Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Series-Game Preview: Game 1: Quesnel @ Vernon:

Series-Game Preview: Quesnel & Vernon:

The defending Royal Bank Cup Champion Vernon Vipers & Quesnel Millionairies meet in the 2nd round of the BCHL Playoffs for the first time in team history. Vernon went 4-0 against Quesnel during the regular season. The Vipers are coming off a 1st round bye, & have won seven straight games. The Millionaires are coming off a huge upset knocking off the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in six games, and are on a two game winning streak.

Vernon’s Home & Away Record vs. Quesnel:

At Home: 2-0
On The Road: 2-0

Quesnel’s Home & Away Record vs. Vernon:

At Home: 0-2
On The Road: 0-2

Vernon outscored Quesnel at home 5-2
Vernon outscored Quesnel on the road 16-2

Vernon’s Powerplay vs. Quesnel This Season:


Quesnel’s Powerplay vs. Vernon this season:


Lets take a look at both teams,

Vernon Vipers:

The Vipers clinched top spot in the BCHL and the Interior Division with a record of 51-6-0-3 and was ranked #2 in all of Canada. Vernon scored a league high 298 goals and broke the Penticton Vees BCHL record for least amount of goals, giving up just 119. Vernon was 25-4-0-1 at home & 26-2-0-2 on the road during the regular season. The Vipers are 9-0-0-1 in their last 10 games. The Vipers had three players in the leagues top 20 in regular season scoring. Connor Jones (36-45-81), Mike Collins (30-46-76) & Braden Pimm (25-43-68). Blake Voth lead the league as the BCHL’s top goaltender. Voth has a record of 21-2 with 3 shutouts and broke the BCHL record with the lowest GAA with 1.79 Graeme Gordon was 3rd in the leagues top 10 goaltenders with a record of 30-7 with 2 shutouts and a GAA of 2.06

For just the second time in franchise history, the Vipers have clinched more than 50 wins in a regular season. The Vipers hit the 51-win mark this season one shy of the team and league record. The Vipers won 52 games in the 1998-99 campaign, which they followed up with a national Junior A title. The 51-6-0-3 Vipers also set a new BCHL record for the fewest goals allowed (119). The previous record of 137 was set by the Penticton Vees in 2005-06. Goaltender Blake Voth etched his name into the BCHL annals, setting a record 1.79 goals against average. The rookie tender bettered Nanaimo Clipper net detective Simon Nolet’s 1.98 GAA in 2004-05. Vernon at one time during the regular season went on a 21 game winning streak, one shy of the teams record before falling in overtime to Westside. This years version of the Vernon Vipers has to be one of if not the best Vernon Junior Hockey team Viper fans have ever seen.

The Vipers are loaded up front in the goal scoring department scoring a league high 298 goals. Vernon also gave up a new BCHL record 119 goals against but cridicts say the Vipers defence and goaltending isn’t as good as last years RBC Cup Winning team. Blake Voth seems to have taken over the #1 job late in the regular season starting 10 out of the last 11 games. Voth a rookie with Vernon finished the season with an amazing record of 21-2 and a GAA of 1.79 The defending National Champions have four good lines that can play on a regular shift. The Vipers who with a first round bye may be a little rusty. The Vipers can’t take Quesnel lightly after the Mills upset Salmon Arm in the first round. Look for Quesnel to jump on the Vipers early and go for a split in games 1 & 2. Vernon is loaded with experience with 14 veterans back from last years championship team and will be hard to knock off in a seven game series. Vernon needs to stick to their game plan and not allow the Mills to hang around.

Vernon Vipers Regular Season Scoring:

Connor Jones (36-45-81)
Mike Collins (30-46-76)
Braden Pimm (25-43-68)
Cory Kane (22-33-55)
Jonathan Milhouse (19-34-53)
Kellen Jones (12-41-53)
Rob Short (22-28-50)
Dylan Walchuk (19-28-47)
Cole Ikkala (22-23-45)
Dan Nycholat (7-38-45)
Bryce Kakoske (13-28-41)
Kevin Kraus (5-22-27)
David Robinson (15-10-25)
Adam Thompson (5-20-25)
Steven Weinstein (4-18-22)
Curtis Gedig (11-10-21)
Patrick McGillis (7-14-21)
Garrett Noonan (2-16-18)
Sahir Gill (3-9-12)
Darrin Robak (2-5-7)

