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-Chiefs game as Vernon defeated Chilliwack 5-4 in overtime in front of 1,537 fans at Kal Tire Place.
Vernon: Jarrod Schamerhorn
Chilliwack: Aidan Pelino
1st Period: The Vipers would get a good opportunity to open the scoring early, Anthony Latina on a three on two rush couldnt snap a quick shot from the circle past Aidan Pelino who looked to have a little trouble making the save off Latina just two minutes into the game. Both teams looked very evenly matched early before the Chiefs would open the scoring on a Viper turnover. Vernon couldnt clear the zone coughed up the puck inside their own blueline, Chiefs leading scorer Craig Puffer did all the work along the boards to setup Jake Larson who gave Chilliwack a 1-0 lead at 6:38 Puffer with the lone assist. Both teams went back and fourth but it was the Vipers who would create the better of the scoring chances. Vernon with several nice tic tac toe passing plays couldnt convert in front missing on several good opportunities. The Chiefs would get the games first powerplay just past the halfway mark but couldnt capitalize. Liam Coughlin took a huge hit along the side wall in the Chilliwack zone was a little slow to get up and looked a little woozy heading to the Vipers bench. Coughlin would stay in the game but I dont recall seeing him out again for another shift. Jordan Kawaguchi tried setting up Ryan Bowen in front on a two on one but Bowen couldnt handle the pass. Just over two minutes later the Vipers would get their first shot with the man advantage. TJ Dumonceaux in close ripped a high shot from the circle off the crossbar before Luke Shiplo would get stopped by the quick glovehand of Aidan Pelino as the Chiefs goaltender with a big save on the penalty kill. In the final seconds of the powerplay Chilliwack's aggresive forecheck forced the Vipers into another turnover at the blueline. Jake Larson would setup Luke McColgan in front on a two on one beat Jarrod Schamerhorn shorthanded alone in front giving Chilliwack at 2-0 lead at 18:18 Larson & Eric Roberts picked up the helpers. The Chiefs with just a handfull of seconds left on the penalty kill would kill off the remainder of the penalty. Chilliwack was up 2-0 after 20 minutes of play. Even though the Vipers were down by two I thought Vernon played very well against a tough Chilliwack Chiefs hockey club thats 6-1. The Chiefs made the Vipers pay, two mistakes and on both plays the puck ended up in the back of the Viper net. Both teams played hard, were fairly evenly matched but I thought Vernon had a slight edge in the offensive zone and had the better of the scoring chances in that period. The Vipers outshot the Chiefs 13-6.
2nd Period: Liam Coughlin started the period, took one shift before sitting on the bench for several minutes before going to the Vipers dressing room and not returning. Chilliwack come out hard, as the Vipers looked to be back on their heels in the opening minute as the Chiefs had some pressure early but it was Vernon who would get on the board early. Ryley Booth's screened shot from the point was stopped by Chiefs starting goaltender Aidan Pelino who couldnt find the rebound, Jagger Williamson pounced on the rebound getting the Vipers to within a goal at 1:56 Booth with the only assist on the goal. Chilliwack looked good in the opening ten minutes would get an early powerplay but couldnt capitalize. Just two minutes later Liam Ferguson went hard to the goal beat Vipers starting goaltender Jarrod Schamerhorn high over the shoulder but hit the crossbar. The Chiefs with lots of pressure in the firsthalf didnt generate alot of great chances but had the Vipers playing in their own end most of the first half. Just past the midway mark the Chiefs would re-gain their two goal lead. Luke McColgan with lots of time and space was able to walk in and rip a hard shot past Schamerhorn putting Chilliwack up 3-1 at 11:52 Jake Hand and Eric Roberts with the assists. But just over a minute later the Vipers would respond with a quick one of their own. Thomas Aldworth with a great individual effort went in for the parcial breakaway was stopped by Pelino who made a huge glove save couldnt hold onto the puck, Branden Wagner scored on the rebound cutting the Chiefs lead to 3-2 at 13:00 Aldworth with the helper. This goal seemed to give Vernon some life and momentum as the Vipers come on strong and finished the middle frame with lots of pressure and offensive chances. Again the Vipers with several tic tac toe passing plays that were unable to keep on their sticks missing on some great chances. Luke Shiplo on a wrap around couldnt beat Aidan Pelino who made a big save keeping this a one goal game. Chilliwack was up 3-2 after 40 minutes of play. The Chiefs with a strong performance in the second period outplayed Vernon for most of the period. The Vipers would get on the board early fell behind by two for a second time tonight come on strong late to finish the period on a high note. Chilliwack carried the better of the play and was the better of the two teams. The Chiefs outshot the Vipers 13-10.
