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 Vipers-Capitals game as Vernon defeated Cowichan 2-1 in front of 1,555 fans at Kal Tire Place.
Vernon: Jarrod Schamerhorn
Cowichan: Matthew Zentner
1st Period: The Vipers got off to a quick start, had a ton of pressure in the Capitals zone. Vernon controlled the game early had Cowichan back on their heels but couldnt generate any real scoring chances or get pucks to the net. The Vipers were buzzing in the Caps zone for the first three and a half minutes before Cowichan settled down. It took the Capitals almost five minutes to get the first shot of the game before Vernon would open the scoring early. Anthony Latina went hard to the net created a scoring chance was stopped by Matthew Zentner who made a nice pad save in close but couldnt stop Latina on the rebound as the Vipers were up 1-0 at 5:52 Trevor Fidler and Johnny Coughlin picked up the helpers. Both teams seemed to settle down and looked to be evenly matched. Not alot of scoring opportunities at either ends of the rink as the play was even for most of the period. The Vipers would get the only powerplay of the period just past the midway mark but couldnt muster much with the man advantage as the Caps killed off the minor. With just under six minutes remaining Skylar Pacheco with Cowichan's first scoring opportunity ripped a high shot from the goal line that forced Jarrod Schamerhorn into making a tough but big save keeping the Capitals off the board. With the shots even at six each the Vipers generated a few good chances in the final minute. Captain Riley Guenther with a quick low shot from the point forced Zentner to make a quick pad save before Jagger Williamson setup Liam Coughlin on a two on one but Coughlin couldnt get enough of a shot off on a missed opportunity. Vernon with some late pressure were up 1-0 after 20 minutes of play. I really liked the Vipers start, really used their speed early jumped on the Caps with some good pressure couldnt generate any real scoring plays looked good in the opening few minutes. Give Cowichan credit they battled back, got their legs going and stayed with Vernon most of the period. A very evenly matched period with very few scoring opportunities. The Vipers outshot the Capitals 9-6.
2nd Period: Thomas Aldworth on a wrap around couldnt beat Capitals starting goaltender Matthew Zentner in the opening minute. Just 1:20 into the middle frame Cowichan would get their first look with the man advantage. The Caps moving the puck well had some good pressure early. Jesse Neher with a great look from the high slot couldnt beat Vipers starting goaltender Jarrod Schamerhorn who made a big save. The Vipers would eventually kill off the penalty. Schamerhorn had to be on his game this evening as the Capitals got off to a strong start were firing everything towards the net. Schamerhorn who suffered the loss in Merritt last night was very solid in the 2nd period. The Caps went right back to the PP and again put pressure on Vernon's penalty kill. Schamerhorn was very good between the pipes made several big saves with traffic going hard to the net was keeping Vernon in the game early. Cowichan's powerplay couldnt capitalize as Vernon killed off another penalty. The Vipers with just one shot in the first ten minutes had troubles getting their legs going played most of the firsthalf in their own end. Anthony Latina tried setting up Mackenzie Bauer on a Vernon two on one but Bauer couldnt hit the net on a missed opportunity. The Vipers had troubles getting any kind of an attack going in the period. Ryley Booth coughed up the puck on a blind pass allowed Cowichan's leading scorer Brayden Gelsinger to move in for the breakaway was stopped by Jarrod Schamerhorn who made a huge save keeping this a one goal game. With the Caps getting a penalty Vernon would keep the play alive, before Cowichan could touch the puck, Riley Brandt setup Branden Wagner in front who beat Zentner putting Vernon up 2-0 at 14:44 Brandt & Blaine Caton with the assists. This goal seemed to give the Vipers some life and a little spark as Vernon seemed to respond after the goal and looked much better in the final minutes. In the final minute of play all heck broke loose after a melay broke out deep in the Capitals zone as everyone on the ice minus the two goaltenders were involved. Lots of pushing and shoving, punches thrown before Thomas Aldworth dropped the gloves with Thomas Goleil, in the meantime Linden Hora went at it with big #27 Charlie Pelnik. After the scrum and fights were broken up Hora, Aldworth, Pelnik and Goleil were all give five minute majors for fighting and tossed from the game. At the buzzer Julien Lepage tried chasing Liam Coughlin down before chirpping at the Vernon Vipers bench on his way off the ice. It was 2-0 Vernon after 40 minutes of play. I thought Cowichan played a much better period got off to a quick start and carried most of the play. The Caps were all over the Vipers in the first half firing everything towards Jarrod Schamerhorn who was solid between the pipes made some big saves keeping the Vipers in this hockey game. Cowichan really needed a goal or a break this period to get within a goal. Alot of good chances couldnt find the back of the net. The Vipers with just one shot in the first ten minutes. A late goal by Vernon seemed to get the Vipers back on track in a period where the Caps had lots of great chances but couldnt beat the Vipers goaltender. Cowichan outshot Vernon 17-13.
