Saturday, October 11, 2008

Vernon 3 Merritt 1

Vernon 3 Merritt 1

Was at tonights game as Vernon defeated Merritt 3-1 in front of 1,930 fans at the Wesbild Center.

1st Period: Just seconds off the opening draw Dustin Johnson laid out a huge elbow on Kellen Jones, knocking his helmet off, sending him to the ice. With the Vipers on the early powerplay, they didnt take advantage looking very sloppy. Vipers couldnt get any kind of offencesive attack waisting a powerplay chance. Vernon looked sharpe skating hard having most of the play deep in the Merritt zone. The Vipers moved the puck well getting some shots off but not really any solid scoring chances. Ryan DePape & Cory Kane come into the Cents zone two on one, DePape made a nice pass over to Kane, who then snuck inbehind the Merritt defence, and then put an unreal move on Harrison May but somehow Kane couldnt slide the puck inbehind the Centennials Goaltender just missing the empty net. Vernon had three early powerplays but couldnt find the back of the net, struggling early on the powerplay. The Vipers defence was having all kinds of trouble handling the puck at the blueline tonight. On the other side the Centennials wernt much of a threat, having all kinds of trouble keeping the puck and play out of there own end. Vipers best scoring chance came when Rob Short wired a shot from the top of the circle but hit the post. Cents starting goaltender Harrison May had to be sharpe facing 16 shots. Most of the 16 shots were shot right at May wich made him look good. May did have a few big saves to make but for the most part saw all of the Vernon shots. Vernon dominated the 1st having the better of the play, as the ice was still wet in some spots in the Vipers zone. Vernon come close to scoring as Kyle Bigos wired a shot from the point, and Ryan Santana tipped the point shot in front, just missing the net. Late in the period Dustin Johnson made a nice pass through the nuetral zone, Kyle Bigos made a bad pinch, as Jordan Zalba beat Bigos and then went in all alone for the breakaway, and then snapped his shot past Andrew Hammond putting Merritt up 1-0 with just 14 seconds remaining in the 1st. The Centennials were up 1-0 after 20 mins of play. Vernon outshot Merritt 16-7.

2nd Period: Vipers started off the 2nd with an early powerplay but once again couldnt find the back of the net. A very dull period with very little flow for the most parts. Alot of whistles wich really slowed down the play. Both teams struggled with the puck as it seemed as if neither team wanted the puck, alot of turnovers and sluggish plays through out the period. Merritt come close to going up 2-0 with a two on one but fired wide. Vernon come close to tying the game as Braden Pimm fired a shot off the post and then just minutes later John Diggness hit the post as the Vipers couldnt seem to get a bounce there way. Kevin Kraus just about cost the Vipers another goal as he coughed up the puck coming out from his own zone, Paul Forster stole the puck and went in all alone on the breakaway putting a nice move on Hammond but Hammond come up with the big pad save, Forster then got the rebound and tried to stuff the puck inbehind a down and out Hammond but Hammond somehow stretched out his right leg and just covered up the puck with his toe. Merritt played a little better come the 2nd period getting some scoring chances and trying to create some kind of an offensive attack. With just under 6 mins left Bryce Kakoske finally beat Harrison May after a nice pass from Cork Kane to tie the game 1-1. Overall a pretty sluggish-boring 2nd with very little flow at both ends of the rink. Game was tied 1-1 after 40 mins of play. Vernon outshot Merritt 9-8.

