Sunday, September 4, 2016

Vipers Cut Down To 24

This is posted on the Morning Star website:

Vipers cut down to 24
by  Kevin Mitchell - Vernon Morning Star

Sep 4, 2016

All Mark Ferner wanted was a fair camp where young rookies stood a chance at making the team.

Ferner was true to his word as he signed a pair of 17-year-old rookie goalies and a few other young players Sunday at his Vernon Vipers office. Rookie net detectives Cole Demers, of North Vancouver, and Ty Taylor, of  Richmond, were selected over American Gavin Hubbard and Port Hardy product Riley Mathieson, both 19.

"I wanted training camp to matter and told everybody that there were jobs up for grabs," said Ferner. "I asked all the kids to work hard for their spots on the team. Some people may question my sanity in running with two '99 (1999 birthdates) goalies, but the way those two competed in Salmon Arm the other night (1-0 loss Friday) was really good. They outplayed the '97s in camp and deserve to be here."

The Vipers have 14 forwards and eight defenceman. Veteran F Brett Stapley and high prospect Chase Stevenson, a forward, are on injured reserve. Both players will miss Vernon's B.C. Hockey League opener Friday night in Salmon Arm versus the Silverbacks.

Ferner is in his 11th training camp as a coach, fifth with the Vipers. The 50-year-old GM said Demers broke down in tears when he was told he made the team.

"It was a pretty emotional, whirlwind day," said Demers, a first-team all-star with the B.C. Major Midget League Okanagan Rockets in Kelowna last year with a 1.94 GAA. "I definitely figured I had a chance to make the team. I had a pretty good camp and this has been a dream of mine. All the guys here were really welcoming. I had a good year last year so that instilled a lot of confidence in me and Mark told us there were two spots up for grabs so I worked as hard as I could."

The 5-foot-9, 161-pound Demers, who used to play midfield in soccer, called his coach Jason Williamson first to relay the good news. He then dialed up his coach from two years ago in Major Midget, Duncan Vyner. His parents got the third call.

"Those two (Williamson, a former Viper captain and coach, and Vyner) helped me the most to get me to this level. They both believed in me and taught me a lot."

Taylor, a 6-foot-3, 172-pounder who was being wooed by the WHL Prince George Cougars earlier in the week – Ferner said they flew in a coach on their private plane to visit him – amassed the best stats in the CSSHL academy league last year with Delta Prep. He also loved hearing the joyful news from Ferner

"I was pretty excited," he said. "I did the best I could in camp, but I shouldn't have let in those two goals in Penticton. It's (BCHL) faster and I didn't feel overwhelmed. You have to read the plays more rather than just react at this level."

Taylor, whose father was an elite tennis player in England, loves the Canucks and Florida goalie Roberto Luongo. He stands up on high shots and tries to challenge shooters by using his size to advantage.

The 17-year-old tandem, while maybe the first in league history, will not create any jealousies, says Taylor.

"Cole is a very good goalie and we can both push each other to be better," said Taylor. "It's not going to be a problem. We have to make sure it's not hostile."

The Vipers also kept 18-year-old forwards Levi Johnson, of Prince George, and Julian Benner of Calgary, along with '99-born defenceman Sol Seibel of Kamloops. Seibel and Johnson played Junior B with the Kamloops Storm last year.

Vernon released 13 players, including Vernon 16-year-old Coleton Bilodeau, who they will use as an affiliate. The Moose Jaw Warrior draft is expected to play a second season with the Okanagan Rockets.

The Vipers practise Monday (3:45 p.m.) at Priest Valley Arena due to Saturday's major flooding at Kal Tire Place.

"Our whole dressing room is being ripped apart," said Ferner, who is still working the phones on trades. "Hopefully, we can be back in there by Wednesday."


Bob said...

The headline reads "Vipers cut down to 24". And then the Morningstar doesn't tell us who the 24 are. The BCHL site doesn't either. This league is just terrible at communicating to its customers.

vipersdiehardfan said...

I totally agree! The league and each team needs to know they have fans that want to be in the know, of whats going on with their team. Without us, you have no league or teams.

This was one of the main reasons why I created/started this blog, was for the Viper-hockey fans who wanted to be up to date with anything and everything Vipers.

vipersdiehardfan said...

If you look at the players returning from last year and add the players that were mentioned in this article, here is the team I have so far with three players missing

Mitchell Oliver
Riley Brandt
Nicholas Rasovic
Hunter Zandee
Jagger Williamson
Darren Rizzolo
Chase Stevenson
Callum Volpe
Steven Jandric
Carter Stephenson
Jimmy Lambert
Brett Stapley
Christian Cakebread
Sol Seibel
Austin Adamson
Julian Benner
Levi Johnson
Niko Karamanis
Derek Osik
Cole Demers
Ty Taylor

Anonymous said...

based on what I saw in preseason, d-men Cameron Kuhl, Mike Ufberg, and Shane Kelly might be the 3 names not on this list.

Anonymous said...

Vipers website is brutal for providing any current team info. Do the Vipers have some kind of policy of not providing the names of players who get cut or released?

The Morningstar mentioned that 16 year-old Coleton Bilodeau would be an AP this year.
Any idea about some of the other 2000's that made it right to the final cutdowns, guys like Josh Prokop, Ethan Scardina, Jack Judson, and John Ludvig for example.

vipersdiehardfan said...

I agree the Vipers don't do a very good job at keeping the fans in the loop! I wish they would announce cuts from Training Camp-pre season games and keep the fans in the know. Even the Morning Star does a pretty weak attempt at keeping the fans up to date. Why couldn't they tell us who was cut-released, give us an updated list of the Vipers roster? This was one of the main reasons why I created-started this blog, was to try and keep fans up to date regarding the Vipers.

Anonymous said...

and trying to get any info on the away preseason games was near impossible. I understand that its preseason, that they were not going to broadcast the games, not even on the internet. For the game in Penticton, I had to follow the Vees twitter feed, at least they were giving updates. If the Vipers have a designated twitter person then they must be on vacation......along with the rest of their media relations department....hopefully someone from the Vipers takes notice that people are disgruntled, not just with the on-ice product but their off-ice performance as well.

Anonymous said...

You forgot to put Steve brother chirs on the list

Anonymous said...

You have forgot about Steve brother Chris is on the team

Anonymous said...

You are all correct .. The Vipers web site is terrible..have questioned them on this subject before with no results. Hoping to run into Duncan sat nite to give him a few thoughts

Anonymous said...

Excellent comments regarding the lack of info being passed on to the paying customers. This team gets a failing grade on creating excitement or hype with their loyal (but declining) fans. Instead of trying to increase revenues through ticket sales they prefer to canvas the community for corporate support. Very few other privately owned businesses have success with this approach. Yes, they seem to have recruited skill but my biggest concern again this year is their lack of size. The other Interior teams appear to be just as fast & skilled but have also added size to their lineups. It may be another frustrating year.