Saturday, October 31, 2015

Vernon Vipers Halloween Video Special:

This is posted on the website:

Vernon Vipers Halloween Special 2015

Posted by HockeyTube on Oct 31st, 2015

Century 21 and presents the BCHL Vernon Vipers ‘Halloween Special 2015’. Players talked about trick or treating, what are the best goodies to get and which ones are just awful. The players also picked their favorite costumes as well as what they would like to dress their head coach up as. Veterans Mike Roberts, Mitch Oliver and Riley Brandt also took part in the compilation interview.

Vernon Vipers Player Profile With #21 Liam Finlay:

This is posted on the website:

Vipers Profile #21 Liam Finlay

Posted by HockeyTube on Oct 17th, 2015 

Century 21 presents the Vernon Viper's Player Profile. This week chats with Kelowna native Liam Finlay. We talk about the trade that brought him to Vernon last year, being listed by Central Scouting and committing to the University of Denver.

Ex Vernon Viper Aldworth Named ECAC Player & Rookie Of The Week:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Thomas Aldworth has been named ECAC Player of the Week & Rookie of the Week.

Aldworth played one season in Vernon (2014-15) playing in 57 games with the Vipers, collected (37-goals-19-assists-56-points). In three games this season with Quinnipiac University Aldworth has (3-goals-3-assists-6-points). Former Vipers defenceman Luke Shiplo is also in his first season at Quinnipiac University.

Thomas Aldworth's Player Profile:

This was posted on the Bobcats website:

QU Men's Ice Hockey's Thomas Aldworth Named ECAC Hockey Player and Rookie of the Week

Men's Ice Hockey | 10/20/2015

Quinnipiac men's ice hockey freshman Thomas Aldworth (Keller, Texas) was named the ECAC Hockey Player and Rookie of the Week as announced by the league on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Aldworth posted his second-straight three-point game with two goals and an assist against Arizona State on Thursday, Oct. 15 in the Bobcats' lone game of the week.

Aldworth led the Bobcats in their only match-up of the week - a 5-0 win against Arizona State - with two goals and an assist. Aldworth's two goals and three points led all ECAC Hockey freshmen while he was just one of eight NCAA Division I men's ice hockey freshmen with a multiple-goal game last week.

The first-year Bobcat has quickly gained the favor of the High Point Solutions Arena faithful with back-to-back three-point nights in his first two career home games. He sits tied with Sam Anas with a team-high three goals and has also matched Devon Toews with a team-best three assists to date. Aldworth is one of nine NCAA Division I men's ice hockey players with three games played this year to average two points per game to date.?

Quinnipiac will host Maine on Tuesday, Oct. 20 before facing St. Cloud State for a two-game series on Oct. 23-24 at High Point Solutions Arena at the TD Bank Sports Center.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Vernon 5 Trail 2

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-Smoke Eaters game as Vernon defeated Trail 5-2 in front of 1,535 fans at Kal Tire Place.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Andrew Shortridge
Trail: Bailey MacBurnie

1st Period: The Smoke Eaters come out with some good jump would get a great opportunity just fifteen seconds into the hockey game. Former Viper forward Kurt Black with a chance in front couldnt beat Andrew Shortridge. Trail had their legs going, come at Vernon with some pressure early and often carried the better of the play in the early opening minutes. Andrew Shortridge was the busier of the two goaltenders was forced into making two or three big saves in the first half of the period. Vernon would get the games first powerplay, Odeen Tufto in front couldnt beat Bailey MacBurnie who made a pad save from the slot. Trail with a good penalty kill would kill off the minor. The Vipers were firing everything on goal early but didnt generate any real quality chances in the first half. Vernon was outshooting Trail 7-3 nine minutes into the game, but it was the Smoke Eaters that had the better of the scoring chances. Colton McCarthy would get the Vipers first good opportunity just before the midway mark on a chance in front, forced Bailey MacBurnie to make a quick pad save off the Vernon captain. As the period went along the Vipers started to get their game going and would open the scoring.Jagger Williamson from the point would be tipped on it's way to the net by Riley Brandt who put Vernon up 1-0 at 13:16 Williamson & Callum Volpe with the helpers. The Smokies responded with a good push back shift, John Laurito with a great look in front was stoned by Shortridge, back come the Vipers. Riley Brandt setup Colton McCarthy in front who put Vernon up 2-0 at 15:17 Brandt and Bo Pellah with the assists. A few plays later the Vipers come close to scoring again, Mac Ferner's shot from the blueline would get redirected in front, Odeen Tufto couldnt beat MacBurnie who made a solid save on the redirect. Vernon would jump out to a 3-0 lead at 18:24 Colton McCarthy with his second of the night, Jagger Williamson and Bo Pellah picked up the assists, On the following play, Trail would get their first look with the man advantage, that would carry into the 2nd period. Vernon was up 3-0 after 20 minutes of play. The Smokies got off to a strong start, had some early jump had a few good chances couldnt beat Andrew Shortridge. Trail had the better of the play in the opening few minutes before the Vipers slowly got going. Vernon firing everything towards the goal would score three goals in just over five minutes. I thought Trail played better then the score indicated, didnt get a break or that early goal they needed. The Vipers outshot the Smoke Eaters 17-11.

