Saturday, November 30, 2013

Former Vernon Viper Noonan Named Hockey East Weekly Top Performer:

Former Vernon Vipers defenceman Garrett Noonan is one of twenty
five players that were named this week's Hockey East weekly top performers on Monday.

Garrett Noonan has been named Hockey East weekly top performer for a third time this season. Nonnan is in his fourth and final season at Boston University recorded three points (1g,2a) and four blocked shots in the weekend series against North Dakota. Noonan attended the Nashville Predators Development Camp July 9-13th . In 34 games last season Noonan collected (6-13-19). Noonan was drafted by the Nashville Predators in Round 4 #112 overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Noonan played one season in Vernon (2009-2010) collecting (2-16-18) in 58 regular season games with the Vipers.

Garrett Noonan's Player Profile:

Smoke Eaters Trade Former Viper Roberts To Salmon Arm:

The Trail Smoke Eaters have traded former Vernon Vipers forward Michael Roberts to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. Roberts was traded to Surrey as part of the Adam Tambellini trade last season. On January, 10th 2013 the Vipers sent Adam Tambellini & future considerations (Michael Roberts) to the the Surrey Eagles for Mason Blacklock & future considerations (Demico Hannoun & Jordan Klimek). The Eagles sent Roberts to Trail on November, 15th 2013. In 53 games with the Vipers last season Roberts collected (4-6-10). In 24 games with the Eagles this season Roberts collected (4-8-12). Roberts played just one game with Trail going pointless.  

Michael Roberts Player Profile:

This is posted on the BCHL website:

29-Nov-13 The Salmon Arm Silverbacks Hockey Club have acquired the CJHL playing rights to Michael Roberts(95)(F) from the Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey Club in exchange for future considerations

Former Viper Kellen Jones Named Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Player Of The Week:

Former Vernon Viper forward Kellen Jones has been named Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference player of the week.  Kellen is in his fourth and final season with the Quinnipiac Bobcats. Kellen & his twin brother Connor both played four years in Vernon (2006-2010).  In 154 regular season games with the Vipers Kellen collected (39-134-173). Kellen is the all-time franchise assists leader (regular season & playoffs) with 150. Both Jones brothers attended the Edmont Oilers Development Camp this summer (July 3rd-9th).

Kellen Jones Player Profile:

This is posted on the Bobcats website:

Quinnipiac Men's Ice Hockey's Kellen Jones and Sam Anas Earn ECAC Hockey Weekly Honors


Quinnipiac senior Kellen Jones and freshman Sam Anas were named the ECAC Hockey Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week, respectively, as announced by the league on Tuesday, Nov. 26.

In a 1-1 week, Kellen Jones led Quinnipiac and ECAC Hockey in goals (3) and points (4). Against Princeton, in a 3-0 win, Jones became the 35th player in Quinnipiac history, and the 21st at the Division I level, to reach 100 career points with a goal against the Tigers. In a 4-3 loss Saturday, Jones had two goals and an assist. For the year, Jones leads Quinnipiac with 11 assists, while his seven goals give him 18 points for the season.

Anas led all Quinnipiac freshman with two goals and two assists. Anas posted one-goal, one-assist outings in a 3-0 win at Princeton and in a 4-3 loss at home to the Tigers. On Saturday night, Anas scored his team-leading 10th goal of the year to become just the tenth Quinnipiac freshman in program history to score 10 goals in his first season. For the year, he leads Quinnipiac in goals (10) and points (20). It is Anas' third Rookie of the Week award this season.

Quinnipiac returns to action when its hosts Providence College on Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. at High Point Solutions Arena at the TD Bank Sports Center. On Saturday, Nov. 30, the Bobcats welcome the University of Massachusetts to town. Both games can be seen live on SNY in high definition, where available. Following Saturday night's game against UMass, Quinnipiac fans can see the first installment of this season's "Bobcats Unleashed in HD" - the Emmy Nominated highlight show produced on Quinnipiac University's campus - at 9:30 p.m.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Vernon 4 Merritt 0

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 Merritt 4-0 in front of 1,656 fans at Kal Tire Place.

Starting Goalenders:

Vernon:  Austin Smith
Merritt:  Devin Kero

1st Period:  The Vipers got off to a quick start, Chase McMurphy off the opening faceoff with a great chance in the close couldnt beat Devin Kero as Vernon with two early shots had some good pressure in the opening minute of play.  The Centennials would get the games first powerplay, getting an early man advantage just over three minutes into the contest.  Merritt with three shots had some good pressure but couldnt capitalize as Vernon would kill off the penalty.  Both teams were very evenly matched for most of the first period.  Very little scoring chances in the first half at both ends of the rink.  Just past the midway mark the Vipers would get their first powerplay of the night.  With some good puck movement Vernon created and generated several good scoring opportunities.  Michael McNicholas at the side of the net fanned on a nice pass through the slot as Vernon come close to opening the scoring.  The Vipers with a good powerplay couldnt find the back of the net as the Cents would kill off the minor.  Jason Bird would take a puck to the face but would stay in the game, getting back on the ice his next shift.  Just after the penalty kill Merritt would get their first scoring opportunity of the night after Austin Smith come out to challenge making a big save off Malik Kaila.  Michael McNicholas would get his second opportunity of the night redirecting a shot from in close just wide of the net.  Liam Coughlin then getting a good chance in close couldnt beat Devin Kero in tight.  Vernon would get their second powerplay of the game late to finish the period.  Colton Sparrow would open the scoring after setting up Chase McMurphy at the side of the net, Sparrow's pass went in and off Kero into the back of the net giving the Vipers a 1-0 lead at 16:09 Riley Guenther and Josh Bryan collected the helpers.  This goal seemed to give Vernon some momentum as the Vipers stepped up their game and really carried the edge in play for the final few minutes.  Michael Statchuk driving hard to the net put a nice move in close was stoned by Kero who made a huge save down low late keeping this a one goal game.  Vernon was up 1-0 after 20 minutes of play.  This was a good opening period by both teams.  Both teams were fairly even for most of the period but the Vipers with the lone goal seemed to take it too Merritt for the final few minutes and were the better of the two teams late.  Vernon had more scoring opportunities.  The Vipers outshot the Centennials 12-7.

2nd Period:  The Cents come out with a strong forecheck to start the middle frame, really taking it to Vernon early working the puck hard along the boards the Centennials controlled the early edge in play as the Vipers got off to a bit of a slow start couldnt get their legs going and had troubles getting out of their own end. Merritt with a good forecheck early was really working and battling hard but couldnt get pucks to the net before Dexter Dancs and Daniel Nachbaur dropped the gloves.  Nachbaur would be called for the aggressor in the scrap giving Vernon an early powerplay.  Demico Hannoun with Vernon's only shot on the man advantage come late on a good chance from in close.  Hannoun's quick shot from the circle forced Cents starting goaltender Devin Kero to quickly shut the fivehole making a big save off Hannoun in the dying seconds of the powerplay as Merritt would kill off the minor.  The Centennials would head right back to the penalty box giving the Vipers back to back powerplays.  With a very good penalty kill Merritt would kill off both penalties as the Vipers struggled offensively.  But just seconds after the powerplay Michael Statchuk setup Demico Hannoun with a quick release beat Devin Kero from the slot giving Vernon a 2-0 lead at 6:39 Statchuk with the lone assist on the goal.  This goal seemed to give the Vipers some jump-meomnetum as Vernon started getting the offence rolling as just a minute and a half later Demico Hannoun setup Chase McMurphy on a two on one giving the Vipers a 3-0 lead at 8:08 Hannoun and Colton Sparrow collected the assists.  And just over two minutes later Hannoun would record his second of the night from the high slot giving Vernon a 4-0 lead at 10:16 Hannoun's goal was unassisted.  The Vipers with three goals in three and a half minutes busted this game wide open.  On the next shift Vipers starting goaltender Austin Smith made his first save of the period after making a quick glove save off Sebastien Pare as the Cents needed almost eleven minutes for their first shot of the period.  On the play Merritt would get their first of two back to back powerplays and Smith had to be sharp making a tough save down low with bodies in and around the blue paint Smith gobbled up the loose puck to stop the play.  Smith with a few good saves after some pressure by the Cents but Vernon's penalty kill was very good killing off both penalties.  Late in the period Sebastien Pare with a nice move in close made one too many moves couldnt finish missing the net on a great chance before Logan Mick come back the other got inbehind the Merritt defence going in for the parcial breakaway was hacked down giving Vernon a late powerplay.  The Vipers couldnt capitalize as Merritt would kill off the minor.  At the buzzer tempers heated up as a scrum formed in behind the Centennials net as some pushing and shoving occurred before the scrum was broken up.  The Vipers were up 4-0 after 40 minutes of play.  I thought Merritt come out strong, with a hard forecheck had the Vipers hemned in deep in their own end but couldnt get pucks to the net before taking back to back minors seemed to take the wind out of their sails.  Vernon didnt score on either of the two powerplays but found the back of the net just seconds after the second man advantage scoring three quick goals in less then four minutes changing the game in a hurry.  I thought the Vipers really played well in the second before the Centennials come out strong late in the final five or so minutes but couldnt capitalize with two late powerplays.  Vernon outshot Merritt 11-10.

