Saturday, February 25, 2017

Vernon 7 Trail 1

I have had season tickets for the past 27 years and been following Junior hockey in Vernon for well over thirty years. Ive missed only three home games since 1998-99 season. For anyone who could not attend or watch tonight’s Vipers game here are my thoughts and views from tonight’s game. You may agree or disagree but we all have our own view and opinion on any game we watch. This is my opinion and my thoughts on how I saw tonight’s game. I try to be unbiased and give a fare recap on both sides. Thanks for stopping by & visiting my blog.

I was at tonight's Vipers-Smoke Eaters game as Vernon defeated Trail 7-1 in front of 2,122 fans at Kal Tire Place.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Ty Taylor
Trail: Zach Dyment

1st Period: Off the opening faceoff, Jimmy Lambert drove hard to the goal was denied in front by former Vernon Vipers goaltender Zach Dyment who made a huge save from in close, was forced to come across the crease to try and stop Brett Stapley at the side of the goal on the rebound who beat Dyment but rang his shot off the post. Vernon with two quality chances inside the opening minute. The Vipers would jump on an early powerplay, just fifty three seconds into the game. Jesse Lansdell in tight couldn't beat Zach Dyment down low as the Snakes with just two shots couldn't capitalize with the man advantage. The Vipers went back to the powerplay thirty five seconds later and would find the back of the net. Cameron Trott setup Steven Jandric at the side of the net, giving Vernon a 1-0 lead at 3:47 Trott & Jimmy Lambert with the assists. The Vipers with good pressure, had several good looks in and around the Trail goal, forced Zach Dyment into making some key saves, keeping this a one goal game. Just minutes before the halfway mark Simon Sagissor took a big hit along the side wall, wasn't pleased with the check, tried going after a Trail player, while Connor Clouston was egging on Korbyn Chabot into dropping the gloves. Two altercations going on inside the Smokies zone, before the play was blown dead. Clouston & Chabot were sent to the penalty box. Just before the midway mark Ryan Brushett, Austin Adamson and Brett Stapley all had great scoring chances, couldn't solve Zach Dyment. Just past the halfway mark Brett Stapley would get another two quality opportunities, couldn't beat Dyment. Dyment was keeping his club in the hockey game at this point with the Snakes rolling. Later in the second half the Smoke Eaters would get their first look with the powerplay. Ty Taylor made his biggest save of the night to this point, kicking out a big pad save off a quick shot from the high slot before Connor Brown-Maloski setup Luke Santerno at the side of the net, hit the open cage tying the game 1-1 at 17:30 Brown-Maloski and Kale Howarth picked up the helpers. Steven Jandric tried to deke out Zach Dyment as he cut towards the front of the goal, was hauled down giving the Snakes a powerplay with only nine seconds remaining in the opening frame. The Vipers won the draw deep in the offensive zone, setup at the point before Cameron Trott's point shot was redirected in on it's way to the goal by Brett Stapley, giving Vernon a 2-1 lead at 19:56 Trott and Michael Ufberg collected the assists. A hit along the side wall at the buzzer drew a large crowd as everyone jumped in as a big scrum broke loose at the buzzer. Lots of pushing and shoving before the melay was broken up. Trail would come out with a powerplay to start the 2nd period. It was 2-1 Vernon after 20 minutes of play. The Vipers jumped on the Smokies early, looked very good in the opening period. I thought the Snakes were by far the better of the two teams, had a ton of quality chances, carried most of the play, had lots of good pressure, were moving the puck well. The Smoke Eaters played a lot of the 1st in their own end, didn't generate much for offence, had very little time in the offensive zone. Zach Dyment kept his team in the game, giving them a chance to win. If it wasn't for some big stops, the Snakes could have easily had a four or five goal lead going into the middle frame. Vernon outshot Trail 12-10.

