I was at tonight's Vipers-Silverbacks game as Vernon defeated Salmon Arm 1-0 in front of 1,103 at the Shaw Centre.
Vernon: Ty Taylor
Salmon Arm: Trevin Kozlowski
1st Period: The Silverbacks come out with lots of jump, took it to the Vipers early. Salmon Arm carried the play off the opening faceoff, had some good early pressure before the Vipers would dump the puck in from centre, the puck took a funny bounce off the end boards, coming back out front of the goal to a wide open Jimmy Lambert who patiently outwaited Trevin Kozlowski before going high giving Vernon the 1-0 lead at 2:09 on the Vipers first shot of the game. Steven Jandric & Brett Stapley with the assists. Shortly after Austin Adamson really turned on the jets, blew by one Silverbacks defender before going in for the parcial breakaway couldn't beat Trevin Kozlowski in tight. Shortly after Vernon would get the games first powerplay (four minutes) Moving the puck around and around the Vipers managed a few good looks but no real threat with the man advantage were unable to capitalize as the Silverbacks with a good penalty kill. Just seconds after the powerplay expired, Vernon would go right back to the powerplay but this time struggle getting no real pressure as SA would kill off the minor. Two big penalty kills for SA. Shortly after Carson Bolduc tried setting up captain Mitch Skapski on an odd man rush, but Skapski couldn't connect on the pass on a missed opportunity. In the second half it was mostly the Vipers who carried the better of the play. Vernon with several good shifts, had some good pressure but didn't get a lot of grade a scoring chances. The Backs would eventually get their first look with the man advantage. Salmon Arm come very close to tying the game after a shot from in close beat Ty Taylor before rolling through the crease when Sol Seibel was quick to clear the puck from the blue paint as Vernon got lucky. Late in the penalty kill Niko Karamanis tried setting up Hunter Zandee who couldn't beat Trevin Kozlowski down low as Vernon was able to kill off the remainder of the minor. Late in the period Jimmy Lambert went in alone for the breakaway but was hooked on the play, still managed to get a shot off but was denied by Trevin Kozlowski. This sending Vernon to a late powerplay. The Backs would lose Carson Bolduc on the play who picked up a ten minute misconduct on the play. The Vipers struggled with the man advantage, couldn't get any real offensive attack going as the Silverbacks were able to kill off the minor. The Vipers would get a late penalty that would carry into the 2nd frame. It was 1-0 Vernon after 20 minutes of play. The Silverbacks got off to a good start, had good pressure in the opening few minutes before giving up the games lone goal and then got into penalty trouble. The Vipers would hold off the Backs early pressure would open the scoring before having trouble with the powerplay. Vernon with a handful of powerplays could have easily put this game away couldn't get much going with the man advantage. The Vipers carried the better of the play five on and five and had more edge in play in the second half of the opening frame. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 15-9.
2nd Period: The Vipers started the middle frame on the man advantage that was carried over from the 1st period. Vernon would get back to back penalties to start the 2nd once again unable to capitalize. The Vipers were able to generate some good looks down low and in close but unable to beat Silverbacks starting goaltender Trevin Kozlowski. Just as the penalty expired Christian Cakebread with two wacks at the loose puck at the side of the net, couldn't beat Kozlowski down low. Vernon with all the momentum kept up the pace five on five and took it to Salmon Arm. The Vipers with a lot of zone time in the first half, carried the better of the play. Vernon was outshooting the Backs 9-0 early in shots as it was all Vernon before SA would get a shot with the powerplay just before the halfway mark. The Silverbacks with lots of pressure, moved the puck around quickly, had several good looks before Mitch Skapski, Josh Blanchard and Carson Bolduc both were stopped by Vipers starting goaltender Ty Taylor. Taylor was down and out was forced to somehow make several back to back stops down low as the Vipers got some solid goaltending before Carter Cochrane looked to tie the game but somehow missed the open cage, went up and over the goal missing on