2nd Period: The Smoke Eaters started the period on the powerplay, that was carried over from the end of the 1st period. Trail unable to capitalize were still down three goals. The Vipers really moving the puck, had a ton of chances and opportunities in and around the Smokies goal but couldnt capitalize on their chances. Jimmy Lambert with a great indivdual effort tried going around the Trail defenceman, cut hard to the goal forced Smoke Eaters starting goaltender Bailey MacBurnie to commit, stretched way out across the crease but Lambert couldnt raise the puck was stopped in close on a huge pad save by MacBurnie. The Vipers buzzing in and around the Smokies net had some nice tic tav toe plays couldnt find the back of the net. Mitchell Oliver's shot from the blueline hit someone on it's way to the net, took a crazy hop somehow was stopped by MacBurnie who was forced into making a difficult save. The Smoke Eaters who were outplayed this period, didnt have much zone time, didnt create alot of scoring chances. Kienan Scott with a parcial breakaway would get a great chance for Trail but was denied by Vipers starting goaltender Andrew Shortridge. Just past the halfway mark Vernon would get their second look with the PP but couldnt generate much as the Smokies would kill off the minor. With just over five minutes to go in the middle frame Andrew Shortridge made a big save in close before stretching out to make a second save, on the play Shortridge went down and was slow to get up. The Viper goaltender did eventually get to his feet but looked to be in some discomfort for the remainder of the period. The Vipers & Smokies kept playing, with no whistle for a good three to four minutes Shortridge was forced into staying in the game. On the following stoppage in play, Shortridge went to the bench, talked to the trainer but stayed in the game. As the period continued Shortridge still looked to be in some discomfort as the Smoke Eaters were coming on late, were putting on good pressure in the final few minutes of the period. At the buzzer Bailey MacBurnie ran into-bumped Andrew Shortridge as both goaltenders were leaving the ice, the two netminders got into each others faces, as Shortridge went after MacBurnie before the referee's jumped in seperating the two. Vernon was up 3-0 after 40 minutes of play. A very strong period by the Vipers, who carried most of the play. Vernon really using their speed and skill showed that in the second period, creating and generating a ton of chances. Trail looked like a different team compared to the 1st period. The Smoke Eaters were outplayed, didnt get alot of offensive zone time. The Smokies did claw their way back late, got some pressure in the final four or five minutes looked and played their best at the end of the period. The Vipers outshot the Smoke Eaters 14-12.

