I was at tonight's Vipers-Warriors game as Vernon defeated West Kelowna 6-1 in front of 2,048 fans at Kal Tire Place.
Vernon: Darion Hanson
West Kelowna: Nik Amundrud
1st Period: The Vipers would get the games first good opportunity early. Just two and a half minutes into the opening frame the Vipers couldn't convert on a goal mouth scramble as Nik Amundrud somehow managed to keep his eye on the puck and keep the game scoreless. The Warriors would get the games first powerplay just less then four minutes in. Chase Dubois couldn't convert on a pass at the side of the net, after somehow missing the wide open cage. I think Sol Seibel managed to get a stick on Dubois at the last second. The Warriors would eventually open the scoring after Michael Ryan's point shot beat a screened Darion Hanson fivehole giving West Kelowna the 1-0 lead at 4:22 Stephen Kleysen and Chase Stephenson collected the helpers. Vernon pushed right back after Jimmy Lambert would get denied on an odd man rush was stopped by Nik Amundrud who come across the blue paint to make the big glove save, keeping this a one goal game. Shortly after Niko Karamanis went high beating Nik Amundrud tying the game 1-1 at 5:59 as the teddy bears hit the ice on the Vipers annual teddy bear toss. Ryan Brushett & Christian Cakebread with the assists. This goal seemed to get the Vipers going as Vernon responded with a strong forecheck getting some solid zone time before jumping on their first powerplay of the evening. The Vipers couldn't capitalize with the man advantage as West Kelowna killed off the minor. Just after the penalty expired, Cooper Watson's point shot forced Nik Amundrud into making a huge pad save with Jimmy Lambert on the doorstep couldn't bury the rebound in close. Vernon took over the play in the second half and carried the better of the play, getting lots of pucks to the net. The Vipers with a strong forecheck and work ethic dominated the play along the boards and down low. Nik Amundrud had to be sharp made several big saves. The Vipers would grab their first lead of the night late in the period. Sol Seibel with a nice rush up ice setup Niko Karamanis in front who buried his second of the night gave Vernon a 2-1 lead at 17:22 Seibel with the lone helper. It stayed 2-1 Vernon after 20 minutes of play. Other then the powerplay and a few hard working shifts I thought the Vipers were the better team and carried the better of the play. Vernon fell behind early responded with the game tying goal less then two minutes later were really skating, dominated the boards and the front of the net. The Vipers with good looks and chances played very well in the 1st period. The Warriors opened the scoring but didn't generate much offence, played a lot of the period in their own end. Vernon outshot West Kelowna 15-7.
2nd Period: The Vipers looked to grab a two goal lead inside the opening two minutes couldn't convert on a wrap around before getting a good chance in close on a goal mouth scramble. WK would get an early powerplay. On the man advantage Vernon would get caught with two many men sending the defending champions to a lengthy five on three. Darion Hanson making his home debut had to be alert and was solid on the penalty kill making several key stops. The Vipers and Hanson with a strong penalty kill would kill off both minors. A few minutes later Riley Brandt and Scott Allen got tangled up in the corner before punches were thrown. A scrum broke loose with several players getting involved. On the play the Vipers would get called again for too many men sending WK back to the powerplay. Connor Sodergren looked to tie the game after batting in a high pass in front. One of the linesmen went to one of the officials before both linesmen and referee's gathered in front of the penalty box before calling off the goal. The goal was disallowed after Sodergren batted the puck into the net. Still on the PP former Viper Chase Stephenson would get stoned by Vipers starting goaltender Darion Hanson. Hanson come across the crease to make a huge blocker save before flashing the leather on the second attempt. Stephenson with two back to back quality chances couldn't solve Hanson. Hanson and Vernon's penalty kill was once again solid killing off the penalty. The Warriors with three powerplays in the first half were firing everything towards Hanson and the Viper net, were outshooting Vernon 14-3 at this point. The Vipers went a good five to six minutes without a single shot on goal. Vernon seemed to build off the PK battled back and showed a good push back in the second half. The Vipers with a good forecheck once again showed that strong work ethic. Riley Brandt would get robbed with five and a half minutes to go after Warriors starting goaltender Nik Amundrud stopped Brandt on the wrap around. West Kelowna with a strong push back come on late to finish the middle frame. With two and a half minutes left, Braiden Epp looked to have Darion Hanson beat was denied in tight on a great opportunity. The Tribe looking for that long stretch pass spotted Chase Dubois inside the final minute, couldn't beat Hanson on the breakaway. With 2.5 seconds remaining Connor Sodergren couldn't beat Darion Hanson who flashed the leather, making a big glove save in the final seconds. West Kelowna with some solid opportunities late couldn't beat the Viper goaltender. Vernon was up 2-1 after 40 minutes of play. The Warriors with an early two man advantage couldn't capitalize on the powerplay. WK with three powerplay's in the first half had some very good looks-chances couldn't beat Darion Hanson. West Kelowna carried the better of the play in the first half due to three straight powerplays before the Vipers responded with a good pushback in the second half. I thought the Warriors were the better team, carried the better of the play and had most of the opportunities that period. How big was that disallowed goal on the powerplay? Instead of 2-2 going into the 3rd, its still 2-1 Vipers. Give Vernon some credit for getting some big saves from Darion Hanson and a big penalty kill. West Kelowna outshot Vernon 18-10.
