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-Warriors game as Vernon defeated West Kelowna 7-4 in front of 942 fans at Royal Le Page Place.
Vernon: Danny Todosychuk
West Kelowna: Andy Desautels
1st Period: Just a minute into the hockey game Michael Buonincontri with a quick low shot along the ice from inside the faceoff circle forced Danny Todosychuk to make a tough pad save kicking the puck into the corner on a good quality shot-scoring chance from the Warriors in the opening minute. Two minutes later Thomas Aldworth was stopped by Andy Desautels before Liam Coughlin jumped on the rebound couldnt beat the Warriors goaltender in close as the Vipers come back with a quick opportunity of their own. A shift or two later TJ Dumonceaux forced Desautels to get in the butterfly position making a tough save off a hard shot from the top of the circle as Desautels had troubles containing the rebound. Vernon looked good in the opening minutes had a slight edge in play but it was West Kelowna who would open the scoring. Nick Rutigliano's point shot looked to be going wide of the net hit league leading scorer Liam Blackburn at the side of the net, Blackburn was able to tap in the rebound into the open cage giving the Warriors a 1-0 lead at 6:57 Rutigliano & Jason Cotton picked up the assists. The Vipers responded with a hard working shift, Liam Coughlin was able to get in alone put a nice move on Andy Desautels in tight but couldnt beat the veteran twenty year old goaltender who made a huge save off the second year Viper forward in close. WK would come right back and jump ahead by two. Michael Buonincontri was left alone in the high slot ripped a high hard shot over Todosychuk's shoulder-glove side gave West Kelowna a 2-0 lead at 10:29 Liam Blackburn and Kristian Blumenschein with the helpers. Just less then three minutes later the Warriors would get the first powerplay of the night, but it was the Vernon penalty kill that went to work. Anthony Latina used his speed come down the right wing along the boards cut hard to the net, got inbehind the defence was stopped by Andy Desautels in close before Liam Coughlin jumped on the rebound putting the puck up and over Desautels who was down and out got the Vipers on the board shorthanded at 14:26 Latina with the lone assist. The Vipers were able to kill off the remainder of the man advantage. Just under two minutes later the Vipers looked to have tied the game on an odd man rush. I couldnt see who was in front of the net but Anthony Latina fired the puck on goal and two Vipers rushed the front of the net before the puck went in. The play was called a goal on the ice but as soon as the puck went in, Andy Desautels and the Warriors argued the call. The linesmen/referee gathered before waiving the goal off, saying it was gloved in. West Kelowna was up 2-1 after 20 minutes of play. Both clubs had chances early in the opening few minutes before the Warriors jumped out to a quick two goal lead. The Vipers responded to get back in the game with a shorthanded marker have looked dangerous on the penalty kill the last few games. Both teams looked fairly even after the opening period. The Warriors outshot the Vipers 11-9.
2nd Period: Just over four minutes into the second frame WK would lose Nick Rutigliano after getting tossed from the hockey game for checking from behind. TJ Dumonceaux went hard into the end wall behind the Warriors goal was very slow to get up, needed help off the ice went straight to the Vipers dressing room. Dumonceuax would later return to the Viper bench. Vernon would get an early five minute powerplay after the hit from behind. The Vipers with a league worst powerplay only generated three shots on the five minute major but were able to capitalize tied the game after Mackenzie Bauer's quick shot from the circle beat Warriors starting goaltender Andy Desautels at 5:50 Luke Shiplo & captain Riley Guenther picked up the helpers. Still on the man advantage West Kelowna would get into penalty trouble giving Vernon a short five on three. Mitch Meek's point shot beat Desautels but went off the crossbar as the Vipers come close to taking their first lead of the evening. Vernon would get five more shots on the PP but couldnt take the lead. Shorthanded Brett Mennear with a parcial breakaway got off a low shot that was stopped by Vipers starting goaltender Danny Todosychuk who made a pad save keeping this a tied game. West Kelowna with a solid penalty kill blocked several shots, got in the shooting lanes gave the Vipers very limited time and space to create/generate offence as the Warriors would kill off the remainder of the penalties gave up one goal. The Vipers didnt stop and kept coming in waves as Vernon carried most of the play were outshooting West Kelowna 11-1 at the midway mark. The Warriors having all kinds of trouble couldnt get through the neutral zone or into the attacking end playing most of the period in their own end. The Vipers would get their first lead of the night after Mackenzie Bauer setup Anthony Latina at 10:46 Bauer with the lone assist. But less then two minutes later a defensive turnover would get the Warriors back in the game. Johnny Coughlin turned the puck over behind his own net, allowing Jason Cotton to rip a high shot past Todosychuk tying the game at three at 12:31 Michael Buonincontri with the assist. WK would finally get going late in the period, as the Warriors come on strong to finish the 2nd. West Kelowna would get a late powerplay but it was the Vipers penalty kill that would strike again. Liam Coughlin setup TJ Dumonceaux on a two on one, Dumonceuax went high over Andy Desautels gave Vernon a 4-3 lead at 16:46 Coughlin with the helper. The Vipers got into penalty trouble as West Kelowna would get a two man advantage but again the Vipers penalty kill went to work. Liam Coughlin setup TJ Dumonceaux on another Vernon odd man rush, Dumonceaux couldnt handle the pass on a great opportunity for the Vipers shorthanded. The Warriors controlled the puck, moved the puck around got a few shots in on the Viper net but couldnt generate a whole lot of offence as Vernon's penalty kill was very good killing off the one minor, having just seconds left in the second penalty before the buzzer sounded. Vernon was up 4-3 after 40 minutes of play. Both teams got into penalty trouble but it was the Vipers that capitalized. Scoring on the powerplay were able to tie the game before scoring shorthanded to take the lead heading into the 3rd. This was all Vernon in the 2nd period as the Vipers dominated the play. Vernon outchanced, outworked and outshot West Kelowna. The Warriors did come on strong late to finish the period but gave up a shorthanded marker as well as two shorthanded odd man rushes. The Vipers outshot West Kelowna 17-6.