3rd Period: The Smokies with a good start, had some good jump to start the 3rd period. Trail was peppering Andrew Shortridge early, forcing the Viper goaltender into several saves from in close as the Smoke Eaters were buzzing, Vernon would take an early penalty giving Trail just their second look with the man advantage. The Smokies would take a penalty as both teams played a little four on four before the Vipers would get a late powerplay. Callum Volpe's rocket of a shot from the point beat a screened Bailey MacBurnie would get his first career BCHL goal at 5:20 as the Vipers bench erupted. Jagger Williamson and Bo Pellah collected the helpers. Just less then a minute later Trail would get another chance on the PP but a strong penalty kill by Andrew Shortridge who once again come up with some huge saves. Shortridge who still looked to be hurting-in some discomfort stayed in the game, made some big saves early into the final frame. The Vipers would kill off the minor. A few minutes later the Vipers would go back on the PP and capitalize. Colton McCarthy would get his third of the evening give Vernon a 5-0 lead at 10:40 Riley Brandt & Jagger Williamson picked up the assists. Both teams getting into penalty trouble as a penalty filled period. The Vipers would head right back to the PP as the Smokies were taking some very undisaplined penalties. But shorthanded Nick Halloran broke loose for the breakaway, with Bo Pellah trying to catch the Smokes leading scorer, Halloran went shortside beating Andrew Shortridge cutting the Vernon lead to 5-1 at 13:57 Ross Armour with the helper. Just less then three minutes later Trail would cut the lead to within three goals. Kurt Black beat Shortridge with a wicked snap shot at 16:51 Max Newton collected the assist. This game wasnt over just yet as the Smoke Eaters would get a powerplay less then a minute later, but a strong penalty kill by the Vipers would kill off the minor. In the final minute of play tempers heated up after Ross Armour gave Bo Pellah a good slash across the back of the legs, Pellah turned around giving Armour a crosscheck back. Spencer McLean then come over towards Bo Pellah as the  two exchanged words and a few shots back and fourth before the two got tangled up with one another. The linesmen skated over in a hurry to break things up, while a few other players on the ice were yapping back and fourth. In the end Vernon would come away with the 5-2 victory. After a not so great second period, Trail responded with a much better 3rd. The Smoke Eaters had several good looks-opportunities early to start the frame, couldnt solve Andrew Shortridge. Shortridge made some huge saves, while playing hurt was keeping his team in the game. The Smoke Eaters were the better team in the 3rd, carried the edge in play. Vernon didnt get alot of scoring chances but when they did, capitalized with two powerplay goals putting the game away. Give credit to Trail, they didnt quit and got two late goals to make things interesting. Trail outshot Vernon 19-11.

Top Player's: (Vernon)

The line of Colton McCarthy (3 goals), Riley Brandt (1 goal & 2 assists) & Jagger Williamson (4 assists) was Vernon's best unit tonight. These three veteran players, responded and carried the Vipers on their back. A very strong performance from all three. McCarthy with three goals was going to the net, went to the grey area and was rewarded with the hat trick. Brandt with three points also had a strong night, played well against Salmon Arm on Wednesday works his but off everynight. The hardest working Viper by far! How about Jagger Williason with four assists? The second year Viper forward really struggled at the start of the season, had a heck of a game tonight. Williamson made some real nice heads up plays-passes to create and generate some offence. Played well at both ends of the rink, really saw the ice well.

Hunter Zandee I thought played with alot of jump, played well at both ends of the rink, was skating hard tonight, laid out a few hits early in the contest, competed-played hard.

Callum Volpe (1 goal) Returned to the lineup, I thought played very well on the blueline. Made some smart plays at both ends of the rink. 

Andrew Shortridge (40 saves) Where would the Vipers be without this kid? Had another strong performance-game tonight. Shortridge made some key saves early in the hockey game and through out the 3rd period to keep the Smokies off the board. Trail had some real good chances early in the 1st and several great opportunities in the 3rd but Shortridge made some very spectacular saves. I was a little surprised to see him stay in the game after looking to injury/hurt himself late in the 2nd period. As the game went on, Shortridge was in some discomfort stayed in the game. Lets hope hes ok.