3rd Period: The Vipers would get that all important two goal lead early to start the 3rd. Brett Stapley setup a wide open Jimmy Lambert in the crease for the easy tap in gave Vernon a 3-1 lead at 1:15 Stapley and Cameron Trott with the assists. Then the parade to the penalty box. Both teams basically rotated taking penalties as lots of four on four action or very shortened powerplays. The referees calling lots of penalties early and often took a lot of the flow away from the game, making for a very slow and scrambled 3rd. The Vipers would come away with a two man advantage but spent most of the five on three passing the puck. With only two shots the Vipers moved the puck around very slowly, waisted a key five on three as WK killed off both minors. Shortly after Vernon would jump back on the powerplay but again struggle with the man advantage. The Warriors digging themselves a huge hole got into penalty trouble before the Vipers would eventually respond. Austin Adamson on a goal mouth scramble gave Vernon a 4-1 lead at 12:13 Hunter Zandee & Nicholas Rasovic picked up the helpers. About a minute and a half later Steven Jandric kept his point streak going after springing Breatt Stapley for the breakaway. Stapley with a nice dangle in front found the back of the net giving Vernon a 5-1 lead at 13:46 Jandric with the lone assist. A few minutes later tempers heated up as Tyler Jutting went after Austin Adamson as the two dropped the gloves. At the same time Nicholas Rasovic and Stephen Kleysen started exchanging words before both players threw a few punches at each other before the linesmen jumped in separating the two. Adamson and Jutting were both tossed from the game. On the following shift Nik Amundrud made an awkward save down low, was very slow getting up, stayed down on his knees for several seconds after making the save before getting up looking to be in some discomfort. Amundrud looked to be in some discomfort for the following few shifts toughed it out, stayed in the game. Late in the game on a goal mouth scramble after getting a few wacks at the loose puck, Ryan Brushett was last to bang home the rebound giving Vernon a 6-1 lead at 17:54 Jesse Lansdell collected the assist. At this point of the night West Kelowna looked like they just wanted to hit the showers and go home. In the end Vernon would hang on for the 6-1 victory. The Vipers got that all important third goal they needed, early to start the 3rd. A penalty filled period, really slowed the game down, dragged the 3rd period on, making for very scrambled play. It seemed like neither team could get much of anything going in the first half with lots of stopages in play-penalties being called. West Kelowna then got into penalty trouble and played most of the 3rd shorthanded-in their own end. The Vipers carried a lot of the play, had lots of offensive zone time struggled with the man advantage in the 3rd but put the game away with a convincing win with four 3rd period goals. Vernon outshot West Kelowna 17-6.
Top Player's: (Vernon)
Sol Seibel (1 assist) I thought played very well at both ends of the rink. The rookie defenceman played with a lot of confidence, saw a lot of ice time.
Brett Stapley (1 goal & 1 assist) Played very well in the win. Was skating, working hard, made some nice heads up plays through out the night.
Ryan Brushett (1 goal & 1 assist) I thought was really skating well, had the puck on his stick a lot, was going to the net, created-generated chances through out the night.
Austin Adamson (1 goal) Played with a lot of jump-energy, was good on the penalty kill, blocked atleast two shots while on the PK. Played hard through out the night. Didn't back down after Tyler Jutting went after him in the 3rd.
Jesse Lansdell (1 assist) Was another forward I thought played very well. Played physical, was laying the body, played with a lot of jump, had a strong game.
Jimmy Lambert (1 goal) Was really hustling tonight, played with a ton of jump-energy, was skating hard, going to the net, was another kid who created/generated opportunities.
Darion Hanson (30 saves) Started his third straight game, made his home debut tonight was stellar in the victory. Didn't see much action in the 1st and 3rd periods but was at his best in the middle frame. Was one of if not the Vipers best penalty killer, coming up with some game savers on the PK. Hanson was solid between the pipes made some key saves in that 2nd period to keep it a one goal game.
