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 the Penticton Vees home opener tonight as they defeated Vernon 3-2 in front of 2,318 fans at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Vernon: Andrew Shortridge
Penticton: Anthony Brodeur
Before the game the Vees raised their five championship banners from last season into the rafters in a pre-game ceremony.
1st Period: The Vees would open their home opener with a bang scoring just fourty two seconds into the first period. The Vipers would ice the puck off the opening faceoff and it would cost them. Vernon couldnt clear the zone as the Vees were on the attack. Scott Conway was left unprotected walked in from the corner before ripping a shot gloveside that beat Andrew Shortridge on the Vees first shot of the night, gave Penticton an early 1-0 lead at 0:42 Chris Gerrie and Tyson Jost collected the helpers. It was all Vees early and often as Penticton carried the play were all over the Vipers. The Vees may have carried the play but didnt get alot of shots on goal had a few close chances in front. Vernon needed just over five minutes to record their first shot of the period. Shortly after this the Vipers finally seemed to get something going after a few hard working shifts before tying the game. Former Penticton Vees forward Liam Finlay was stopped by Anthony Brodeur (Son of former Mew Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur) before Peter Tufto burried the rebound at the side of the net tying the game 1-1 at 7:45 Finlay & Steven Jandric with the assists. A few shifts later Peter Tufto come close to giving Vernon a 2-1 lead couldnt beat Brodeur in close. The Vees would re-gain the lead after Mitch Brooks was able to skate through the Viper zone before going around his man then beating Andrew Shortridge shortside giving Penticton a 2-1 lead at 11:12 Owen Sillinger (Son of former Vancouver Canucks forward Mike Sillinger) & Jason Lavallee picked up the assists. Just less then three minutes later the Vees would get the games first powerplay. Dante Fabbro with a quick shot from the blueline would redirected in front just missed the far corner on a close play. Vernon's penalty kill was very solid not giving up a single shot would kill off the minor. Just as the penalty expired the Vees would get called for too many men giving Vernon their first look with the man advantage. The Vipers with two goal mouth scrambles were able to get off four shots with the PP but couldnt capitalize as Penticton would kill off the penalty. Just as the penalty expired Jimmy Lambert walked in all alone for the breakaway went up and over Anthony Brodeur missing the net on a missed opportunity. In the final fifteen seconds Easton Brodzinski would look to give the Vees a 3-1 lead was stopped by Andrew Shortridge on the breakaway before getting tangled up with Riley Brandt at the buzzer as the two exchanged words and some pushing and shoving. Penticton with a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of play. The Vees were the better of the teams in the opening frame carried the better of the play through out the first period. The Vees come out with lots of jump and energy were skating hard, moving the puck well. Penticton with a strong forecheck, was winning most of the races-puck battles had troubles hitting the net did create some good scoring chances had the better scoring chances. The Vees with some slick passing, can really move the puck around in a hurry. The Vipers played most of the first half in their own end had all kinds of trouble with the Vees attack. Penticton skating circles around the Vernon defenders who couldnt get through the neutral zone for most of the first half. Vernon looked slow and sluggish, had troubles making a decent pass. Both teams missed the net on several opportunities. The Vipers did pick up their play and have some zone time but didnt generate much for opportunities. The Vipers had troubles containing the Vees in the defensive zone. Dont let the shots fool you, Penticton took it to the Vipers for most of the period. Shots were even 10-10.
2nd Period: Riley Brandt with a hard working shift off the opening faceoff would get in close tried beating Vees starting goaltender Anthony Brodeur in close. The Vees would grab a two goal lead fairly early into the second frame. A poor defensive play in the neutral zone allowed Vees captain Tyson Jost to walk into the Vernon zone before setting up Scott Conway at the side of the net who was stopped by Vipers starting goaltender Andrew Shortridge before putting home the rebound from a tough angle giving Penticton a 3-1 lead at 4:32 Jost with the lone assist. The Vees kept coming once again carried the edge in play, were all over Vernon who for a second straight period had troubles getting through the neutral zone. Just before the halfway mark Chris Gerrie would go in for the breakaway tried going high on Shortridge went up and over the goal on a missed opportunity. The Vipers had an early edge in shots 6-3 would only manage two shots on goal in the final ten minutes of the period. Penticton would get their second man advantage just before the midway mark but again couldnt capitalize. The Vipers lone brightspot was the penalty kill. Andrew Shortridge made two big saves from in close as the Vipers would kill off the minor. The Vees took over the remainder of the period and dominated the play as it was all Penticton in the second half. The Vees really moving the puck around, looked like they were on a powerplay for most of the second half of the period. The Vipers did get lucky as the Vees had troubles hitting the net, missing on several shots from in close. The Vees did create and generate some good quality chances in close couldnt beat Andrew Shortridge. Vees leading scorer Easton Brodzinski looked to put Penticton up by three wired his shot off the far post on a close call. Within minutes, Desi Burgart was able to walk in from the corner couldnt beat Shortridge from in close who made a nice save before stopping Dixon Bowen in tight. The Vees with all kinds of pressure were on the attack. Vernon was very lucky to excape the second only down by two. Penticton with a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes of play. The Vipers with very little offence and shots from far and few between played most of the frame chasing the Vees in their own end. Penticton outplayed and dominated most of the period had tons of good looks at the net, had several opportunities. The Vipers went the final seven to eight minutes without a single shot on goal. Penticton outshot Vernon 13-8.
