Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Interior Division Semi-Final: Game 1 West Kelowna 5 Vernon 1

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 Interior Division Semi-Final Game 1 as West Kelowna defeated Vernon 5-1 in front of 724 fans at Royal Le Page Place.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Austin Smith
West Kelowna: Andy Desautels

1st Period:  It was a tight checking game in the opening few minutes as both teams wernt giving each other much room at all to move out there, before the Warriors would get the games first chance four minutes into the contest.  A shot from the slot was redirected in front that looked to go through the legs of Austin Smith as the puck come out the other end before West Kelowna would spend the next two to three minutes with a flurry of chances in and around the Vernon net.  The Warriors would then get an early powerplay and capitalize.  Just seconds into the man advantage Carl Hesler caught Austin Smith going to his left, Smith didnt have enough time to get back across the blue paint before Hesler banked the puck in and off of Smith's pads giving West Kelowna a 1-0 lead at 7:49 David Pope & Adam Plant collected the helpers.  The Vipers looked slow and sluggish as West Kelowna was skating hard, really took it to Vernon for most of the period.  The Warriors were really flying, beating the Vipers to the loose pucks, winning the battles along the boards and overall outhustling Vernon.  Tyson Dallman tried setting up Warriors captain Matt Anholt on a two on one but Anholt couldnt hit the net.  Seb Lloyd setup Kylar Hope on another odd man rush but Hope was stopped by Smith who looked shaky with the puck most of the night.  The Vipers goaltender looked to have troubles handling the puck, as well as controlling the puck.  West Kelowna was outshooting Vernon 11-2 at the ten minute mark.  Kylar Hope with a great chance in front just passed the midway mark just missed the goal before Ben Tegtmeyer with a low point shot made its way through a ton of bodies in front was stopped by Austin Smith who somehow was able to make a big right toe save off Tegtmeyer.  The Vipers who wernt skating, couldnt get anything going all night had very little sustained pressure all period until the final two and a half minutes where Vernon would get some late pressure to end the opening period.  West Kelowna was up 1-0 after 20 minutes of play.  It was all Warriors as West Kelowna dominated the first period.  The Warriors who come out ready to go looked hungry all night played with alot of determination.  West Kelowna won all the battles down low, were outskating and outworking Vernon most of the entire period.  The Vipers did play physical laying out the more bigger hits of the period.  The Warriors outshot the Vipers 17-5.

2nd Period:  The Vipers would get their first and only powerplay of the night just fourteen seconds into the middle frame.  Vernon would struggle as a strong West Kelowna forecheck was all over the Vipers as Vernon couldnt muster any shots to the net.  The Vipers would get two shots late as West Kelowna would kill off the minor.  Just seconds after the powerplay expired Adam Plant setup Reid Simmonds on a two on one rush, Simmonds was able to get around his defenceman before going hard to the net couldnt lift the puck up and over Vipers starting goaltender Austin Smith who made a huge pad save keeping this game at 1-0.  West Kelowna with a ton of odd man rushes in the period again carried the better of the play for most of the period.  Not much action in the first eight or nine minutes before the Warriors had several great opportunities but couldnt cash in.  Kylar Hope with a chance in front couldnt beat Smith.  Jordan Masters who returned to the lineup tonight left the game in the second period needing help to get off the ice.  Masters was skating-putting pressure on just one leg hobbled off the ice and didnt return.  Austin Smith made a big save off Seb Lloyd and again looked to have some difficulty with the puck on several shots.  West Kelowna with several missed opportunities were only up a goal but would get back to back late powerplays and again make the Vipers pay.  Just seconds into the man advantage Carl Hesler setup Adam Plant who beat Smith on the first shot of the powerplay giving the Warriors a 2-0 lead at 16:00 Hesler and Seb Lloyd picked up the assists.  The Warriors would go right back to work on their third powerplay of the game and again capitalze.  After some good pressure down low, moving the puck around Adam Plant setup Matt Anholt who quickly spotted a wide open Seb Lloyd at the side of the net who put the puck into the open cage giving the Warriors a 3-0 lead at 18:47  and in full control of the hockey game.  Anholt and Plant picked up the assists.  West Kelowna was up 3-0 after 40 minutes of play.  It took the Warriors a little longer to get going but just like the first period, West Kelowna outplayed Vernon in the 2nd period.  The Warriors with a ton of missed chances were only up a goal at one point but scored two quick powerplay goals to take a three goal lead into the third.  West Kelowna with several odd man rushes were all over the ice tonight.  The Vipers managed to get a few more pucks to the net this period but didnt get any sustained pressure or quality chances were outplayed for the second straight period.  Shots were even 11-11.  A fight would break out in the stands in the second intermission.

