Saturday, March 21, 2015

Interior Division Finals: Game 5 Vernon 4 Penticton 3 Double Overtime:

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 5 as Vernon defeated Penticton 4-3 in double overtime in front of 2,747 fans at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Danny Todosychuk
Penticton: Hunter Miska

1st Period: The Vees jumped out to a good start on the Vipers, carried the play early and often.  Penticton was getting pucks to the net and getting control of the play off the opening faceoff was outshooting Vernon 6-1 just over five minutes into Game 5.  The Vipers struggled offensively to start, had troubles getting across the neutral zone and getting pressure in the Vees zone needed three minutes to get their first shot on goal.  Penticton would get the games first good quality scoring chance after a quick low shot from the blueline forced Danny Todosychuk to make the save had to be sharp stopping former Vipers prospect Dakota Conroy on the doorstep.  Two minutes later Miles Gendron's point shot got through bodies in front was redirected at the last second just went wide of the far corner as the Vees didnt get the bounce come close to opening the scoring with two good chances in the opening minutes.  The Vees continued to press and attack carrying the majority of the play didnt get alot of great chances from here on in.  The Vipers back on their heels a bit would get just their second shot of the period halfway through the opening frame were outshot 9-2 at this point.  Vernon would slowly get going in the second half, found a way to get through the neutral zone, getting some zone time in on the Vees defence.  The Vipers looking and playing much better in the second half.  With just over five minutes remaining, Patrick Newell one on one beat his d-man along the boards cut hard to the net was stopped by Danny Todosychuk who made a tough save as Newell was going hard to the goal before stopping former Vipers forward Demico Hannoun on the second opportunity.  Todosychuk making his third straight start of this series was good-keeping the Vipers in the game to this point.  Just over a minute later a hard working play by one Viper (I didnt see who it was) made a dash for the blueline, kept the puck in at the Vees blueline, fired the puck back into Vees teritory.  Riley Brandt with good hustle and a strong forecheck would battle two Penticton Vees down low against the end wall was holding his own before digging the puck free to Luke Volton who was able to find find some open ice went to the net before beating Hunter Miska from in close giving Vernon the 1-0 lead at 16:01 Brandt with the lone helper.  This was the first time the Vipers had opened the scoring in the series.  Just over a minute later the Vees would get the games first powerplay.  The Vees struggled at times but also had some good pressure couldnt convert as the Vipers with a big kill would kill off the minor.  The Vipers now playing with the lead gained some momentum played very well to finish the 1st period.  Vernon was up 1-0 after 20 minutes of play.  Penticton got off to a good start, jumped on the Vipers early.  The Vees moving the puck, created and generated a few good chances early carried the better of the play were the better team in the first half outshooting Vernon 9-2 at the halfway mark.  The Vipers woke up and got their game going in the second half, played much better scored a late goal on a hard working shift by Riley Brandt and Luke Voltin to grab the first lead of the night.  Penticton outshot Vernon 14-7.

