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 Exhibition game as Vernon defeated Prince George 3-0 in front of a small crowd at Kal Tire Place.
Vernon: Andrew Shortridge
Prince George: Alex Brooks-Potts
1st Period: Both teams looked a little tenative off the opening faceoff before the physical play ramped up. Both teams laid out some good solid checks early. Prince George only needed a few minutes before slowly taking over the edge in play. The Spruce Kings carried the play early and often as the Vipers needed just over four minutes to get their first shot on goal. Just close to five minutes into the game Alex Stoley's point shot got through traffic before Andrew Shortridge just got a pad on Stoley's shot making a difficult save with bodies in front keeping this a scoreless game. A few minutes later Mac Ferner turned over the puck inside his own blueline allowing Jake LeBrun & Nick Guerra in on the two on one. Guerra would be denied by Shortridge who had to be sharp in the opening period. Shortly after Vernon would get the games first powerplay, but with just one shot the Vipers would struggle with the man advantage as PG with a good penalty kill would kill off the minor. The Vipers having all kinds of trouble getting their offence going were outplayed in the first half. Prince George was outshooting the Vipers 9-3 at one point. Just past the midway mark the Spruce Kings would get their first look with the PP. Rider Stoglin with a great opportunity would be stopped by Andrew Shortridge who come across the blue paint to make a big save on the penalty kill. The Spruce Kings couldnt capitalize couldnt generate much with the man advantage. Just after the penalty expired Austin Cho's point would get redirected on it's way to the goal somehow just missed the far corner on Vernon's best scoring chance of the frame. The Vipers slowly turned their game around and come on strong in the final few minutes getting lots of pucks to the net forced Alex Brooks-Potts into action for the first time of the period. The Vipers with a few goal mouth scrambles in the final minutes created a little buzz late to finish the 1st. It was 0-0 after 20 minutes of play. Shots were even 11-11. The Spruce Kings jumped on the Vipers early and were the better of the two teams for most of the period. PG who had some size on Vernon was the more physical team this period generated alot more offence and had the better scoring chances. The Vipers had troubles getting the offence going and getting shots on goal. Just three shots on net in the first half before getting a flurry of shots in the final few minutes.
2nd Period: In the opening minute Vipers starting goaltender made a quick glove save off Rider Stoglin in close on a Prince George odd man rush. Shortridge had to be alert early was forced into making several good saves in the opening few minutes before the Vipers would open the scoring. Shortridge made a big save in tight before the Vipers cleared the zone. Jimmy Lambert setup veteran forward Linden Hora on an odd man rush who beat Spruce Kings starting goaltender Alex Brooks-Potts giving Vernon a early 1-0 lead at 5:55 Lambert with the lone assist. This goal seemed to jump start the Vipers who gained some confidence and got a big boost come on strong and in waves. Vernon playing with alot more jump, were now the ones carrying the play, getting pucks to the net, had PG hemmed in their own end at times. The Vipers with a nice give and go down low couldnt beat Brooks-Potts who made a good save from in close. Kyle Johnson got in behind the Viper defence knocked down the puck with a high stick that went un-noticed by the referee/linesmen went in alone for the breakaway was stoned by Andrew Shortridge. Back come the Vipers the other way before Linden Hora made a nice move inside the PG blueline got in for a parcial breakaway couldnt beat Alex Brooks-Potts from in close. Both goaltenders with big saves on back to back scoring chances. Vernon who didnt do alot of hitting in the opening frame stepped up their physical play in the second period. Stephen Penner would take a puck to the head-face but seemed to be ok and stayed in the game, actually finished his shift before going to the bench. Tempers heated up a little inbetween whistles with some pushing and shoving going on. Vernon was the better of the teams in the first ten minutes, got alot more pucks to the net but only were rewarded for the one goal. The Vipers would get a late powerplay, their second of the night but again couldnt capitalize. The Spruce Kings come on in the second half, played much better had some very good opportunities but couldnt beat Shortridge. In the final minute Braiden Epp on a three on one couldnt beat Andrew Shortridge who come across to make a huge save keeping this a one goal game. It was 1-0 Vernon after 40 minutes of play. Vernon outshot Prince George 15-11. The Vipers with a much better performance looked and played alot better then the opening period. Both teams had some good chances couldnt capitalize.
