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 Finals Game 4 as Vernon defeated Penticton 5-2 in front of 2,027 fans at Kal Tire Place.
Vernon: Danny Todosychuk
Penticton: Hunter Miska
1st Period: The Vees would get the games first scoring opportunity just two minutes into the game. Mike Lee's shot from the blueline was stopped by Danny Todosychuk who had to be alert made a tough save with Steen Cooper parked all alone in front. On the following play Thomas Aldworth carried the puck through the Penticton zone before ripping a hard shot that beat Hunter Miska high but went off the crossbar as both teams with two good chances in the opening minutes. A few minutes later the Vees would get the games first powerplay getting just two shots couldnt capitalize with the man advantage. Just 1:16 later the Vees would open the scoring, Riley Alferd come down the right wing held off Luke Shiplo before going hard to the net looked to bank his shot off a player in front and in past Danny Todosychuk giving Penticton a 1-0 lead at 8:44 Jarod Hilderman collected the assist. Just twenty three seconds later the Vees head back to the powerplay, their second of the frame. Penticton unable to take advantage were 0-2 with the PP. Thirty three seconds later the Vipers would get their first shot with the man advantage but it would be the Vees aggresive penalty kill that would create troubles. Thomas Aldworth couldnt handle the puck at the point allowed Matt Serratore to break free tried going in for the shorthanded breakaway ended up going in one on one was able to get a shot off but was stopped by Todosychuk. Vernon like Penticton couldnt capitalize with the powerplay. About a minute and a half later the Vipers would eventually tie the game. Outshooting Penticton 11-5 at one point got a bit of a break after Kenny Citron's point shot went in and off Blaine Caton beat Hunter Miska tied the game 1-1 at 15:01 Citron and Brandon Egli with the helpers. Just less then two minutes later the Vipers would get their second look with the man advantage but struggled early with some very soft but poor passes. Luke Shiplo with a burtal giveaway at the blueline allowed Matt Serratore to go in alone shorthanded but again for the second time tonight was stopped by Danny Todosychuk before a Viper defenceman come crashing into the net knocking the net off its mournings. The Vipers caught a break went back to the PP and capitalized. Brandon Egli's blast from the blueline beat Miska clean along the ice gave Vernon a 2-1 lead at 18:21 Johnny Coughlin & Anthony Latina with the assists. On the goal Colton McCarthy would take an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty giving Penticton a late powerplay, their third of the period. The Vipers would kill off the remainder of the frame before the minor expired as Vernon was up 2-1 after 20 minutes of play. Penticton has now opened the scoring in all four games, jumped out to the 1-0 lead again tonight. Both teams worked hard, were fairly even through out the period before both teams got into some penalty trouble. The Vipers got a little too relaxed on the powerplay, gave up two shorthanded chances on both powerplays were lucky got two big saves from Danny Todosychuk. Vernon fired alot of pucks on net-Hunter Miska scored two late goals to grab the lead. Vernon outshot Penticton 15-9.