3rd Period: Johnny Coughlin made a bad pinch early allowing Brayden Gelsinger to break in on a Capitals odd man rush, but the Caps leading scorer missed the net. Vernon with a pretty solid shut down third period didnt give Cowichan much time or space played a very basic final frame getting the puck in deep, come at the Caps with a good hard forecheck were able to kill alot of time off the clock. The Capitals would get an early powerplay but again couldnt capitalize as Vernon was able to kill off the minor. Jarrod Schamerhorn and the Vipers got a little lucky on the penalty kill after a long dump in took a funny bounce off the end boards come right back out front of the Viper goal where Schamerhorn come close to having the puck bounce off him and into the open netting. The Vernon goaltender had to be alert and was quickly able to clear the puck off to a defenceman and out of harms way. The Vipers did a great job at shutting down Cowichan's offence limiting the Caps to very little scoring chances. Vernon with a few nice plays inside the Cowichan zone had troubles hitting the net. With just over eight minutes remaining Blaine Caton setup Liam Coughlin on a two on one, Coughlin was snakebitten couldnt put Vernon up by three after a nice save by Matthew Zentner. On the next play Coughlin would get two more cracks at a shot for his first of the night but the second year Viper couldnt solve the Capitals goaltender. The Vipers really worked hard, looked strong on the forecheck keeping the Capitals hemmned in their own end. Not alot of scoring chances at either ends of the rink in a quick paced period. With time winding down Cowichan would call a late timeout before getting Zentner to the bench for the extra attacker with 1:13 to go. Brayden Gelsinger would win a faceoff deep in Vernon teritory, Captain Kyle Horsman spotted a wide open Jesse Neher in front who broke Jarrod Schamerhorn's shutout getting the Caps on the board at 18:47 Horsman & Gelsinger collected the assists. Vernon would call a timeout before the Caps would get Matthew Zentner to the bench for a second time with fifty one seconds remaining. Cowichan would get the puck in deep. Veteran forward TJ Dumonceaux with two huge faceoff wins helped the Vipers get control of the puck before the Vernon defence was able to hold off the Capitals in the dying seconds to snap a three game losing skid with the 2-1 win. A bit of a scrum formed at the buzzer as words were exchanged before the referee was forced to break the two teams up. Give credit to the Vipers for playing a shutdown period limiting the Capitals to just a few good looks at the net. Both teams didnt get alot of scoring chances in the final frame. Cowichan didnt quit made for a great finish couldnt force overtime. Vernon outshot Cowichan 16-12.
Top Players: (Vernon)
Mitchell Oliver I thought was one of Vernon's better d-men tonight. Made that first pass to clear the zone was good at both ends of the rink.
Liam Coughlin I thought played very well. Coughlin couldnt buy a goal had several chances really played hard come up with some good looks just couldnt find the back of the net.
