Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Vipers Feeling Feisty For Big Series:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers feeling feisty for big series
Published: December 16, 2008 7:00 PM

With an annoying Northern swing out of the way, the Vernon Vipers are now in a very festive mood.
Bring on the Salmon Arm SilverBacks, who the Snakes face four times in 10 days, starting Friday night at Wesbild Centre.
“They were pretty mad after the loss in Prince George, and we pushed them pretty hard in practice yesterday (Monday) and there were just about a couple of scraps,” said Vipers head coach Mark Ferner.
“They’re looking forward to this weekend, and we’ll be pushing them hard again today (Tuesday).”
The Vipers, who had their winning streak snapped at nine games Friday night, started a new mark Saturday night with a 6-3 B.C. Hockey League win over the Quesnel Millionaires at the Vault.
“We were OK, we played well enough to win,” said Ferner. “It’s a tough building to play in, and give Quesnel credit.”
The Vipers (25-8-1-2) are three points behind the Interior Conference leading SilverBacks (27-7-1-1).
And while Ferner has been checking out the Gorillas’ special teams on video, he’s not treating the mini series as an early playoff round.
“Obviously, we have four big games coming up, and Salmon Arm has probably been playing better than anybody in the league, but it’s also game 37 (Friday). It’s a good measuring stick for both teams, see where we’re at.”
The BCHL trading deadline is Jan. 10 and Ferner is unsure whether he will tweak his roster which is fairly young on the back end.
Cory Kane, who is rated a mid-round 2009 draft pick by NHL Central Scouting, took a turn between twins Kellen and Connor Jones in Quesnel, and the unit responded with six points.
Kellen scored his seventh and eighth goals of the season with Connor and Kane each drawing a pair of assists.
Braden Pimm, with his team-high 20th, Chris Crowell, with his eighth (shorthanded winner), Ryan Santana, with his eighth, and Sahir Gill, with his fifth, closed out the Viper offence.
Mike Collins chipped in with a pair of helpers for Vernon, who held period leads of 1-0 and 4-1 in front of 600 fans. Andrew Hammond made 23 saves for his 16th win of the season.
Joshua Fersovitch (eighth), Ben Payne (ninth) and Joshua Martin (first) countered for the seventh place Mills, who are 13 points behind Prince George for the final playoff berth.
“Our goal is to keep gaining ground on Prince George,” said Mills head coach Tom Bohmer “Our season’s not over by any means.
“Despite the injuries and adversity we’ve faced this year we’re still in the hunt, which speaks to the strength of our hockey club.”
The SilverBacks stuffed the host Trail Smoke Eaters 4-1 Saturday for their league-high 27th win.
The SilverBacks have three players in the BCHL’s top-10 scorers, including 19-year-old New York product Mark Zengerle, who had 1+2 in Trail.
Rookie Kory Roy stepped into the lineup Saturday, and played well on a line with John Digness and James Kerr.
The Vipers visit Salmon Arm Saturday night (7:30) before taking the Christmas break. They resume practice Dec. 27.

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