Game Thought's: (Vernon)

After three pretty poor performances-games over the past week the Vipers snapped their three game losing streak with a big hard earned victory tonight. Vernon's veteran players (Colton McCarthy, Jagger Williamson, Andrew Shortridge & Riley Brandt) all stepped up and delivered. This was a much better performance-game all around. The Vipers even though were outchanced in the opening period, got three quick goals in just over five minutes to really open up the game and get their game going. I thought the Vipers played very well in the 2nd period, had a ton of great looks-opportunities just couldnt capitalize, were also stopped by Bailey MacBurnie who come up with some nice saves. In the 3rd Vernon put the game away with two powerplay goals. The Vipers didnt generate a whole lot of opportunities in the 3rd, allowed Trail to pump in two quick back to back goals to get within three but Andrew Shortridge did the rest with some big saves to preserve the victory. The game got a little rough-chippy in the third after both teams played most of the third in the penalty box. Im not going to get too excited as the Vipers did beat Trail who sit last in the Division but give this team credit, they come ready to play tonight. I really liked their energy, played with alot of jump, showed lots of intensity and seemed to play as a team tonight. Lets hope this gives the kids some confidence heading into the weekend road trip next weekend.

Top Player's: (Trail)

Mitchell Stapley the older brother of Vipers forward Brett Stapley I thought played well on defence. Had a few shifts, playing hard against his younger brother. I thought was very solid, played well through out the game.

Kienan Scott had a strong game up front for the Smoke Eaters. Had some good opportunities, was skating hard, competed and generated some chances.

Kurt Black (1 goal) Was one of the more consistant Trail forwards, was going to the net, looking for the rebounds, making life difficult on the Viper defence, A former Viper "AP" has played well against his former team.

Cooper Leitch played well, was another player going to the net.

Game Thought's: (Trail)

The Trail Smoke Eaters made their third and final regular season visit to Vernon fell to 1-3 vs the Vipers this season. Looking at the standings, this is not a last place hockey club. In the three games the Smoke Eaters have played in Vernon, I thought they played well including tonight. Coming in riding a two game winning streak the Smokies got off to a good start, Trail had some good chances-opportunties early in the opening frame couldnt capitalize-beat Andrew Shortridge. The Smokies give up three goals in just over five minutes wich is a killer and hard for any team to come back, especially playing on the road. I thought the Smokies played very well in the 1st, had a good chunk of play in the Viper end didnt get any breaks that first period. The Smoke Eaters score first or get a quick goal or two early to start the game, and this may be a different game-outcome. Trail needed to respond with a strong second and they didnt, the Smoke Eaters looked flat, were outplayed and outchanced most of the middle frame. The Smokies got lucky Vernon didnt get any goals in the 2nd period, were still down three heading into the 3rd. A strong start and finish to the final frame as the Smoke Eaters played very well in the 3rd had troubles staying out of the box, took some undisaplined penalties. Giving up two powerplay goals in the 3rd when already down 3-0 cost them, that was basically the hockey game. Give Trail full credit, they didnt fold the tents, they competed, got two quick back to back goals to make a game of it but couldnt muster anything in the final minutes. Trail played hard but needs to play a full sixty minutes if they want to win and win on the road. 



Christian Cakebread (Injured)
Darren Rizzolo


Evan MacEachern

Energy Player of the Game:

Callum Volpe (1 goal)

Three Stars:

1st Star: Colton McCarthy (3 goals)
2nd Star: Jagger Williamson (4 assists)
3rd Star: Riley Brandt (1 goal & 2 assists)

BCHL Boxscore,

Graham Turnbull's Vernon Vipers Blog,

Game Preview: Trail @ Vernon:

Trail (6-9-0-0)  @ Vernon (8-9-0-1) 7pm

Tonight is the fourth meeting of the season between the Vernon Vipers & Trail Smoke Eaters. The Vipers lead the season series 2-0-0-1

Last Game:

Wednesday, October 28th Salmon Arm defeated Vernon 6-2
Friday, October 23rd Trail defeated Merritt 5-4 in overtime

Next Game:

Friday, November 6th Vernon @ Alberni Valley
Sunday, November 1st Penticton @ Trail

Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon is 439-244-20-21

Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon is 241-100-11-11 at home

Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon is 198-134-9-10 on the road

Since the 2002-03 regular season Vernon is 67-17-1-3 vs. Trail

Since the 2002-03 regular season Vernon has outscored Trail 382-209

Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon is 34-6-0-2 at home vs. Trail

Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon is 26-9-1-1 in Trail

The Vipers are 8-2-0-0 in their last ten games In Trail

The Vipers are 9-0-0-1 in their last ten home games vs. Trail

Vernon's last win in Trail was a 5-2 victory on Saturday, September 12th 2015

Trail's last win at home vs Vernon was a 6-5 win on Wednesday, February 26th 2014

