I was at tonight's Vipers-Silverbacks game as Vernon defeated Salmon Arm 7-3 in front of 1,552 fans at Kal Tire Place.
Vernon: Darion Hanson
Salmon Arm: Nic Tallarico
During warmup former team mates Carter Stephenson & Michael Ufberg were having a good chuckle over a conversation, before the two were trying to steal pucks away from each other.
1st Period: Both teams got off to an equal start as the play was back and fourth early in the opening few minutes. Former Salmon Arm Silverbacks defenceman Cameron Trott with a quick shot from the point four minutes into the 1st, was redirected on its way to the net, forced Nic Tallarico into squeezing the pads tight making a tough save. A minute and a half later the Silverbacks spotted a wide open Carson Bolduc in the slot who just missed the far corner on a missed opportunity. A few minutes later Connor Clouston setup Vipers leading scorer Steven Jandric at the side of the goal, beat Nic Tallarico giving Vernon a 1-0 lead at 7:08 Clouston & Brett Stapley picked up the assists. The Vipers outshooting Salmon Arm at this point 4-1. Two minutes later the Vipers would get the games first powerplay and capitalize. Michael Ufberg setup Christian Cakebread with Niko Karamanis going to the goal, giving Vernon a 2-0 lead at 10:41 Ufberg and Cooper Watson with the helpers. Just over a minute later the Silverbacks would get their first look with the man advantage. The Backs couldn't get much going as the Vipers would kill off the minor. Jagger Williamson and Carson Bolduc stopped to exchange words as the two were heading off. Just after the penalty expired Steven Jandric on a two way passing play setup Brett Stapley in front on an odd man rush, was stopped in close by Nic Tallarico. On the following shift-play Justin Wilson lead the two on one attack with Nathan Iannone, Wilson decides to shoot was stopped by Darion Hanson who was run over by Iannone giving Vernon a late powerplay. The Vipers would get a lucky bounce after a dump in play rang off the end glass before taking a funny bounce off the glass, coming out front catching Nic Tallarico way out of his crease. Luckily for Tallarico & the Silverbacks, no Vipers were near the loose puck-open cage on a close call. Shortly after Jimmy Lambert went end to end with a great highlight real goal turned Nic Tallarico inside out giving Vernon a 3-0 lead at 16:18 Cameron Trott & Darion Hanson collected the helpers. This was the end of the night for Silverbacks starting goaltender Nic Tallarico who gave up three goals on twelve Vernon shots. Trevin Kozlowski would replace Tallarico with less then four minutes to go in the opening frame. Just inside the final minute with about fifty seconds left Trevin Kozlowski was forced to make back to back saves in tight on a goal mouth scramble before robbing Jimmy Lambert on front on a quick reaction save on a shot I don't think the Backs goaltender saw keeping this a 3-0 game. The Vipers were up 3-0 after 20 minutes of play. The Vipers with a great start jumped out to a 3-0 lead were the better of the two teams, carried most of the play, had the better opportunities, were really flying in that opening twenty minutes. A very strong performance from the Vipers. The Silverbacks fell behind in shots early before giving up two quick back to back goals, couldn't recover. Salmon Arm didn't get a lot of zone time, had a few good looks-chances looked to be just a step behind the Vipers most of the period. SA played a fairly chippy 1st giving little wacks and hacks through out the opening period. I don't think you can blame Nic Tallarico who was pulled late in the frame after giving up three goals. Backup goaltender Trevin Kozlowski come in late-cold made a few big saves to keep this score from getting out of hand before the 2nd period. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 16-7.
