Sunday, September 11, 2016
Vipers Brush Back Silverbacks:
Vipers brush back Silverbacks
by Kevin Mitchell - Vernon Morning Star
Sep 11, 2016
Morning Star Staff
Jimmy Lambert was part of the highest scoring Major Midget line in Saskatchewan his final year of minor hockey.
The slick Saskatoon product rang up 15 goals in just 49 games with the Vernon Vipers last year and is being counted on for double that as an alternate captain this season.
Lambert got off to a stellar start Friday night, scoring twice as the Vipers posted a 6-3 win over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks to open the 55th B.C. Hockey League season at the Shaw Centre.
Rookie Ty Taylor made 31 saves as Vernon led after one on a goal by Hunter Zandee. It was tied 3-3 after 40 minutes before 1,000 fans.
Prize recruit Niko Karamanis registered the shorthanded breakaway winner on a feed from d-man Michael Ufberg midway through the third period, while linemate Steven Jandric also scored once. Rookie Derek Osik earned an empty-netter.
Connor Sundquist had a pair for Salmon Arm, while Josh Latta scored once.
The teams meet again tonight at 6:00 at Kal Tire Place.
“It was a typical first game with a couple of turnovers leading to goals by both teams,” said Vernon head coach/GM Mark Ferner. “Regardless of the result, you always want to be better at this point. It was a real good game for the fans.”
Ferner gave major props to the line of Karamanis, Jandric and Lambert.
“They were pretty good and they were on lots of pucks. They were buzzing and dominated most shifts.”
Karamanis, a Courtenay product, racked up nearly 200 points in three seasons of Midget hockey at the Minnesota hockey factory Shattuck St. Mary’s.
“They were good on the powerplay and just about everybody got a look at the power play,” added Ferner.
D Callum Volpe was a healthy scratch. The Vipers welcomed back towering winger Tyler Maser from the Prince Albert Raiders camp and released winger Julian Benner of Calgary.
Maser is a 17-year-old power forward from Houston, B.C., racked up 15 goals, 27 points and 75 penalty minutes with the Major Midget Cariboo Cougars in Prince George last year. He is 6-feet, 175 pounds of muscle.
The Vipers only had eight returnees in the lineup so Ferner was content with the showing.
“It’s pretty much a new team and the kids played well enough to win; you have to give them credit for that.”
Michael Botiz, who played Junior A for the Oakville Blades last year, allowed two Viper goals. Californian Trevin Kozlowski let in the other three.
Viper captain Riley Brandt was on a line with centre Austin Adamsson and Christian Cakebread.
Zandee was with Jagger Williamson and Osik. The teams met Saturday night at Kal Tire Place.
A 5-foot-8, 195-pounder, Brandt is feared through the league and is entering his fourth season in the BCHL and third with the Vipers.
Brandt will be joined by three alternates to round out the rest of the leadership group.
Also wearing a letter along with Lambert will be Williamson and Zandee.
“He (Lambert) will look to build on a fantastic rookie campaign, but also help the rest of the group in instilling a positive culture to the dressing room,” said Ferner. “The leadership group this season will be heavily relied on to provide a positive environment on and off the ice.”
SNAKE BITES: F Brett Stapley and F Nick Rasovic are on IR. The Vipers entertain the Coquitlam Express next Friday night...Vernon’s Spencer Hewson is captain of the Nanaimo Clippers in his fourth season. Nanaimo lost 4-1 to Alberni Valley...Blaine Caton, a former Viper, is an alternate captain with the Trail Smoke Eaters...Vernon’s Brett Jewell scored once as the Merritt Centennials tied the Prince George Spruce Kings 2-2...Ex-Viper Linden Hora, wearing an A, had one goal as the Chilliwack Chiefs iced the Langley Rivermen 6-3.