3rd Period: Liam Coughlin would return to the Vipers bench for the start of the period but didnt see a shift for the remainder of the game. Both teams with a hard fought period battled hard going back and fourth. Both teams come at each other in waves. One team would carry the play for a few minutes before the other team come back with some good pressure of their own. TJ Dumonceaux with a great opportunity couldnt beat Aidan Pelino on a four on two rush after the Chiefs goaltender made a big save. The Vipers would slowly come on and eventually even the score. Luke Voltin's low hard shot was stopped by Pelino, for the second time tonight the Chilliwack goaltender had troubles with the rebound before Trevor Fidler tied the game at three at 7:11 Voltin and Anthony Latina picked up the assists. Vernon with a strong forecheck really used their speed and hard work to put the pressure on the Chilliwack defence as the Vipers were coming on strong. Thomas Aldworth would give Vernon their first lead of the night at 11:05 on a wicked wrist shot from the slot, assists from Mackenzie Bauer & Riley Brandt. The Chiefs went atleast four or five minutes without a shot on goal. Just over a minute later the Vipers would get the lone PP of the third and a chance to put the Chiefs down by two but a good penalty kill and Chilliwack would kill off the minor. The Vipers come close on a goal mouth scramble but the puck stayed out. Vernon with a very solid period looked good carried the better of the play at times would get the clock down to three minutes before the wheels fell off. Vernon's defence fell apart in the final minutes as the Chiefs with a ton of pressure were firing shots from everywhere looking for the game tying goal. A quick shot from the corner beat Jarrod Schamerhorn but hit the far post as Chilliwack come very close to tying the game. On the next shift Craig Puffer alone in the slot missed the net on a glorious opportunity. The Chiefs would get Aidan Pelino to the bench for the extra attacker with a minute to go before a mad scrambe in front of Schamerhorn Dennis Cholowski setup Luke McColgan for his third of the night tied the game at four with fifty three seconds remaining. The Chiefs with a huge late goal would force overtime. It was tied 4-4 after 60 minutes of play. Both teams were fairly evenly matched at the start of the period but it was the Vipers who really turned up the heat and come on strong playing a very strong period. Vernon with two goals was less then a minute away from coming away with a huge win tonight. I thought the Vipers carried the edge in play and were the better of the two teams in the period. Vernon outshot Chilliwack 13-7.
Overtime: Chilliwack would win the draw and take control of the puck off the opening faceoff couldnt get setup before Thomas Aldworth stole the loose puck from Brandon Tkachuk, Aldworth went on for the breakaway beat Aidan Pelino high upstairs giving the Vipers a thrilling 5-4 overtime victory at 0:48 as the Vernon bench erupted pouring onto the ice in celebration. Vernon outshot Chilliwack 1-0.
Top Players: (Vernon)
Ryley Booth (1 assist) I thought played a strong game on Vernon's backend tonight. Picking up one assist the Armstrong product was very good at both ends of the rink. Made some smart decissions through out the game was solid on the point.
Jagger Williamson (1 goal) Played his best game of the season. This kid was flying all night, scored once was buzzing from end to end making plays all night. One of the hardest working Vipers played with a ton of jump & energy was really hustling created and generated some good chances.
Trevor Fidler (1 goal) Was another rookie who was really buzzing and flying around out there tonight. Tied the game in the 3rd period had a strong game for the Vipers.
Luke Shiplo playing in just his second game of the season played very well on the Vernon defence. Made atleast two big defensive plays was very reliable for the Vipers this evening.
Thomas Aldworth (2 goals & 1 assist) Scored the OT winner had another solid game for the Vipers looking very strong in both games over the weekend. This kid is very exciting to watch, really overpowers the opponent, uses his bigger body and speed to win the races and the battles. Just like last night was very hard to contain and knock off the puck for a second straight night. The kid from Texas also has a wicked shot.
Riley Brandt (1 assist) Was one of the Vipers hardest working players tonight, this kid never slows down, always on top of the opponent plays with 110% is a wrecking ball on skates. Always finishes his checks, plays physical, adds alot to this team.
Branden Wagner (1 goal) I thought played one of his strongest games of the year. Another hard working Viper who showed alot of speed, compete and hard work earned his second goal of the season.
Jarrod Schamerhorn (22 saves) Played well through out the game making twenty two saves gave his team a chance to win, making some tough saves when the Vipers were down 2-0. Has now started four straight games.