3rd Period:  The Cents would get an early powerplay just 1:04 into the final frame and it looked like Merritt got on the scoreboard on a strange play.  A quick hard low shot from the circle looked to have beat Austin Smith as the puck sounded like it hit the post but it also looked like the puck found its way into the back of the net before coming straight back out into play.  With no call from either referee or argument from the Cents or Centennials bench the play continued.  The Cents with some good pressure generated several chances as Smith had to be sharp making several key saves, but Vernon would kill off the minor.  With Vernon up by four goals the Vipers took their foot off the gas as Merritt still playing with some edge kept battling away as the Centennials who were working hard carried the edge in play.  Austin Smith was fairly busy making some good saves early and often.  The Vipers with very little offence in the third would get a man advantage just before the halfway mark but couldnt find the back of the net as Merritt would kill off the penalty.  Just under five minutes remaining Liam Coughlin would get sent in for the breakaway, going shortside missed the net on his third opportunity of the night.  On the next shift another scrum would gather as both teams started pushing and shoving.  Jared Wilson and Rhett Willcox would both leave the game after picking up two minor penalties each.  Tempers heated up in the final few minutes as Kenny Citron and Cents captain Payton Schaefer would both get the boot after both getting unsportsmanlike conducts.  Late in the game Diego Cuglietta with a great chance to spoil Smith's shutout couldnt beat the Vernon goaltender on a wrap around.  In the final minute Mark Hamilton and Sam Johnson dropped the mits as both players were tossed from the game.  At the buzzer a crowd gathered in and around Devin Kero and the Centennials net before some pushing and shoving occurred as tempers heated up once again.  Both referees and linesmen were forced to break up the scrum as the Vipers would come away with the 4-0 victory.  Merritt carried the better of the play as Vernon with a four goal lead took their foot off the gas.  Austin Smith with several good saves was busy in the third period.  The Vipers with a hard fought victory were outshot 14-13.

Top Players:  (Vernon)

Josh Bryan (1 assist)  Played very strong on the Vipers blueline.  I thought Bryan was very good at both ends of the rink.  Was very steady on the backend and was good with and without the puck in the offensive zone. 

The line of Colton Sparrow (1 goal & 1 assist), Demico Hannoun (2 goals & 1 assist) & Chase McMurphy (1 goal) was very good for Vernon.  This line played very well together, has some good chemistry, seemed to know where one another were at all times, really clicked in the second period getting in on all three goals.

The line of Logan Mick, Tyler Povolofskie and TJ Dumonceaux was the Vipers hardest working unit tonight.  This line played very well this evening, creating and generating alot of energy, jump and played with a bit of an edge.  Saw lots of ice in the third, even got out on the powerplay.  These three kids were banging and crashing all game.

Jason Bird who has been struggling latley really stepped up his game tonight playing very solid on the blueline.  Bird played very well at both ends of the rink, was very good with and without the puck.  Kept things simple was skating hard, moving the puck well.

Austin Smith (31 saves-shutout)  Has really stepped up his game the last three games.  Giving up just three goals in his last three games Smith was less then a minute away from a shutout in Trail last weekend played very well tonight.  Smith who didnt see alot of action in the first two periods saw his most rubber in the third was busy making several key saves through out the final period.  Played with alot of confidence and played his position well.  Didnt give out alot of rebounds, just about got caught out of his net twice but recovered.

Game Thoughts:  (Vernon)

After three straight one goal games vs Merritt (1 win and two losses) I thought the Vipers made a statement tonight, showing they are going to be one of the top teams this season and are going to be hard to play against.  Vernon with a hard fought 4-0 victory move back into first place in a very tight Interior Division after a 5-4 Langley win in Penticton tonight.  I thought the Vipers played very well tonight and fully deserved the win.  All four lines contributed, playing very well.  Going into the 2nd this could have been anyone's game but the Vipers with three quick goals less then four minutes apart opened the game wide open.  I liked Vernon's penalty kill and thought the Vipers powerplay looked good at times even though they went 1-7.  Ive really noticed a difference in Vernon's passing and breakout.  The Vipers defensive play has also come along way and seems to be getting better.  This team seems to play with alot more chemistry-team unity compared to the past two seasons.  The Vipers also showed Merritt they wernt going to back down from the rough stuff and answered the bell when needed too.  A big win-big two points in a big two game homestand this weekend before hitting the Coast for a three game trip next weekend.

Top Players:  (Merritt)

Dane Birks played steady on the Merritt defence.

Diego Cuglietta was one of the Centennials hardest working players tonight.  Cuglietta is quick on his feet, always moving, was always involved in the play.  Generated and created a few opportunities, played with alot of jump ad energy.

Sebastien Pare another hard working kid who played very well and was the Cents best player tonight.  Pare was very hard to knock off the puck, good skater, also generated and created some chances was very good down low and along the wall.  Played with lots of energy, had some jump in his game tonight. 

Game Thoughts:  (Merritt)

The Cents have now dropped back to back games head back home to face league leading Powell River tomorrow night.  I thought Merritt played well in the opening frame stayed with the Vipers even though down 1-0 on a late powerplay goal.  The Centennials with a great start to the second period couldnt capitalize after a strong forecheck took back to back minors before giving up three goals in less then four minutes.  The Cents look dejected and just couldnt seem to get back on pace.  I thought Luke Pierce needed to call a timeout after Vernon's third goal to try and settle down the boys.  Give Merritt credit they didnt quit, they come on strong late to finish the 2nd period but couldnt capitalize with two late powerplays.  Down four goals to start the third is tough but the Centennials plugged away getting several chances but couldnt beat Austin Smith.  It looked to me that Merritt scored an early powerplay goal to start the third but nobody seemed to notice it.  A quick low-hard shot from the circle looked to have beat Austin Smith but the puck made a sound like it hit the post but come right back out very quickly with no stoppage in play.  I was surprised the Merritt bench or any players on the ice didnt react or say anything.  Both referees didnt even make any kind of a call on the ice.  One fellow who sits in front of me was standing at the top f the stairs waiting for a whistle to come back to his seat, said the puck went in.  With the loss the Centennials fall to 3rd place.



Mason Blacklock (Injured)
Brendan Persley (Injured)
Ryan Renz (Injured)


Adam Tracey
James Neil

Energy player of the game:

Tyler Povolofskie

Three Stars:

1st Star:  Demico Hannoun (2 goals & 1 assist)
2nd Star:  Riley Guenther (1 assist)
3rd Star:  Austin Smith (31 saves-shutout)

For more on tonight's game visit the BCHL boxscore,

For more on tonight's game and the Merritt Centennials visit Dustin Scafe's Merritt Centennials blog,

Schedule, Sales Set For RBC Cup:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Schedule, sales set for RBC Cup
Nov 29, 2013

The east region champs will be first up for the Vernon Vipers May 10 at 7 p.m., at the 2014 RBC Cup Canadian Junior A hockey tournament at Kal Tire Place.

The organizing committee has released the tournament schedule.

“The first contest of the 10-game round robin will pit west 2 against the east region representative at 2 p.m. on May 10,” said tournament chairperson Mike Lane.

“The tournament’s opening ceremonies will take place prior to the Vipers’ opening game.”

The west region has two representatives to be determined from the Western Canadian tournament in Dauphin, Man., featuring the champions of the four western provinces’ hockey leagues.

If the Vipers win the BCHL title, they will travel to Dauphin. If they finish in the top two, the third place team will come to Vernon.

Each team plays each of the other four teams once in the tournament’s round robin component, which concludes with two games on May 15.

The Vipers will play all of their round robin games at 7 p.m. on May 10, May 12 (vs west 1), May 13 (vs west 2) and May 15 (vs central).

“At that point one team will be eliminated from the tournament and the remaining four teams will rest May 16, before engaging in the two semi-finals on Saturday,” said Lane.

The top-ranked team from the round robin games will choose whether to play in the afternoon game or the evening game on Saturday.

That squad will play the fourth ranked team in one playoff game while teams two and three will meet in the other.

In previous RBC Cups, the Vipers have had success playing in the afternoon game and getting several hours of extra rest for the Sunday championship final.

Some host teams have chosen the Saturday evening time slot to maximize attendance and it has backfired when the team came up against a more rested squad in the final.