Blake Voth (21-2 Record, 3 Shutouts- 1.79 GAA)
Graeme Gordon (30-7 Record, 1 Shutout- 2.06 GAA)

Vernon Vipers Regular Season Scoring Leaders vs. Quesnel:

Mike Collins (1-5-6)
Jonathan Milhouse (1-4-5)
Braden Pimm (3-2-5)
Kevin Kraus (1-4-5)
Connor Jones (3-2-5)
Patrick McGillis (1-4-5)
Bryce Kakoske (1-3-4)
Cory Kane (2-2-4)
Kellen Jones (0-3-3)
Dylan Walchuk (1-2-3)
Rob Short (1-2-3)
Dan Nycholat (1-1-2)
Garrett Noonan (1-1-2)
Darrin Robak (1-1-2)
Steven Weinstein (0-1-1)

Graeme Gordon (4-0 Record, 1 Shutout)

Quesnel Millionaires:

The Millionaires finished the regular season in 5th place in the Interior Division with a record of 22-32-0-6 The Millionaires scored 208 goals and gave up 245 goals. Quesnel was 12-16-0-2 on home ice & 10-16-0-4 on the road during the regular season. The Mills are 3-0 at home & 1-2 on the road during these Playoffs. Quesnel is 4-4-0-2 in their last 10 games. The Mills had one player in the leagues top 20 in regular season scoring. Trevor Hertz lead the way with (35-38-73)

Quesnel comes into these BCHL Playoffs having their best regular season in team history with a 5th place finish in the Interior Division. The Millionaires are in the 2nd round of the BCHL Playoffs for the first time in franchise history. Quesnel went 0-4 against Vernon during the regular season but did pull off the upset vs. 4th place Salmon Arm, so will be ready and willing to try and knock off the defending champs. Quesnel dosnt have the scoring or defence that I think can matchup against the Vipers but do have two goaltenders that when playing well and on their game, may be able to steal a win in this series and give the Mills a chance at a huge upset. The Mills have several kids who can put the puck in the net, up front, Trevor Hertz, Taylor Holst, Darick Ste-Marie, Joshua Desmarais and Justin Hoggan all are legit goal scorers. Former Vipers defenceman Eliot Raibl is solid on the Mills backend. Skyler Smutek had 128 pims during the regular season and isn’t afraid of the rough stuff. The Vipers will have to try and get lots of traffic and pucks towards the net in order to beat Kirby Halcrow. Quesnel had chances to beat Vernon in two of the four meetings between these two teams, falling 2-0 and 3-2 in overtime during the regular season. In the 2-0 loss to Vernon, Halcrow made 35 saves giving the Mills a chance for the win but fell short. In the 3-2 OT loss to the Vipers 17 yr old Luke Siemens made 47 saves getting 2nd star but still fell short of the victory. Both goaltenders will have to be at their best in order to try and stop the Vipers offensive attack. The Millionaires have yet to see David Robinson & Sahir Gill who arrived before facing the Mills. Quesnel is going to have a very tough task at trying to stop the highest scoring team in the league, as well as shutting down the Jones-Robinson line who is very dangerous with the puck on the cycle. The Mills need to jump on the Vipers early in Game 1 and try and continue to play like they did against Salmon Arm.

Quesnel Millionaires Regular Season Scoring:

Trevor Hertz (35-38-73)
Taylor Holst (27-30-57)
Darick Ste-Marie (17-35-52)
Eliot Raibl (7-39-46)
Justin Hogan (15-29-44)
Joshua Desmarais (20-22-42)
Jacob Verheyden (12-23-35)
Sam Higgins (7-28-35)
Skyler Smutek (7-27-34)
Tyler French (15-17-32)
Spencer Graboski (10-9-19)
Clayton Chessa (4-13-17)
Rylan Stanyer (3-7-10)
Mitch Galbraith (6-3-9)
Chris Kerr (4-4-8)
Tyler Billon (0-7-7)
Tyson Price (1-3-4)
Marley Keca (1-3-4)
Brandon Watson (1-2-3)
Anderson White (0-3-3)

Luke Siemens (9-12 Record, 1 Shutout- 3.70 GAA)
Kirby Halcrow (13-25 Record, 0 Shutouts- 4.23 GAA)

Quesnel Millionaires Regular Season Scoring Leaders vs. Vernon:

Taylor Holst (0-2-2)
Darick Ste-Marie (0-2-2)
Skyler Smutek (1-0-1)
Sam Higgins (0-1-1)
Eliot Raibl (0-1-1)

Luke Siemens (0-2 Record)
Kirby Halcrow (0-2 Record)

Quesnel Millionaires Playoff Scoring:

Darick Ste-Marie (8-5-13)
Justin Hogan (3-5-8)
Taylor Holst (2-6-8)
Joshua Desmarais (3-4-7)
Trever Hertz (3-3-6)
Jacob Verheyden (1-4-5)
Eliot Raibl (1-3-4)
Skyler Smutek (0-4-4)
Clayton Chessa (1-2-3)
Tyler French (1-2-3)
Spencer Graboski (2-0-2)
Sam Higgins (1-1-2)
Mitch Galbraith (0-2-2)
Chris Kerr (1-0-1)

Kirby Halcrow (4-2 Record, 0 Shutouts- 2.67 GAA)

Here’s a look at the box scores from the 1st round Playoff matchup between Quesnel & Salmon Arm:

Game 1 Friday, February 26th @ Quesnel: Quesnel wins 4-3 overtime


Game 2 Saturday, February 27th @ Quesnel: Quesnel wins 4-1


Game 3 Monday March 1st @ Salmon Arm: Salmon Arm wins 5-2


Game 4 Tuesday March 2nd @ Salmon Arm: Salmon Arm wins 5-3


Game 5 Thursday, March 4th @ Salmon Arm: Quesnel wins 8-1


Game 6 Friday, March 5th @ Quesnel: Quesnel wins 6-1


Here’s video of the final 40 or so seconds in Game 6 as Quesnel upsets Salmon Arm four games to two to win the series.


Heres a look at the season series between Vernon & Quesnel:

Friday, September 25th @ Vernon: Vernon wins 2-0

Drew George scored the game winner at 5:02 of the 1st period. Dylan Walchuk and Kevin Kraus collected the assists. Cory Kane sealed the victory with a goal at 1:45 of the 3rd period Connor Jones and Dan Nycholat picked up the assists. Vernon outshot Quesnel 37-29. Graeme Gordon picked up his first shutout of the season making 29 saves. Kirby Halcrow took the loss making 35 saves.


Thursday, October 15th @ Quesnel: Vernon wins 9-1

Connor Jones with two, Dan Nycholat, Cory Kane, Braden Pimm, Drew George, Kevin Kraus, Bryce Kakoske and Patrick McGillis scored for the Vipers. Connor Jones, Cory Kane, Jonathan Milhouse & Bryce Kakoske all picked up three points each. Graeme Gordon made 25 saves in the win. Skyler Smutek scored the Mills lone goal. Luke Siemens made five saves giving up three goals while, Kirby Halcrow made 26 saves taking the loss. Vernon outshot Quesnel 40-26.


Saturday, October 24th @ Vernon: Vernon wins 3-2 Overtime

Connor Jones & Braden Pimm scored in the 2nd period giving Vernon a 2-0 lead before Taylor Holst (shorthanded) & Matthew Herskovitz tied the game for the Mills in the 3rd sending it to Overtime. Garrett Noonan scored at 4:41 giving the Vipers the 3-2 OT victory. Vernon outshot Quesnel 50-26. Graeme Gordon made 24 saves for the win, while Luke Siemens made 47 saves in the loss.


Saturday, November 7th @ Quesnel: Vernon wins 7-1

Vernon took a 2-1 lead after the opening period before blowing the gates wide open in the final two periods. Drew George & Darrin Robak with goals for Vernon in the first, Matthew Herskovitz with the lone Mills goal on the powerplay. Jonathan Milhouse & Braden Pimm (powerplay) in the 2nd put Vernon up 4-1. In the 3rd, Rob Short, Mike Collins and Sawyer Mick scored for the Vipers in the 7-1 win. Mike Collins, Braden Pimm & Patrick McGillis all with three points, Darrin Robak, Drew George & Jonathan Milhouse had two point nights each. Graeme Gordon made 24 saves for the win, while Luke Siemens made 11 saves taking the loss. Michael Smith also saw some action giving up one goal on 11 shots. Vernon outshot Quesnel 29-25.

1 comment:

Loki said...

Can't wait for the game tonight after waiting out the first round. Hopefully Vernon can shake off the rust early and come out flying. I hope we also see more than 2500 fans to keep ticket prices reasonable for everybody. GO VIPERS!