I was at tonight's Vipers-Vees game as Vernon defeated Penticton 4-2 in front of 2,959 fans at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Vernon: Ty Taylor
Penticton: Mathew Robson
1st Period: Off the opening faceoff Ryley Risling forced Ty Taylor to come way out of his crease before trying to spot newly acquired Taylor Sanheim in front who somehow missed the open cage just seconds into the hockey game. The Vees come out of the gates strong, took control of the game early with a strong forecheck and good puck control, looked to have the Vipers back on their heels early. Penticton with the early edge in play. Three and a half minutes in Ryley Risling went in for the breakaway couldn't beat Ty Taylor on the Vees first shot of the game, was hooked on the play, giving the Vees the games first powerplay of the night. Just seconds into the man advantage, Ty Taylor had to be sharp, made a huge pad save off Chris Klack from the slot on a great quality chance. The Vees were really limited to shots/chances as Vernon would kill off the minor. Just over a minute later the Vipers with their first look in the offensive zone, with a strong forecheck spotted Shane Kelly whos point shot was redirected by Jesse Lansdell on it's way to the goal, beat Mathew Robson on the Vipers first shot of the game, giving Vernon the 1-0 lead at 6:45 Kelly with the lone assist. This goal seemed to give the Vipers a little boost as Vernon responded with a good push back. Both teams played hard, went back and fourth but with very few if any quality chances at either ends of the rink. Penticton would get a few good looks in front on a goal mouth scramble before jumping on their second powerplay of the night. The Vees couldn't bury the puck on a scrambe in front couldn't capitalize with the man advantage. Penticton was outshooting Vernon 10-3 at this point but just seconds after the penalty expired, Austin Adamson lead the Viper rush on a two on one, Adamson kept and wired home a lazer of a shot beating Mathew Robson high glove giving Vernon a 2-0 lead at 13:38 on just the Vipers fourth shot of the night. Shane Kelly with the lone helper. Two and a half minutes later the Vipers would get their first look with the powerplay. In the opening seconds Steven Jandric spotted Cameron Trott at the side of the net, who beat Mathew Robson but rang his shot off the post as Vernon come close to grabbing a 3-0 lead. The Vees with a good penalty kill would kill off the remainder of the penalty. Just seconds after the minor expired Mathew Robson made two big saves down low on a goal mouth scramble before Jesse Lansdell setup Niko Karamanis in front who beat hit the open cage, giving Vernon a 3-0 lead at 18:08 Lansdell with the assist. James Miller was lying on the ice after the goal, in discomfort was very slow getting up, looked to be in pain making his way to the Vees bench. Inside the final minute Jared Nash gave Connor Clouston atleast two crosschecks before trying to get Clouston to drop the gloves. The two would eventually drop the gloves. Both players were tossed from the game. Off the following faceoff the Vipers would draw a late powerplay, that would continue into the 2nd period. It was 3-0 Vernon after 20 minutes of play. The Vees were quick to jump on the Vipers early, getting some good opportunities in the opening few minutes, were skating hard, couldn't capitalize on their chances. The Vipers who didn't generate much for offence early, scored on their first shot of the game, buried their chances-capitalized on their opportunities. Penticton had the early jump and carried the edge in play for parts of the first half were outshooting Vernon 10-3 at one point. The Vipers had troubles getting into the offensive zone early, got going as the period went on, played much better in the second half. The Vipers with a surprising 3-0 lead were outshot 12-11.
2nd Period: Vernon started the middle frame on the powerplay that was carried over from the 1st period. The Vees with a big kill would kill off the remainder of the minor. Jimmy Lambert with an odd man rush early couldn't beat Vees starting goaltender Mathew Robson in close. Shortly after Shane Kelly with a strong defensive play, broke up a Vees odd man rush. Penticton would get an early powerplay. Moving the puck around the Vees with a flurry of chances in and around the net, had Vipers starting goaltender Ty Taylor flopping all over the crease. Taylor was large on the penalty kill, made several big saves down low before Grant Cruikshank somehow missed an open cage with Ty Taylor on his back. Taylor was quick to recover back to his position before getting beat high as the Vees rang one off the crossbar. Penticton with a ton of pressure and chances couldn't capitalize with the PP. Just as the penalty expired, "AP" Brett Witala turned over the puck inside his own zone, newly acquired Taylor Sanheim jumped on the turnover, wired a lazer shot from the high slot beat Ty Taylor on a brutal givieaway, getting Penticton on the board at 8:08 Sanheim's goal was unassisted. This was Sanheim's first goal as a Vee. With the crowd now back into the game, the Vees were within two. Just over two minutes later the Vipers would get their second powerplay of the frame, moving the puck around Vernon unable to find any open shooting lanes as Penticton's penalty kill was huge, forced the Viper PP to the outside with very limited shots as the Vees killed off the minor. Just a few minutes later Penticton would get a late powerplay, Ty Taylor made some big stops as Vernon would kill off the penalty. Jesse Lansdell made his way to the Viper dressing room but would return to the game. It was 3-1 Vernon after 40 minutes of play. The Vees with a pretty strong 2nd period, carried most of the play, capitalized on a Viper turnover had several quality chances through out this period. The Vipers with very few opportunities, were limited on their chances, didn't get a lot of zone time, were lucky only giving up one goal. Ty Taylor was solid between the pipes, made some big saves, keeping his club in the contest. Penticton outshot Vernon 13-9.
