I was at tonight's Vipers-Silverbacks game as Salmon Arm defeated Vernon 6-1 in front of 1,688 fans at the Shaw Centre.
Vernon: Andrew Shortridge
Salmon Arm: Angus Redmond
Before tonight's game the Silverbacks honoured the 1982-83 Shuswap Totems Jr A hockey club, Salmon Arm's first Inaugural season in the BCJHL. Former Totems owner, Head Coach & GM were all brought out to centre ice before the start of the game.
1st Period: The Vipers with some good jump off the opening faceoff, would get the play deep into the Salmon Arm zone, would move the puck around, getting some good pressure-zone time in the opening minute but unable to generate or create any scoring chances. The Backs responded with a good push back shift and about a minute and a half into the period the Silverbacks had the Vernon defence reeling inside their own end. SA had Andrew Shortridge scrambling, before a wild goal mouth scramble the Silverbacks somehow couldn't find the back of the net with the Viper goaltender down and out. Salmon Arm with all kinds of pressure early would control the play in the offensive zone before Taro Hirose caught Shortridge looking the other way, tried opening the scoring on a wrap around but couldn't get all the way around the Vernon goal looked to have Shortridge beat but couldn't get the puck around to the front of the net. Nick Hutchison would break in free for the breakaway couldn't beat Andrew Shortridge five minutes into the game. Vernon struggling early were playing most of the first few minutes in their own end. The Vipers would get the games first powerplay but Vernon would struggle, without a single shot SA would kill off the penalty after a very good PK keeping the Vipers to the outside. Just after the penalty expired, just before the halfway mark the Viper defence would get caught again, this time Elijiah Barriga would go in for the breakaway, but again Andrew Shortridge bailed out his defence making another big save. SA outshooting Vernon 8-3 at this point as it was all Silverbacks. Just a few minutes later the Backs would get their first look with the man advantage. Salmon Arm would capitalize just eleven seconds into the PP. Chase Zieky was stopped by Shortridge before Nick Hutchison would bang home his second shot in close giving Salmon Arm a 1-0 lead at 14:11 Zieky & Kodi Schwarz collected the helpers. A few minutes later Vernon product Colton Thibault would get the Silverbacks third breakaway of the period, but again Andrew Shortridge come up with a big stop in close. A few shifts later Ross Heidt blew by his defender went high and over the net, missing the goal on another Backs breakaway. Vernon's defence giving up four breakaways all in the opening period. Nick Hutchison with his second of the period late gave Salmon Arm a 2-0 lead at 18:59 Elijiah Barriga with the assist. Just fourteen seconds later Kodi Schwarz setup Ross Heidt on a two on one gave Salmon Arm a 3-0 lead at 19:13 Schwarz with the lone helper as it was all Silverbacks. The Backs poured on the pressure in the final minute, had the Viper defence back on their heels before the final buzzer. It was 3-0 Salmon Arm after 20 minutes of play. The Backs were in full control, totally dominated the entire opening period other then the first minute and a half. SA carried most of the play, had the Viper defence on their heels most of the 1st. Salmon Arm with four breakaways couldn't solve Andrew Shortridge. The Vipers with no offensive zone time, had very little pressure, had troubles getting out of their own end and getting through the neutral zone. Vernon looked flat, were standing around, losing all the battles, races for the puck, had no jump, energy or emotion were totally outplayed. Salmon Arm outshot Vernon 19-5.
