straight in less then two minutes. With a scramble in front of Austin Smith Cody DePourcq with a great second effort went head of heels on his way to beating Smith down low giving the Vees a 2-0 lead at 9:56 Brendan Lamont and Travis Blanleil collected the assists. Just fourty seconds later Jason Bird stopped the puck in front of Austin Smith before turning the puck over to captain Brad McClure who beat Smith in close giving Penticton a 3-0 lead at 10:36 Cody DePourcq and Travis Blanleil with the helpers. This was the end of the night for Austin Smith who gave up three goals on fifteen Vees shots was replaced by Danny Todosychuk. Less then a minute later Anthony Conti fed Max Coatta who went around Josh Bryan going in for the breakaway beating Todosychuk fivehole giving Penticton a 4-0 lead at 11:29 on Todosychuk's first shot of the night. Conti and Paul Stoykewwch with the assists. Jason Williamson would call a timeout to try and settle down his hockey club. The Vipers with several poor passes, turnovers and mistakes in their own end had troubles all night getting out of their own end and through the neutral zone. Just four minutes after the Vees fourth goal Danny Todosychuk stopped Cody DePourcq but couldnt stop former Westside Warrior Travis Blanleil on the rebound as Penticton went up 5-0 at 15:28 DePourcq with the only assist. Todosychuk with just two saves on four shots at this point. The Vipers would get their second powerplay of the period just over two minutes later but it wouldnt last long as Vernon would get called with too many men as both teams would finish the second period four on four. The Vees with a 5-0 lead after 40 minutes of play. It was all Penticton as the wheels fell off after the Vees with three quick goals in less then two minutes put the game away. Penticton took advantage of the Viper turnovers, poor passes and troubles getting out of their own end. The Vipers who struggled offensively all night looked sluggish in their own end made way too many mistakes giving up four goals in the period. Penticton outshot Vernon 13-10.
3rd Period: The Vees come at the Vipers hard to start the final frame. With a good strong attack early Penticton was all over Vernon in their own end. Brendan Lamont with a breakaway couldnt beat Danny Todosychuk who made a nice save early. The Vipers would finally get on the board after captain Ryan Renz setup Kenny Citron in the high slot who's low shot beat Hunter Miska cutting the lead to within four at 6:05 Renz and Matty Saharchuk with the assists. But back come the Vees on an odd man rush. Travis Blanleil went behind the goal setting up Brendan Lamont in the slot who was stopped by Todosychuk. Vernon's goal seemed to give Vernon some life as the Vipers slowly started to plug along and get their game going. Back come the Vipers just a minute or so later as Michael McNicholas setup Liam Coughlin on a two on one but Miska made the quick save. Now were the Vees taking their foot off the gas or was the Vipers finally getting their game going? It didnt matter at this point as the game was already in hand but give Vernon credit they didnt quit and carried the better of the play for most of the third. The Vipers with several flurries in and around Hunter Miska were forcing the Vees into several turnovers and having troubles clearing the zone. Just past the halfway mark Chase McMurphy would beat Miska in close low to the ice cutting the lead to within three at 13:10 Demico Hannoun and Matty Saharchuk picked up the helpers. In the final few minutes the fire alarm would sound going off for the remainder of the game. The Vipers would get a flurry of chances in the final three minutes after Ryan Renz's point shot was kicked out by Miska before Miska made another huge pad save off Josh Bryan's point shot. The Vipers buzzing had some good chances late but the game was already over at this point as Penticton would climb into first place in the Interior Division with the 5-2 victory. I thought the Vees got off to a good start but the Vipers would get their first of the night and played fairly well for the remainder of the period. The Vipers carried the edge in play and had the better scoring chances outplayed Penticton for most of the final frame. Vernon outshot Penticton 12-11.
Top Players: (Vernon)
Tyler Povelofskie showed alot of hustle and drive tonight. Played hard all night.
Matty Saharchuk (2 assists) Also showed some hustle and drive tonight. Was really skating working hard.
Game Thoughts: (Vernon)
For the first time this season I have to say this was by far the Vipers worst effort-performance of the season. For a team that has been playing so well as of late had won two straight and unbeaten in their last four games went into tonight's first place showdown didnt show up to play. The winner of tonight's game would claim top spot in the Interior Division as the Vipers dropped into a tie with Merritt for 2nd place. The Vipers didnt have their legs going most of the night, well until the third when the game was well by over at that point. The Vipers with several turnovers, defensive mistakes & poor passing struggled offensivly having all kinds of trouble getting through and across the nuetral zone. The Vipers with very few opportunities had trouble containing-slowing down Penticton's speed and skill all night. The Vipers with very little jump-energy made things very easy for the Vees. Until the 3rd period the Vipers made Hunter Miska's job look easy, very little traffic or bodies going to the net. You cant blame the goaltending but Jason Williamson said it best on the post game show, the Vipers needed a save at some key times tonight and didnt get them. Getting just three shots on goal in the opening period isnt going to win you hockey games and giving up three goals in less then two minutes in the second period was the final nail in the coffen. The Vipers just didnt bring their "A" game tonight need to re-group and come back with a much better effort-performance Friday night in Trail.
Top Players: (Penticton)
The Vees line of Cody DePourcq (1 goal & 2 assists), Brad McClure (1 goal) and Travis Blanleil (1 goal & 2 assists) were very good tonight. These three were very hard to stop-knock off the puck. This line was flying all night, very skilled-very creative generating several chances collecting seven points between the three.
Alex Coulombe played a very strong game on Penticton's blueline. Very steady all game.
Max Coatta (1 goal & 1 assist) Also was very good for the Vees. Very shifty, creates and generates chances. Very quick down low.
The line of Anthony Conti (1 goal & 1 assist), Brendan Lamont (1 assist) and Riley Alfred was also very good for the Vees. Conti a bigger kid is very strong on the puck, sees the ice well and hard to knock off the puck. Lamont who was recently aquired from the Trail Smoke Eaters played very well getting a few good chances tonight. Alfred is quick, moves the puck well and can get in and out of tight spaces in a hurry.
Patrick Sexton played very well on the Vees backend.
Game Thoughts: (Penticton)
The Penticton Vees move into sole possesion of first place one point up on Merritt and Vernon played very well tonight jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the 2nd period before taking their foot off the gas in the third. The Vees who were really skating, were moving the puck well, made very few mistakes until the 3rd played aggressive and didnt give the Vipers alot of time or space. The Vees very good on the draw blocked alot of shots (in the 1st and 2nd periods) made things difficult for Vernon to get out of their own end with a strong forecheck forcing the Vipers into several turnovers-mistakes. Hunter Miska had a fairly easy night but did come up with a few big saves in the 3rd. The Vees took advantage of the Viper turnovers-mistakes capitalizing on their chances making Vernon pay. Penticton has won back to back games over the Vipers lead the season series 2-1.
Mason Blacklock (Injured)
Energy player of the game:
Anthony Conti (1 goal)
1st Star: Cody DePourcq (1 goal & 2 assists)
2nd Star: Travis Blanleil (1 goal & 2 assists)
3rd Star: Max Coatta (1 goal & 1 assist)
For more on tonight's game visit the BCHL boxscore,
For more on tonight's game and the Penticton Vees visit Fraser Rodgers Penticton Vees blog,