I was at tonight's Vipers-Clippers game as Vernon defeated Nanaimo 3-0 in front of 1,765 fans at Kal Tire Place.
Vernon: Darion Hanson
Nanaimo: Evan Debrouwer
1st Period: Two and a half minutes into the contest the Vipers dump the puck in, wich takes a funny bounce off the end wall, coming back out front through the crease-legs of Clippers starting goaltender Evan Debrouwer before Vernon rushes the crease on a goal mouth scramble. Debrouwer & the Shipmen were able to excape and cover the puck. Shortly after a slew of back to back to back penalties really slowed the game down with very little five on five play for most of the opening frame. The Vipers would get the games first powerplay. Steven Jandric tried jamming away the loose puck at the side of the goal, was unable to beat Evan Debrouwer down low who hugged the post. Ryan Brushett then walked in through the slot, looked to be in the clear ripped a backhand that just missed the far corner. Vernon with two quality chances couldn't capitalize as Nanaimo killed off the minor. The Clippers would get their first look with the powerplay just as their penalty expired. Marcus Joseph with a quick shot from the point, forced Darion Hanson into making a tough save. The Clippers with pressure only lasted thirty four seconds before taking a penalty of their own. Just before the halfway mark Jamie Collins with a good opportunity in front couldn't beat Darion Hanson. The Shipmen would get the first of three straight powerplays (one was a shortened two man advantage) couldn't capitalize with the man advantage. Nanaimo had some good looks, couldn't find the back of the net as Vernon killed off the minor. With just over three minutes remaining Darion Hanson made his biggest save off Jamie Collins alone in the slot, making a big pad save. The Vipers would get a late powerplay on the following play. Brett Stapley with two real solid chances couldn't solve Evan Debrouwer who made two big saves on the penalty kill, helping the Clippers kill off the minor. It was 0-0 after 20 minutes of play. Both teams got off to a slow start, in a period that was filled with penalties. Not a lot of five on five play, saw specialty teams take over. Both teams couldn't take advantage with the powerplay. The Vipers didn't have their legs going, didn't have the same jump-intensity they showed-played with last night, were outworked-outplayed for most of the 1st. Vernon didn't generate-create much for chances were turning over the puck often. The Clippers carried the better of the play, also didn't create/generate many opportunities, were quick moving the puck, played with a strong forecheck and were getting pucks to the net. I thought the Shipmen were the better of the two teams in a very dull-non exciting period. Shots were 12-12.
2nd Period: The Clippers come out with a ton of jump, stormed the Viper net early. Just over a minute into the middle frame Nanaimo with a strong forecheck would get a flurry of chances in and around the Vernon goal, had some quality chances were denied by Vipers starting goaltender Darion Hanson. With the Vipers hemmed in their own end, Nanaimo pressed for the games first goal. Shortly after Steven Jandric with a quality chance in close beat Clippers starting goaltender Evan Debrouwer but rang his shot off the post. The Shipmen carried the play early were aggressive with the puck-forecheck were outshooting the Snakes 7-1 just four minutes into the 2nd. Nanaimo was the better team in the first half, carried most of the play, had several good looks but couldn't solve Darion Hanson. Just before the midway mark Ryan Brushett rang a shot off the post as Vernon come close to opening the scoring. The Vipers would get back to back powerplays, didn't capitalize on either powerplay but seemed to gain a little spark-momentum after the second powerplay. The Vipers seemed to slowly get their legs going, started picking up their energy just a bit late in the second half. Nanaimo went atleast six minutes without a shot on goal, while Vernon was coming on. The Vipers had some good looks in and around the net, couldn't beat Evan Debrouwer who made some key saves in the second half. It was 0-0 after 40 minutes of play. The Clippers with a strong start, jumped on the Snakes early and often, were all over Vernon in the first half. Darion Hanson had to be sharp, kept his team in the game. The Vipers seemed to get going late in the second half, come on in the final five-six minutes, played a little better, were finally able to generate/create some opportunities. For a second straight period Nanaimo with a strong forecheck, forced the Vipers into several turnovers. Nanaimo outshot Vernon 13-10.
