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-Vees game as penticton defeated Vernon 3-0 in front of 2,109 fans at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Vernon: Andrew Shortridge
Penticton: Zach Driscoll
Before the game the Vees named Captain Tyson Jost the Penticton Vees November Player of the Month and rewarded the Vees all-star with a mens suite.
1st Period: Both teams looked fairly even off the opening faceoff, both getting some play in each others zone before the Vees would get the games first powerplay just less then four minutes into the period. Penticton with not alot of pressure had just one shot with the man advantage. Nick Jones alone at the side of the net in the final twenty seconds of the PP was able to get out front before missing on the high backhand that went just up and over the far corner on a close call in front before the Vipers were able to kill off the minor. Just twenty eight seconds later the Vees went back to work on their second powerplay. Just seconds into the man advantage Scott Conroy alone in the slot ripped a hard low shot that forced Andrew Shortridge into making a big pad save on the PP. This time around the Vees with a much better powerplay, had some pressure but couldnt capitalize getting a few good looks at the net. A few minutes later Joe Sacco with a good rush to the net, would get hauled down in front before getting stopped in close by Zach Driscoll who made a big save in front off Sacco. Sacco and the Vipers would get rewarded with their first powerplay of the night, after the hook on Sacco. Vernon with not alot of pressure, couldnt sustain any real zone time was unable to open the scoring as the Vees would kill off the penalty. Penticton come very close to opening the scoring on a goal mouth scramble with four minutes to go, in front of Andrew Shortridge. A shot from in close went up in the air before a mad scamble in the Viper crease, Shortridge was forced to swat the puck away before the Vipers would clear the front of the net on a very close call. Riley Brandt come back the other way, off the following play riffle a quick shot that forced Zach Driscoll into making a quick glove save keeping this game scoreless. The Vipers got a little sloppy defensively in the final few minutes, coughed up the puck/turned over the puck on a few occasions but were lucky that Shortridge bailed out his team mates. Penticton would get their third powerplay late, that would continue into the 2nd period. It was 0-0 after 20 minutes of play. The Vipers didnt get alot of zone time/alot of scoring chances held their own but gave Penticton three powerplays in that period. The Vees had a slight edge in zone time didnt get alot of opportunities either, but did get lots of shots on goal. Penticton outshot Vernon 16-11.
2nd Period: The Vees started the middle frame with the PP that was carried over from the opening period. Off the opening attack, Scott Conway with a real good chance in front couldnt beat Vipers starting goaltender Andrew Shortridge who made a big save in the opening minute. The Vipers come up with a big penalty kill, killed off the minor before Owen Sillinger broke loose two and a half minutes in getting a parcial breakaway but was stopped by Shortridge. The Vipers got a little sloppy inside their own end, again coughing up the puck. Former Surrey Eagles d-man Latrell Charleson come up with a huge shot block in front of Andrew Shortridge before Shortridge was called apon to stone Easton Brodzinski from the slot with the Vees pressing early to start the 2nd period. Two and a half minutes later Mitchell Oliver gave Owen Sillinger a hook after another parcial breakaway giving Penticton their second powerplay of the frame. A strong penalty kill by Vernon who kept the Vees PP unit to the outside, got some good goaltending from Shortridge would once again kill off the minor. The Vipers having all kinds of trouble getting through the neutral zone, played most of the period in their own end, had just one shot in the first half of the period. Two and a half minutes after killing off the penalty, the Vipers went back to work shorthanded giving the Vees their third powerplay of the period. Penticton with good pressure, moved the puck around well before veteran Dante Fabbro's shot from the point was redirected by Easton Brodzinski on it's way to the net giving Penticton a 1-0 lead on the PP at 13:20 Fabbro & Scott Conway collected the assists. You give the Vees too many opportunities with the man advantage, and your going to pay at some point. Vernon needed fourteen minutes to record just their second shot of the period before the Vipers come on late. Riley Brandt setup captain Colton McCarthy on a two on one but McCarthy was robbed by Vees starting goaltender Zach Driscoll who come up with a huge right pad save keeping this a 1-0 game. The Vipers with a good push back, played their best hockey of the period, finally would get some zone time, had some good looks at the net in the final few minutes. It was 1-0 Penticton after 40 minutes of play. Vernon played most of this period in their own end. The Vees with three powerplays, capitalized on one opened the scoring making Vernon pay. The Vees carried the play the entire period until the final five minutes, were kept to the outside as the Vipers limited the Vees chances. The Vipers stepped up the physical play this period, laid out some big hits did a fairly good job at containing the Vees skill. The Vipers with just two shots in the first fourteen minutes had troubles getting through the neutral zone, until the final five minutes. Penticton outshot Vernon 11-7.