3rd Period: Just fourty seven seconds into the final frame Vipers captain Colton McCarthy and Mitchell Brooks got tangled up inside the Viper blueline as both players tried wrestling one another before both went to the sin bin. Just thirty four seconds later tempers heated up for the first time tonight after a hit close to the Vernon bench, Griffin James and former Vernon Vipers forward Demico Hannoun started going at one another. After all was said and done the Vees come away with a short two man advantage. The Vees moving the puck around got a few shots on goal but no real threat as once again a strong penalty kill by the Vipers. Vernon would excape and kill off both minors were still down by two. On the following shift Vernon would get their second look with the PP and capitalize. Liam Finlay setup Steven Jandric in the high slot who beat Anthony Brodeur getting the Vipers to within a goal at 6:00 Finlay & Peter Tufto picked up the helpers. A big penalty kill followed by a powerplay goal seemed to spark the Vipers who really turned the tables. Vernon slowly come on and kept coming in waves as the Vipers playing their best hockey of the night were in full control of the game at this point. It was now the Vees who were held in their own end, back on their heels at times couldnt stop or contain the Viper attack as roles switched. The Vipers were really coming on but had troubles getting shots on goal, didnt generate alot of chances were carrying the play. Just like the Vees in the first two periods the Vipers were missing the net on several shots from in close. Just after the midway mark Joey Cipollone with a quick shot from the circle was stopped by the quick glove of Brodeur who made a nice glove save to keep this a 3-2 Penticton lead. On the following shift Brodeur come up with two more back to back glove saves holding his team in at this point. Tyson Jost lead the attack with an odd man rush, decided to keep before going hard to the net looked to have Andrew Shortridge beat but couldnt slide the puck into the open cage as the Vees come very close to taking a two goal lead and almost putting this game away. This was Penticton's first scoring chance in a while and first time into the Vernon zone in a while as it was all Vipers this period. With time winding down the Vipers would call a timeout and get Shortridge to the bench with 1:42 remaining. The Vipers would win the draw, move the puck around but had no open shooting lanes as Penticton's defence stood tall in front of Anthony Brodeur forcing Vernon to the outside, who couldnt get a shot off. Twice the Vees come close to clearing the zone but the Vipers got the lucky bounce and the puck stayed in, Vernon with all kinds of pressure had troubles getting pucks to the net with time winding down Bo Pellah with a shot from the point was tipped in front by Riley Brandt before going off the crossbar with fifteen seconds to go. The Vees would get a whistle with just seven seconds left, the Vipers unable to get to the puck before Penticton would clear the zone before the final buzzer as Penticton would win its home opener and first game of the season after a 3-2 victory. The Vipers looked to be in trouble early after going down two men, the Vees with a shortended powerplay couldnt capitalize after a huge Viper penalty kill. Down two goals and still lots of time remaining the Vipers would get within one after a PP goal and then dominate the remainder of the 3rd. It was all Vipers the Vernon come in waves, couldnt get pucks to the net, couldnt force overtime. The Vees who like the Vipers in the opening two periods looked helpless, couldnt hold off the Viper attack. Penticton was now having troubles getting any kind of offence going were hanging on too a one goal lead. The Vees defence was very good in the third, limiting the Viper chances and shots. Vernon outshot Penticton 7-5.
Vernon's Top Player's:
Colton McCarthy I thought come to play, worked hard and battled through out tonight's game. The Viper captain went to the greasy area's and battled.
Riley Brandt Was another kid who I thought played his heart out. The second year Viper laid out a huge hit in the 1st period played with alot of energy and jump in his game.
Peter Tufto (1 goal & 1 assist) Looked good up front. Went to the net, was rewarded with two points had a few chances this evening has looked good early in the season.
