Saturday, March 5, 2016

Interior Division Semi-Finals: Game 1 Penticton 6 Vernon 3

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 Game 1 of the Interior Division Semi-Finals as Penticton defeated Vernon 6-3 in front of 2,312 fans at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Andrew Shortridge
Penticton: Anthony Brodeur

1st Period: The Vees took early control of the game, off the opening faceoff carried the play early for the first few minutes. Penticton with two quick shots inside the first thirty seconds or so before Nick Jones on a wrap around couldn't beat Andrew Shortridge just minutes into the 1st. The Vipers needed three minutes to record their first shot on goal and a good shot it was. Nicolas Rasovic ripped a hard shot from the circle forced Anthony Brodeur into making a glove save keeping this game scoreless early. On the following play Vernon would get the games first powerplay, after the Vees would lose veteran d-man Dante Fabbro for twelve minutes after picking up two minutes for checking to the head and an automatic ten minute misconduct. Just seven seconds into the powerplay, Bo Pellah spotted former Penticton Vees forward Liam Finlay going to the net, beat Brodeur in close giving Vernon an early 1-0 lead at 3:48 Pellah & Jimmy Lambert with the helpers. A few minutes later Bo Pellah tried setting up a Viper going to the net on a Vernon odd man rush, Pellah's pass went off the Penticton defenceman and just about caught Anthony Brodeur off guard who was forced to make a quick reaction save as the Vipers were close to jumping out to a two goal lead. This play-shift seemed to give Vernon some momentum as the Vipers built off that shift, continuing to get some good pressure deep in the Vees zone. Vernon with a few good shifts, were strong down low, had the cycle going, were able to get a few good looks at the net from in close couldn't beat Brodeur. The Vipers would kill the momentum after taking a penalty outside of the zone, giving the Vees their first look with the man advantage. Gabe Bast lead the Vees PP with a three on two, setup Scott Conway who went fivehole on Andrew Shortridge from in close tied the game 1-1 at 12:10 on a goal Shortridge would like to have back. Bast with the lone assist. Just 1:35 later Chris Gerrie on another Vees odd man rush, fired from in close missed the net, before captain Tyson Jost picked up the loose puck in the corner, fired a quick shot from the goal line, caught Shortridge out of position, the puck would go off the Viper goaltender into the back of the net, giving Penticton a 2-1 lead at 13:45 on another goal Shortridge would like to have back. Gerrie & Seamus Donohue picked up the assists. Shortridge with two soft goals, didn't look sharp just past the halfway mark. Vernon would battle back and hold their own as both teams played hard, with no team really outplaying the other. Late in the frame Odeen Tufto with a quick high shot forced Anthony Brodeur into making a tough save with his blocker keeping this one out. On the following play-shift Nick Jones setup Taylor Ward in front giving Penticton a 3-1 lead at 18:45 This was a tough goal to give up late in the period. Jones and Dante Fabbro collected the helpers. Tyson Jost and former Vernon Vipers forward Demico Hannoun lead a two on one inside the final minute. Jost setup Hannoun who ripped a high shot beat Andrew Shortridge but went off the crossbar with twenty seconds remaining. Penticton was up 3-1 after 20 minutes. The Vipers would open the scoring early on the games first powerplay, held their own against Penticton for most of the frame. The Vipers had a few good shifts with a ton of pressure, couldn't find the back of the net, could have jumped out to a two goal lead instead give up two quick soft back to back goals 1:35 apart before giving up a late goal to end the period were down two heading into the 2nd period. The Vees with two big goals back to back less then two minutes part capitalized on Andrew Shortridge who wasn't very sharp in that opening frame. Shortridge who has been Vernon's MVP all season, needs to stop the first two goals. Odeen Tufto also wasn't very sharp, couldn't seem to stay on his feet or handle the puck, was having all kinds of troubles in that 1st period. Even down 3-1 the Vipers played hard, held their own against a very strong Penticton team. I thought both teams were fairly evenly matched, with both teams getting some chances but not a lot. Penticton outshot Vernon 12-9.

