For anyone who could not attend or watch tonight’s Vipers game here are my thoughts and views from tonight’s game. You may agree or disagree but we all have our own view and opinion on any game we watch. This is my opinion and my thoughts on how I saw tonight’s game. I try to be unbiased and give a fare recap on both sides. Thanks for stopping by & visiting my blog.
I was at tonight's Vipers-Bulldogs game as Vernon defeated Alberni Valley 4-1 in front of 1,774 fans at Kal Tire Place.
Vernon: Jarrod Schamerhorn
Alberni Valley: Billy Christopoulos
1st Period: Off the opening faceoff the Bulldogs got chippy laying the sticks to the Vipers. Both teams with not alot offence early looked to be feeling one another out as not alot of action was happening in the first few minutes. Luke Shiplo walked in front the slot and beat Billy Christopoulos giving Vernon the early 1-0 lead at 4:43 on the first shot of the game. Captain Riley Guenther and Liam Finlay collected the assists. But just twenty seconds later Alberni Valley tied the game at 1-1 after Josh Adkins blew by the Vernon defence before going topshelf over the glove of Jarrod Schamerhorn at 5:03 on the Bulldogs first shot of the contest. Everett Putz & Brett Stewart with the helpers. Just over two minutes later the Vipers would get the games first powerplay and it didnt take long for Vernon to capitalize. Liam Finlay setup Liam Coughlin in front who beat Christopoulos giving Vernon a 2-1 lead at 7:46 Finlay and Thomas Aldworth picked up the helpers. Just a few minutes later Alberni Valley would get their first look with the man advantage. With not alot of pressure the Vipers were able to kill off the minor. As the period went along the Vipers slowly got going and carried the edge in play. With not alot of scoring opportunities Vernon did manage to have some good zone time in the Bulldogs end. Anthony Latina with a great opportunity to give Vernon a two goal lead couldnt beat Billy Christopoulos on a break away who stayed with the play, made a nice save keeping this a one goal game with six and a half minutes to go. The Bulldogs were really getting under the Vipers skin, playing a very chippy game. Tempers would eventually heat up in the AV zone as a small scrum broke loose with several players pushing and shoving. In the final two and a half minutes the Vipers got a little lackadaisical, sitting back on a one goal lead in their own end. The Bulldogs jumped on the opportunity and pressed hard the final two and a half minutes, had Vernon chasing the puck and out of position were able to get some good pressure in the attacking zone. Jarrod Schamerhorn had to be sharp made two saves in the final minute to keep this a one goal game. Vernon was up 2-1 after 20 minutes of play. A bit of a slow start as both teams with not alot offence really slowed down the pace before the Vipers would open the scoring. Both teams score twenty seconds apart on their first shots on goal. Alberni Valley didnt really have alot of zone time until the final few minutes. A few shifts here and there but the Bulldogs didnt really generate or create many scoring chances. The Vipers needed almost the first half of the period to get going and carried the better of the play, but didnt get alot of scoring chances. Vernon outshot Alberni Valley 11-8.
2nd Period: Just like last night Vernon didnt have a great second period. The Vipers looked slow, made some poor passes and looked to be half a sleep at times. The Bulldogs looked a little better and jumped on the Vipers early. Alberni Valley with a very strong forecheck to start the 2nd were man on man really forcing the play on the Vipers before getting their second powerplay of the evening. The Bulldogs had a few looks at the net come close to banking a shot from the point in off Johnny Coughlin didnt generate much couldnt capitalize as Vernon killed off the penalty. For a second straight penalty AV was very chippy through out the period, getting their sticks and gloves up high. The Bulldogs carried the better of the play and were by far the better team but in spurts. The play really slowed down as neither team looked to have much life in a very scrambed second period. Both teams couldnt get much of anything going in a very dissorganized period. Looking more like a mens shinny hockey game made for some very poor hockey. Alberni Valley would get a great chance to tie the game. Braden Fuller who was acquired today from the Merritt Centennials and Mitch Makin broke out on a two on one, Fuller couldnt get around the Viper d-man tried going around and hard to the net couldnt stuff the puck under Vipers starting goaltender Jarrod Schamerhorn. The Vipers would get their first PP of the period but without a single shot struggled as Alberni Valley killed off the minor. Vernon wasnt in this period at all needed ten minutes to get their first shot of the frame. The Vipers with no zone time, had just four shots in the period with five minutes to go. Vernon would get their best opportunity of the night. Anthony Latina carried the play into the Bulldogs zone before dropping the puck off to Liam Finlay who setup a pinching Mitch Meek. Meek rushed into the play wired a shot from inisde the blueline was robbed by Bulldogs starting goaltender Billy Christopoulos who made a huge glove save stacking the pads along the way keeping this a one goal game with four and a half minutes to go. With less then three minutes remaining Riley Brandt went hard to the goal, come crashing into Billy Christopoulos and the Alberni Valley net before the two Bulldogs defencemen come at Brandt as teampers heated up once again. Brandt would get the penalty giving the Bulldogs a late powerplay. The Vipers with a good penalty kill would kill off the penalty. Vernon was up 2-1 after 40 minutes of play. The Vipers didnt look very good through out the period, were outplayed at times. The Bulldogs looked good early and carried the play but didnt generate alot of offensive chances. A very scrambled period with not alot of flow. The Bulldogs outshot the Vipers 14-7.
