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-Centennials game as Vernon defeated Merritt 4-2 in front of 2,075 fans at Kal Tire Place.
Vernon: Jarrod Schamerhorn
Merritt: Anthony Pupplo
1st Period: The Vipers come out with a hard working forecheck off the opening faceoff, had the Cents hemmed in their own end. Moving the puck around down low the Vipers setup Blaine Caton in front about a minute and a half into the game but couldnt beat Anthony Pupplo on a good scoring chance early for Vernon. The Centennials would open the scoring fairly early off a Viper turnover deep in the defensive zone. Merritt's leading scorer John Schiavo beat Jarrod Schamerhorn fivehole from the slot put the Cents up 1-0 at 5:52 Schiavo's goal was unassisted on a goal I think Schamerhorn would like back. Less then two minutes later Tyler Chavez Leech making his Viper debut tonight come very close to tying the game but hit the post. On the next shift Vernon would get the games first powerplay. The Vipers struggled with the man advantage couldnt tie the game as Merritt killed off the minor. With just over eight minutes remaining the Vipers come close to tying the game again. A Vernon shot hit someone on it's way to the net as the puck was loose in the crease before a mad scramble the Vipers were unable to catch Anthony Pupplo out of position as the Centennials caught a break clearing the puck from harms way. Vernon carried the better of the play, didnt get alot of scoring chances had the flow in play. The Cents did get a few hard working shifts in the offensive zone didnt generate much offence in the opening period. The Vipers would get their second powerplay of the evening that only lasted a minute long before Vernon would get called for their first penalty. Both teams played four on four before Merritt would get a late powerplay, their first of the game. With seconds remaining on the man advantage John Schiavo was stopped by Jarrod Schamerhorn before James Neil jumped on the rebound giving the Centennials a 2-0 lead at 17:47 Schiavo & Gavin Gould collected the helpers. It was 2-0 Merritt after 20 minutes of play. I thought the Vipers carried the better of the play but were down two goals. Vernon didnt get alot of scoring chances had good sustained pressure on the Cents defence. Merritt didnt see alot of action in the Vipers zone, capitalized on their chances. The Cents with very few if any scoring chances other then the two goals. Vernon with a good opening period played very well. The Vipers outshot the Centennials 13-9.
2nd Period: The Cents with a hard working shift got off to a good start. Merritt with a strong opening few minutes put all kinds of pressure on the Vipers getting lots of pucks to the net early. Centennials captain Sam Johnson with a quick shot from the point forced Vipers starting goaltender Jarrod Schamerhorn to make a quick glove save keeping this a two goal game. Vernon would get on the board in the opening minutes getting within a goal after some hard work by Thomas Aldworth. Aldworth was able to hold onto the puck and fight off a Merritt defender on the way to the net on a parcial breakaway before beating Centennials Starting goaltender Anthony Pupplo at 4:33 Blaine Caton with the assist. Just less then a minute later Vernon would get their third powerplay. Johnn Coughlin with a shot from the point couldnt beat the quick glove of Pupplo. Coughlin would later get another opportunity couldnt beat the Merritt goaltender with a backhand in close as the Cents would kill off the minor. The Centennials carried the play early and often as it was all Merritt in the second frame. Diego Cuglietta & Michael Ederer went in on a odd man rush, Cuglietta couldnt get past Luke Shiplo who made a nice defensive play to break up the Cents rush. Jarrod Schamerhorn looked to be fighting the puck early got into a grove as the game went on and was very good in the 2nd period. The Viper goaltender made several key saves in the second period keeping Vernon in the contest. Brandon Duhaime was stopped twice by Schamerhorn. The Vipers having all kinds of troubles coming out of their own end looked very sluggish in a very scrambled period. Vernon had troubles passing, breaking out looked very disorganized. The Centennials on the other hand were playing with alot of jump, forcing the Vipers into turnovers, coughing up the puck and making mistakes. The Cents who were really skating hard, were forcing the issue this period with a good push. Liam Coughlin alone in the slot looked to take an extra stride instead of shooting managed to get off a shot from the slot was stopped by Pupplo. The Vipers would get three straight powerplays to finish the period and struggled. Vernon's offence just couldnt get anything going this period, were unable to get a single shot on one PP. The Centennials were able to kill off the first two and with a minute left Jagger Williamson had a great chance to tie the game somehow couldnt hit the open net on a wrap around. The Vipers would get a late powerplay in the final minute and capitalize with seconds to go. Blaine Caton with his first career BCHL goal on a goal mouth scramble tied the game at two at 19:51 Liam Coughlin with the assist. It was tied 2-2 after 40 minutes of play. Merritt come out hard and played very well getting several good opportunities. The Cents with a real aggresive forecheck were strong on the puck, won most of the battles and forced Vernon into several turnovers-coughing up the puck. Jarrod Schamerhorn was very good between the pipes for the Vipers keeping his club in the game. Vernon looked sluggish, didnt seem to have any jump, looked slow, wernt skating, couldnt breakout of their own end and had all kinds of troubles with the puck. The Vipers were very lucky Merritt was up by two or three goals. Merritt outshot Vernon 14-12.