a great opportunity as Vernon excaped and was able to kill off the minor. Both teams didn't see much five on five action with a parade of penalties to the penalty box, either really slowed down the game/or had both coaches juggling lines most of the night. Salmon Arm would head back to the penalty box and this time looked to tie the game after a quick release-shot from the circle beat Ty Taylor went off the far post before coming back hitting Taylor on his backside before covering up the puck. The fans and the goal judge all thought the puck went in but with the referee in full view/standing at the side of the goal on the play, the referee waived the goal-shot off as the Vipers dodged another bullet. Vernon would once again feel the pressure but kill off another penalty. The Vipers then got into penalty trouble after Luke Gingras would get tossed from the game after a check to the head on Carson Bolduc. Gingras looked to slam Bolduc's head into the corner glass before dropping to the ice. A small scrum informed after with Bolduc lying on the ice in pain. Bolduc was checked out by the trainer and was slow leaving the ice, went to the Salmon Arm dressing room didn't return. Gingras was given five minutes for a check to the head. With the Backs on the lengthy five minute major Shane Kelly would take an undisciplined minor before saying something to the referee, picking up another two minutes for unsportsmanlike giving the Silverbacks nine minutes in a very lengthy powerplay. SA would have trouble starting out, looked very disorganized having all kinds of trouble entering the offensive zone, as Vernon was able to jump on the Backs powerplay unit and kill off several minutes. Salmon Arm would finally get organized and get the powerplay ticking late but would run out of time before the buzzer. A wild and penalty filled period with very little five on five play. The Vipers with back to back powerplays to start the period, unable to really put a gap on the scoreboard couldn't capitalize with the man advantage. Vernon carried a lot of the play-had the better of the play for most of the first half, didn't get a lot of grade a chances still managed some good looks. The Vipers then got into penalty trouble in the second half as it seemed like Salmon Arm played most of the second half on the powerplay. The Backs with a good looking PP had several quality chances, either couldn't solve Ty Taylor or didn't get the bounces unable to tie the game or for that matter take the lead. How big was the Viper penalty kill on the lengthy five on three late in the period. It was 1-0 Vernon after 40 minutes of play. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 12-10.
3rd Period: The Silverbacks started the final frame still on the PP that was carried over from the 2nd period. Vernon with a huge penalty kill would kill off the five minute major before killing off the remainder of Shane Kelly's four minute penalty. The Vipers with the unthinkable were very lucky to still be leading this game after all the penalties. Shortly after killing off both penalties to start the period, the Vipers would jump on a powerplay of their own. Salmon Arm with a very good kill would kill off the minor. The Backs would then head to the man advantage just as their penalty expired. Salmon Arm with a great chance in front beat Ty Taylor with the puck just sitting in the blue paint, the Vipers were able to get to the loose puck first, and clear the crease from harms way. Vernon would kill off the penalty. Just as the penalty expired the Vipers lead the attack with a three on two rush, setting up Ryan Brushett in the slot. Brushett tried going high couldn't solve Trevin Kozlowski who made some key saves this period. Shortly after Hunter Zandee broke free, went in for the breakaway went high and over the goal, missing on a great opportunity to grab a 2-0 lead. Vernon would get two more opportunities with the man advantage but two big kills for the Silverbacks as specialty teams was a difference tonight. The Vipers carried the better of the play and had the better chances for most of the frame. Salmon Arm stepped up their play in the final four/five minutes and starting coming on, looking for the equalizer. SA with lots of good pressure down the stretch drive, were really driving the puck to the net. The Vipers now having to step up defensively, relied on Ty Taylor who made some big saves late in the contest. Vernon went the final four and a