3rd Period: Just ten seconds into the final frame the Vipers would get a big PP and take advantage. Up just a goal the Vipers powerplay would strike for a second time tonight. Luke Shiplo with a smart heads up play spotted Liam Finlay who beat Billy Christopoulos giving Vernon a 3-1 lead at 1:14 Shiplo & Liam Coughlin with the assists. On the following shift once again the Bulldogs chippy play got tempers heated as a line brawl broke loose in the Vernon zone. Everyone was involved minus the goaltenders, punches were thrown as these two teams do not like one another. Colton McCarthy dropped the gloves with Mitch Makin while Johnny Coughlin went at it with Christ Schutz. Scott Clark the Bulldogs super pest was right in the middle of all of this, Clark had been going after the Vipers all night with his chippy play. After a lengthy delay due to all the fighting-pushing and shoving an even longer delay to sort out all the penalties. McCarthy, Coughlin, Makin and Schutz were all tossed from the game. Coughlin and Schutz picked up double game misconducts. The Vipers would come out of this with the man advantage and again make AV pay. Liam Coughlin with a sweet pass to a wide open TJ Dumonceaux found the back of the net put the Vipers up 4-1 at 2:52 Coughlin and Liam Finlay collected the helpers. This goal really looked to take the life out of the Bulldogs as Vernon really stepped up their play and were now on the attack. The Vipers were now carrying the play and had Alberni Valley right where they wanted them. Just a few minutes later the Vipers would head back to the powerplay but this time couldnt convert as the Bulldogs would kill off the minor. AV come very close to getting on the board after Garrett Halls point shot beat Jarrod Schamerhorn graizing the post on a close call. On the same play Schamerhorn recovered by making a glove save off Drew Blackmun. Less then five minutes later Alberni Valley started with the chippy play, getting their hands up in the faces, sticks high, giving several Viper players litte taps with their sticks on their way to the bench. Riley Brandt was being pulled from behind before tempers once again heated and a second line brawl erupted in the Vipers zone. Minus the goaltenders everyone was involved as the referee and linesmen were having troubles containing the melay. Former Vernon Vipers forward Tyler Povelofskie dropped the gloves with Anthony Latina. A wild and fight filled third period made for a long period with all the delays. Latina would get tossed from the hockey game as both teams played four on four before the Bulldogs would get a late three minute powerplay (wich was Latina's five minute major). But Alberni Valley struggled, missing the net, poor passes and some good penalty killing by the Vipers the Bulldogs couldnt get much going with the man advantage. Before the penalty expired AV would get a two man advantage. The Vipers penalty kill had to be sharp and was, coming up with a few big shot blocks and some timely saves from Jarrod Schamerhorn Vernon was able to kill off both penalties to get the clock down to two minutes. The Vipers with two early powerplay goals would come away with the 4-1 victory sweeping the season series 2-0. With the Vipers holding onto a 2-1 lead heading into the 3rd Vernon would score twice with the man advantage to grab a three goal lead. A wild and entertaining period with two seperate lines brawls delaying the 3rd period. Once Vernon jumped out to a 4-1 lead the Bulldogs didnt have much life left and didnt generate alot of offence. Vernon outshot Alberni Valley 11-7.
Top Players: (Vernon)
Liam Coughlin (1 goal & 2 assists) Played a very strong game tonight. Coughlin has really been coming on latley and picked up his game. Looking good last night in the win over Prince George Coughlin was very strong with and without the puck, was hard to contain and very dangerous in and around the net at times.