“In 2010, for example, the host Dauphin Kings chose the late Saturday slot and offered little resistance as they were drubbed 8-1 by the Vipers the next afternoon,” said Lane.
The tournament banquet and awards night will be held May 16.

The teams and a few dignitaries will be hosted at a banquet at the Prestige Inn.  Then, they will move to the Vernon and Performing Arts Centre for awards ceremonies. A guest speaker has not yet been confirmed.

RBC Cup Christmas gift packs are now until Dec. 23.

The packs include RBC Cup clothing and souvenirs in addition to a ticket for each of the 13 games in the 2014 RBC Cup.

The total Christmas pack costs $229, including taxes and fees.

“The Christmas gift pack is a good deal because the ticket package sells for $229, including taxes and fees, and the other items in the pack have a retail value of between $40 and $50,” said Lane.

Prime seats are still available for the RBC Cup, but they are in limited supply.
Just 100 Christmas gift packs will be offered.

The RBC Cup Christmas gift packs can be purchased at the Vernon Viper office in Kal Tire Place or at the RBC Cup table during Viper games.

The first opportunity to purchase will be at today’s game when the Vipers host the Merritt Centennials.

Purchasers can also get the packs online by going to the Viper home page,, clicking on the RBC Cup logo, and clicking on “Tickets” when the 2014 RBC Cup website appears.

Tournament packages can be ordered by going to and clicking on the 2014 RBC Cup link on the upper right corner.

Packages are also available at all Viper home games at the RBC Cup table.

Game Preview: Merritt @ Vernon:

Merritt (16-10-1-1) @ Vernon (14-7-3-4) 7pm start

Tonight is the fourth game of seven meetings between the Vipers & Centennials. Merritt leads the season series 2-1.   

Last Game:

Saturday, November 23rd Vernon tied West Kelowna 2-2
Saturday, November 23rd Surrey defeated Merritt 2-1

Next Game:

Sunday, December 1st Trail @ Vernon
Saturday, November 30th Powell River @ Merritt

Since the 2002-03 season Vernon is 52-14-2-8 vs. Merritt

Since the 2002-03 season Vernon has outscored Merritt  300-186

Since the 2003-04 season Vernon is 23-6-1-4 at home vs. Merritt

Since the 2003-04 season Vernon is 23-5-1-5 in Merritt

The Vipers are 3-4-1-2 in their last ten games at home vs. the Centennials

The Vipers are 3-4-1-2 in their last ten games on the road vs. the Centennials

The Vipers are 3-4-1-2 in their last ten games vs. Merritt

The Vipers last win at home vs Merritt was a 3-2 double overtime victory back on Saturday, March 9th 2013

The Centennials last win in Vernon was a 1-0 victory back on Saturday, October 26th 2013

The Vipers last win in Merritt was a 4-3 overtime victory on Friday, November 15th 2013

The Centennials last win at home over Vernon was a 4-3 double overtime victory on Friday, February 15th 2013

The Vipers went 2-3-1-1 vs the Merritt Centennials last season

For more stats & former Vernon Junior Hockey Team rosters & lineups please visit Paul’s Vernon Junior Hockey History website,

Lets take a look at the Vernon Vipers:

The Vernon Vipers are coming off a 2-2 tie vs the West Kelowna Warriors Saturday will be looking for their second straight win over the Merritt Centennials in the teams second game of a three game home stand.  The Vipers with two home games this weekend are looking at getting back into first place.  Vernon sits in 2nd place one point up on 3rd place Merritt and one point back of 1st place Penticton.  The Vipers are unbeaten in their last two games (a win and a tie) have atleast a point in four of their last five games and are 5-2-2-1 in their last ten games.  Vernon is 5-1-2-1 in the month of November.  The Vipers have two ties in their last three home games have just two regulation losses at home this season.        

Mason Blacklock (15-9-24) leads the Vipers in goals with fifteen while Michael McNicholas (12-22-34) leads the Vipers in points with thirty four

Vernon Vipers 2013-14 Regular Season Stats:

Games Played: 28
Wins: 14
Losses: 7
Ties: 3
Overtime Losses: 4
Home Record: 6-2-3-3
Road Record: 8-5-0-1
Overtime Record: 2-4-3
Goals For: 93
Goals Against: 85
Streak: Unbeaten in two games (win and a tie)
Standings: 2nd Place

Vernon Vipers Returning Players:

Jason Bird (93)
Mason Blacklock (94)
Dexter Dancs (95)
TJ Dumonceaux (94)
Logan Mick (96)
Brendan Persley (93)
Ryan Renz (93)
Colton Sparrow (93)
Michael Statchuk (94)
Austin Smith (93)
Danny Todosychuk (94)

Vernon Vipers Departing & traded players from last years team:

Liam Board (93)
Brett Corkey (92)
Bryce Eviston (94)
Andrew Tegeler (92)
Craig Martin (95)
Mitch McAllister (94)
Marc Hetnik (92)
Michael Roberts (95)
Braeden Russell (93)
Geoff Crisfield (93)

Vernon’s Home record vs. Merritt this season:


Vernon’s Road record vs. Merritt this season:


Vernon’s scoring leaders vs. Merritt this season:
Dexter Dancs (0-2-2)
Liam Coughlin (1-1-2)
Michael Statchuk (0-2-2)
Michael McNicholas (0-2-2)
TJ Dumonceaux (0-1-1)
Mason Blacklock (1-0-1)
Josh Bryan (0-1-1)
Riley Guenther (1-0-1)
Matty Saharchuk (1-0-1)
Brendan Persley (1-0-1)
Ryan Renz (0-1-1)

Austin Smith (1-1 Record)

Key’s and Notes to tonight’s game:

-Vernon has the leagues 16th best powerplay

-The Vipers have the BCHL's 5th best penalty kill

Lets take a look at the Merritt Centennials:

The Merritt Centennials are coming off a 2-1 loss in Surrey Saturday night make their third and final visit of the regular season to Kal Tire Place where they are 2-0 this season.  The Vipers won the last meeting between these two teams back on November 15th come away with a 4-3 overtime win in Merritt.  Tonight is the second game of a two game road trip for Merritt where the Cents have won three of their last five and are 7-2-0-1 in their last ten games.  Merritt is 6-1-0-1 in the month of November.  The Centennials are three points up on West Kelowna & Salmon Arm who are tied for 4th place sit one point back of 2nd place Vernon. 

For more on the Centennials please visit Dustin Scafe's Merritt Centennials blog,

Scott Paterson (16-13-29) leads the Centennials in goals with sixteen and in points with twenty nine

Merritt Centennials 2013-14 Regular Season Stats::

Games Played: 28
Wins: 16
Losses: 10
Ties: 1
Overtime Losses:  1
Home Record: 8-4-1-1
Road Record: 8-6-0-0
Overtime Record: 3-1-0
Goals For: 89
Goals Against: 75
Streak: One game losing streak
Place:  3rd Place

Merritt Centennials Returning Players:

Jeff Wight (95)
Scott Patterson (93)
Payton Schaefer (93)
Sam Johnson (94)
Tyler Martin (93)
Dane Birks (95)
Sebastien Pare (93)
Diego Cuglietta (95)
Bennett Huber (94)
Russell Sanderson (94)

Merritt Centennials Departing & traded players from last years team:

Regan Soquila (93)
Derek Husiman (92)
Silvan Harper (92)
Sean Maktaak (92)
Kevin Lohan (93)
Brendan Lamont (94)
Dylan Chanter (95)
Richard Sabourin (92)
Brent Fletcher (92)
Charlie Donlin (93)
John Saunders (94)
Tyler Steel (93)

Merritt's Home record vs. Vernon this season:


Merritt's Road record vs. Vernon this season:


Merritt's scoring leaders vs. Vernon this season:
Sebastien Pare (0-3-3)
Gavin Gould (3-0-3)
Scott Paterson (1-2-3)
James Neil (0-2-2)
Jeff Wight (2-0-2)
Payton Schaefer (1-1-2)
Shane Poulsen (0-2-2)
Adam Tracey (0-1-1)
Malik Kaila (0-1-1)
Dylan Bowen (0-1-1)
Jake Clifford (0-1-1)

Devin Kero (1-1 Record)
Connor LaCouvee (1-0 Record)

-Centennials Head Coach-GM Luke Pierce played his final year of Junior hockey with the Vipers (2003-04)

-Merritt has the leagues 4th best powerplay

-The Centennials have the BCHL's 7th best penalty kill

Here's a look at both teams rosters:

Vernon Vipers:

Merritt Centennials:

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Vernon Vipers Royal Bank Cup Schedule:

This is posted on

Vipers go prime time at RBC Cup

by Wayne Moore - Kelowna

Nov 28, 2013

The Vernon Vipers will be the featured team each night of the Royal Bank Cup at Kal Tire Place.