half minutes with just one shot. It was all Backs late as Salmon Arm was pressing. The Vipers would finally clear the zone before putting on a strong forecheck, hemming the puck in the SA zone killing valuable time off the clock. With 1:19 remaining the Silverbacks would get a late powerplay. With Trevin Kozlowski on the bench for the extra attacker and the Backs pressing, forced a huge goal mouth scramble as Ty Taylor down and out, couldn't find the loose puck, with bodies surrounding the Viper goal-crease, and no whistle the play continued. The Viper defenders were doing a great job at keeping the Silverbacks to the outside, as Salmon Arm was having troubles getting pucks through. Once again Ty Taylor had to be large, made some huge saves inside the final minute. A second goal mouth scramble in front of Ty Taylor and the Vernon goal in the dying seconds before the play was blown dead as the net was dislodged. The Silverbacks were awarded a penalty shot with just nine seconds remaining. (Hockey Canada rules state that if a team knocks their net off inside the final two minutes of a hockey game, a penalty shot is automatically rewarded. Elijiah Barriga was on the ice on the play, took the penalty shot. Barriga tried going five hole was denied by Ty Taylor who come up with his biggest save of the night, as the Viper bench erupted. With a faceoff still inside the Viper zone with nine seconds remaining, the Backs would win the draw, get the puck back to the point before Jesse Lansdell come up with a huge shot block before two other Vipers dove across the ice to swat at the puck before the final buzzer, as Vernon would hang on for the 1-0 victory to take both games of the home & home series. The Vipers had some real quality chances early and through out the first half of the 3rd to grab that two goal lead but couldn't capitalize on their chances. Trevin Kozlowski also come up with some big saves for the Silverbacks. I thought Vernon played very well for most of the 3rd carried a lot of the play. Salmon Arm come on strong in the final four-five minutes really pressed hard, had some very good looks-opportunities, come very close to tying the game on several goal mouth scrambles late in the period. Ty Taylor was forced to be strong, making some big saves late. None bigger then stopping Elijiah Barriga on the penalty shot with nine seconds remaining. Both teams were very good on the penalty kill. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 11-10.
Top Player's: (Vernon)
Michael Ufberg Was once again very strong on the blueline, makes things look very easy. Made some big defensive plays in the game, really sees-reads the ice. Looks very calm-confident.
Sol Seibel played a heck of a game on the Viper defence. The rookie defenceman was solid through out the night, coming up with several blocked shots-making some big defensive plays. This kid looked a little shaky at times very early at the start of the season, has really come along ways and playing with a ton more confidence, getting more ice time, getting better-improving as the season goes on.
Austin Adamson I thought played very well tonight, was carrying the play a lot, very strong with and without the puck, made several smart plays through out the game, was stopped on a 1st period parcial breakaway, had some chances.
Jagger Williamson Played very well, was huge on the penalty kill, down low and along the boards, made some smart plays to clear the zone, was skating hard all night.
Jesse Lansdell Played very well for a second straight night. Blocked a hard shot from the point in the dying seconds, is another Viper that has got his game going and playing with confidence.
Jimmy Lambert (1 goal) Scored the only goal of the game, after patiently outwaiting Trevin Kozlowski before hitting the open cage. Played with a lot of jump-was really skating, played hard all night. Went hard into the goal, taking out the net on a two on one rush, stayed in the game.
Ty Taylor (29 saves-Shutout) Sporting his new pads-goalie equipment, picked up his first career BCHL shutout in a game where he was solid from start to finish. Taylor who was recently named to the CJHL Prospects game, looked very confident between the pipes tonight. Didn't give up any second opportunities, made the big saves when needed and was huge on the penalty kill. His biggest save of the night was stopping Silverbacks leading scorer Elijiah Barriga on the penalty shot with nine seconds remaining.
