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-Vees game as Penticton defeated Vernon 3-0 in front of 2,341 fans at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Vernon: Danny Todosychuk
Penticton: Hunter Miska
1st Period: Both teams returned to action tonight after having off twelve days for the Christmas break and it was the Vernon Vipers who showed little rust off the opening puck drop. Vernon got off to a quick start, had good pressure deep in the Vees zone early and often. The Vipers really skating hard, were moving the puck didnt generate alot of quality chances did come out hitting in the opening frame. The Vipers would get the games first scoring chance just over the five minute mark, Colton McCarthy with a shot from inside the slot beat Hunter Miska but rang the puck up and off the crossbar. Vernon would get the games first powerplay but with just two shots on goal didnt generate any real threat as the Vees with a good penalty kill would kill off the minor. Penticton who looked to be back on their heels for most of the period had very little puck possesion as the Vipers carried and dominated the play for most of the 1st period. The Vees needed almost seven minutes to record their first shot of the period. Vernon was by far the better of the two clubs in the first half but just had the one scoring opportunity. Just past the midway mark Colton McCarthy alone at the side of the net, cut hard to the front of the goal tried sliding the puck under Hunter Miska who was able to see and cover the puck in a hurry before any traffic forced the Vees goaltender or the puck into the back of the net. Less then three minutes later Liam Coughlin setup Liam Finlay in front who couldnt beat Miska. Penticton would get their best chance of the period and first opportunity of the night with about six minutes to go in the opening frame. Former Vipers prospect Dakota Conroy with a wicked shot from the high slot was stopped by Danny Todosychuk. This was just the second shot of the night for the Vees. Shortly after the Vees would get a late powerplay, their first of the night. Penticton with some good pressure was unable to really create or generate any real chances did get three shots on goal but Vernon would kill off the minor. This man advantage seemed to give the Vees some life as Penticton slowly started to come on late in the period. Penticton now slowly getting their legs going, were skating and using their speed had the Viper defence back on their heels for the final minutes. The Vees with a good push to end the period finished off strong. Pat Newell with seconds remaining was able to get off a quick low shot from the corner forced Danny Todosychuk to make a tough save in the dying seconds. It was 0-0 after 20 minutes of play. The Vipers playing their first game since January 20th got off to a great start, really took it to Penticton early and often. Vernon didnt generate alot of chances did manage atleast three scoring opportunities couldnt capitalize before the Vees finished off the period on a strong note playing and looking much better in the final four or five minutes. The Vipers carried most of the play, outplayed the Vees. Vernon was outshooting Penticton 10-1 at one point as the Vipers outshot the Vees 10-7.
2nd Period: Off the opening faceoff Connor Chartier with a great look in front in the opening seconds couldnt beat Vipers starting goaltender Danny Todosychuk who made a big save early. The Vees started the middle frame right where they left off the end of the opening period as Penticton come out hard, really skating hard were all over the Vipers. The Vees with good pressure early had the better of the play had Vernon pinned in their own end. Jack Ramsey setup Riley Alferd on a two on one but Alferd ripped his hard shot high and over the goal. A shift or two later Penticton come right back on a three on one rush but couldnt handle the puck lost control blowing a great opportunity. Shortly after the Vees would open the scoring on a turnover deep in the Vernon zone. The two Viper defencemen coughed up the puck to Cody DePourcq who setup former Vipers forward Demico Hannoun down low who beat Todosychuk shortside giving Penticton a 1-0 lead at 4:45 DePourcq with the lone helper. Vernon having all kinds of trouble couldnt get out of their own end most of the first half. Shortly after the Vees opening goal Riley Brandt with a great opportunity to tie the game couldnt beat Penticton Vees starting goaltender Hunter Miska on a two on one. Miska come across the blue paint to stop Brandt of a goal. A few minutes later Danny Todosychuk was forced to make a huge game saver with two Vees forwards going hard to the net (I didnt see who they were) before a rebound come out front where Thomas Aldworth had to reach back and clear the puck from the goal line robbing the Vees of a sure goal on a wild play in front of the Vernon goal. It was all Penticton early and often as the Vees were all over the Vipers in the first half. At the halfway mark the Vipers were able to get back to back to back quick shots on Hunter Miska who made his three biggest saves of the night, stopped all three Vernon shooters just before the radio timeout. Just past the midway mark Mike Lee joined the rush would get stopped by Todosychuk on a Penticton three on two attack. Vernon slowly started to get back into the contest and would eventually get the play through the neutral zone and get some pressure in the Vees end. The Vipers with several shots were having all kinds of trouble getting pucks to the net, as the Vees were doing a great job at tying players up in front, blocking shots, getting their sticks in the way as Vernon couldnt get pucks on Miska. The Vipers got a little lucky after a shot from a Penticton d-man went off a Viper defenceman took a funny bounce right out front where Danny Todosychuk had to be alert to quickly snag the loose puck out of mid air. If Todosychuk wasnt on his game, this puck would have found the back of the net. Vernon would slowly take over the edge in play and get several good looks at the net but unable to capitalize. The Vipers with a strong second half tightened up defensively played and looked much better in the final ten minutes. It was 1-0 Penticton after 40 minutes of play. The Vees with a great start to the period were all over the Vipers early and often as it was all Penticton. The Vees capitalized on some poor defensive play opened the scoring, had several great chances only managed to get one past Danny Todosychuk. The Vees outplayed and dominated the Vipers in the first half before Vernon responded well and played a much better second half. The Vipers with a few good chances couldnt beat Hunter Miska who also was playing very well at the other end of the rink. Vernon outshot Penticton 12-7.
