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-Spruce Kings game as Vernon defeated Prince George 5-3 in front of 2,312 fans at Kal Tire Place.
Vernon: Danny Todosychuk
Prince George: Jesse Jenks
1st Period: The Vipers would come out of the gates getting three quick shots on Spruce Kings starting goaltender Jesse Jenks before taking an early penalty, giving Prince George the games first powerplay. The Spruce Kings struggled with the man advantage would get just two shots on the PP late on the powerplay couldnt get things working as Vernon would kill off the minor. PG looked to have a little more jump in their game early compared to Vernon as the Vipers had troubles getting through the neutral zone. Prince George with a few flurries from in and around the net were buzzing early before opening the scoring on a long shot from Marco Ballarin from well outside the faceoff dot beat Danny Todoschuk post and in blocker side on a shot that the Viper goaltender looked to barely move on as PG was up 1-0 at 6:08 Daniel Nachbaur & Ryan Fritz collected the assists. But just 1:17 later Vernon responded on their first powerplay of the night. Liam Coughlin at the side of the net beat Jesse Jenks tied the game 1-1 at 7:25 Liam Finlay and Luke Shiplo with the helpers. TJ Dumonceaux with one of the bigger hits on the night laid out Ryan Fritz who went into the boards hard, was down and in alot of pain didnt get up. The play was blown dead as Fritz was attended to by the team trainer, needed help off the ice and didnt return to the contest. At the halfway mark former Coquitlam Express forward Nicholas Rasovic with a great opportunity at the side of the net couldnt beat Jenks down low. On the same shift Rasovic then wired a hard low shot from just inside the circle was stopped by Jenks again kicking out the puck with a big right pad keeping this a tied game. The Vipers slowly started to come on and get their game going. A few minutes later Vernon come very close to taking the lead on some nice three way passing. Brandon Egli with a long stretch pass spotted Mackenzie Bauer who quickly setup Blaine Caton in front who was going hard to the goal couldnt connect on the pass, missed an open cage on a missed opportunity. Vernon was outshot 6-3 early in the hockey game was now outshooting the Spruce Kings 10-6 at this point. PG would go ten minutes without recording a single shot on goal. The game was tied 1-1 after 20 minutes of play. The Vipers with three quick shots on goal to start the game took an early penalty, looked a little slow off the start of the game. The Spruce Kings opened the scoring, looked to have a little more jump over Vernon early before the Vipers tied the game and then slowly took over the edge in play in the second half. Vernon's speed, passing and skill really showed as the Vipers really moved the puck well, created and generated some good offensive chances outhit Prince George. The Vipers outshot the Spruce Kings 14-9.
2nd Period: The Vipers would get a flurry of chances off the opening faceoff, leading scorer Liam Coughlin with two good quality chances in the opening minute couldnt beat Jesse Jenks. Colton McCarthy would give Vernon an early 2-1 lead at 3:06 after Jesse Jenks robbed Brandon Egli with a huge pad save. Jenks couldnt recover or get up as Riley Brandt stayed with the play and puck setup McCarthy at the side of the net, who roofed the puck up and over Jenks and a crowd in front of the Prince George goal. Egli and Brandt with the assists. But off the following draw back come the Spruce Kings on an odd man rush. Jeremiah Luedtke setup Marco Ballarin on a two on one couldnt beat Vipers starting goaltender Danny Todosychuk who come across the blue paint to make the big pad save. As the play went back up ice out of the Vernon zone Todosychuk was on his knees stretching looking in some discomfort, was slow to get up and looked to be in discomfort as the play went back up ice. Just 1:18 after Colton McCarthy put the Vipers up by a goal PG responded on a poor defensive zone play by the Vipers. Jarryd Leung was