The schedule for the RBC Cup, the Canadian Jr. A Hockey Championship, slated for May 10 to 18 in Vernon was released Thursday.

The host Vipers will open up the tournament Saturday, May 10 against the east representative.

They will then play Monday, May 12 (West 1), Tuesday, May 13 (West 2) and Thursday May 15 (Central). All games begin at 7 p.m.

Throughout the round robin portion of the tournament, games will be played at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. except Monday and Wednesday when just one game will be played.

Semi-finals are set for Saturday May 17 with the final Sunday, May 18.

Full event ticket packages which include all 10 round robin games, two semi-finals and the championship game, are now available.

Spruce Kings Trade Former Viper Iovanna To AJHL:

The Prince George Spruce Kings traded former Vernon Vipers
forward Mike Iovanna Wednesday to the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) Bonnyville Pontiacs. 

Iovanna was in his first season in Vernon after being recruited by the Vipers.  Vernon traded Iovanna to Prince George on October 31st 2013 for future considerations.  Iovanna went pointless in 14 games with the Vipers while in 9 games with the Spruce Kings collected (2-goals-0-assists-2-points)

Mike Iovanna's Player Profile:

This is posted on the Pontiacs website:

PONTIACS Add a Forward to Their Line-Up

Posted November 28th, 2013

The  Bonnyville Pontiacs have completed a trade with the Prince George Spruce Kings of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) to acquire 1994 born forward, Mike Iovanna in exchange for future considerations.

Mike Iovanna is a 5' 09" 160 pound right handed forward from Middleton, Massachusetts has a NCAA Division I commitment to the University of Massachusetts Amrherst for the 2015-16 season.

Iovanna was a standout playing at Malden Catholic High School where he registered 15 goals and 27 assists in 22 games.

"We are excited to acquire Mike," said PONTIACS General Manager, Rick SWAN. "He is a skilled, shifty forward with tremendous offensive potential. He had put up good offensive numbers in high school in Massachusetts and he will be given every opportunity to do the same thing with us." Tom Fitzgerald of the Pittsburgh Penguins told me that we have "a very special person in Mike."

Former Viper Skirving Named Atlantic Hockey Rookie Of The Week:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Todd Skirving was named
the Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the week.

Skirving is in his first year at RIT (Rochester Institute Of Technology)  In 8 games this season Skirving has (2-goals-5-assists-7-points).   

Skirving played the last two seasons with the USHL Sioux Falls Stampede.  Skirving was recruited by the Vipers played just half a season in Vernon (2010-11) before being traded at the BCHL trade deadline to the Prince George Spruce Kings.  Skirving along with future considerations were traded to Prince George for Ryan Renz. In 34 regular season games with the Vipers Skirving collected (4-goals-5-assists-9-points).

Todd Skirving's Player Profile:

This is posted on the Tigers website:

Dan Schuler and Todd Skirving garner Atlantic Hockey Association weekly accolades


ROCHESTER, NY - Sophomore forward Dan Schuler (Webster, NY/Powell River Kings) and freshman forward Todd Skirving (Thunder Bay, Ontario/St. Patrick Catholic) of the RIT men's hockey team were named the Atlantic Hockey Association Player and Rookie of the week, respectively, on Tuesday, for the week ending Nov. 24, 2013. Schuler earned his first AHA weekly accolade of the season and third of his career, while Skirving garnered his first honor.

Schuler scored five goals in three games for the Tigers. On Tuesday, Schuler tallied both RIT goals 2:02 apart in the first period in a 5-2 loss to Canisius. On Friday, Schuler scored a late power-play goal and had another tally disallowed in a 5-3 loss to St. Lawrence. Schuler scored the game-winning goal late in the second period and added an empty-netter with 10 seconds left to help RIT defeat the Saints, 6-4 on Saturday. Schuler now has five goals and seven points, all in the last five games for RIT this season.

Skirving tallied six points on a goal and five assists in three games for the Tigers. On Tuesday, Schuler assisted on both first period goals by Schuler in a loss at Canisius. On Friday, Skirving scored the game-opening goal 58 seconds into the contest and added a pair of assists for a season-high three points in a 5-3 loss to St. Lawrence. On Saturday, Skirving drew the primary assist on Schuler's game-winning goal in a 6-4 win over the Saints. Skirving has seven points on two goals and five assists, all in the last four games.

The Tigers are back in action on Friday and Saturday at Sacred Heart. Friday's game starts at 4:05 p.m. and Saturday's begins at 3:05 p.m.

This Week In The BCHL – Episode 5

A brand new feature that will run weekly on Ryan Watters website. Watters is the broadcaster for the Okanagan Sun football team as well as Director of broadcasting & media relations with the Kelowna Falcons baseball team as well has worked with the WHL Kelowna Rockets.

This has a similar format and look to the BCHL this Week that runs on the TEAM 1410. Every week Vernon Vipers play by guy Graham Turnbull, West Kelowna Warriors play by play guy Jon Zacks and Penticton Vees play by play man Fraser Rodgers will bring you up to date with whats going on with the three local Okanagan teams.

This is posted on Ryan Watters website:

This Week in the BCHL – Episode 5

November 27th 2013

A detailed look around the Interior Division of the BC Hockey League.   “This Week in the BCHL” is a special presentation of the Okanagan Sports Network and will focus on the West Kelowna Warriors, Vernon Vipers and Penticton Vees on their quest to the RBC Cup.

The Show is hosted by the voice of the Vipers Graham Turnbull and produced by the Okanagan Sports Network

This week on the show, we hear from Ken Citron of the Vipers and Adam Osczevski of the Warriors who both tallied their first career BCHL goals.  Plus Blake Butzow of the Vees and his return after injuries.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

BCHL Card Deadline Approaching:

The BCHL Card Deadline is looming with BCHL teams trying to make that final roster move before the leagues deadline on December 1st at 6pm.

Here is what I was told a few years ago on how the card deadline and rules work. Now this may be right or wrong but this is what I was told.

Each BCHL each team gets 35 cards in late May for the upcoming season. These can be registered electronically, but a hard copy with signature is ultimately needed. Hockey Canada allows 45 cards, BCHL limits this to 35.  At the start of the season, a team may sign up to 23 players, you can only dress 20 for each game. Of the players signed, a team must have a minimum of 4 rookies, a maximum of 6 20 year olds,( you can sign 8 in the season, but only 6 carded at any given time) and a maximum of 8 imports, ( you can sign 10 in the season, but only 8 at any given time.) An import is someone who did not play in BC last year. Last year's imports are not imports this year.

Dec.1 is the first deadline. A team has to declare 25 cards at this time.It can be 20 players and 3 open cards, or any combination of players and open cards up to 25. Any of the original 35 cards not used are void as of this date. Teams often do some deals at this date to use up any of the 35 which would become void.

Jan.10 is the final cutdown date. Teams on this date declare their final roster of 23 this year. Finally, A team can sign up to 2 players who played in the WHL as a 19 year old., These players must be signed by Nov.15.

This is posted on Brian Wiebe's BCHL Blog:

December 1st Roster Deadline Approaching:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The first CJHL roster deadline of the season is coming up this Sunday, December 1st and it's one that's seen BCHL teams be traditionally busy.

As of December 1st, teams must be at 25 or less, which includes carded players plus available unused cards. The norm is for teams to end up with a 22 player roster and 3 cards, but occasionally teams will go with less than 22 players and then have more cards available for use leading up to the January 10th roster deadline.

For example, if a team has 28 cards remaining of the 45 they started with, (including the 22 players on their roster) and it reduces to 25 on Sunday night, it makes sense to trade now, rather than after December 1st. The idea being that the team uses up cards 23 through 28 instead of losing them. This is assuming the team wants to make some changes.

Former Vernon Viper Pelley, Devils Major In Chemistry:

Here is an article I found on former Vernon Vipers forward Rod Pelley.  Pelley is in his first season with the American Hockey League (AHL) Albany Devils after the New Jersey Devils signed Pelley to a minor league contract on July 9th 2013.

Pelley played last season in the American Hockey league (AHL) with the Norfolk Admirals. In 60 games Pelley collected (3-7-10). Pelley spent close to five years in New Jersey with the NHL Devils before being traded to the Anaheim Ducks in 2011-2012.

Pelley played just part of one season in Vernon (2001-2002) was traded to the Vipers during the 2001-2002 season from the Prince George Spruce Kings. Pelley played in just 19 regular season games with the Vipers collecting (10-8-18).

Rod Pelley's Player Profile:

This is posted on the American Hockey League website:

Pelley, Devils major in chemistry

October 31, 2013

by Kevin Zalaznik

If hockey was purely scientific, Albany Devils captain Rod Pelley would be a chemist.