3rd Period: Vernon started off the 3rd strong with some good play in the Centennials zone, cyclying the puck well down low and then getting some shots from in close but May was very sharpe staying with the shooter and coming up with the save. May was very busy in the early goings once again facing alot of Viper shots from in close. With Vernon on the penalty kill Ryan Santana had a great scoring chance shorthanded, Santana carried the puck into the Cents zone, going around the one d-man, getting a shot off & then driving hard towards the goal, getting the rebound fighting his way through both Merritt d-men, and getting off another shot with May making the save from the slot. Vernon was skating hard, coming up with all kinds of chances in the 3rd but couldnt seem to buy a break, as the Vipers were buzzing around the Cents goal. Merritt couldnt seem to keep up with Vernons speed and skill down low, having troubles clearing the zone. Most of the 3rd was in the Centennials zone as Vernon was looking for the win. With about 7 mins left in the final period the Vipers would get a great chance on the powerplay but yet it was Merritt who had the best scoring chance, after Paul Forster stole the puck from Kellen Jones at the blueline, Forster went in all alone on the breakaway but was stopped by Hammond. Late in the 3rd Ryan Aynsley had a good chance in close after a scramble in tight on Hammond. Vipers come close to going ahead 2-1 after Rob Short made a nice pass down low across the crease to John Digness who hit the bottom of the post, this was the Vipers 4th post of the night. With just over 2 mins remaining Mike Collins & Braden Pimm made some nice tic tac toe passing cutting thrrough the Cents zone, as Collins set up Braden Pimm who just tapped the puck past May as Vernon got there first lead of the game 2-1 with 1:56 left. Merritt couldnt get May out for the extra man as the Vipers 4th line of Rob Short, John Digness and Braden Pimm worked hard with some good forecheck down low, ragging alot of time off the clock, as the play come up ice the Cents would pull May for the extra attacker, with just 23 seconds remaining Ryan Aynsley rang a shot off the crossbar, Rob Short would gobble up the rebound and then carry it up ice, hitting the empty net putting Vernon up 3-1. The Vipers would win there 3rd straight defeating Merritt 3-1. Vipers outshot the Centennials 11-7.

Top Players: (Vernon)

Ryan Santana played his best game as a Viper. Santana played with alot of grit and hustle looking very strong up front.

For the second straight night Vernons 4th line of Rob Short, (1 Goal) John Digness & Kory Roy (AP) looked very solid up front, Short & Digness played very well together on the penalty kill as well. Short played with alot ofn hustle, was driving to the net all night. Digness played solid on the penalty kill, was skating hard all night.

Braden Pimm (1 Goal) Played his second straight good game. Pimm played physical and was buzzing around the Cents net.

Top Players: (Merritt)

Harrison May (33 saves) Played very well tonight, keeping the Centennials in the game. May was very busy in the 1st and in the early goings to start the 3rd. May plays his position well, cutting off all angles. This kid dosnt give up many if any rebounds.

Paul Forster had two breakaways but was stopped both chances by Andrew Hammond. Forster had some good chances and played well up front.

Ryan Aynsley (1 Assist) Looked very impressive up front for the Cents. A speedy kid who played with good hustle, always driving towards the net, getting involved in the play.

Game Thoughts: (Vernon)

After dominating the opening period, going 0-4 on the powerplay and not capitalising on there chances, Merritt was very lucky to be up 1-0 after the 1st. Vernon should have put away Merritt in the 1st after getting 4 powerplays, but really struggled on 3 of them. Vipers looked good come the 1st but went to sleep in the 2nd, a very slow-sluggish 2nd period with very little excitement. Both teams put the fans to sleep with alot of whistles and stopages in play. Vipers had to work hard once again for the 2nd straight night, to get the win. Vipers come to play in the 3rd getting all kinds of chances but couldnt buy a break. Vernon needs to work on there passing, alot of blind-no look passes tonight, wich resulted in way too many turnovers. A very small crowd, alot less then the announced attendance.

Game Thoughts: (Merritt)

If it wasnt for Harrison May & four goal posts this game should have be long over come the 1st period. Merritt needs alot of help, this team has nobody and it showed tonight. Other then a few chances this team is going to struggle all season, it looks like they ride May all night and hope he can stand on his head and get the team the win, cause theres no real light at the end of the tunnel for the Cents. Merritt had all kinds of trouble creating any chances or even just carrying the play for more then a few minutes in the Vipers zone. The Centennials only chances came off Vernon turnovers.



Cole Ikkala
Sahir Gill
Trent Dorais
Nick Amies


Curtis Gedig

3 Stars:

1st Star: Harrison May (33 Saves)
2nd Star: Braden Pimm (1 Goal)
3rd Star: John Digness

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