I was at tonight's Vipers-Vees game as Vernon defeated Penticton 3-1 in front of 2,235 fans at Kal Tire Place.
Vernon: Darion Hanson
Penticton: Matthew Robson
1st Period: Just seventeen seconds into the opening frame, Niko Karamanis jumped on a loose puck that come hard off the end wall, forcing Matthew Robson into hugging the post, making a bit of a difficult save at the side of the net, as the Vipers catch a bit of a break get a good chance inside the opening minute. Three and a half minutes in Ty Amonte come down the right wing, on an odd man rush stepped into a hard shot from the circle forcing Darion Hanson into making a big pad save early. Just a few shifts later Hanson had to be sharp, making a big stop off Owen Sillinger from the slot before the Vees would get the games first powerplay. Penticton with just two shots on the man advantage, didn't generate much for offensive chances couldn't capitalize on the PP. Just as the powerplay expired, Griffin Mendel walked in before being denied by Darion Hanson. Shortly after Penticton would take over the edge in play, having the Vipers hemmed in their own end, the Vees with good sustained pressure, carried the play for a few minutes, were skating circles around Vernon. Being outshot 8-4 at one point. Just past the halfway mark, Jimmy Lambert with a quick shot from the high slot couldn't solve Matthew Robson who made a big save. The Vipers would get their first look with the powerplay. The Snakes with just one shot struggled with the man advantage, as the Vees killed off the minor. Shortly after the Vipers got their legs going, started clicking, were on the attack, slowly started to create/generate some good looks-opportunities in the second half. With six and a half minutes remaining Ryan Brushett was stoned by Matthew Robson who made his biggest stop of the 1st period. Vernon slowly started to carry a slight edge in play towards the end of the period. Inside the final minute Brett Stapley's quick shot from in close was stopped by Matthew Robson before Steven Jandric jumped on the big rebound in front, giving Vernon the 1-0 lead at 19:03 Stapley & Jimmy Lambert collected the helpers. Vernon was up 1-0 after 20 minutes of play. I thought the Vees had a slight edge in play in the first half, carried the better of the play, had some good sustained pressure, had atleast three or four good opportunities. The Vipers had troubles getting any pressure-zone time early, were being outshot 8-4 at one point, got their legs going in the second half, were able to get some pressure-offensive zone time in the second half, carried the better of the play towards the end of the period. Vernon with the big goal inside the final minute to open the scoring. Penticton outshot Vernon 11-9.
2nd Period: Just eleven seconds into the middle frame, the Penticton Vees would get an early powerplay. Vernon with a big kill early would use the momentum that momentum to grab a two goal lead. Steven Jandric going to the net, scored his second of the night, giving Vernon a 2-0 lead at 3:15 Brett Stapley and Cameron Trott with the assists. Off the following faceoff Ryan Brushett come close to giving Vernon a 3-0 lead. On the following shift, Jagger Williamson with a quality chance at the side of the net couldn't solve Vees starting goaltender Matthew Robson. Shortly after Steven Jandric couldn't bury his chance in front on a nice three way passing play, as the Vipers pressing hard for the third goal. Shortly after Penticton would get their second powerplay of the period but once again couldn't capitalize. Just past the midway mark tempers heated up between Jagger Williamson & Taylor Ward as the two started taking jabs at each other. Less then a minute later Vernon would get a powerplay, but struggled as the Vees killed off the penalty. Minutes later Taylor Sanheim on a wrap around couldn't beat Vipers starting goaltender Darion Hanson who went post to post, making the big save before Ryan Brushett was able to clear the zone, carry the puck up ice before dishing off to Austin Adamson who spun and fired a laser of a shot low along the ice, beating Matthew Robson giving Vernon a 3-0 lead at 17:11 Adamson's goal was unassisted on a play that looked to go off the post and come out but the goal light come on and with no dispute from the Vees bench, the goal stood. On the following play-shift a big scrum in front of Matthew Robson and the Penticton goal, saw lots of pushing and shoving with a few punches thrown. Penticton would come out of the scrum with the powerplay, as Mark Ferner and the Viper bench weren't too happy about as fans started getting restless with the officials. Thirty two seconds later with the Vees on the man advantage Matt Gosiewski hit Jimmy Lambert from the side into the side wall, with Lambert down on the ice and not moving the play continued up ice with the fans going wild for a penalty on the play, several Vipers went right after Gosiewski before several players got involved. Tempers heated up in a hurry, with more pushing and shoving. The Snakes would lose Michael Ufberg for ten minutes after picking up a ten minute misconduct. Both teams went to four on four. Vernon was up 3-0 after 40 minutes of play. The Vipers with a big penalty kill just seconds into the period, would build off the PK grab a 2-0 lead a minute later in a very feisty-penalty filled 2nd period. I thought Vernon was the better of the two teams, carried the better of the play, had the better scoring chances, had more puck possession. The Vees couldn't get back in the game after not capitalizing with the powerplay. Penticton didn't really generate many opportunities. The Vipers with two big goals took a three goal lead into the final period. Vernon outshot Penticton 14-12.