The Devils are off to their best start in franchise history with a 5-2-0-1 record entering this week, and their early success can be attributed to a few different elements: the power play (goals in six of eight games), the defense (held opponents to two or fewer goals five times) or the goaltending (sixth best goals-against average at 2.38).

But the word that keeps floating around is "chemistry," which is what the Devils have inside the locker room and on the ice. As the leader, Pelley gets a lot of credit even though he believes it takes all 23 players to make an impact.

"It's a team effort," Pelley said after the Devils' Tuesday practice at Times Union Center. "We have a group of guys who enjoy being around each other, can laugh and joke around, but when it's time to get to work, play for each other. It definitely takes a lot more than one or two guys to bring that together."

Pelley is the sixth captain in franchise history and credits some of the team’s past captains for influencing his leadership approach.

"Grant Marshall and Pascal Rheaume were long time NHLers, Dan McGillis, Scott Lachance...," Pelley listed. "You are talking about guys who had played the game for years and years and years. They are still involved in the game now scouting, management, coaching. I was learning from some of the best leaders out there, guys who have played through injuries, broken necks and recovered. I look back at it now and think, 'Wow, I was really lucky to have those guys there.' I watched every move they made on and off the ice.

"I would assume that hasn't changed much over the years. Young guys are going to come in and they are going to look for things to pick up on, looking at older guys. That's something I've always taken pride in and, hopefully, I can be able to help a couple of guys out."

Head coach Rick Kowalsky tries to stay out of the way of his leadership group, which along with Pelley includes Tim Sestito, Dan Kelly, Chris McKelvie and Mike Sislo.

"When you have good leadership, the room should be left to those guys," Kowalsky said. "We talked about it a little bit at the beginning of the year. I think there just is a respect and admiration for Rod Pelley just because of the way he plays and the person he is. It's tough not to like the guy. He's not just your friend in there. He holds guys accountable and he says some things on the bench and it comes from the heart. When you have a guy like that it’s pretty easy for everyone else to follow."

Pelley's journey to the Devils captaincy included four seasons at Ohio State before signing with New Jersey as a free agent during the summer of 2006. After five-plus years skating with the NHL Devils and their AHL team, the 29-year-old was traded to Anaheim during December 2011.

His decision to return to the organization this offseason was an easy one.

"To be quite honest, it was a little bit of a change of scenery, which was kind of nice," Pelley said of his time with the Ducks. "Over time, you realize what New Jersey has and what they believe in. The organization is built the right way. From the top on down, everyone is treated the same way and it’s fair. You really appreciate that once
you are gone.

"My decision to come back was fairly simple. I was in Norfolk last year and the lockout was a bit of a tough year for a lot of guys. I would consider myself in that group. The decision to come back to the Devils was pretty easy and it happened fairly quick, right around July 5th. I'm really happy to be back and be a part of the organization again."

Pelley wants to eliminate the learning curve for the young players, teaching them what it means to be a true professional.

"I want to be a good example on and off the ice," he said. "Come in the rink every day and be a professional. There is a lot more to that and being a professional encompasses a lot of things. For me as captain at the end of the day, if I can help some of the young guys learn a little bit quicker, that will be something I would take pride in."

Born in Kitimat, B.C., Pelley is just 25 contests away from his 500th career professional game. In the AHL, he has produced 27 goals and 44 assists in 219 outings. In the NHL, he has registered nine goals and 20 assists in 256 games.

Vipers Move Back Into First:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers move back into first

By Graeme Corbett - Vernon Morning Star

Published: November 27, 2013

The revolving carousel atop the B.C. Hockey League’s Interior Division took another spin last weekend.

This time, it was the Vernon Vipers who snatched the keys to the Interior penthouse after earning a well-played 2-2 draw with the West Kelowna Warriors Saturday night at Kal Tire Place.

Vernon (14-7-3-4) holds a wafer-like lead over the Penticton Vees (15-6-1-3) and Merritt Centennials (16-10-1-1). Just four points back are the Warriors (14-9-1-2) and Salmon Arm SilverBacks (13-10-1-4), meaning one very competitive team will miss the post-season.

“I’ve never seen it this tight,” said Warriors’ head coach Rylan Ferster. “You have a bad week and you’re out of the playoffs. If it stays like this, it’s probably going to go down to the last two weeks of the season.”

With Vernon protecting a 2-1 lead going into the third period, their defence appeared poised to ride out a one-goal win in front of 1,830 fans, including a boisterous West Kelowna contingent.

A shorthanded snipe by third star Carl Hesler forced OT after Brett Mennear pick-pocketed Riley Guenther as the Vernon d-man went back to retrieve a loose puck. Mennear sent Hesler (12th goal) in alone, and he rolled a backhander up and over Austin Smith at 6:24.

Vernon head coach Jason Williamson said it was an uncharacteristic turnover for Guenther, who has been a steady influence since he came to the Viper den from the WHL Prince Albert Raiders.

“That’s not totally on Guenther because he’s been so good for us,” said Williamson. “It’s just a couple breakdowns that end up in the back of our net.

“Given the circumstances of us getting home at 4 a.m. (after 4-1 win over host Trail Smoke Eaters Friday night), I thought we had good energy.”

Demico Hannoun (7th) opened Vernon’s account 4:27 into the first period, taking a short feed from Chase McMurphy using some slick footwork to tuck the puck behind Andy Desautels, far side.

Later in the period, Vernon struggled to clear the zone on a number of shifts, and the Warriors capitalized with several turnovers, but were unable to solve Smith, who finished with 44 saves for first star.

“We collapsed pretty well and were able to prevent them from scoring,” said Smith, who credited Desautels (34 saves, second star) for his part in a stellar goalie battle.

“It was pretty competitive, going back and forth. After our last game, he was frustrated with guys crashing the net and guys getting in front of him, and we did that well again tonight. We made it tough on him.”

Smith, who was half a minute away from a shutout a night earlier in Trail, appears to be rounding into form after a lengthy absence to injury. The 20-year-old Calgary product said the overnight bus ride from Trail shouldn’t affect a players’ ability to perform.

“If you prepare the right way – get a cool down right after the game, get some rest and good food – it doesn’t necessarily affect you,” he said. “You just have to be able to recover properly.”

Vernon went ahead by two goals 1:27 into the second frame on a pinpoint wrister from the slot by Dexter Dancs (11th), but the Warriors replied just over a minute later as Adam Osczevski, with his first BCHL goal, knocked in his own rebound as the Warriors crashed Smith’s doorstep.

Both tenders were sharp in OT. Vernon’s Michael McNicholas had the best chance in the 4-on-4 period as he redirected Guenther’s slap pass on Desautels, who got just enough of the puck to steer it wide. Smith stoned Seb Lloyd point blank on a quick feed from Hesler from behind the net in double-OT.

“I’ve never played in a division like this before,” said Desautels, who was teammates with Guenther last season on the Raiders. “You can be four points out of first place and be out of a playoff spot. It’s crazy tight, but it’s awesome because every game is interesting. You can’t afford to take games off.”

The Snakes entertain the Cents Friday, followed by the last-place Smoke Eaters (7-17-2-1) Sunday (2 p.m.).

SNAKE BITES: Injured d-man Mark Hamilton and F Logan Mick are probable for weekend action, while F Mason Blacklock remains questionable...The Vipers’ first game at the 2014 RBC Cup will be against the Central champion Saturday, May 10 (7 p.m.).

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Vernon Vipers Video: No Mo Grow-Vember:

Vernon Vipers: No Mo Grow-vember

Posted by HockeyTube on Nov 24th, 2013

It could be a No Mo Grow-vember for the Vernon Vipers owner Dr. Duncan Wray! The long time owner of the six time National Champion team has offered to not grow a moustache but to shave his head if the team can raise $2,500.00 by November 29th when the team hosts the Merritt

This was a fun promo video did up to promote the campaign to raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Former Viper Twins Kellen & Connor Jones All About The Wins:

Here is an article I found on former Vernon Viper Twins, Connor & Kellen Jones.  The Jones twins are in their fourth and final season with the Quinnipiac Bobcats. Connor and Kellen both played four years in Vernon (2006-2010). In 163 regular season games with the Vipers Connor collected (80-118-198) Connor also is the Vipers all-time franchise points leader (regular season & playoffs) with 228 & all-time franchise goals leader (regular season & playoffs) with 95. while in 154 regular season games with the Vipers Kellen collected (39-134-173). Kellen is also the all-time franchise assists leader (regular season & playoffs) with 150.  Both Jones brothers attended the Edmont Oilers Development Camp this summer (July 3rd-9th). 