2nd Period: Just twenty four seconds into the middle frame Riley Brandt & captain Colton McCarthy lay a solid check on a Penticton Vees player in the Vees end, popped the glass out that fell onto the ice breaking after hitting the ice. A minor delay was held to replace the glass before play resumed. The Vees responded with a big 2nd period, come out hard took it too the Vipers early and often. Easton Brodzinski put a nice move on a Vernon defender before getting off a quick shot from the slot riffled the puck wide on a chance alone from in close. A few minutes later Brodzinski would get another opportunity from the slot, this time around was stopped by Vipers goaltender Andrew Shortridge. Nick Jones with a great look from in close was stopped by Shortridge. The Vipers needed close to seven minutes to record their first shot of the period would go the first twelve minutes of the period with just one shot on goal. Penticton carried and dominated the play, had the Vipers hanging on for most of the period. The Vees with several quality chances from in close couldn't beat Shortridge. Just past the halfway mark the Vees would get their second look with the PP. Former Vipers forward Luke Voltin would be denied by Andrew Shortridge before Scott Conway spotted the wide open cage in front gave Penticton a 4-1 lead at 12:18 after some nice three way passing by the Vees. Easton Brodzinski & Tyson Jost with the helpers. Colton McCarthy gave Conway two crosschecks after the goal who was laughing at McCarthy almost taunting him during the goal celebration. Just 1:04 later Tyson Jost setup Owen Sillenger who sniped a low shot from the circle that beat Shortridge gave Penticton a 5-1 lead at 12:32 on another goal Shortridge would like back. Jost and Demico Hannoun picked up the assists. The Vipers would call a timeout. Vernon who didn't see much offensive zone time, when had play in the Penticton end were boxed out in a hurry and turned around as the Vees were back on the attack. The Vipers would get a late powerplay, would get their first shot on goal in about five to six minutes, wich was just their second shot of the period. Liam Finlay setup Odeen Tufto from the slot that beat Vees starting goaltender Anthony Brodeur cut the Penticton lead to 5-2 at 17:17 Finlay with the lone assist. Inside the final minute a quick shot from the point would get redirected in front by Mitch Brooks who was denied by Andrew Shortridge who made a tough save. Penticton was up 5-2 after 40 minutes. A pretty dominating 2nd period by Penticton who carried most of the play, had the Vipers hemmed inside their own end for most of the middle frame. The Vees with lots of good-quality chances only got two past Shortridge who made some big saves from in close. It was like men against the boys this period as the Vees were by far the better of the two teams, had the majority of the opportunities. Vernon with just one shot in the first fifteen minutes, had very little zone time were held to the outside, had troubles creating-generating opportunities all period. Again for a second straight period the Vipers give up two quick back to back goals, like the 1st period. Penticton outshot Vernon 20-4.