TJ Dumonceaux (1 goal) Played with alot of energy, played physical looked to really go after Bulldogs super pest Scott Clark. Dumonceaux was really flying, showing alot of hustle worked and played hard.
Linden Hora laid out the biggest hit of the night in the opening period I thought played well.
Luke Shiplo (1 goal & 1 assist) Played another strong game on the Viper blueline. For the second straight night the Vipers defenceman was very noticable stood out at both ends of the rink.
Liam Finlay (1 goal & 2 assists) Was good down low, hard to contain. Made some real nice heads up plays resulting in goals.
Jarrod Schamerhorn (28 saves) Picked up his 17th win of the season didnt have to be outstanding made some timely saves tonight when it was a one goal game. I thought he played his position very well, didnt give out any rebounds was sharp all game.
Game Thought's: (Vernon)
Not one of the prettiest games but the Vipers will take the win and two points. Both teams got off to a bit of a slow start, before the Vipers opened the scoring but gave up a quick goal just twenty seconds later. I thought once the 1st period went on Vernon looked better and carried the better of the play. I thought the Vipers held the Bulldogs in their own zone enough not to allow Aberni Valley to really get any good pressure. For a second straight night the Vipers with a pretty poor 2nd period. It took Vernon ten minutes to record their first shot of the period had very little zone time. A very scrambed and dull second frame with not alot of action, made it look like a pond hockey game. The Vipers with two big goals on the PP to start the third opened up a bit of a lead and never looked back. I thought once the Vipers went up by three goals took the life out of the Bulldogs and carried the play for the remainder of the game. A penalty filled period made for a wild period. For two teams that are facing each other for just a second time this season, there sure looked to be some bad blood. The Bulldogs are very chippy and got under the skin of the Vipers through out the period, constantly wacking with the sticks, getting the gloves up in the face, some very close hits along the boards and non stop pushing and shoving. After a while tempers heated up and resulted in two seperate line brawls in the 3rd. These two teams do not like each other. The Vipers worked hard and earned the two points in a game they didnt play there best. Vernon now has to rest up and travel to Surrey to face the Eagles tomorrow afternoon. Trevor Fidler who was suspended while awaiting a trade, is no longer on the Vipers roster. No word on where he is.
Top Players: (Alberni Valley)
Garrett Halls played very well on the Bulldogs backend. A good skater got involved in the play at times.
Josh Adkins (1 goal) Showed some speed and skill at times, played a good game up front for Alberni Valley.
Braden Fuller who was just picked up in a trade today with the Merritt Centennials added some grit to the Bulldogs lineup. Plugged away, worked hard and was one of the hardest working players for AV.
Everett Putz showed signs of skill at times, was involved in the play now and again impressed me.
Game Thought's: (Alberni Valley)
The Bulldogs didnt have much to show in the 1st period. After a tough 5-4 loss in Merritt last night Alberni Valley had the bus ride to Vernon may have had some bus legs to start but looked a little better in the second frame. I thought the Bulldogs had a good start to the middle frame then basically went back to the way they were playing in the 1st. AV carried the play and was the better team in the second but in spurts. The Bulldogs have a very aggresive forecheck, forced the Vipers into making that quick decision with the puck didnt play a full twenty minute period. Give Alberni Valley credit they held Vernon to just one shot in the first ten minutes of the second but couldnt generate a whole lot of offence that period needed a goal. But down just one heading into the 3rd the Bulldogs take back to back penalties wich cost them the game as the Vipers score twice in the first three minutes of the 3rd to grab a three goal game and basically put the game away. Even though down three goals AV has a late chance to try and climb back into the contest but with a two man advantage struggle with the powerplay coming up with nothing. This is a very chippy hockey team that plays with an edge at times. Always giving pokes or face washes through out the game started all of the line brawls in the 3rd. This was by far the most chippiest team I have seen play this season. Overall this wasnt a very exciting hockey game with several mistakes and scrambed play at both ends of the rink.
Jagger Williamson (Injured)
Trevor Fidler (Suspended)
Energy player of the game:
1st Star: Liam Finlay (1 goal & 2 assists)
2nd Star: Liam Coughlin (1 goal & 2 assists)
3rd Star: Luke Shiplo (1 goal & 1 assist)
Evan Hammond's Alberni Valley Bulldogs Blog,