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 game as Vernon defeated Penticton 3-1 in front of 1,250 fans at Kal Tire Place.
Vernon: Austin Smith
Penticton: Hunter Miska
1st Period: The Vees carried the early edge in play often but with very little offensive opportunities there wasnt alot of scoring chances. Penticton with a real good breakout looked good in the first nine minutes or so as the Vipers couldnt get anything through the neutral zone. The Vees were playing a pretty standup and shutdown defensive game early as the Vipers were also playing well defensively not giving up many scoring chances. It took Vernon six minutes to record their first shot on goal as Penticton was outshooting the Vipers 4-0 at this point. The Vees carried the edge in play and were the better team in the first half before the Vipers come roaring back with a solid second half. Just past the midway mark "AP" Gen Bryshun's point shot was stopped in front before Tyler Povolofskie was stopped at the side of the net on the rebound on the games first quality scoring opportunity. Just shortly afterwards Logan Mick who played a spirited game come out with two big hits opening up some ice before making a smart play at the Vees blueline allowing newcomer Riley Geunther to carry the puck in across the line before dishing off setting up Brendan Persley who went high on Vees starting goaltender Hunter Miska giving Vernon the 1-0 lead at 13:12 Geunther with the lone helper. The Vipers who stepped up the physical play in the second half looked very good with some good pressure down low carried the better of the play. After leading 4-0 in shots the Vipers stormed back with six straight outshooting Penticton 6-4 at this point. The Vees come back with a good push late in the final few minutes in a hard hitting opening period. It was 1-0 Vernon after 20 minutes of play. The Vees with a good start carried the better of the play in the first half before the Vipers come back with a good finish, scoring once and were the better of the two teams in the second half. Very few and limited scoring opportunities as both teams played very well defensively. Both teams didnt give much room, blocking alot of shots and closing the shooting lanes. Shots were even 6-6.
2nd Period: The Vipers would get an early powerplay (the games first) but struggle not getting a single shot as the Vees strong forecheck didnt allow Vernon's powerplay unit to get control as Penticton would kill off the minor. Both teams again played very well defensively not alot of opportunities at both ends of the rink as both teams were fairly evenly matched in the first half. Just before the halfway mark the Vees would get their first of three straight powerplay's. On the first man advantage it was the Vipers penalty kill that looked good, just like the Vees Vernon come out with a strong forecheck forcing a two on one but Michael McNicholas went high and over the net. A very good penalty kill by Vernon would kill off the penalty. Just after the powerplay Anthony Conti tried getting behind the Vernon defenceman couldnt get off a good shot but did manage to get off a low shot that was stopped by Vipers starting goaltender Austin Smith. Penticton would get it's second powerplay of the night, but again it was the Vipers penalty kill that was very opportunistic as Brendan Persley in on a two on one with TJ Dumonceaux waited too long to shoot before being stopped in close as again the Vipers would kill off the minor. Just as the penalty expired Vernon would get called for too many men heading right back to the penalty kill. With a mad scramble in front of the Vernon goal Austin Smith was forced to make a big pad save down low before Paul Stoykewych jumped up into the play, looking to have an open net hit the post as Penticton come very close to tying the game. Vernon would kill off three straight penalties. Just after the powerplay ended former West Kelowna Warrior Travis Blanleil got behind the Vernon defence for a parcial breakaway but was stopped by Smith. In the final minute of play a turnover in the neutral zone allowed Cody DePourcq to find Josh Blanchard who found Max Goatta who ripped a hard shot past Austin Smith tying the game 1-1 at 19:25 Blanchard and DePourcq collected the assists. In the dying seconds Demico Hannoun alone in front tried going high on Hunter Miska who made a tough save before losing the puck before the buzzer sounded. A fairly evenly matched period with the Vees getting three powerplays unable to capitalize, managed to tie the game late on a Vernon turnover. It was 1-1 after 40 minutes of play. Penticton outshot Vernon 12-9.
3rd Period: Just 1:58 into the final frame Liam Coughlin dropped the mits with Patrick Sexton. The Vipers would get an early powerplay six minutes into the third with both teams yet to record a shot on goal. On the man advantage the Vipers would finally get their first shot on net just over seven minutes into the period. Penticton would take another penalty giving the Vipers a short two man advantage. With lots of ice Vernon's powerplay unit moved the puck around getting atleast three or four good quality chances but either missing the net or not getting a quality shot off. The Vipers with some chances just had troubles hitting the net as Penticton excaped killing off both minors. Just as the powerplay's expired Mark Hamilton's point shot looked to hit someone or something along the way beating wich looked to be a screened Miska giving Vernon a 2-1 lead at 9:58 Demico Hannoun and Mason Blacklock collected the assists. Hamilton was rewarded with the goal. Seconds later the Vees would get their first shot with the man advantage this period but again another strong penalty kill by the Vipers. Just after killing off the minor Michael McNicholas with a great chance was stopped by Hunter Miska, back come the Vees with a solid attack. Some quick passing setup Riley Alfred alone at the side of the net, with a quick low shot Alfred hit the side of the mesh on a great chance to tie the game. The Vees with a good push had some good pressure deep for a shift or two but a solid defensive play by the Vipers didnt really allow much time or space for the Vees to create any offensive chances. A few minutes later Demico Hannoun with a nice feed setup former Penticton Vee Dexter Dancs who went around one man before going in all alone for the breakaway pulled Miska way out of position before sliding the puck into the empty cage giving Vernon a 3-1 lead at 14:14 Hannoun with the lone helper. A few plays later Josh Blanchard with some speed ripped a hard shot from the circle forced Smith to come way out to challenge making a big pad save. With three and a half minutes remaining the Vipers with a three on two, made some nice tic tac toe passing as Brendan Persley setup Logan Mick who found Dexter Dancs at the side of the net who was robbed by Hunter Miska who come across the crease with those long legs making a huge pad save. A minute later Vernon would get a late powerplay wich basically would kill off the remainder two and a bit minutes. In the final thirty seconds or so Michael Statchuk with three opportunities in a row couldnt beat Miska down low as Vernon with a solid performance tonight defeated Penticton 3-1. The Vipers with a solid third period played very well at both ends of the rink and carrying the better of the play. Vernon outshot Penticton 12-7.