2nd Period: The Vees started the second period with the man advantage that was carried over from the end of the 1st. The Vipers would kill off the remaining seconds before going to sleep. Penticton jumped on the Vipers early and often had Vernon bottled up in their own end as the Vees were moving the puck around, had all kinds of pressure. Lewis Zerter-Gossage with a wrap around couldnt beat Vipers starting goaltender Danny Todosychuk who went post to post to make a huge save. Anthony Latina got caught couldnt get off for a change was on the ice for atleast two full minutes as the Vipers were running around in their own end trying to clear the zone but couldnt. Penticton swarming in and around the Viper net were buzzing with a strong forecheck, forced the Vipers into several turnovers. Todosychuk had to be sharp made a few tough saves in close as the Vees also missed the net on a few quick shots from the point looking for the deflection in front. Mackenzie Bauer couldnt clear the zone before veteran forward Cody DePourcq went bar and down on a wide open cage as the Vees had the Vernon goaltender all over the crease caught Todosychuk way out of position found the back of the open cage tied the game 2-2 at 3:51 Steen Cooper and Gabe Bast picked up the helpers. Vernon then with an undisaplined penalty gave Penticton their fourth PP of the night. The Vees couldnt capitalize after a good Viper penalty kill. Just after the minor expired Anthony Latina had a great look at the net had all kinds of open ice just fired wide on a missed opportunity. Back come the Vees, Matt Serratore setup a wide open Jack Ramsey going to the net was stopped by Todosychuk who come up with another big-key save with the game still tied. Vernon still having all kinds of trouble defending against the Vees forecheck needed nine and a half minutes to get their first shot on goal. On the play Vernon would get their third powerplay of the game. The Vees would get away with a major two handed slash in front of the net as emotions started to take over as both teams were laying out several cheap shots at one another as the game got chippy. The Vees would get caught giving Vernon a two man advantage but with just two shots on goal the Vipers would struggle. Penticton with a heck of a penalty kill were blocking shots, getting in the shooting lanes were giving the Vernon powerplay all kinds of trouble. Penticton with a very good penalty kill would kill off both minors. The Vipers did manage to string together a few hard working shifts come on late with a decent push didnt generate much offence in the 2nd period. Tyson Jost come inches away from giving the Vees a 3-2 lead late beat Danny Todosychuk but hit the post with 2:02 to go in the frame. Penticton would get called for too many men on the ice in the final minute on a very late call from the referee, well after the play had been blown dead for offside. The Vipers would run out of time before the buzzer as the game was tied 2-2 after 40 minutes of play. The Vees with a strong start, never quit and never looked back as Penticton would tie the game early jumped on the Vipers and dominated the 2nd period. The Vees with a very strong hard working work ethic were strong on the boards, the forecheck and forcing the Vipers into turnovers inside their own blueline. Penticton with not alot of scoring chances, had a few were taking lots of shots from the point looking for the redirect in front. The Vipers on the hand struggled, had all kinds of troubles getting out of their own end and through the neutral zone needed almost ten minutes to get their first shot of the period. The Vipers making several mental errors on clearing attempets were caught with too long of shifts. The Vipers looked tired and very slow moving the puck-passes. Penticton outshot Vernon 10-4.
3rd Period: Vernon started the final frame with the man advantage that was carried over from the end of the 2nd period. On the powerplay the Vipers would take an undisaplined penalty blowing the PP as both teams played four on four before Penticton would get an early but shortened powerplay early into the 3rd. Danny Todosychuk come up with his biggest save of the night somehow robbed former Vipers prospect Dakota Conroy in front making a huge pad save keeping this game tied. The Vipers with a huge penalty kill were able to kill off the minor. Penticton with a few good looks at the net, missed the net. Both teams then went back and fourth skating hard. The Vipers with a hard working shift caught a break after Riley Brandt's shot low along the ice almost fooled Vees starting goaltender Hunter Miska who was forced to sprawl out made a huge save before the puck popped out coming back out front to a scrum in front of the Vees goal before Luke Volton