Connor Jones Player Profile:

Kellen Jones Player Profile:

This was in the New Haven Register Newspaper:

Quinnipiac twins Kellen and Connor Jones all about the wins

Posted: 11/14/2013

HAMDEN >> Connor Jones’ sports administration class had just ended last Tuesday morning when the professor, Quinnipiac athletic director Jack McDonald, pulled him aside.

A couple of days earlier, Connor, who with identical twin brother Kellen has helped transform Quinnipiac hockey into a national force, scored his 100th career point.

McDonald wanted to present Jones with a plaque to commemorate his milestone prior to the next game.

“He looked at me for a minute,” McDonald recalled. “And then he says, ‘No.’ I asked him why not and he said he’d like to wait for Kellen to get to 100. That blew me away.”

Kellen Jones enters this weekend’s home series with Harvard (Friday, 7 p.m.) and Dartmouth (Saturday, 7 p.m.) needing one point to join his brother in the century club. When it happens, Quinnipiac may pay tribute. The twins, while flattered, would much rather quietly slip into the night.

“It’s not that we don’t like the attention,” Connor said. “I want people to know we’re about the team. It’s a nice milestone. But we work hard to win, not to score 100 points.”

Says Kellen, “It’ll be an honor, but I want team success first. Everyone will notice at some point. There’s no reason to advertise it.”

Nearly every quote and sound bite from the Jones brothers circles to the same point: putting the team first. That attitude isn’t a front. It’s part of the Jones makeup; what’s made them winners at every stage of their hockey careers. Their résumé includes two Royal Bank Cup titles as Canadian Junior ‘A’ national champs and last season’s historic run to the school’s first ECAC regular-season title, Frozen Four berth and national runner-up finish.

Roughly a third of the way into the new season, the Joneses are at it again. Their forward line, which includes freshman Sam Anas at left wing, has been at the heart of the No. 6 Bobcats’ 10-game unbeaten streak.

“They have this intangible about them,” Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold said. “They make other people around them better. They’re all about winning. It’s hard to find those guys who just know how to win.”

When Pecknold scouted the pair as teenagers, he knew they possessed talent to immediately impact his program. It’s why he so heavily invested himself into their recruitment.

When the twins were close to committing, Pecknold made the cross-continent trip from Hamden to their home in Trail, British Columbia. What ensued was a scene reminiscent of “My Big, Fat Greek Wedding,” Pecknold greeted at dinner by most of the Joneses’ extended family.

“After the game, we went to this restaurant,” Pecknold said. “I met the parents, the grandparents. Their third-grade English teacher was there; the sixth-grade baseball coach. I pretty much met the whole town of Trail. And they were all there to approve of them going to play for me.”

Their college decision wasn’t difficult. The twins knew exactly what they wanted. Hockey stood as merely part of the equation. Academics would also be essential. Their parents, Terry and Loretta Jones, are high school teachers. Kellen completed his undergraduate coursework in finance last spring and this semester began working toward a Master’s. Connor will earn his bachelor’s next month.

“From the beginning, we knew we wanted to make the most of this opportunity,” Connor said. “We wanted to get our undergraduate and Master’s degrees before our four years were up.”

Pecknold says the Joneses “do everything right.” What pleases him the most is how their locker room influence transcends hockey. The twins never fail to go the extra yard. Each weight room session gets their full attention. Offensive production never comes at the expense of defense, where the two are notorious for laying in front of opposing slap shots. Both are leaders in the team’s community efforts, and throw themselves into every classroom assignment.

Late last month, just a day after helping the Bobcats to a sweep of preseason No. 1 UMass Lowell, Connor Jones drove himself to the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell. There he shot video, conducted interviews and submitted a detailed report of the Quinnipiac Classic. His duties in McDonald’s class included coverage of the women’s golf team, and he cut no corners with his assignment.

Their methodology has proven infectious with teammates. The twins were mired in an extended slump during Quinnipiac’s 21-game unbeaten streak last season, struggling to produce most nights.

“Connor and Kellen Jones were the two happiest kids in the locker room after every win,” Pecknold said. “It would have been so easy for them, as our marquee players, to be miserable and down because they had one point in eight games. But they were so fired up we were winning games. You can’t teach that kind of character.”

Pro hockey awaits. Kellen, a seventh-round pick of Edmonton in 2010, and Connor have attended the Oilers’ summer developmental camp the past four years, always skating on the same line. This year, they spent the week with a familiar face as their left wing — former Yale captain Andrew Miller, signed by Edmonton in the spring, days after beating the Bobcats in the national championship game.

Concern about a lack size (both are listed at 5 feet 9, 165 pounds) and how it may limit their NHL potential are already on auto-save for Oiler bloggers. Those are matters for another time. The Joneses are eager to make another Frozen Four run this spring.

At Quinnipiac, a countdown is already in progress. There are only 14 regular-season home games remaining as their remarkable careers wind down. But you don’t have to remind anyone in Hamden.

“I’m way past the point of appreciating them,” Pecknold said.

Four years ago, the twins recorded their first career points. Kellen and Connor both assisted on a goal during the season opener at Ohio State. Two weeks ago, Connor had two goals at Colgate to join the exclusive century club. Kellen’s 100th career point will come soon enough.

And, with a little luck, the powers that be at Quinnipiac just might let the event slide with no fanfare.

“They don’t do it for attention. They do it because it’s the right thing.”

Monday, November 25, 2013

Bulldogs Sign Former Vernon Viper Strong:

The HC Valpellice Bulldogs have signed former Vernon Vipers
forward Dean Strong.  No official press release but Strong is listed on the Bulldogs roster.  The Bulldogs are a professional ice hockey team in Italty that play in the Italy-A League.  In 9 games with the Bulldogs this season Strong has (4-6-10).   

Strong played the past two seasons with the American Hockey League (AHL) Lake Erie Monsters. Strong started last season with the Monsters before being assigned to the Central Hockey League (CHL) Denver Cutthroats on December, 6th 2012 playing in three games picking up one goal before being sent back to Lake Erie on December, 13th 2012. In 36 games last year with Lake Erie Strong collected (5-8-13).  Strong played one year in Vernon (2004-05) collecting (35-56-91) with the Vipers.
Strong played the 2011-12 season with three different teams.  Strong started the 2011-12 season with the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Kalamazoo Wings. In November 2011 Strong was loaned to the American Hockey League (AHL) Chicago Wolves. In five games with the Wolves Strong collected (0-3-3) before returning to Kalamazoo. On December 15th 2011 Strong was loaned to the American Hockey League (AHL) Lake Erie Monsters where he would finish the season. In 49 games with the Monsters Strong collected (4-10-14). Strong returned to Kalamazoo after the Monsters missed the playoffs where he finished the remainder of the season. In 21 games with the Wings Strong collected (11-12-23).

Dean Strong's Player Profile:

Former Vipers Defenceman Noonan Proves Leadership In 2 Weekend Wins:

Here is an article I found on former Vernon Vipers defenceman Garrett Noonan. Noonan is entering his fourth and final season at Boston University attended the Nashville Predators Development Camp July 9-13th . In 34 games last season Noonan collected (6-13-19). Noonan was drafted by the Nashville Predators in Round 4 #112 overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Noonan played one season in Vernon (2009-2010) collecting (2-16-18) in 58 regular season games with the Vipers.

Garrett Noonan's Player Profile:

This is in the Daily Free Press Newspaper:

Noonan proves leadership in 2 weekend wins

Written by Conor Ryan

Published Oct 14, 2013

At the end of the 2012-13 season, many wondered if then-junior defenseman Garrett Noonan would join teammate Matt Nieto and make the jump from the collegiate ranks up to a potential spot on an NHL roster.

Drafted in the fourth round (112th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft by the Nashville Predators, Noonan had already built an impressive resume during his first three years at BU (2-0, 1-0 Hockey East), with 61 points in 110 games and a spot on the All-Hockey East Second Team in 2011-12.

Despite the pressure to move on to the NHL, Noonan chose to remain at BU for his senior year, eventually earning the title of captain of the current 2013-14 team along with senior defenseman Patrick MacGregor.

Now, just two games into the early season, it seems that Noonan’s decision to stay is paying off for both the Terriers and the Norfolk native, as Noonan has made a huge impact both on and off the ice for BU so far this year.

The Terriers got off to a good start under new head coach David Quinn, as they defeated both the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and College of the Holy Cross during weekend tilts at Agganis Arena. Noonan made his presence felt in both contests, as he scored a goal in the season-opening win against the Minutemen (0-2, 0-1 Hockey East) and racked up two assists in BU’s 3-2 win over the Crusaders (0-1) Saturday night.

Noonan is already making a difference on offense, as he is second on the team and tied for fifth in Hockey East with three points in two games.