3rd Period: The Penticton Vees looked to continue their dominate play over the Vipers early, before the Vipers would get an early powerplay just over two minutes into the final frame. This just Vernon's second PP of the night, would work the puck around, had some of their better chances of the game. The Vipers with seven shots on goal, had some good looks at the net couldnt beat Driscoll who made some key saves on the penalty kill. The Vipers with a good powerplay, couldnt convert with the man advantage. Just fifteen seconds later Penticton would jump on their sixth powerplay. Scott Conway with a wicked shot from the circle couldnt beat the quick glove of Andrew Shortridge. The Vipers with a good penalty kill would kill off the minor, staying alive. Just after the penalty expired, former Vipers forward Luke Voltin was battling hard in front of the Viper goal, Voltin with two if not three good quality shots from in close, was sent flying to the ice and into the Vernon goal. On the following play both captains got involved with one another, Colton McCarthy and Tyson Jost were battling just inside the Viper zone, McCarthy holding onto Josts stick, while Jost was trying to pull away took a few swings at McCarthy. The two got exchanged in a heated battle before both players were given minors. The Vipers would get just their third man advantage a minute later but a very strong penalty kill by the Vees couldnt get the Vipers on the scoreboard. This was a big kill because just nineteen seconds later Scott Conway in tight just beat Andrew Shortridge giving Penticton a 2-0 lead at 11:15 as Shortridge looked to come very close to robbing Conway in front. Easton Brodzinski and Tyson Jost picked up the helpers. A few minutes later Vernon looked frustrated and got into penalty trouble giving the Vees a lengthy two man advantage. The Vipers having troubles staying out of the box, would get lucky and excape as Penticton with a ton of wicked shots on the PP missed the net on several shots from in close. The Vees with lots of pressure, missed the net and couldnt put the game away. With seven and a half minutes remaining "AP" Carter Stephenson's shot from the blueline couldnt beat Zach Driscoll who made a quick save with the leather. Tempers heated up as the Vipers frustration boiled over, the final five minutes or so was filled with lots of scrums after the whistle. The Vipers trying to stir the pot, were grabbing anyone at any chance they had to try and mix things up as several scrums broke loose. Lots of pushing and shoving, gloves in the face, both teams exchanging words. After all was said and done both Riley Brandt and Easton Brodzinski were given minors and ten minute misconducts, meaning both players were sent to the dressing rooms. About a minute later the Vees would put this game away after Nick Jones gave Penticton a 3-0 lead at 15:52 Scott Conway and Tyson Jost with the assists. Both teams seemed to cool down in the final two minutes as Penticton would come away with the 3-0 victory. For a second straight period the Vipers didnt get alot of zone time-opportunities other then on the first man advantage to start the 3rd. The Vees would get the all important second goal just passed the midway mark that seemed to put the nail in the coffin. Vernon looked frustrated in the second half, took two undisaplined penalties, tried stiring things up as tempers heated in the final five minutes. The Vees with two big goals in the 3rd carried alot of the play lead the season series 3-0. Penticton outshot Vernon 18-10.
Top Player's: (Vernon)
Latrell Charleson played a solid game on the Vernon blueline. The veteran twenty year old d-man played physical, come up with several blocked shots, did a good job at containing the Vees offensive weapons.
Colton McCarthy played with an edge and some grit most of the night. The Viper captain had a great chance late in the 2nd period couldnt beat Zach Driscoll in close on a two on one. McCarthy was getting under the skin of the Vees all night, was battling with Tyson Jost through out the game. McCarthy did take two undisaplined penalties in the 3rd I thoought played hard all night.
Riley Brandt played with alot of energy, competed hard.
At times I thought Odeen Tufto and Joe Sacco had some decent shifts now and again but didnt play consistant all night.
Andrew Shortridge (42 saves) Has started seven of the Vipers last eight games once again gave his team a chance to win and kept his team in the hockey game. The veteran twenty year old goaltender was solid between the pipes the entire game, made several big saves keeping the Vipers in the game until the 3rd. Shortridge who has seen alot of rubber this season, hasnt been getting any goal production from the team in front of him the past two games.
