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 tied West Kelowna 2-2 in front of 1,830 fans at Kal Tire Place.
Vernon: Austin Smith
West Kelowna: Andy Desautels
1st Period: Both teams looked good early going back and forth before Vernon would open the scoring. Colton Sparrow setup Demico Hannoun who scored a highlight reel goal giving the Vipers a 1-0 lead at 4:27 Sparrow and Chase McMurphy collected the assists. The Warriors come right back with a good push on the next shift after Ambrose Firkus was stopped in close after Austin Smith was forced to make a glove hand save having trouble holdind onto the puck Smith had to recover quickly puncing on the loose puck as traffic was driving hard to the net. West Kelowna slowly took over the edge in play and carried the better of the play for most of the period. The Warriors rattled off four shots after some good pressure deep in the Vipers zone. Vernon would get the games first powerplay but struggle as the Warriors with a good penalty kill would kill off the minor. With eight minutes left in the opening frame Colton Sparrow dropped back to Chase McMurphy who was alone at the circle was robbed by Andy Desautels who come out to challenge making a huge save. Back come the Warriors with a strong forecheck West Kelowna forced the Vipers defence into several turnovers as West Kelowna was all over the Vipers. Riley Guenther with a turnover deep in his own end caused some havoc as the Vipers were scrambling in their own end as the Warriors with lots of pressure got a quick shot off from in close, Smith made the save before the puck was laying in the crease before the Vipers were able to clear the zone. Vernon would get its second powerplay of the night late but once again struggle as West Kelowna would kill off the penalty. The Vipers would lose Colton Sparrow late after taking a ten minute misconduct. Vernon with a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play. The Vipers scored early to open the scoring but I thought West Kelowna carried the better of the play and outplayed the Vipers for most of the period. The Vipers with several turnovers or mental mistakes in their own end were lucky the Warriors didnt capitalize. West Kelowna outshot Vernon 13-11.
2nd Period: The Warriors come at the Vipers strong, once again a good hard strong forecheck early as West Kelowna got off to a quick start couldnt get anything going before the Vipers come right back with a hard working shift of their own. Liam Coughlin strong with the puck down low fought off a few Warriors before setting up Dexter Dancs in the high slot who went upstairs on Warriors starting goaltender Andy Desautels giving Vernon a 2-0 lead at 1:27 Coughlin with the lone helper. But back come the Warriors less then two minutes later. Jason Cotton setup Adam Osczevski for his first career BCHL goal getting West Kelowna on the board at 2:54 Cotton and Carl Hesler picked up the assists. Off the next shift Seb Lloyd left all alone in front somehow missed the net on a great opportunity to tie the game. The Warriors would get their first man advantage of the night but a strong penalty kill by the Vipers would kill off the minor. West Kelowna with all kinds of jump and energy once again carried the edge in play and were the better of the two hockey clubs. David Pope who played very well with a great chance beat Smith but hit the post as once again West Kelowna come close to tying the game. Just past the halfway mark the Warriors with a great chance to tie the game on a nice two way passing play setup Ryan Ivey whos quick shot was robbed by Vipers starting goaltender Austin Smith who made his biggest save at this point on the Warriors first shot of the period. This was odd because they didnt credit West Kelowna with their shot on their goal and a shot on an earlier powerplay. The Vipers outplayed in the first half would bounce back with a few hard working shifts to start the second half. Vernon with some good pressure looked good for a few minutes. Jason Bird's shot from the circle was redirected by Tyler Povolofskie in front as the puck just missed the far corner. Late in the period the Vipers would get their third powerplay of the game. Jason Bird's hard slapshot from the point was robbed by Desautels who made a huge glove save keeping this game tied. The powerplay wouldnt last too long before Vernon would take a penalty as both teams played a little four on four before the Warriors would get a late shortened powerplay. David Pope once again beat Austin Smith but for the second time tonight hit the post as the Vipers would get lucky and eventually kill off the minor. The Vipers were up 2-1 after 40 minutes of play. Vernon would score early to grab a 2-0 lead but the Warriors come right back cutting the lead to within one. West Kelowna for the second straight period carried the better of the play and were the better of the two teams. The Vipers did tighten up defensively and didnt cause as many turnovers-mistakes as the opening period. West Kelowna outshot Vernon 13-11.
