Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thunder Release Former Viper Goaltender Sibbald:

Former Vernon Vipers goaltender, Mark Sibbald was released by the CHL Wichita Thunder back on October 14th 2010. Sibbald played two seasons in Vernon (2003-05) before playing four years at Brown University. Sibbald signed with the Thunder back on September, 27th 2010 but was released just before the start of the regular season. Sibbald split time among three teams and two leagues in 2009-10. The Ridgeway, Ontario native opened, and finished, his rookie campaign with eventual SPHL champion Huntsville. Sibbald anchored the Havoc crease with a 2.82 goals against average and a .910 save percentage that produced a 15-4-3 record. In between his tours with Huntsville, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound Sibbald was 5-4-1 during an 11-game stint for the Mississippi RiverKings, including a stretch where he won five consecutive starts in an eight-day span from January 22nd-29th. The 26-year old also appeared in one game for the Laredo Bucks.

Interior Conference Wrap:

This is in the BC Hockey Now Newspaper:

Interior Conference Wrap

By / Ryan Pinder

With the World Junior A Challenge now finished in Penticton, the Interior Conference teams will see seven of the best BCHLers return to their club teams.

While pundits and scouts will sift through the ashes of a disappointing fourth place finish for Team Canada West that saw the first time in the five-year event that they weren’t in the gold medal game, players will be happy to return their attention to a tight Interior Conference approaching the mid-way mark on the schedule.

Trail Smoke Eaters

Forwards Sam Mellor (‘92) and Travis St. Denis (‘92) have been garnering lots of press for their selection to Team Canada West, but 20-year-old Scott Jacklin recorded ten points in the six games without his wingers, and has produced no matter who he plays with. Cullen Bradshaw (‘90) also put up ten points with Mellor and St. Denis gone, and was named the BCHL Player of the Week on November 15th. Mellor and St. Denis combined for just 3 points over the five games played at the WJAC.

Salmon Arm Silverbacks

Kudos to the ‘Backs for beating their most hated rivals from Vernon in a home-and-home series during the WJAC. While, Dylan Walchuk was out for Vernon, the Silverbacks impressively erased a 3-1 deficit in the third period at home to complete the feat. F - Mike Krgovich (‘90) did not report to Salmon Arm after being dealt from Surrey for D – Josh Monk (‘92). Head Coach and GM Tim Kehler moved his rights to Coquitlam for D - Paul DeJersey (’92) and F - Justin Elliott (‘92).

Penticton Vees

The Vees have fallen back from the lead of the Interior due to playing just twice over the first two weeks of November. With the WJAC hosted at the SOEC and the annual pillaging of their roster for players, Fred Harbinson scheduled just two road affairs. This year three Vees made Team Canada West. Over the tournament OHL defender Paul Bezzo (‘90) was added, and F - Mike Betz (‘92) was acquired from Trail. F - Jake Charles (‘92) was moved to Coquitlam.

Vernon Vipers

The Vipers find themselves in unfamiliar territory: Not in top spot. Without leading scorer Dylan Walchuk (‘92), the Vipers earned just three of a possible eight points over the WJAC. Walchuk was arguably Canada West’s best player in the tournament, and his presence was missed in Vernon’s line-up. Despite the recent mediocrity, the Vipers are in the thick of a great battle for the bye with their strong commitment to defense. Shocking to see more loses than wins (including overtime) for the Snakes in Vernon this year.

Westside Warriors

The Westside Warriors appeared to have figured out their goaltending dilemma. Or have they? Cam Gorchynski (‘92) has been moved to Victoria, while Kevin Boyle (‘90) is the lone net-minder left on the roster; for now. Expect the Warriors to hunt down another veteran of the BCHL to push incumbent Kevin Boyle (‘90) for playing time, or perhaps supplant him as the starter. G - Cole Holowenko (‘93) has been added to the Westside roster. Where he fits in regarding playing time and priority as compared to Kevin Boyle remains to be seen.

Merritt Centennials

The Centennials have been tough at the Nicola Valley Arena this season earning at least a point in eight of their first dozen home games. Merritt’s defensive play has improved measurably. From October 23rd to November 16th – a stretch of nine games - the club hasn’t allowed more than three goals against. New G - Lino Chimienti (‘90) has been a big reason why. Bigger crowds, a new standard of professionalism, and more success on the ice has Luke Pierce’s Centennials riding high.

Prince George Spruce Kings

After a nice run of four straight wins around Halloween, the Spruce Kings reverted to their losing ways by dropping their next four games; allowing 19 goals over the stretch. Halfway through their home schedule, PG has just four wins in a building that used to be much harder on road weary opponents. 20-year-old defender Justin Fillion is having a great season with the Spruce Kings averaging a point a game, while seeing more ice-time than a Zamboni each night.

Quesnel Millionaires

The scoring woes for Quesnel refuse to go away. Through the Millionaires first 24 games of the season they have just one game where they have scored four goals in regulation. The club is last in goals scored in the BCHL - averaging a dreadful two tallies per game. Quesnel’s putrid power play has scored on the man advantage just six times in 107 attempts far and away the worst in the BCHL. Just one win in eleven road games haven’t helped matters either.

BCHL Coastal Conference Team Reports:

This is in the BC Hockey Now Newspaper:

BCHL Coastal Conference Team Reports

Friday, November 19, 2010 /

By Mark Janzen /

When it comes to the BCHL’s Coastal Conference, defence is something of a faux pas. It’s not very fun to say and it’s not very fun to watch. So, it seems, the league’s westerly conference is doing its amiable best to make sure the d-word is used as infrequently as possible—unless one is speaking in lacking terms.

But alas, and small jokes aside, defence is still pretty important. And, to be frank, the coaches darn well know that. So this week, BC Hockey Now takes a look at the oft-muted bluelines of the Coastal Conference.


Now the Kings, as has become well documented, are actually all about defence and proving that it works just fine in the BCHL. Powell River has only allowed 45 goals all season (1.80 goals against average) and is led by a core of seven solid defencemen. Justin Dasilva leads the defence with 23 points in 22 games, while Craig Dairymple is second with 15 points in 25 games. After that, the offence drops but the defence doesn’t as imports Jon Jutzi and Chris Williams lead a hard-hitting group of depth blueliners.


So far, the Chiefs have allowed the third most goals in the BCHL with 102 in 27 games. They just also happen to be the highest scoring team in the league as they’ve scored 116 goals to counteract what has been something of a suspect blueline. Tim Daly and Tyler Miller lead the offensive charges from the back-end as they have 17 and 15 points respectively. After that, the defence has relied on Trace Strahle, Kevin Tuohy and Ryan Bakken.


The Eagles have long been known for fun, fire wagon hockey and this year is no different. And, as one might expect from a team that operates the top powerplay in the league (30.1 per cent), the back-end is responsible for a fair share of the offence. Mitch Jones is fourth on the team in scoring, right after the Eagles top line, with 25 points, while Riley Sweeney has 19 points, both having played 25 games.


While the Grizzlies 3.50 goals against per game doesn’t jump out as exceptional, in the BCHL it’s not too bad. It’s pretty much middle of the pack. Like Surrey, Victoria has two strong offensive blueliners – Graeme Strukoff and Sean Robertson – and then a cast of defensive types and youngsters. Strukoff came in a deal from Trail earlier this year and since arriving has 10 points in 12 games. Rookie 16-year-old Braxton Bilous has been a nice addition as he’s a quality stay-at-home blueliner who has been playing well beyond his years.


After Powell River, the Bulldogs are the top defensive team in the conference as they’ve only allowed 77 goals in 23 games. It’s not really close to the Kings numbers but it’s better than all the rest. After the Bulldogs had a 2.40 GAA last year, which was the best in the conference, they have seen that number jumped to 3.20 this year. They only had three returning defenseman, in Ryan Renz, Frankie Riddle and Brody Lynott but new imports Kenney Morrison (15 points) and Connor Varley (10 points) have helped to bridge the gap.


Compared to last year, having a 3.70 goals against average is a marked improvement. In fact, it’s half a goal better per game than last year. Rookie import Riley McIntosh has been a strong addition as the 6-5 defencemen has 16 points and has played in all 24 games this year for the Express. Jared Eng has also been a solid acquisition from Victoria as well as Matthew Hutchinson from Quesnel.


In 2007/08, the Clippers were the best defensive team in the conference as they only allowed 2.60 goals per game. But since then, it has steadily declined. In 2008-09, they had a 3.10 GAA and last year that number bumped up to 3.40. Now, it’s 3.50. Graeme McCormack has 23 points in 23 games but after that, it’s a little thin as they’ve been forced to use nine defenceman this year.


It’s not real pretty in Cowichan Valley. The team is in the Coastal Conference basement and a lot of the blame can be put on the defensive side of things. They are allowing 4.40 goals against per game, which is tied with Prince George for the worst in the BCHL and they have already given up 114 goals in 26 games. On the bright side, they do have three defensemen amongst their top nine scorers: Alex Halloran (third with 17 points), Darrin Robak (sixth with nine points) and Troy Paterson (ninth with seven points).