3rd Period: The Vees would get an early PP to start the final frame. Danny Todosychuk made one real good save as the Vipers penalty kill was good. Just as it looked like the Vipers killed off the penalty former Cowichan Capital Steen Cooper beat Todosychuk fivehole that just barely crossed the goal line that put Penticton up 2-0 at 4:49 just as the penalty expired. Cody DePourcq and Connor Chartier collected the assists on a goal I think Todosychuk would like to have back. With the Vees up by a pair Penticton would just carry the play in over the line and dump the puck in, change lines and repeat as the Vipers couldnt get much of anything going offensively early to start the third. Penticton killed alot of time off the clock by just playing dump and chase. The Vipers with just three shots in the first half struggled offensively. Still up by two goals the Vees now with less then ten minutes to go sat back as Vernon finally was able to get the puck and some pressure in the Vees zone. Like the second period the Vipers had troubles getting bodies and pucks to the net as Penticton's defence was solid shutting down the shooting lanes, kept Vernon to the outside limiting their time and space. As time was winding down the Vipers would eventually get shots-pucks to the net, but with no traffic in front as Hunter Miska was seeing everything was there for the routine save. Vernon did managed atleast two maybe three good chances went hard to the net but couldnt get a bounce in front as a swarm of bodies hurrled the front of the goal before Miska was able to gobble up the puck. Anthony Latina with a great look and shot couldnt beat the quick glove of Miska who flashed the leather with three ad a half minutes remaining. Demico Hannoun looked to be getting under the skin of some of his former team mates in the final few minutes, giving a little jab or tap of the stick to former Viper mates. The Vipers would call a late timeout and get Danny Todosychuk to the bench with 1:37 to go but it was too little too late as Gabe Bast's shot off the side wall got through and past a Viper d-man went off the boards and into the empty cage giving Penticton a 3-0 lead at 18:52 Hunter Miska with the assist. This was basically the game as the Vees would just wind down the clock and come away with the 3-0 victory. The Vipers were able to kill off an early powerplay but just as it expired Steen Cooper was able to give the Vees a two goal lead. This was a killer as Penticton is so good with the lead played dump and chase for most of the first half before sitting back played very well defensively shutout the Vipers offence for a second time this season. Vernon couldnt get much of anything going offensively in the first half, finally carried the play for the second half but had troubles getting pucks and traffic to the net. Very little scoring chances didnt help when your down two goals. The Vees outshot the Vipers 9-8.
Top Players: (Vernon)
Riley Brandt saw alot of ice played real hard, didnt play as physical as hes known too but worked and competed all night. Was in the mix all game, battling working hus butt off.
Colton McCarthy I thought was another strong forward up front for Vernon. McCarthy really played and looked good especially in the first two periods had some of the Vipers better opportunities. Hit the crossbar just over five minutes into the game.
Danny Todosychuk (20 saves) Made his first start since a 7-5 win in Salmon Arm on November 28th. Didnt see much action in the 1st period played very well in the 2nd making several big saves keeping this a one goal game.