“He’s really had a great start to the season, not only what you’re seeing on the ice, but away from the rink,” Quinn said Saturday on Noonan. “He’s in great shape — he’s in the best shape he’s ever been in. He physically looks different.”

Junior forward Cason Hohmann, whose second-period goal against Holy Cross was assisted by Noonan, shared Quinn’s sentiments in that Noonan has stepped his game up.

“You can tell he’s definitely gotten better over the summer,” Hohmann said. “He’s way faster than he was last year, he’s got more jump, he’s all over the place. When we score goals, he’s all around it, so everything pretty much goes through him at some point. On the power play, he’s a threat anytime he gets the puck, so I think he’s come back even better than last year.”

While Noonan has made an impact on the stat sheet this season, Hohmann noted that 22-year-old Noonan has also had a huge impact on the team in other areas, as he has taken up the mantle as one of the leaders for the Terriers this season.

“I think he’s really come to his leadership role very well,” Hohmann said. “He’s a quiet leader at times, and other times he’s very vocal. He leads by example on the ice very well. When he says something in the locker room, everyone pays attention. I think he’s a great leader for this team.”

It would be an understatement to say that the 2013-14 Terriers are a young squad, as 18 of the 25 players on the roster are freshmen or sophomores. Given that ratio, Noonan has made it a priority to help out these unseasoned players, both on and off the ice.

“From the freshmen standpoint, he’s been great to us,” said freshman forward Nick Roberto. “Really helping us, especially in the weight room, like telling us what to do, and then on ice, he’s teaching us like the little things to help our games, so it’s been beneficial for us.”

There are many games to be played in the 2013-14 campaign, but if the Terriers are going to make some noise in Hockey East this year, odds are that Noonan will be one of the chief factors.

“He’s been a great leader from the first minute I got here,” Quinn said. “We’re going to need him to do the things he did this weekend if we’re going to have success.”

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sparrow Snipes Pair For Vipers:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Sparrow snipes pair for Vipers:

Morning Star Staff

Sunday, November 24, 2013

After going a month without scoring, Colton Sparrow now has three goals in as many B.C. Hockey League games for the Vernon Vipers.

Sparrow, a 20-year-old Vernon minor hockey product, pocketed a deuce for first star as the Snakes torched the host Trail Smoke Eaters 4-1 Friday night at Cominco Arena.

Sparrow's first goal came on a tremendous solo effort 7:16 into the second period, when he pick-pocketed a Trail defender and went in alone on a breakaway to beat Riley Corbin with a backhander, five-hole.

"He was playing with energy, moving his feet and playing the way he should be playing," said Vernon head coach Jason Williamson.

Tyler Povolfskie (2nd goal) had given the Vipers the lead in the first period with a five-hole blast when a Trail defender gave him an open lane to shoot. TJ Dumonceaux and d-man Jared Wilson drew assists.

Dexter Dancs, with his 10th of the season, pocketed the 3-0 goal 4:18 into the third frame, set up nicely by linemate and team scoring leader Michael McNicholas on a 2-on-1 rush.

Sparrow (4th goal) capped Vernon's attack less then a minute later, jamming home the rebound off a Chase McMurphy shot.

Netminder Austin Smith, who finished with 27 saves and second star, was 31 seconds away from his first shutout of the season when Adam Wheeldon stepped into a bouncing puck in the slot for his fourth of the season.

"It's tough; Smitty played well," said Williamson, of the spoiled shutout.

The Vipers (14-7-2-4) held a share of first place with the Merritt Centennials (16-9-1-1) heading into their Saturday night tilt with the fifth-place West Kelowna Warriors (14-9-0-2). Just four points seperate the top five seeds, while the Smoke Eaters lag behind in sixth at 7-17-2-1.

Former Vernon Viper Russell Signs With Brown University:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Braeden Russell has signed with
Brown University for next season.  The Vipers traded Russell to Powell River on July 8th 2013 for future considerations. The Kings then turned around and shipped Russell to the OJHL Kinston Voyageur on July 8th 2013.  On August 7th 2013 the Voyageur traded Russell to Surrey.  Russell come to Vernon during the off season after playing the two previous seasons with the Oakville Blades. In 25 games last year in Vernon Russell collected (2-5-7).  In 16 games with the Eagles this season Russell has (3-6-9).

Braeden Russell's Player Profile:

This is posted on the BCHL website:

Eagles forward Russell signs with Brown University

Sunday, October 20, 2013 - Submitted by BCHL Media

Surrey Eagles forward Braeden Russell has secured his NCAA future at Ivy League Brown University for next season.

The 20-year-old native of Oakville, Ont. is averaging a point per game for the Eagles and sits fourth in team scoring.

Russell is the fourth BCHLer to commit to Brown this season along with teammate Philippe Johnansson, West Kelowna Warriors defenceman Ben Tegtmeyer and Nanaimo Clippers defenceman Josh McArdle.

Brown University is located in Providence, Rhode Island and the Bears hockey program competes in the NCAA Div. I Eastern Collegiate Hockey Conference (ECAC).
Former BCHL players currently on the roster include Coquitlam Express grads Massimo Lamacchia and Zach Pryzbek, Langley Chiefs grad Dennis Robertson, Nanaimo Clippers grad Kyle Kramer and Merritt Centennials grads Brandon Pfeil and Tyler Steel.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Vernon 2 West Kelowna 2

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 tied West Kelowna 2-2 in front of 1,830 fans at Kal Tire Place.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon:  Austin Smith
West Kelowna:  Andy Desautels

1st Period:  Both teams looked good early going back and forth before Vernon would open the scoring.  Colton Sparrow setup Demico Hannoun who scored a highlight reel goal giving the Vipers a 1-0 lead at 4:27 Sparrow and Chase McMurphy collected the assists.  The Warriors come right back with a good push on the next shift after Ambrose Firkus was stopped in close after Austin Smith was forced to make a glove hand save having trouble holdind onto the puck Smith had to recover quickly puncing on the loose puck as traffic was driving hard to the net.  West Kelowna slowly took over the edge in play and carried the better of the play for most of the period.  The Warriors rattled off four shots after some good pressure deep in the Vipers zone.  Vernon would get the games first powerplay but struggle as the Warriors with a good penalty kill would kill off the minor.  With eight minutes left in the opening frame Colton Sparrow dropped back to Chase McMurphy who was alone at the circle was robbed by Andy Desautels who come out to challenge making a huge save.  Back come the Warriors with a strong forecheck West Kelowna forced the Vipers defence into several turnovers as West Kelowna was all over the Vipers.  Riley Guenther with a turnover deep in his own end caused some havoc as the Vipers were scrambling in their own end as the Warriors with lots of pressure got a quick shot off from in close, Smith made the save before the puck was laying in the crease before the Vipers were able to clear the zone.  Vernon would get its second powerplay of the night late but once again struggle as West Kelowna would kill off the penalty.  The Vipers would lose Colton Sparrow late after taking a ten minute misconduct.  Vernon with a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.  The Vipers scored early to open the scoring but I thought West Kelowna carried the better of the play and outplayed the Vipers for most of the period.  The Vipers with several turnovers or mental mistakes in their own end were lucky the Warriors didnt capitalize.  West Kelowna outshot Vernon 13-11.

2nd Period:  The Warriors come at the Vipers strong, once again a good hard strong forecheck early as West Kelowna got off to a quick start couldnt get anything going before the Vipers come right back with a hard working shift of their own.  Liam Coughlin strong with the puck down low fought off a few Warriors before setting up Dexter Dancs in the high slot who went upstairs on Warriors starting goaltender Andy Desautels giving Vernon a 2-0 lead at 1:27 Coughlin with the lone helper.  But back come the Warriors less then two minutes later.  Jason Cotton setup Adam Osczevski for his first career BCHL goal getting West Kelowna on the board at 2:54 Cotton and Carl Hesler picked up the assists.  Off the next shift Seb Lloyd left all alone in front somehow missed the net on a great opportunity to tie the game.  The Warriors would get their first man advantage of the night but a strong penalty kill by the Vipers would kill off the minor.  West Kelowna with all kinds of jump and energy once again carried the edge in play and were the better of the two hockey clubs.  David Pope who played very well with a great chance beat Smith but hit the post as once again West Kelowna come close to tying the game.  Just past the halfway mark the Warriors with a great chance to tie the game on a nice two way passing play setup Ryan Ivey whos quick shot was robbed by Vipers starting goaltender Austin Smith who made his biggest save at this point on the Warriors first shot of the period.  This was odd because they didnt credit West Kelowna with their shot on their goal and a shot on an earlier powerplay.  The Vipers outplayed in the first half would bounce back with a few hard working shifts to start the second half.  Vernon with some good pressure looked good for a few minutes.  Jason Bird's shot from the circle was redirected by Tyler Povolofskie in front as the puck just missed the far corner.  Late in the period the Vipers would get their third powerplay of the game.  Jason Bird's hard slapshot from the point was robbed by Desautels who made a huge glove save keeping this game tied.  The powerplay wouldnt last too long before Vernon would take a penalty as both teams played a little four on four before the Warriors would get a late shortened powerplay.  David Pope once again beat Austin Smith but for the second time tonight hit the post as the Vipers would get lucky and eventually kill off the minor.  The Vipers were up 2-1 after 40 minutes of play.  Vernon would score early to grab a 2-0 lead but the Warriors come right back cutting the lead to within one.  West Kelowna for the second straight period carried the better of the play and were the better of the two teams.  The Vipers did tighten up defensively and didnt cause as many turnovers-mistakes as the opening period.  West Kelowna outshot Vernon 13-11.