stopped by Todosychuk before Michael Buonincontri beat the Vernon goaltender on the rebound tying the game 2-2 at 4:24 Leung with the only assist on the play. On the following play PG won the faceoff deep in the Vernon zone, got the puck back to Jake LeBrun who ripped a quick shot from the high point forced Todosychuk to make a tough save keeping this game tied. PG slowly started to come on here and take it to the Vipers. Vernon's defence didnt look very sharp making a few defensive mistakes. Minutes later Vernon would get a very shortened powerplay before taking a penalty of their own, as both teams played a little four on four before the Spruce Kings would get a shortened man advantage. On the PP the Spruce Kings with a mad scramble in front of Danny Todosychuk couldnt corral the loose puck, a great opportunity at the side of the goal but the Prince George forward couldnt hit the open cage as Mitch Meek looked to have made a huge goal line save clearing the puck from going in. The Vipers would get lucky and evtenually clear the zone and kill off the remainder of the PG powerplay. This was huge as just fourteen seconds later TJ Dumonceaux put Vernon ahead for a second time this frame giving the Vipers a 3-2 lead at 9:59 Dumonceaux started this play, carrying the puck out of his own end before setting up Liam Coughlin who then setup Johnny Coughlin who went back to Dumonceaux who found the back of the net on a nice tic tac toe passing play. Johnny Coughlin & Liam Coughlin picked up the assists. The Vipers with not alot of offence in the second period played most of the period in their own end as Prince George carried the better of the play. The Spruce Kings would get a late powerplay but another strong penalty kill by Vernon and the Spruce Kings couldnt capitalize. Just after the penalty expired the Vipers trainer come onto the ice to talk with Danny Todosychuk who looked to be in some discomfort after making that save off Marco Ballarin earlier in the period. Todosychuk was very slow getting up after making a save and looked to be in discomfort through out the period. Todosychuk would stay in the nets and finish the frame. The Vipers who didnt generate alot of zone time would get a great opportunity late, Thomas Aldworth was stopped by Jenks who made a big save off the Vipers second leading scorer with two and a half minutes to go. The Vipers seemed to gain a little momentum in the final few minutes getting a few flurries of action in and around the PG goal. Anthony Latina with two solid looks at the goal couldnt beat Jesse Jenks who made two good saves to finish the period. The Vipers were up 3-2 after 40 minutes of play. The Vipers had a strong start to the period, had some flurries off the opening faceoff would grab their first lead of the night on a goal by McCarthy just over three minutes into the period. But then PG responded with a good push back, generated and created some good chances before tying the game. The Spruce Kings looked much better in the second period carried the better of the play for most of the frame but saw themselves down a goal heading into the third. For a second straight period the Vipers played physical. Prince George outshot Vernon 15-13.
3rd Period: The Spruce Kings would get an early man advantage on a weak call giving them a great opportunity to tie the game at three. Just thirty one seconds into the PP Viktor Dombrovskiy's shot from the point beat Danny Todosychuk right along the ice tying the game 3-3 at 2:31 veteran Chad Staley picked up the helper. Todosychuk didnt even move on Dombrovskiy's shot. Vernon would respond less then three minutes later, Nicholas Rasovic on a second opportunity at the side of the goal put the Vipers ahead 4-3 at 5:34 Colton McCarthy and Luke Shiplo collected the assists. Vernon laying body on almost every chance they can, played a very physical game as PG was dropping like flies on a hot summer night in the Okanagan. The Vipers speed and skill took over in the final frame as Vernon with some very crisp passing created some highlight real plays. The Spruce Kings