2nd Period: Before the opening draw Silverbacks captain Mitch Skapski and Hunter Zandee were jawing at each other while lining up for the faceoff. Skapski was leaning into Zandee knocking him off the line before the puck was even dropped for the opening faceoff. The two went back and fourth before the puck was dropped. The Backs come out fired up laying the body early and often really stepping up the physical contact. The Silverbacks looked like a man on a mission off the opening faceoff running several Vipers hard into the boards. SA would get an early powerplay before taking a penalty of their own to even up to four on four. Shortly after Josh Blanchard & Jared Turcotte would get a great opportunity on a two on one rush but Blanchard couldn't beat Vipers starting goaltender Darion Hanson in close. Salmon Arm with a good start to the middle frame had lots of jump, even though down three goals were showing plenty of life had the better of the play in the early few minutes. The Backs would get another early look with the man advantage, getting a few good looks couldn't solve Darion Hanson as the Vipers with a big penalty kill, killed off the minor. The Silverbacks having a slight edge on Vernon in the first half, were outshooting the Vipers 8-3 early. This is when the momentum changed. Just before the halfway mark Carter Cochrane crosschecked Niko Karamanis in front of the net, before giving him another shot, then leveling Karamanis to the ice with another crosscheck before the two get up and start wrestling. While this scrum is going on, Jared Turcotte starts going after Christian Cakebread in front of the two benches. The two get tangled up and fall to the ice, sending a lengthy delay to sort out all of the penalties. The Vipers would lose Christian Cakebread and Niko Karamanis for most of the remainder of the period, while the Backs would lose Jared Turcotte for most of the remainder of the period as all three players picked up ten minute misconducts. Vernon would come out on top getting a lengthy five on three man advantage. Moving the puck around the Vipers with several good looks, had some good chances. Captain Riley Brandt with a quick shot from the high slot beat Trevin Kozlowski but rang his shot off the post on a close call. The Vipers would eventually capitalize after Jimmy Lambert from the goal line beat Trevin Kozlowski with a wicked shot gave Vernon a 4-0 lead at 9:04 Brett Stapley & Cameron Trott with the assists. The Vipers still on the powerplay couldn't convert on the remainder of the two man advantage had a ton of good pressure. Just as the five on three expired the Vipers would head back to the powerplay before taking a penalty of their own. Both teams would play four on four before the Backs would get a shortened powerplay late. SA would get a late powerplay but unable to capitalize. Jagger Williamson with a huge shot block on the PK limped off the ice, went to the Vipers dressing room but would return. With ten seconds remaining Christian Cakebread whiffed on a shot from the side of the net, missing a wide open cage as the Vipers come oh so close to taking a 5-0 lead in the dying seconds. Vernon was up 4-0 after 40 minutes of play. The Silverbacks with a solid start to the 2nd period, come out hard, really pounded the Vipers early and often with the physical play. Salmon Arm with several good looks-chances early, couldn't bury their opportunities. I thought the Backs were the better team for the first seven to eight minutes before the game-period turned. SA got into penalty trouble taking several undisciplined penalties, sending Vernon to a full five on three powerplay, would give up a PP goal falling behind 4-0. A very chippy period with lots of intensity and emotion coming from both teams. The Silverbacks wetn 0-4 with the man advantage in the middle frame. Salmon Arm outshot Vernon 15-11.
3rd Period: Off the opening faceoff both captains squared off against one another. Riley Brandt lined up with Mitch Skapski. Both players giving each other the elbow-push before the puck was even dropped. Both captains exchanged words before the puck was dropped. Brandt went right after Skapski off the opening faceoff taking a penalty just ten seconds into the final frame. The Vipers with a good PK would kill off the minor. Haydn Hopkins looked to take a stick or punch to the face, was holding his mouth-face as he made his way to the SA bench. Hopkins would get looked at by the trainer and stay in the game. The Vipers looked to get lucky on that play. Just over a minute later Vernon would get an early PP. Michael Ufberg spotted Jimmy Lambert in the slot whos quick release beat Trevin Kozlowski giving Vernon a 5-0 lead at 4:57 Lamberts third of the night. Ufberg with the lone assist. A penalty filled period as just seconds later Josh Latta tangles-drops the gloves with Shane Kelly as both would get tossed from the game. SA would come out with the man advantage. On the PP Connor Sundquist with a great opportunity at the side of the net beat Darion Hanson before hitting the post. The puck come back out front to a wide open Marcus Mitchell whos quick shot from the circle was robbed by Hanson who through up the glove at the last second making an incredible highlight save. But shortly after the Backs would eventually break Hanson's shutout bid after Mitch Skapski on a goal mouth scramble, found the open cage cutting the Vernon lead to 5-1 at 6:56 Elijiah Barriga & Carson Bolduc with the helpers. On the following shift the Vipers would jump back on the powerplay and capitalize. Steven Jandric setup Jimmy Lambert for his fourth of the night, giving Vernon a 