For anyone who could not attend or watch tonight’s Vipers game here are my thoughts and views from tonight’s game. You may agree or disagree but we all have our own view and opinion on any game we watch. This is my opinion and my thoughts on how I saw tonight’s game. I try to be unbiased and give a fare recap on both sides. Thanks for stopping by & visiting my blog.
I was at tonight's exhibtion BCHL game as Vernon tied Salmon Arm 2-2 at the Shaw Centre.
Vernon: Joe Young
Salmon Arm: Adam Clark
1st Period: The Vipers took control off the opening draw on an odd man rush Jedd Soleway playing his first pre-season game ripped a hard low shot from the circle that just missed the net the Silverbacks would recover take control and come back the other way Garrett Hendrickson with a hard shot from in close missed the net the puck come off the end wall before coming right out front of the Vipers crease as the puck hit Michael Statchuk and went into the open cage on a bad break for the Vipers as Salmon Arm jumped out to an early 1-0 lead just 1:02 into the contest. Hendrickson's goal was unassisted. Just after the goal the Vipers come back with a great scoring opportunity as Landon Robin and Riley Hunt broke out with a two on one but a strong defensive play by the Backs d-man shutdown Robin who couldnt get off a shot. Both teams were fairly even through out tonight's game with not alot of scoring chances. Both teams played fairly physical with some good checks especially in the first two periods. Sean Flanagan's screened point shot just missed the net on a close call. Both teams would get early powerplays. Vernon with some good pressure couldnt get any pucks through as Salmon Arm's penalty kill was very good all night. The Backs defence did a great job at keeping the Vipers to the outside, any shots taken were either blocked or hot a body in front. Both teams couldnt capitalize with the man advantage. Just before the halfway mark of the 1st Riley Hunt setup Mitch McAllister in the slot who beat Adam Clark at 9:17 tying the game at one. Hunt and Michael Statchuk collected the assists. Just minutes later the Silverbacks would get their second powerplay of the period but it was the hard work of Logan Mick that got a shorthanded breakaway but shot hard and wide of the net on a great chance. The Backs would come right back, carrying the play up ice Brandon Mistal coming up the left side went wide around his defenceman before throwing the puck towards the front of the goal, the puck hit and went off a Vernon player in front and into the back of the net giving Salmon Arm a 2-1 lead at 14:51 This was the second bad break the Vipers got that ended up in the back of their net. You couldnt blame the Vipers rookie goaltender on either of the two goals. Mistal's goal was unassisted. Vernon would get a late powerplay that would carry over into the second period. The Silverbacks carried a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of play. A fairly even period with both teams not getting or creating alot of scoring chances. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 10-9.
2nd Period: The Vipers started the period with a very short powerplay that was killed off by the Silverbacks. Salmon Arm would get an early man advantage and had some very good pressure getting a few good opportunities. Former Westside Warrior Nrayden Sherbinin with a hard shot from the point just missed the net on a close call after Joe Young was screened in front. Vernon would kill off the penalty. Salmon Arm didnt give up their as the Silverbacks kept coming even after the powerplay getting the play in deep and again putting some pressure on the Vipers creating some chances. Both teams exchanged a few powerplays back and forth but nobody could capitalize. On one powerplay the Vipers with atleast two or three players open at the side of the net tried getting the puck across but the pass was just not hard enough or wasnt on the tape for that tap in goal. Vernon also didnt help themselves after missing the net atleast three or four times. Halfway through the period the Backs switched goaltenders as Dustin Nickel replaced Adam Clark who gave up just one goal on sixteen Vernon shots. The Silverbacks then came real close to going up by two goals after a quick shot from the side wall was stopped by Young the Backs crashed the crease wacking away at the loose puck but it was Joe Young who stayed with the puck and play, held his own somehow keeping the puck out with bodies in and around him as some pushing and shoving started after the whistle blew as tempers heated up a little. With just over six minutes remaining the Vipers with some nice passing deep in the Salmon Arm end fed a wide open Riley Hunt who ripped a hard shot from the slot beat Nickel but hit the post. For the second straight period not alot of scoring chances for either team. The Vipers with just two shots in the final ten minutes. Salmon Arm took a 2-1 lead heading into the third. The Vipers outshot the Silverbacks 9-7.