3rd Period: Both teams were fairly evenly matched in the first few minutes before the Warriors slowly took over a slight edge in play before Vernon would get their fourth powerplay of the night. On the man advantage Riley Guenther lost the battle along the side wall to Carl Hesler who got around the Vernon defenceman before going around a second Viper player before going in alone for the breakaway went upstairs on Austin Smith tying the game 2-2 shorthanded at 6:24 after a great indivdual effort. Brett Mennear with the assist. The Vipers would once again strugle with the man advantage as West Kelowna would kill off the minor. The Vipers who looked sluggish and tired most of the night were basically just playing dump and chase at times before going on the penalty kill. West Kelowna with a great chance to take their first lead of the night couldnt capitalize after Vernon would kill off the penalty. For a third straight period West Kelowna carried the better of the play but with very limited scoring opportunities didnt generate alot of offence. The Vipers with very little offence had just two shots in the first twelve minutes. With just under three minutes remaining a quick shot would miss the goal hitting the end glass coming back out front over top of Austin Smith, the Warriors would get a shot off and just miss the far corner on a close call. The Vipers would come right back and get their best chances of the night in the final two minutes. Andy Desautels who wasnt tested much through a full three periods was forced to make atleast three or four big saves in the final two minutes. Desautels shut the fivehole making a big save off Dexter Dancs, robed Michael McNicholas coming across the crease to make a big glove save and then made a huge glove save off Jason Bird as the Vipers come very close to ending the game in the final few minutes. It was tied 2-2 after 60 minutes of play. West Kelowna carried the better of the play, worked hard and was rewarded tying the game shorthanded were the better team for most of the game. Shots were even 8-8.
Overtime: Ryan Renz went into the boards hard in the opening minute and wouldnt return going to the Vipers dressing room. The Warriors carried the play had a great chance to end the game after Carl Hesler was left alone come around the net was stopped by Austin Smith before getting his own rebound stopped again on the second opportunity. The Vipers with the best chance to win it, Jason Bird held up onside before setting up Michael McNicholas who was robbed by Andy Desautels. It was still tied 2-2 after 65 minutes of play. West Kelowna outshot Vernon 6-2.
Double Overtime: A wild finish to tonight's game as the Vipers had the better of the chances in the second overtime. None better then Colton Sparrow and Jason Bird on a two on one but Andy Desautels come across to make a huge game saver keeping the game tied. The Vipers with atleast three good chances couldnt beat the Warriors netminder. Demico Hannoun who only saw two shifts in overtime just about scored the game winner in the final seconds as the game would end in a 2-2 tie. West Kelowna outshot Vernon 6-4.
Top Players: (Vernon)
Michael Statchuk was one of Vernon's better forwards. Statchuk playing up front tonight was one of the Vipers better players. Played with lots of jump and energy played very well at both ends of the rink was very strong for the Vipers.
Jared Wilson I thought played a solid game on the Vipers backend. Wilson made several big defensive plays all night was very hard to beat on the blueline.
Demico Hannoun (1 goal) Was by far the Vipers best player tonight. Hannoun with several highlight reel plays was very good for the Vipers. This kid can skate, handle the puck, reads and sees the ice very well and has some amazing hands, especially when in tight.
Jason Bird played a strong game for the Vipers. I thought was involved in the play, jumped up into the play as well as made some good decissions with and without the puck. Had a few good scoring chances also created-setup a few good opportunities.
Colton Sparrow (1 assist) Who has really stepped up his play as of late played very well up front for Vernon. Has been really playing with alot of hustle, showing alot of hard work and making things happen. Created and generated a few chances tonight.