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ice Fylers Sign Former Viper Captain Kraus:

Former Vernon Vipers captain, Kevin Kraus has signed with the SPHL Pensacola Ice Flyers. Kraus played three seasons in Vernon (2008-2010) helping the Vipers win back to back Royal Bank Cups in his final two seasons. Kraus was captain of the Vipers in his final season in Vernon. Kraus signed with the CHL Texas Brahmas on July 17th 2010 before being waived by the Brahmas on November, 6th 2010. In seven games with the Brahmas Kraus went pointless. Kraus now joins former Vernon Vipers forward, Rob Short who also signed with the Ice Fylers this year.

This is posted on the Ice Fylers website:

Ice Flyers' Sign Kraus

November 27, 2010

Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) Pensacola Ice Flyers

PENSACOLA, FL - The Ice Flyers' formally announced today the signing of Kevin Kraus for the 2010-2011 season. Kevin is former captain of the 6 Time Champion Vernon Vipers of the BCHL, including this past year's League Championship.
Kevin will strengthen the Ice Flyers' stout defensive unit. "We are really excited to bring in Kevin and I am looking forward to what he will bring to the locker room and on the ice," says Head Coach/GM Todd Gordon. Matt Whitehead, the second leading scorer on the team mentioned, "He is a really good player and I am looking forward to him joining the squad."

The Ice Flyers head into tonight's game 7-5 and in control of 3rd place in the SPHL. The puck drops tonight against at 7:05pm the Ice Flyers' bitter I-10 rivals, the Louisiana IceGators.

For more information about the Pensacola Ice Flyers, visit http://www.pensacolaiceflyers.com/ or http://www.thesphl.com/

2010-11 Vernon Vipers Players Intro Video:

Kiss FM's Rob Abramenko has once again made one of his great Vernon Vipers video's, Here is this years 2010-11 Vernon Vipers player introductions video. Check it out,


Sunday, November 28, 2010

David Robinson Post-Game Interview:

Michael Fox interviews Vernon Vipers captain, David Robinson after his two goals lead the Vipers to a big 4-1 victory over the Trail Smoke Eaters Friday night. Here's the Vipers captain's thoughts on his two goals and the Viper victory,


Vipers Snuff First-Place Smokies:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers snuff first-place Smokies

By Graeme Corbett - Vernon Morning Star

Published: November 27, 2010

The Vernon Vipers brought their appetites to Wesbild Centre Friday night. The main course – the Interior Conference-leading Trail Smoke Eaters.

David Robinson sparked the Vernon offence with two goals and a first-star performance as the Vipers devoured the Smokies 4-1 before 1,800 fans.

The Viper captain opened the scoring early, barreling up the right wing and ripping a shot past Kiefer Smiley for his 14th goal at 3:15.

The Smokies responded a minute later when birthday boy Clayton McEwan collected his first of the season, directing a one-handed chip past Blake Voth. Trail’s Sam Mellor sidestepped a check from Trevor Fitzgerald at the blueline before delivering the centering pass for the assist.

Kyle Murphy (7th) got a slight touch on defenceman Elliott Richardson’s point shot to give Vernon a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission.

Vernon head coach Mark Ferner talked a lot with his team about working for their opportunities, and he started to see that happen during their recent four-game road swing on the coast. It carried over to Friday night.

“This trip that we went on, we like to think that might have turned a little corner with our work ethic,” he said.

“The process is sometimes more important than the result. It all goes back to work ethic. It’s nice to see some of our guys get success because of it.”

After nearly half a game of penalty-free hockey, the Smoke Eaters, now tied for second in the Interior at 19-10-0-1, started taking sloppy penalties and the fourth-place Vipers (15-8-1-6) made them pay.

Second star Marcus Basara (2A) delivered a quick feed to the front of the net where Robinson angled the puck past Smiley for his team-high 15th goal, a powerplay marker at 13:25.

With the recent acquisition of forward Zach McPhee, Ferner took the opportunity to juggle all his lines in search of some offensive chemistry.

Basara, a Coquitlam native, made the most of his time on a line with veterans Bryce Kakoske (third star) and Robinson.

“It was good playing with those players and it was good to hook up out on the ice,” said Basara, 17. “A couple good plays by Kak and he got the puck down low to me and I slid it over to Dave and a nice finish by him.

“We knew coming into the game that it was a huge, huge game for us, probably the biggest of the season so far. And to come out and do it in a 4-1 fashion is something that we needed for our hockey club. It gives us confidence moving forward now.”

Despite missing his top scorer (Scott Jacklin) and two of his best defencemen (Jake Baker and Rajan Sidhu), Trail head coach Jim Ingram wasn’t about to ease up on his team’s lacklustre performance.

"We were gross. We didn't deserve to win, we didn't win any puck battles,” he said. "They were just a hungrier team and we were sitting there waiting around.

"It (missing key players) doesn't matter, you have to find a way to compete.

“I call into question what we’re trying to accomplish here if they think that’s going to get the job done. That isn’t even close to the team that I stand behind the bench of.”

The Smokies have had to use 36 call-ups so far this year, including Vernon’s Tanner Burns (KIJHL Nelson Leafs), who played his fifth game with Trail Friday night.

About the only Trail player Ingram had any praise for was Smiley (32 saves), who aside from Vernon’s first goal, was solid most of the night.

Said the Trail tender: “I don’t know why, but we just decided not to show up. It was an unfortunate loss and an important one at that.”

At the other end, Voth wasn’t overly busy facing 16 shots, but he came up with a few beauty saves.

The Herbert, Sask. product, who will undoubtedly be cheering on the Roughriders in today’s 98th Grey Cup, stuffed Logan Proulx on a breakaway early in the third period.

He then came up with a Dominik Hasek-like glove save on Paul Mailey a little later in the frame. It came on the shift after Vernon’s fourth goal by Fitzgerald (7th), and it helped to keep his team’s momentum.

The Vipers’ Aaron Hadley set up the goal by forcing a turnover behind the Trail net, then firing a quick feed to Fitzgerald in the slot for a five-hole one-timer.

The Vipers, 4-3-0-3 in their last 10 games, entertain the Westside Warriors (16-9-1-2) Friday night at Wesbild, and complete the home-and-home series Saturday at Royal LePage Place in West Kelowna.

The fifth-place Warriors trail the Vipers by two points.

They end next weekend with a Sunday matinee against the Surrey Eagles (16-11-1-1) at Wesbild.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Former Viper Bishop Reassigned To Bulldogs:

Former Vernon Vipers forward, Hunter Bishop has been recalled to the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs. Bishop played three seasons with the Vipers (2005-07 & 2007-08) before playing two seasons at Ohio State University.

This is posted on the Nailers website:

Bishop Recalled to Hamilton

Wheeling Nailers

Nov 26, 2010

Wheeling, WV - The Wheeling Nailers announced Friday that forward Hunter Bishop has been reassigned to the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League by the Montreal Canadians.

Bishop registered five points (2g, 3a) in nine games played this season with the Nailers. Prior to Wheeling, he spent the past two seasons as a standout player at Ohio State University. In two seasons with the Buckeyes, Bishop registered 58 points (29 goals and 29 assists). He appeared in nine games with Hamilton last spring and scored two goals and three assists.

The 6-0, 195-pound forward led the Vernon Vipers (BCHL) in scoring during the 2007-2008 season amassing 97 points in just 60 games played. Bishop was signed as a free agent by the Montreal Canadiens on March 19, 2010.

The Nailers also announced earlier this week that defenseman Alan Dorich has been released by the team. Dorich appeared in two games for Wheeling this season posting an assist and four penalty minutes.

Vipers Stifle Smoke Eaters:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

vipers stifle Smoke Eaters

by Don Klepp Added 2010-11-27

The high powered Trail Smoke Eaters could muster just 16 shots on goal as they lost 4-1 to the Vipers in Vernon on Friday.

Trail came into to the game with the second best road power play in the league, but they got only two chances to display that vaunted unit and they were shut down both times.

A new line of David Robinson, Bryce Kakoske, and Marcus Basara led the way for the Vipers, with Robinson scoring twice while Kakoske and Basara assisted on both tallies.

Robinson opened the scoring at 3:15 of the first period on the Vipers’ initial shot on net. Basara got the play rolling with a head man pass to Kakoske on the left wing. As Kakoske approached the Trail blue line, he fed a crisp diagonal pass to Robinson, who had time and space to rip a low shot past Kiefer Smiley’s stick.

Just over a minute later, Clayton McEwan equalized for Trail. On his 19th birthday, the Kelowna native trailed Sam Mellor into the Viper zone and hammered in a long rebound after Blake Voth’s right pad had stopped Mellor’s shot.

From that point on, the Smoke Eaters were stifled by the Viper team defence, and when they did muster some scoring chances, Voth was solid for Vernon.

The Viper regained the lead at 8:03, on a nice deflection by Kyle Murphy, who got his stick on an Elliott Richardson point shot.

Partly because of four Smoke Eater penalties in the second period, the Vipers dominated the middle frame, out shooting the Smokies 14-2. On one of those penalties, David Robinson registered his second of the game, at 13:25.

After he had drawn a hooking penalty by Curtis Tonello at 12:32, Robinson sat out a shift, but scored about 30 seconds into his subsequent shift. He finished off a pretty three-way passing play that was started by Bryce Kakoske and continued by Marcus Basara, who threaded the puck through a defenceman’s legs for Robinson’s tap in at the crease.