3rd Period: The Vipers come very close to taking their first lead of the night. Trevor Fidler somehow missed a wide open cage thirty something seconds into the period on a missed opportunity. Merritt would get an early powerplay but it was the Vipers who looked dangerous. Anthony Latina setup Trevor Fidler on a two on one gave Vernon a 3-2 lead at 7:42 Latina & Luke Shiplo collected the helpers. With the Cents still on the PP Thomas Aldworth setup Liam Coughlin shorthanded who missed an open net on a tap in as the puck just went wide of the goal as the crowd was now into the game and buzzing. The Vipers with a very strong penalty kill would kill off the penalty. Just as the penalty expired Thomas Aldworth come down the left wing beat Anthony Pupplo but rang his shot off the crossbar. Vernon starting to come on gained a ton of momentum after grabbing the lead with a shorthanded goal were really buzzing at this point. The Vipers now skating hard, were playing with a ton of jump and energy. Riley Brandt who is appealing his suspension was in the lineup this evening went hard into the end boards after losing an edge had a heck of a period. Schamerhorn made a nice save off Gavin Gould as the Vipers were carrying the better of the play. With just over six minutes to go Devin Oakes looked to have Jarrod Schamerhorn beat but somehow missed the top corner of the open net on a great opportunity by Merritt. On the following shift Vernon would get a late powerplay but unable to put the game away. With just over three minutes remaining Michael Ederer looked to have tied the game but again the Centennials missed a wide open net as the Vipers caught a huge break. Merritt come on strong late and in the final minutes poured on the pressure had the Vipers hemmed in their own zone couldnt get any quality opportunities but had the Vernon defence in a bit of panic. The Centennials would get Anthony Pupplo to the bench for the extra attacker before Liam Coughlin cleared the zone, a huge effort by Thomas Aldworth won the race for the loose puck tuck the puck in and around into the back of the open cage giving Vernon a 4-2 lead at 19:26 sealing the victory for Vernon. At the buzzer both teams started pushing and shoving before the scrum was broken up as Vernon knocked off Merritt 4-2. The Vipers with a huge rebound period, responded well after a not so good 2nd period. Vernon with lots of good chances scored twice for the come from behind win. Vernon was really skating, looked to have a ton of more energy in the 3rd looked very good. I thought the Vipers had the better of the play and the better scoring opportunities. Merritt played hard just didnt have alot of time with the puck. The Cents with two open nets late missed two good opportunities to tie the game. The Centennials with a ton of pressure in the final minutes had the Vipers back on their heels couldnt hit the net but come close on a few plays. Vernon outshot Merritt 12-11.
Top Players: (Vernon)
Mitch Meek I thought had a very strong game on the Vipers blueline. Meek played very well at both ends of the rink.
The Vipers #1 line of Liam Coughlin (2 assists), Thomas Aldworth (2 goals) & Blaine Caton (1 goal) was Vernon's best line. How many chances does Liam Coughlin have to get before this kid can find the back of the net. Coughlin with several good chances has had troubles finding the back of the net early in the season. Picked up two assists played very well. I thought Blaine Caton played his best game of the season, in a game where he really stood out. Caton whos dad played goal for the Vernon Lakers was very strong up front, competed, battled hard for the puck and was always in and around the net. Scoring his first career BCHL goal was very impressive. Thomas Aldworth also looked very good on this line. Aldworth is by far the Vipers best player and it showed again tonight, this kid is super strong with and without the puck, a strong skater, is very hard to knock off the puck and hard to contain. Aldworth is very exciting to watch.