banged away at the loose puck before Viper captain Riley Guenther put home the rebound just before the net come off its mournings giving Vernon a 3-2 lead at 7:19 Voltin & Brandt with the assists. On the following shift Anthony Latina with a great solo effort come hard into the Vees zone, cut around one defender before going hard to the net looked to have Miska out of his crease before Mackenzie Bauer ran into Miska taking a penalty giving the Vees their seventh powerplay of the night. Penticton with good puck movement really moved the puck around, were looking for the redirect in front werent getting the bounces. Tons of pressure but the Vees couldnt capitalize as another good penalty kill by Vernon would kill off the minor. Both teams picked up the pace as the phycial play continued as both clubs were going back and fourth with action at both ends of the rink. The Vees and Vipers with good opportunities made for a very exciting but yet nerve racking period. Former Viper forward Demico Hannoun ripped a hard shot from the circle forced Todosychuk to make the blocker save let out a big rebound before Tyson Jost pounced on the loose puck was all alone in front, Jost looked to have Todosychuk beat somehow just missed the far corner of the open bottom corner shot just inches wide of the goal missing on a great opportunity to tie the game. Vernon really picked up their defensive game as the period went on, blocking shots, getting in the shooting lanes did a good job at keeping Penticton to the outside. The Vees were pressing late couldnt get Hunter Miska out of the net before the Vipers got the play deep into the offensive zone had a good forecheck deep in the Vees zone were killing off time off the clock before the Vipers took another undisaplined penalty with just 1:02 remaining. With the faceoff deep in the Viper zone the Vipers were lucky enough to get control of the puck before Riley Guenther fired the puck down ice missing the net, Liam Coughlin hit the jets raced down ice put the loose puck home into the open net giving Vernon a 4-2 lead at 19:12 Riley Guenther with the lone helper. Still on the powerplay the Vees couldnt get full control of the puck before Liam Coughlin would get his second of the night shorthanded into the open cage giving Vernon a 5-2 lead at 19:36 Coughlin's goal was unassisted. The Vees would take a penalty on the play taking away the powerplay as both teams went to four on four. The Vipers would hang on winding down the clock to come away with the 5-2 victory. The Vees would take the game puck with them as they headed to the dressing room as the Vipers went straight to the referee wanting their game winning puck back. The one referee went after the Vees as they headed off the ice got the game puck back giving it to the Vipers as the saluted the crowd at centre ice. Penticton with two early powerplays couldnt capitalize. The Vipers would get the game winner on a bit of a lucky break, catching a few bounces along the way before holding onto the win tying the series at 2-2. Both teams played a hard fought game and period. I thought both teams had good chances and good pressure. Vernon carried the play at times and then so did Penticton. The Vees had a little more sustained pressure and the better opportunities but the Viper defence & penalty kill was very good in the frame. Vernon outshot Penticton 13-9.
Top Players: (Vernon)
Riley Guenther (1 goal & 1 assist) Had a solid game on the Vernon blueline. The Viper captain I thought played very well at both ends of the rink, was very solid defensively and good with his stick, was good one on one.
Anthony Latina (1 assist) For the second straight night played his heart out. This kid has come to play and show hes a leader on this hockey team. I really like Latina's compete and hard work he brings to the Viper lineup. Was skating all over the ice tonight, created and generated chances through out the game, was also strong on the forecheck.
Colton McCarthy worked hard and competed for the second straight game, took an undisaplined penalty just before the final minute of the 3rd was very strong on the forecheck, hard on the puck and battled through out the game. The former Western Hockey Leaguer plays with an edge, dosnt back down from the rough stuff adds that sandpaper to the Viper roster.
Danny Todosychuk (26 saves) Making his second straight start of the series played very this evening. Unlike In Game 3 where the Vernon product was forced into making several big saves for the Vipers tonight Todosychuk didnt face the same amount of quality scoring chances still had to make some big stops giving his team a chance to win. Was seeing the puck tonight, didnt give out alot of rebounds, was good on the penalty kill making some key saves shorthanded.
