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 BCHL exhibition game as Vernon & West Kelowna ended up in a 3-3 tie at the Wesbild Centre tonight.
Vernon: Danny Todosychuk
West Kelowna: Brenden Mills
1st Period: The Vipers got off to a good start and carried the play early but didnt really have alot of pressure or create any real good scoring chances. The Vipers come up with a few decent checks in the opening few minutes. Vernon held posetion of the puck for most of the opening period. It took the Warriors four and a half minutes to record their first shot on goal. Vernon finally started to get their game going and started making some plays and creating a few decent chances. Mitch McAllister with a nice move in close tried stuffing the puck fivehole through the pads of Brenden Mills but it was Mills who stood his ground making the tough save, McAllister stayed the with the play gathered up the rebound, come back around the net into the slot where he beat Mills with a shot from the slot but hit the post as the Vipers come close to opening the scoring. West Kelowna would lose Brad Zarazun for ten minutes after the Warriors d-man took a ten minute misconduct. Vernon then come close again to opening the scoring after Vipers captain Brett Corkey walked in from the point wiring a hard shot that beat Mills but hit the post. Just minutes later Aaron Hadley who showed alot of jump and hustle tonight drove hard towards the net before a pile of players crowded the Warriors crease with some pushing and shoving but it was Hadley who come out of the scrum with a penalty giving West Kelowna there first powerplay of the night. At this point the Vipers were outshooting the Warriors 9-2. Veteran forward David Pope with a shot from the point beat Todosychuk but hit the post as the Warriors come close to opening the scoring. Nick Josephs scooped up the rebound and just about got away with a shorthanded breakaway but it was David Pope who come up with the nice defensive play to tie up Josephs. Todosychuk was forced to make a tough save after stopping a screened shot from the poit as the Warriors with a few shots on net were unable to capitalize with the man advantage. Just after the penalty kill the Vipers with a nice breakout setup Joe Serpico who ripped a shot from the top of the circle but Brenden Mills made a nice blocker save. The Warriors would open the scoring after Brent Lashuk's shot from the slot was stopped by Danny Todosychuk before Colton Thibault gobbled up the big rebound sliding the puck into the open cage giving West Kelowna a 1-0 lead at 15:24 Lashuk with the lone assist. The Vipers would then get a late powerplay come close to tying the game after Geoff Crisfield's point shot at the end of the powerplay rang off the post as West Kelowna would kill off the minor. The Vipers owned the 1st period outplaying the Warriors for most of the period but couldnt capitalize on their scoring chances as West Kelowna was up 1-0 after 20 minutes of play. Vernon outshot West Kelowna 15-7.
2nd Period: A much different Warriors team hit the ice for the middle frame as West Kelowna looked and played much better as both teams were very evenly matched this period. Not alot of scoring chances in the first few minutes before the Warriors would get their second powerplay of the night. Veteran Shawn Hochhausen got his stick on a point shot that looked to have went up and under the crossbar but the play stayed alive before Jetlan Houcher jumped on the rebound and beat Todosychuk giving West Kelowna a 2-0 lead with a powerplay goal at 7:12 Hochhausen and Brad Zarazun collected the helpers. Just over a minute later the Vipers would get on the board after Bryce Eviston ripped a nice shot from the slot that beat Brenden Mills at 8:28 cutting the lead to within a goal. Eviston's goal was unassisted. Both teams then went back and forth getting a few good chances at either ends of the rink. Shawn Hochhausen with a quick low shot looked to have caught Danny Todosychuk off guard as the Viper goaltender made the save but again gave up a rebound as the puck was just sitting in the crease before a Vernon d-man cleared the puck and the zone. At the other end of the rink Landon Robin with a good chance in front was stopped by Mills. Now just before the midway mark I noticed Cody Porter was between the pipes for West Kelowna. I didnt notice or see when the two Warrior goaltenders switched as Brenden Mills wasnt on the bench for the Warriors for atleast five minutes before