For anyone who could not attend or watch today’s Vipers game here are my thoughts and views from today’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 today’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 todays Vipers-Bulldogs game as Vernon defeated Alberni Valley 5-0 in front of 1,492 fans at Kal Tire Place.
Vernon: Andrew Shortridge
Alberni Valley: Brody Claeys
1st Period: Vipers captain Colton McCarthy thought he opened the scoring just two minutes into the game after a tip in front of the net, but Brody Claeys closed the fivehole making a huge save on the goal line keeping the puck out. Both teams looked fairly even early as the play went back and fourth with not a whole lot of shots. Six and a half minutes in Ben Butcher would get a good chance at the side of the Bulldogs net, tried banging home a loose puck but couldnt squeeze it through Brody Claeys who was tight against the post, made the save after Butcher had a few wacks at the puck with bodies in and around the crease. About a minute later Claeys made a huge pad save off Christian Cakebread on a Vernon three on two rush kept this game scoreless. Shortly after former Penticton Vees forward Liam Finlay with a nice rush, went top shelf past Claeys giving Vernon a 1-0 lead at 9:26 Jagger Williamson and Christian Cakebread with the helpers. Shortly after the Bulldogs would get a good push back and with some good pressure hem the Vipers in their own end for several minutes. Alberni Valley moving the puck around, looked like they were on the PP controlling the play but didnt get alot of great opportunities. Vernon made atleast two or three turnovers on one shift, couldnt clear the zone. As the period went on the Bulldogs carried a slight edge in play, had more control of the play but still didnt generate much for offence. Both teams playing physical laid out some big hits through out the period. Just before the buzzer Riley Brandt went after Bulldogs captain Eric Margo who went knee on knee with a Viper. Brandt and Margo tried to drop the gloves, got tangled up in a bit of a wrestling match. The Vipers would the games first powerplay, late in the frame that would carry into the 2nd period. Vernon was up 1-0 after 20 minutes of play. Vernon with some good chances in the first half, forced Brody Claeys into making some big stops before the Vipers opened the scoring. The Bulldogs who played with a bit of an edge, were physical and chippy laying out several questionable hits. These two teams dont like each other, after several scrums through out the period-game. Alberni Valley got better as the period went on and carried a slight edge in play in the second half, didnt generate any real great scoring chances. Shots were even 8-8.
2nd Period: The Vipers started the middle frame with the man advantage that was carried over from the 1st period. Bo Pellah with a shot from the slot was tipped in front forcing Bulldogs starting goaltender Brody Claeys to make a huge save on the goal line with traffic in front. Claeys was down on his back, pushed back into the net still managed to keep the puck out as Alberni Valley would kill off the remainder of the penalty. Vernon looked very scrambled on that PP and early in the period, making several poor passes before getting their second powerplay just minutes into the period. The Vipers struggled, with no real pressure the Bulldogs were able to kill off the minor. The Vipers would slowly get going and begin to carry the edge in play. Newcomer Charlie Michalowski made his Vipers debut this afternoon after coming over in a trade with the USHL Cedar Rapids Roughriders Friday looks to have some talent-skill made several nice plays this period. Vernon didnt generate alot of great opportunities did carry the edge in play. The Vipers were getting pucks to the net, got Brody Claeys into kicking out some big rebounds couldnt capitalize on the second opportunity. AV who didnt see much zone time would get just one real good chance. With seven and a half minutes remaining Cayden Kraus with a redirect in front forced Vipers starting goaltender Andrew Shortridge into making a difficult save. On the following shift Ben Butcher with a nice move in the neutral zone broke free before setting up Steven Jandric going to the net on a odd man rush, Jandric couldnt beat Claeys who come up with a big pad save keeping this a one goal game. Former Alberni Valley Bulldogs defenceman Latrell Charleson was getting lots of attention from his former team as the Bulldogs were going after the big d-man in the 2nd period and through out the game. Quinn Syrydiuk was getting lots of attention from the Vipers, especially Riley Brandt. The two were exchanging words and battling through out the contest. The Vipers would get their third man advantage of the afternoon but unable to capitalize. Inside the final minute former West Kelowna Warriors forward Hunter Zandee with a nice move inside the neutral zone, picked up speed went into the Dogs zone before going for the wrap around spotted Viper captain Colton McCarthy in front who beat Brody Claeys late giving Vernon a 2-0 lead at 19:34 Zandee & Riley Brandt collected the assists. Tempers heated up with just nine seconds to go, as some pushing and shoving occurred at centre, both teams playing with an edge. Alberni Valley would lose Scott Clark for ten minutes, while the Vipers would lose Riley Brandt for ten minutes after the two were given ten minute misconducts. Vernon was up 2-0 after 40 minutes of play. The Vipers got off to a bit of a slow start, looked very scrambled/disorganized couldnt get much of anything going early before slowly getting their game going would pick up the pace and carry the better of the play for most of the period. Vernon with not alot of Grade A chances, were getting pucks to the net, looking for opportunities. Alberni Valley didnt have much offensive threat, couldnt seem to get anything going. The Dogs didnt generate much most of the night only had seven shots on net. Another chippy-physical period with both teams not liking one another. Vernon outshot Alberni Valley 16-7.
