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 Silverbacks home opener as Salmon Arm defeated Vernon 6-1 in front of 982 fans at the Shaw Centre.
Vernon: Danny Todosychuk
Salmon Arm: Angus Redmond
1st Period: Both teams looked to be checking each other out in the opening few minutes, trying to get a good read on one another as not alot of action in the first minute or so before the Vipers would get the games first powerplay early just over two minutes into the game. Mason Blacklock at the side of the net couldnt jam home the puck on two opportunities before the puck was loose in the crease but both Vipers were tied up in front before the Silverbacks defence was able to clear the puck from harms way. Vernon with some good pressure recorded four shots on the man advantage but unable to capitalize as Salmon Arm killed off the minor. The Backs without a single shot five minutes into the opening period were outshot 5-0 at this point. Thomas Plese and Vernon product Colton Thibault with a great opportunity would come in two on one, Plese was unable to get a good enough shot off as Vipers starting goaltender Danny Todosychuk made two saves on his belly as the Silverbacks needed just about six minutes to get their first shot on net. Salmon Arm would get their first powerplay, with some pressure couldnt capitalize as Vernon killed off the penalty. Just as the powerplay expired some hard work by the Backs down low, with a strong forecheck Colton Thibault was able to get two shots off in front, Danny Todosychuk made the first save down low but couldnt handle the rebound after Thibault put Salmon Arm up 1-0 at 8:42 Taylor Maruya and Thomas Plese collected the helpers. A defensive breakdown allowed Thibault to be alone in front. Just shortly after Colton Thibault with another good chance ripped a hard shot that beat Danny Todosychuk but rang his shot off the post or crossbar. The Vipers who looked good in the opening few minutes were now back on there heels and losing the battles as the Silverbacks with all the play were coming on strong as Salmon Arm was now outshooting Vernon 7-5 at this point. The Backs doing a great job at clogging up the neutral zone wernt giving Vernon any room. Just past the midway mark Vipers captain Ryan Renz collided with a Silverbacks player before Backs captain Blake Box come in going right after Renz as both captains dropped the gloves at centre ice. Renz would leave the game and not return after hurting his leg-ankle during the scrap. Renz was very slow to get up and needed help off the ice putting no pressure or weight on his one leg-ankle. The play then settled down as both teams couldnt get much of anything going as several minutes went by with either team not recording a shot on goal. With about seven minutes remaining Liam Coughlin with a great chance down low beat Silverbacks starting goaltender Angus Redmond but hit the post. Vernon would get a late powerplay with three and a half minutes remaining, Michael Statchuk with a quick shot from the circle beat Redmond but hit the crossbar as Salmon Arm would kill off the minor. Vernon with a good start in the first few minutes couldnt keep up the high tempo as Salmon Arm kinda turned things around with some good pressure and hard work down low before both teams were fairly even in the second half of the period. Salmon Arm was up 1-0 after 20 minutes of play. Shots were even 9-9.