3rd Period: The Vipers come out hitting early laying out some good hits before grabbing an early two goal lead. Brett Stapley setup Colton McCarthy in front beat Alex Brooks-Potts in close giving Vernon a 2-0 lead at 4:48 Stapley & Jagger Williamson with the helpers. Just twenty seven seconds later Jimmy Lambert setup Joey Cipollone put Vernon up 3-0 at 5:15 Lambert with the lone assist. The Vipers kept coming, Brooks-Potts made three or four big saves keeping this a three goal game. PG didnt fold the tents come back with a few good looks at the net missed two open nets for sure on missed opportunities. Cavin Tilsley missed the open cage down low on a great opportunity to get the Spruce Kings on the board. Prince George then took over the play for a good few minutes, had Vernon back on their heels but couldnt beat Andrew Shortridge who was stellar between the pipes made some tough saves as the Spruce Kings were going to the net hard. Shortridge standing tall pushed away a few PG players in his crease lead to a few scrums in and around the Vernon goal. After a big hit behind the Vipers goal, Colton McCarthy dropped the gloves and starting throwing bombs at one Spruce Kings player before everyone got involved. A minor scrum-fight occured before the melay was broken up by the officials. The Spruce Kings would come out on top with their second PP of the game. Vernon with a good penalty kill would kill off the minor. Just over a minute later the Spruce Kings would jump back on the powerplay, getting a four minute PP. But again another solid penalty kill by the Viper penalty killers. The Spruce Kings would get Alex Brooks-Potts to the bench for the extra attacker with two and a half minutes left still couldnt solve Andrew Shortridge. The Spruce Kings firing everything towards the Vernon net couldnt catch a break. PG going hard to the net in the final minutes forced several scrums in the Vipers crease with lots of pushing and shoving as tempers heated in a hurry. Vernon would come no where near close to hitting the open cage would come away with the weekend sweep taking the second game of the home & home series 3-0. Prince George outshot Vernon 12-7. The Vipers with two quick back to back goals early in the frame got some insurance with a three goal lead. Both teams had some chances but the Spruce Kings had the better of the opportunities. PG didnt help them selves at times missing a few open nets or just missed the net from in close. A fiesty third period with lots of scrums-after the whistle altercations. Andrew Shortridge was solid between the pipes.
Top Player's: (Vernon)
Andrew Shortridge (34 saves-shutout) Was solid between the pipes all night. Shortridge was the difference making several big stops through out the game, keeping the Vipers in the game when needing a big save. A bigger goaltender, covers alot of the net, dosnt give up many rebounds if any is very calm but not afraid to mix things up, as displayed during the 3rd period. Shortridge didnt like all the traffic crashing the crease in the 3rd wasnt afraid to get involved in the pushing and shoving.
Alex Rasovic who was on the Vipers Training Camp roster but not in attendance made his Vipers debut last night in Prince George. I thought was very steady on the blueline this evening, played very well, seemed to handle his own.
Matt Halvorson wearing Mitchell Oliver's #4 jersey with Oliver's name bar still on the back was very solid tonight. Played big, used his body, was physical, hard to beat down low and very good with and without the puck. Handled himself very well when being the lone man back.
Callum Volpe was another Vernon defenceman that caught my eye. I thought the rookie played very well and handled himself very well through out the final pre-season game.
Colton McCarthy added some grit and fiestyness did just that tonight. Mixed it up in the corners and in front of the net, likes to play with an edge and brings that competitive side to the Vipers lineup.
Peter Tufto other then Andrew Shortridge was Vernon's best player. Didnt record a single point but was very dangerous with the puck. This kid is very skilled, quick and dangerous in and around the net. Very flashy.
Linden Hora (1 goal) Had a strong game up front for the Vipers. Was skating hard, working hard and competing.