Game Thought's: (Vernon)
This was a hard fought win that the Vipers fully deserved. Vernon winning their third straight for just a second time this season and the first since opening the season winning their first three games. Other then the 2nd period I thought the Vipers were the better of the two teams for two out of the three periods. Vernon played very well in the opening frame, had to come up big on the penalty kill in the 2nd period, got some key saves from Darion Hanson on the PK built off the penalty kill. How big was the disallowed goal on the powerplay in the middle frame? The Warriors score here and its tied 2-2, instead its 2-1 Vipers after 40 minutes of the play. The TSN turning point? Ive said it a few times tonight, how big was Jimmy Lambert's goal 1:15 into the 3rd? The Vipers get that all important two goal lead and then bury the defending champs with three more to come away with the convincing 6-1 victory. The Vipers seemed to keep their emotions in check in that 3rd period, didn't get caught up in anything more then they needed too. A very strong 3rd with four goals. I really liked the Vipers work ethic, forecheck and penalty kill tonight. I thought Vernon showed a lot of hustle, hard work and domination along the boards and in front of the net. The Vipers were going to the net a lot and it paid off, getting some big goals in front. I thought the Vipers were skating hard for most of the night, were getting pucks to the net and going to the net. I thought Vernon did a good job at limiting West Kelowna's snipers. Did a good job at shutting down some of the Warriors offensive players. The Vipers showed and played with a lot of energy tonight and it come from all four lines. I thought the powerplay struggled, a lot of puck movement but no shots. It looks like the Vipers are slowly coming together and finally getting on a roll. Winning three straight and four of their last five, have really picked up their consistency as of late. Maybe all these roster moves lately are helping? Congrats to Kevin Kraus who was running the bench tonight with Mark Ferner on a scouting trip in Arizona. Nice to see a big crowd, a much more exciting atmosphere. With the win the Vipers move into 2nd place, two points up on 3rd place Trail.
Top Player's: (West Kelowna)
Tyler Jutting I thought played well on the blueline. Played with an edge, dropped the gloves with Austin Adamson in the 3rd period.
Jake Harrison Was another d-man that I thought played well. Took a big hit from Nicholas Rasovic and didn't seem to return to the ice. Atleast I didn't see him much or at all in the 3rd.
Quin Foreman Carried the puck often, especially in the first two periods. Was dangerous at times, seems to play well vs the Vipers didn't dominate or get those grade a chances he normally does. Seemed to have troubles creating-generating chances at times.
Braiden Epp I thought played well through out the game, had a few good looks-chances. Not the biggest kid but was going to the net often, looking for opportunities in tight.
Peter Tomaras I thought was consistent through out the game, played very well. Was involved in the play, was skating hard, played with energy.
Nik Amundrud (36 saves) Played very well in goal for West Kelowna. Was busy all night, made some big stops through out the game. Quick on his feet, played his position well. Couldn't be faulted on any of the six goals.
Game Thought's: (West Kelowna)
The Warriors struggled offensively tonight, didn't generate much for offence in the 1st and 3rd periods. Played a lot of time in their own zone. West Kelowna opened the scoring on an early powerplay but had trouble solving Darion Hanson for the rest of the night. It was in that 2nd period when the Tribe had a five on three had several good looks-chances couldn't find the back of the net. WK with several quality chances couldn't beat Hanson who was the difference in that middle frame. Other then that 2nd period I thought West Kelowna was outplayed most of the night. Didn't get a lot of sustained pressure or zone time, played a lot of the game in their own end, got into penalty trouble come the 3rd. Giving up that 3rd goal early to start the 3rd really hurt. West Kelowna couldn't recover and Vernon added three more to put the game away. The Warriors finish their four game road trip with just one win, host Alberni Valley tomorrow night. West Kelowna has struggled in Vernon. Since the 2010-11 regular season the Warriors have just four wins in Vernon. The season series is now tied 2-2 as these two teams will meet again January 20th in West Kelowna. With the loss the Warriors are now tied for last with Salmon Arm.
Jagger Williamson (Injured)
Chris Jandric (Injured)
Energy Player of the Game:
Austin Adamson (1 goal)
1st Star: Niko Karamanis (2 goals)
2nd Star: Darion Hanson (30 saves)
3rd Star: Brett Stapley (1 goal & 1 assist)
BCHL Boxscore-Game summary,
Trevor Miller's West Kelowna Warriors Blog,
Trevor Miller's West Kelowna Warriors Blog,
BCHL Game report,
BCHL Text boxscore,