6-1 lead at 8:20 Jandric with the assist. Less then two minutes later Cooper Watson and Justin Wilson decide to drop the gloves, as tempers heated up. Both players would get tossed from the game. With the score one sided both teams seemed to go back and fourth, each getting their own flurry of chances. Elijiah Barriga blocked a shot caught the puck high on the wrist, was in alot of discomfort-pain made his way straight to the Backs bench, stayed on the bench was attended too by the team trainer. I didn't notice the veteran forward return to the ice. In the second half Ryan Brushett with a quick low shot from the high slot forced Trevin Kozlowski to make a big pad save as the Vipers with good pressure, had a flurry of quality chances within a few minutes. Vernon would take their foot off the gas and rest their top two lines as the 3rd and 4th lines saw some quality ice time heading down the stretch. The Silverbacks would get a late powerplay and capitalize. Connor Sundquist setup Josh Blanchard in front, cutting the Vernon lead to 6-2 at 15:24 Sundquist & Jared Turcotte picked up the helpers. Just over a minute later former Vernon Vipers defenceman Ryley Booth's long shot somehow found its way into the back of the net, cutting the Vernon lead to 6-3 at 16:45 Booth's goal was unassisted. With back to back quick goals the Vipers through back out the top two lines. SA pressing hard, had lots of pressure in the final few minutes but would eventually run out of the time. In the dying seconds Luke Gingras with a shot from the goal line, somehow went up and over the shoulder of Trevin Kozlowski and into the back of the net, giving Vernon a 7-3 lead at 19:57 Niko Karamanis with the assist. Vernon would come away with the commanding 7-3 victory. A very chippy, spirited 3rd period with a ton of penalties and two fighting majors lead to a lot of specialty teams with not a lot of five on five play. I thought for the game being very one sided, both teams seemed to have moments where each team carried the play at times, getting a flurry of chances. Both teams had some good looks with not one team carrying the better of the play. The Silverbacks score on the powerplay to break Darion Hanson's shutout bid, score two quick back to back goals in the final six minutes with the Vipers sitting back. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 19-14.
Top Player's: (Vernon)
Michael Ufberg (2 assists) Played a strong game on the blueline. Ufberg makes it look so easy, has really been very solid for Vernon all season.
Christian Cakebread (1 goal) Didn't do much offensively that caught my attention, it was more his hard work, work ethic and compete level wich I saw tonight. Cakebread has been on and off his game since coming to Vernon last year. I noticed tonight, he was going to the net often, standing in front of the net on the powerplay, taking a beating from the Salmon Arm defencemen. Was involved in the after the whistle activities, wasn't afraid to back down.
Jimmy Lambert (4 goals) Was by far the Vipers best player this evening. Lambert was flying off the opening faceoff and continued through out the game. Was a real buzz saw, was hard to contain, defend against and hard to stop scoring four goals wich were all on the powerplay. Really put on a show tonight for the Viper fans in attendance. What a effort and game!
Steven Jandric (1 goal & 1 assist) Was also very good on the line with Lambert & Brett Stapley (2 assists).
Darion Hanson (33 saves) Was forced to make several key saves through out the game, even with the score one sided. His biggest save of the night, come off a incredible glove save in the 3rd period off Marcus Mitchell. Hanson looked very confident, played with a lot of poise, made the saves look routine.
Game Thought's: (Vernon)
After a 4-4 tie in Salmon Arm Friday the Vipers come up with a pretty impressive performance-game tonight in the re-match with a pretty convincing 7-3 victory. The Vipers have now won five straight at home and six of their last seven home games. Almost a carbon copy of Saturdays win over Trail, the Vipers with a great start and a great 1st period jump on their opponents again, tonight jump out to a 3-0 lead and basically never look back. Minus a few shifts late in the 3rd I thought Vernon was ready to play off the opening faceoff, competed, didn't quit and played a very solid game. The Vipers were really flying all night, were moving the puck well, played well at both ends of the rink. Other then a few lapses I thought the Vipers were very good at both ends of the rink. Vernon's speed gave the Silverbacks defenders trouble all night. The Backs tried getting under the Vipers skin. Give Vernon credit, for the most part they stayed away from that crap. There were a ton of penalties tonight but I thought the Vipers played a fairly disciplined game, only taking penalties when needed-called for. Specialty teams was a difference as Vernon goes 5-9 with the man advantage while the Silverbacks go 2-8. The Vipers powerplay was really clicking and also give credit to a strong penalty kill tonight. The Vipers have scored 13 goals in their last two games are now unbeaten in five of their last six games and have atleast a point in eight of their last eleven games. I really like the looks of this team. This team is finally starting to improve and get better. This team is playing with a lot of confidence right and playing very well. The Vipers with a two game road trip in Merritt & Trail this weekend before the Christmas break will face Salmon Arm in a home & home series after Christmas. Vernon improves to 3-0-0-1 vs the Silverbacks this season.
