Tuesday, July 29, 2008

McGroarty Re-Signs With Lincoln:

This is on the USHL website:

July 29, 2008

Lincoln Stars head coach & former Vernon Laker, Jimmy McGroarty signed a three-year contract extension after going 31-22-7 in his first season.McGroarty Signs Three-Year Extension With LincolnThe Lincoln Stars have announced that an agreement has been reached with head coach Jimmy McGroarty that will keep him with the organization through the 2010-11 season. McGroarty, who was named head coach and general manager in July 2007, guided the team to a 31-22-7 regular season record before being eliminated in the second round of the USHL Playoffs by the eventual champions, the Omaha Lancers. In his first season, McGroarty was also a finalist for the USHL General Manager of the Year Award."Over the past season, Jimmy's proven himself to be one of North America's finest young coaches, and capable of handling the pressures of being a head coach in the USHL," said Stars President Jim Pflug. "He's quickly earned the respect of coaches,
players and fans, and is deserving of a strong commitment from the Stars organization. We're excited about our future with Jimmy at the helm.""The players and fans made my first year as Head Coach/General Manager a very enjoyable experience," said McGroarty. "It's an honor for me to be associated with the Stars organization and the fans that support us through the ups and downs of a season. I'm looking forward to this upcoming season as we have another great group of talented young men that will make the Ice Box an exciting place with the greatest fans in the USHL. My family and I are proud to call Lincoln home."The USHL is America's only Tier I league and the premier path for developing players in America. The 2008-09 season is fast approaching, and will get underway with the 2008 USHL Fall Classic, to be held September 25-27 in Sioux City. For more information on the USHL and its member teams, visit us on the web at www.ushl.com.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Beller Commits To University Of Manitoba:

This is on the Vipers website:

Beller committs, puts season total up to 11!

by viper staff Added 2008-07-17

20 year old forward Greg Beller has committed to play next season for the University of Manitoba Bisons. Beller came to the Vipers just before Christmas last season from Yale University. The Rangers draft pick scored 20 points in 23 regular season games and was a force in the playoffs. The Vernon Vipers would like to congratulate Greg and wish him good luck next season. With this latest commitment, all of the Vipers graduating players have secured a team for the upcoming season. This puts the season total of post secondary scholarships up to 11. Congratulations to all players. Hunter Bishop Ohio State University Scott Zurevinski Quinnipiac University Isaac Smeltzer Brock University Travis Brisebois University of Saskatchewan Bryce Christianson University of Alaska (Anchorage) Ryan Kakoske University of British Columbia Evan Witt Michigan Tech (Now playing with Alberni) Connor Jones Quinnipiac University Kellen Jones Quinnipiac University Kyle Bigos Merrimack College Greg Beller University of Manitoba

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Thanks Colin:

I would like to thank Colin for doing such a great job behind the Vipers bench in his first season with the hockey club. I thought Colin played a huge roll in helping out the younger D-men, improve there game as the season went on. When Mark Ferner wasnt able to be behind the bench, O'Hara did a great job at filling in under the head coaching duties. Colin you will be missed, but I wish you all the best in your future as a head coach. You will be a fine young head coach. It will be interesting to see now if Mark Ferner brings in another Assistant Coach? Or will he go with just Jason Williamson behind the bench.

O'Hara Named Nipawin New Head Coach:

This was in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Former Vernon Vipers Assistant Coach Colin O'Hara was named the new Head Coach-GM of the Nipawin Hawks of the Saskachewan Junior Hockey League. O'Hara who was named WHA Coach of the year honours with the Lumby Fighting Saints before joining the Vipers last season, also held posts as an Assistant Coach-GM with the BCHL Quesnel Millionaires, and Assistant Coach with the La Ronge Ice Wolves of the SJHL.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thunderbirds Welcome Kakoske To UBC:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Thunderbirds welcome Kakoske to UBC