Game Thought's: (Vernon)
I didnt think the Vipers played or looked that great after twenty minutes of play. Vernon had troubles getting their offence going, getting shots on goal and creating opportunities. I thought the Vipers played too much inside their own blueline, gave up alot of early shots early and too many opportunities. The Vipers played much better in the 2nd and 3rd periods. Seemed to step up their play, were skating, stepped up their physical play, moving the puck and playing as a team. Andrew Shortridge was also a big difference, made the big saves when called apon kept the Vipers in the game at times. Vernon went 0-2 with the PP seemed to struggle with the man advantage but played and looked very well on the penalty kill. A huge pat on the back to the Viper PK units in the 3rd. Vernon isnt the biggest of teams but isnt afraid to lay the body or get involved after the whistle in any altercations. The Vipers finish the pre-season with a 2-1-0-1 record will open the regular season Friday vs the visiting Trail Smoke Eaters. It looks as if the Vipers still have eight scratches, as I counted eight players in the stands during the game.
Top Player's: (Prince George)
Alex Brooks-Potts (30 saves) Didnt make any real stand out saves but played well for the Spruce Kings.
Stephen Penner played very well on the PG blueline.
Adam Brubacher played a solid game on the backend.
Rider Stoglin had his fair share of looks-chances couldnt find the back of the net. I thought was involved in the play, played well tonight in the loss.
Nick Guerra I thought was one of the Spruce Kings better players this evening. Had some chances, was in and around the net, couldnt solve Andrew Shortridge.
Game Thought's: (Prince George)
I thought the Spruce Kings come ready to play, jumped on Vernon early come out hitting played a very physical opening 1st couldnt get the first goal of the game. PG seemed to be firing everything on goal couldnt solve Vipers starting goaltender Andrew Shortridge who was a rock between the pipes. PG had the better scoring plays-opportunities, couldnt capitalize on some missed opportunities. The Spruce Kings with some great plays-chances ran into a hot goaltender. Prince George opens the scoring or jumps out to a two goal lead after outplaying the Vipers in that first frame, this is a different hockey game. Instead the Spruce Kings carry the better of the play in the first twenty minutes were battling in a scoreless game. The Spruce Kings give up the games first goal just a few minutes into the 2nd get the better of the scoring chances but still cant beat Andrew Shortridge. Those two quick back to back goals early into the 3rd were a heartbreaker. Down 3-0 on the road in the 3rd is tough and facing a goaltender like Shortridge dosnt make it any easier. Give PG credit they battled hard, played physical, tried mixing it up after the whitsle just couldnt find the back of the net or capitalize on their chances. The Spruce Kings really needed a goal late in the third, had their chances with the powerplay but couldnt capitalize. This was a pretty entertaining game for a pre-season game. The Spruce Kings now head home and will open the regular season on the 11th vs the expansion Wenatchee Wild.
They didnt announce any scratches
They didnt announce any three stars
Here is a look at both team's lineup's-rosters:
Andrew Shortridge "95"
Jarrod Schamerhorn "95"
Alex Rasovic "97"
Mac Ferner "95"
Matt Halvorson "96"
Griffin James "97"
Callum Volpe "97"
Austin Cho "97"
Steven Jandric "97"
Colton McCarthy "96"
Jagger Williamson "98"
Tak Anholt "98"
Peter Tufto "97"
Linden Hora "96"
Joey Cipollone "97"
Jimmy Lambert "97"
Liam Finlay "97"
Joe Sacco "96"
Brett Stapley "99"
Michael Roberts "95"
Liam McCloskey "98"
Alex Brooks-Potts "95"
Nolan Zweep "97"
Stephen Penner "95"
Alex Stoley "96"
Cooper Prechel "97"
Adam Brubacher "95"
Ryan Fritz "96"
Jake LeBrun "95"
Rider Stoglin "96"
Adam Burnett "96"
Nick Guerra "96"
Kyle Johnson "98"
Cole Todd "95"
Frank Sullivan "96"
Cavin Tilsley "98"
Parker Colley "97"
Connor Logan "96"
Nic Ponak "97"
Luc Soares "96"
Liam Watson-Brawn "99"
Braiden Epp "96"
Corey Hoffman "96"