Trails last win in Vernon was a 5-3 win on Friday, September 11th 2015

Vernon's last win at home vs Trail was a 5-1 win on Wednesday, October 14th 2015

The Vipers went 7-0-0-0 vs Trail last season

Lets take a look at the Vernon Vipers:

The Vernon Vipers are coming off a 6-2 loss to the visiting Salmon Arm Silverbacks have lost three straight for the first time this season. The Vipers are 2-0-0-1 vs Trail this season, won the last meeting between these two teams after a 5-1 victory in Vernon on October 14th. Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon is 34-6-0-2 at home vs. Trail. These two teams wont meet again until December 16th in Trail. Vernon has lost three of their last five games and are 5-5-0-0 in their last ten games. The Vipers sit 4th in the Division are five points up on Trail and three points back of West Kelowna. 

Colton McCarthy (9-4-13) leads the the team in goals with nine, while Odeen Tufto (7-13-20) leads the team in points with twenty.

Riley Brandt played in 36 games with the Smokies during (2012-2014)

Colton McCarthy played in three games with Trail during the 2012-13 season

Michael Roberts played one game with the Smoke Eaters during the 2013-14 season

Graham Turnbull's Vernon Vipers Venom Blog

Vernon Vipers 2015-16 regular season Stats:

Games Played: 18
Wins: 8
Losses: 9
Ties: 0
Overtime Losses: 1
Home Record: 5-5-0-1
Road Record: 3-4-0-0
Overtime Record: 1-1
Record vs Interior Division: 4-5-0-0
Record vs Island & Mainland Divisions: 4-4-0-1
When the Vipers score first: 5-3-0-1
When the opponents score first: 3-6-0-0
Leading after 1st Period: 4-2-0-0
Tied after 1st Period: 2-2-0-0
Trailing after 1st Period: 2-5-0-1
Leading after 2nd Period: 6-0-0-0
Tied after 2nd Period: 1-2-0-0
Trailing after 2nd Period: 1-7-0-0
Out shooting Opponents: 4-3-0-1
Out shot by Opponents: 4-6-0-0
One goal games: 1-4-0-1
Longest winning streak this year: Three games
Longest losing streak this year: Three games
Goals For: 59
Goals Against: 53
Place: 4th Place
Streak: Three game losing streak

Vernon Vipers Returning Players:

Liam Finlay (97)
Jagger Williamson (98)
Colton McCarthy (96)
Riley Brandt (96)
Mitchell Oliver (97)

Vernon Vipers Departing & traded players from last years team:

Liam Coughlin (94)
Anthony Latina (94)
Blaine Caton (97)
Linden Hora (96)
Nicholas Rasovic (96)
TJ Dumonceaux (94)
Luke Shiplo (95)
Luke Voltin (95)
Brandon Egli (94)
Jarrod Schamerhorn (95)
Mitch Meek (96)
Johhny Coughlin (95)
Kenny Citron (95)
Riley Guenther (94)
Mackenzie Bauer (96)
Danny Todosychuk (94)

Vernon’s Home record vs. Trail this season:


Vernon’s Road record vs. Trail this season:


Vernon’s scoring leaders vs. Trail this season:

Liam Finlay (3-1-4)
Peter Tufto (0-4-4)
Colton McCarthy (2-2-4)
Riley Brandt (2-2-4)
Steven Jandric (1-2-3)
Joe Sacco (1-2-3)
Michael Roberts (1-1-2)
Joe Cipillone (1-1-2)
Jimmy Lambert (1-1-2)
Hunter Zandee (1-0-1)
Jagger Williamson (0-1-1)
Brett Stapley (0-1-1)
Bo Pellah (0-1-1)
Mitchell Oliver (0-1-1)
Darren Rizzolo (0-1-1)

Andrew Shortridge (1-1 Record)

-Vernon has the leagues 12th best powerplay

-The Vipers have the leagues 8th best penalty kill


Lets take a look at the Trail Smoke Eaters:

The Trail Smoke Eaters make their third and final regular season visit to Kal Tire Place, are coming off a 5-4 overtime victory over the hometown Merritt Centennials Friday. The Smokies & Vipers will meet three more times after tonight, with all three games played in Trail. Trail has won two straight after back to back wins over Merritt have lost three of their last five. The Smoke Eaters have just two wins on the road this season, one in Vernon are 4-6-0-0 in their last ten games. The Smoke Eaters have won just eight times in Vernon since the 2003-04 season. Trail sits last in the Interior Division are a single point back of Merritt.