Austin Smith (44 saves) Was very solid between the pipes for the Vipers. made several big saves played his position very well kept the Vipers in the game for most of the night.
Game Thoughts: (Vernon)
After a big 4-1 win in Trail last night and the long bus ride there and home took a factor-toll on the Vipers tonight. With the long bus ride home-getting home early this morning Vernon didnt have much jump-energy in their game this evening and it showed through out the contest. The Vipers looked sluggish-tired through out tonight's game. Several turnovers-mental mistakes in the opening period but tightened up as the game went on ran out of gas late in the game. The Vipers with good starts to the first and second periods opened the scoring in both periods couldnt hold onto a two goal lead getting a single point instead of two. The Vipers struggled with the man advantage and I thought capitalizing on one of their early powerplays could have made a difference. Up 2-0 Vernon with two powerplays didnt capitalize. A powerplay goal or even two and its a totally different score and game at that point. I thought Vernon was outplayed most of the night, the Vipers didnt generate alot of offence, except in the final minutes of the third and into overtime where they had their best opportunities of the game. I thought Vernon had the better of the chances in the overtime periods. Give Vernon credit they battled hard and did a good job at keeping the Warriors to the outside, limiting their chances.
Top Players: (West Kelowna)
Ben Tegtmeyer played a good game on the Warriors blueline. Was very steady all night.
Riley Ivey was very solid on the Warriors blueline. Made atleast two big shot blocks was involved in the play playing very well.
Adam Plant also very solid on West Kelowna's backend. Also had atleast one or two shot blocks was very good.
David Pope was dangerous with and without the puck. Hit the post twice tonight was very good up front for the Warriors. Very quick and good with the puck.
Carl Hesler (1 goal & 1 assist) Played a strong game. Very quick, creates and generates chances played with alot of jump.
Jason Cotton (1 assist) Was very good in the first two periods but I didnt notice him get a shift in the third or either of the two overtimes. Looked very good in periods one and two, was very hard to knock off the puck, has some nice hands and sees the ice well.
Ambrose Firkus was trying to get under the skin of several Vernon players tonight, was being his pesky self once again played a strong game up front for West Kelowna. Firkus who seems to give the Vipers some trouble saw alot of icetime, and was very good late in the game as well into overtime.
Andy Desautels (34 saves) Wasnt tested much through the first three periods but was called apon in the final two minutes making some huge saves and then keeping his team in the game in overtime making the biggest saves of the night in both overtimes. A bigger goaltender covers alot of the net is quick on his feet dosnt give up alot of rebounds, moves side to side quickly playing his position very well. Has played well vs Vernon this season.
Game Thoughts: (West Kelowna)
Right off the opening faceoff I thought the Warriors had lots of jump and played with alot of energy. After outshooting but losing to Chilliwack last night you knew the Warriors would be hungry to get back on the winning track. I thought West Kelowna was the better of the two teams most of the night, the Warriors carried the edge in play and held Vernon in their own end most of the night. West Kelowna just like Vernon didnt generate alot of chances but did comeback from two goals to earn a point. The Warriors have speed and skill and it showed tonight, they move the puck well, get in and out of their zone in a hurry. Even though trailing you could sence the Warriors would eventually get the game tying goal and maybe even the game winner on some close plays. Both teams played well on the penalty kill but struggled on the man advantage. The Warriors with several blocked shots on the penalty kill. If your a Vipers fan it wasnt that exciting of a game until the final few minutes of the third and both overtime periods that really opened up the play with some great opportunities at both ends of the rink. The Warriors with just their second win in Vernon in their last twelve visits.
Mason Blacklock (Injured)
Assistant Coach -David Robinson
Energy player of the game:
1st Star: Austin Smith (44 saves)
2nd Star: Andy Desautels (34 saves)
3rd Star: Carl Hesler (1 goal & 1 assist)
For more on tonight's game visit the BCHL boxscore,
For more on tonight's game and the West Kelowna Warriors, visit Jon Zacks Warriors blog,