3rd Period: More rough stuff continued into the final frame after more pushing and shoving/altercations after the whistle. For a second straight period AV looked to be going after Latrell Charleson who had three Bulldogs in his face, trying to mix things up with the Vipers defenceman. Vernon would lose Colton McCarthy and Latrell Charleson early while the Dogs would lose Liam Conrad all picking up ten minute misconducts. Conrad wouldnt serve his penalty and for some reason not return to the game. Just minutes later the rough stuff/altercations continued after Brett Stapley & Cayden Kraus would drop the mits, both players would get tossed from the game for fighting in a very spirited scrap. Just minutes later the Vipers would grab a three goal lead after some hard work by Hunter Zandee. Zandee with a great individual effort would give Vernon a 3-0 lead at 9:12 Zandee's goal was unassisted. The Vipers would come back with a few nice passing plays created a few good opportunities couldnt find the back of the net. The Bulldogs who basically were unnoticed had just one shot in the first eleven minutes. Vernon would put the game away on the man advantage after Odeen Tufto was stopped in close before Christian Cakebread burried the rebound at 13:27 giving Vernon a 4-0 lead. Tufto and Darren Rizzolo picked up the assists. A few minutes later more pushing and shoving after Tristan Bukovec and Christian Cakebread got tangled up between the two benches, both players started pushing and shoving as more rough stuff continued in the 3rd. AV who didnt look very good in the 2nd and now 3rd period would get a few decent shifts late in the second half, forced Andrew Shortridge into making a few saves didnt have much gas left in the tank. With the game basically over Alberni picked up the physical play, laying out several big hits going after almost any player wearing a white-Viper jersey. Down 4-0 on a strange play the Bulldogs would get Brody Claeys to the bench for the extra attacker with just over two minutes remaining. Alberni Valley with the extra man pushed late to try and solve Andrew Shortridge. Shortridge was forced into making two or three tough saves late in the game, made a quick glove save off Jordan Sandhu's shot from the blueline. Colton McCarthy and Jagger Williamson on a two on one passed the puck back and fourth before McCarthy hit the open cage giving Vernon a 5-0 lead at 19:21 Williamson and Hunter Zandee picked up the assists. On the play Adam Donnelly would hit-crosscheck McCarthy from behind into the boards. Donnelly would get tossed from the game. The Vipers would come away with the 5-0 victory evening the season series 1-1 in the final meeting of the season between these two teams. A very chippy-physical period with lots of rough stuff/scrums in the opening few minutes of this period. Both teams going after one another, stirring-mixing things up during the game and even after the whistle. Lots of altercations going on through out the period. Not alot of game action in the first half before the Vipers would put the game away with three goals. Alberni Valley didnt have much gas left in the tank, didnt have much push in the 3rd was more involved in starting scrums-getting under the skin of several Vipers. The Dogs with just one shot in the first half. Alberni Valley outshot Vernon 11-10.
Top Player's: (Vernon)
Charlie Michalowski made his Vipers debut today made some real nice plays-moves during the 2nd period, showing signs of skill & talent. A smooth skater can move-handle the puck, looks promising.
The line of Liam Finlay (1 goal), Jagger Williamson (2 assists) & Christian Cakebread (1 goal & 1 assist) Played well through out the game. This line has been one of Vernon's better units since being put together. Created and generated some opportunities, plays with lots of speed and skill.
Riley Brandt (1 assist) Played with alot of intensity, played hard, was getting under the skin of several different Bulldogs. Laid out a few big hits, played with lots of energy, wasnt afraid to get involved in the altercations through out the game.
