Saturday, March 12, 2016

Interior Division Semi-Finals: Game 5 Penticton 5 Vernon 0

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 5 of the Interior Division Semi-Finals as Penticton defeated Vernon 5-0 in front of 2,993 fans at the South Okanagan Events Centre. 

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Andrew Shortridge
Penticton: Zach Driscoll

1st Period: Just seventeen seconds into the opening frame Penticton would jump on an early powerplay. Just 1:01 into the man advantage, Andrew Shortridge stopped Easton Brodzinski before Nick Jones buried the rebound giving Penticton a 1-0 lead at 1:16 Brodzinski and Dante Fabbro picked up the assists. The Vees with a strong start, looked hungry early, had an early jump on Vernon early. The Vipers after giving up the early PP goal were having all kinds of trouble coming out of their own end & breaking through the neutral zone. The Vipers needed three and a half minutes to record their first shot, wich was a high shot from Nic Rasovic from the top of the circle, Rasovic's shot looked to handcuff Zach Driscoll who had troubles catching the puck with his glove hand, allowed a rebound out front where a Vees defender would clear the puck from harms way. About a minute later Jimmy Lambert was sent in for the breakaway with a Vees defenceman chasing him down, Lambert tried going fivehole on Driscoll who smothered the puck on a nice save. About a minute later the Vees come back the other way on a two on one. Chris Gerrie and Mitch Brooks lead the rush, while Gerrie kept and fired was denied by Andrew Shortridge who made a nice pad save. The Vipers would get called for too many men just before the midway mark, sending Penticton to their second powerplay of the night. Easton Brodzinski with a heavy shot from the slot couldn't beat Shortridge. The Vees with some decent pressure, moved the puck around but didn't really generate much for offensive chances as Vernon with a good penalty kill, would kill off the minor. The Vees had the early edge in play were outshooting the Vipers 9-3 at the halfway mark. Vernon would their first look with the man advantage, that didn't even last a full minute before the Vipers taking an undisciplined penalty to even up the play. While four on four Penticton would send another player to the box, giving the Vipers a shortened powerplay. Bo Pellah setup Brett Stapley who was stopped by the quick glove of Zach Driscoll. The powerplay would come to an end before Vernon would get their first full look with the man advantage just two minutes later. Some good puck movement from the Vipers allowed Jimmy Lambert a great opportunity in front was stoned by Driscoll who then stopped Bo Pellah before robbing former Penticton Vees forward Liam Finlay at the side of the net, the Vipers with three great quality chances couldn't solve Zach Driscoll as Penticton got some big saves from their goaltender, would kill off the penalty. It was all Vipers in the second half, who finally seemed to get their legs going and get some opportunities and pucks to the net. The Vees with just two shots in the second half of the frame. With 1:54 remaining Nic Rasovic won a faceoff deep in the Penticton zone, allowed Steven Jandric to rip a quick shot from the circle just went high and over the far corner on a missed opportunity. Penticton was up 1-0 after 20 minutes. Just like in Game 2 the Vees capitalized on an early powerplay at the start of the game, to jump out to a 1-0 lead less then two minutes into the contest. Penticton looked good early, carried the play before the Vipers would get two good chances had troubles getting through the neutral zone in the first ten minutes. In the second half Vernon seemed to get their game going, were skating, moving the puck well, finally get shots on goal, come up with some good opportunities couldn't solve Zach Driscoll. The Vees were the better team in the first half, while the Vipers were the better team in the second half. Shots were even 11-11.