Rookies Trevor Fitzgerald and Aaron Hadley completed the scoring at 8:03 of the third period. They converged on the birthday boy, Clayton McEwan, in the Trail zone. First, Fitzgerald dislodged the puck, but it came free for McEwan to take it behind his net. There, Hadley deftly poke checked McEwan and fed Fitzgerald in front for a fierce one-timer.

Game Notes:

• Vernonite Zach McPhee played his first game as a Viper, skating on a line with buddy Colton Sparrow and Darren Nowick.

• Another Vernon product, Max Mowat, missed the game with an injury suffered last weekend.

• The Smoke Eaters were without Scott Jacklin, Rajan Sidhu, Jake Baker, and Joey Baker.

• After losing three in a row, the Vipers have now taken 7 of a possible 8 points in their last four games, dominating play for long stretches in each of those games. In the four games between the two teams so far this season, Trail has won twice at hoem while Vernon has won the two matches in Vernon.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Vernon 4 Trail 1

I was at tonights BCHL game as Vernon defeated Trail 4-1 in front of 1,789 fans at the Wesbild Centre.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Blake Voth
Trail: Kiefer Smiley

1st Period: Not much action in the opening few minutes before David Robinson got the Vipers on the scoreboard early. Bryce Kakoske setup the Vipers captain who ripped a shot past veteran goaltender Kiefer Smiley at 3:15 on the Vipers first shot on goal, giving Vernon a 1-0 lead. Kakoske and Marcus Basara collected the assists. On the next shift Vipers forward Mike Zalewski took a missed high stick in the mouth, Zalewski went down and then headed straight for the dressing room but did return later on. Just over a minute after Vernons goal, Sam Mellor with a nice move in close setup, Clayton McEwan who beat Blake Voth at 4:17 as Trail tied the game 1-1. Mellor with the lone helper. On the next shift Smokies backup goaltender, Matt Larose took a puck to the mouth, as Vipers owner Ducan Wray was in the Trail tunnel taking a look at the Trail netminder. Larose holding a towel over his mouth would stay on the Smoke Eaters bench. Some good back and forth action at both ends of the rink, but with very little scoring chances. Colton Sparrow then took a missed high stick to the side of the face-head, Sparrow headed off to the Vernon bench but stayed in the hockey game. Vernon would grab a 2-1 lead after Elliott Richardson's shot was tipped in front by Kyle Murphy at 8:03 Richardson and Adam Thompson picked up the assists. Kiefer Smiley then made a nice glove save on Vipers captain David Robinson just after the midway mark. Just three minutes later Blake Voth come up with two big saves down low on Travis St. Denis & Cullen Bradshaw. Vernon slowly started to take over the period in the second half controlling the better of the play. Vernon rookie defenceman, Brett Corkey with a slick move cutting in front of his own net, carried the puck up ice before getting off a quick shot inside the Trail zone but was stopped by the pad of Kiefer Smiley. Vernon who played physical most of the night, were finishing their checks and letting the Smokies know they were there. Marcus Basara then tried sneaking inbehind the Smokies defence, getting a parcial breakaway but couldnt handle the puck and was unable to get a shot off. Brett Corkey with a shot from the point missed the net, rebouding off the back boards right to a wide open Dylan Walchuk who tried going for the quick wrap around but Smiley slide across making a huge left toe save off the second year Viper. The Vipers with some good chances in the final six or so minutes couldnt capitalise. David Robinson with a chance in front in the dying seconds was stopped by Smiley. The Vipers with a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of play. Vernon outshot Trail 14-8.

2nd Period: Off the opening draw Mike Zalewski with a great chance from in close but just ripped his shot high and over the top corner. Vernon come out strong hemming Trail in their own end in the opening few minutes. The Smokies who looked flat looked like a much different team come the middle frame. The Vipers who were skating hard were moving the puck well most of the night. The Vipers would get the games first powerplay, coming up with three real good chances in close as Smiley was down and out but Vernon couldnt get the puck up and over the second year Smoke Eater. Trail would kill off the minor before jumping on their first powerplay of the night. The Smokies with just a single shot in the first half of the period managed just one shot on the man advantage as Vernon would kill off the penalty. The Vipers would head back on the powerplay and this time capitalize. Marcus Basara with his second helper of the night, setup David Robinson in front who beat Smiley at 13:25 giving the Viper captain his second of the night and Vernon a 3-1 lead. Basara and Bryce Kakoske collected the assists. Just seconds later Vernon would go back on yet their third powerplay. The Vipers would struggle as Trail would kill off the minor. Just a minute later the Vipers would head back on the man advantage but again struggle. Cullen Bradshaw who was one of Trails more consistant players did a great job on the penalty kill as the Smoke Eaters killed off yet another Vernon powerplay. Vernon was by far the better of the two teams up 3-1 after 40 minutes of play. The Vipers outshot the Smoke Eaters 14-8.

3rd Period: Just two minutes into the period Logan Proulx would get a breakaway with Brett Corkey chasing him down, Proulx would get off a shot but was stopped by Voth. This wasnt a very entertaining 3rd as Vernon was just trying to get the puck in deep and kill off as much off the clock as possible without giving up a goal. The Smoke Eaters who were down by two goals couldnt seem to get much offence going with some good defensive play by the Vipers. Blake Voth made one of his two huge glove saves in the 3rd, one off of Eric Walker whos point shot got through and then robbed a Smoke Eaters play from the slot (didnt see who it was). The Vipers would then take a 4-1 lead at 8:03 after some strong forecheck by Aaron Hadley and Trevor Fitzgerald. Both Fitzgerald and Hadley battled hard down low along the boards, Hadley who did all the work inbehind the Trail goal, fed Fitzgerald in the slot who beat Smiley fivehole gave Vernon a three goal lead. Hadley with the lone assist on the play. Travis St. Denis who was pretty quiet most of the night was starting to get frustrated, St. Denis took a good run at Bryce Kakoske along the side wall, giving the Vernon forward a few crosschecks in the back, before getting involved with David Robinson wich gave both players minors on the play. Vernon who has had trouble holding leads in the final period played a pretty good 3rd. Trail would get a late powerplay but with very little presure was unable to capitalize. The Vipers would then get a late powerplay in the dying seconds but Vernon just allowed the clock to tick down giving them a huge 4-1 victory over the Trail Smoke Eaters. Vernon outshot Trail 8-6.

Top Players: (Vernon)

Malcolm Lyles who carried the puck several times tonight, tried jumping up into the play on several rushes. I thought the first year Viper played very well at both ends of the rink.

Brett Corkey was by far Vernons best defenceman tonight. Corkey also played and looked very strong at both ends of the rink. Corkey who showed good hustle looked very good defensively.

Elliot Richardson (1 assist) Started out slow to start the season, making several turnovers in his own end but has slowly started to come along and been playing much better as of late. I thought Richardson played fairly well tonight, seemed to have a little confidence through out tonights game, carrying-rushing the puck on several occasions.

The line of David Robinson (2 goals), Bryce Kakoske (2 assists) & Marcus Basara (2 assists) was the Vipers most dangerous line. Robinson played very well up front, getting some good chances. Basara who was another Viper rookie who started out a little slow to start the season, seems to be coming along the past few weeks. Basara who didnt really have any scoring chances, seemed to do a few of the little things that made him stand out. I really thought he used his speed down low getting around a few Smoke Eaters d-men.

Blake Voth (15 saves) Played his best game of the season last Sunday afternoon making 30 saves in a 2-1 victory in Surrey. Well even though he wasnt tested much tonight, I thought Voth come up with the big saves when needed & looked very strong tonight. After struggling to start the season (not making the big saves when needed) and allowing two soft goals against Salmon Arm in a 3-2 loss at home a few weekends back, Voth seems to be playing much better and seems to have some confidence latley. This is the goaltender that Viper fans saw last season and I think both the Vipers and their fans figured we would see again this year. Blake Voth has to be sharp, have the confidence and come up with the big saves when needed for the Vipers to have any kind of sucess this season.

Top Players: (Trail)

Eric Walker was Trails best defenceman. I thought Walker played a solid game on the Smokies backend. Walker looked very strong and mobile on the blueline most of the night.

Cullen Bradshaw was the Smoke Eaters most consistant player up front. Bradshaw played well on the penalty kill and looked good with the puck. Bradhsaw & Walker were the only real Trail players that stood out tonight.