3rd Period: About a minute and a half into the final frame, Joseph Leahy with a quick shot from the blueline forced Darion Hanson into making a pad save early to start the 3rd. Up three goals Vernon played it safe for most of the period, getting the puck in deep, following up with a good forecheck, were able to kill valuable minutes off the clock. The Vipers played very well defensively, did a great job at clogging up the neutral zone, giving Penticton all kinds of trouble breaking into the attacking zone. The Vees with very little puck possession were having troubles getting any kind of offence going. About five minutes in, tempers heated up again after Steven Jandric & former Vipers defenceman Mitch Meek got tangled up behind the Vees goal, as both players wrestled to the ice. About two minutes later the Snakes would jump on the man advantage but again struggle after the Vees killed off the minor. Owen Sillinger come up with a huge block, took the puck to the arm-wrist area, was in some discomfort, went straight to the Vees bench, but stayed in the game. The Vipers carried a lot of the play, took a lot of time and space away from the Vees. Penticton didn't see a lot of zone time, were in and out of the Viper zone in a hurry, couldn't get any real sustained pressure. Just past the halfway mark a shot from the point was redirected in front by Chris Klack who was denied by Darion Hanson who made a big pad save in close, keeping the shutout alive. The Vees trying to press in the second half, had all kinds of trouble getting into the offensive zone. The Vipers would call a timeout with five minutes remaining. With about four minutes to go, Penticton would get a late powerplay. Darion Hanson with some key stops before Grant Crulkshank ripped a shot from the point beat Hanson post and in cutting the Vernon lead to 3-1 at 17:23 Taylor Sanheim & Chris Klack picked up the helpers. Shortly after the Vees tried getting Matthew Robson to the bench for the extra attacker, had troubles getting control of the puck before taking a penalty, giving Vernon a late powerplay to finish the game. The Snakes would basically just wind down the clock to come away with the 3-1 victory before some pushing and shoving at the buzzer. Penticton outshot Vernon 11-9. Not a lot of action coming from both teams. The Vipers carried a lot of the play, used a strong forecheck-held onto the puck to kill a lot of time off the clock. Vernon also played very well defensively basically shutting down the Vees offensive players, clogged up the neutral zone, took away time and space, limiting Penticton's opportunities. The Vees struggled offensively, had troubles getting through the neutral zone, had just two quality chances in the 3rd, didn't see a lot of zone time.
Top Player's: (Vernon)
The line of Brett Stapley (2 assists), Jimmy Lambert (2 assists) & Steven Jandric (2 goals) Was very strong through out the night. The Vipers top unit was very dangerous all game, really forced the play through the offensive zone, were going to the net, generating/creating opportunities. All three played with a lot of jump-energy. Steven Jandric come close to getting his third goal of the night early in the 2nd period, was also not afraid to mix it up, getting involved in the after the whistle activities.
The line of Austin Adamson (1 goal), Ryan Brushett & Luke Sagissor was another line that played very well in the victory. Adamson was really skating hard as was Sagissor who played physical, was laying the body, played very well. Brushett Who I think has really come on as of late and playing his best hockey as a Viper, played another strong game tonight. This kid has some very slick hands, is dangerous with the puck on almost every rush, is hard to knock off the puck, a quick, smooth skater, can really get moving in a hurry, has some wheels. Started-created the Vipers 3rd goal late in the middle frame after picking up the loose puck from in front of his own goal after Darion Hanson made a big save off Taylor Sanheim. Brushett carried the play through the crease, through two Penticton players, up ice before dishing off to Austin Adamson who spun and fired for the Vipers 3rd goal. I was surprised when Brushett didn't pick up an assist on the play-goal.
