I have had season tickets for 29 years and been following junior hockey in Vernon for over thirty five years. I haven't missed a Vipers home game in nine years and only missed three home games since the 1998-99 season. For anyone who couldn't attend or watch tonight's Vipers game, here are my thought's and views from tonight's game. You may agree or disagree but we all have our view and opinion on the game. This is my opinion and thought's on how I saw tonight's game. I try to be unbiased and give a fare game recap from both sides. Thank you for stopping by and visiting my blog.
I was at tonight's Vipers-Eagles game as Surrey defeated Vernon 6-5 in overtime in front of 1,553 fans at Kal Tire Place.
Vernon: Aidan Porter
Surrey: Kyle Dumba
1st Period: Just fifty one seconds into the hockey game, Michael Young unloaded a shot from just over centre ice that somehow beat Kyle Dumba high, giving Vernon an early 1-0 lead at 0:51 Elan Bar-Lev-Wise drew the lone assist. I think Young's shot caught Dumba off guard and wasn't expecting a shot on goal from that far out. A minute later and the Surrey Eagles would get the games first powerplay. Surrey would get just one shot on goal, didn't generate much of anything couldn't capitalize with the man advantage. Just after the penalty expired, the Vipers spotted Alex Swetlikoff going to the front of the net, couldn't beat Kyle Dumba in close. Over the next few minutes the Snakes would get several good looks-opportunities couldn't bury their chances. Just before the halfway mark Corey Clifton would be stopped by Aidan Porter at the side of the net, before Max Mohagen beat Porter on the wrap around, tying the game 1-1 at 8:40 Clifton & Brendan Winslow collected the assists. Alex Swetlikoff would get another quality chance in front couldn't solve Kyle Dumba. Just past the midway mark Coleton Bilodeau on a goal mouth scramble couldn't hit the open cage as Vernon with several quality chances couldn't buy a goal. With about five minutes remaining Michael Young's shot from the point would be redirected in front was stopped by Kyle Dumba. With two minutes later Jesse Lansdell on a parcial breakaway couldn't solve Kyle Dumba. Late in the frame the Eagles would get their second powerplay of the night. Surrey couldn't capitalize before the buzzer sounded. It was tied 1-1 after 20 minutes of play. The Vipers were all over the Eagles as Vernon carried the better of the play, had a ton of good looks-quality chances, only managed to get one past Kyle Dumba who looked shaky on a few shots, other wise made some big stops, keeping the Eagles in the hockey game. Vernon could have had at least three or four goals. Surrey didn't have much puck possession, saw a lot of action in their own end, didn't create/or generate much for offensive opportunities. The Snakes were the better of the two teams. Alex Swetlikoff had at least four real quality opportunities. Vernon outshot Surrey 17-7.
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2nd Period: The Eagles started the middle frame on the man advantage that was carried over from the 1st period. The Vipers would kill off the remainder of the penalty. Surrey seemed to build off the PP and held the Vipers in their own end for a while. The Eagles with good pressure, were carrying the play early to start the 2nd period. About three minutes in, former Viper Chase Stephenson with a shot from the circle forced Vipers starting goaltender Aidan Porter into making a difficult save with bodies in front. Vernon come back the other way, Teddy Wooding with a quality chance in close couldn't beat Eagles starting goaltender Kyle Dumba. Minutes later the Snakes would get their first powerplay of the game. The Vipers couldn't capitalize as Surrey killed off the minor. Shortly after Alex Swetlikoff with an odd man rush, couldn't beat Kyle Dumba. With six minutes left Samuel Feldman with a good look-opportunity was denied by Aidan Porter. On the following play, about a minute later, Connor Marritt on a two on one with Elan Bar-Lev-Wise. Marritt decided to keep and shoot would beat Kyle Dumba but ring his shot off the crossbar as the Vipers come close to taking the lead. Late in the period Austin Herron beat Aidan Porter giving Surrey their first lead of the night, 2-1 at 16:36 Andrew Clark and Brendan Winslow picked up the helpers. On the following play the Snakes would get a late powerplay. Jack Judson come very close to tying the game after ringing a shot off the post before Jesse Lansdell in front ties the game 2-2 at 17:39 Carver Watson & Jack Judson picked up the helpers. About a minute later the Vipers went back to the powerplay. Josh Latta looked to give Vernon a 3-2 lead, looked to have Kyle Dumba beat but rang his shot off the bottom of the post. Vipers with three posts in the middle frame. Jesse Lansdell would eventually give Vernon a 3-2 lead with just nine seconds left at 19:51 Alex Swetlikoff and Jack Judson collected the helpers. It was 3-2 Vernon after 40 minutes of play. I thought the Eagles played a little better in the second frame. Surrey looked good in the opening first four or five minutes and played well towards the end of the period. Other then that it was all Vipers for a second straight period. Vernon with several good looks-opportunities couldn't bury their chances, until two late powerplay goals giving them the lead heading into the 3rd. Vernon outshot Surrey 15-8.