Game Thoughts: (Vernon)

Other then the first opening ten or so minutes tonight was a pretty convincing 4-1 victory for the Vipers. Vernon who lost the first two games to the Smokies (Both games in Trail) have now won the last two games vs Trail (both games in Vernon) This was a pretty big game for both hockey clubs, as Vernon with the win now jumps up into 3rd place in a very tight Interior Division and are now just two points back of 1st place. After coming home with a 2-3 record on a five game road trip, the Vipers have now played to very well back to back games wich both have ended up in wins. Lets hope now the Vipers can start playing with a little more consistancy and get on a bit of a roll here, something they have had troubles with all season. I thought Vernon played and looked fairly good tonight playing against one of the top teams in the Interior Division. I really liked the physical play, well more of the team finishing their checks and just letting the Smokies know they were out their. Nice to see the goaltening playing with a little more confidence and making the big saves when needed. Giving up just 16 shots against one of the leagues highest scoring teams has to be very pleasing for the Vernon coaching staff. Its also nice to see the team put up four goals on the scoreboard, scoring goals have been hard to come by this season for the Vipers so to score four goals and against a top goaltender in Kiefer Smiley will add a little confidence in the forwards. Give credit to the Vipers defence who did a great job at shutting down Trails top players. Vernons defence played very well all game. Vernon product Zach McPhee who wore Cory Kanes old jersey #11 looked pretty good in his Vipers debut after being re-assigned last week from the WHL Tri-City Americans. McPhee who is one of the bigger Vipers played physical, always finished his checks and didnt back down from the corners or battles in front of the net. Played on a line with Darren Nowick and Colton Sparrow didnt really get too involved offensively. I think with his size and physical play McPhee will add some toughness and grit to the Vipers roster.

Game Thoughts: (Trail)

I thought Trail played and looked fairly well in the games first ten minutes or so but seemed to go in a different direction as the period and game went along. The Smokies looked very flat and didnt have any jump-energy in the 2nd period getting just two shots on goal the entire period. In the third down two two goals couldnt get much offence going. You can bet Jim Ingram wont be pleased with his clubs effort and performance tonight. Trails top players were no where to be seen and didnt produce. I didnt think the Smoke Eaters battled or competed hard enough to compete and play with Vernon tonight.



Max Mowat (Injured)
Patrick McGillis (Injured)
Todd Skirving


Jake Baker
Ryan Dixon
Scott Jacklin
Rejan Sidhu
Joey Baker

3 Stars:

1st Star: David Robinson (2 goals)
2nd Star: Marcus Basara (2 assists)
3rd Star: Bryce Kakoske (2 assists)

(Game Preview) Trail @ Vernon:

Trail (12-9-0-1) @ Vernon (14-8-1-6)

Tonight is the fourth meeting of the season between the defending back to back Royal Bank Cup Champion Vernon Vipers & the Trail Smoke Eaters. Vernon is coming home after a five game road trip wich saw the team finish 3-2. This is the first of a two game road trip for the Smoke Eaters with stops in Vernon & Merritt. This is just the Smoke Eaters second visit to the Wesbild Centre this year.

Last Game Played:

Sunday, November 21st Vernon defeated Surrey 2-1
Saturday, November 20th Trail defeated Prince George 4-2

Next Game:

Friday, December 3rd Westside @ Vernon
Saturday, November 27th Trail @ Merritt

Let's take a look at the Vernon Vipers:

Games Played: 29
Wins: 14
Losses: 8
Ties: 1
Overtime Losses: 6
Home Record: 5-3-1-3
Road Record: 9-5-0-3
Streak: One game winning streak
Last Ten Games: 4-3-0-3
Goals For: 93
Goals Against: 77
Standings: 3rd Place

Since the 2002-03 season Vernon is 39-12-1-0 vs. Trail

Since the 2002-03 season Vernon has outscored Trail 211-123

Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon is 18-4-0-0 at home vs. Trail

Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon is 14-6-1-1 in Trail

Trails last win in Vernon was a 5-2 victory back on Saturday, October 4th 2008

The Vernon Lakers changed their name to the Vernon Vipers to start the 1995-96 season. Here’s a look at the Vipers all-time regular season record

Games Played: 929
Wins: 597
Losses: 242
Ties: 11
Overtime Losses: 82

For more stats & former Vernon Junior Hockey Team rosters & lineups please visit Paul’s Vernon Junior Hockey History website,


Returning Players:

Bryce Kakoske (90)
David Robinson (90)
Blake Voth (91)
Steve Weinstein (90)
Adam Thompson (90)
Dylan Walchuk (92)
Patrick McGillis (91)

Departing & traded players from last years team:

Connor Jones (90)
Mike Collins (90)
Braden Pimm (89)
Cory Kane (90)
Jonathan Milhouse (89)
Kellen Jones (90)
Rob Short (89)
Cole Ikkala (90)
Dan Nycholat (89)
Kevin Kraus (89)
Curtis Gedig (91)
Garrett Noonan (91)
Sahir Gill (92)
Darrin Robak (91)
Graeme Gordon (89)

Vernons Powerplay vs. Trail this season:


Vernons scoring leaders vs. Trail this season:

John Knisley (1-1-2)
Michael Zalewski (0-2-2)
Malcolm Lyles (1-1-2)
David Robinson (2-0-2)
Kyle Murphy (0-2-2)
Dylan Walchuk (1-0-1)
Trevor Fitzgerald (0-1-1)
Aaron Hadley (0-1-1)
Darren Nowick (0-1-1)
Patrick McGillis (1-0-1)
Adam Thompson (0-1-1)
Bryce Kakoske (0-1-1)
Max Mowat (1-0-1)
Brett Corkey (0-1-1)

Blake Voth (1-2 Record)

Key’s and Notes to tonight’s game:

-Blake Voth is the leagues 3rd best goaltender with a 2.34 GAA

-Vipers captain David Robinson has an assist in two straight games

-Bryce Kakoske has atleast a point in his last five games

-Tonight is just the Vipers third home in the mont of November

-Vernon has lost three out of their last four home games

-The Vipers have three of the next four games on home ice

-The Vipers will need to get lots of pucks towards veteran goaltender Kiefer Smiley who is 2-0 against Vernon this year

-The Vipers hopefully can build off a huge 2-1 victory in Surrey last Sunday afternoon

-Forward Zach McPhee should be making his Vipers debut tonight

Let's take a look at the Trail Smoke Eaters:

Games Played: 29
Wins: 19
Losses: 9
Ties: 0
Overtime Losses: 1
Home Record: 13-2-0-1
Road Record: 6-7-0-0
Streak: One Game Winning Streak
Last Ten Games: 6-2-1-1
Goals For: 110
Goals Against: 83
Standings: Tied for 1st Place with Penticton

For more info, stats and great coverage on the Smoke Eaters, please visit Jon Zack’s Trail Smoke Eaters blog, http://smokeeatersblog.com/

Returning Players:

Scott Jacklin (90)
Sam Mellor (92)
Travis St. Denis (92)
Paul Mailey (90)
Steve Koshey (91)
Graeme Strukoff (91)
Curtis Tonello (90)
Ben Matthews (91)
Steve Oursov (91)
Kiefer Smiley (90)

Departing & traded players from last years team:

Nick Sandor (89)
Michael Betz (92)
Darnell Dyck (91)
Matt Wilkins (91)
Wade Bennett (90)
Mitch Kaufmann (91)
Sean Nugent (89)
Tommy Rizzardo (90)
Justin Brown (91)
Eric Walker (93)
Thomas Abenante (90)
Taylor Swaffield (89)
Garrett Beckwith (90)
Graeme Strukoff (91)
Steve Oursov (91)

Trails Powerplay vs. Vernon this season:


Trails scoring leaders vs. Vernon this season:

Sam Mellor (2-1-3)
Travis St. Denis (1-2-3)
Scott Jacklin (1-1-2)
Rajan Sidhu (0-2-2)
Dylan Tappe (1-0-1)
Paul Mailey (0-1-1)
Jake Baker (0-2-2)
Beau Blanaru (1-0-1)
Ben Matthews (0-1-1)
Matthew Laboucane (0-1-1)
Sam Mellor (0-1-1)

Kiefer Smiley (2-0 Record)
Matt Larose (0-1 Record)

Since both teams faced off against one another in a home & home series back on Otober 16th the Smoke Eaters have made a few trades since then. Let’s take a look.

01-Nov-10 The Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey Club transfers the playing rights of Steve Oursov (91)(F) and future considerations to the Langley Chiefs Hockey Club in exchange for the playing rights of Max Fielder (93)(F).

10-Nov-10 The Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey Club transfers the playing rights of Mike Betz (92)(D) to the Penticton Vees Hockey Club in exchange for future considerations

24-Nov-10 The Penticton Vees Hockey Club transfer the playing rights of Jason Nash (91)(D) to the Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey Club to complete the future considerations for the Michael Betz transaction completed earlier in the season.

Key’s and Notes to tonight’s game:

-Kiefer Smiley has stopped 90 out of Vernons 94 shots so far in both games vs. the Vipers this season

- Scott Jacklin (13-34-47), Sam Mellor (23-20-43) & Travis St. Denis (19-21-40) are in the leagues top twenty in scoring

- Matt Larose & Kiefer Smiley are both in the leagues top ten goaltenders

- Cullen Bradshaw has a goal in three straight games

-Trail has the leagues 4th best powerplay & the leagues 2nd best penalty kill

-Its been three years since the Smokies last won in Vernon

-Trail has won six out of its last eight games

-The Smoke Eaters have dropped two out of their last three games on the road

-Trail is 0-1 in Vernon this season

-Getting off to a good start will be key for both teams

-Goaltending is always key

-Specialty teams will be key for both teams

-Trail holds just a four point lead on Vernon in the standings

Here’s a look at the season series between these two teams:

Friday, October 1st @ Trail: Trail wins 3-2 double overtime



No Scoring


Vernon Vipers at 9:46 (SH) - Dylan Walchuk from Trevor Fitzgerald
Trail Smoke Eaters at 13:58 (PP) - Graeme Strukoff from Travis St. Denis and Sam Mellor
Trail Smoke Eaters at 15:22 - Dylan Tappe from Steve Oursov


Vernon Vipers at 8:44 - John Knisley from Michael Zalewski and Aaron Hadley


Trail Smoke Eaters at 4:39 - Sam Mellor from Graeme Strukoff

Vernon outshot Trail 48-37. Kiefer Smiley made 46 saves for the win, while Blake Voth made 35 saves taking the loss.