re-appearing. With about eight minutes remaining in the 2nd former Swift Current Brocos goaltender Austin Smith replaced Danny Todosychuck who gave up two goals on thirteen Warrior shots. Todosychuk seemed to have troubles with his rebounds most of the night giving up several big rebounds. The Warriors tested Smith right away getting a few real nice chances but the veteran WHL goaltender stood tall. Smith come across the crease in a hurry to make a big pad stop off Jetlan Houcher and then made a tough save off a screened point shot from Gen Bryshun. Mitch McAllister who played with alot of jump getting several good chances was stopped in the second half after Cody Porter made a nice save. Both Porter and Smith played very well this evening. Riley Hunt then went hard towards the net and a second scrum of the night occured after several players jumped in as some pushing and shoving occured. Austin Smith was forced to make another tough pad save off Shawn Hochhausen and then after West Kelowna made a nice long stretch pass setup Seb lloyd who snuck inbehind the Vernon defence getting a parcial breakaway but Smith stayed calm shutting the door on the veteran Warrior Lloyd. Some good action and good scoring chances at both ends before the Vipers would tie the game late in the final minute of play. Second yr defenceman Geoff Crisfield walked in from the point and with traffic in front ripped a nice goal shortside picking the corner tying the game 2-2 at 19:10 Crisfields goal was unassisted. It was tied 2-2 after 40 minutes of play. The Warriors looked and played much better in the 2nd as both teams were fairly even with chances at both ends of the rink. Vernon outshot West Kelowna 14-12.
3rd Period: Both teams got off to a bit of a slow start as it looked like both teams were waiting for the other team to make the first mistake. Not alot of action or intensity in the first few minutes before the Warriors started to lay out a few good checks. Pearce Eviston had a good chance from the circle but couldnt beat Porter. Landon Robin in close was also stopped a few plays later. Vernon would take the lead just before the midway mark after Nick Josephs went hard towards the goal through traffic alone the goaline to somehow getting the puck through bodies in front beating Cody Porter at 9:16 Mitch McAllister with the lone helper. West Kelowna slowly started to come on and started forechecking the Vipers a little forcing Vernon into turning over the puck. Austin Smith had to be alert and ready as West Kelowna come up with several good scoring chances. Smith made a nice save off Seb lloyd from the point, also stopping Matt Anholt and then again making a big save off Shawn Hochhausen who was alone in front. The Vipers who had troubles breaking out of their own end most of the 3rd looked to be going for the long stretch pass and the Warriors forecheckers were clogging up the neutral zone picking off the Vipers passes. Nick Josephs with a great chance to put Vernon up by two beat Porter but rang his shot off the crossbar as the Vipers 4th post-crossbar of the game. West Kelowna turned up the pressure and really took over the edge in play for the last six or seven minutes as the Vipers couldnt get out of their own end. The Warriors hard work paid off Riley Hunt couldnt handle his pass Dakota Kittle picked up the loose puck, setup Dennon Leibel who ripped a high shot upstairs beating Austin Smith with a nice shot tying the game three all at 17:39 Kittle and Dustin Cave picked up the assists. In the dying seconds the Warriors deep in the Vernon zone got a quick shot that either hit Smiths pads or the outside of the post before the Warriors banged in the loose puck past Smith just a second or two late as the buzzer went to end the 3rd period and the green goal light was on as West Kelowna just about stole one in the dying seconds. The game would end in a tie with no overtime. Both teams were fairly even in the first half but it was the Warriors who stepped up their play and were the better of the two teams in the second half of the 3rd. West Kelowna outshot Vernon 13-11.
Top Players: (Vernon)
Brett Corkey played his first game of the pre-season and I thought was the Vipers best d-man tonight. Played very well at both ends of the rink, jumped up into the play and played well on the blueline.
Landon Robin played fairly well tonight. I didnt noticed him at all in Saturday's game vs Wenatchee but he had a few scoring chances and seemed to get involved in the play.