Luke Shiplo (1 assist) I thought played very well on the backend. Made a strong defensive play in the 2nd period to break up a Centennials odd man rush.
Luke Voltin didnt stand out much in the opening period but got better as the game went on. I thought Voltin played very well as the game went on.
Riley Brandt was another kid who didnt stand out much in the 1st period had a very strong third. Brandt didnt stop working-skating played with a ton of energy and jump. This kid is fearless, never backs down, added alot of energy to the Vipers lineup.
Johnny Coughlin I thought had a good game. Come up with a few scoring chances of his own couldnt get his first goal of the season.
Jarrod Schamerhorn (37 saves) Picks up his first win vs his former team. I thought Schamerhorn was fighting the puck, didnt look comfortable in the 1st period and early in the 2nd but as the game went on the Vipers goaltender got better and kept the Vipers in the game in the middle frame. Making several key saves in the 2nd period Schamerhorn was very solid. May have gotten a little luck here and there but played well.
Game Thought's: (Vernon)
I thought Vernon played very well for fourty minutes in a hard fought come from behind win. The Vipers without Ryley Booth, Danny Todosychuk and Mark Ferner have now won five of their last six games and playing very well as of late. I thought the Vipers looked very good in the opening period were down 2-0 but deserved a better fate. Vernon carried the better of the play for most of the 1st and 3rd periods. I thought Vernon struggled breaking out of their own end, turned over the puck on several occasions, had troubles in their own end most of the night. The Vipers passing and breakout didnt look good, seemed like everyone was bunching up together all at once causing turnovers-coughing up the puck. The Vipers were very lucky they werent down a few goals after the 2nd period, but got lucky scored the only two goals of the period to be tied heading into the 3rd. Again the Vipers dont seem to have the finish around the net, missing on some great opportunities tonight. I really liked the responce from Vernon after a lack luster performance in the 2nd period. The Vipers come to play in the third, come with a ton of energy really skated hard generated lots of scoring chances could have put this game away earlier. I really like Vernon's aggresive play on the penalty kill, the Vipers are very dangerous shorthanded. The Vipers really need some work on the PP, going 1-6 could have easily put this game away earlier. With the win the Vipers climb into 2nd Place one point up on Trail, Merritt & Salmon Arm. This was a huge come from behind win wich always builds confidence.
Top Players: (Merritt)
Diego Cuglietta had a strong game up front for the Centennials. Played with alot of jump/energy was always involved in the play. A quick skater moves the puck well, really sees the ice, created and generated some opportunities.
John Schiavo (1 goal & 1 assist) Was another Merritt player who looked good. The Cents leading scorer always seemed to be in and around the net fighting-looking for loose pucks.
Sam Johnson Played very well for the Centennials. Another player involved in the play, had a few scoring chances.
Brandon Duhaime I thought was Merritt's best player tonight, had some good chances was really skating, is good with the puck makes things happen in a hurry.
Josh Teves I thought played well on the backend.
Anthony Pupplo (29 saves) Gave his team a chance to win, was steady between the pipes. Also may have got a little lucky on one or two plays but played well.
Game Thought's: (Merritt)
The Cents two game winning streak was snapped after a 4-2 loss tonight. Luke Pierce wont be happy after blowing a two goal lead in a pretty exciting-entertaining hockey game. Both teams made mistakes, missed open nets in a game that could have easily gone the other way with Merritt coming away with the victory. The Centennials are a very quick puck moving team, this team never quits skating, has a good strong forecheck, really gets on top of you, dont give you alot of time & space. Merritt plays a in your face style of game, won alot of the battles down low especially in the 2nd period really limiting your chances by getting a stick in the way or a body to break up alot of scoring opportunities. If Merritt gets a goal early in the middle fram this may be a different hockey game, up three goals and Im not sure if Vernon can rally for the comeback. The Centennials needed a goal or two in that 2nd period to put the game away. These two teams will meet again in Vernon next Saturday. The season series is now toed 1-1. Penticton Vees Head Coach-GM Fred Harbinson was at tonight's game.
Danny Todosychuk (Suspended)
Ryley Booth (Suspended)
TJ Dumonceaux (Injured)
Mark Ferner (Suspended)
Energy player of the game:
1st Star: Blaine Caton (1 goal)
2nd Star: Thomas Aldworth (2 goals)
3rd Star: Jarrod Schamerhorn (37 saves)