Friday, October 15th @ Trail: Trail wins 3-2



Vernon Vipers at 6:37 (PP) - Patrick McGillis from Malcolm Lyles and Darren Nowick
Trail Smoke Eaters at 10:59 - Beau Blanaru from Matthew Laboucane and Rajan Sidhu
Trail Smoke Eaters at 13:40 (PP) - Sam Mellor from Travis St. Denis and Scott Jacklin
Trail Smoke Eaters at 16:26 - Scott Jacklin from Ben Matthews and Jake Baker


No Scoring


Vernon Vipers at 9:44 - Dylan Walchuk from Bryce Kakoske and Kyle Murphy

Vernon outshot Trail 46-21. Kiefer Smiley makes 44 saves for the win, while Blake Voth makes 18 saves in the loss.


Saturday, October 16th @ Vernon: Vernon wins 3-1



Trail Smoke Eaters at 0:31 (PP) - Travis St. Denis from Sam Mellor and Jake Baker
Vernon Vipers at 8:20 - David Robinson from Bryce Kakoske and Kyle Murphy
Vernon Vipers at 10:40 (PP) - Max Mowat from Michael Zalewski and Brett Corkey


No Scoring


Vernon Vipers at 12:16 - Malcolm Lyles from John Knisley

Trail outshot Vernon 19-18. Blake Voth made 18 saves for the win, while Matt Larose made 15 saves in the loss.


Here's a look at both teams rosters:


Dylan Walchuk (11-17-28)
Bryce Kakoske (10-17-27)
John Knisley (8-16-22)
David Robinson (13-10-23)
Michael Zalewski (8-10-18)
Aaron Hadley (8-10-18)
Kyle Murphy (6-11-17)
Malcolm Lyles (4-9-13)
Adam Thompson (4-9-13)
Marcus Basara (6-5-11)
Max Mowat (1-10-11)
Steven Weinstein (2-8-10)
Patrick McGillis (4-4-8)
Trevor Fitzgerald (6-3-9)
Brett Corkey (0-8-8)
Darren Nowick (0-7-7)
Todd Skirving (3-3-6)
Elliot Richardson (1-3-4)
Colton Sparrow (0-3-3)
Philip Patenaude (0-1-1)
Zach McPhee (0-0-0)

Bryton Udy (1-4-1 Record, 3.32 GAA)
Blake Voth (13-9-1 Record, 1 Shutouts, 2.34 GAA)


Scott Jacklin (13-34-47)
Sam Mellor (23-20-43)
Travis St. Denis (19-21-40)
Cullen Bradshaw (17-14-31)
Rajan Sidhu (1-20-21)
Erik Cooper (6-8-14)
Paul Mailey (4-9-13)
Dylan Tappe (4-7-11)
Jake Baker (1-9-10)
Ryan Luiten (5-3-8)
Joey Baker (3-5-8)
Adam Boytinck (2-6-8)
Ben Matthews (0-6-6)
Beau Blanaru (2-3-5)
Clayton McEwan (0-5-5)
Max Fiedler (2-2-4)
Curtis Tonello (1-3-4)
Eric Walker (1-3-4)
Logan Proulx (1-3-4)
Jason Nash (0-1-1)
Ryan Dixon (0-0-0)

Matt Larose (5-2 Record, 1 Shutout, 2.70 GAA)
Kiefer Smiley (14-8 Record, 2.80 GAA)

McPhee Boosts Vernon Content:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

McPhee boosts Vernon content

By Graeme Corbett - Vernon Morning Star

Published: November 25, 2010 1:00 PM

They really are starting to look like the Vernon Vipers.

With this week’s addition of 6-foot-3 forward Zach McPhee, the Snakes now boast six local players on their roster (Dave Robinson, Bryce Kakoske, Colton Sparrow, Max Mowat and Trevor Fitzgerald are the others).

McPhee, 17, was seeing limited playing time with the WHL Tri-City Americans, and rather than risk stagnating in major junior, he decided the B.C. Hockey League might be a better move for his development.

“I wasn’t playing too much down in the States so I sat down with the coaches and thought out a plan for what would be better for me to get some playing time,” said McPhee, who had one goal in eight game with Tri-City.

Having played his minor hockey in Vernon, McPhee grew up idolizing former Vipers like Dean Strong. His aunt billeted Armstrong’s Matt Waddell and Kelowna’s Kenny Magowan.

He said being from Vernon has helped him understand the culture and what being a Viper is all about.

“It’s definitely pressure, but it’s a pressure that I like. I’m just going to work as hard as I can to get playing time and help the team out,” said McPhee, second in scoring with the Major Midget Okanagan Rockets last season with 39 points in 36 games.

“I just have to take some extra time to go over the systems with the coaches and pay attention in practice and jump into it as quick as I can.”

In recent memory, the Viper squad with the next highest local content was the 2001-02 roster that featured four local boys – David Morelli and Chad Murray, both of Vernon, Waddell and Enderby’s Brad Farynuk.

Knowing owner Duncan Wray’s willingness to bankroll a competitive lineup, these moves are not about saving on billeting or scouting expenses. As head coach/GM Mark Ferner notes, it has more to do with the level of grassroots hockey in Vernon.

“It’s a credit to Vernon Minor Hockey. It’s not like we’ve gone out and scouted these players because they’re local kids. They’re good hockey players and they’re going to help us,” said Ferner.

“The one thing I know that they know is how passionate this town is about this hockey team and the way we want to be. That helps speed up the process, especially when they’re young.”

Helping McPhee’s transition to the Viper den will be former Rocket teammates Mowatt and Sparrow.

Said Sparrow: “The first year we played together we were probably six or seven years old, and pretty much all the way up. He’s been one of my best friends since I was little so, it’s good to have him here.”

Ferner doesn’t know much about McPhee, but likes what he’s read on the scouting report.

“Everything I’ve been told is he’s a big body, skilled guy. And looking at our group, we need a little bit more of that. He’s a centreman, but he can also play the wing.”

With just one week of practice, Ferner said it is too soon to determine where McPhee will fit in the lineup. He will have a better idea when the Vipers entertain the Trail Smoke Eaters tonight at Wesbild Centre.

“This is more about chemistry than anything else, making sure we find the right combination,” he said.

The fourth-place Vipers (14-8-1-6) trail the Smokies (19-9-0-1), who are tied for first with the Penticton Vees (, by four points in the Interior.

“We just got off one of our longer road trips, and I thought it was successful. We didn’t get all the points that we wanted, but our team played pretty well,” said Ferner.

“We’re going to have to be close to our best against a good hockey team. They’re the highest scoring team in our division (3.80 goals for average)... so we’re going to work on some things this week and hopefully we’ll be ready.”

Meanwhile, the Penticton Vees earned a share of first place with a 4-2 win over the Merritt Centennials Wednesday night at South Okanagan Events Centre. Penticton is 19-8-0-1.

In the other BCHL Wednesday nighter, the Nanaimo Clippers stunned the Powell River Kings 6-3, handing the lead-leading Kings (20-5-3-2) their third home loss of the season.

In Tuesday night action, the host Westside Warriors used two goals apiece from Tyler Brickler and Kyle Singleton to bounce the Langley Chiefs 7-3. The Warriors are four points back of Vernon at 14-9-1-2.

SNAKE BITES: Ferner will likely rest injured forward Pat McGillis for another week, saying “We’ve got some healthy bodies here, so we’re not going to inject Patty back in the lineup until he’s 100 per cent.”... The Prince George Spruce Kings have fired long-time head coach Ed Dempsey, replacing him with former Williams Lake Timberwolves bench boss Dave Dupas. The Kings are last in the BCHL at 6-22-0-2.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

British Columbia Stay Paid Off For Former Viper Collins:

This was in the Eagle Tribune Newspaper:

British Columbia stay paid off for Merrimack's Collins

On College Hockey

Mike McMahon

The Eagle Tribune Fri Oct 22, 2010

When Merrimack College freshman Mike Collins committed to the Warriors in 2008, he was playing his high school hockey about 30 minutes south at perennial power Catholic Memorial.

Three months after graduation, Collins found himself 3,000 miles from home in British Columbia, playing with the Vernon Vipers.

"I wanted to play at a high level for juniors," said the 6-foot-1 winger, who earned an assist in his collegiate debut against UConn Saturday. "It was a big step up for me but I knew it was something that I'd have to do to be ready to play in Hockey East."

Always having a knack for the net — he scored 55 goals in two years with Vernon — Collins won his team's Rookie of the Year award in 2009. He helped the Vipers win back-to-back RBC Cup Championships in Canada, the Jr. A National Championships up north.