Game Thought's: (Vernon)
After going 1-6 vs Penticton during the regular season, then losing the first two games of this series in Penticton the Vipers have now rattled off two impressive victories to even the best of seven series at 2-2 with Game 5 Friday in Penticton and Game 6 Saturday in Vernon. The Vipers come up with another huge-clutch victory tonight. Vernon who played very close to a full sixty minutes last night in Game 3 werent so lucky tonight excaped a ton of pressure from the Vees in the 2nd period and in spurts in the 3rd. I thought the Vipers kept even with Penticton in the opening frame got alot of pucks-shots on goal-Hunter Miska were able to rebound after giving up the games first goal, responded late with two big goals to finish the 1st. The Vipers then went to sleep-fell apart in the 2nd were outplayed-dominated the entire middle frame. The Vipers having all kinds of trouble clearing the zone, were taking too long of shifts, looked tired making several soft passes coughed up the puck or turned it over on several occasions were lucky to be tied heading into the 3rd. Vernon needed almost ten minutes to get their first shot on net in the 2nd struggled with the man advantage that period. The Vipers had all kinds of trouble with Penticton's aggresive forecheck. Give Vernon credit they come back with a much better effort-performance come the 3rd, scored early into the final frame to grab the lead before hanging on to the win thanks to Liam Coughlin's two shorthanded empty net goals. I thought the Vipers kept pace with the Vees at times and then at times had troubles with Penticton. The Viper penalty kill was very good through out the game, and Vernon's defence played very well in the 3rd. A few of the Viper rookies-younger kids on the team, really showed there nerves tonight. Atleast I thought. A few made some very poor-soft plays in crucial times of the game, where they had lots of time and space but maybe were caught up in the emotion-playing with some nerves. Vernon who didnt get many bounces or luck in the first two games, had some luck-a few bounces on there side tonight. The Vipers who have had troubles scoring on Hunter Miska this season have now scored ten goals in the last two games. Give full credit to Vernon who after being in Game 1 and falling short were no where near in Game 2 have come back with back to back strong efforts to tie the series and beat Penticton, something they were only able to do in the regular season once. Last night's win was a huge confidence booster, helped alot with tonight's win. Back to back wins over the Vees gives this team the knowlege knowing Penticton can be beat. The Vipers have all the momentum and confidence on their side heading into Game 5.
Top Players: (Penticton)
Matt Serratore I thought was one of the better Vees tonight, played with alot of jump-energy, was really skating hard, very aggresive on the penalty kill, got two shorthanded chances couldnt find the back of the net. Was involved in the play through out the game, competed and worked extremely hard. Was hard to defend against.
Steen Cooper (1 assist) Played a solid game for Penticton, played hard, was going to the net, going to the dirty area's, adds some grit and veteran experience to the Vees lineup.
Cody DePourcq (1 goal) Who has been basically invisible all series rose to the occasion tonight, scored a huge game tying goal early into the 2nd on a strong forecheck by the Vees was really skating hard, one of the smaller kids in the league competed and worked hard all three periods.
Dakota Conroy who was the "future considerations" in the Liam Finlay trade earlier this season had a solid game-effort tonight. His bigger body and veteran presence showed down low and in and around the net. Made some smart plays in the game, had atleast two chances was stoned by Danny Todosychuk on the man advantage early into the 3rd with the game tied.
Game Thought's: (Penticton)
The Vees who are very good at getting off to a quick-strong start opened the scoring for the first time in all four games this series. Penticton struggled with the powerplay, going 0-8 the Vees could have changed the momentum and the outcome of tonight's hockey game if they score on a few man advantages and this is a different game. The Vees played well and better then last night but for the second straight night give up the lead and two late 1st period goals to trail Vernon heading into the 2nd. Penticton who may have had the bounces-breaks in Games 1 & 2 didnt get a break or bounce tonight. The Vees with a solid 2nd period dominated the Vipers only managed one goal, the game tying goal at the time. Penticton looking for the deflection in front outshot and outscored Vernon in the 2nd but were tied heading to the third. I thought the Vees had several good looks at the net-good opportunities didnt have that scoring touch in and around the net. Pucks that may have gone in earlier in the season or playoffs were just going wide, hitting a stick or body in front. Like I said, the Vees just didnt get the bounces tonight. Penticton who dosnt give up alot of goals has now given up ten in the last two games. Hunter Miska who was lights out through out the regular season looks human in Games 3 & 4. Overall a very good hockey game, very exciting and nerve racking at times with some very poor officiating. Several blatant missed calls at both ends of the rink. Both teams emotions got the better of them during spurts of the game, as the chippy plays appeared now and again. Great to see a big turnout of Vees fans at the game tonight. Penticton now heads home with the series tied 2-2 have to be thinking of what happened last season. The Vees had all the momentum and confidence heading into Game 3 may be a bit worried. Game 5 Friday is very crutial for both teams.
Energy player of the game:
1st Star: Riley Guenther (1 goal & 1 assist)
2nd Star: Liam Coughlin (2 goals)
3rd Star: Cody DePourcq (1 goal)
Fraser Rodgers Penticton Vees Blog,
Graham Turnbull's Vernon Vipers Blog,