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-Grizzlies game as Victoria defeated Vernon 2-0 in front of 1,670 fans at Kal Tire Place.
Vernon: Andrew Shortridge
Victoria: Matthew Galajda
1st Period: Some good flow to start the game tonight as both teams went back and fourth but with very few shots and no scoring chances. After a few minutes the Grizzlies slowly started to take over the edge in play and for a good five or six minutes carried the better of the play. Like last night the Vipers had troubles getting out of their own end, clearing the zone and turned over the puck in their own end several times. Luc Soares would get the games first good opportunity after getting off a quick shot from in close forced Andrew Shortridge to make a quick glove save keeping this game scoreless. The Grizzlies didnt create alot of scoring chances but carried the better of the play. P.J. Conlon with a great chance in front couldnt beat Shortridge who come up with a huge save once again bailing out his team. Victoria was outshooting the Vipers 7-4 just before the halfway mark. In the second half it was all Victoria as the Vipers for a second straight night had troubles getting any kind of offence going. The Vipers with very few shots and very limited zone time played most of the second half in their own end. The Grizzlies would open the scoring on a defensive let down in the Vernon zone. Nick Guiney at the side of the net banged home the loose puck on a scramble in front of Andrew Shortridge put Victoria up 1-0 at 12:55 Tyler Welsh & Cody Van Lierop collected the assists. Vernon would come back a few shifts later and get their first and only real opportunities. Colton McCarthy, Liam Finlay and Odeen Tufto couldnt beat Matthew Galajda who only faced nine Viper shots. The Vipers would get a powerplay to finish the period but struggled not getting a single shot with the man advantage as the Grizzlies would kill off the minor. Victoria was up 1-0 after 20 minutes of play. The Grizzlies were the better of the two teams and carried most of the play, especially in the second half. Victoria didnt generate alot for offensive chances, did get sixteen shots on Andrew Shortridge. Vernon with three quality chances didnt get alot of offensive zone time played most of the period in their own end. Victoria outshot Vernon 16-9.
2nd Period: Mitch Barker couldnt catch up to the loose puck tried to hustle in for the breakaway would eventually come crashing into and then flipping over Vipers starting goaltender Andrew Shortridge before the play was blown dead. Just three minutes into the middle frame Victoria would get their first look with the powerplay. The Grizzlies would get an lengthy five on three man advantage. Moving the puck around the Grizzlies tried for the onetimer from the point only managed three shots. The Grizzlies captain would get the best chance down low couldnt beat Shortridge who come up with a huge save before Vernon would kill off the first penalty. Out of the box stepped Darren Rizzolo who went in one on one shorthanded forced Grizzlies starting goaltender Matthew Galajda to kick out the left pad making a big save on the powerplay. The Viper penalty kill was very good would eventually kill off the two man advantage giving up just three shots. Shortly after the powerplay Mitch Barker with a great opportunity to give Victoria a two goal lead couldnt beat Andrew Shortridge. Barker was really flying tonight, creating and generating a ton of chances. Brett Stapley would come down the wing, before going hard to the net was stopped by Galajda who made a big save from in close. Vernon would get their second look with the PP but again couldnt capitalize with the man advantage. Jimmy Lambert setup Mac Ferner on a two on one but again Matthew Galajda made a big blocker save keeping the Vipers off the board. Vernon with back to back powerplays couldnt capitalize. Vernon played a little better this period finally got some zone time but didnt generate much for offensive chances. The Vipers again with several turnovers for a second straight period. Mac Ferner would drop the gloves with Nick Guiney as both players would get five minutes for fighting and game misconducts. Riley Brandt would leave the Viper bench with the trainer but would return and stay in the game. Vernon carried a bit of an edge in the second half before the Grizzlies battled back late to finish the frame. In the final minute Victoria come very close to jumping out to a 2-0 lead on a goal mouth scramble. Mitch Barker was robbed at the side of the net after Andrew Shortridge made a heck of a save keeping this a one goal game. Victoria was up 1-0 after 40 minutes of play. The Grizzlies with a great opportunity to put some distance between them and the Vipers couldnt capitalize on an early two man advantage. The Viper penalty kill and Andrew Shortridge were sharp and good to kill off both penalties. Victoria had the better of the scoring chances but Vernon did play a little better this period, getting some chances of their own, had a slight edge in the second half. Vernon outshot Victoria 14-13.