The first title was won alongside current Merrimack sophomore Kyle Bigos, who was also Collins' roommate.

Merrimack was impressed by Collins' savvy.

"Mike has incredibly hockey IQ," said Warrior coach Mark Dennehy. "He's not the best skater in the world but he makes up for that by always being in the right place, he's never out of position.

"He's just a student of the game, always asking questions and has such an understanding for how to play his position. He wants to be a hockey player. He's worked real hard to get to where he is today and he's still doing it."

Collins, who hails from Boston, said, "Ever since I was a kid I knew that skating was a weakness. I always work on (my skating), but if I can make up for that by playing smart then that's what I'll do to overcome it."

Former Viper Gill Named Hockey East Weekly Top Performer:

Former Vernon Vipers forward, Sahir Gill has been named Hockey East weekly top performer. Gill Tallied a goal in BU's 4-2 win vs. UNH Saturday and tallied an assist Friday. Finished the weekend with a +2 rating.

Gill played two seasons in Vernon (2008-2010) helping the Vipers win back to back Royal Bank Cups, is in his first season with the Terriers.

Gill along with four other Terriers made the Hockey East weekly top performers list. Goaltenders Kieran Millan and Grant Rollheiser, defenseman Dave Warsofsky and forward Alex Chiasson.

To view the entire list click on the link below,


Last week NHL Central Scouting issued its fall list of NCAA players to watch. Of the seven players given “A” ratings, two are Terrier freshmen Matt Nieto and Adam Clendening. Sahir Gill received a “C” rating.

For a look at the full list, please click on the link below,


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

McPhee Joins Vipers:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Vipers add 7th local to roster

by viper staff Added 2010-11-24

The Vernon Vipers are pleased to announce that local product Zach McPhee has joined the team. The 17 year old started the season with the Tri-City Americans of the WHL and had 1 goal in 8 games played.

Last season, McPhee played for the Okanagan Rockets of the BC Major Midget League where he scored 13 goals, 26 assists for 39 points in 36 games. This makes 7th local product to join the team.

Voth Pads Viper Win:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Voth pads Viper win

Published: November 23, 2010 3:00 PM

Morning Star Staff

It was the Vernon Vipers’ third one-goal game in a four-game tour of the B.C. Hockey League’s Lower Mainland teams.

Netminder Blake Voth ensured it was a win with his best effort of the season, a 30-save, first-star performance as the Snakes stuffed the Surrey Eagles 2-1 before 900 fans Sunday afternoon at South Surrey Arena.

Trevor Fitzgerald, with his sixth goal of the season, recorded the winner at 12:06 of the third period.

“Dylan (Walchuk) just shot it and I got a stick on it. We really needed that win, so it was nice to get the winner,” said Fitzgerald, a 17-year-old Vernon product who relished playing on Surrey’s Olympic-sized ice sheet.

“It kind of worked to our advantage because we have a pretty fast team.”

Fitzgerald also displayed his physical side, getting into a first-period scrap with Dale Hunt.

“It was short – it wasn’t one of my better ones,” said Fitzgerald. “I don’t mind dropping the gloves once in a while. I’m not that guy who’ll drop the gloves every game, but I like to play with that intensity.”

The Vipers will end their November schedule Friday night against the Interior-leading Trail Smoke Eaters (19-9-0-1) Friday at Wesbild Centre.

Vernon, fourth in the Interior at 14-8-1-6, managed five of eight points from their coastal swing, and while those results might not seem overly flattering, Vipers’ head coach Mark Ferner noted three of those games were against top-three Coastal Confernece teams, including the Powell River Kings, rated No. 2 in this week’s Canadian Junior Hockey League rankings.

“We’re starting to figure it out as far as how we need to be. We didn’t get the result, but the effort was there,” said Ferner, noting the Eagles, now fourth on the coast at 15-10-1-1, had Saturday night off.

“That was our third game in four-and-a-half days and our guys put in a solid effort to get that win.”

Bryce Kakoske (10th goal) had Vernon’s other goal midway through the first period, assisted by Dave Robinson.

Daniel Gentzier (7th) responded for Surrey on a late third-period powerplay.

Saturday night, the Vipers recorded a pair of third-period goals to salvage a point in a 5-4 double-overtime loss to the Langley Chiefs at the Events Centre.

Vernon outshot Langley 47-28 and outworked the Chiefs most of the game.

“We probably deserved a better fate, again,” said Ferner. “I thought we were the better team.”

With Vernon trailing 4-2 midway through the third period, defenceman Malcolm Lyles (4th) wristed a shot through traffic on the powerplay to pull his team within a goal.

Ferner’s decision to pull Bryton Udy (23 saves) on an offensive faceoff with two minutes to play proved to be a good one. With the extra attacker, Mike Zalewski converted a nice seam pass from Adam Thompson to force OT.

“We hadn’t been great on faceoffs, but if we can get an extra body out there maybe we can go and hunt it down if we do lose it,” said Ferner.

Kyle Murphy (6th), assisted by Max Mowat and Aaron Hadley, and Robinson (13th), assisted by Kakoske and Mowat, completed Vernon’s offence.

First star Josh Myers and Matt Ius each had a goal and assist for the Chiefs (17-8-1-4), who got the OT winner from Trevor Gerling.

Langley keeper Wyatt Galley recorded 43 stops for third star and the win.

SNAKE BITES: The Vipers have transferred the playing rights of former Kelowna Rocket Kyle St. Denis, a 20-year-old forward, to the Victoria Grizzlies in exchange for future considerations... WHL Tri-City Americans’ forward Zach McPhee, a 17-year-old Vernon product, has been assigned to the Vipers. McPhee, who had one goal in eight games with the Americans, was a sixth-round pick in the 2008 bantam draft.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

More On The Kyle St. Denis Situation:

Trail Smoke Eaters play by play man, Jon Zacks has an interview with former Vernon Vipers forward, Kyle St. Denis on his situation with his recent trade with the Victoria Grizzlies.

St. Denis says he will not be reporting to Victoria, meaning the Grizzlies will have to deal him before December 1st, otherwise he will take the rest of the season off.

Click on the link below for the St. Denis interview,


Online Chat With Former Viper Defenceman Bigos:

Hockeyeastonline.com had an online chat with former Vernon Vipers defenceman, Kyle Bigos last week. Bigos who played two seasons in Vernon (2007-09) helped the Vipers win the 2009 Royal Bank Cup. Bigos is in his second season at Merrimack College. Click the link below to read the online chat with Kyle Bigos.


Nailers Name Former Viper Lord Captain:

Former Vernon Vipers forward, Andrew Lord has been named captain of the ECHL Wheeling Nailers. Lord who played two seasons in Vernon (2002-04) is in his third season in Wheeling.

This was posted on the Nailers website last week:

Nailers Announce Team Captains

Wheeling Nailers

Nov 16, 2010

Wheeling, WV - Wheeling Nailers head coach Stan Drulia has announced the team's leadership group for the 2010-2011 season Tuesday. Forward Andrew Lord has been named the team's Captain, while Kris Vernarsky, Andrew Orpik, and David Urquhart have all been named alternate captains.

"We have a lot of guys on this team with leadership qualities, that's why this was such a big decision for us," said Drulia. "This team and this community run with Andrew Lord, he is going to do a great job for us as captain."

This is Lord's third season in Wheeling. He has tallied 85 points (35g, 50a) the past two seasons, and currently has 10 points in 13 games played this season. Lord has scored three game winning goals this year; most recently with an overtime goal against Elmira on Nov. 7. Lord served as the team's captain last season.

Drulia also announced that Kris Vernarsky will be the team's primary alternate captain. The veteran forward played for Drulia the previous three seasons with the Port Huron Icehawks of the IHL. Vernarsky played 17 games with the Boston Bruins, scoring one goal. This season, he has posted seven points (2g, 5a) in nine games played.

The team's second alternate captain will be determined based on game location. Forward Andrew Orpik will wear the "A" when the Nailers play at home, while defenseman David Urquhart will serve as alternate captain when the team is on the road.

Monday, November 22, 2010

December 1st Card Deadline Looming:

With just over a week until the December 1st BCHL card deadline, it will be interesting to see what the Vernon Vipers do. Over this past week the Vipers traded 20 year old forward, Kyle St. Denis to the Victoria Grizzlies for future considerations. Rumors a few weeks back were in the BCHL BC Hockey Now newspaper that Vernon and St. Denis's hometown Trail Smoke Eaters were trying to work out a deal for the former Kelowna Rocket forward. This past Thursday the WHL Rockets released St. Denis and then on the sameday the Vipers traded the former Viper to Victoria. St. Denis now isnt going to report to the Grizzlies and is only willing to play for the Smoke Eaters.

I for one was very surprised to hear that the Rockets released St. Denis and then Vernon traded him this early. At the start of the WHL season word was St. Denis who was going to be out of the Rockets lineup until atleast Christmas due to concusion problems, I figured it wouldnt be until closer to the BCHL-WHL trade deadline when we would see St. Denis maybe on the move. Mark Ferner mentioned on the Vipers pre-game show over the weekend St. Denis didnt want to come to Vernon and a deal between the Vipers & Smoke Eaters fell apart. It would be interesting to see what the actual trade was and for who? & now I wonder what the future considerations part of the Vernon-Victoria trade will be? Most of the time a trade involving future considerations usally means cash coming back the other way, but involving a player like St. Denis you have to think maybe the Vipers will recieve a player at the end of the season, but this will all depends if St. Denis plays and for who.