Game Thought's: (Vernon)
Heading into tonight's game I wasnt really sure what to expect to see. After seeing the Chiefs wax Merritt last night, I have to admit I was a little leary heading to the rink tonight. I thought the Vipers got off to another strong start, battled and played well but two mistakes and the puck ended up in the back of the net. Vernon who I thought played very well in the opening period played well but were down two goals. Take away those two mistakes and we have a scoreless hockey game. I thought both teams were pretty evenly matched through out the game but I thought the Vipers had a slight edge in play in the 1st getting the better of the scoring chances. For the second straight night Vernon didnt fare so well in the 2nd period. The Vipers did get on the board and back into the game early but were outplayed most of the period. Give the Vipers credit they didnt panic and finished off very strong coming back with a hard second half to the period scored twice in the period had several good opportunities just couldnt get the puck to settle down on their sticks after some nice passing plays. I thought Vernon played a heck of a third period (just like last night) The Vipers were the better of the two teams in the 3rd really used their speed and quickness to tie the game before taking their first lead of the night. Like last night the Vipers overcame a shaky 2nd period and turned it up a notch come the 3rd. It looked like the Vipers were going to come away with a huge comeback victory before falling apart in the final few minutes allowed the Chiefs to force overtime. Im not sure what happened but the Vipers defence fell apart in the final minutes. Chilliwack with a ton of pressure had the Vipers back on their heels tied the game late got the extra point. Give the Vipers credit as they didnt waist much time in overtime to eventually come away with the win and the two points on Thomas Aldworth's second goal of the night. Vernon has now won three straight moving into 2nd place in the standings. Give Vernon credit down two goals twice this team didnt quit, they stayed with the game plan, played and battled hard gave Chilliwack a good run. The Vipers held their own against a very tough Chiefs team. For the second straight night I was very impressed with the Vipers young kids (rookies) all four lines played very well. Vernon's powerplay is really struggling and the Viper defence didnt look all that great tonight. Several turnovers inside their own end, took way too long to make that first pass on the breakout were caught skating in circles at times. The Vipers are going to have to try and work on those quick passing plays, it seems like the last three or four games the Vipers miss some great opportunities on these passing plays. Looking at the standings and team records heading into tonight's contest, this was going to be a tough game for the Vipers. Give the boys credit for a hard working, hard fought game. This was by far no easy win. Two great games over the weekend made for some real exciting hockey.
Top Players: (Chilliwack)
Eric Roberts (2 assists) I thought was Chilliwack's best d-man tonight. Really steady on the blueline, picked up two helpers was very strong for the Chiefs.
Jake Larson (1 goal & 1 assist) Played very well up front for the Chiefs. A good strong skater, moves the puck in a hurry.
Kurt Black played two games with the Vipers during the 2012-13 season was hard to play against, was good down low and along the boards. Played a very hard fought game.
Luke McColgan (3 goals) The younger brother of former Penticton Vees forward Shane McColgan was very dangerous picking up the hattrick was all over the ice.
Craig Puffer (1 assist) The Chiefs leading scorer as another player that looked good up front for Chilliwack.
Liam Ferguson really impressed me, I thought he was very strong in the loss tonight. Hit the crossbar once in the 2nd period seemed to be all over the ice.
Jordan Kawaguchi (1 assist) Was another kid that impressed me. Good with and without the puck, can skate, move the puck and setup plays. Really sees the ice well.
Game Thought's: (Chilliwack)
Coming into tonight's game the Chiefs were coming off a 7-1 win over Merritt last night had a 6-1 record. This team proved why they have a 6-1-0-1 record as they are very hard to defend against, have a strong forecheck, tough to beat along the wall and in front of the net. Have some bigger bodies, a veteran team that moves the puck well, dosnt panic, is dangerous with the puck and without the puck, forces the opponents into turnovers-making mistakes in a hurry. I thought Vernon had the better of the scoring chances tonight but the Chiefs score on their opportunities. This team can skate, works hard, plays hard, is very well coached and plays well defensively. The defence really bottle up the middle not giving the opponents time or space to create-generate offensive chances. The Chiefs are a very good hockey team, wich made for a very good hockey game. Both teams were fairly even tonight, both teams played in waves and had their opponents on edge. Chilliwack had troubles with the Vipers speed and quickness at times and it really showed in the 3rd when Vernon carried the better of the play at times. The Vipers gave the Chiefs a good run as this could have been anyones game. A very exciting-thrilling game.
Kenny Citron (Injured)
Energy player of the game:
Branden Wagner (1 goal)
1st Star: Thomas Aldworth (2 goals & 1 assist)
2nd Star: Luke McColgan (3 goals)
3rd Star: Trevor Fidler (1 goal)