Saturday, January 31, 2009

Vernon 2 Salmon Arm 0

Was at tonights BCHL Game as Vernon defeated Salmon Arm 2-0 in front of 3,006 fans at the Wesbild Centre.

1st Period: A little bit of a slow start to the game as both teams were having difficulties getting control of the play. Braden Pimm had a great chance early with a wrap around, that just about snuck past Bryan Gillis. The puck seemed to be on edge for most of the period, bouncing around, going over the glass alot, both teams had troubles getting some flow going. The Vipers with an early powerplay struggled keeping the play in control, as the Silverbacks killed off the minor. The pace picked up as the period went along, Vernon had the better of the chances getting some quick shots from the outside. Sahir Gill put a nice move in close, just missing the net. Zac Rasmussen with a snap shot from the circle, was tipped in front just going wide on a great chance for the Backs. Both teams would exchange powerplays coming up short with very few chances. Both teams penalty killers looked good. A very tight checking 1st with not much room to dangle as alot of the teams shots were coming from the outside. Another deflection in front of Andrew Hammond just whistled wide of the goal. Vernon had the better of the scoring chances in a fairly even played period. It was scoreless after 20 minutes of play. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 16-11.

2nd Period: Both teams looked a little tenative to start the 2nd period playing very cautious. The Silverbacks would get an early powerplay on a very strange call. Matt Wray fell in front of the Vipers net, and Cory Kane was called for tripped, the problem was Kane was no where near Wray. With the Backs on the man advantage, it was Vernons penalty killers who had the better chances. Connor Jones stole the puck from a Silverback, getting a good chance in close but was stopped by Gillis. The Vipers penalty kill showed alot of hustle, winning the races to the loose puck and the battles along the boards. Vernon would kill off the minor. Salmon Arm with some good jump forced the play in deep with some good presure, getting some chances on Andrew Hammond. The Silverbacks were now the ones winning the races and battles along the boards, playing very aggresive. The Backs really carried the edge in play in the first half, but couldnt find the back of the net. The Vipers were caught a few times coughing up the puck in there own end. After some presure by the Silverbacks, the Vipers picked up control of the play and on a three on two Mike Collins drove towards the net, dropping the puck off to Captain Chris Crowell who fed a wide open Braden Pimm, who tapped the puck into the empty net at 12:24 putting Vernon up 1-0. This goal seemed to give the Vipers some life, as Vernon now got some chances of there own. Braden Pimm snuck inbehind the Backs defence, getting in close but ran out of room, getting a quick shot off from in close, but Gillis stood tall, making the save. Another very tight checking period with not much room to move. The Vipers had a great chance to go up by two goals, as Kevin Kraus, Bryce Kakoske & Sahir Gill went in three on one, Krause made a nice pass over to Kakoske who wired a snap shot high and over Gillis's glovehand missing the net. Cole Ikkala took a check in front of the Vipers bench, Ikkala went to the bench in some pain, as the team looked at his shoulder. Ikkala would go to the Vipers dressing room, but return to the bench for the final minute of play. Salmon Arm had the better of the play in another entertaining period. The Silverbacks were down 1-0 after 40 minutes of play. Salmon Arm outshot Vernon 13-11.

3rd Period: Some good action at both ends of the rink with very few early chances, both teams were playing a tight checking game. Vernons defence was doing a solid job at keeping the Backs to the outside, on the other side the Silverbacks defence was now starting to jump up into the play, this allowing the Vipers with many odd man rushes. Salmon Arm would lose Viper killer Mark Zengerle for 10 minutes after Zengerle took a unsportsmanlike penalty. Both teams would get a chance on the powerplay, Vernon would struggle getting very little shots, having all kinds of trouble getting the puck deep into the Salmon Arm zone. Conor Morrison snuck in behind the Vernon defence, going in for the breakaway but was stopped by Hammond. Hammond looked in the zone, playing with a ton of confidence. With the Silverbacks on a powerplay a close chance in front, but Hammond stood tall shutting the door. Morrison looked very dangerous in the final frame getting loads of icetime, getting some chances. The Vipers carried the play in the 3rd but couldnt beat Gillis who also played very well. Salmon Arm come very close to scoring on a few chances in close but couldnt bang away the rebounds. Chris Crowell & Braden Pimm went in two on one, Pimm was stopped by a great backcheck by Mitch Chapman who hustled back into the play, sliding across to break up the two on one. Matt Grassi carried the puck from his own end, going end to end but couldnt get a good shot off on Hammond. Gillis made a nice glove save on Mike Collins to keep the Backs in the game. Salmon Arm was trying to force the play, but just couldnt get things going once crossing the Vipers blueline. Vernons defence played a solid 3rd period. At 10:45 Bryce Kakoske fed Kory Roy who hustled down the wing and then wired a shot gloveside beating Gillis as the Vipers grabbed a 2-0 lead. Vernons defence did a great job the rest of the way, shutting down Salmon Arms top scorers. The Silverbacks were starting to slow down late in the period, looking tired as the Backs went with mostly two lines in the final period. The teams 4th line saw very limited icetime most of the game. Mike Collins had a great chance to put away the game with a breakaway with just over three minutes remaining, but Collins fired wide missing the net. In the final two minutes of the game, with the Backs having control of the play, Gillis remained between the pipes. Gillis would finally head to the bench for the extra attacker with just 21 seconds remaining, after a stopage in play Salmon Arm would get a late powerplay with just 17 seconds remaining, the Vipers would kill the final ticks of the clock, defeating the Silverbacks 2-0. Salmon Arm outshot Vernon 13-8.