3rd Period: Matt Gosiewski with a great look-opportunity within the opening few minutes couldn't solve Ty Taylor on an odd man rush, before Jamie Armstrong wired a quick shot from the slot, cut the Vernon lead to 3-2 at 4:00 Chris Klack & Griffin Mendel collected the helpers. Just thirty five seconds later, with the Vees pressing, Jonny Tychonick with a rocket shot from the blueline, beat Ty Taylor but not the post as Penticton come that close to tying the game. The Vees with another strong push early to start the final frame, were buzzing. Vernon up just a goal, were back on their heels had all kinds of trouble getting through the neutral zone. The Vipers needed close to six minutes to get their first shot of the 3rd. It was all Penticton as the Vees looked to have the puck on a strong at times. Give the Viper defence credit, they limited the Vees opportunities. Penticton with several quality chances in front, couldn't solve Ty Taylor. Taylor had to be sharp, was forced to make some key saves down the stretch. The Vees were outshooting the Vipers 7-2 at the midway mark. In the second half captain Nicholas Jones with a spin o rama at the Viper blueline, made his way through two Vernon defenders before being denied by Ty Taylor. On a delayed penalty, Ryan Brushett did all the work, keeping the play going before setting up Michael Ufberg whos point shot was redirected in front by Niko Karamanis for his second of the night, giving Vernon a 4-2 lead at 14:25 on just their fourth shot of the period. Ufberg & Brushett picked up the assists. Off the following faceoff the Vipers come very close to taking a 5-2 lead after a quick shot from the corner went through the crease in behind Mathew Robson and out the other end. On the same play the Vees responded, moving the play up ice in a hurry catching the Vipers napping before a quick shot from the circle looked to beat Ty Taylor before rolling through the blue paint, Taylor had to be alert dove back with his goal stick to stop the puck from going in, making a big save in the final minutes. The Vipers would call a late timeout with just over three minutes to go, the Vees would keep Mathew Robson on the bench for the extra attacker. With lots of pressure, Penticton didn't really get any real good chances, were kept to the outside. Vernon's defenders were able to clear the zone on a few occasions, killing some valuable time off the clock. Jimmy Lambert with a backhand from the slot, fired the puck up and over the open cage, missing the open net before Jonny Tychonick made a diving play at the side of the goal to keep the puck from going in. The Vipers come close twice to putting the game away, couldn't find the open cage. With 1:05 remaining it looked like the Vipers put the game away hitting the open cage before the goal was waived off (Vipers offside) This was a late call from the officials as the Vipers scored-celebrated before it took several seconds after the goal-celebration before the goal was waived off. The Vees would catch a break but couldn't make any further attempt at the comeback, fell short 4-2. For a second straight period the Vees were the better of the two teams. Penticton carried most of the play, had a ton of pressure in the offensive zone, scored early to get within a goal but couldn't complete the comeback after getting several quality chances through out the period. The Vipers on the other hand, struggled offensively early, had all kinds of troubles getting through the neutral zone, played a lot of the 3rd in their own end. With just two shots in the first ten minutes, the Vipers would score a huge goal on a delayed penalty, giving them the two goal lead late in the period. This goal was huge as the Vees pressed late with the extra attacker, couldn't get within one. Give credit to the Viper defence wich blocked some key shots, limited the Vees on some scoring chances and did a great job in the final few minutes, clearing the zone. The Vipers went with just three lines in the 3rd sitting both "AP"s. Vernon would hang on for the 4-2 victory. Penticton outshot Vernon 14-6.
Top Player's: (Vernon)
Ryan Brushett (1 assist) I thought had a strong night, played very well for the Vipers. Carried the play-puck often, was one of the more offensive minded Viper forwards tonight. Was able to find open ice, get the play into the offensive zone, where he created/generated opportunities. Skated well, was hard to knock off the puck.
Austin Adamson (1 goal) Played-looked very well in the win. Was another Vernon forward that got things rolling offensively for the Vipers. Really moved-carried the puck a lot, seemed to make things happen with and without the puck. Was hard to defend against.
Hunter Zandee Played with a lot of jump/energy, was physical, finishing his checks, was strong in on the forecheck, played hard through out the game.
Niko Karamanis (2 goals) Was going to the net, looking for those second and third opportunities in close. Scored Vernon's last two goals of the game, played smart through out the game.
Jesse Lansdell (1 goal & 1 assist) I thought played well in the victory.
Ty Taylor (37 saves) Picks up his second victory vs the Vees and second victory at the SOEC. Taylor who was coming off the 1-0 shutout win in Salmon Arm December 30th played very well between the pipes tonight. Couldn't be faulted on either of the two goals, played big between the pipes, made himself look large at times, was out to challenge, didn't give up second opportunities, played his position very well. Was very sharp in the 2nd and 3rd periods when Penticton was pressing with a ton of pressure.
