Saturday, November 5, 2011

Viper Special Teams Prevail In Trail:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Viper special teams prevail in Trail

by Don Klepp | Added 2011-11-05

Two first-period power play goals and a strong penalty kill keyed a 4-2 Vernon Viper win in Trail on Friday night.

The Viper power play converted its first two opportunities during a penalty filled first period. Set up by linemates Mike Zalewski and John Knisley, Darren Nowick scored his 12th of the season at 8:27, to create a 2-0 lead. In the process, Nowick matched Zalewski’s early season goal total.

Then, at 16:04, Jedd Soleway used his strength to get another goal with the Smokies a man short.

At 1:43 Mike Zalewski had pumped in his 12th of the season to get the visiting team off to a good start.

Outplayed for most of the first period, the Smoke Eaters roared back in the next 20 minutes, out-shooting the Vipers 10 to 1 at one point. They scored both goals of the middle frame to reduce their deficit from three goals to one, at 3-2.

The first Trail strike came courtesy of a Garrett McMullen backhand, which sneaked in at 16:21 when a falling Viper defender slid into Kirby Halcrow and knocked the big goalie away from his left post. It was McMullen’s first BCHL goal.

With eight seconds left in the period, Marley Keca’s long shot went off the top of Halcrow’s catching glove. It was the only real blemish in a solid performance by the veteran netminder, who bounced back with a solid third period.

The final frame was the most evenly played of the three, with defence a priority for the Vipers. In addition, they scored the only goal of the final 20 minutes, with Colton Sparrow and Marcus Basara working hard to set up Adam Tambellini in the slot. Tambellini’s quick low shot beat Reed Vogt, who had replaced James D’Andrea at the beginning of the second period.

Coach Jason Williamson, who admitted to “peeling some paint” off the Viper dressing room walls following the second period intermission, was pleased wit the results of his pep talk: “Our guys answered the bell in the third as we went with a simpler game plan.

“When we’re simple, we’re good,” said Williamson after the game. “We let Trail take over in the second, but in the third the guys deserve credit for working hard and sticking to the game plan.”

With four regulars out of the lineup, Vernon dressed two affiliated players, Bryce Eviston and Ryan Edwards. Eviston, a defencemen who is the younger brother of Pierce Eviston, threw a pair of very effective hip checks. Edwards came close to his first BCHL goal late in the game, but he was turned away by Vogt.

Both teams return to action on Saturday. Vernon hosts Chilliwack, while Trail will go to Salmon Arm.

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