2nd Period: Just fifty eight seconds into the middle frame the Vees would strike early. Penticton took a big check along the side wall, wich opened the ice for Mitch Brooks who was untouched ripped a rocket of a shot from the top of the circle, beat Vipers starting goaltender Andrew Shortridge high glove side, gave Penticton a early 2-0 lead at 0:58 Owen Sillinger and Scott Conway collected the helpers. The Vees looked to be on a mission, looked hungry really stepped up their play and fully took over this hockey game in the 2nd period. Penticton jumped on Vernon early and often, had the Vipers running around in circles in their own end. It looked like the Vees were on the man advantage, forced the Vipers into several turnovers as the Vipers had all kinds of trouble clearing the zone. Penticton with a ton of pressure, were moving the puck around, had some good looks at the net come close to scoring on atleast three or four plays, just missing the net. After failing to clear the zone atleast four or five times the Vees would capitalize. Easton Brodzinski with a seeing eye shot from the high slot, beat a screened Andrew Shortridge who never saw the shot-puck somehow found its way through a maze of players in front, into the back of the net, gave Penticton a 3-0 lead at 3:26 Scott Conway & Tyson Jost with the assists. Shortly after Vernon lost their focus and started to unravel taking the first of several undisciplined penalties. Andrew Shortridge for roughing would cost his team another goal. Vees captain Tyson Jost gave Penticton a 4-0 lead at 6:07 Dante Fabbro with the lone helper. A minute later the Vees headed back to the PP for back to back powerplays. Once again the Vees moving the puck around, had several good looks at the net, just missed the net or had the puck hit someone in front on some close calls. Easton Brodzinski with a quick shot from the circle couldn't beat Shortridge who was forced into making several stops while on the PK. The Vees lethal powerplay wouldn't be stopped, after Scott Conway's shot hit Easton Brodzinski in the face or head as the puck went into the back of the net off Brodzinski giving Penticton a 5-0 lead at 8:59 Conway & Dixon Bowen picked up the assists. Less then a minute later the Viper parade to the penalty box wasn't over, after Vernon would lose Jimmy Lambert for the remainder of the period after a check to the head penalty, wich also includes a ten minute misconduct. Lambert would head to the Viper dressing room but return for the 3rd period. The Vees again with some good pressure, had some good chances this time couldn't capitalize as Vernon would kill off the minor. It was all Penticton in the first half as the Vees spent most of the first ten minutes on the powerplay, opened up the scoring with four goals. The Vipers needed eleven minutes to record their first shot of the period, played most of that first half in their own end. In the second half the Vipers would jump on the man advantage but it was Scott Conway with a solid penalty kill, forced the Vipers into turning over the puck in front of the net, before getting a great chance in front couldn't beat Andrew Shortridge who had to be alert to stop Conway in tight. The Vipers struggled with the PP as Penticton was able to kill off the minor. Late in the frame Nick Jones took a flying run-check at Bo Pellah along the side wall, before Pellah turned around cross checking Jones from behind, then giving Jones a shot to the face as he was getting up. Pellah would get two minors for his dump play, sending the Vees on their fourth powerplay of the 2nd period. The Vees would run out of time as the buzzer sounded to end the period. Penticton was up 5-0 after 40 minutes. It was all Vees who come out hard, scored in the opening minute totally dominated the 2nd period. Penticton with four powerplay's capitalized twice scored four goals to basically put this game away. Vernon didn't get off to the start they wanted, gave up the early goal before getting frustrated, taking some very undisciplined penalties wich cost them the game. The Vees carried and dominated the play, looked like men against the boys as most of the period was played in the Vernon end. The Vees with tons of pressure, had several good quality chances were buzzing in and around the net. The Vipers with several defensive turnovers had all kinds of trouble with the Penticton offence. You had to feel for Andrew Shortridge who was under siege and under attack all night, didn't get a lot of help from his defenceman. Penticton outshot Vernon 12-6.

3rd Period: The Vees started the final period on the man advantage that was carried over from the end of the 2nd period. Penticton with some good pressure, didn't really get any great chances couldn't capitalize as the Vipers killed off the minor. The Vees looked to take their foot off the gas, as the Vipers carried a lot of the play but didn't really generate much for offence. Vernon would get a powerplay just before the halfway mark but unable to breat Vees starting goaltender Zach Driscoll's shutout bid. Down 5-0 with their season on the line, the Vipers still showed signs of hustle and hard work as Vernon battled even with the game out of reach. Not a lot of action or any real great quality chances in the first half from either team. In the second half the Vipers had some good looks but couldn't beat Driscoll. With just under five minutes to go in the Vipers season, Callum Volpe with a quick low shot forced Zach Driscoll to kick out the point shot, while on the following rush back up ice, Mitch Brooks with a nice move inside the Viper blueline, ripped a quick shot was denied by Andrew Shortridge. A minute or so later Riley Brandt was stopped by Zach Driscoll who couldn't handle the rebound, before Viper captain Colton McCarthy jumped on the second and third opportunity couldn't find the back of the net after back to back chances from in close. With about two minutes left in the game and the series, the fans at the SOEC started to make some noise, as you heard the cow bells and fans starting to cheer on their Vees. With about a minute and a half remaining Jagger Williamson with a wicked shot from the slot was stopped by Driscoll who come up with a tough save. With a minute to go the crowd at the South Okanagan Events Centre started to rise, getting on their feet making noise, cheering on the Vees. In the dying seconds you could see a few Vipers with their heads between their legs on the bench being consoled by other team mates. At the buzzer the Vees poured onto the ice to celebrate the win and series while the Vipers were very slow to leave the bench, while several players were down on on knee, shedding some tears with their season and some guys careers all but over. Penticton would win 5-0 taking the Interior Division Semi-Finals 4-1 will now advance to face either the Salmon Arm Silverbacks or West Kelowna Warriors. Both teams would line up at centre ice for the hand shake, Fred Harbinson would take a few moments to chat with Mac Ferner, Odeen Tufto and Mark Ferner before both teams made their way off the ice. With the score-game out of reach, it looked like Penticton took their foot off the gas, while Vernon still played-battled hard knowing what was ahead. The Vipers carried a lot of the play, didn't get a lot of great chances, had some of their better opportunities in the final few minutes. Shots were even 9-9.

