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.
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)
Energy Player of the Game:
Callum Volpe (1 goal)
1st Star: Colton McCarthy (3 goals)
2nd Star: Jagger Williamson (4 assists)
3rd Star: Riley Brandt (1 goal & 2 assists)
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