Game Thought's: (Vernon)
The Vipers get off to a bit of a slow start, give up some early opportunities, kill off an early powerplay, find a way to generate some offence, score on their first shot of the game, didn't get a lot of chances in that opening period, but score on their opportunities. How big was jumping out to a 3-0 lead on the road in a building that is very hard to win in. The 1st period was huge. The Vipers were outplayed in the 2nd and 3rd periods but did some good things. Got some strong goaltending from Ty Taylor, some big penalty kills and played well defensively at times. Penticton may have carried the play often but the Viper defence also did a good job at limiting the Vees chances. How big was Niko Karamanis's goal late in the 3rd on a delayed penalty? This goal gives Vernon a two goal lead late in the period in a period where they played a lot of the frame in their own end. The Vipers having all kinds of troubles getting through the neutral zone-getting shots on goal, score a huge goal down the stretch drive to preserve the victory. The Vipers bent but didn't break. The Vipers hang on for the win, get just their second win of the season vs the Vees, with both wins coming here in Penticton at the SOEC. How big was tonight's game, getting a huge win in a rink where the Vipers have had their troubles winning the past few seasons and playing without captain Riley Brandt and Luke Gingras as well as short a body after Christian Cakebread left the team. Give this team full credit for playing hard-hanging on for the victory. The Vipers improve to 2-3 vs Penticton this season.The Vipers will wrap up their three game road trip Wednesday in Prince George are now unbeaten in eight games. The Vipers last regulation loss was a 3-1 loss in Penticton December 7th. Since that loss Vernon has six wins and two ties moving to within twelve points of the Vees.
Top Player's: (Penticton)
Jamie Armstrong (1 goal) Was very good in the loss. Played with a lot of jump, was more involved in the game. Scored his first goal as a Vee, was in and around the Vernon goal often.
Ryley Risling Had a strong game for the Vees, created/generated several chances, was hard to contain-defend against. A very good-strong skater, quick on his feet, moves the puck well, really sees-reads the ice well.
Jonny Tychonick Had a big game on the Penticton blueline. Was very strong at both ends of the rink, made a big defensive play late, keeping the puck out of the open cage with Mathew Robson on the bench. Come very close to tying the game, after hitting the post just thirty five seconds after the Vees 2nd goal.
Griffin Mendel was another d-man that played very well through out the night. A very smooth skating defenceman is very skilled with and without the puck.
Taylor Sanheim (1 goal) Was recently acquired from the Portage Terriers, scored his first goal as a Vee with his parents in attendance, was another forward who gave the Vipers trouble. Was hard to defend against, was in and around the Viper goal. A good skater, moves the puck in a hurry, played with a lot of jump/energy, had several good chances-opportunities.
Game Thought's: (Penticton)
The Vees jumped out to a quick start, getting several good chances in the opening minutes, couldn't capitalize on their chances. Penticton was outshooting Vernon 10-3 at one point in the opening frame, were down 3-0 after twenty minutes. I don't think the Vees played all that bad, had some good looks-opportunities, couldn't bury their chances. The Vees didn't give up many opportunities in that 1st period, it just happened that Vernon scored on their chances. I don't think you could blame Mathew Robson, but this was a period when the Vees needed a big save on atleast one of Vernon's three goals. I was a little surprised not to see Nolan Hildebrand out to start the 2nd period, just to shake things up-send a message to the Vees. But Robson would stay in the game, only to surrender a goal late in the 3rd. Penticton seemed to really turn the game around in the 2nd and 3rd periods, were the better of the two teams but again couldn't bury their chances-solve Ty Taylor. The Vees go 0-4 with the man advantage, could have used a powerplay goal in the opening period. The Vees with two powerplays within the first eleven minutes, needed a goal to get back in the game. I thought the Vees were really skating hard, moving the puck in a hurry, had a strong forecheck, were pressing lots with a ton of pressure, come up just short. The Vees with one post-one crossbar, were just inches away in the 3rd to tying the game after Jonny Tychonick's point shot. This puck goes in, the games tied, Vernon blows a three goal lead, who knows what kind of finish we have? When's the last time you saw the Vees fall behind 3-0? and on home ice? Penticton loses back to back games at home for the first time in how long? The Vees don't lose many back to back games, let alone on home ice. A great turn out for tonight's game of close to 3000 people in attendance. I love the new addition of the Harley Davidson gasoline alley (bar-lounge area) over looking the far end of the SOEC.
Riley Brandt (Injured)
Luke Gingras (Injured-Suspended)
Kenny Johnson (Suspended)
Energy Player of the Game:
Taylor Sanheim (1 goal)
1st Star: Niko Karamanis (2 goals)
2nd Star: Jamie Armstrong (1 goal)
3rd Star: Ty Taylor (37 saves)
BCHL Boxscore-Game Summary,
Fraser Rodgers Penticton Vees Blog,