In another move, well sort of the WHL Tri-City Americans assigned 17 year old Vernon product, Zach McPhee to the Vipers this past week. But as of today no word has been mentioned from the Vipers themselves. My guess is due to the team away from home (on a five game road trip) the Vipers dont want to sign-play McPhee and burn a card without getting a good look at the youngster. My guess is McPhee may join the Vipers this week, for a good weeks worth of practise. This giving the Vipers a good week to get a look at McPhee. The question is, with the card deadline just over a week away do the Vipers sign McPhee to a card or sign Nick Kerr who has been playing with the Vipers as an "AP" the past seven games. Or do the Vipers hold off and wait to make a trade or a few changes and see whos avaliable to fill the lone empty roster spot.

It will be interesting to see what Mark Ferner does before the card deadline. Before the Vipers hit the road for five games, I had said they need to bring in a veteran goaltender if they want to go deep into the playoffs, but after the road trip I thought both goalies played well. Blake Voth looked very solid in Sundays 2-1 win over Surrey, making several key saves in the 3rd to give Vernon a chance to win, if Voth can keep up his play and continue to play like this then the Vipers will be fine between the pipes. The question is, can Voth stay consistant all season?

I do think the Vipers need a proven goal scorer, on many nights if not most nights the Vipers badly outshoot their opponents and come away with one or two goals. Just five times this year Vernon has scored five or more goals in a game, the Vipers are getting lots of shots on net but dont have a true sniper.

I do think there is a few areas that need to be addressed, lets see what Mark Ferner does within the next week.

Voth Backstops Viper Win:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Voth backstops Viper win

by Don Klepp | Added 2010-11-21

Blake Voth stopped 16 of 17 shots in the third period and 30 of 31 in the game as the road weary Vipers eked out a 2-1 win in Surrey on Sunday afternoon.

Playing for the fourth time in four and half days, the Vipers got a first period goal from Bryce Kakoske and held that lead well into the third, when the teams exchanged goals.

Voth was the difference in the final frame, with several game savers. He was especially brilliant in a 16th minute glove save on Hayden Trupp, while falling backward. He also robbed Brad McGowan and Daniel Gentzler on point blank shots.

His opposite number, Karel St-Laurent, was the goaltender on the hot spot in the first two periods, as he made several fine stops on Viper shooters. The Vipers led the shot parade, 23-14, in the opening 40 minutes. Voth, too, was solid, squaring up to shooters and smoothly controlling rebounds.

He was supported by Kakoske’s first period marker, which was set up by Brett Corkey’s spirited rush that brought the puck into the Surrey zone. David Robinson followed up by roaring around behind the net and dumping it in front for Kakoske who roofed it. The goal judge didn’t notice that the puck had hit the inside cross bar and had immediately shot out again.

However, referee Mike Basford did see the goal.

Perhaps in an effort to get it right next time, the same goal judge put the red light on and left it on when David Robinson broke in unimpeded early in the second period. This time, Basford and the linesman waved it off and allowed play to continue.

The road trip seemed to catch up with the Vipers in the third; they were unable to match the Eagles’ jump, especially for the first half of the period. Also, they seemed content to sit back and let the home team dictate the terms of engagement.

As a result, Surrey generated the first 9 shots of the period, but the Vipers dug deep and out shot the Eagles 12-8 for the remainder of the period.

Part of that renewed energy resulted from a goal scored at 12:06. A Viper rush broke down in the Surrey end, but Dylan Walchuk scooped up a loose puck and directed it on net. The puck deflected off Trevor Fitzgerald past a wrong-footed St-Laurent.

A David Robinson kneeing call gave the Eagles their fourth power play of the game. The top power play unit in the BCHL finally clicked at 14:38, when Daniel Gentzler broke through a check and dived to backhand a Josh Monk rebound past Voth.

That was all the Eagles could muster as a combination of Voth’s stellar netminding and determined Viper defensive play thwarted the high scoring Eagles, who have recorded the third most goals in the league.

Dauphin Hosting 2010 Prospects Game:

This is posted on the MJHL website:

Dauphin hosting 2010 Prospects Game

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November 17th, 2010 - Hockey Canada and the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) today announced Dauphin, Manitoba as the site for the 2010 CJHL Prospects Event. The annual event will be held December 7th - 8th at Credit Union Place and will be hosted by the Dauphin Kings Junior A Hockey Team and Destination! Dauphin.

The CJHL Prospects Game was created to showcase the top 40 NHL draft eligible players in the CJHL. Player selection is a joint initiative of the CJHL and NHL Central Scouting. The event includes a two-game, total goal series between Team East and Team West, which is well attended by local area hockey fans, NHL scouts, and representatives from Canadian and American colleges and universities.

The community of Dauphin will build off the excitement generated by the 2010 RBC Cup to create a memorable experience for the players, fans and volunteers of the CJHL Prospects Event. Host Committee Chair Randy Daley is looking forward to bringing Junior A hockey at the National level back to Dauphin, “The opportunity to host 40 of the top Junior A players in the country is a great honour. Our fans and supporters witnessed the talent and entertainment value of the CJHL at the 2010 RBC Cup, and will embrace another opportunity to experience National competition. This event will further showcase Dauphin’s ability to successfully host events on a National stage.”

The Canadian Junior Hockey League continues to be a strong supplier of talent to the National Hockey League. Five alumni of the CJHL Prospects Game have been selected in the 1st Round of the NHL Entry Draft, including Kyle Turris (BCHL), Riley Nash (BCHL), Beau Bennett (BCHL), Joe Colborne (AJHL) and Dylan Olsen (AJHL).

The CJHL Prospects Games feature players from the CJHL's five Western leagues (British Columbia Hockey League, Alberta Junior Hockey League, Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, Manitoba Junior Hockey League and the Superior International Junior Hockey League ) competing against the top prospects from the CJHL'S Eastern leagues (Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League, Ontario Junior Hockey League, Central Hockey League, Ligue de Hockey Junior AAA du Quebec and the Maritime Junior A Hockey League).

Team East and Team West compete annually for the President's Cup, which is awarded to the winning team at the CJHL Prospects Event.

2009 - Game 1: Team West wins 8 - 1; Game 2: Team East wins 2 - 0 in Winkler, MB

2008 - Team East defeated Team West 6-3 in Summerside, PEI

2007 - Team East defeated Team West 5-3 in Winkler, MB

2006 - Team West defeated Team East 6-2 in Vernon, BC

2005 - Team West defeated Team East 5-4 in Yorkton, SK

CJHL Prospects Game #1 will be played at Credit Union Place on Tuesday, December 7th @ 7:00pm, Game #2 will follow on Wednesday, December 8th at 7:00 pm.

A two-game ticket pack will be available for only $20.00 (adults) or single game tickets can be purchased for $12.00 (adults) and $5.00 (students). Scout Packages including a two-game ticket pack, and lounge access with snacks and non-alcohol beverages will be available for $30. Game tickets and an exclusive VIP Package will be on sale shortly, visit cjhlhockey.com for ticket updates.

Rosters for the 2010 CJHL Prospects Teams will be announced at the end of November 2010 via cjhlhockey,com

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Vernon 2 Surrey 1



Vernon Vipers at 10:56 - Bryce Kakoske from David Robinson


No Scoring


Vernon Vipers at 12:06 - Trevor Fitzgerald from Dylan Walchuk and Steven Weinstein
Surrey Eagles at 14:38 (PP) - Daniel Gentzler from Steve Koshey and Josh Monk
Vernon outshot Surrey 35-31. Blake Voth made 30 saves for the win, while Karel St-Laurent made 33 saves in the loss.


Former Viper St. Denis Wont Report To Victoria:

This is posted on Gregg Drinnans blog:

F Kyle St. Denis apparently has told the BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies that he won’t report to them. . . . St. Denis, 20, spent the last three seasons with the Kelowna Rockets. But after playing in 64 games his first season, he played just 22 and 26 each of the last two seasons as he ran into concussion problems. The Rockets placed him on the injury list to begin this season and apparently released him from that list recently. . . . His junior A rights belonged to the Vernon Vipers, who dealt him to the Grizzlies. . . . However, St. Denis has said he would like to play with his hometown Trail Smoke Eaters, whose roster includes his younger brother, Travis. . . . A source indicated last night that it “looks like (Kyle) St. Denis may wait out the Dec. 1st deadline for teams to have their final rosters in and if Victoria does not make a deal with Trail he will not play hockey for the remainder of the season.”

