Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Vipers Dominate Mills In Series Opener:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Vipers dominate Mills in series opener

by Don Klepp | Added 2010-03-09

Fresh off their first-ever playoff series win, the Quesnel Millionaires were brought back to earth as they were steamrolled 6-2 by the Vernon Vipers.

The score differential could have been much greater if not for the work of Mills starter Kirby Halcrow, who was bombarded by 47 shots, 20 in the second period. He got an arm or a glove on several rockets that seemed destined for the top corner and had others glance off his big frame.

The Mills were hemmed in their end for much of the last two periods as they were unable to stay with the quick Viper forwards. Meanwhile, they were able to generate only 6 scoring chances in the contest, compared to the Vipers’ 24.

Still, the game started on a promising note for the visitors. Off a determined forecheck that prevented Viper clearing attempts, Taylor Holst swept in a rebound at 8:42. It was Quesnel’s first shot on goal.

Although the Vipers looked a little rusty in the early going, they bounced back with a Rob Short deflection at 9:29. Exerting pressure of their own, the Vipers created chaos in the Quesnel zone and Kevin Kraus had all day to walk in with a wicked wrist shot that ricocheted off Short.

From that point, the Mills were unable to generate much offence, though they worked hard on defence and blocked several shots. Short added a second first-period marker at
17:24 when Cory Kane outmuscled rookie defender Taylor Egan behind the Quesnel net and fed his wide-open winger in the high slot. Short coolly picked the top corner.

The disparity in speed and quickness really became apparent in the second period, when the Vipers outshot the Mills 20-3. Despite the one-sided play, the Vipers managed just one goal when Braden Pimm roared down the right wing on an odd-man rush with Kellen Jones. Using Jones as a decoy, Pimm surprised Halcrow with a quick shot that handcuffed the big netminder.

The onslaught continued in the final frame. The Vipers generated 11 scoring chances and scored thrice more with wrist shots from the point. The first was taken by Curtis Gedig, who nimbly stopped a pass with his right skate, kicked it to his stick and fired a shot that was redirected at waist level by Pimm. At the end of the period, Gedig released another wrister that bounced in off a Quesnel defenceman. In between the Gedig shots, Cory Kane found a rebound off an Adam Thompson slap shot and maneuvered the puck around Halcrow.

Quesnel scored a consolation goal when Chris Kerr’s flick from the side of the net bounced in off Graeme Gordon’s shoulder.

The series continues Wednesday in Vernon before heading north for games on Friday and Saturday. The Millionaires hope to quickly find an answer to the puzzle that has now seen them lose 27 straight BCHL games to the Vipers.

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