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 Vipers home opener as Salmon Arm defeated Vernon 6-5 in double overtime in front of 1,725 fans at Kal Tire Place.
Vernon: Austin Smith
Salmon Arm: Angus Redmond
In a pregame celebration, a member from each of the six Lakers-Vipers National Championship teams, including four past Viper /Laker assistant captain-captains – Duane Dennis (1990 Lakers), Terry Klapstein (‘91 Lakers), Brian Finch (‘96 Vipers), Lenny Rampone (‘99 Vipers), Chris Crowell (‘09 Vipers) and Kevin Kraus (‘ 10 Vipers) – stepped out on the red carpet to watch the raising of the host banner for the RBC Cup.
1st Period: Two or three big checks on the opening shift got the game going before fifty eight seconds into the game Vernon would get the games first powerplay, but with just two shots and not much pressure or chances the Silverbacks would kill off the penalty. Just over two minutes later the Vipers would get two real good chances to open the scoring. Rookie Tyler Povolofskie with a nice indivdual effort in close went in and out around two Salmon Arm players before getting in close but couldnt beat Backs starting goaltender Angus Redmond who made a nice save down low. A few plays later Craig Martin tried stuffing the puck down low at the side of the net but Redmond stayed tight against his post keeping the puck out. The physical play then picked up as both teams started laying the body before tempers heated up a bit after a few minor scrums occurred between whistles. Just a few minutes later the Vipers would open the scoring after veteran Jason Bird's rocket from the point beat a screened Redmond high giving Vernon a 1-0 lead at 9:00 Demico Hannoun and Michael McNicholas collected the helpers. But two minutes later Salmon Arm would get their first crack with the man advantage. With just two shots, Taylor Maruya with a great chance in the slot was stopped by Vipers starting goaltender Austin Smith. This was the only real good chance the Backs had as the Vipers were able to kill off the penalty. Shortly after Demico Hannoun tried setting up Dexter Dancs on a two on one but Silverbacks captain Blake Box come up with a big defensive play to break up Vernon's odd man rush. A few minutes later the Vipers would get another quality scoring chance after Spencer Morse's shot from the point was almost redircted at the side of the net by Liam Coughlin who just couldnt get enough wood on the shot as Redmond made the save in close. The Vipers were the better of the two teams in the first half getting the better scoring chances before Salmon Arm slowly started to crawl back. Late in the 1st Alex Gillies and Evan Anderson on a two on one couldnt capitalize after Michael Statchuk come up with a big defensive play. Just a few shifts later Jeff Kennedy would beat Smith tying the game 1-1 at 16:40 Thomas Plese and Mitchell Ferguson picked up the assists. At the 19:00 minute mark Thomas Plese was stopped on a Silverbacks three on one after Austin Smith come up with a big pad save keeping this game tied. The Vipers come right back on the same shift as Demico Hannoun was alone in the slot but fired high and wide on a great chance to give Vernon the lead. A very entertaining period as Vernon held a slight edge as both teams battled hard. The game was tied 1-1 after 20 minutes of play. Salmon Arm outshot Vernon 13-11.
2nd Period: The Vipers would get an early powerplay 1:04 into the middle frame. With not alot of pressure or shots the Backs were able to kill off the minor. But just seconds after the powerplay expired Mason Blacklock found Mark Hamilton who beat Redmond at 3:07 giving Vernon a 2-1 lead. Blacklock with the lone helper. Just two minutes later the Vipers with a chance to go up by two, Tyler Povolofskie with a great chance was alone in the slot but couldnt beat Angus Redmond who made a big save. The Vipers with all kinds of pressure were really taking it too the Silverbacks for most of the period. Salmon Arm needed almost seven or eight minutes before they recorded their first shot on goal. Craig Martin would give Vernon a two goal lead at 8:21 after Dallas Calvin setup Martin in front. Calvin and Mason Blacklock with the assists. Just past the midway mark the Vipers would get their second man advantage of the period but again couldnt capitalize. Just a few minutes later Logan Mick with a nice hard nosed play setup Tyler Povolofskie in front on a parcial two on one but the Vipers couldnt find the back of the net. Vernon product Colton Thibault would leave the bench and head to the Backs dressing room but would return later on. With just under five minutes remaining the Backs who were outplayed the entire period got a good hard shift from Taylor Maruya who battled hard along the side wall tried going around the net couldnt beat Austin Smith. The Backs with a good forecheck stayed hard on the puck, moving the puck around Maruya setup a wide open Thomas Plese who ripped a hard shot from the slot making this a one goal game at 15:09 Maruya and Andrew Farny got the assists. This goal gave the Backs life and turned the tables for the remainder of the period. On the next shift speedy Landon Smith come hard down the left wing ripped a hard shot that beat Smith but went off the crossbar as Salmon Arm come very close to tying the game. The Backs with some momentum would come on strong late, giving the Vernon defence troubles in their own end. Salmon Arm with some good pressure outplayed the Vipers for the final few minutes. With 1:33 remaining Jeff Kennedy come very close to tying the game, with a nice move in close Kennedy broke free going in alone tried going fivehole but Austin Smith shut the door making a big save late. On the play the Vipers would get a late powerplay that would get carried into the 3rd period. Vernon was by far the better of the two teams outplaying Salmon Arm for most of the middle frame, but give the Silverbacks credit they did battle back getting a late goal and carried the play and were the better of the two teams for the final few minutes. The Vipers with a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes of play. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 17-9.