Anthony Latina (1 goal) Played with alot of jump and energy was really skating and playing hard all night. Latina has really impressed me early in the young season.
TJ Dumonceaux was another kid who played hard all night. Was big on the draw, especially in the final seconds. The third year Viper was skating hard, really battled and competed in just his second game of the season.
Mackenzie Bauer I thought played very well, another kid who played hard and looked to have some chemistry tonight.
Riley Brandt (1 assist) Not the biggest kid but plays big each and every game. This kid amazes me every game, loves to play physical, dosnt back down from the rough stuff, gives it his all each and every shift. A real buzzsaw for the Vipers had a strong game up front.
Jarrod Schamerhorn (34 saves) After giving up eleven goals in his last two games (both losses) the second year veteran goaltender played his best game as a Viper this season. The former Merritt Centennials goaltender was on his game from the start, looked confident, was very good down low, seemed to see or find all loose pucks kept the Vipers in the game, especially in the 2nd period when it was all Capitals early. A huge rebound game and win for Schamerhorn.
Game Thought's: (Vernon)
I know its early but tonight was almost or close to a must win for the Vernon Vipers. After a three game losing streak this was a big game and big win beating a last place team in Cowichan that has just one win on the season. Vernon is now 2-0 vs the Caps this season rebounded well after last night's 4-0 loss in Merritt. This wasnt one of the more exciting games this season but the first win on home ice. I thought the Vipers played well and worked hard all night. Getting the games first goal was huge as well as getting solid goaltending really helped. So far the Vipers have had troubles putting the puck in the net this season, missing the net or missing some good opportunities. I thought the Vipers penalty kill was pretty good and the team settled down on taking penalties. Vernon's defence played fairly well limited Cowichan's scoring chances in the first and third periods. The battle of two of the league's bottom teams played hard in a hard fought game. This was a big game for both teams who were in big need of a win.
Top Players: (Cowichan)
The Caps top unit of Brayden Gelsinger (1 assist), Kyle Horsman (1 assist) & Jesse Neher (1 goal) was Cowichan's most productive & dangerous line tonight. This line worked and played hard all game. Cowichan's leading scorer Gelsinger created some chances was going hard to the net all night, Horsman with his big body was hard to knock off the puck and contain. While Neher had some opportunities got one late to make a interesting finish.
Julien Lepage I thought was the Capitals best defenceman. A good skater, moved the puck well, got pucks to the net was involved in the play from the point.
Matthew Zentner (36 saves) Played well between the pipes for the Cowichan Capitals. Zentner made a few big stops gave his team a chance to win.
Game Thought's: (Cowichan)
The Capitals sure didnt play like a team last in the Island Division. With just one win heading into tonight's contest Cowichan gave Vernon a good run made for a real tight checking, hard working game from both sides. I was pretty impressed with the Caps defence, did a great job at clearing the front of the net, kept the Vipers to the outside made life a little more easier for goaltender Matthew Zentner who saw most of his shots. Cowichan who has some bigger bodies works and competes hard just couldnt seem to solve Jarrod Schamerhorn until the final minute and a half. I didnt think the Caps had alot of scoring chances, well other then the 2nd period, but didnt generate much offence in periods one and three. I really liked the Capitals game in the 2nd period, this was there best period out of the three. Generated alot of good quality chances just couldnt beat Jarrod Schamerhorn. The Caps needed a good this period to try and get within a goal. A pretty spirited game for two teams that play in different Divisions and only meeting for a second time this season. Cowichan who lost in Trail last night didnt get off to a good start, I thought responded well with a much better finish to the opening period. A bounce here or there and this could have been anyone's game.
Luke Shiplo (Injured)
Energy player of the game:
1st Star: Branden Wagner (1 goal)
2nd Star: Jarrod Schamerhorn (34 saves)
3rd Star: Jesse Neher (1 goal)
Jeff Sargeant's Cowichan Capitals Blog,