Top Player's: (Vernon)

Bo Pellah I thought played very well on the Vipers blueline. Lead the team in scoring during the playoffs with five points played some of his best hockey of the season, in this series. Was moving the puck up ice a lot, saw a lot of ice time through out the game.

Nic Rasovic I thought battled hard in this series and had a fairly good game tonight. 

Game Thought's: (Vernon)

The Vipers didn't get off to the start they wanted, giving up an early powerplay goal 1:16 into the start of Game 5. Vernon was outplayed and had troubles getting out of their own end and through the neutral zone early but seemed to get their game going in the second half. Had some good chances, couldn't solve Zach Driscoll. The Vipers played much better in the second half were down just a goal, fell apart in the 2nd period giving up four goals (2 powerplay goals) were down 5-0 going into the 3rd. The 2nd period cost Vernon the game, The Vipers looked very frustrated at times, got into penalty trouble, took some very undisciplined penalties wich cost them the game. Vernon needed eleven minutes to get their first shot on goal in that 2nd period, were totally outplayed. It was like watching men play against boys. The Vipers were badly outmatched and outworked in that middle frame, couldn't recover. So for a second time in two years the Vipers season comes to an end in Penticton. The Vipers struggled vs Penticton all season, going 0-6 and now finish the season 1-10 vs the Vees. The Vipers last win in Penticton was Game 5 in last years playoff matchup with the Vees. This team struggled all season, just to make the playoffs had to win the final regular season game In Trail didn't have much of a chance vs the high powered Penticton Vees. I thought the Vipers would be lucky to win a game if one in this series and they did that with a 2-1 victory in Game 3. Its been a very frustrating and disappointing season from a fans point of view, this team struggled all season, had their ups and downs but mostly downs. It seemed like this team just couldn't gel for whatever reason, didn't have that team chemistry Viper fans are use to watching with past teams. The Vipers lacked size, experience, veteran leadership, defence and scoring. This years Vipers were just too small, they were either pushed-knocked around, had troubles moving bodies from the front of the net or getting to the front of the net, their defence struggled, having all kinds of problems through out the season and the team lacked scoring and it showed tonight. Other then Odeen Tufto and Liam Finlay this team were all average hockey players. This team was also very inconsistent all year, had troubles beating the top teams and even teams below them in the standings. Now goaltending was a different story. What can you say about Andrew Shortridge? With the veteran 20 yr old between the pipes, I don't think this team would have made the playoffs. Shortridge was the Vipers MVP and kept them in a lot of games through out the season, in games they won it was basically because of him. I sure hope the Vipers-scouts-coaches take a real good look at next years returning players-new recruits and get the Vipers back to where they once were. Other then last season the past six years have been pretty dismal, something Viper fans-die hard fans like myself aren't use too watching. To all the players that wont be back next season, I wish you all but nothing but succsess in your future whatever you do, and to the returning players, I look forward to next season.Thank you! The Vipers have a possible fourteen players returning for next season (Mitchell Oliver, Brett Stapley, Charley Michalowski, Colton McCarthy, Jagger Williamson, Riley Brandt, Christian Cakebread, Nic Rasovic, Hunter Zandee, Jimmy Lambert, Callum Volpe, Darren Rizzolo, Steven Jandric & Brendan Barry). A very small amount of Viper fans at tonight's game, I counted six. Former Vipers defenceman-captain Lennie Rampone was at tonight's game.

Top Player's: (Penticton)

Nick Jones (1 goal) Opened the scoring, had another good game in this series. 

Scott Conway (3 assists) Has had an excellent season and so far great playoff run! Conway had 27 points in eleven games vs the Vipers this season. Conway was a Viper killer! This kid is fun to watch, always seems to find open ice, really sees-reads the play well, always keeps his feet moving, seems to always be in the right place at the right time. Is very hard to contain and defend against.

Mitch Brooks (1 goal) Seemed to get better as the series went along, I thought he played very well in the win tonight. Was involved in the play, played physical, didn't back down from the physical play, was going to the net, worked-battled hard all evening.