3rd Period: The Vipers with just 27 seconds remaining with the man advantage that was carried over from the second period couldnt muster much on the remainder of the powerplay. Just as the penalty expired Jason Bird lost an edge allowing Vernon product Alex Jewell a chance to come flying down the wing ripping a hard high shot that just missed the far top corner. On the next play the Backs would tie the game early after Vernon product Harlon Orr with an almost impossible angle somehow beat Austin Smith upstairs high glove from down low on the goal line tying the game three all at fifty four seconds. Andrew Farny with the lone assist. Salmon Arm with lots of jump come ready to play in the third and carried off right where they finished the 2nd period. The Silverbacks looked good in the opening few minutes. Salmon Arm would get an early powerplay but Austin Smith was forced to make a few good saves keeping this game tied. Just as the powerplay expired Brendan Persley with some hard work along the wall in front of the Vipers bench did all the work winning the battle getting the puck before setting up Dexter Dancs in the slot on a Viper three on one but Angus Redmond with a quick glove save robbed Dancs keeping this game tied 3-3. Just a few minutes later the Backs would get a two man advantage and once again Smith was called apon to make some tough saves with lots of bodies in and around the Viper crease. Salmon Arm would call a timeout while on the two man advantage. Dexter Dancs and Michael McNicholas with some great penalty killing ragged off several good seconds as both Vipers stayed hard on the puck eating the play in the Backs zone. Smith with some good saves helped the Vipers kill off the first powerplay but couldnt hold off the final powerplay. Vernon product Alex Gillies was stopped in close but burried the rebound past Smith giving Salmon Arm their first lead of the night at 10:15 on the powerplay. Evan Anderson picked up the only helper. But just eighteen seconds later Vernon would tie the game after Demico Hannoun setup Dexter Dancs at the side of the goal who jammed one home past Redmond tying the game 4-4 at 10:33 Hannoun and Jason Bird with the assists. This goal seemed to give the Vipers some life as Vernon come charging back with several hard nosed shifts battling hard. TJ Dumonceaux with a quick shot from the circle looked to have Angus Redmond beat but the Silverbacks backup goaltender come up with the save just getting a peice of the puck with the shaft of his stick. Vernon would carry the play for a few minutes before both teams went back and forth in a very hard fought hockey game. A very entertaining period with both teams very evenly matched. Late in the game the Backs come very close to taking the lead after Alex Gillies beat Smith but the puck somehow rolled through the crease and out the other side with just 2:24 remaining. On the same shift some hard work by Landon Smith forced Jason Bird to turn over the puck behind his net Smith then fed Gillies in the slot beating Smith giving Salmon Arm the 5-4 lead at 17:51 Landon Smith with the only assist. The Vipers would pull Austin Smith late getting the Vernon goaltender to the bench for the extra attacker. The Backs with a long dump in shot missed the open cage, Michael Statchuk was hit hard behind the goal but the Vipers managed to get the puck come back up ice, Michael McNicholas and Demico Hannoun with some nice passing setup Mason Blacklock in front to tie the game at 19:42 as Kal Tire place erupted. Hannoun and McNicholas with the assists. This was a wild and very entertaining period as both teams were evenly matched in a hard fought game. It was tied 5-5 after 60 minutes of play. Salmon Arm outshot Vernon 11-9.
Overtime: In the opening minute Demico Hannoun with a nice indivdual effort tried going around the Salmon Arm d-man before trying to stuff the puck shortside but Angus Redmond stayed tight against the post making the save. Not alot of action in the first overtime as both teams were playing it very safe trying not to make a mistake. Andrew Farny who was left all alone in the slot with a great chance to end the game fired high and over the net. It was still tied 5-5 after 65 minutes of play. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 3-1.