3rd Period:  Both teams were fairly evenly matched in the first few minutes before the Warriors slowly took over a slight edge in play before Vernon would get their fourth powerplay of the night.  On the man advantage Riley Guenther lost the battle along the side wall to Carl Hesler who got around the Vernon defenceman before going around a second Viper player before going in alone for the breakaway went upstairs on Austin Smith tying the game 2-2 shorthanded at 6:24 after a great indivdual effort.  Brett Mennear with the assist.  The Vipers would once again strugle with the man advantage as West Kelowna would kill off the minor.  The Vipers who looked sluggish and tired most of the night were basically just playing dump and chase at times before going on the penalty kill.  West Kelowna with a great chance to take their first lead of the night couldnt capitalize after Vernon would kill off the penalty.  For a third straight period West Kelowna carried the better of the play but with very limited scoring opportunities didnt generate alot of offence.  The Vipers with very little offence had just two shots in the first twelve minutes.  With just under three minutes remaining a quick shot would miss the goal hitting the end glass coming back out front over top of Austin Smith, the Warriors would get a shot off and just miss the far corner on a close call.  The Vipers would come right back and get their best chances of the night in the final two minutes.  Andy Desautels who wasnt tested much through a full three periods was forced to make atleast three or four big saves in the final two minutes.  Desautels shut the fivehole making a big save off Dexter Dancs, robed Michael McNicholas coming across the crease to make a big glove save and then made a huge glove save off Jason Bird as the Vipers come very close to ending the game in the final few minutes.  It was tied 2-2 after 60 minutes of play.  West Kelowna carried the better of the play, worked hard and was rewarded tying the game shorthanded were the better team for most of the game.  Shots were even 8-8.

Overtime:  Ryan Renz went into the boards hard in the opening minute and wouldnt return going to the Vipers dressing room.  The Warriors carried the play had a great chance to end the game after Carl Hesler was left alone come around the net was stopped by Austin Smith before getting his own rebound stopped again on the second opportunity.  The Vipers with the best chance to win it, Jason Bird held up onside before setting up Michael McNicholas who was robbed by Andy Desautels.  It was still tied 2-2 after 65 minutes of play.  West Kelowna outshot Vernon 6-2.

Double Overtime:  A wild finish to tonight's game as the Vipers had the better of the chances in the second overtime.  None better then Colton Sparrow and Jason Bird on a two on one but Andy Desautels come across to make a huge game saver keeping the game tied.  The Vipers with atleast three good chances couldnt beat the Warriors netminder.  Demico Hannoun who only saw two shifts in overtime just about scored the game winner in the final seconds as the game would end in a 2-2 tie.  West Kelowna outshot Vernon 6-4.

Top Players:  (Vernon)

Michael Statchuk was one of Vernon's better forwards.  Statchuk playing up front tonight was one of the Vipers better players.  Played with lots of jump and energy played very well at both ends of the rink was very strong for the Vipers.

Jared Wilson I thought played a solid game on the Vipers backend.  Wilson made several big defensive plays all night was very hard to beat on the blueline.

Demico Hannoun (1 goal)  Was by far the Vipers best player tonight.  Hannoun with several highlight reel plays was very good for the Vipers.  This kid can skate, handle the puck, reads and sees the ice very well and has some amazing hands, especially when in tight. 

Jason Bird played a strong game for the Vipers.  I thought was involved in the play, jumped up into the play as well as made some good decissions with and without the puck.  Had a few good scoring chances also created-setup a few good opportunities.

Colton Sparrow (1 assist)  Who has really stepped up his play as of late played very well up front for Vernon.  Has been really playing with alot of hustle, showing alot of hard work and making things happen.  Created and generated a few chances tonight. 

Austin Smith (44 saves)  Was very solid between the pipes for the Vipers.  made several big saves played his position very well kept the Vipers in the game for most of the night.

Game Thoughts:  (Vernon)

After a big 4-1 win in Trail last night and the long bus ride there and home took a factor-toll on the Vipers tonight.  With the long bus ride home-getting home early this morning Vernon didnt have much jump-energy in their game this evening and it showed through out the contest.  The Vipers looked sluggish-tired through out tonight's game.  Several turnovers-mental mistakes in the opening period but tightened up as the game went on ran out of gas late in the game.  The Vipers with good starts to the first and second periods opened the scoring in both periods couldnt hold onto a two goal lead getting a single point instead of two.  The Vipers struggled with the man advantage and I thought capitalizing on one of their early powerplays could have made a difference.  Up 2-0 Vernon with two powerplays didnt capitalize.  A powerplay goal or even two and its a totally different score and game at that point.  I thought Vernon was outplayed most of the night, the Vipers didnt generate alot of offence, except in the final minutes of the third and into overtime where they had their best opportunities of the game.  I thought Vernon had the better of the chances in the overtime periods.  Give Vernon credit they battled hard and did a good job at keeping the Warriors to the outside, limiting their chances. 

Top Players:  (West Kelowna)

Ben Tegtmeyer played a good game on the Warriors blueline.  Was very steady all night.

Riley Ivey was very solid on the Warriors blueline.  Made atleast two big shot blocks was involved in the play playing very well.

Adam Plant also very solid on West Kelowna's backend.  Also had atleast one or two shot blocks was very good.

David Pope was dangerous with and without the puck.  Hit the post twice tonight was very good up front for the Warriors.  Very quick and good with the puck. 

Carl Hesler (1 goal & 1 assist)  Played a strong game.  Very quick, creates and generates chances played with alot of jump.

Jason Cotton (1 assist)  Was very good in the first two periods but I didnt notice him get a shift in the third or either of the two overtimes.  Looked very good in periods one and two, was very hard to knock off the puck, has some nice hands and sees the ice well.

Ambrose Firkus was trying to get under the skin of several Vernon players tonight, was being his pesky self once again played a strong game up front for West Kelowna.  Firkus who seems to give the Vipers some trouble saw alot of icetime, and was very good late in the game as well into overtime.

Andy Desautels (34 saves)  Wasnt tested much through the first three periods but was called apon in the final two minutes making some huge saves and then keeping his team in the game in overtime making the biggest saves of the night in both overtimes.  A bigger goaltender covers alot of the net is quick on his feet dosnt give up alot of rebounds, moves side to side quickly playing his position very well.  Has played well vs Vernon this season.

Game Thoughts:  (West Kelowna)

Right off the opening faceoff I thought the Warriors had lots of jump and played with alot of energy.  After outshooting but losing to Chilliwack last night you knew the Warriors would be hungry to get back on the winning track.  I thought West Kelowna was the better of the two teams most of the night, the Warriors carried the edge in play and held Vernon in their own end most of the night.  West Kelowna just like Vernon didnt generate alot of chances but did comeback from two goals to earn a point.  The Warriors have speed and skill and it showed tonight, they move the puck well, get in and out of their zone in a hurry.  Even though trailing you could sence the Warriors would eventually get the game tying goal and maybe even the game winner on some close plays.  Both teams played well on the penalty kill but struggled on the man advantage.  The Warriors with several blocked shots on the penalty kill.  If your a Vipers fan it wasnt that exciting of a game until the final few minutes of the third and both overtime periods that really opened up the play with some great opportunities at both ends of the rink.  The Warriors with just their second win in Vernon in their last twelve visits. 



Mark Hamilton
Mason Blacklock (Injured)
Logan Mick
Assistant Coach -David Robinson

West Kelowna:

Jaden Schmeisser
Kylar Hope
Brennan Clark
Connor Bucsis

Energy player of the game:

Michael Statchuk

Three Stars:

1st Star:  Austin Smith (44 saves)
2nd Star:  Andy Desautels (34 saves)
3rd Star:  Carl Hesler (1 goal & 1 assist)

For more on tonight's game visit the BCHL boxscore,

For more on tonight's game and the West Kelowna Warriors, visit Jon Zacks Warriors blog,