2nd Period: The Smokies started the second period on the powerplay, just their second of the evening. Luke Santerno with a great opportunity in front was robbed by a diving Ty Taylor who made his biggest save of the night. Taylor and the Vipers defence couldn't clear the front of the net, as the puck was lying in the blue paint a mad scramble informed in and around the Viper goal. Former Salmon Arm Silverbacks forward Josh Laframboise wired a quick shot from the top of the circle beat Vipers starting goaltender Ty Taylor but hit the crossbar as the Smokies come very close to tying the game. Trail with a ton of pressure, had the Snakes scrambling inside their own end, were firing everything towards the Vernon net but couldn't tie the game on the powerplay. Less then three minutes later the Smoke Eaters went back to the powerplay, again had some good looks, couldn't solve Ty Taylor. Taylor made some big stops as the Snakes were able to kill off the minor. The Vipers would then jump on the powerplay but struggled with the extra man as it was all Trail to start the 2nd period. Steven Jandric couldn't hit the net on a wrap around just as the penalty expired. Just before the midway mark Austin Adamson setup Ryan Brushett in front who scored on the Vipers first shot of the period, giving Vernon a 3-1 lead at 9:49 Adamson with the lone assist. This was a big momentum changer as the Snakes got life and turned the game around. The Vipers slowly got their game going and started rolling. Vernon would take over the edge in play and get some good looks but had troubles getting pucks to the net. With just over five minutes remaining Josh Laframboise couldn't beat Ty Taylor on a three on one, back come the Vipers. Jimmy Lambert setup Brett Stapley who beat Zach Dyment, giving Vernon a 4-1 lead at 14:51 Lambert & Steven Jandric drew the helpers. A big save at one end before a goal at the other end of the rink. A tough break for the Smokies. Trail would get a late powerplay but unable to capitalize. Just seconds before the penalty expired the Vipers would get another penalty, sending the Smoke Eaters back to the powerplay to finish the period. Shorthanded Jagger Willamson and Riley Brandt lead the two on one attack, Williamson kept and fired missing the goal. The Smoke Eaters would run out of time as it was 4-1 Vernon after 40 minutes of play. Trail with a great start, jumped on the Snakes early and often. The Smokies with a ton of pressure-chances on an early powerplay, couldn't solve Ty Taylor who was large for Vernon on the penalty kill. The Smoke Eaters took it too Vernon for most of the first half, but couldn't capitalize on their chances. The Vipers needed almost ten minutes to get their first shot of the frame, made it count, scoring on their first shot of the 2nd giving them a 3-1 lead. Vernon seemed to build off this goal and play much better into the second half. I thought Trail was by far the better team in the first ten minutes, while Vernon was the better team in the second half. Trail outshot Vernon 15-6.

3rd Period: The Smokies started the final frame with the powerplay that was carried over from the 2nd period. The Vipers able to kill off the remaining seconds. Four minutes into the 3rd Josh Laframboise beat Ty Taylor with a blast from the circle ringing his shot off the far post as Trail come within inches of getting to within two goals. Just over five minutes into the 3rd Jesse Lansdell dropped the mits with Kyle Chernenkoff as the two were tossed for fighting. About a minute and a half later Brett Stapley setup Steven Jandric after some nice three way passing, giving Vernon a 5-1 lead at 6:46 Stapley and Jimmy Lambert picked up the helpers. This goal really looked to take the life out of the Trail Smoke Eaters. On the following play Trail would jump on the powerplay but shorthanded Riley Brandt and Austin Adamson in on the two on one rush, Brandt was stopped by Zach Dyment. The Smokies would get some good looks but couldn't find the back of the net as the Snakes killed off the minor. Just over two minutes later Connor Clouston sprung Jagger Williamson for the breakaway, beat Zach Dyment fivehole giving Vernon a 6-1 lead at 11:45 Clouston drew the lone assist. On the following play, Steven Jandric was stopped in close as the Vipers had a few good chances in close. About a minute and a half later Sol Seibel spotted Brett Stapley who ripped a lazer that beat Zach Dyment far side giving Vernon a commanding 7-1 lead at 13:14 Seibel with the lone assist. This was the end of the night for Dyment who gave up seven goals on thirty four Vernon shots, was replaced by Linden Marshall. On the following play the Smokies with a goal mouth scramble, tried jamming home the loose puck before Ty Taylor looked to knock the net off, giving him a penalty, sending Trail to another powerplay. The Smoke Eaters with some good looks-chances couldn't solve Ty Taylor who was on his game this evening. The Snakes would kill off the minor. Trail still pushing had some good pressure late, were unable to find the back of the net. In the dying seconds Luke Santerno couldn't beat Ty Taylor on the wrap around just before the buzzer. Vernon would finish the regular season with the 7-1 victory. The Snakes put this game away with three 3rd period goals, chased Zach Dyment from the nets. The Smoke Eaters even down and out, didn't quit, kept battling, had some good pressure at times, had several good looks-opportunities just couldn't catch a break-or capitalize on their chances. Vernon outshot Trail 16-9.

Following the game the Vipers held their annual year end awards banquet on the ice.

Most Popular Player- Riley Brandt
Leading Scorer- Steven Jandric
MVP- Darion Hanson
Rookie Of The Year- Michael Ufberg
Most Sportsmanlike- Niko Karamanis & Austin Adamson
Unsung Hero- Jimmy Lambert
Bill Brown Award for Academic Excellence- Brett Stapley
Most Improved- Ty Taylor
Blue Liners Academic Scholarship- Connor Clouston
Renee Holland Community Service Award- Jagger Williamson
Wayne Buck Memorial Award- Brett Stapley
Inspirational Leader- Hunter Zandee

Top Player's: (Vernon)

Michael Ufberg (1 assist) I thought had a real strong game on the blueline. Really saw-read the ice well, moved the puck well, made some heads up plays through out the win.

The line of Brett Stapley (3 goals & 1 assist), Jimmy Lambert (3 assists) & Steven Jandric (2 goals & 1 assist) combined for ten points tonight between the three. This line was deadly tonight and very dangerous through out the night. It seemed like everytime any of these three touched or were near the puck, it went in. Brett Stapley with a huge game, collected the hat trick, looked very strong.

Austin Adamson (1 assist) I thought played very well. Made some nice plays, was skating hard, moving the puck well.