3rd Period: About two minutes in a shot from well out was stopped by former Salmon Arm Silverbacks goaltender before Connor Marritt pounced on the rebound would be denied by Dumba on the second opportunity. Just over four minutes in Surrey would jump on a lengthy two man advantage. The Vipers would lose Jesse Lansdell for most of the period after picking up a checking to the head penalty/automatic ten minutes misconduct. The Snakes with a very good penalty kill, were close to killing off both minors before the Eagles would take a penalty of their own. After some short four on four action, the Vipers would get a shortened powerplay. But shorthanded Justin Gurney alone in the slot couldn't solve Aidan Porter who made a large save, keeping this a one goal game. Vernon unable to capitalize with the man advantage. Shortly after the penalty expired Matthew McKim with a laser of a shot tied the game 3-3 at 9:06 McKim's goal was unassisted. On the following play tempers heated up as both teams got into several scrums after whistles. The Eagles would come out on top with the man advantage. Just twelve seconds into the powerplay, Ty Westgard gives Surrey a 4-3 lead at 10:48 Cody Schiavon & Riley Hayles drew the helpers. Minutes later the parade to the penalty box continued as the Snakes would get a powerplay and capitalize. Teddy Wooding in front ties the game 4-4 at 14:29 Carver Watson and Mitch Andrews with the assists. In a wild and crazy ending the Vipers didn't quit. When it looked like the game was heading to overtime, the Vipers broke out on the odd man rush. Jack Judson to Connor Marritt who spotted Josh Latta who beat Kyle Dumba giving Vernon a late 5-4 lead at 18:53 as Kal Tire Place erupted. Marritt and Judson with the assists. The Eagles would get Kyle Dumba to the bench on the following faceoff. Surrey with a ton of pressure down low, had the Snakes hemmed in their own end. Aidan Porter got lucky and made a big save with the shaft of his goal stick as the Eagles come very close to tying the game. The Eagles didn't quit and kept pressuring the Snakes down low. In the dying seconds Holden Katzalay ties the game at 19:44 as the Surrey bench erupts. Matthew Barnes and Chase Stephenson picked up the helpers. The Vipers bench looked dejected as it was tied 5-5 after 60 minutes of play. A penalty filled 3rd as both teams had troubles staying out of the sin bin. The Snakes took a few undisciplined penalties in the 3rd. The Vipers struggled at times at both ends of the rink, while the Eagles pressed and were coming on as the period continued. Vernon had a few chances but the Eagles had the edge in play at times. The play was scrambled at times on both sides. The Eagles didn't quit and scored three in the period to force overtime. The Vipers had a 3-2 lead coming into the final twenty minutes, blew this period on their own. Surrey outshot Vernon 14-11.
Overtime: Just twelve seconds into the extra frame the Eagles would jump on an early powerplay. It didn't take Surrey long end the hockey game. Former Salmon Arm Silverback Riley Hayles shot looked to get through some traffic and into the back of the goal, giving Surrey a 6-5 overtime victory at 0:59 Chase Stephenson and Justin Gurney drew the assists as the Eagles bench poured onto the ice to celebrate the win. The Viper bench looked dejected stayed on the bench for a good minute or so after the overtime goal. Surrey outshot Vernon 2-0.