Odeen Tufto (1 assist) I thought played very well through out the game. Was really skating-working hard, generated some offensive chances had a strong game this afternoon.
Griffin James had a strong game on the Vernon backend, has improved from the start of the season, has really come on and playing his best hockey as of late.
Hunter Zandee (1 goal & 2 assists) Hasnt done much this season, played one of his better games in a long time today. Was really skating, carrying the puck, was going to the net, played big, made some smart plays today. If only Zandee could play like this on a more consistant basis.
Mac Ferner I thought played very well defensively. Was very good one on one, played his position well.
Andrew Shortridge (26 saves-Shutout) Didnt see a ton of rubber today, made two or three real good saves picked up his second shutout of the season. Third if you count one in the pre-season. Shortridge who has been the Vipers MVP this season played well, didnt have to stand on his head, made the saves when called apon.
Game Thought's: (Vernon)
After a very disapointing game-loss in West Kelowna Friday the Vipers played/looked much better this afternoon. Alberni Valley is last in the Island Division but the Bulldogs defeated Vernon 6-3 in Alberni Valley in early November as well as blowing out the Warriors in West Kelowna last night. I thought the Vipers got better as the game went on, matched the Bulldogs physical-chippy play, really used their team speed today, didnt generate alot of chances but capitalized on their opportunities. I thought the Vipers did a good job at shutting down the Dogs offence. Vernon didnt give up alot of chances, only gave up twenty six shots. The Vipers really limited the Bulldogs chances, allowed Andrew Shortridge to see most of the shots, didnt have a heavy work load unlike some previous games. I thought the Vipers stood up for one another today, playing for their team mates didnt back down from the rough stuff-chippy play. For two teams that only play each other twice this season, there sure was alot of bad blood in todays game. Lots of scrums/altercations through out the game. This game could have easily got out of hand in the 3rd.
Top Player's: (Alberni Valley)
Garrett Halls one of the Dogs bigger d-men played well on the AV blueline.
Scott Clark and Quinn Syrydiuk both played with an edge, both players got under the skin of several Vipers through out the game.
Cayden Kraus played well up front for Alberni, has some speed had a great opportunity in the 2nd period after redirecting a shot in front couldnt beat Andrew Shortridge.
Eric Margo Played-competed hard.
Brody Claeys (29 saves) Kept his team in the game early and often making some big saves, made two or three big saves in the first half of the opening frame to give his team a chance to win. Had some troubles kicking out several rebounds in the 2nd period, seemed to control his rebound control as the game went on.
Game Thought's; (Alberni Valley)
The Dogs gave up three or four good chances in the first half of the 1st period, seemed to settle down and get their game going in the second half of the opening frame. AV had some good pressure, didnt generate alot of great chances in the 1st period were only down a goal. In the second period the Bulldogs couldnt get much of anything going, allowed Vernon to control and carry the play for most of the period. Giving up a late goal inside the final minute of play, really hurt and cost the Dogs the game. Now down 2-0 heading into the 3rd playing their third game in three days was a tough task. For a second straight period Alberni couldnt get the offence going, getting just a single shot in the first eleven minutes of the 3rd looked to run out of gas on this nine game road trip. A very fiesty, physical-chippy game as both teams look to not like one another. The Bulldogs play with an edge, had some questionable hits in the 1st play a very chippy game, always mixing things up after a stopage in play, getting under the skin of several Vipers the Dogs took some undisaplined penalties this afternoon. Even though AV was outplayed at times and didnt carry alot of the play, the Bulldogs were only down a goal until the final minute of play in the 2nd period. Even going into the 3rd were only down 2-0 and still in the game. A quick-early goal to start the third and the Dogs are right back in it, but playing shorthanded or getting involved in altercations through out the game, wont win you many games. Alberni Valley struggled offensively today, didnt generate much for offence, was limited on their chances and shots, had troubles getting opportunities through out the game. The Bulldogs last win in Vernon was a 4-3 victory on December 8th 2012. Ex Vipers goaltender Jarrod Schamerhorn's younger brother Carson Schamerhorn was the Bulldogs backup goaltender today.
Energy Player of the Game:
Jagger Williamson (2 assists)
1st Star: Andrew Shortridge (26 saves-Shutout)
2nd Star: Hunter Zandee (1 goal & 2 assists)
3rd Star: Christian Cakebread (1 goal & 1 assist)
Evan Hammond's Alberni Valley Bulldogs Blog,
Graham Turnbull's Vernon Vipers Blog,