looked tired didnt have much gas left in the tank to finish the 3rd. Liam Coughlin with a great chance to put Vernon up by two couldnt beat Jesse Jenks who just got a peice of Coughlin's shot with the outside of his glove. As the period went on, the Vipers seemed to pour on the attack. TJ Dumonceaux with a great opporunity in front was stopped by the pad of Jenks. Prince George with just one shot in the first ten minutes of play couldnt get much of anything going offensively. Just past the midway mark the Vipers would get a little insurance after another tic tac toe passing play, resulting in a goal. Luke Voltin setup Anthony Latina who come in across the Spruce Kings line feathered a saucer pass to Liam Finlay who put the Vipers up 5-3 at 13:39 Voltin and Latina with the helpers. Prince George come right back with a well responded shift, the Spruce Kings with a few hard working shifts couldnt contain the Vipers speed and skill were over powered most of the period. The Vipers with several flurries in and around the net looked to be on the man advantage most of the frame. Brandon Egli's rocket of a shot from the point forced Jesse Jenks into snagging Egli's blast with a quick save of the glove. With a minute and a half remaining PG would get a four minute powerplay. Leaving Jenks between the pipes the Spruce Kings moved the puck around had a few shots from in close couldnt get a late goal to get within a goal as the Vipers would kill off the remainder of the final seconds off the clock to come away with the 5-3 victory sweeping the season series 2-0. PG got on the board early on the powerplay tied the game but couldnt hold onto the lead for long giving up the lead less then three minutes later. The Spruce Kings who were hit and hit hard tonight also lost Braiden Epp who went down to the Prince George dressing room in the final minutes. The Vipers took over the game again in the 3rd outplayed PG most of the period. Vernon's speed and skill was no match for the Spruce Kings. PG with very little zone time mustered just three shots in the period. Vernon outshot Prince George 12-3.
Top Players: (Vernon)
The line of Liam Coughlin (1 goal), TJ Dumonceaux (1 goal) & Thomas Aldworth played very well. I thought Coughlin played very good, had several good opportunities this evening was hard to contain in and around the goal. Aldworth had flashes of skill through out the game didnt stand out as much. Dumonceaux was really flying, played with alot of jump was in and around the net also played physical.
Brandon Egli (1 assist) I thought looked good, made some real nice heads up plays coming out of his own end.
The line of Colton McCarthy (1 goal & 1 assist), Nicholas Rasovic (1 goal) & Riley Brandt (1 assist) I thought was Vernon's best unit. These three have really come on the last few weeks and been a big role in the Vipers sucess latley. McCarthy dosnt put up alot of points but works hard, and goes to the net. Rasovic has the speed, has more skill out of the three, is quick on his feet, isnt afraid to play physical and plays with an edge. Brandt is a firecracker, lays out anybody in his way, big or small. Plays with a ton of heart, is always full of energy. I thought McCarthy was hard to contain in and around the front of the net, added that big body down low. Rasovic had several good chances tonight, was involved in the play while Brandt played with alot of jump, really adds that grit and energy to the lineup.
Luke Shiplo (2 assists) Had another strong game on the blueline. Shiplo is another Viper that has been playing very well these last few weeks. Heck the kid has been a solid addition to the lineup this season, seems like hes always standing out close to every game.
Liam Finlay (1 goal & 1 assist) Was also very strong tonight, I really noticed Finlay's play on the backcheck tonight. Was good in the defensive zone as well as offence.
Johnny Coughlin (1 assist) I thought played a strong game on the Viper backend. Jumped up into the play, looked a little more confident tonight. Was good in his own end, didnt shy away from the body.