Andrew Shortridge (25 saves) Gave up the first shot of the game, just fourty two seconds into the hockey game had troubles controlling and handling the puck at times before settling down as the game went on. Shortridge made a few big saves.
Game Thought's On Vernon:
It took the Vipers until the 3rd period to get going made for a heck of an exciting 3rd. It's too bad Vernon couldnt have played this way for all three periods. In the two games Ive seen the Vipers play this regular season, its been consistancy that has hurt the Vipers. Just like the home opener loss to Trail the Vipers looked good at times, didnt look that great at times and then looked pretty bad at times. Well I saw the same team Friday night, tonight. Vernon got off to a slow start, fell behind just fourty two seconds into the game, giving up the first goal on the Vees first shot. The Vipers played most of the first half in their own end were chasing Penticton most of the first two periods. The Vipers need to work on their passing, Friday's game vs Trail and again tonight couldnt make a pass. The Vipers looked slow and a little sluggish to start had spurts and a few shifts here and there in the first two periods had troubles getting their offence going. Most of the play was in their own end. Vernon was standing around watching the Vees move the puck, instead of hitting someone or going for the man they tried to pokecheck the guy with the puck. Vernon was lucky the Vees didnt capitalize on a few of their chances in the first two periods or the final score could have been alot worse. The Vipers had troubles getting pucks to the net and on Anthony Brodeur as well as missed the net alot through out the game. Give Vernon credit they didnt fold the tents and come to play in the 3rd, giving it their best. The Vipers with a solid period took it too the Vees and come very close to tying the game in the dying seconds hit the crossbar. Vernon kept things simple, cut back on the turnovers and didnt make many mistakes. I really liked the Vipers penalty kill. This is a very young, small, inexperienced team that fans are going to have to show some patience and give this team and the coaching staff some time to work with them and work on things. It may take this team a month or so before they get going. Since 2011 the Vipers have just three wins in Penticton.
Penticton's Top Player's:
Colton Poolman I thought was steady all night, played very well.
Scott Conway (2 goals) Left the NCAA over the off season to sign with Penticton is a very skilled-talented forward who can skate, move the puck and create-generate opportunities.
Tyson Jost (2 assists) Had a strong game up front for the Vees. This kid is pretty amazing and fun to watch.
Easton Brodzinski hit the post was stopped on a breakaway had his fair chances to find the back of the net was hard to contain all night. This kid was dangerous with the puck, goes to the net, worked hard and capitalized on his opportunities.
Jason Lavallee played well, competed and worked hard through out the contest.
Dante Fabbro was very good on the Vees backend.
Chris Gerrie was another forward who caught my eye, had a breakaway was also dangerous at times. Good stick handler, can move the puck.
Game Thought's On Penticton:
The defending Western Canada Cup Champion Penticton Vees pick up their first win of the season are now 22-7 vs Vernon the past four years. The Vees have had the Vipers number the past few season's are now 7-1 vs the Vipers going back to last year. The Vees wearing their new black jerseys (not sure if they are away or third set jerseys) but they have gone back to black jerseys like they had a few years ago. Penticton jumped on the Vipers early, scored the games first goal, had the Vipers back on their heels for most of the first two periods. The Vees also missed the net on several shots can really move the puck, this team has a strong forecheck, won alot of if not most of the puck battles-races for the puck in the first two periods looked very good. Like I said before the Vees could have put this game away alot sooner if they would have capitalized on their chances, this would have been a different final score. Anthony Brodeur made 23 saves for his first career BCHL win didnt see alot of action, made a few nice glove saves in the 3rd but overall didnt have to steal a game for the Vees. Im not sure what happened to Penticton in the 3rd but after not being able to capitalize with the two man advantage and then a few minutes later give up the next goal, the Vees were now back on their heels, held in their own end for most of the period and now having troubles getting through the neutral zone. Give the defending Champs credit, I thought their defence played a solid game come the third when called apon. The Vees blueline was solid in limiting Vernon's shots, chances and second opportunities. The Vees only gave up seven shots in the final frame. After two periods it looked like Penticton was going to walk away with the easy win, made for a hard fought, tough battle to get the two points in the 3rd. A great crowd of just over 2,300 for the home opener on a midweek (Wednesday) day. Pretty impressive.
Mac Ferner (Suspended)
Energy player of the game:
1st Star: Scott Conway (2 goals)
2nd Star: Tyson Jost (2 assists)
3rd Star: Peter Tufto (1 goal & 1 assist)
Fraser Rodger's Penticton Vees Blog,
Graham Turnbull's Vernon Vipers Blog,