Aaron Hadley I thought played with alot of jump and hustled most of the night.
Mitch McAllister (1 assist) Looked very good up front for the Vipers. Had several good scoring chances, quick on his feet and was buzzing in and around the net. Showed alot of hustle and never quit battling.
Pearce Eviston has some size and hockey scence, played fairly well in his Vipers debut tonight.
Nick Josephs (1 goal) Looked good in the scrimmage game Friday night at the Vipers Training camp and I thought played very well tonight in his second pre-season game. Played well on the backend and jumped up into the play scoring his first pre-season goal. This kid may have some potential.
Austin Smith (19 saves) The Vipers goaltending didnt look that great in the 9-5 loss to Wenatchee Saturday night. Austin Smith who was with the WHL Swift Current Broncos last year was very solid between the pipes for the Vipers. Giving up one goal on 19 West Kelowna shots the 19 yr old played very well and looked very calm and confident between the pipes. Made a few tough saves early when first coming into the game just past the midway mark in the 2nd period and then made a few big saves in the 3rd.
Game Thoughts: (Vernon)
The Vipers dressed 12 new faces in the lineup tonight after falling to 0-1-1 in pre-season action in a game wich I thought was pretty good. Vernon outplayed West Kelowna in the opening period hitting three posts and getting some good chances but found themselfs down 1-0. The Vipers could have easily been up three or four goals after the 1st period. Vernon needed to capitalize on their chances. I thought both teams were more even in the 2nd and third until the Vipers had troubles breaking out of their own end in the 3rd. I think the Vipers have some good talent in camp-exhibition and will have some tough final cuts to make before the start of the regular season. I do like the mix of this team so far and think the team is slowly coming together. The Vipers didnt take alot of penalties and played good for atleast 45-50 minutes of tonights game. This is still the pre-season, kids are in and out of the lineup, playing with new linemates each game and adjusting to new coaches, plays etc. I was a little dissapointed there wasnt any overtime tonight. I was looking forward to the extra period or two. I heard on the radio today the Vipers made some cuts. They didnt say who was cut but had 14 scratches for Saturdays game while down to eight scratches for tonights game.
Top Players: (West Kelowna)
Seb Lloyd was one of the Warriors better players tonight. Had a few good scoring chances, was stopped on a parcial breakaway late in the 2nd period.
Nicholas Gushue played fairly steady on the blueline.
David Pope impressed me up front for West Kelowna. Had a chance to open the scoring in the first after hitting the post. Played well at both ends of the rink.
Shawn Hochhausen (1 assist) Was probally the Warriors best player tonight, had several good scoring chances. Looked very good all night.
Jetlan Houcher (1 goal) I thought played fairly well up front for West Kelowna. Had atleast two good scoring chances.
Cody Porter I thought played very well between the pipes for the Warriors. Made a few nice saves through out the game.
Game Thoughts: (West Kelowna)
The Warriors played their first exhibition game of 2012-13 tonight dressing a younger lineup with 14 scratches in the stands. I thought the younger-inexperienced roster showed in the opening period but give West Kelowna and their young group of kids credit they took a 1-0 lead after the 1st period after being outplayed and then didnt quit, they turned things around in the middle frame and played much better hockey in the 2nd and 3rd periods. I thought there goaltending played well as did there forecheck. Both teams had some good scoring chances in a pretty entertaining hockey game. Going up 2-0 before falling behind 3-2 on the road is tough but they kept battling and working hard tying the game late after some hard work and forcing the Vipers into a few turnovers. The Warriors have a few younger kids that played very well tonight. Im sure Rylan Ferster will be happy with periods two and three and his clubs effort in there first pre-season game. No rest for either team as Vernon now travels up the highway to West Kelowna for a rematch tomorrow night. The Warriors will be playing back to back games while the Vipers will be playing their third game in four nights.
They didnt announce either teams scratches.
Here is a look at both teams lineups-rosters