3rd Period: The Backs would get an early powerplay and just about take an early two goal lead after a nice bang bang play setup Vernon product Alex Gillies who beat Joe Young but rang his shot off the post. Two quick lazer shots from the post just missed the far corner as the Backs with a few good chances were unable to score as Vernon killed off the minor. Brendan Kennedy took an awkward hit in the Vipers zone twisting and turning in the air going hard and awkardly into the side boards. Kennedy was slow to get up and looked to have hurt his leg or knee as he headed off to the Salmon Arm bench and into the tunnel. Both teams with two powerplays couldnt convert in another period with few scoring chances. Just after a man advantage Joe Serpico tried banking his shot off Dustin Nickel from behind the goal but Nickel played the shot well making the save. Salmon Arm would get a late powerplay missing on two quality chances the Backs with another screened shot from the point just missed the far side as Vernon would excape and kill off the penalty. Just after killing off the powerplay Marc Hetnik and Riley Hunt forced a two on one with about three and a half minutes remaining but Hetnik who was forced to shoot missed the net. The play then really opened up as both teams went back and forth with some good rushes and both ends of the rink. Vernon would call a late timeout before getting Joe Young to the bench with a minute remaining for the extra man. The Vipers would get the play in deep but Salmon Arm did a great job at boxing the Vipers to the outside before pinning Vernon and the puck along the side wall eating some valuable time off the clock. The Backs managed to clear the zone twice before the Vipers would get a faceoff deep in the Salmon Arm zone. Vernon won the draw, a quick snap shot from the circle forced Dustin Nickel to make a huge save with the shaft of his goal stick the puck went behind the net where Aaron Hadley scooped up the loose puck, went back around out front and roofed his wrist shot from in close up and over Nickel who was down as Hadley tied the game with just 12.7 seconds left in the hockey game. Jedd Soleway and Colton Sparrow with the helpers. The game would end in a tie as there is no overtime in exhibtion play. Again both teams were very evenly matched in a tight checking defensive game. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 10-7.
Top Players; (Vernon)
Marc Hetnik didnt really stand out for me in the opening period but I thought stepped up his game and looked fairly impressive as the game went along. Hetnik jumped up into the play carrying the puck on a few rushes creating some good opportunties.
Riley Hunt (1 assist) also played very well tonight. Hunt who always hustles and skates-works hard tonight got involved in the play more and was alot more effective tonight then several games in the past. Had a great chance in the 2nd to tie the game but hit the post.
Mitch McAllister (1 goal) Has impressed me all Training camp-pre season. Not the biggest kid but hustles and works hard and gets involved in the play, gets several good scoring chances every night.
Logan Mick battled, competed and played well up front for the Vipers. Had a shorthanded breakaway in the 1st period played with an edge tonight.
Colton Sparrow I thought played well, showed alot of hustle and tried creating some good chances.
Michael Statchuk was solid on the Vipers blueline.
Ryan Renz also played very well on the backend, saw alot of minutes on the blueline especially on the man advantage.
Game Thoughts: (Vernon)
With the tie the Vipers improve to 1-1-2 during the pre-season. The Vipers didnt generate alot of scoring chances but played well. After taking a ton of penalties in West Kelowna Tuesday night I thought the Vipers played fairly diciplined tonight. Vernon didnt get any bounces tonight and needs to work on their faceoffs and passing. I thought the Vipers passing in West Kelowna the other night was very crisp, tonight they just couldnt seem to make any real hard crisp passes. I really like the looks of the Vipers defence and the overall make of this years team. The coaching staff is going to have some tough choices to make before the regular season starts.
Top Players: (Salmon Arm)
Brendan Kennedy played very well on the Silverbacks backend. I thought played very well.
Sean Flanagan also played well on the blueline.
Brayden Sherbinin was the Backs best defenceman tonight. Didnt notice him as much in the third but I was impressed with the veteran d-man.
Adam Clark & Dustin Nickel both played well between the pipes for Salmon Arm. Clark who was the Silverbacks backup tender last season is a big kid who covers alot of the net. Nickel on the other hand is much smaller and dosnt cover alot of the net but is quick on his feet and very good with his rebound control. Both goaltenders didnt have any real outstanding saves to make but played well.
Game Thoughts: (Salmon Arm)
It was sure weird seeing former Vipers head coach-gm Troy Mick behind the bench of the Silverbacks. Already I have noticed a difference with the Backs compared to last season. Playing just their second exhibition game I thought Salmon Arm did very well against a Vernon team who was playing game #4. I thought the Backs penalty kill and defence was very good. They dont give you alot of time and space, keep you boxed to the outside and dont give up alot of shots. The defence isnt afraid to block a shot and really forced the Viper shooters. Salmon Arm was very good on the draw winning most of the faceoffs and like to drive hard to the net. In the first two periods on a few occasions the Silverbacks crashed the net pretty hard.
Here is a look at both teams lineups-rosters
They didnt announce Salmon Arm's scratches