Top Players: (Vernon)

Andrew Hammond made 35 saves getting his 3rd shutout of the season. Hammond looked very confident, standing tall in the Vipers net. Had alot of traffic in front of him but somehow managed to see & stop everything.

Cameron Brodie played another solid defencesive game on the Vernon blueline. Brodie saw alot of icetime on the powerplay, getting off some quick shots from the point.

Connor Jones played with alot of hustle and determination tonight. Was playing with alot of jump, worked hard down low and in behind the Backs net. Was very hard to get off the puck.

Braden Pimm (1 goal) Pimm played a good solid game at both ends of the rink. Had a few great chances, was driving to the net all night.

Kory Roy (1 goal) For a kid who hasnt played in a very long time, looked very good out there tonight. Was in the corners banging away, won a few draws when given the chance. Looked very good down low, in and around the net.

Ryan Santana looked very good up front for the Vipers. Santana carried the puck alot tonight, showed alot of hustle down low. Played with alot of energy.

Top Players: (Salmon Arm)

Matt Grassi was one of better d-men for the Silverbacks. Looked very good defensively, joined up in the rush come the 3rd period. Saw alot of icetime.

Mitch Chapman played a physical game on the Backs backend. Made a great defensive play in the 3rd to break up a Vipers two on zero.

Justin Cseter looked good tonight. Was involved in the play.

Conor Morrison was the Silverbacks best player tonight. Played with alot of energy, was all over the ice come the final period. Was stopped on a breakaway in the 3rd. Had some chances but couldnt beat Hammond.

Bryan Gillis looked very sharpe, didnt have much traffic in front of him, seeing most of his shots. Was very quick on his feet, making some big pad saves. Another solid performance against the Vipers.

Game Thoughts: (Vernon)

I would have never thought tonights game would have ended 2-0. For the most parts the Vipers looked and played good. Obviously scoring the first goal was key. Andrew Hammond looked very good, but give credit to the teams defence, really shutdown the Silverbacks top scorers, not giving them any room to move out there, really limiting there chances. Vernon has won six straight games, looking very good heading down the stretch drive into the Playoffs. A very tight checking game, both teams didnt allow one another to dangle in front much. Overall the Vipers had the better of the chances, but a fairly even played game. Very entertaining. Nice to see the biggest crowd of the year come out tonight to witness a good hockey game.

Game Thoughts: (Salmon Arm)

Salmon Arm come out tonight wearing there new home jerseys. Getting away from the purple, the team has replaced the purple with black, with some small purple stripes around the edges and what not. Alot of black now in the teams new look. I wonder what the teams road jerseys look like? Salmon Arms top scorers were shutdown tonight by the Vipers for the first time all season. Still getting some chances but just watched a little more carefully. Mark Zengerle didnt touch the puck much, having someone always on him. The Silverbacks chances were from in close, in and around the net. Vernons defence really did a good job at not allowing the Backs to walk in and dish off the puck to a wide open player, like in past games. Both teams struggled on the powerplay and penalty kill at times. Both teams had chances shorthanded. This could have been anyones game. Salmon Arm wont go anywhere if they keep rolling the top two lines for most of the final period, those kids looked bagged come the second half of the 3rd.



James Kerr
Nick Amies

Salmon Arm:

Greg Noyes
David Killip

3 Stars:

1st Star: Andrew Hammond (35 saves)
2nd Star: Braden Pimm (1 goal)
3rd Star: Kory Roy (1 goal)

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