Top Players: (Vernon)
Mark Hamilton (1 goal) Played a solid game on the Vipers blueline. Scored his second goal of the season was very good tonight.
Riley Guenther (1 assist) Made his Vipers debut tonight after being let go by the WHL Prince Albert Raiders. Guenther stepped in and played very well tonight. Not the biggest kid but is mobile, moves the puck well, can skate and likes to jump up into the play. Looked good on the powerplay. A very nice addition to the Vipers lineup.
Logan Mick I thought was a sparkplug for the Vipers tonight, played with alot of intensity and energy. Mick played physical and made some real smart heads up plays tonight, one resulting in Vernon's opening goal.
Demico Hannoun (2 assists) Wow can this kid skate and dangle, Hannoun with a few real slick plays tried converting in for goals played very well tonight. Hannoun has some very soft hands, really sees and reads the ice well, a very good skater can really moved and handle the puck in tigh situations.
Dexter Dancs (1 goal) I have really noticed the play from Dexter Dancs the last few games. His game is slowly starting to come along, has really improved since last season and playing with alot of confidence now. Scored a real nice goal in the third to basically put the game out of reach.
Austin Smith (24 saves) For the second straight game Smith played very well between the pipes. Didnt have to make alot of tough saves but made some key saves through out tonight's game.
Game Thought's: (Vernon)
From top to bottom this was by far the Vipers best game of the season. I was actually shocked. I was expecting Penticton to come in here and go home with an easy two points. I wasnt expecting much of a hockey game tonight, but saw the best game of the season tonight. This was a very exciting game. This was a totally different team compared to watching the last few Vipers games. Where has this Vipers team been all season? Ive been saying it all season the Vipers have been very uncosistant and it showed again tonight. If this team played like this all season we wouldnt be at the bottom of the standings. I was very impressed with the overall play, I thought Vernon played very well for most of the night. Other then the first nine minutes or so to start the game I thought the Vipers were right with the Vees and even had control of the game at times, especially in the 3rd. This was one of the Vipers best third periods in a very long time. I thought the Vipers did alot better with their passing, didnt nearly make as many turnovers or defensive mistakes compared to the last few games and played like a team tonight. The fight, the hard work and compete were all there. I really liked the Vipers defensive play, other then a few turnovers I thought Vernon's defence didnt give up alot of scoring opportunities as well as only gave up 24 Penticton shots. I was very impressed with the Vipers penalty kill, very solid all night, very aggresive, strong on the forecheck, man to man and creating several two on ones or shorthanded scoring chances. I also thought the Vipers were good on the draw tonight, winning alot of faceoffs. This was a huge win and hopefully a confidence booster for this team heading into this weekends home and home series vs Surrey. With the win the Vipers pick up their first win at home and just their second win of the season.
Top Players: (Penticton)
Brett Beauvais played very solid on the Vees defence. A big kid that dosnt give you much room out there.
Max Coatta (1 goal) This kid has some wheels, can skate and move the puck. Very skilled and talented hockey player.
Cody DePourcq (1 assist) Played a strong game at both ends of the rink. Come up with a huge shot block on the penalty kill, couldnt get off for a change battled hard and finished his shift. This kid always works hard, competes and plays hard game in and game out.
Christopher Rygus played very well on the Penticton backend. A big kid that plays physical and hard to beat man to man.
Anthony Conti played well at times, had a chance in the 2nd period showed spurts of flash.
Travis Blanleil always plays and works hard every night. The former West Kelowna Warrior battled hard tonight. Had two chances played strong all game. I thought was one of the Vees hardest working players tonight.
Hunter Miska (24 saves) Didnt have alot of tough saves to make but did make some good saves through out the game. A bigger goaltender takes up alot of room between the pipes.
Game Thoughts: (Penticton)
I was expecting the Vees to come in here tonight and walk away with a fairly easy victory, especially the way the Vipers have been playing. Was I wrong. The Vees come out strong, with a very well structured system in place the Vees showed some of that early on but couldnt really generate much offence. I thought Penticton carried the edge in play in the first nine minutes or so before Vernon come back and was the better of the two teams in the second half. A fairly evenly matched second period where the Vees tied the game late but couldnt hold down Vernon in the final frame. The Vees gave up their most offensive chances in the third being outshot and outplayed. Both teams played very well defensively not giving up alot of opportunities. Penticton with a very quick skating, skilled team can really move the puck well, play very well defensively and dont make alot of turnovers or mistakes. I did noticed the Vees iced the puck alot tonight and wernt as physical as the Vipers. After starting the season 4-0 the Vees have now dropped two straight. Tonight was the final game of a long six game road trip, as the Vees can head home for the teams home opener Friday vs Merritt. Overall a very exciting game.
Josh Bryan (Injured)
Colton Sparrow (Injured)
Ryan Renz (Injured)
Energy player of the game:
1st Star: Mark Hamilton (1 goal)
2nd Star: Demico Hannoun (2 assists)
3rd Star: Max Coatta (1 goal)
For more on tonight's game visit the BCHL boxscore,
For more on tonight's game and the Penticton Vees visit Fraser Rodger's Three Vees blog,