Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Backs’ Blitz Stuffs Snakes:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Backs’ blitz stuffs Snakes

Published: December 30, 2008 7:00 PM

In their last three B.C. Hockey League games against the Salmon Arm SilverBacks, the Vernon Vipers have scored just one goal in the first period.
The Backs have scored eight times, including four straight in Monday night’s 7-3 win before 1,650 fans at the Sunwave Centre.
The teams concluded their four-game mini-series Tuesday night at Wesbild Centre.
The Vipers (26-10-1-2) wore a rut in the ice towards the penalty box, handing the Gorillas (29-8-1-1) 12 powerplay opportunities, on which they scored twice. The Vipers went 0-for-4 with the man advantage.
“We didn’t do enough of the little things that give us a chance to win every night – getting pucks deep, getting pucks out of our end,” said Vipers’ head coach Mark Ferner. “It’s those little things that make a big difference.
“We had too many passengers, and we just weren’t that good. But that’s why you play 60 games.”
The Vipers’ Mike Collins (14th goal) opened the scoring at 11:59.
Salmon Arm then went on a scoring binge, scoring twice in 20 seconds on goals by Keenan Desmet (21st) and Travis Statchuk (fourth), who was returning from an injury.
Mark Zengerle (25th), on the powerplay, and captain Matt Walters (fifth) scored shortly after, giving the Backs four goals in under four minutes to take control.
While Salmon Arm’s top players left their mark on the game, SilverBacks’ head coach Rylan Ferster was pleased with the contributions of his energy players, especially Statchuk.
“For him to come back like that against a team like Vernon is great to see.
“Any time you get a couple of quick goals like that, you get some momentum, which is certainly nice. It’s obviously a boost. But outside of that (scoring spree), it’s a pretty even game.”
The Vipers’ James Kerr (seventh) gave the Vipers a much-needed spark in the second period when he collected a loose puck and wheeled up ice to snap one past netminder Bryan Gillis, shorthanded at 4:30.
Salmon Arm restored their three-goal cushion as David Killip notched his seventh at 5:50.
Vipers’ d-man Kyle Bigos and Matt Wray of the SilverBacks went toe-to-toe after Bigos and Mike Puddifant started pushing and shoving in a scrum.
“Neither team is going to give an inch, and neither team wants to back down,” said Ferster. “If you play a team three times in a short time frame, physicality is going to be a part of it.”
Vernon’s Sahir Gill got his seventh at 6:53.
The SilverBacks iced the game with third-period goals by Travis Briard, shorthanded, and Ashford McMaster, on a two-man advantage with under a minute to play.
The Vipers host the Westside Warriors (24-13-0-3) and Trail Smoke Eaters (22-13-2-1) Friday and Saturday night respectively at Wesbild.
On Sunday, they entertain the Swedish Under 17 national team in exhibition play.

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