3rd Period: The Vipers started the period shorthanded with just a handful of seconds remaining before getting off to a strong start. Vernon with a very strong forecheck had the Warriors back on their heels in the opening two minutes before WK would return the favor come back with a hard working forecheck, had the Vipers back on their heels for a few minutes. Vernon would strike early getting the all important two goal lead. Trevor Fidler setup Luke Voltin whos shot from the circle looked to handcuff Andy Desautels who got a piece of it before the puck went into the back of the net giving Vernon a 5-3 lead at 5:52 They announced Trevor Fidler who scored the goal in the rink but it was clearly Luke Voltin who shot and scored. Fidler & Johnny Coughlin with the assists. This goal seemed to take the life out of the Warriors as Vernon seemed to pour it on as the period went on really taking it too West Kelowna. The Vipers with a strong forecheck, really bottled up the neutral zone, didnt allow the Warriors any room for offence. A strong defensive game by Vernon in the 3rd really limited the Warriors scoring chances as the Vipers carried the play early and often. West Kelowna got into penalty trouble as Vernon went on their second five on three of the night. Trevor Fidler beat Desautels put the Vipers up 6-3 at 9:43 Johnny Coughlin & Luke Voltin picked up the helpers. West Kelowna still on the penalty kill looked much better on the second penalty kill, shutdown Vernon's powerplay killing off the remainder of the second penalty. The Vipers with a strong defensive game in the third really shutdown the Warriors top players. Rylan Ferster would get Andy Desautels to the bench with 4:13 remaining. After an icing call the Warriors would win the draw, keep the play alive in the Vernon zone before Jordan Masters banged home the loose puck down low cut the Viper lead to within two goals at 16:03 Kyle Marino and Michael Buonincontri collected the assists. WK would get Desautels back to the bench again on the next shift for another six on five, with some good pressure early the Vipers were able to clear the zone, before a hard working shift by Anthony Latina would chip the loose puck into the open cage while falling giving Vernon a 7-4 lead at 17:06 Latina's goal was unassisted. The final three minutes seemed to drag on with several whistles/stopages in play. The frustration really showed as several West Kelowna players were egging on the Vipers. Two Warriors looked t try to get the two Viper players to drop the gloves but the Vernon players skated away. Lots of pushing and shoving in between whistles. With thirty four seconds to go, Kyle Marino's point shot beat Danny Todosychuk but went off the crossbar. With a faceoff deep in the Viper zone with just five seconds remaining, a mini line brawl broke loose at the final buzzer. Lots of pushing and shoving took place while two fights broke loose, before Danny Todosychuk jumped in the mix dropping the gloves with a West Kelowna player. Both benches erupted, Warriors goaltender Andy Desautels rushed up ice as Rylan Ferster was yelling from the bench for him to stay back, two Warriors players on the bench were yelling at their goaltender to join the melay at the other end of the rink. Desautels skated all the way up to centre ice where he stood and watched before giving a mouth full to Danny Todosychuk and the Vernon bench. The mely was eventually broken up with gloves and sticks lying all over the ice. The Vipers would come away with a 7-4 victory. Vernon come out strong with a solid forecheck, had the Warriors back on their heels early before getting that all important two goal lead under six minutes into the frame. This goal really took the wind out of the sails of the Warriors, changing momentum in the game. From here on in it was all Vipers as they basically shutdown the Warriors offence. WK looked very frustrated taking back to back penalties, were caught exchanging words after the stopage in play, were really getting off their game plan. Vernon outshot West Kelowna 9-6.
Top Players: (Vernon)
Liam Coughlin (1 goal & 1 assist) Had a very strong game for Vernon. Coughlin who played very well last night in a 3-1 loss to Penticton was dangerous with the puck, had several good scoring opportunities. Was really skating hard, forcing the play, hard to defend against, created and generated lots of offensive chances.