Top Player's: (Salmon Arm)
Mitch Skapski (1 goal) Was under the skin of several Vipers through out the night. The SA captain played with an edge, was very chippy through out the night, mixing it up during and after the whistle. Doing a lot of yapping between shifts and from the bench. Stirred things up through out the game.
Carson Bolduc (1 assist) I thought was one of if not the Backs most dangerous forward in the loss. Bolduc who always seems to to play well vs the Vipers, had his fare share of opportunities, was dangerous with and without the puck. Hard to defend against, was creating/generating chances through out the night. A good skater, veteran player, that leads by example.
Elijiah Barriga (1 assist) Another Salmon Arm player that was one of if not the best player for the Silverbacks tonight. Barriga who is another player that plays very well vs Vernon had a strong night in the loss. Just like Bolduc had his fare share of quality chances, was dangerous with and without the puck, hard to contain and defend against, was generating-creating chances through out the night.
Justin Wilson I thought played well up front. Had a few good looks, was involved with the play at times.
Trevin Kozlowski (27 saves) Started the game on the bench, replaced starting goaltender Nic Tallarico late in the 1st after Vernon jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Kozlowski who shutout the Vipers in Salmon Arm during the pre-season played fairly well in relief for the remainder of the night. Stopped 27 of 32 shots had to be alert making some key saves even in a one sided game.
Game Thought's: (Salmon Arm)
After earning a single point in a 4-4 tie vs Vernon in Salmon Arm Friday the Backs couldn't rely on Nic Tallarico for a second straight night to stand on his head. (made 46 saves Friday vs the Vipers) The Silverbacks fell behind early in shots and then goals, just couldn't recover. I don't think you can blame the goaltending for the loss. The Silverbacks were having all kinds of trouble with the Vipers speed and skill. The Backs couldn't generate any real sustained pressure in the opening period, needed to bury some of their chances early to try and get back in the game. Salmon Arm was outplayed in the 1st period were down 3-0 didn't quit, were ready to go to start the middle frame. The Backs with a good start to the 2nd period, come out hitting, laying the body, looked fired up took it to Vernon early, had some great opportunities couldn't bury their chances early. The momentum-game changed when SA got into penalty trouble just before the midway mark, taking some undisciplined penalties, giving Vernon a full five on three. The Vipers score once, going ahead 4-0 and basically putting the game away. If Salmon Arm scores early, they get within two goals and maybe change the momentum-swing of the game. Instead they fall behind 4-0 and the games basically over. I thought Salmon Arm played much better in the 2nd period, had a lot more jump but couldn't capitalize on their chances-took way too many undisciplined penalties. The Backs penalty kill also needed a few big kills and they didn't get it, giving up five powerplay goals. Salmon Arm played with an edge all night, played chippy, were in the face of the Vipers constantly, were trying to intimidate the Vipers-get under their skin and it cost them. This game was filled with a ton of penalties, was feisty- chippy as both teams showed they don't like each other. I think the Silverbacks lost their composure at times and let their emotions get the better of them. A lot of yapping going on between both benches. Salmon Arm has had their troubles vs Vernon this season are now winless in four games vs the Vipers. A very small crowd on hand for tonight's game, great to see a handful of Silverbacks fans in attendance.
Energy Player of the Game:
1st Star: Jimmy Lambert (4 goals)
2nd Star: Steven Jandric (1 goal & 1 assist)
3rd Star: Michael Ufberg (2 assists)
BCHL Boxscore-Game summary,
BCHL Text Boxscore,