Jagger Williamson Played with a ton of jump/energy, was getting under the skin of several Vees through out the night. Williamson had a strong night, played very well at both ends of the rink, was getting in the mix after the whistle, battled hard for pucks, was mucking it up along the boards, worked hard through out the game.
Jesse Lansdell I thought was another forward that played with a lot of jump/energy, showed a lot of hustle through out the night, really played-battled hard.
Darion Hanson (33 saves) Wasn't tested often but made the big saves when called apon. I thought was very good even though not being tested as much as in Wednesday's 3-3 tie in Penticton. Hanson played his position very well, was seeing pucks all night, looked calm-confident between the pipes, was out to challenge, didn't give up any second opportunities.
Game Thought's: (Vernon)
After blowing a 3-0 lead in Penticton Wednesday the Vipers took a 3-0 lead into the 3rd and hung on for the 3-1 victory. This was a much better performance from Vernon who played very close too a full sixty minutes. I thought the Vipers had troubles getting pucks to the net early in the 1st period, also had troubles getting any real zone time-pressure. It was in the second half of that opening period when Vernon got their legs going, never really looked back. I thought the Snakes were the better of the two teams overall as the Vipers had the better of the play at times and more quality chances through out the night. Vernon played with a lot of energy-jump, may have had a little more jump/energy in their game then the Vees. It looked like the Vipers wanted tonight's game just a little more, looked a little more hungry on loose pucks, battles, going to the net, generating/creating opportunities. Give Vernon credit, I thought they didn't back down from the after the whistle activities, held their own when it come to the pushing and shoving etc seemed to get under the skin of Penticton at times. I didn't care for the Snakes powerplay, I thought Vernon struggled with the extra man, didn't get enough zone time-sustained pressure, didn't get many pucks to the net, made some poor passes-decisions with the puck, didn't really generate/create any quality chances with the powerplay. I thought the Viper penalty kill was good. Anytime you can hold the Vees to just one powerplay goal, is a good thing. A great crowd on hand for tonight's game, saw a great game. The Vipers finish the season series with Penticton went 3-3-0-1 vs the Vees this season, get their first win over the Vees at home for the first time since a 4-3 victory February 22nd 2014. Since the 2011-12 regular season the Vipers have struggled vs the Vees. Vernon has won just ten of the last fourty one regular season meetings vs Penticton going 10-30-1.
Top Player's: (Penticton)
Griffin Mendel I thought was a strong point on the Vees backend. Returning to the lineup tonight, made his presence felt, playing very well.
Matthew Robson (32 saves) I thought played well in goal for the Penticton Vees. Made a few big saves through out the night, gave his team a chance to win.
Game Thought's: (Penticton)
After coming back down 3-0 to the Vipers earlier this week, Penticton just didn't have that same drive they showed Wednesday at home. I thought the Vees played well in the first half of the opening frame, had some good pressure-zone time, come up with several quality chances didn't look like the Penticton Vees Viper fans are use to seeing the past few seasons. I thought the Vees played well at times but then struggled at times. Penticton didn't have the same kind of jump/energy like Vernon showed-played with. I thought the Vees were limited to their chances, didn't generate/create enough quality opportunities to get out of a three goal deficit, struggled offensively. It seemed like the Vees couldn't get any real sustained pressure on the Vipers, would come into the offensive zone, get one shot and out they come. I thought the Vees like the Vipers struggled with the powerplay. Penticton's lone goal was on the man advantage but overall I thought the Vees didn't really generate much with the extra attacker. I thought Vernon was the better team tonight overall and through out the game, carried more of the play, looked more hungry, won a lot more battles-puck races etc. Penticton has now lost five straight on the road, continue their five game road trip, tomorrow night in Trail. The Vees have been struggling as of late are now winless in three straight, have just two wins in their last six games and three wins in their last nine. The Vees will finish the regular season playing eight of their last thirteen games away from home.
Riley Brandt (Injured)
Hunter Zandee (Injured)
Gabe Bast (Injured)
James Miller (Injured)
Ryley Risling (Suspended)
Energy Player of the Game:
1st Star: Steven Jandric (2 goals)
2nd Star: Darion Hanson (33 saves)
3rd Star: Brett Stapley (2 assists)
Fraser Rogers Penticton Vees Blog,