I was at tonight's Vipers-Vees game as Penticton defeated Vernon 3-1 in front of 2,624 fans at Kal Tire Place.
1st Period: The Vipers come out flying, took it too the Vees early and often. Hunter Zandee with a nice setup fed Steven Jandric fifteen seconds into the opening frame for the parcial breakaway couldn't connect on the pass as the puck rolled off his stick on a missed opportunity. Vernon with a good start, had lots of jump got some good pressure in on the Vees early. Cooper Watson with a quick low shot from the point forced Matthew Robson into making a big pad save just minutes into the contest. The Vipers then with a goal mouth scramble couldn't find the back of the net as the Vipers were buzzing all within the first five minutes. The Vees on the other hand had troubles touching the puck, needed five minutes to get their first shot of the night were outshot 4-0 before their first shot on goal. The momentum changed as Penticton got their game going, come back with a few hard working shifts. The Vipers would then get the games first powerplay and capitalize. Michael Ufberg setup a wide open Carter Stephenson who buried the open cage giving Vernon a 1-0 lead at 9:28 with just eight seconds left on the powerplay. Ufberg and Jagger Williamson collected the helpers. The Vees come right back with several good shifts. About a minute and a half later Ty Amonte in front couldn't beat Ty Taylor in tight before a minute later Ty Barnstable jumped on a Viper turnover inside the blueline looked to have Ty Taylor going one way, forced the Vipers goaltender to make a quick reaction save just getting a piece of Barnstable's shot with his glove, making a huge save, keeping this a one goal game. Owen Sillinger then tried setting up Grant Crulkshank for the two on one attack but Sol Seibel made a smart heads up defensive play to break up the Vees attack. Penticton slowly coming on looked to turn it up a notch in the second half. Vernon would get a late powerplay but with just two shots, looked disorganised at times had troubles getting the man advantage going. The Vees would kill off the penalty as the Vipers struggled with the PP. Late in the frame tempers heated up a bit with atleast two or three minor scrums after the whistle. Lots of pushing and shoving as the two teams meet for a second night in a row. With Penticton pressing late, the Vipers once again turned over the puck inside their own blueline, Owen Sillinger did all the hard work to keep this play going before setting up Grant Crulkshank in front who beat Ty Taylor down low between the legs, tying the game 1-1 at 18:59 Sillinger with the lone assist. You could see this play-goal develop, More pushing and shoving at the buzzer as it was tied 1-1 after 20 minutes of play. Vernon with a great start, jumped on the Vees early and often. The Vipers really skating hard, generated a good attack early, would eventually open the scoring on the man advantage. The Vipers were the better team in the first half. Penticton didn't back down needed the first five minutes to get their legs going and get into tonight's contest, before slowly gaining momentum. The Vees with a few good looks-chances were the better team in the second half, tied the game late. Penticton outshot Vernon 12-11.
2nd Period: The Vees cranked it up a notch to begin the middle frame. Penticton really using their speed, took it to Vernon early and often. The Vipers looked to be one step behind the Vees were being outskated early. The Vees didn't through a lot of pucks towards the net, more carried and controlled the play along the wall, looking for that quick bang bang play. Five minutes into the period former Brandon Wheat Kings forward Duncan Campbell with a good opportunity in close looked to give Penticton their first lead of the night, somehow missed the open net. But just over two minutes later Ty Amonte with a nice goal in front, gave Penticton a 2-1 lead at 7:27 Nicholas Jones & Duncan Campbell with the assists. It was all Vees in the first half. Vernon with a few rushes, didn't muster much for offence. The Vipers would get the only powerplay of the period just before the halfway mark. But once again Vernon struggled with the man advantage. The Vipers waisted a lot of time moving the puck around, missed getting shots off the one timers. Vernon didn't get a single shot with the PP blew a good chance to tie the game. Shortly after killing off the minor the Vees went back to work and this time Taylor Ward with a highlight reel goal in front roofed it up and under the bar gave Penticton a 3-1 lead at 12:26 Jonny Tychonick with the lone helper. The Vipers with way too many turnovers couldn't get out of their own end for most of the period. Vernon did manage to get a few rushes into the offensive zone but unable to generate any kind of quality chances. The Vipers with a good attack inside the final thirty seconds, had a few looks-chances in close couldn't beat Vees starting goaltender Matthew Robson. It was 3-1 Penticton after 40 minutes of play. The Vees with a strong 2nd period were by far the better team, carried most of the play. Penticton with two big goals five minutes apart took a two goal lead into the 3rd. The Vees didn't get a lot of great chances, carried a lot of the play on their stick, waiting for their opportunity before capitalizing on their chances. The Vipers on the other hand, had all kinds of troubles offensively and defensively. Way too many turnovers inside their own zone. Shots were 10-10.
3rd Period: Fourty five seconds into the 3rd Ty Amonte made Michael Ufberg look silly, going in and around the Viper defender before going to the net, somehow missed on the wide open cage. The Vees had a few good shifts early before the Vipers come back with a few hard working shifts of their own. The only problem was both teams couldn't hit the net. Neither team had any real good scoring chances or even come close to the net as both teams went back and fourth in a pretty tight checking defensive game. The Vipers on the other hand were the more physical team in the final period, laying the body often. Not a lot of action at either end of the rink as the play continued. Ty Taylor come up with a few key saves, to keep the Vipers within two goals. At the other end of the rink, Matthew Robson didn't see much for rubber. With seven minutes remaining Vernon only had two shots on goal, while the Vees mustered just three. The Vipers put together a string of good shifts late but had troubles getting pucks to the net. Penticton would get a late powerplay with three minutes to go. The Vees with not a lot of pressure on the PP as Vernon was able to kill off the minor. The Vipers were able to get Ty Taylor to the bench for the extra attacker with fourty seven seconds to go but had troubles getting much of anything going. With some late pressure Ty Barnstable and Nicholas Jones come up with two huge blocked shots as time would run out on Vernon as the Vees would hold onto the 3-1 victory. With the Vees up two goals, it looked like Penticton was chipping the puck in, killing time off the clock and being cautious defensively. The Vees didn't turn up the offence nor did they sit back on a two goal lead. The Vipers down two goals, had some good attacks but unable to generate/create any kind of offence. Vernon having all kinds of troubles getting pucks to the net. A lot of back and fourth play but with no real scoring chances at either ends of the rink. Shots were 5-5.