Kienan Scott (7-2-9) leads the team in goals with nine, while Nick Hallloran (6-9-15) leads the team in points with fifteen.

Kurt Black played two games with the Vipers during the 2012-13 season

Trail Smoke Eaters 2015-16 regular season Stats:

Games Played: 15
Wins: 6
Losses: 9
Ties: 0
Overtime Losses: 0
Home Record: 4-4-0-0
Road Record: 2-5-0-0
Goals For: 48
Goals Against: 63
Place: 6th Place
Streak: Two game winning streak

Trail Smoke Eaters Returning Players:

Connor Brown-Maloski (96)
Jake Kauppila (95)
Cooper Leitch (96)
Jeremy Lucchini (97)
Evan MacEachern (95)
Max Newton (97)
Harlan Orr (95)
Kienan Scott (96)
Ryan Swanson (95)

Trail Smoke Eaters Departing & traded players from last years team:

Charlie Zuccarini (94)
Craig Martin (95)
Bryan Basilico (95)
Conner Wynne (95)
Dexter McLeod (96)
Stephen Penner (95)
Robert Johnson (98)
Sheldon Brett (96)
Bryan Gerstenfeld (95)
Jordan Passmore (96)
Adam Todd (94)
Brett Clark (95)

Trail’s Home record vs. Vernon this season:


Trail’s Road record vs. Vernon this season:


Trail’s scoring leaders vs. Vernon this season:

Kurt Black (1-3-4)
Jake Kauppila (1-2-3)
Rhett Wilcox (2-1-3)
Kienan Scott (1-1-2)
Nick Halloran (1-0-1)
Harlan Orr (1-0-1)
Kale Howarth (0-1-1)
Jeremy Lucchini (0-1-1)
Evan MacEachern (0-1-1)
Cooper Sande (0-1-1)
Ryan Swanson (0-1-1)
Cooper Leitch (1-0-1)
John Laurito (0-1-1)

Bailey MacBurnie (1-2 Record)

-Trail has with the leagues 13th best powerplay

-The Smoke Eaters have the league's 3rd best penalty kill

Here's a look at both teams rosters:

Vernon Vipers:

Trail Smoke Eaters:

Silverbacks Pick Apart Vipers:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Silverbacks pick apart Vipers
by  Kevin Mitchell - Vernon Morning Star

Oct 30, 2015

There are 132 teams in the Canadian Junior A Hockey League. The struggling Vernon Vipers lost 6-2 to the 18th-ranked Salmon Arm Silverbacks Wednesday night before 1,605 fans at Kal Tire Place.

For the Vipers, coming off a woeful double-loss weekend, taking the bigger and older Silverbacks almost to the limit was a much needed positive vibe.

Head coach/GM Mark Ferner still held a 35-minute closed-door meeting after the Vipers lost their third straight, but the morgue-like feel was somewhat lifted.

“It’s tough not to get the two points, but I think we had a good effort and just couldn’t get the goals that we were looking for,” said Vernon alternate captain Riley Brandt, who scored once and blocked a howitzer with his rear end killing a penalty.

“We’re a young group and we had an average game. We still gotta keep working to get those two points. Hopefully, it’s a stepping stone for what’s next. It’s gonna come.”

The Vipers host the last-place Trail Smoke Eaters (6-9) Friday night. The Silverbacks entertain the West Kelowna Warriors (9-5-0-2) Friday night.

The Silverbacks, who play a speed and in-yer-face game, stretched their win streak to five. The Vipers showed way more urgency and pushback than they did last weekend.