2nd Period: The Vipers with some good jump got off to a quick start, just over a minute into the middle frame the Vipers setup Michael McNicholas with a nice cross crease pass but Angus Redmond slid across the crease to rob McNicholas with his biggest save of the night making a huge left pad save. McNicholas would stay with the play, work hard down low to get the puck before setting up Matty Saharchuck who tied the game 1-1 at 1:45 McNicholas and Craog Martin with the assists. But just less then a minute later Salmon Arm would get its second man advantage of the game. Some real good pressure by the Backs but Salmon Arm couldnt capitalize as Vernon would kill off the minor. But just like the Silverbacks first goal, just as the penalty expired the Backs would eventually find the back of the net. Dexter Dancs coughed up the puck after having several chances to clear the zone, a turnover behind the Vernon net allowed Vernon product Alex Gillies to come around the other side and beat Danny Todosychuk shortside at 5:16 giving Salmon Arm a 2-1 lead. Landon Smith with the only assist. The Vipers then got sloppy in their own end coughing up the puck several times. Liam Coughlin turned over the puck allowed Taylor Maruya to walk in alone but Todosychuk come up with a hige pad save in close keeping this a one goal game. Just a few minutes later Salmon Arm would head back to the powerplay, again lots of pressure by the Silverbacks but no results as Vernon would kill off the minor. Jack Berezan would use some speed on a Silverbacks two on one, Berezan with a hard low shot forced Danny Todosychuk to make a quick left pad-toe save as Salmon Arm was coming on with some chances. The Vipers struggled in the second period but did manage to get a great chance to tie the game after Craig Martin and Michael McNicholas went in on the odd man rush after a Salmon Arm defenceman lost an edge giving Vernon the two on one, Martin with a quick pass setup McNicholas who couldnt beat Redmond. Newcomer Spencer Morse turned over the puck allowing Colton Thibault to come down the right wing, rip a low hard shot that beat Todosychuk fivehole putting the Backs up 3-1 at 14:40 Thibault's goal was unassisted. Less then two minutes later the Vipers with a late powerplay, some good pressure by Vernon but a strong defensive game by Salmon Arm who come up with several big blocked shots as the Vipers couldnt get any pucks through. Colton Thibault with three big blocks on one penalty kill alone. Any shots that did get through Angus Redmond was there to make the save as the Silverbacks would kill off the man advantage. A good start for Vernon who scored early but otherwise was outplayed, outhit and outworked for most of the second period. Salmon Arm dominated the play and were up 3-1 after 40 minutes of play. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 12-11.
3rd Period: Vernon would get a great chance to start the final frame getting an early powerplay just over two minutes in. But a very solid penalty kill by Salmon Arm gave up no shots killing off the penalty. Less then a minute later the Backs would go right back to the penalty kill, as Vernon would another great opportunity to get back into the hockey game, this time the Vipers would get just two shots with the man advantage and once again couldnt capitalize as Salmon Arm would get two big penalty kills early to start the third. Just over a minute and a half later Connor Brown-Maloski was sent in all alone but hauled down on the breakaway, giving the Backs a penalty shot. Brown-Maloski would beat Danny Todosychuk fivehole at 9:04 putting the Backs up 4-1 and almost putting the game away. On the next shift Brown-Maloski beat Todosychuk again but this time hit the crossbar. The Backs didnt stop there, Alex Gillies would give Salmon Arm a 5-1 lead putting the game away at 10:54 Gillies goal was unassisted. Just over a minute later the Vipers would get a powerplay but a good penalty kill by the Silverbacks would kill off the minor. Just over a minute later Salmon Arm would get another shot with the man advantage, but the Vipers would kill off the penalty. Late in the game Vernon would get frustrated taking back to back penalties giving the Backs a two man advantage. Some nice puck movement allowed Brett Fagerheim to wind up a big shot from the point but Todosychuk with the big pad save kicked it out. It wouldnt take long before the Silverbacks would add another one to the scoresheet after Jack Berezan caught Danny Todosychuk looking-going the other way before hitting the empty cage giving Salmon Arm a comanding 6-1 lead at 18:44 Jeff Kennedy and Blak Box picked up the helpers. Vernon would manage to kill off the remainder of the second man advantage in a penalty filled third. The Vipers would lose Brendan Persley in the final minute and a half after going dow in some pain and looked to have trouble putting any weight on his leg-ankle after blocking a shot. Salmon Arm would skate away with a pretty convincing win tonight after a 6-1 victory in the teams home opener. The Vipers with back to back powerplays to start the period couldnt capitalize when the game was still close before the Silverbacks blew the gates open. The Vipers outshot the Silverbacks 13-8.
Top Players: (Vernon)
Liam Coughlin I thought played pretty good as anyone could play in a 6-1 loss. Other then one turnover I thought Coughlin was very good up front for the Vipers. Hit the post in the opening period on a good chance down low.
Brendan Persley was the hardest working Viper. This kid plays hard and gives it his all, game in and game out. Tonight Persley who was going hard to the net, getting in and around Angus Redmond would leave the game late after blocking a shot.
The line of Craig Martin (1 assist), Matty Saharchuk (1 goal) & Michael McNicholas (1 assist) was the Vipers best unit tonight. This line really had things clicking at times when the Vipers were in the offensive zone. I noticed from the start of Training camp that Martin and McNicholas had some chemistry together and played well together in camp.
