Was at todays BCHL Game as Vernon defeated Quesnel 4-1 in front of 1,703 fans at the Wesbild Center.
1st Period: Chris Crowell laid out the biggest hit of the afternoon off the opening faceoff. Crowell leveled a Quesnel player into the side boards. The Vipers were all over the Millionaires in the early going, skating circles around the Mills, Vernon cycled the puck well down low, but didnt get many shots on goal, but did have some good pressure deep in the Quesnel zone. Vernons best scoring chance came just under two minutes into the opening period, a Vernon shot from the slot somehow found its way through a ton of traffic in the Mills crease, Jordan Principalli slid back into the goal, scooping the puck out of the crease and out of the zone saving the Mills from giving up the first goal of the game. The Millionaires couldnt keep up or check the Vernons speed or skill. The Vipers dominated the 1st with most of the play being held deep in the Quesnel zone. The Mills didnt record there first shot on net till the nine minute mark, getting two quick shots on Graeme Gordon, as Gordon wouldnt see another shot for the remainder of the period. Quesnel had a great chance to open the scoring, as Ben Payne & Robbie Bailey went in two on one, Payne decided to keep the puck but couldnt get a shot off on net, as the Viperd d-man broke up the play. A very fast paced 1st with very few whistles as the Vipers had some scoring chances through out the period. Both teams had just one powerplay, Quesnel couldnt record a shot on net and the Vipers couldnt get the puck past Karambelas. Braden Pimm & Mike Collins went in two on one, Collins decided to keep and shoot the puck, but was stopped by Evan Karambelas. The former Kings goaltender was solid between the pipes for the Mills. With under two minutes remaining Cory Kane stepped over the line and wired a high shot from the slot, wich beat Karambelas putting the Vipers up 1-0. Vernon was up 1-0 after 20 minutes of play. The Vipers outshot the Millionaires 9-2.
2nd Period: Vipers got off to a quick start, getting the puck in deep and once again were all over the Mills. Vernon cycled the puck well down low, creating all kinds of open ice as the Vipers were peppering Karambelas with shots. Chris Crowell had a good scoring chance in close but couldnt find the back of the net. Mike Collins rang a shot off the crossbar with Karambelas down and out as the Vipers come close to going up 2-0. Vernon had some good chances in the first half of the 2nd as the Mills were being outplayed but only down 1-0. Quesnel for the second straight period didnt get a shot on Gordon till the nine minute mark. The Vipers seemed to go to sleep at the midway mark, coughing up the puck on a few plays, getting caught out of position, giving the Millionaires a chance at getting back in todays game. For the first time all afternoon Quesnel carried the play, getting some chances in close. The Mills had the better of the play in the second half realing off five shots. The Vipers looked very disorganised but were lucky excaping the 2nd still up 1-0. Vernon outshot Quesnel 16-5.
3rd Period: Three and a half minutes into the final period Kyle Bigos wired a lazer shot from the point wich hit the crossbar first before going in putting Vernon up 2-0. The Vipers had some strong play really moving the puck well in the Mills zone, Vernon was skating well, buzzing around Karambelas, getting lots of shots from all angles. About eight minutes in, Cody Ikkala made a nice pass over to John Digness who put Vernon up 3-0 as the Vipers were now in control. The play slowed down a little come the second half of the 3rd with some scrambly play, poor passes and not many good scoring chances. Quesnel couldnt create much of an attack, as the Vipers defence played very well this afternoon. Kevin Kraus who played very solid on the Vipers blueline, come back showing some good hustle, breaking up a Mills scoring chance. The Millionaires would break Graeme Gordons shutout bid with 5:05 remaining after the Vipers lost the draw in there own end. Just over two minutes later John Digness and Cory Kane with some nice passing, set up James Kerr who put the Vipers up 4-1. Some minor pushing and shoving took place late in the game after the odd stopage in play, but nothing major come out of it. The Vipers would defeat the Millionaires 4-1 winning there 8th straight game. Vernon is 4-0 against Quesnel this season, as these two teams will play each other in Quesnel Saturday. Vernon outshot Quesnel 21-6.
Top Players: (Vernon)
Kevin Kraus looked very solid on Vernons blueline. Played an excellent dfensive game this afternoon. Kraus has recently been stepping up into the play alot, and has looked good.
Kyle Bigos (1 goal) Played very well on the backend.
Cory Kane (1 goal & 1 assist) looked very good up front. Kane has some good speed, wich he dosnt seem to use game in game out, and has one of the best wrist shots going.
Chris Crowell (1 assist) Played physical, one of his more physical games as of late. Played very well this afternoon.
John Digness (1 goal & 1 assist) Digness played well at both ends of the rink, works hard, and was rewarded today with a nice goal. Showed alot of jump in his game.
Steven Weinstein I thought played physical, a kid at his size, laid out some good checks, took the body alot today. Looked very good defensivly. Played his poistion well.
Top Players: (Quesnel)
Evan Karambelas kept the Millionaires in todays game. Down 1-0 heading into the 3rd this kid gave his team a chance to win, making some solid saves through out todays game. Dosnt give up rebounds and plays his position well. Looks very confident between the pipes.
Jordan Principalli looked very solid on the Mills backend. Made a huge defensive play just minutes into the game, saving Quesnel from a goal. Saw a ton of icetime for the Mills. Skates well.
Game Thoughts: (Vernon)
Other then a few mental errors and a few minor breakdowns in the 2nd half of the 2nd period Vernon looked very good against one of the leagues bottom feeders. Sure they were playing the 7th place Millionaires, but you need to be ready to play, and that they were. Vernon come out with some good jump and full of energy, after having last night off the Vipers looked very good on the offensive attack, buzzing around the Mills net. At times the Vipers got a little too fancy, trying to make the highlite real, but did play well this afternoon. This was one of the Vipers more physical games of the year, Chris Crowell, Steven Weinstein, Kevin Kraus and Coddy Ikkala had some monster hits this afternoon. If it wasnt for Karambelas or a few missed empty nets, this could have been a different score. Todays attendance was announced at 1,703, I know they count the season ticket holders, but there was no way 1,700 people there today, a very small looking crowd, one of the smallest I have ever seen. Ryan Santana took the warmup but wasnt in the lineup for the 2nd straight game.
Game Thoughts: (Quesnel)
After being blasted 10-0 last night in Salmon Arm, the Mills didnt put up much of an effort this afternoon. This is a very bad looking hockey team, in the three meetings I have watched between these two teams, Quesnel hasnt gotten any better. Outplayed, outworked and simply just cant compete with a strong team like the Vipers. This team is lacking offence, in the first two periods it took the Mills almost till the midway mark to get a shot on goal. Wasnt much of a hockey game if your a Millionaires fan.
Coach/GM Tom Bohmer
1st Star: Cory Kane (1 goal & 1 assist)
2nd Star: John Digness (1 goal & 1 assit)
3rd Star: Kyle Bigos (1 goal)