Game Thought's: (Vernon)
For the second straight game vs the Vees, the Vipers held their own and gave the Vees a good run. Vernon blew a 3-1 lead in Penticton just nine days ago on November 25th falling 4-3 in overtime and then lost 3-0 tonight in a game they had their chances to win. I thought the Vipers held their own this evening and only down 1-0 heading into the 3rd could have easily tied the game-pulled out the upset victory. The Vipers worked and played very hard just dont have the skill level and scoring power like the Vees, didnt generate enough offence-get enough zone time in order to come away with the win. If Vernon isnt going to get alot of chances-zone time, the Vipers need to capitalize on their opportunities. Vernon needs to stay out of the penalty box vs a top team like Penticton, the Vipers gave up way too many penalties, did play well defensively vs the best Junior A team in Canada. I thought the Vipers did a good job at keeping Penticton to the outside, really limited their chances although you can only hold back an all-star team like the Vees for so long before the pucks in the back of your net. Give Vernon credit they battled hard, just dont have the man power to play a full sixty minutes vs the Vees. Giving up just one powerplay goal, I really liked the Vipers penalty kill. Andrew Shortridge was solid and the Vipers got some key blocked shots/physical play from their PK units. Even though the Vipers did cough up/turn over the puck a few times I thought the Viper defence did a pretty good job at shutting down the Vees attack. I thought the physical play, had the Vees looking over their shoulder at times. The Vipers need to be physical-in your face with a skilled-talented team like Penticton. Wear them down, dont let them free wheel all night. Looking at both teams and the standings the Vipers did the best they could with what they have. I thought the turning point was after not being able to capitalize on two early 3rd period powerplays. The Vees kill off both, just after killing off the second PP Penticton comes right back the other way and gets the all important second goal-2-0 lead. This was a killer-heart breaker for the Vipers. If Vernon scores on one of these powerplays, its a tie game and different finish for sure. Vernon has some key players out of the lineup due to injury, Mac Ferner, Griffin James & Christian Cakebread played well with those three missing. The Vipers have now lost five straight and are just four points up on Trail for the final playoff spot. The Vipers have lost five straight on the road and are 0-3 in Penticton this year, were close in all three games, could have easily gone the other way. The Vipers have now lost four straight in Penticton.
Top Player's: (Penticton)
Colton Poolman played very well defensively.
Nick Jones (1 goal) I thought played very well up front, a very shifty player, is always in and around the net.
Scott Conway (1 goal & 2 assists) Now has points in twenty seven straight games had a strong game picking up three points. So far in all three games vs Vernon Conway has been one of the Vees strongest players. This kid was all over the rink, had several good looks at the net, has a nose for the net, has a good-quick release/shot and can skate. Very hard to contain.
Luke Voltin who played with the Vipers last season played a real gritty game. Was battling hard, had his nose in and around the net all night, didnt back down, went to the grey area and was pushed around but stood tall and pushed back.
Easton Brodzinski (1 goal & 1 assist) Was out of the lineup last week vs the Vipers is another player that I have really liked in the two games hes played vs Vernon this season. In the Vees home opener was a threat and hard to contain, had another strong game this evening.
Dante Fabbro (1 assist) Played a very solid game on the backend. A real shutdown defenceman.
Zach Driscoll (28 saves-shutout) Made his third straight start between the pipes for the Vees and his first start vs Vernon this season. Driscoll didnt see alot of action but was tested on the Vipers first powerplay to start the 3rd. Driscoll made several key saves on the PK keeping this a one goal game.
Game Thought's: (Penticton)
The Vees won their 20th straight game at home, going back to last season are now 9-2 in their last 11 home games vs the Vipers. The Vees have had the Vipers number the past four seasons, are 22-7 vs Vernon. The Vees are now 172-30-4-11 at home since the South Okanagan Events Centre opened in 2008. Pretty impressive record! Penticton has now won five straight and has just two losses all season. This was a pretty entertaining hockey game and a game where the Vees didnt run away with it until two 3rd period goals. This game could have gone either way but in the end the Vees come away with the 3-0 victory. Penticton has so much talent-skill, there so hard to stop. Give this team one shot-one chance, one powerplay, one mistake and the pucks in the back of your net. The Vees move the puck well, there quick, have a good transition game, move the puck well on the PP and in a hurry. They have four lines that can hurt you. Penticton didnt give the Vipers alot of time and space, Vernon was very limited to their chances and didnt get alot of offensive zone time. The Vees showed alot of disapline giving up just three penalties, went 1-8 with the man advantage. Penticton could have easily burried the Vipers and blew this game wide open if the powerplay was clicking. This team is hard to beat will now play the final three games of this series in Vernon after going 3-0 at home vs Vernon this year.
Christian Cakebread (Injured)
Griffin James (Injured)
Mac Ferner (Injured)
Gabe Bast (Injured)
Dixon Bowen (Injured)
Seamus Donihue (Injured)
Energy Player of the Game:
1st Star: Zach Driscoll (28 saves-shutout)
2nd Star: Andrew Shortridge (42 saves)
3rd Star: Scott Conway (1 goal & 2 assists)
Fraser Rodger's Penticton Vees Blog,
Graham Turnbull's Vernon Vipers Blog,