Friday, May 30, 2008

Smeltzer Joins Brock University:

This is on the Vipers web site:

Badgers men’s hockey add strength on blueline

by Added 2008-05-30

ST. CATHARINES, Ont. – The Brock University men’s hockey team is pleased to announce the addition of defenseman Isaac Smeltzer (Estevan, SASK.) for the 2008-09 season. "We are looking forward to Isaac making an immediate impact on our team,” said Brock head coach Murray Nystrom. “He is a great person, an outstanding student and, due to his hockey experiences, brings leadership skills to our group." Over for the past three seasons, the 6-foot-3, 215 lb defenseman, played in the British Columbia Hockey League with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs and Vernon Vipers. In 158 career games he registered 19 goals and 50 assists for 69 career points. He also racked up 327 penalty minutes. In 2007-08 he recorded a career best 37 points recording 10 goals and 27 assists. Prior to the BCHL, Smeltzer played 14 games in Major Junior for the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League. "This will be a perfect opportunity for me to continue my hockey career and also acquire a degree from Brock's prestigious business school,” said Smeltzer. “Brock's hockey program is clearly on the rise and it is something I am very honoured to become a part of."

Friday, May 9, 2008

Vipers Sign L.A. All-Star:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers sign L.A. all-star

May 09, 2008

The Vernon Vipers may have found a quarterback to anchor their powerplay in Los Angeles product Steven Weinstein.Weinstein, a defenceman who turns 18 in August, helped the L.A. Selects Midget AAA team win the State Championship and advance to last month’s nationals in Buffalo, committed to play with the Vipers next season.According to the Vipers, Weinstein led his team’s defence in every offensive category, playing up to 30 minutes a game.“I’ve seen him play a few times now, and he was one of the better offensive-minded defencemen at nationals in Buffalo,” said Vipers’ head coach/GM Mark Ferner. Last season, the Vipers didn’t have a d-man who could effectively coordinate the powerplay, so they had to move one of their veteran forwards, usually Scott Zurevinski or Hunter Bishop, to the point.“We have a powerplay guy now,” said Ferner, who likened Weinstein’s puck-handling skills to those of shifty Viper twins Connor and Kellen Jones. “He’s going to be very fun to watch, no question.“Those guys are invaluable and they don’t come around that often. Whenever you can add that dimension to your team, you have to. We were lucky because there was a lot of other interest in him.”The one knock against Weinstein could be his size.Weinstein’s player stats with the Selects list him at 5-foot-9 and 148 pounds, but Ferner said the California product has beefed up since the beginning of last season.Last year, the Vipers had the biggest d-man in the B.C. Hockey League in 6-foot-5, 230-pound Upland, Calif. product Kyle Bigos, and now they also have one of the smallest.When asked whether he would consider pairing Weinstein with Bigos to form the ultimate Mutt & Jeff defensive pairing, Ferner said it was a possibility.“Kyle is skating with him in California right now, and he said he’s very impressed.”Last season, the Selects went 50-15, including a 15-game win streak, and won four of the five tournaments they entered.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Weinstein Commits To Vernon:

This is on the Vipers web site:

vipers get californian

by viper staff Added 2008-05-07

Vipers Get Commitment The Vernon Vipers are very excited to announce the commitment of defenseman Steven Weinstein. Steve is a very offensive minded defenseman from Los Angeles, California. The 5’9” defenseman recently played for the very talented LA Selects midget AAA team. The LA Selects represented their region at the Nationals in Buffalo, New York. Steven led the defense in every offensive category, playing up to 30 minutes a game. The Vipers look forward to Weinstein being a huge part of next years team and are very excited to have him aboard.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Ferner Rates Local Talent:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Ferner rates local talent

By Graeme Corbett - Vernon Morning Star - May 02, 2008

Nearly 80 Vernon Viper hopefuls hit the ice last weekend at Wesbild Centre, all vying for an invite to the Snakes’ main camp this summer, and head coach/GM Mark Ferner was pleased with the skills on display.“We had a lot of positive feedback from the four-on-four,” said Ferner, who changed the scrimmage format to emphasize skating and puck-handling skills. “We got to see a lot of good young players, and when you have two more bodies on the ice, you might not be able to identify them as easily.“The Vernon kids were very good, and there were some good ones from Winfield and Kelowna too. We were very happy that some of the better players were from the surrounding areas. It’s important that you have a local flavour on the team.”Ferner said approximately 30 skaters will receive an invite to the Vipers’ main camp.“The one thing we didn’t want to see happen was we didn’t want any fighting,” said Ferner, adding there were 15-year-olds going up against 20-year-olds on the ice, which could make for some lopsided scraps. “Once the main camp comes, the intensity will go up. We just wanted to see if these kids could play. It was still competitive and you can still identify players.“It’s our responsibility to put the best team on the ice, and if some of these new guys turn out to be better than some of our veteran players, they’ll play. I’ve told our guys there are no safe positions.”Viper veterans Rob Short, Trent Dorais, Justin Palazzo and Connor Jones were on hand to guide the prospects through various drills, and graduate Ryan Kakoske donned referee stripes to control the scrimmages.“Our veteran players made it easier on us,” said Ferner. “They were there every day, willing to do whatever we asked of them.”Ferner also did away with the traditional all-star game, explaining that by having one, he’d basically be showing who was getting cut.“These kids all paid the same amount of money to be here, and we want the kids leaving here with a good taste in their mouths.”Up next for Ferner will be the Global training camp May 8-11 in Vancouver, followed by the Vipers’ Alaska camp towards the end of May.In other Viper happenings, twins Connor and Kellen Jones have committed to the Quinnipiac University Bobcats for the 2010-11 season.The 17-year-old Montrose products shared rookie-of-the-year honours with the Snakes last season. Kellen racked up 12-55-67 in 60 games, while Connor compiled 24-30-54 in 50 games.The Bobcats, who play in Hamden, Conn., finished sixth in the ECAC last year, at 9-9-4.Meanwhile, defenceman Adam Thompson and forward Brett Switzer – two future Vipers playing with the Calgary Buffaloes – had strong showings at the Telus Cup National Midget Championship in Arnprior, Ont.Thompson racked up three goals and four assists and Switzer recorded four helpers as the Buffaloes finished fourth in the six-team tournament at 2-1-4. The Buffaloes bowed 7-4 to Séminaire St-François Blizzard of Quebec in the bronze-medal game.Both Thompson and Switzer earned Player-of-the-Game awards during round-robin play. For the first time in the Telus Cup’s 30-year history, the Central Region won the National Midget Championship. Mathieu Lecours, Justin Lockeyer and Denis Restoule scored in the first five minutes of the third period as the Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves (Central) won gold with a 5-3 victory over the Winnipeg Thrashers (West).