(Game Preview) Vernon @ Surrey:

Vernon (13-8-1-6) @ Surrey (15-9-1-1)

Today is the first meeting of the season between the defending back to back Royal Bank Cup Champion Vernon Vipers & the Surrey Eagles. Today is the final game of a five game road trip for the Vipers, Vernon started the trip with a 4-3 loss in Salmon Arm Saturday night, Wednesday lost 5-2 in Powell River, Friday defeated the Coquitlam Express 4-3 in overtime and lost 5-4 in overtime in Langley last night. Today is the fifth game of a six game home stand for the Eagles. The Eagles are coming off 1-1 tie with the league leading Powell River Kings. You can listen to tonights game live with Todd Miller starting at 3:45pm on 107.5 Kiss FM

Last Game Played:

Saturday, November 20th Langley defeated Vernon 5-4 (overtime)
Friday, November 19th Surrey tied Powell River 1-1

Next Game:

Friday, November 26th Trail @ Vernon
Thursday, November 25th Victoria @ Surrey

Let's take a look at the Vernon Vipers:

Games Played: 28
Wins: 13
Losses: 8
Ties: 1
Overtime Losses: 6
Home Record: 5-3-1-3
Road Record: 8-5-0-3
Streak: One game winning streak
Last Ten Games: 4-3-0-3
Goals For: 91
Goals Against: 76
Standings: 4th Place

Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon is 10-3-0-0 vs. Surrey

Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon has outscored Surrey 51-37

Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon is 4-2-0-0 at home vs. Surrey

Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon is 6-1-0-0 in Surrey

Vernons last loss in Surrey was a 5-2 loss back on Saturday, October 25th 2004

Surreys last win in Vernon was a 3-2 victory back on Wednesday, September 26th 2007

The Vernon Lakers changed their name to the Vernon Vipers to start the 1995-96 season. Here’s a look at the Vipers all-time regular season record

Games Played: 928
Wins: 596
Losses: 242
Ties: 11
Overtime Losses: 82

For more stats & former Vernon Junior Hockey Team rosters & lineups please visit Paul’s Vernon Junior Hockey History website,


Returning Players:

Bryce Kakoske (90)
David Robinson (90)
Blake Voth (91)
Steve Weinstein (90)
Adam Thompson (90)
Dylan Walchuk (92)
Patrick McGillis (91)

Departing & traded players from last years team:

Connor Jones (90)
Mike Collins (90)
Braden Pimm (89)
Cory Kane (90)
Jonathan Milhouse (89)
Kellen Jones (90)
Rob Short (89)
Cole Ikkala (90)
Dan Nycholat (89)
Kevin Kraus (89)
Curtis Gedig (91)
Garrett Noonan (91)
Sahir Gill (92)
Darrin Robak (91)
Graeme Gordon (89)

Key’s and Notes to tonight’s game:

-Tonight is the Vipers third game in three days

-Vernon has struggled offensively and needs others to start putting the puck in the net

-Blake Voth is 5th in the leagues top ten goaltenders with a 2.40 GAA

-Forward Bryce Kakoske has points in four straight games

-The Vipers need to get off to a good start

-Vernon is 1-2-0-2 vs. the Coastal Conference this year

-The Vipers have just three wins in their last ten games

-The Vipers havnt lost in Surrey in six years

-This being the Vipers fourth game in their last five nights, will the team have any gas left in the tank?

-Five of Vernons last ten games have gone to overtime where the Vipers have just one ot winner

-Vernon is 1-3 on this current five game road trip

-The Vipers are just two points back of 3rd and three points back of 2nd place but now sit six points back of the first place Trail Smoke Eaters

Let's take a look at the Surrey Eagles:

Games Played: 26
Wins: 15
Losses: 9
Ties: 1
Overtime Losses: 1
Home Record: 6-4-1-1
Road Record: 9-5-0-0
Streak: Unbeaten in one game
Last Ten Games: 6-2-1-1
Goals For: 107
Goals Against: 93
Standings: 3rd Place

Returning Players:

Bradley McGowan (90)
Riley Sweeney (92)
Tyler Morley (91)

Departing & traded players from last years team:

Andrew Wallace (89)
Michael Krgovich (90)
Grant Toulmin (89)
Richard Vanderhoek (91)
Adam Basford (89)
Chris Santiago (89)
Josh Pineiro (89)
Jason Grecica (90)
Cole Gelley (91)
Manraj Hayer (93)
Paul Levarsky (89)
Jamus Lane (92)
Jeff Regier (91)
Erik Cooper (91)
Connor Tiechko (92)
Derek Henderson (90)
Wes Vannieuwenhuizen (92)
Vinny Lessard (90)
Mike Chan (90)

Key’s and Notes to tonight’s game:

-Surrey has scored 107 goals wich is third best in the BCHL

-The Eagles have troubles keeping the puck out of the net, giving up 93 goals

-Surrey is 3-2-0-0 vs. the Interior Conference this year

-Bradley McGowan (22-27-49) is tied for the league in scoring. Jeff Vanderlugt (16-16-32) is 18th in league scoring

-Bradley McGowan has points in five straight games

-The Eagles have five players who know the Vernon Vipers fairly well after playing in the Interior Conference previous to joining the Surrey Eagles. Mitch Jones (Penticton & Merritt), Riley Sweeney (Williams Lake), Josh Monk (Salmon Arm), Steve Koshey (Trail), Hayden Trupp (Penticton),

-The Eagles have just three losses in their last ten home games

-Surrey has the leagues best powerplay

- Karel St-Laurent is 8th in the leagues top ten goaltenders with a 2.60 GAA

-The Eagles need to jump on the Vipers, who are playing their third game in as many days

-Surrey needs to use the bigger ice surface to their advantage

-The Vipers are well known for their forecheck and puck pressure, the Eagles need to play physical against Vernon and try and take away their game plan

Here’s a look at last years season series between these two teams:

Friday, November 20th @ Surrey: Vernon wins 5-1



Vernon Vipers at 11:07 (SH) - Rob Short from Dylan Walchuk and Cole Ikkala
Vernon Vipers at 16:32 (PP) - Dylan Walchuk from Bryce Kakoske and Dan Nycholat


Surrey Eagles at 8:26 (PP) - Andrew Wallace from Adam Basford and Cole Gelley
Vernon Vipers at 17:00 - Rob Short from Dylan Walchuk
Vernon Vipers at 18:27 - Mike Collins (unassisted)


Vernon Vipers at 15:01 - Sawyer Mick from Connor Jones and Kellen Jones

Vernon outshot Surrey 43-24. Graeme Gordon made 23 saves for the win, while Vinny Lessard made 34 saves taking the loss.


Sunday, February 21st @ Vernon: Vernon wins 7-3



Vernon Vipers at 6:58 - Connor Jones from David Robinson and Kevin Kraus
Vernon Vipers at 7:26 - Sahir Gill from Cory Kane and Garrett Noonan


Vernon Vipers at 1:22 - Trevor Fitzgerald from Adam Thompson and Bryce Kakoske
Vernon Vipers at 11:19 (SH) - Kevin Kraus from Jonathan Milhouse and Dylan Walchuk
Vernon Vipers at 17:39 - David Robinson from Rob Short and Jonathan Milhouse


Vernon Vipers at 2:28 - Bryce Kakoske from Jonathan Milhouse and Adam Thompson
Vernon Vipers at 5:27 - Cory Kane from Curtis Gedig and Rob Short
Surrey Eagles at 5:36 - Erik Cooper from Josh Pineiro and Paul Levarsky
Surrey Eagles at 14:25 - Bradley McGowan from Michael Krgovich and Jeff Regier
Surrey Eagles at 18:44 - Tyler Morley from Bradley McGowan

Vernon outshot Surrey 53-23. Graeme Gordon made 20 saves for the win, while Mike Chan made 46 saves taking the loss.


Here's a look at both teams rosters:


Dylan Walchuk (11-16-27)
Bryce Kakoske (9-17-26)
John Knisley (8-16-22)
David Robinson (13-9-22)
Michael Zalewski (8-10-18)
Aaron Hadley (8-10-18)
Kyle Murphy (6-11-17)
Malcolm Lyles (4-9-13)
Adam Thompson (4-9-13)
Marcus Basara (6-5-11)
Max Mowat (1-10-11)
Steven Weinstein (2-7-9)
Patrick McGillis (4-4-8)
Trevor Fitzgerald (5-3-8)
Brett Corkey (0-8-8)
Darren Nowick (0-7-7)
Todd Skirving (3-3-6)
Elliot Richardson (1-3-4)
Colton Sparrow (0-3-3)
Philip Patenaude (0-1-1)

Bryton Udy (1-4-1 Record, 3.32 GAA)
Blake Voth (12-8-1 Record, 2 Shutouts, 2.40 GAA)


Bradley McGowan (22-27-49)
Jeff Vanderlugt (16-16-32)
Mitch Jones (5-20-25)
Daniel Gentzler (6-17-23)
Riley Sweeney (5-14-19)
Michael Stenerson (5-12-17)
Tyler Morley (4-13-17)
Brandon Morley (5-8-13)
Josh Monk (4-8-12)
Steve Koshey (2-8-10)
Scott Holm (4-4-8)
Robert Lindores (3-3-6)
Cobi Smith-Mass (0-3-3)
Hayden Trupp (2-0-2)
Colton Mackie (0-2-2)
Zach Hillhouse (0-1-1)
Tim Coish (0-1-1)
Dale Hunt (0-1-1)
Doug Wedel (0-0-0)
Beau Orser (0-0-0)

Karel St-Laurent (3-1-1 Record, 2.61 GAA)
Andrew Hunt (5-3 Record, 3.40 GAA)