Easton Brodzinski (2 goals & 1 assist) Is another player who seems to play well against Vernon this year. I thought was very strong tonight and through out the series, strong on the puck, strong on the forecheck, wins a lot of battles, goes to the net, has a quick release, gets pucks to the net, hard to contain and defend against.

Zach Driscoll (26 saves-shutout) Didn't see much rubber-action but made the saves when needed. Come up with his biggest saves of the night in the 1st on the penalty kill, made three huge stops in a row off Liam Finlay, Bo Pellah & Jimmy Lambert. Finished the season 4-0 vs Vernon with three shutouts.

Dante Fabbro (2 assists) Is another Penticton Vee that has played well against the Vipers the past two seasons and again tonight. A very smooth skater, moves the puck well, sees-reads the play well, jumps into the play, gets pucks to the net, hard to beat one on one.

Chris Gerrie I thought played very well in the win tonight, had some looks-opportunities through out the game.

Game Thought's: (Penticton)

The league leading and defending Western Canada Cup Champion Penticton Vees move onto the Interior Division Finals for a fifth straight season. The Vees basically ran away with the Division & League early were no match for the Vipers this series and the regular season. Tonight the Vees with a big early powerplay goal, opened the scoring, got the huge crowd into the game early, put the Vipers back on their heels early before taking over the game in the 2nd period. This team is very skilled, has a ton of offense and can score at will and they showed it in that 2nd period. Penticton totally dominated and put the game away with four 2nd period goals. The Vees have lost just once at home all season, have only lost 17 home playoff games since the SOEC first opened. The Vees powerplay was very good, the Vees overall were very good, especially in that second frame, there relentless forecheck and work ethic is amazing, the Vees were winning most of the battles, races for the pucks, causing turnovers, forcing turnovers, giving the Viper defence all kinds of trouble. This team is built for a long playoff run, whos going to stop them?  A great lively crowd tonight made for a great atmosphere. Very close to 3000 people turned out with the 50-50 going for over $4000.  Id like to congratulate the Penticton Vees and their entire organization on a great season and series and wish them all the best in the next round.

Here’s a look at the previous 23 playoff meetings between Vernon & Penticton:

1966-67 Penticton defeated Vernon 4 games to 1
1967-68 Penticton defeated Vernon 4 games to 0
1971-72 Vernon defeated Penticton 4 games to 3 (BCJHL Final)
1973-74 Penticton defeated Vernon 4 games to 0
1974-75 Vernon defeated Penticton 4 games to 2
1975-76 Penticton defeated Vernon (No Stats)
1976-77 Penticton defeated Vernon 4 games to 2
1982-83 Penticton defeated Vernon 4 games to 3
1986-87 Vernon defeated Penticton 4 games to 0
1987-88 Vernon defeated Penticton 4 games to 0
1992-93 Penticton defeated Vernon 4 games to 1
1993-94 Vernon defeated Penticton 4 games to 3
1994-95 Penticton come back down 3-1 defeating Vernon 4 games to 3
2001-02 Vernon defeated Penticton 4 games to 2
2002-03 Vernon defeated Penticton 4 games to 0
2004-05 Vernon defeated Penticton 4 games to 0
2006-07 Vernon defeated Penticton 4 games to 1
2007-08 Penticton defeated Vernon 4 games to 3
2008-09 Vernon defeated Penticton 4 games to 1
2009-2010 Vernon defeated Penticton 4 games to 2
2013-2014 Vernon defeated Penticton 4 games to 3
2014-2015 Penticton defeated Vernon 4 games to 3
2015-16 Penticton defeated Vernon 4 games to 1



Latrell Charleson (Injured)
Charley Michalowski (Injured)
Joe Sacco (Injured)


Gabe Bast (Injured)
Ben Brar
Anthony Brodeur

Energy Player of the Game:

Luke Voltin

Three Star's:

1st Star: Easton Brodzinski (2 goals & 1 assist)
2nd Star: Zach Driscoll (26 saves-shutout)
3rd Star: Dante Fabbro (2 assists)

BCHL Game Summary,

Fraser Rodger's Penticton Vees Blog,

One final Thank you to you the fans who viewed my blog on a regular basis. I just wanted to say thanks to the many many fans who checked out my blog through out the season! I couldn't do it without you! I'm very passionate and spend hours apon hours on here-looking for information, stats, news etc. I have been averaging between 250-800 views a day this season, some over 800-900 during the playoffs.  With the Vipers season all but over now, that dosnt mean this blog is finished for the season.  I will have several articles-news stories on Viper alumni and of course any Viper news through out the off season.  So please keep coming back through out the off season-summer to keep informed with any Vipers news-Viper alumni updates.

Thanks again, Vipersdiehardfan

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