Game Thought's: (Vernon)
For a second straight night, I thought Vernon played very well. How big was Jimmy Lambert's goal just 2:09 into the opening period? Who would have guessed that? I thought the Vipers were the better team five on five and were very good on the penalty kill, struggled with the man advantage. How big was killing off the lengthy five on three late in the 2nd period? This to me was the TSN turning point. Yes Vernon gave up some opportunities on the penalty kill, but Ty Taylor come up with some large saves. Salmon Arm could have easily potted two or three goals and changed the momentum and took full control of the game in a matter of minutes. I thought the Vipers first powerplay, had some decent looks but for the most part killed a lot of their own powerplays but passing the puck around, with very few shots. The Vipers move the puck around but very slow, allowing the opponents to get in position-setup. Vernon could have took full control of the hockey game if they connected on some of their 1st period powerplays. The Vipers went 0-5 with the man advantage in that opening frame. This game was filled with penalties, as most of the game was played on the powerplay. The 2nd period was a constant parade to the penalty box. Specialty teams was a difference as both coaches were juggling lines. I thought the Vipers were really skating hard tonight, moving the puck well, created/generated their fare share of opportunities couldn't solve Trevin Kozlowski or bury their chances. The Vipers are now unbeaten in seven games and playing their best hockey of the season. This is a character win that could go a long way for this team. All four lines are playing well, contributing, this team is playing with a lot of confidence right now and look to be a very tight knit group. Mark Ferner has done a great job recruiting this season, putting together a very well liked and exciting brand of Viper hockey. Since going to the Royal Bank Cup in 2010 Viper fans haven't had much to get excited about having some pretty dismal teams. Last season was very hard to watch. So far this season has been great, the kids on the ice have made this years Vipers fun to watch and exciting game in and game out. This years team works hard, competes and plays for each other and their coaches. This was by far the most exciting-entertaining Vipers game of the season and one of the best Viper games Ive seen in a while. This was one of the wildest and weirdest games Ive also seen in some time. Seeing a penalty shot with nine seconds remaining in a 1-0 game is a first for me. Captain Riley Brandt was seen in attendance walking around with a cast on his hand-arm. A heard from several people he broke his thumb and had surgery this morning. I also heard from several people that Nicholas Rasovic has left the team and gone home. This now leaves the Vipers with an open roster spot to add another twenty year old.
Top Player's: (Salmon Arm)
Mitch Skapski Played very well in the loss Friday in Vernon, had another strong night in the loss tonight. The Backs captain was really skating, played with a lot of jump-energy.
Josh Latta Played well in spurts. At times he looked very good-strong on the penalty kill. Very crafty, was involved in the play at times.
Carter Cochrane Had a glorious opportunity in the 2nd period on the man advantage, somehow missed a wide open cage. I thought was one of the more stand out Silverbacks tonight. Was very good with and without the puck, getting pucks to the net, really sees the ice well, moves the puck in a hurry, played well at both ends of the rink.
Trevin Kozlowski (38 saves) Shutout the Vipers 1-0 in a pre-season game back in late August fell 1-0 tonight. Kozlowski was sharp all night, making several big stops for the Backs. Dosnt give up many rebounds-second opportunities, was out to challenge on several Viper shots, looked calm-confident, really played his position well. Was hard to beat.
Game Thought's: (Salmon Arm)
I thought the Silverbacks responded and played very well this evening. Yes five on five I thought the Vipers were the better of the two teams but both teams had a ton of chances on the powerplay, to change the outcome in the game and couldn't. Salmon Arm had the much better looking powerplay, had some grade a quality chances, couldn't solve Ty Taylor-couldn't get a bounce. I really liked the Silverbacks powerplay, they move the puck in a hurry, get quick shots off, don't waist a lot of time passing the puck around. The Silverbacks really needed to capitalize on the lengthy five on three. This was the turning point. If the Backs score three times even twice, this changes the momentum and outcome of the game. Both teams could have easily changed the outlook of the game if they capitalized on a few powerplays. Both teams took a few undisciplined penalties. This game was full of penalties, most of the game was played on the powerplay. The Silverbacks couldn't buy a goal-couldn't catch a break all night. Had two loose pucks in the crease-before the puck was cleared from the blue paint, missed a wide open cage on a 2nd period powerplay, looked to tie the game on the man advantage after hitting the far post before the Viper goaltender covered the puck. SA just didn't have a lot of puck luck in and around the goal. Look at the few goal mouth scrambles inside the final minute. Salmon Arm had some very good quality chances tonight, just couldn't find the back of the net. This could have easily been anyone's game. A large crowd on hand for tonight's game, one of the bigger crowds Ive seen in Salmon Arm in recent years. Great to see! The Silverbacks are now 0-5-1 vs the Vipers this year will travel to Vernon January 13th for the final regular season meeting vs the Vipers.
Riley Brandt (Injured)
Energy Player of the Game:
1st Star: Ty Taylor (29 saves-Shutout)
2nd Star: Trevin Kozlowski (38 saves)
3rd Star: Jimmy Lambert (1 goal)
BCHL Boxscore-Game summary,
BCHL Game Report,
BCHL Text Boxscore,