3rd Period: It was all Victoria in the third as the Grizzlies dominated the play. Up 1-0 the Grizzlies started off the 3rd looking for that next goal. For a team down just one goal heading into the 3rd the Vipers looked very dismal with no real threat at all as Victoria carried most of the play. The Grizzlies peppered Andrew Shortridge who made some big saves early just keeping his team in the game before the Grizzlies would get that all important second goal. P.J. Conlon sprung Cole Pickup in for the breakaway who would beat Shortridge on a second opportunity put Victoria up 2-0 at 7:26 Conlon and Mitch Barker picked up the helpers. On the play Darren Rizzolo took a very undisciplined penalty after the goal giving the Grizzlies a powerplay. The Vipers with several undiciplined penalties in the frame looked very frustrated. The Grizzlies unable to capitalize with the man advantage had some good looks. The Vipers with very few shots, zone time and any real scoring chances looked pretty bad for a second straight night. Victoria strong on the puck, carried the play, were firing everything on goal played a very strong road game. The Grizzlies got a ton of shots on Shortridge didnt get alot of great opportunities played well with the puck. Down two goals the Vipers had troubles getting Andrew Shortridge to the bench for the extra attacker, were forced to play five on five before taking some late penalties. Vernon would call a late timeout before getting Shortridge to the bench with six seconds remaining as Victoria would get just their third win of the season after a 2-0 victory. A very strong 3rd period by Victoria who held Vernon away from the puck, the Grizzlies dominated most of the period, carried the play, had most of the play in the offensive zone. The Vipers who were down just a goal and then two goals looked very dismal and very frustrated. Vernon with just eight shots didnt get any real scoring chances didnt show much drive for a team just down a goal or two. Andrew Shortridge bailed his team out several times this period. Victoria outshot Vernon 21-8.
Top Player's: (Vernon)
Andrew Shortridge (48 saves) For the second straight night Andrew Shortridge faced over fourty shots kept his team in both games but didnt get no support or help from the team in front of him. The Viper goaltender has been the teams MVP this season and has tried his best to stop the bleeding. Shortridge for a second straight night made some big saves just to keep the Vipers in the game, played very well. Without Shortridge the Vipers would be near the bottom of the standings.
Game Thought's: (Vernon)
First it was the Prince George Spruce Kings who come into town a few weekends back, with just one win on the season pick up their second win of the year with a 4-3 come from behind victory over the Vipers. Tonight it was the last place Victoria Grizzlies who come into town with just two wins all season and come away with the 2-0 victory. What happened to the Vipers? This team looked very dismal and pretty pathetic this weekend in back to back losses after riding a three game winning streak. The Vipers who didnt play with any jump, energy or intensity last night come ready to play tonight. I thought the Vipers had lots of jump, showed signs of energy before dozing off after the first ten minutes. On back to back nights the Vipers give up over fourty shots, tons of turnovers, have all kinds of trouble in their own end, trouble's breaking out of their own end and troubles generating offensive chances. In back to back nights the Vipers had maybe ten good chances all night, and thats in two games. The Vipers looked very dismal last night and again tonight, especially in the 3rd period. Another poor performance and effort vs the leagues worst team. The Vipers lone bright spot come in the 2nd period, showed some spirts but other then that, a very dissapointing loss. This team is struggling, they are playing with no confidence, no chemistry and no drive. They dont seem to be playing as a team. If it wasnt for Andrew Shortridge I would hate to see where this team would be or look? Another dissapointing effort and performance tonight. The Vipers need a big shakeup and fast!
Top Player's: (Victoria)
Kevin Massy played a heck of a game on the Grizzlies blueline. A bigger body played well at both ends of the rink, chipped in with some shots from the point, & solid on the backend defensively.
Cole Pickup (1 goal) Victoria's leading goal scorer was very strong up front this evening, was getting involved in the play, going to the net, looking for-creating opportunities.
Nick Guiney (1 goal) Had a strong game before getting tossed for fighting.
Mitch Barker was by far the Grizzlies best player tonight, this kid was all over the ice. Created-generated tons of chances, made several good plays, was going to the net, can skate and move the puck.
Matthew Galajda (31 saves-shutout) Didnt see a ton of action or rubber but made some good timely saves at key times in the game. Made the big saves when needed.
Game Thought's: (Victoria)
The Victoria Grizzlies come into Kal Tire Place and get just their third win of the season in a gutsy 2-0 victory. The Grizzlies evened the regular season series with Vernon 1-1 after the Vipers won 4-1 in Victoria on October 4th. If I didnt follow the BCHL you would have me fooled that Victoria was last in the entire league. The Grizzlies come ready to play and played very well. Give this team a ton of credit, with just two wins on the season the Grizzlies played a very well rounded road game. Victoria can skate, moves the puck well, jumps on their chances, moves the puck well on the powerplay, played well defensively, boxed the Vipers to the outside, limited Vernon's time and space and had the Vipers turning over pucks inside their own blueline all night. Just like West Kelowna, the Grizzlies shutdown Vernon's speed and skill up front, limiting their chances to a bare minimum. A very lively bench you could always hear someone yelling, giving support. The Grizzlies peppered 51 shots on Andrew Shortridge opened the scoring before getting the huge second goal in the 3rd period.
Brendan Barry (Injured)
Jagger Williamson (Injured)
Christian Cakebread (Injured)
Energy Player of the Game:
1st Star: Matthew Galajda (31 saves-shutout)
2nd Star: Andrew Shortridge (48 saves)
3rd Star: Nick Guiney (1 goal)
Clay Cochrane's Victoria Grizzlies Blog,
Graham Turnbull's Vernon Vipers Blog