3rd Period: Early into the final frame Bo Pellah turnover over the puck inside the Vernon blueline allowed Scott Conway in all alone for the breakaway, couldn't get his third of the night was stopped in tight by Andrew Shortridge who come up with a big save early to start the 3rd. For a second straight period the Vipers had troubles getting pucks to the net, needed almost six minutes to get their first shot of the period. Vernon went over half the 3rd with just one shot on goal. Penticton up by three goals seemed to take their foot off the gas for a bit didn't press the Vipers as often as that 2nd period. Mitch Brooks setup Nick Jones who scored on his own rebound, giving Penticton a 6-2 lead at 9:18 Brooks & Luke Voltin with the assists. Just over two minutes later Vernon would respond on a weird play. Liam Finlay scored off a faceoff draw deep in the Vees zone, somehow the puck had eyes found its way to the back of the net, cutting the Penticton lead to 6-3 at 11:41 Jagger Williamson with the lone helper. A lot of back and fourth play with not a lot of chances at either ends of the rink. With the score out of hand and the game basically over, the Vipers started playing a little chippy in the second half, maybe setting a tone for Game 2? Vernon giving little jabs or wacks during the play, looked to try and get under the skin of the Vees. Some minor scrums occurred now and again but nothing major. In the final minutes Christian Cakebread and Ben Brar got tangled up along the side wall, were both down on the ice in a so called wrestling match before both players got up. Riley Brandt come flying out of no where tried tackling Brar before some pushing and shoving occurred. Tempers heated up in a hurry as both teams got involved in some after the whistle activities. Penticton would get a late powerplay, on the an advantage Bo Pellah went straight after a Vees player in front of the net, as the Vipers either were losing focus-showing signs of frustration or Vernon was trying to set a ton for Sunday's Game 2? More pushing and shoving as both teams were getting involved with more activities late to finish the 3rd. The Vees would send out their top powerplay unit for the two man advantage, forcing Andrew Shortridge into making several big stops to finish the remainder of the period. The Vees with a handful of chances inside the final minute couldn't put up seven goals, would take Game 1 with a 6-3 victory. It looked like the Vees took their foot off the gas early but started rotating back to their regular shifts-lines. The Vees didn't get nearly as many opportunities as the second period. The Vipers with very little shots, had some zone time at times, had troubles getting pucks to the net. I didn't think either team had a lot of chances, until late in the game with the Vees on the two man advantage, Andrew Shortridge had to be sharp, made some big saves to finish the game. Penticton outshot Vernon 15-5.

Top Player's: (Vernon)

Bo Pellah (1 assist) I thought played his best game or one of his best games in a very long time. Pellah was one of the Vipers better-consistant players this evening. I thought Pellah was skating good, moving the puck, breaking out of the zone, moving the puck up ice and creating-generating some chances. Other then turning over the puck early in the 3rd to Scott Conway, played a solid game on the Viper blueline.

Nicholas Rasovic made his presence felt, played a hard fought physical game, was Vernon's most physical player. Rasovic played hard, was hitting lots in the opening frame, tried setting the tone with some physical play.

Liam Finlay (2 goals & 1 assist) Playing his former team for a second straight season in the playoffs Finlay was really skating hard, moving the puck, scored twice adding a helper was very good for the Vipers.

Game Thought's: (Vernon)

I thought the Vipers played hard-competed in two out of the three periods tonight. The Vipers played very well-held their own against the Vees in the 1st needed two saves from Andrew Shortridge on Penticton's first two goals. Shortridge who wasn't very sharp tonight, allowed three soft goals in the loss. If Shortridge stops the Vees first two goals, its 1-1 going into the 2nd period instead of 3-1. Does Penticton still win tonight? Probally but you never know what could have happened. I think those two quick back to back goals in the opening frame took the wind out of the sail of the Vipers. Shortridge has to be better in Game 2 and the remainder of the series if the Vipers have any chance of winning. Vernon needed a better performance in the 2nd period, were outplayed most of the 2nd period, only gave up two goals but found themselves down three going into the 3rd. Vernon had troubles creating-generating opportunities all night. Especially in the 2nd and 3rd periods had just one shot in the 2nd and 3rd periods well into the second half of each period. Your not going to win many games with just a single shot in the first half or more of a period. The Vipers had troubles getting any kind of offence going, were either kept to the outside or boxed out, were very limited to their time and space. The Vipers also don't matchup well against the Vees who have a much stronger, bigger, skilled and veteran coached team. The Vipers just don't have the same skill level as the Vees, don't have the same kind of elite players like Penticton does. The Vipers played and battled hard in two of the three periods just don't have the bodies to beat a very skilled high powered team like the Vees. If Vernon wants to win a game let alone the series, the Vipers have to play a flawless game. The Vipers need to do a much better job at trying to shutdown or atleast try and contain the likes of Scott Conway, Nick Jones and Easton Brodzinski who are given way too much open ice to free wheel. Vernon needs to get more pucks to the net, go hard to the net, make life more difficult for Anthony Brodeur, play more physical, in your face style of play, play with a little more grit, get in the face of the Vees superstars, try and get them off their game. Vernon's last regular season win at the South Okanagan Events Centre was a 2-1 victory on Wednesday, February 11th 2015. The Vipers have struggled in Penticton the last four regular seasons, have only three regular season wins in their last seventeen games at the SOEC going 3-11-0-3. Former Vipers defenceman Max Mowat was at tonight's game.