2nd Period: The Vees with another strong start to a period for a second straight period jumped on the Vipers early and often.  Penticton skating hard, really moving the puck well used their speed and strong forecheck were all over the Vipers for most of the period.  Penticton getting pucks to the net early forced Vipers starting goaltender Danny Todosychuk to make some good saves.  The Vees pressing hard were buzzing in and around the goal were throwing the puck around come close to tying the game couldnt connect on a few passes in and around the net.  Vernon once again was back on their heels had troubles getting out of their own end and through the neutral zone.  Todosychuk made some big saves keeping this a one goal game.  The Vees would eventually tie the game after the Vipers couldnt clear the zone, Penticton kept the puck in at the blueline got the play down low.  Matt Serratore setup a wide open Riley Alferd who was all alone behind the net just beat Danny Todosychuk on the wrap around tied the game 1-1 at 8:57 Serratore and Jack Ramsey picked up the assists on a goal I think Todosychuk would like to have back.  The Vees would get their second man advantage about a minute and a half later.  Penticton struggled early with the PP as the Vernon penalty kill was solid.  Liam Coughlin looked to do something to his arm-wrist looked to be in some discomfort heading to the bench, would get looked at by the trainer before going to the Viper dressingroom.  Coughlin would return minutes later and finish the game.  The Vees would get a late surge moving the puck around setup Connor Chartier who missed a wide open net in front on a missed opportunity as Vernon would kill off the penalty.  About a minute and a half later the Vipers would get their first look with the powerplay.  Vernon would struggle having all kinds of trouble getting through the neutral zone as the Vees penalty kill did a good job at bottling up Vernon's powerplay unit inside their own zone.  The Vipers would eventually get setup and in the final seconds of the PP get a mad scramble in front of Hunter Miska.  Fighting for the loose puck Thomas Aldworth couldnt get a good shot off with Miska down and out before the puck come back to the slot this time the Vipers fired high and over the net missing on the top half of the open cage as Miska was able to get to his feet just as the Vees would kill off the remainder of the minor.  Vernon was outplayed all period had some late pressure in the final minutes before the wheels come off.  Just as the Vipers had good pressure on the Vees Penticton come back with a good push back.  The Vees would get the puck in deep and with a strong forecheck won the battles along the wall had the Vipers reeling in their own end.  Danny Todosychuk made a big save with two minutes to go before stretching out to make a huge game saver pad save off Dante Fabbro.  On the save Todosychuk was very slow to get up looked to be in discomfort getting back to his feet as the Vipers were able to clear the zone.  Todosychuk bent over for the next faceoff didnt look in good shape before a turnover deep inside the Viper zone, Vernon couldnt clear the zone allowed Steen Cooper room down low to beat Todosychuk fivehole giving Penticton a 2-1 lead at 18:13 their first lead of the game.  Cam Amantea & Cody DePourcq collected the helpers.  Off the following faceoff just seven seconds later Connor Chartier was able to skate through the slot before ripping a high shot over the glove of Todosychuk giving Penticton a 3-1 lead at 18:20 Dakota Conroy and Miles Gendron with the assists as the Vees bench erupted sending the SOEC into a frenzy.  Todosychuk still looking to be in some discomfort stayed in the hockey game as all eyes were on the Vernon bench and backup goaltender Jarrod Schamerhorn.  Penticton had a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes of play.  Just like the 2nd period in Game 4 the Vipers had all kinds of trouble were outplayed for most of the frame.  The Vees with another strong start, jumped on the Vipers early and often.  Penticton really buzzing in and around the goal had several good looks-opportunities in close.  Danny Todosychuk played very well keeping his team in the game.  The Vees would eventually tie the game before scoring two late goals to grab a two goal lead heading into the 3rd.  Vernon with very little offence-pick possession had all kinds of troubles defending against the Vees speed and forecheck.  Penticton outshot Vernon 14-9.

3rd Period: Both teams looked to be fairly even off the opening faceoff before the Vipers would get within a goal just minutes into the final frame.  Mackenzie Bauer jumped on a huge turnover inside the Vees blueline got a high shot off from the point that caught Vees starting goaltender Hunter Miska high near the shoulders looked to handcuff the veteran goaltender as the puck went up and over Miska into the back of the goal cutting the Vees lead to 3-2 at 2:57 Bauer's goal was unassisted.  This goal got the Viper bench and the Viper fans who were in attendance tonight back into the game.  A huge momentum changer as the Vipers slowly come on with the Vees looking at sitting back with a one goal lead.  Vernon was coming on and in waves but had troubles getting pucks to the net and creating chances.  Almost every shift the Vipers would get in across the Vees blueline before either turning over the puck or losing the puck.  The Vees with very little puck possession or zone time were basically just clearing the puck from their zone, changing lines and getting back to playing defence.  The Vipers would get the lone PP of the third, this just their second of the night.  Once again Vernon struggled as Penticton with a huge penalty kill would kill off the minor.  Lewis Zerter-Gossage with a good opportunity one of the Vees few of the period was stopped in close by Danny Todosychuk who looked fine, didnt look to be in any discomfort.  Vernon come close to tying the game after a Luke Shiplo's point shot was redirected on its way to the net, just went up and over the goal.  With Vernon still pressing the Vipers would slowly get pucks to the net late in the 3rd still unable to really generate much for offensive chances.  Miska was seeing all of Vernon's shots until with just over two minutes to go Liam Finlay won the draw, the Vipers got the puck back to captain Riley Guenther whos shot from the blueline somehow got through bodies in front beat wich looked like a screened Hunter Miska tied the game 3-3 at 17:48 Williamson and Finlay with the helpers as the Viper bench erupted.  The Vipers with good pressure had a good attack to finish the 3rd forced overtime for a second time this series.  It was tied 3-3 after 60 minutes of play.  The Vipers with a strong 3rd period kept pushing and pushing, coming in waves didnt create or generate alot of offensive chances got an early goal off a Vees turnover to get within a goal before tying the game late to force overtime.  Penticton sat back most of the period with the Vipers pressing as Vernon carried the majority of the play.  Vernon outshot Penticton 13-12.