Top Player's: (Vernon)
Michael Young (1 goal) I thought played very well on the blueline. Was getting pucks to the goal, played well at both ends of the rink.
Jesse Lansdell (2 goals) Played career game #175 I thought played physical, was going to the net, had chances and played well.
Alex Swetlikoff (1 assist) Had a ton of opportunities, couldn't buy a goal. Was one of the Vipers more dominate and skilled players tonight.
Jack Judson (3 assists) Has really stepped up his play this season in just his second year in Vernon. Leading the Snakes in points, had a strong game on the blueline.
Game Thought's: (Vernon)
The Vipers were the better of the two teams after two periods but couldn't play a full sixty minutes. Vernon had a ton of quality chances through out the first two periods, couldn't bury their chances. Vernon was up a goal heading into the 3rd should have put the Eagles away in the first two periods. The Snakes struggled at times in the 3rd weren't nearly as strong as the first two periods blew the game in the 3rd period. The Vipers lack of scoring showed through out the game tonight. Vernon is one of the lowest scoring teams in the league. Alex Swetlikoff is one of the Vipers more skilled players and couldn't buy a goal tonight. Had a handful of chances through out the game. The Snakes need to go out and acquire a proven goal scorer. The Vipers need to get some offence from all four lines and its just not happening. Vernon needs more from their 3rd and 4th lines. The Snakes work hard but cant score. The Viper powerplay was good going 3-5 with the man advantage. Inconsistency has been a problem for the Vipers this year. The Vipers score five goals for the first time this year and score more then four goals for just a second time. It looked like Josh Latta's late goal in the 3rd was the game winner but the Vipers who have had troubles with the lead in the final frame this season, couldn't close the game out. A pretty small crowd for a mid week game. Not much of an atmosphere inside. Vernon gets a single point in the loss has just four wins in their first eleven games. The Snakes fall to 0-2 vs Surrey this year, face the Eagles once more January 8th in Surrey. With the loss Vernon falls to 4-4-3-0 sit 6th in the Interior Division are a point up on last place Wenatchee.
Top Player's: (Surrey)
Chase Stephenson (2 assists) I didn't think stood out in the first two periods but looked good in the 3rd. Was in and around the net, making things happen.
Matthew McKim (1 goal) I thought was Surrey's best player in the win. Not the biggest kid but can skate, move the puck and generate some offence. Played hard, stood out through out the entire game.
Corey Clifton (1 assist) I thought played well up front for the Eagles.
Kyle Dumba (38 saves) Looked a little shaky at times in the opening frame, seemed to settle down as the game went on, played very well between the pipes. Gave his team a chance to win, especially in the first two periods.
Game Thought's: (Surrey)
The Eagles were very lucky to leave Vernon with two points and the victory. Surrey was outplayed most of the first two periods and outshot 32-15 after fourty minutes but only down a goal heading into the 3rd. Give the Eagles full credit for not folding the tent. I thought the Eagles were the better team in the 3rd, carried the better of the play at times, had more puck possession and worked hard, never gave up. Surrey seemed to be chasing Vernon for a lot of the first two periods, saw a lot of action in their own end, were heavily relying on their goaltender to bail them out. Surrey struggles with the man advantage going 2-6. Didn't create/or generate much for offence in the first two periods, played much better in the 3rd. This team didn't quit in the 3rd and seemed hungrier for the win. The Eagles with just four wins on the season, two are against the Vipers and both coming in overtime. With the win the Egales move to 4-9-0-0 sit last in the Mainland Division are four points back of Langley.
Landon Fuller (Suspended)
Austin Chorney (Injured)
Jagger Williamson (Injured)
Energy Player of the Game:
Carver Watson (2 assists)
1st Star: Riley Hayles (1 goal-1 assist)
2nd Star: Jesse Lansdell (2 goals)
3rd Star: Jack Judson (3 assists)