Top Player's: (Vernon)
Cooper Watson I thought played very well on the backend. Watson looked to be moving the puck up ice in a hurry, was getting off that quick release-trying to through pucks to the net, as well as played very well defensively.
Sol Seibel was another Viper d-man that I thought played very well vs the leagues best. Seibel played it smart and cool with and without the puck, didn't get into trouble, made the right move to get out of trouble.
Ty Taylor (24 saves) Played well between the pipes in both games over the weekend. Wasn't outstanding this evening, but made the saves when called apon, keeping his team in the game.
Game Thought's: (Vernon)
After a huge emotional 3-2 victory in Penticton last night, the Vipers returned home didn't play a full sixty minutes in the loss tonight. I think the 2nd period was Vernon's down fall and it cost them. The Vipers held their own against the Vees in the opening frame, played very well. It was the middle frame where the Vipers took a step back. The Vees really cranked it up, were much quicker, won the races, forced turnovers, carried a lot of the play for most of that second period, didn't get a lot of shots/opportunities capitalized on their chances. The Vipers give up two 2nd period goals and struggle on the powerplay, need to be better and more consistant for a full sixty minutes. I thought the Vipers struggled offensively all night, just couldn't seem to generate/create any real good chances most of the night. At times when on the rush it looked like they tried to get too fancy, or force the pass through traffic and back come the Vees the other way. The Vipers made Matthew Robson look good, didn't get nearly enough traffic in front or pucks to the net for him to make any real difficult saves. I thought Vernon looked a step behind the Vees most of the night, just couldn't keep up with their speed and were turning over the puck way too many times. Give the Vipers credit, they played physical, took the body. I thought Vernon had troubles in their own end, turning over the puck, had troubles clearing the zone and getting out of their own end. The Vipers last regular season win at home vs. Penticton was a 4-3 victory on Saturday, February 22nd 2014
Top Player's: (Penticton)
Ty Amonte (1 goal) Looked very strong for the Vees in the victory. Amonte lead the attack most of the night, was really skating hard, had control of the puck lots, used his speed and skill to get into the Viper zone to get the offence going. Amonte was hard to contain and defend against, played very well.
Grant Crulkshank (1 goal) Was another Vees forward that played well. Got the Vees on the board late in the 1st period, had some good opportunities.
Owen Sillinger (1 assist) Really come to play tonight, I didn't really notice him in the loss Friday but stood out in the win in Vernon. Worked-played hard, never quit moving his feet, was strong along the wall and in and around the net. Did all the work himself late in the 1st to setup Grant Crulkshank for the Vees first goal of the game.
Duncan Campbell (1 assist) Played well in the loss last night, had another good game for Penticton tonight. A big pick up after being released from the Brandon Wheat Kings, seems to follow the puck, really reads the play well. A big body that skates well.
Ty Barnstable caught my attention tonight, I thought played very well. Had some good chances, was in and around the net, played-battled hard, never quit skating, had a strong night.
Game Thought's: (Penticton)
After just their second loss on home ice last night, you knew the Vees would be looking for revenge tonight. Well the Vees played a more complete-sixty minute game tonight, wich I didn't think they showed-played last night. Penticton really used their speed in the victory tonight. After a hard fought opening period tied 1-1 the Vees cranked it up a notch in that 2nd period and carried the momentum through until the final buzzer. Penticton did a great job at forcing Vernon into several turnovers through out the night, were hard on the pucks, won a lot of the races, seemed to have just a bit more jump-energy over the Vipers. The Vees didn't totally dominate tonight's game, but carried a lot of the play in the 2nd period especially. The Vees do a great job at holding onto the puck, moving the puck around waiting for an opportunity. Penticton is very good with and without the puck. The Vees hold onto the puck-wait for the right opportunity-chance to make the play, before releasing the puck. Both teams didn't generate a lot of good chances but it was Penticton that scored-capitalized on their opportunities. The Vees defence was solid all night, really took away time and space from Vernon who had troubles offensively most of the night. Matthew Robson stopped twenty five of Vernon's twenty six shots wasn't forced into making any real difficult saves, saw most of the Vipers 26 shots didn't give up any real rebounds or second chances in front. Give credit to Penticton's defence that did a good job at clearing the front of the net, not giving up any second or third opportunities. The Vees have now won seven straight at Kal Tire Place. Since the 2011-12 regular season the Vees have dominated the Vipers. Penticton has won twenty nine of the last thirty seven regular season meetings vs Vernon going 29-8-0-0. The Vees have won fourteen of the last sixteen games vs the Vipers. One of the bigger crowds in a while. Is it me or do the Vipers seem to struggle-always lose on home ice in front of a larger crowd the past few seasons?
Riley Brandt (Suspended)
Jesse Lansdell (Injured)
Jimmy Lambert (Injured)
Chris Jandric (Injured)
Energy Player of the Game:
1st Star: Grant Crulkshank (1 goal)
2nd Star: Carter Stephenson (1 goal)
3rd Star: Ty Amonte (1 goal)
BCHL Boxscore-Game summary,
Fraser Rogers Penticton Vees Blog,