By Graeme Corbett - Vernon Morning StarPublished: July 10, 2008 6:00 PM

When Ryan Kakoske was first called up to the Vernon Vipers as an 18-year-old affiliate in the 2005-06 season, current captain Chris Crowell remembers wondering whether he would ever fit the mold of a B.C. Hockey League defenceman.After three years of playing alongside Kakoske and witnessing his transformation into a rock-steady blueliner, there’s no doubt in Crowell’s mind.“He’s gone from barely being able to hold his own in junior hockey to becoming our most reliable defenceman,” said Crowell. “It’s not a fluke to see how he progressed, it was through hard work. There’s not a lot of flash, but he’s a strong, shutdown defenceman, and he’s a great guy to play with.”The Vipers started last season with a rookie-laden blueline, and if it weren’t for Kakoske’s veteran presence, opposing teams would have had an easy time picking the Snakes apart.Kakoske’s no-nonsense style grabbed the attention of the UBC Thunderbirds head coach Milan Dragicevic, who offered the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Vernon minor hockey product a scholarship to play with them this fall.“We are happy to add Ryan to our team at UBC,” said Dragicevic. “He will bring character, size and a winning attitude to our team. Anytime you can add a player of Ryan’s stature, it makes your team that much tougher to play against.”Added Crowell: “It’s good to see him get something. With UBC’s hockey program, their academics, the Olympics coming to Vancouver… it’s a good decision.”In 60 games last season, Kakoske fired two goals and supplied 16 helpers with 64 penalty minutes. He recorded 27 points and 132 PIM in 151 BCHL games.He played in all situations and did many little things that often don’t show up on the score sheet. When Crowell had to miss games due to a suspension, Kakoske was the logical choice to wear the ‘C’.Kakoske recently received the Mark Nelson Memorial Award, which is annually presented to a local athlete who shows perseverence and excellence.“Marty Stein (Detroit Red Wings scout) got my name out there for them (UBC) to see,” said Kakoske, who visited the UBC campus in May before reaching his decision last month. “In the end, I felt the quality if hockey was better in the CIS than NCAA Division 3, and there aren’t many schools better than UBC academically.“I’m looking forward to testing myself against the Western (Hockey) League guys.”There’ll be at least one familiar face on the T-Birds’ roster since his cousin, Jordan Inglis of 100 Mile Ranch, will play with UBC. Inglis, who played for Prince George Spruce Kings and Cowichan Valley Capitals of the BCHL, played with the Wayne State University Warriors last season, but their hockey program folded.Kakoske, who will live in residence this fall, plans to start an economics program and then switch into business.Meanwhile, he’s spending the summer working as a landscaper and, as always, putting his time in at the gym. He’ll also be lending his defensive expertise to the next generation of would-be Vipers at Vernon minor hockey’s summer camps.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Kakoske Commits To UBC:

This is on the Vipers web site:

by viper staff Added 2008-07-09

Kakoske commits to UBC

The Vernon Vipers are very excited to announce that Ryan Kakoske has committed to play for the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds for the upcoming season. The local product had an exceptional year for the Vipers and is very deserving of this scholarship. Ryan played in all situations for the team and when regular captain Chris Crowell had to miss games, Kakoske filled in. He was one of the Vipers most consistent performers doing many important things which often don’t show up on the score sheet. Kakoske also received the Mark Nelson Memorial Award this past weekend. This award is given annually to a local athlete who perseveres and excels. The award was presented by Brent Gilchrist and Nelson’s brother-in-law Brent Fairweather. The Vernon Vipers would like to congratulate Ryan on both honours.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Bigos Gets Scholarship:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Bigos gets scholarship

By Graeme Corbett - Vernon Morning Star - July 03, 2008

Vernon Vipers’ defenceman Kyle Bigos has played hockey all over North America. He can add another destination to the list now he’s accepted a scholarship to play with the Merrimack College Warriors for the 2010-2011 season.In 58 B.C. Hockey League games last season, the Upland, Calif. import earned two goals and 15 assists while piling up 152 penalty minutes. As the season progressed, he learned to become an effective enforcer while providing a steady presence on the blueline. Bigos also worked diligently on his foot speed, often staying after practice with the other Viper d-men to take part in extra skating drills. The organization recognized his hard work by naming him Most Improved Player.“He worked hard at it, and he really improved,” said head coach Mark Ferner. “He’s such a big body, and he has a presence on the ice, but he’s also got good hands and vision. That’s not something you would normally see in a player of his size.”Bigos is also paying closer attention to conditioning this season. He struggled a bit coming into last year’s camp at around 250 pounds. With the help of a new off-season conditioning program, Bigos is working towards a six percent body fat index, which would put him at around 225 pounds.“I started cutting weight up there last year, and things became easier,” said Bigos, who turned 19 in May.Before coming to Vernon, Bigos played Midget AAA with the Notre Dame Hounds of Wilcox, Sask., so being away from home is nothing new to the big man. Although, he does admit to missing Mexican food while he’s away.“It’s nothing I can’t handle,” said Bigos. “I’ve been away for a while now, and it’s just another chance to play hockey and get more education.”The Warriors, who play Division 1 NCAA hockey out North Andover, Mass., just a short drive from downtown Boston, finished last in the Hockey East Conference with 6-18-3.“Knowing that it was a small, private Catholic school was a huge plus for me,” said Bigos.Added Ferner: “He had some offers from other schools, but Kyle felt this one was his best option.”With Viper defensive grads Ryan Kakoske and Isaac Smeltzer moving on, Bigos is looking forward to carrying more responsibility on his considerable shoulders. Ferner plans to play him more often and in all situations over the next two seasons.“Smeltzer and Kakoske were huge leaders for us on the backend, and I’m looking forward to stepping into that role this year,” said Bigos. “I’m looking forward to making a big impact on the D this year, and trying to take us to the RBC (Royal Bank Cup),” Bigos will return to Vernon at the end of July, where the Jones twins, Connor and Kellen, Braden Pimm and Rob Short will join him for some additional training before the Vipers’ main camp, which goes Aug. 19.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Bigos Commits To Merrimack:

This is on the Vipers web site:

Bigos gets scholarship

by viper staff Added 2008-07-02

The Vernon Vipers are pleased to announce that Kyle Bigos has accepted a scholarship to Merrimack College for the 2010-2011 season. The 6'5 defenseman from California improved a lot this season winning the Vipers Most Improved Player award. He will be a huge part of the Vipers defense core for the upcoming two seasons. Merrimack College is located in North Andover, Mass. Just a short drive from downtown Boston. They play out of the storied Hockey East conference. The Vipers would like to congratulate Kyle on this accomplishment. It is well deserved.