Game Thought's: (Vernon)
With teams now switching home & away jerseys after the Christmas break, the Vipers wore their home whites while Penticton wore their road blues for tonight's game. Mackenzie Bauer returned to the lineup after being out for several months with an injury. After a long two week layoff for the holidays I thought the Vipers played pretty good for their first game in twelve days. I thought Vernon had a great start, got off to a quick start were all over the Vees outshooting Penticton 10-1 at one point only managed three good opportunities in first period needed a goal or two here. Just think, Vernon scores once or twice in the opening frame and this totally changes the game and outcome. Now the Vees down one or two goals on home ice have to try and rally after coming out of the gates slow. Penticton gets outplayed but holds Vernon off now comes back with a strong finish gives them live and now the Vipers are the ones being outplayed and fall behind a goal. The Vipers played physical in the 1st but lead up in the 2nd and 3rd periods. I didnt think Vernon's defence played that good, a few turnovers and several plays where they had opportunities to clear the zone and didnt, now there running around and the Vees are back with the puck and on the attack. I also didnt think the Vipers top lines created or generate much offence, the top two lines were pretty quiet all night as the Vees did a great job at shutting down the Vipers offence. Ive said it before and I will say it again, once again the Vipers dont get enough traffic in front of Hunter Miska, no where nearly as many pucks to the net with bodies in front forced Miska into several routine saves. Im not taking anything away from Miska but the Vipers werent going to the grey area-looking-fighting for pucks in front, making life difficult for the Vees goaltender. The Vipers didnt generate alot of offensive chances, well both teams didnt really but Vernon needs to fight a little harder to try and open up some ice, find ways to get the net, get pucks to the net. Overall this was a good entertaining hockey game that could have went either way. The Vipers are now 0-5 vs Penticton this season have two more games with the Vees this year need to try and find a way to beat these guys, get some confidence incase you face them in the playoffs. The Vipers got some help from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks after a 7-1 victory over West Kelowna tonight, keeps Vernon four points up in the standings.
Top Players: (Penticton)
Dante Fabbro I thought played a solid game on the Vees blueline. Was good at clearing the front of the net, a rock on the backend saw alot of ice was very good for the Vees tonight.
Pat Newell I thought played well up front. Had a good opportunity in the dying seconds of the 1st seemed to go to the net and play hard.
Steen Cooper (1 goal) Played with alot of jump and energy, was buzzing all night.
Connor Chartier (1 assist) Impressed me this evening, had atleast two good scoring chances played well.
Patrick Sexton was another defender that played very well on the Vees backend.
Dakota Conroy once a Vipers prospect was traded to Penticton for Liam Finlay had atleast two chances tonight, played well.
Hunter Miska (30 saves-shutout) Is 5-0 vs Vernon this season has two shutouts against the Vipers this season was good between the pipes for Penticton. Miska made three back to back to back saves all in a row right at the halfway mark of the 2nd period kept the Vees in the game at times when it was scoreless. Miska who didnt have alot of traffic in front saw most of the Vipers thirty shots made things look easy at times.
Game Thought's: (Penticton)
After returning to action from the Christmas break the Vees sure showed some rust off the opening puck drop. Penticton was outplayed for most of the 1st period didnt see alot of puck possesion until late in the opening frame looked to be back on their heels early and often. Excaping some Viper scoring chances the Vees were able to settle down and re-group for say with a late powerplay and ended up finishing the 1st with a much better finish then start. This was key as Penticton started the second just like they finished the 1st, as the Vees now were all over Vernon outplaying the Vipers for the first half of the 2nd period. An early goal on a Viper turnover opened the scoring, wich was huge tonight. (Game winning goal) Give the Vees credit, they capitalized on a Vernon mistake and made the Vipers pay. Penticton with several good scoring chances in the second couldnt put the Vipers away were forced to hang on to a one goal lead heading into the third. An early goal to start the final frame gave the Vees a little room and comfort, wich they were able to dump and chase killed off alot of time off the clock before playing very well defensively the rest of the way. Hunter Miska kept the Vees in at times with some big saves but give credit to Penticton's defence that was solid most of the night, closing the shooting lanes, limiting Vernon's chances, blocked alot of shots, got sticks in the way, limitied the Vipers time and space. The Vees are quick and can move the puck in a hurry could have put the game away in the first half of the 2nd but couldnt capitalize on some good chances. The Vees did a really good job at shutting down Vernon's top lines. Thomas Aldworth, Liam Coughlin and TJ Dumonceaux were almost invisible. Penticton really spent alot of detail in shutting down the Vipers top two units. Vernon's offence didnt have much time or space and forced into making quick decissions with and without the puck. This could have easily been anybodys game, overall a great game.
Trevor Fidler (Suspended)
Energy player of the game:
Steen Cooper (1 goal)
1st Star: Hunter Miska (30 saves-shutout)
2nd Star: Demico Hannoun (1 goal)
3rd Star: Gabe Bast (1 goal)
Fraser Rodgers Penticton Vees Blog,