Thursday, August 23, 2012

Vipers Loaded With Talent:

Last season when the City of Vernon & the Vipers announced they would be making a bid for the 2014 Royal Bank Cup Viper fans were asked to support the RBC Cup bid, most fans signed up to receive a RBC Cup newsletter. I received my newsletter last night and wanted to share a few articles that were posted inside the RBC Cup newsletter. Here is one of them,

RBC Cup 2014

"The Excitement Returns!"

Vipers Loaded With Talent

August 22, 2012

Volume 1, Issue 7

Viper GM Jason Williamson is excited about the next two years.

“This year,” he says, “we have a solid nucleus returning. I especially like our veteran presence on defence.” Vets Brett Corkey, Marc Hetnik, Ryan Renz, and Geoff Crisfield will be joined by blue-chip rookies Michael Statchuk and Kevin Guiltinan.

Statchuk, who plays bigger than his 5’11, 190-pound frame, also has a promising offensive upside. In the highly competitive Saskatchewan AAA Midget league, he registered 13 goals and 26 assists in 44 games. He was the captain for the Prince Albert Mintos, which tied with the Saskatoon Contacts for the league lead last year.

Guiltinan, a 6’2 bruiser who played at the Hill Academy in Toronto last year, was coveted by the London Knights but chose to come to Vernon as a springboard to an NCAA school. He was a standout at the Vipers’ camp this April.

Other defensive prospects include John Saunders and Bryce Eviston, both of whom played AP games last year for the Vipers.

Up front, the Vipers return Adam Tambellini, Aaron Hadley, Colton Sparrow, Jedd Soleway, Brendan Persley, and Riley Hunt. They will be joined by two veteran power forwards. Pierce Eviston has played for the Victoria Grizzlies and the Portland Winterhawks. He’s skilful and he’s big, at 6’1 and 200 pounds. Braeden Russell is even bigger, at 6’3, 205. He’s played the last two years for the Jr. “A” Oakville Blades.
Last year he was good enough to make the Canada East roster at the World Jr. “A” Challenge.

Another prized recruit is Trail’s Craig Martin, a scoring machine who potted 48 goals and 48 assists in 50 games as a 16-year-old for the Jr. “B” Beaver Valley Nitehawks. He then added 17 goals and 21 assists in 20 playoff games. His high scoring Nitehawk line mate, Ryan Edwards, also plans to crack the Viper lineup.

Other excellent forward prospects include five Midget grads, two from Saskatchewan (Landon Robin and Adam Fauchoux) and three from Alberta (Mitch McAllister, Nick Josephs, and Joe Serpico). Josephs had the best stats of that group, 26 goals and 23 assists in 30 games. Local players Mike Roberts and Logan Mick will also contend for a roster spot.

The Vipers have recruited Massachusetts native Joe Young to challenge Danny Todosychuk for the starting goaltender role.

Only three of this year’s team are 20-year-olds (Corkey, Hetnik, and Pierce Eviston), so the team could return almost its entire roster for the 2013-14 RBC Cup season.

“We’ll see how many of the guys leave early for college,” says Williamson. “Obviously we’d like to keep our team together and the chance to play for a national championship is a special opportunity. So the guys who have scholarships will have to weigh that benefit against the desire to move up to the next level.”

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