2nd Period: Just a few minutes into the middle frame Mac Ferner with a quick shot from the point was stopped by Silverbacks starting goaltender Angus Redmond before Liam Finlay couldn't burry the rebound. Redmond with two big saves early to start the period on the Vipers first and second good opportunities of the game. The Vipers playing with a little more jump/energy looked a little better to start the 2nd. Ben Butcher stopped in close in the opening few minutes couldn't beat Redmond from the slot. SA got off to a bit of a slow start, but slowly got their game going. The Backs for a second straight period took over the edge in play, carried the better of the play from here on in. Jared Turcotte and Nick Hutchison lead the charge on a two on one, Turcotte decided to keep and shoot fired high missing the net on a missed opportunity. Just before the midway mark Angus Redmond come way out of his crease to play the puck, Liam Finlay stole the puck from Redmond who was now caught way out of position fed Ben Butcher who couldn't coral the Finlay pass in front, had a great opportunity to hit the wide open cage on a missed chance by the Vipers. Vernon skating a little better, seemed to play with a little more jump, were able to get some zone time and create-generate a few chances after a dreadful 1st period. Late in the period Steven Jandric and Josh Laframboise dropped the gloves In a very spirited scrap. Both players were tossed from the game. On the following play Ross Heidt with a great individual effort, blew by his defenceman before going upstairs on Vipers starting goaltender Andrew Shortridge giving Salmon Arm a 4-0 lead at 16:08 Jred Turcotte with the assist. Both teams finished the period playing four on four. A long stretch pass inside the final minute the Vipers tried freeing captain Colton McCarthy for the breakaway who couldn't handle the pass. In the dying seconds McCarthy would get tangled up along the end boards with two Salmon Arm players just as the buzzer sounded. Some pushing and shoving occurred as a small scrum unfolded before the referee and linesmen were called in to break up the after the whistle activities. Salmon Arm was up 4-0 after 40 minutes of play. The Vipers with a good start to the period, were able to get two real good back to back opportunities early. Vernon finally able to get some offensive zone time didn't look too shabby off the drop of the puck. The Vipers would get some good chances this frame but for the most part it was all Silverbacks for a second straight period. The Backs carried the better of the play, didn't get as many scoring opportunities like the 1st but did get a few. Both teams got a little chippy at times this frame with nothing major coming out at the end. Salmon Arm outshot Vernon 13-12.
3rd Period: Both teams started the final frame four on four after penalties continuing from the 2nd period. Salmon Arm took a penalty at the end of the 2nd period, giving Vernon an early powerplay to start the 3rd. The Vipers would capitalize and break Angus Redmond's bid for the shutout. Joe Sacco spotted Salmon Arm product Colton McCarthy in front who put home the Vipers first goal of the night, cutting the Salmon Arm lead to 4-1 at 1:37 Sacco and Bo Pellah picked up the assists. A few minutes later the Vipers would get their second man advantage of the period but unable to capitalize. A very good penalty kill by the Backs. Just after the penalty expired Nick Hutchison alone in the slot, ripped a hard high shot just missed the far corner as Salmon Arm come very close to grabbing a 5-1 lead. Shortly after the Vipers would come back with two real good quality chances of their own. Odeen Tufto with a low shot was stopped by Angus Redmond who made a big pad save before stopping "AP" Ryland Chernomaz on the rebound. A few players later Jimmy Lambert with stopped in close as Redmond come up with a few big saves with the Vipers pressing. Vernon scores on one of or both these chances and we have a hockey game. The Vipers don't score/capitalize and Vernon is still down by three with time not on there side. The Vipers finally started skating, played much better, showed signs of jump and energy played their best period of the night. Vernon getting some real good grade a chances were playing well and carried most of the play. The Silverbacks were held in their own end for a lot of the 3rd had just three shots ten minutes into the frame. Four on four Ross Heidt with another solid individual effort gave Salmon Arm a 5-1 lead at 14:47 Damian Chrcek & Cameron Trott collected the assists. This basically put the game away and ended any kind of a Viper comeback. The Backs would take two late back to back penalties but it was the Silverbacks PK who was sharp and looking to strike. "AP" Josh Latta with his second career BCHL goal gave Salmon Arm a 6-1 lead at 18:41 Taro Hirose and Cameron Trott with the assists would round out the scoring. Both teams would wind down the clock before the Silverbacks would take the second game of the home & home series 6-1 winning the season series 5-2. Vernon responded with their best effort of the night, but it was too little, too late. The Vipers scored early to get on the scoreboard, showed signs of life and played with some jump-energy. Vernon carried the better of the play missed on some great chances, needed to capitalize on their opportunities. The Silverbacks with very little pressure and zone time, didn't get many scoring chances. Salmon Arm played a lot of the 3rd in their own end, were up by three goals at one point put the game away with two late goals to end the hockey game. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 12-8.
Top Player's: (Vernon)
Ryland Chernomaz (AP) Mde his Viper debut tonight, I thought was one of if not one of the better Vipers in the loss. Didn't show any signs of nerves, played hard, wasn't afraid to play physical, was involved in the play when the Vipers had the puck-zone time.
Andrew Shortridge (34 saves) Was hung out to dry all night, if it wasn't for the Vipers veteran goaltender this could have easily been 10-1 or higher. Shortridge stopped three out of four breakaways in the 1st period (one missed the net) made some big-key saves in that opening period to stop the bleeding. Salmon Arm could have easily been up 5-0/6-0 if it wasn't for Shortridge. You couldn't blame the 20 yr old netminder on any of the SA goals, did his best to keep his team in the game.