Anthony Latina (2 goals & 2 assists) Picked up four points in the win looked to get under the skin of several West Kelowna Warriors. On almost every whistle several Warriors were chirpping away with the Viper forward. Latina who also looked good last night, played a hard strong game on the wing tonight, playing with lots of energy/jump. This kid can really skate-move the puck when he turns on the wheels. Made several smart plays tonight.
TJ Dumonceaux (1 goal) Took a scary looking check from behind early in the second period, went to the Vipers dressing room holding his neck but would return to the game played very well up front for the Vipers. Another player who is dangerous when using his speed, was also hard to defend against. Plays with a ton of energy really makes things difficult for the opponents defence.
Trevor Fidler (1 goal & 1 assist) I thought played a strong game. Another Viper who played hard, competed and battled, earning his icetime and was rewarded with two points tonight.
Luke Shiplo (1 assist) Had a strong game on the Viper blueline. Joined the rush alot, was involved in the play, was good at both ends of the rink, a good skater, really moves the puck in a hurry, plays smart and makes that first good pass coming out of the zone.
Game Thought's: (Vernon)
After a tough 3-1 loss at home to the Penticton Vees Friday, where the Vipers couldnt buy a goal Vernon responded well with seven goals in tonight's win. Vernon capitalized on their chances. I thought Vernon looked very good through out the game and got better as the game went on. I thought both teams were fairly even after the opening period but I thought the Vipers were the better team in the 2nd and 3rd periods. Vernon really dominated the play in the 2nd, outchanced, outshot and outworked West Kelowna most of the middle frame. In the 3rd the Vipers with a strong relentless forecheck had the Warriors back on their heels, played very well defensively limited WK's chances. The Vipers with a strong shutdown period in the 3rd. With a league worst PP it was nice to see the Vipers get rewarded with two powerplay goals tonight. How about the Vipers penalty kill. Wow! Over the last three or four games Vernon's penalty kill has been very dangerous and it showed again tonight. The Vipers with a few good shorthanded opportunities scored twice on the penalty kill. It looked like the Vipers were getting under the skin of the Warriors, getting West Kelowna off their game. Several top players for the Warriors were more involved in pushing and shoving after the whistle, then concentrating on the game. I thought the Vipers come ready to play, worked and played hard all night, really competed and earned the win in a building where they havnet got alot of wins over the last few seasons. Nice to see a fairly large crowd of Vernon fans at the game.
Top Player's: (West Kelowna)
Rylan Yaremko played well on the Warriors backend. A bigger kid was a force tonight, was intimidating most of the night, getting involved in all the after the whistle activities. Was in the face of several Viper players through out the game.
Michael Buonincontri (1 goal & 2 assists) Was by far the Warriors best and most dangerous player tonight. Picking up three points Buonincontri was very strong up front for WK. Really has a nack for the net, gets pucks on goal and goes to the net. Worked very hard all night.
Liam Blackburn (1 goal & 1 assist) Looked good in the opening period but as the game went along wasnt very noticable. The league's leading scorer seems to always do well against the Vipers.
Game Thought's: (West Kelowna)
I thought the Warriors played very well in the 1st period, jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead. West Kelowna was really skating well early, created some chances but couldnt put Vernon away getting the two goal lead. Instead the Warriors give up a shorthanded marker late in the period, gets the Vipers back in the game, maybe gives them some momentum and gets the crowd out of the game. The Warriors with several undisaplined penalties tonight, gave up two powerplay goals. Specialty teams was the difference as the Warriors went 0-4 while Vernon scored twice with the man advantage and picked up two shorthanded goals. Rylan Ferster wont be happy with the powerplay, they gave the Vipers penalty kill too much room. The Warriors were outplayed most of the 2nd period were able to tie the game quickly after the Vipers took the lead but again gave up a late shorthanded goal to end the period down a goal. Dumonceaux's shorthanded goal late in the 2nd period to give the Vipers the lead was a turning point. West Kelowna had troubles containing the Vipers speed and skill on the penalty kill. The 3rd period West Kelowna couldnt get anything going, had all kinds of troubles with Vernon's forecheck and defensive coverage. West Kelowna just couldnt muster much offence after the 1st period, getting very little opportunities in the 2nd and 3rd. Going down two goals early to start the 3rd really took the momentum away from the Warriors, taking the life out of the team. You could see the emotion and frustartion on the West Kelowna bench and on the players on the ice. I thought the Warriors top players, were not very good tonight, several top players were more involved in the scrums-pushing and shoving after the whistle. Your never going to win hockey games when your top players are getting involved after the stopages. I didnt see enough from the Warriors top-better players for them to have a chance to win. West Kelowna didnt look very good in the final two periods, really needed a save from Andy Desautels on Vernon's fifth goal. The Warriors have lost four straight.
Kenny Citron (Injured)
Energy player of the game:
Michael Buonincontri (1 goal & 2 assists)
1st Star: Anthony Latina (2 goals & 2 assists)
2nd Star: Liam Blackburn (1 goal & 1 assist)
3rd Star: Trevor Fidler (1 goal & 1 assist)
Kyle Anderson's West Kelowna Warriors Blog,