3rd Period:  In the opening few minutes Tyson Dallman tried setting up Reid Simmonds on another Warriors two on one rush but Simmonds couldnt hit the net before the Vipers come back not too long after and would finally get on the board.  Andy Desautels made a big pad save from in close but couldnt stop TJ Dumonceaux on the rebound as Dumonceaux cut the West Kelowna lead to within two goals at 2:45 Logan Mick and Kenny Citron with the assists.  This goal gave Vernon some life as the Vipers responded with a good push back on the next several shifts.  The Vipers finally seemed to get their legs going, were now throwing pucks to the net as Vernon with some good pressure controlled the better of the play for several minutes.  Michael McNicholas was stopped by Andy Desautels who made a quick glove save just before the halfway mark.  Just past the midway mark the Vipers would get into penalty trouble and the Warriors would once again capitalze.  Carl Hesler was able to find Adam Plant for his second of the night giving West Kelowna a 4-1 lead at 12:26 Hesler and David Pope with the assists.  This goal put the game away as the Warriors were playing way too good at this point to collapse in the final eight minutes.  From here on in until the buzzer West Kelowna's defence did a great job at shutting down the Viper offence as Vernon couldnt generate any offence.  Tempers heated up late in the game after the Warriors would get their fifth powerplay of the night.  Matt Anholt found Seb Lloyd for his second goal of the night giving West Kelowna a 5-1 lead at 18:15 Anholt and Adam Plant picked up the helpers.  In the final minutes the Vipers were going hard to the net, looked to try and get Warriors starting goaltender Andy Desautels off his game or send a message for Game two as the Vipers were giving the West Kelowna goaltender a few bumps here and there until the dying seconds when Tyler Povolofskie went hard into Andy Desautels and the Warriors net before several West Kelowna players jumped in as both teams now started pushing and shoving.  Povolofskie was tossed from the game giving the Warriors a five minute powerplay with just seconds remaining in the game.  Dylan Chanter was also given a misconduct and tossed from the game.  The final seconds would wind down with no extra altercations the Warriors would take Game 1 5-1.  Austin Smith made a huge save off a two on one in the opening minute or two before the Vipers were able to get on the scoreboard.  After some good pressure Vernon couldnt generate any real great opportunities got into penalty trouble giving up two powerplay goals putting the game away.  West Kelowna with a solid performance all the way around played very well defensively in the third shutting down any offensive chances the Vipers were looking for.  The Warriors outshot the Vipers 16-12.

Top Players: (Vernon)

I didnt think any Vernon players stood out tonight.

Game Thought's: (Vernon)

The Vipers dropped their third straight game didnt show up tonight as Vernon was outplayed, outworked, outskated and outscored all night.  The Vipers lost most of the battles along the boards, races to the puck and didnt generate any offence.  The Vipers looked slow and sluggish to start the game and couldnt regroup.  Vernon gave up five powerplay goals wont last long in the playoffs taking undisaplined penalties like this.  This has been the Vipers story all season, this team takes way too many penalties.  The Vipers who couldnt get their legs going until the 3rd made a ton of mistakes, gave up 44 shots, well over ten odd man rushes and had troubles getting pucks to the net.  Vernon needs to get more pucks & traffic to the net if they want to beat Andy Desautels.  The Vipers wernt in tonight's game from the drop of the puck and now have to regroup and go for the split in Game two tomorrow night.  Colton Sparrow, Riley Guenther and TJ Dumonceaux played well with a little spark-energy but overall the Vipers looked pretty bad tonight.  The lone bright spot I thought was the Vipers physical play.  The Vipers struggles at Royal Le Page Place continue as Vernon has just two wins in West Kelowna since September 2011.

Top Players: (West Kelowna)

The line of Seb Lloyd (2 goals & 1 assist), Adam Osczevski and Kylar Hope were very good tonight.  This line was really clicking, generated alot of opportunities and were always dangerous with the puck.  Lloyd is a very good skater, really sees and reads the ice well, where as Hope played with alot of jump and hustle tonight.  Was in and around the net all game, had a few odd man rushes played very well.

Adam Plant (2 goals and 3 assists) Had a very strong game.  Set a Warriors franchise playoff record for most points in a playoff game.  Another kid that can skate, reads and sees the ice well as well as played very well defensively.  Plant was very hard to beat along the boards and in and around the net.

David Pope (2 assists) & Carl Hesler (1 goal & 2 assists) both were strong down low and in and around the net.  Hesler made some nice passes.

Reid Simmonds was very strong at both ends of the rink.

Tyson Dallman was really skating and playing hard, made a few nice heads up plays tonight, to setup atleast two odd man rushes.

Game Thought's: (West Kelowna)

The Warriors have won five straight after taking Game 1 of the Interior Division Semi-Finals with a pretty convincing 5-1 victory tonight in front of a very small crowd at Royal Le Page Place.  West Kelowna looked hungry off the opening puck drop and were by far the better of the two teams.  The Warriors really took it to the Vipers in the opening period only managed to get one past Austin Smith.  West Kelowna was very hard on the puck, winning most of the battles and races, were good on the draw, played hard and strong all night.  The Warriors were really flying tonight, very crisp with the passing most of the night scored a few nice goals.  The Warriors defensive play was very strong, keeping the Vipers to the outside most of the night, limiting their chances.  West Kelowna was dicaplined and very strong with the powerplay, scoring five times going 5-5 with the man advantage.  The Warriors with several odd man rushes were all over the Vipers missed some great opportunities could have easily walked away with eight or nine goals tonight.  West Kelowna had troubles cashing in on some of there chances in the 1st and 2nd periods and I thought it could come back to haunt them, but two late back to back powerplay goals to end the second period gave them a little coushin.  I really liked the pace and attack from the Warriors, this team looked very determined all night and will be hard to beat if they can play like this game in and game out.  Andy Desautels with a pretty easy night between the pipes making just 27 saves for the win.



Mark Hamilton (Injured)
Jared Wilson (Suspended)

West Kelowna:

Taki Pantziris
Ryan Ivey
Jordan Masters

Energy player of the game:

Ryan Fraser-Lee

Three Stars:

1st Star:  Adam Plant (2 goals & 3 assists)
2nd Star:  Seb Lloyd (2 goals & 1 assist)
3rd Star:  David Pope (2 assists)

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,


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