3rd Period: Just two minutes into the final frame Austin Adamson with a dump in play, won the race for the puck was able to get off a quick backhand at the side of the goal with traffic in front, gave Vernon a 1-0 lead at 2:06 Adamson's goal was unassisted. This was just strictly hard work. Adamson did all the work, to open the scoring. The Vipers playing with a 1-0 lead were having all kinds of trouble getting out of their own end, turned over the puck several times, but Nanaimo was unable to capitalize were having troubles getting any real quality chances. Darion Hanson had to be sharp, played very well in the 3rd. The Snakes would get a little insurance after Jagger Williamson's shot went in and off Niko Karamanis in front giving Vernon a 2-0 lead at 7:12 Williamson & Connor Clouston with the helpers. The Clippers didn't quit, as Nanaimo kept pressing but again didn't generate any real grade A chances. A lot more pucks to the net, then anything that were smothered up-stopped by Darion Hanson. The Vipers playing a little better seemed to be playing with a little more energy, didn't see a lot of zone time. In the second half Ryan Brushett stole the puck on a Clipper turnover, lead the two on one rush waited for the Clipper d-man to make his move before setting up Austin Adamson who beat a sprawling Evan Debrouwer giving Vernon a 3-0 lead at 14:23 Brushett with the assist. This was a big goal after the Clippers were pressing to try and get within a goal. Shortly after Sean Buchanan hit Jesse Lansdell from behind behind the Nanaimo goal, with Lansdell lying on the ice, Shane Kelly raced over jumped Buchanan dropping the gloves in a spirited fight. The two went toe to toe before being tossed from the hockey game. Lansdell seemed to be ok, stayed in the game. Kelly was given a gross misconduct for the play-fight while the rink attendants had to repair the end boards after a chunk of the boards-advertisement was broken. With a small delay both teams finished the game four on four. Off the following faceoff Ben Solin with a rocket of a shot from the high slot forced Darion Hanson into making a huge pad save, keeping this a three goal game. Mike Vandekamp would eventually call a timeout getting Evan Debrouwer to the bench for the extra attacker with just over three minutes remaining. The Shipmen with good pressure, had some good looks, couldn't solve Darion Hanson. Jagger Williamson took a shot at the open cage couldn't beat David Eccles who made a big defensive play, to keep the puck out. The Clippers with a ton of pressure late couldn't catch a break. With just twenty seconds remaining, Marcus Joseph's point shot was redirected beat Darion Hanson but not the post as the Clippers come just inches away from getting on the board inside the final minute. Vernon would hang on for the 3-0 victory. Nanaimo carried the better of the play, once again were forcing the Vipers into turning over the puck, making poor passes-puck decisions, couldn't generate a lot of grade A chances. The Clippers were getting pucks to the net, but didn't get a lot of quality opportunities. The Vipers were lucky to capitalize-bury their chances didn't see a lot of zone time. Darion Hanson was the difference for the Vipers. I thought Nanaimo was the better of the two teams. Nanaimo outshot Vernon 14-8.
Top Player's: (Vernon)
Austin Adamson (2 goals) Scored the game winner on a hard working play-shift. Adamson really stepped up his play late in the 2nd period and continued to play well in the 3rd. Two big goals in the 3rd helped Vernon hold onto the win. Adamson worked-battled hard in the 2nd and 3rd periods.
Niko Karamanis (1 goal) Scored the Vipers second goal on a play where it looked like the puck went in and off Karamanis in front. Karamanis was one of if not the hardest working Viper tonight. Other then Adamson was really skating hard in all three periods, played with a lot of jump/energy, was showing a lot of hustle.
Jesse Lansdell was another forward who I thought played well, had some jump in his game. Made some big defensive plays on a few occasions.