Double Overtime: Just seventeen seconds into the final frame the Backs would get called for a penalty wich in the BCHL in double overtime means a penalty is an automatic penalty shot. Demico Hannoun went in before taking a shot from in close was stopped by Redmond who didnt have to move making the glove save keeping this game going. The Vipers with a few good rushes couldnt connect on a few passes were really going for the win early. Dexter Dancs tried setting up Demico Hannoun who was alone in the slot but fired wide, the puck would come around and back out to the point where Alex Gillies scooped up the loose puck from just outside the Backs blueline going in for the breakaway and beat Austin Smith at 1:17 giving the Silverbacks a big 6-5 double overtime win. Gillies overtime winner was unassisted. As the Silverbacks bench was jumping onto the ice to join Gillies in celebration, Heach Coach Troy Mick was really giving it too the officials. The Vipers outshot the Silverbacks 2-1.
Top Players: (Vernon)
Tyler Povolofskie was very good up front for the Vipers. The young rookie had several good chances, worked and played hard all night.
Michael McNicholas (2 assists) I thought also played very well tonight. Was very good on the penalty kill and really used his speed and play making ability to creat and generate chances for Vernon.
Logan Mick I thought played hard and competed. I thought a kid like Mick could have saw more icetime last night in Salmon Arm played very well tonight.
Demico Hannoun (3 assists) I really like this kid, sees and reads the ice very well. Very crafty and shifty with the puck, has some very good hands and play making abilities. Had two great chances to win this game in overtime but couldnt.
Dexter Dancs didnt really stand out for me in the first two periods but I thought the second year Viper really stepped up his game and played very well in the 3rd and both overtime periods. Was very hard to get off the puck, generated and created a few good plays and played hard.
Game Thoughts: (Vernon)
A very cool pre-game ceremony with former Vernon Lakers & Vipers in attendance. Very cool to see some of the older and former players return for the Vipers home opener and the raising of the 2014 RBC Cup Host banner. Brings back alot of great memories for sure. After a very disapointing 6-1 loss in Salmon Arm last night, it was great to see the Vipers come back with a strong performance tonight. I thought Vernon played very well and looked much better then last night. This was the Vipers team I saw during the pre-season and over the weekend at the BCHL Showcase. The Vipers battled, competed and played hard all night. Sure they blew a two goal lead but I thought were very good tonight. There passing was much better and they were really going hard to the net, getting in players faces and not backing down from the rough stuff. I was pleased with the penalty kill (only gave up one powerplay goal) but still need some work on the man advantage. The Vipers need to get more shots and pucks towards the goal. I thought Vernon played with alot more aggression and more intensity. A very tough loss after coming back to tie the game late. Overall this was a very exciting and entertaining game.
Top Players: (Salmon Arm)
Andrew Farny (2 assists) Played very well on the Silverbacks blueline. Jumped up into the play on several occasions and was involved in the play for most of the night.
Blake Box also played very well defensively for the Backs. Saw alot of minutes and was very steady all night on the backend. Come up with a big defensive play breaking up a Vipers two on one in the 1st period.
Landon Smith (1 assist) Showed alot of hustle, has some quick wheels, plays hard and battles hard. Had a great chance to tie the game late in the second but hit the crossbar. Battled hard down low, staying with the play and puck to force the turnover resulting in the Backs fifth goal.
Alex Gillies (3 goals) Played very well up front for the Silverbacks. What a thrill it must be scoring three goals including the ot winner on your home ice in front of friends and family. Really played hard most of the night. Come up with some big plays, creating and generating chances all night.
Taylor Maruya (1 assist) I really like the play from this kid. Played very well last night and again tonight. Had atleast two scoring opportunities tonight, plays hard and competes all night.
Evan Anderson (1 assist) Also played very well up front for the Silverbacks.
Angus Redmond (37 saves) For the second straight night played well between the pipes. With starting goaltender Adam Clark out of the lineup, the rookie Redmond is going to have to be depended on in big games like this. Made some good saves tonight.
Game Thoughts: (Salmon Arm)
I thought the Silverbacks were much better in last night's 6-1 victory but still played well tonight. I thought the Backs really stepped up there play and got better late in the 2nd and for the remainder of the game. Salmon Arm didnt seem to have that same intensity as they did in last night's home opener. They wernt in the face of the Vipers as much and didnt nearly block as many shots as last night. This team has some speed, size and skill as well as good defence and goaltending. Down two goals this team didnt quit, they kept with the play, hung around and battled back to tie the game before taking the lead. Both teams were changing up lines through out the game. I dont think Troy Mick will be happy with allowing Vernon to tie the game late in the third but will take the two points and the come from behind win.
Josh Bryan (Injured)
Colton Sparrow (Injured)
Ryan Renz (Injured)
Brendan Kennedy (Injured)
Energy player of the game:
1st Star: Alex Gillies (3 goals)
2nd Star: Mason Blacklock (1 goal & 2 assists)
3rd Star: Thomas Plese (1 assist)
For more on tonight's game visit the BCHL boxscore,