Nick Hutchison converted in the slot on a nice feed from second star Carson Bolduc to put the Gorillas up 93 seconds after the national anthem by Galina Labun. Hutchison’s eighth snipe of the season came after Viper winger Hunter Zandee was called for elbowing 10 seconds into the tilt.

The Vipers appeared to equalize seven minutes later when Jimmy Lambert tapped in a gorgeous feed from flashy d-man Bo Pellah. Salmon Arm goalie Angus Redmond knocked the net off its mooring with Lambert approaching and the officials ruled no snipe.

“It could have been a much closer game,” said Pellah, named the Fortis Energy Player of the Game for Vernon. “We got a no-goal call by the ref at the start there. I thought that should have counted because the goalie kicked the net off but you can’t blame the ref. You gotta compete for the full 60.”

Josh Blanchard picked up a turnover deep in the Vernon zone while killing a penalty and made it 2-0 with 2:27 left in the opening 20.

The Vipers responded on a power play 86 seconds later with captain Colton McCarthy knocking in a loose puck from in tight on Redmond. Darren Rizzolo took the point shot after a nifty feed off the sidewall by Brandt. It was McCarthy’s team-high ninth.

Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 16-13 in a sizzling first period and 39-37 on the night with Andrew Shortridge going the distance for the Snakes.

It was anybody’s game until Vernon veteran d-man Mac Ferner bounced the puck off the back of the Viper net right to Ross Heidt, who beat a stunned Shortridge at 13:42. It was Heidt’s team-leading 12th goal of the year.

The Vipers lost focus in the final five minutes of the third, allowing three goals in just over two minutes. Marcus Mitchell (5th), Vernon product Colton Thibault (8th), with McCarthy serving a slashing penalty, and Chase Zieky (4th), on a sweet redirect of a Jared Turcotte pass, completed the Silverback offence.

Brandt one-timed a slapper after a gorgeous cross-ice pass from Pellah for the Vipers’ second goal. It was 4-2 Silverbacks with four minutes to play.

Pellah figured the Vipers lost focus with the game tight, but he believes they can find a way out of this slump.

“We’re going through a little bit of a rough spot right now and we’re tying to figure it out there. Hopefully, we can get it together for Friday and get back on a roll like we were a couple of weeks before. Some guys are new to the league and they may be nervous or scared but we’re 18 games into the season so everybody should be adjusted to the pace and tempo. You gotta have some confidence out there.”

Salmon Arm improved to 11-3-2, six points back of the Interior Division leading Penticton Vees. Vernon dipped to 8-9-0-1 for fourth spot, four digits up on the Merritt Centennials for the final playoff berth.

“I thought our guys just competed hard,” said Gorillas coach Brandon West. “Vernon played real well and put us on our heels and we were fortunate to get some good bounces for our way. There was one span in the first period where Vernon was taking it to us and our guys did a real good job boxing them out and limiting their chances.”

The Silverbacks lost d-man Ryley Booth, a former Viper, after a blow to the head penalty on McCarthy late in the first period. They also had rookie forward Cameron Couture ejected early in the second period for a check from behind on Pellah.

Viper 16-year-old rookie Brett Stapley and 19-year-old Blanchard, who are similar size, traded a few punches in a spirited, even scrap behind the Viper net in the second period. The fight occurred seconds after Zack Andrusiak of the Vipers was whistled for running over Redmond.

D-man Cameron Trott, an 18-year-old Silverback rookie from Anmore, B.C. (Port Moody) did everything right all night to earn first star.

Thibault, a 20-year-old who registered his 25th career BCHL goal in this his third year, said it was easy preparing for the Vipers.

“Nobody in our room has to get up for this game,” said Thibault, who had a large hometown cheering section. “Everybody was fired up before we went to the rink this morning.

“They’re not as much a veteran team this year so it’s a little easier to push them around. Once we got under their skin, they started to unravel and that’s pretty much what we did and how we won. We realized that their dee were pinching a lot on us and we got a pretty quick team so we thought, chip it off the glass and go beat ‘em for a two-on-one or something and it worked.”

West says Thibault has been the Silverbacks’ most consistent player and a major leader every game.

“I’m not letting anything get in my head right now and I’m just going out there and having fun,” said Thibault.