Riley Brandt Played with a lot of jump-energy, played physical at times, was very good.

Connor Clouston (1 assist) Played with an edge, had a strong game on the backend. Was mixing it up through out the night, was good in his own end.

Chris Jandric I thought also was very good on the point, played well at both ends of the rink.

Ty Taylor (33 saves) Was very good between the pipes, stopping thirty three of thirty four Trail shots. Didn't see much rubber-action in the 1st but was the difference to start the 2nd period. Taylor was forced into several big stops on the penalty kill and five on five with the Smokies pressing. Again in the 3rd even with the game out of reach, come up with several key stops. Looked-played very well in the victory.

Game Thought's: (Vernon)

Other then the first half-ten minutes or so of the 2nd period I thought the Vipers come to play and played very well in a statement game. After a tough-disappointing 3-1 loss in Trail last night, the Snakes rebounded with a big 7-1 victory this evening. These two teams could meet in the second round of the playoffs, so the Vipers wanted to send a message, saying it wont be easy and especially in our rink. I thought all four lines played hard-well, contributed through out the night. I thought Vernon showed a lot of hustle-energy, played with some emotion and didn't back down from the after the whistle activities. The Vipers offence-skill was just too much for Trail to handle-defend against. Vernon was really firing on all cylinders tonight, the forwards were really clicking. The Snakes played a much more consistent game tonight over the past few games. Tonight's turning point come after the Smokies had all kinds of pressure-opportunities, couldn't capitalize on their chances, carried the better of the play for the first half of the 2nd period before Ryan Brushett's goal gave Vernon a 3-1 lead just before the midway mark. Trail had a ton of pressure-quality chances early to start that middle frame couldn't solve Ty Taylor. The Snakes win the season series 5-2 finish the 2016-17 regular season 2nd in the Interior Division with a record of 30-19-5-4 will get the first round bye in the playoffs. This is the thirty sixth time a Vernon junior hockey team has recorded atleast thirty wins or more in a regular season. The Snakes will now be off for three weeks, wont play until the second round March 17th & 18th in Vernon. This is a terrible playoff format-schedule. The entire Vipers regular season schedule was brutal through out the season.

Top Player's: (Trail)

Ryan Warner I thought played well on the Smokies blueline.

Luke Santerno (1 goal) Had a few looks-opportunities, was buzzing in and around the net on several occasions. Good skater, always going to the net.

Connor Brown-Maloski (1 assist) Played hard, battled-competed.

Andre Ghantous Played with an edge, was getting under the skin of several Vipers through out the night. Really mixing it up in the 3rd, was a pest all game.

Kale Howarth (1 assist) I thought was one of if not Trails best forward-player in the loss. A very good skater-puck handler, moves the puck well, creates-generates chances, dangerous with and without the puck.

Zach Dyment (27 saves) Was replaced by Linden Marshall in the 3rd after giving up seven goals on thrity four Vernon shots. I don't think you can blame the Smoke Eaters goaltender tonight, saw a lot of rubber, kept his team in the game in that opening frame, making some huge saves, giving his team a chance to win early. Without Dyment this game could have been well out of hand after the 1st period.

Game Thought's: (Trail)

After a very hard fought emotional win last night over the Snakes, the Smoke Eaters couldn't keep Vernon off the score sheet tonight. You have to wonder if the Smoke Eaters didn't use up all their energy-emotion in last night's 3-1 victory, simply emptying the tanks Friday. Trail had some quality chances, couldn't capitalize on their opportunities-also couldn't solve Ty Taylor who was big between the pipes for the Vipers. The Smoke Eaters couldn't seem to catch a break-or a bounce all night. Giving up the second goal with just four seconds remaining in the 1st was a big blow and then giving up the third goal just before the halfway mark of the 2nd period was another killer, especially after Trail was the better of the two teams in the first half, looked to have the Vipers on the ropes. The Smokies missed some opportunities with the powerplay, battled-competed, couldn't keep the puck out of their own net. Other then the first half of the 2nd and different shifts in the 3rd Vernon was the better of the two teams and it showed on the scoreboard. Give the Smoke Eaters credit, they didn't fold the tents, kept battling-playing hard till the final buzzer, just didn't seem to have that extra step in their game come the 3rd period. With the loss Trail will finish 3rd in the Division with a record of 26-26-5-1 two points up on West Kelowna. With the Warriors loss in Salmon Arm tonight, the Smokies will clinch 3rd and host the Silverbacks next weekend in round one of the BCHL playoffs. Penticton Vees assistant coach Jason Becker was in attendance.



Cooper Watson (Mono)
Hunter Zandee (Injured)
Luke Gingras


Mitchell Stapley (Injured)
Carter Cochrane
Ryan Moon
Ross Armour

Energy Player of the Game:

Brody Dale

Three Star's:

1st Star: Brett Stapley (3 goals & 1 assist)
2nd Star: Steven Jandric (2 goals & 1 assist)
3rd Star: Jimmy Lambert (3 assists)

Boxscore-Game Summary,

Game Report,


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