Darion Hanson (39 saves-Shutout) Picked up his second shutout of the season, was the difference, keeping Vernon in the game at times, bailed out his team on several occasions. Other then a few saves I don't think was really forced to make that huge save, instead was out to challenge, was smothering pucks-making the key saves when called apon. Looked calm-played with a lot of confidence, was seeing the puck, wich helped, was very good in the win.
Game Thought's: (Vernon)
After a big emotional win over the Division leading Penticton Vees last night, the Vipers looked like a different team this evening. Vernon didn't have the same amount of jump/energy they showed/played with Friday. I thought the Vipers looked a step behind the Clippers, didn't have their legs going, were slow-tired looking through out the night. Struggled at both ends of the rink, I didn't think had many great quality chances, were turning over pucks all night. Had troubles in their own end, were hemmed in their own end often, made some poor decisions with and without the puck, looked sloppy at times, made some poor passes. I thought the Vipers didn't get enough zone time, were having troubles breaking through the neutral zone. I thought the Snakes picked up their game, got going towards the final five-six minutes of the second half of the 2nd period, played-looked a little better. I also thought they had some good shifts in the 3rd, obviously they did all the scoring in the final frame, but overall I thought the Clippers were the better team. I don't agree with the call on Shane Kelly. This play-fight does not reward a gross misconduct. Kelly was sticking up for his team mate who had his head driven through the end boards. The Vipers need to re-group, get a good night's rest before having to play Prince George tomorrow afternoon. Vernon needs to step up their play, play with more energy/jump and make better decisions with and without the puck. The Vipers were lucky to come away with the win. The Snakes are now unbeaten in three games. The Vipers win the season series with Nanaimo going 3-0 vs the Clippers this season. The Vipers were wearing their new special Canadian Mental Health Jerseys just for tonight only. Green white and gold (CMHA colours) that were going to be auctioned off after tonight's game. Former Vernon Lakers stick boy and Vernon Vipers trainer Trevor McEachnie was in attendance.
Top Player's: (Nanaimo)
Marcus Joseph I thought was one of if not the Shipmen's better defenceman. Not the biggest kid, but can skate-move the puck, gets pucks to the net, was generating a lot of offence from the blueline. Really sees-reads the ice well.
Jamie Collins Was one of if not Nanaimo's better forwards. Not one of the bigger skaters but goes to the net, works hard, created/generated a few opportunities tonight in the loss. I thought played very well.
Evan Debrouwer (27 saves) A bigger kid, covers a lot of the net. I don't think was tested often but made some key saves at times in the game. Was good down low, covers a lot of the bottom half of the net, didn't give up a lot of rebounds.
Game Thought's: (Nanaimo)
I thought the Clippers were the better of the two teams. Nanaimo carried a lot of the play, had more time with the puck, had lots of zone time, didn't get a lot of grade A chances. I thought the Clippers did a good job at getting pucks to the net, but didn't generate/create a lot of great opportunities. The Shipmen move the puck in a hurry, are hard on the forecheck, really forced Vernon into making a ton of mistakes-turnovers with and without the puck. The Shipmen work hard, won a lot of the races, were stronger on the puck and better at both ends of the rink. The Clippers couldn't capitalize-bury their chances, didn't catch a lot of breaks-bounces in and around the Viper goal. After watching last night's exciting Vipers win over Penticton, tonight's game was much different. Not a lot of action-flow to the game, lots of penalties-whistles, slowed the game down. No real emotion between the two teams, made for a pretty dull hockey game. It was one of those games, where whoever opened the scoring, may come away with the win. Nanaimo should have won tonight, controlled a lot of the play. Nanaimo has just three wins in their last sixteen road games.
Riley Brandt (Injured)
Hunter Zandee (Injured)
Luke Gingras (Injured)
Energy Player of the Game:
1st Star: Darion Hanson (39 saves-Shutout)
2nd Star: Austin Adamson (2 goals)
3rd Star: Niko Karamanis (1 goal)