Game Thought's: (Vernon)
Other then a bit of a scare in the 2nd period I thought the Vipers were the better of the two teams tonight. I thought the Spruce Kings had the better jump to start the game, but as the opening period went along Vernon carried the better of the play and were the better team. The Vipers struggled a little defensively in the 2nd period didnt get alot of zone time. The Vipers managed to get two on the board in the second frame got some good penalty killing and goaltending were up by one heading into the 3rd. In the final frame it was all Vipers. Vernon would give up an early goal on the powerplay but didnt look back re-took the lead less then three minutes later before outplaying and outhitting the Spruce Kings. I thought the Vipers looked and played much better defensively in the 3rd really used their speed and skill. The Vipers looked to be on the war path playing very physical laying out almost every PG player in sight. I was really impressed with Vernon's passing, very crisp passes made for some highlight reel goals after two seperate tic tac toe plays-goals. This was one of the Vipers more physical games in sometime. The big question is what is up with Danny Todosychuk? Is he hurt again? After making a big pad save off a Spruce Kings two on one rush Todosychuk looked to be in discomfort and was very slow getting up on almost every shot. Seen stretching between whistles or while the play was going on at the other end of the rink, I was very surprised not to see Jarrod Schamerhorn come in on relief. Todosychuk has been injured or hurt in almost all four seasons with the Vipers and has missed most of this season due to injury and suspension. Can the Vipers risk keeping the local kid if hes hurt with the BCHL trade deadline tomorrow? Whats going on with Trevor Fidler? Only time will tell. Former Vernon Vipers defenceman Cody Bostock was in attendance tonight. A great crowd on hand tonight, one of the biggest of the season.
Top Players: (Prince George)
Viktor Dombrovskiy (1 goal) I thought played well on the Spruce Kings backend. Saw alot of icetime, played well with and without the puck.
Jeremiah Luedtke had a strong game up front. Created and generated several chances was one of the more offensive threats for the Spruce Kings.
Marco Ballarin (1 goal) Was another forward that I liked. I thought played well, created and generated chances, was hard to contain at times. Really sees and reads the ice well.
Jesse Jenks (34 saves) Played well between the pipes. Off the opening faceoff Jenks looked to have some kind of problem with his pads or skates as the PG goaltender looked to lose an edge and almost fall down in the opening few minutes of the game. As the game went along, Jenks seemed to be fine and played well, gave his team a chance to win.
Game Thought's: (Prince George)
The Spruce Kings looked to have good jump in their game off the opening faceoff. PG struggled with an early powerplay, would open the scoring on the road couldnt hold onto the lead for long. Just 1:17 later allowed the Vipers to tie the game on the man advantage played very well in the first half, had a slight edge in play couldnt contain the Vipers speed and skill were outplayed in the second half. PG was still in the game still tied heading into the 2nd had a very good period, fell behind just over three minutes into the second frame would respond quickly with a goal just over a minute later. The Spruce Kings with lots of pressure had some good looks and opportunities couldnt capitalize. I thought PG did a great job at limiting Vernon's speed and skill, carried the better of the play. Down just a goal heading into the 3rd Prince George would tie the game on an early PP once again couldnt hold onto the lead. Less then three minutes later the Vipers re-took the lead and never looked back. Every time the Spruce Kings would score, they had trouble holding onto the lead, allowing the Vipers to get back into the game scoring shortly after. The Spruce Kings took a pounding tonight, were dropping like flies looked to run out of gas come the final twenty minutes managed just three shots on goal in the third. With the Vipers goaltender in some discomfort you think the Spruce Kings would be firing pucks on goal any chance they had, looking for rebounds on a kid who was very slow to get up. I also wonder why PG didnt pull Jesse Jenks on the four minute powerplay to finish the game? Still a minute and a half to go and down by two goals and you dont pull the tender? Your going to lose if its by two or three why not take a chance? PG showed spurts but overall had troubles with the Vipers most of the night. Prince George had troubles slowing down Vernon and containing their skill. PG was in no where near as good conditioning as the Vipers and it showed tonight. Even though the Spruce Kings were outplayed, were still in the hockey game in the final period down just a goal at one point. Remember this game was tied 3-3 in the 3rd, this could have been anyones game at one point. PG has now lost four straight. Will the Spruce Kings make any big moves before tomorrow's deadline?
Jagger Williamson (Injured)
Trevor Fidler (Suspended)
Energy player of the game:
Colton McCarthy (1 goal & 1 assist)
1st Star: TJ Dumonceaux (1 goal)
2nd Star: Riley Brandt (1 assist)
3rd Star: Marco Ballarin (1 goal)