Game Thoughts: (Vernon)
After I thought what was a very good weekend (last weekend) for the Vipers (I watched both games on the internet) I was pretty disapointed after tonight's loss. The Vipers finished a three game road trip with a pretty disapointing game. The Vipers got off to a good start and looked good in the opening few minutes but other then a few spurts here and there, overall a pretty disapointing game. The Vipers just didnt have their legs going all night, the boys looked like they just got off a six hour bus ride. There passing wich has been real good so far (exhibition and regular season) was not good tonight. I thought the Vipers were outhit, outworked and outplayed for most of the entire game tonight. After a pretty physical-intence two pre-season games vs Salmon Arm I was expecting kinda the same type of hard nosed game tonight. Vernon just didnt look to be in tonight's game, they wernt hitting, they were too soft on the puck, getting beat to the puck, being outworked, outhit and made way too many turnovers-mistakes in their own end. The Vipers struggled defensively. Yes the Vipers had 34 shots but most of them were not quality shots. I think Salmon Arm's first three goals were all caused on Viper turnovers. Most of the Vipers big name players were no where to be seen. I also thought the Vipers fourth line could have seen alot more ice time, Im one who likes to see all four lines see a regular shift, not see the fourth line sit on the bench for half a period before getting their first shift. I also thought the Vipers should have pulled Todosychuk after the fifth goal, you cant blame Danny on the goals but given the score and the outcome of the game, change things up. Going 0-6 with the man advantage didnt help but those back to back powerplays early in the third was a turning point. The Vipers get one or even two powerplay goals early and we have a hockey game. Getting just two shots on back to back powerplays isnt going to win you games. Lets hope the Vipers can re-group and come up with a much better effort and performance tomorrow night.
Top Players: (Salmon Arm)
I thought Thomas Plese (1 assist) and Colton Thibault (2 goals) both played very well together. These two always seemed to know where each other were, looked dangerous with and without the puck. Thibault was probaly the Silverbacks hardest working player coming up with several blocked shots tonight.
Jack Berezan (1 goal) Has some wheels, is good with the puck, had a few real good chances tonight.
Alex Gillies (2 goals) Also played very well up front for Salmon Arm.
Taylor Maruya (1 assist) This kid showed alot of hustle, hard work and determination. I really liked his play and effort all night. Was really skating hard, working hard and going to the net. Was very good on the forecheck, caused a few turnovers in the Vipers zone.
Zach Urban who was an AP with the Vipers a few years back was very solid on the Silverbacks blueline.
Angus Redmond (33 saves) Didnt have alot of tough saves to make, did make atleast three or four big saves but otherwise played his position well making the saves when called apon.
Game Thoughts: (Salmon Arm)
Being outshot 5-0 early the Backs killed off an early powerplay, seemed to settle things down before slowly gaining some momentum and take over the play. Being outshot 5-0 early and then getting your first shot on goal almost six minutes into the game dosnt look good, but Salmon Arm stuck with the game plan, scored shortly after that and really seem to get better as the game went along. The Backs with a real strong forecheck, didnt give Vernon alot of room clogging up the neutral zone and played very well defensivly. The Silverbacks with a ton of blocked shots tonight, also did a great job at getting bodies or sticks in the way giving the Vipers a hard time at getting shots through to the net. Salmon Arm was also very hungry for the puck, winning most of the battles and races, in the Vipers faces playing man to man making it tough for the Vipers to really set anything up offensively. Salmon Arm is quick, moves the puck well and can put the puck in the net. Salmon Arm was by far the better of the two teams and dominated most of the game. The Silverbacks pick up there first win of the season move into a three way tie with Vernon and Trail for 2nd place.
Josh Bryan (Injured)
Colton Sparrow (Injured)
Brendan Kennedy (Injured)
Energy player of the game:
Landon Smith (1 assist)
1st Star: Colton Thibault (2 goals)
2nd Star: Angus Redmond (33 saves)
3rd Star: Alex Gillies (2 goals)
For more on tonight's game visit the BCHL boxscore,
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