Top Player's: (Penticton)

Nick Jones (1 goal & 1 assist) Has played very well against the Vipers this season, had a strong game up front for the Vees. Jones with several good chances, was very good through out the contest.

Scott Conway (2 goals) Now has nineteen points in seven games vs the Vipers this season. Conway has been a Viper killer was very dangerous. Had lots of open ice, was able to free wheel in and around the Vernon goal, had lots of opportunities for his third goal of the night. A very smooth skater, really sees and reads the ice well, always seems to find open ice.

Mitch Brooks I thought had a nice game for the Penticton Vees, played hard-battled through out the game.

Easton Brodzinski (1 assist) Caught my attention the first Vipers-Vees game of the season, stood out in tonight's victory. A bigger body, goes to the net, had several chances from in close, was all over the rink. Another kid who sees-reads the ice well, has a quick hard release.

Dante Fabbro (1 assist) Played very well on the Vees backend. Played a strong defensive game, shutting down Vernon's offence.

Game Thought's: (Penticton)

The Vees took Game 1 didn't run away with tonight's game like the scoreboard shows but were very strong in the win. I thought for two periods the Vipers held their own against Penticton, it was two quick soft back to back goals less then two minutes apart that seemed to give the Vees life and set the Vipers back a little in the 1st period. Getting that late 3rd goal in the final minutes of the 1st period was a killer, instead of being up just one heading into the 2nd the Vees are up by two with a little more confidence. It was the 2nd period where Penticton showed how strong and dominate they are, took it too the Vipers but only managed two goals. Did the Vees take their foot off the gas for a bit in the 3rd? I didn't think Penticton was as strong-good as they were in that 2nd period. The Vees don't get nearly as many opportunities as they do in the 2nd compared to the 3rd. A very chippy final frame with lots of rough stuff-scrums late to finish the 3rd. Overall the Vees look like men playing against boys. The Vees are stacked with a very skilled team, are like facing an all-star team. This team has lost just once at home all season, is going to be very hard to beat during these playoffs. The Vipers may have held their own against them in the 1st and 3rd periods but Penticton can score in a hurry scored two quick goals less then two minutes part in the 1st and two quick back to back goals just over a minute apart in the 2nd. The Vees have a very strong transition game, move the puck in a hurry, are hard to contain, defend against and score on. Give credit to Penticton's defence who did a good job at shutting down Vernon's offence, limited the Vipers chances to a bare minimum, keeping the Vipers to the outside most of the night. Anthony Brodeur wasn't tested much, didn't see a lot of rubber in the final two periods. A pretty classless move by Fred Harbinson late in the final minute of the game, sending out his top powerplay unit for a late two man advantage in a 6-3 game. The Vees have won eight straight over Vernon going back to the regular season. A great crowd for tonight's game.



Brendan Barry (Injured)

Latrell Charleson (Injured)
Charley Michalowski (Injured)


Colton Poolman (Injured)
Dom Masellis (Injured)

Energy Player of the Game:

Taylor Ward (1 goal)

Three Stars:

1st Star: Tyson Jost (1 goal & 2 assists)
2nd Star: Scott Conway (2 goals)
3rd Star: Nick Jones (1 goal & 1 assist)

BCHL Game Summary,

Fraser Rodgers Penticton Vees Blog,

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