Game Thought's: (Vernon)
After a very impressive-big win last night in Vernon to open the home and home series, the Vipers four game winning streak was snapped this evening with the loss. The Vipers didn't show up until the 3rd period and by then it was basically too little too late. The Vipers were outplayed/dominated in the first two periods. Vernon looked flat to start the game and through out the opening frame, weren't skating and were outskated that period. The Vipers didn't get one single scoring chance in the 1st, played most of the period in their own end. The Vipers gave up four breakaways, way too many odd man rushes struggled defensively. The Vernon defence was very soft, made all kinds of mistakes-turnovers were skating in circles. The Vipers showed very little if any jump, energy, emotion or drive in the 1st played a little better in the 2nd but not by much. Vernon responded and come to play in the 3rd, scored an early goal, had some real good quality chances couldn't capitalize. If the Vipers score on one or two of these chances, this is a different game-outcome maybe? This was not the same Viper team that come to play and played hard to earn a 3-2 win last night over these same Silverbacks. A very poor performance-effort. I listened to Kevin Kraus's post game comments on the drive home and couldn't agree more, this team didn't show up, had way too many passengers. Penticton did the Vipers a huge favor, defeating Trail tonight 4-3 to stay five points up on the Smokies for the fourth and final playoff spot. A great turn out of Viper fans-Viper parents at the game tonight.
Top Player's: (Salmon Arm)
Angus Redmond (28 saves) Didn't see much rubber in the opening period, made a few big saves early to start the 2nd come up with his best saves of the night in the 3rd with Vernon pressing. Redmond looked calm, confident and played very well between the pipes.
Cameron Trott (2 assists) Was involved in the play, was solid on the Backs blueline all night. I have really liked Trott's play this season, thought he has played very well against the Vipers most of the season.
Kodi Schwarz (2 assists) Played well in both games this weekend. Picking up two helpers in the victory tonight, had a solid night on the blueline.
Nick Hutchison (2 goals) Returned to the Silverbacks lineup last night after missing twenty plus games with an injury was very good in last night's 3-2 loss in Vernon, had a heck of a game tonight. Scoring twice, Hutchison was again very dangerous all night, involved in the play, always seems to find the open ice, gets loads of great scoring chances, is hard to contain, goes to the net, battles and works hard.
Elijiah Barriga (1 assist) Played with a lot ofp/energy. Was really skating hard, working-competing.
Ross Heidt (3 goals) Another Salmon Arm player who has played very well against Vernon this season. Picking up the hat-trick tonight was all over the rink, gave the Vernon Vipers all kinds of troubles with his speed, strong skating and and skill. Heidt was another kid who was hard to contain, dangerous almost every shift, gave the Vipers defence a lot of trouble.
Game Thought's: (Salmon Arm)
The Silverbacks honoured the 1982-83 Shuswap Totems Jr A hockey club, Salmon Arm's first Inaugural season in the BCJHL by wearing replica Totem jerseys for tonight's game. Mostly all orange with black/white trim-stripes with white numbers outlined in black and black name bars with the old Sushwap Totems logo on the front. The Silverbacks played a hard fought game in Vernon Friday, fell 3-2 to the Vipers snapped a seven game winless streak with a very impressive 6-1 victory tonight, blowing out the Vipers in the final meeting of the regular season. The Backs win the season series going 5-2 if you count the pre-season Salmon Arm went 7-2 vs Vernon this year. SA was by far the better of the two teams, the Silverbacks jumped on the Vipers early and often outplaying and dominating the first two periods. Jumping out to a 4-0 lead basically had the game won. Salmon Arm really used their speed and energy tonight, skated circles around Vernon for most of the night. The Silverbacks picked apart a very soft-weak Vernon defence who was caught standing around most of the night. SA was really flying, working-competing hard and never gave up. The Vipers did carry the better of the play in the 3rd but did Salmon Arm maybe take their foot off the gas a bit? Who knows. The Backs going for that long stretch pass all night, were sent in for four 1st period breakaways couldn't score on any of them. I thought Salmon Arm's defence was very good, took a lot of time and space away from the Viper offence, especially in the first two periods. I really liked the Backs penalty kill, kept Vernon to the outside, limited their shots & chances. Overall a very solid game-performance by SA. A great crowd (standing room only) on Hockey Day in Salmon Arm! One of the biggest crowds for a Vipers-Silverbacks game in many many years.
Energy Player of the Game:
Elijiah Barriga (1 assist)
1st Star: Ross Heidt (3 goals)
2nd Star: Nick Hutchison (2 goals)
3rd Star: Ayrton Nikkel
BCHL Game Summary,
BCHL Game Report,
BCHL Text Report,