Overtime: Penticton responded with a quick start jumped on the Vipers.  Using their speed and aggresive forecheck the Vees pounded the puck in deep before cycling the play down low were buzzing in and around the net.  Miles Gendron with a good opportunity in close early couldnt beat Todosychuk.  Once again Vernon back on their heels looked to be chasing the Vees, having all kinds of troubles with the Penticton forecheck were losing alot of the one on one battles.  Vernon with just one shot in the first fifteen minutes were being outplayed as Penticton dominated the overtime period.  Anthony Latina went into the end boards awkwardly was a little slow to get up would stay in the game.  The Vees throwing the puck around had several good opportunities couldnt beat Danny Todosychuk who kept his club in the game.  Captain Cody DePourcq, Matt Serratore, Connor Chartier and Jack Ramsey all with great chances couldnt end it for the Vees.  The Vipers were just hanging on by a thread would get some pressure late in OT.  The Vipers would get a few good looks at the net setup Riley Guenther whos pointshot got through traffic before forcing Hunter Miska to make a quick glove save off a shot I dont think he saw until late.  Vernon with their best pressure-chances of the extra frame had some good sustained pressure late to finish overtime.  It was still tied 3-3 after 80 minutes of play.  The Vees were by far the better team in overtime, were all over Vernon had several real good chances couldnt find the back of the net.  Penticton looked fresh, had lots of jump and energy were really skating, moving the puck.  While the Vipers looked sluggish-tired through out the extra frame.  The Vipers struggled, were back on their heels had all kinds of trouble containing the Vees speed and forecheck got luck excaping without giving up the game winner.  Penticton outshot Vernon 8-7.

Double Overtime: The Vipers responded after a not so good first overtime come ready to play for the second overtime period.  Vernon got off to a strong start, carried the play early and often.  Both teams had a few shots early with no real scoring chances before Luke Voltin's shot from just inside the Vees blueline looked like a dump in play went off a Vees player in front found the back of the net beating Hunter Miska on a lucky bounce giving Vernon a 4-3 double overtime win at 5:37 sending the Viper bench onto the ice in a huge celebration at centre ice.  Just like in Game 1 the second overtime didnt last very long before a game winner.  The old saying goes, just through pucks to the net, you never know whats going to happen.  The Vipers who have been getting the better of the bounces the last three games got a gift in double overtime for the game winner giving Vernon a 3-2 series lead.  Vernon outshot Penticton 4-3.

Top Players: (Vernon)

Brandon Egli played very well on the Viper backend.  Was one of the more steady d-men for the Vipers.

Mitch Meek also played very well on the blueline.  Was very good down low, made several strong defensive plays.

Riley Guenther (1 goal) Scored a huge game tying goal with just over two minutes to go in the 3rd to force overtime.  For the second straight game was very noticable, had a strong game defensively and offensively.  Was good at moving the puck in a hurry, made that first quick pass coming out of the zone, played with alot of confidence and saw alot of minutes tonight.

Anthony Latina who has been a big asset this season had a very strong night, was flying all game, played one of his most physical games of the season battled and competed hard all night.  Never quit skating, was all over the rink.  A true warrior.

The line of Liam Coughlin, Thomas Aldworth and TJ Dumonceaux worked and battled extremely hard all night.  The Vipers top line didnt record any points but were playing hard.  Dumonceaux was really skating, played with alot of jump in his game, was flying especially in the 1st period.  Aldworth who had plenty of rushes with the puck, couldnt seem to get the bounces or puck luck had troubles getting pucks to the net played with alot speed, was flying all night.  Coughlin also played hard, tried creating and generating chances.

The line of Colton McCarthy, Riley Brandt (1 assist) and Luke Voltin (2 goals) has really stepped up their play in the playoffs has played very well this series had a strong game.  Brandt who was hitting everyone and anyone in his way, had a very physical game, really throwing his weight around.  A huge competator battled and competed all night, won several battles down low and along the wall.  This kid never gives up, plays hard for sixty minutes.  McCarthy didnt stand out as much as in previous games, stayed out of the penalty box playing a much more disciplined game.

Danny Todosychuk (48 saves) Was one of the reasons the Vipers forced overtime and got the victory.  Making his third straight start of this series may have wanted the Vees first goal back was very solid between the pipes tonight.  Made several key saves in the 2nd when the Vees were all over Vernon and then made some big saves in the first overtime with Penticton attacking.  Give Todosychuk credit, after looking to get hurt on a save off Dante Fabbro late in the 2nd period Todosychuk stayed in the game, gave his team a chance to win.  A solid performance for the Viper veteran.

Game Thought's: (Vernon)

The Vernon Vipers come away with a huge come from behind double overtime victory take a 3-2 series lead have a chance to wrap up the series tomorrow night at home.  The Vipers who opened the scoring for the first time this series didnt get off to a good start.  I thought Penticton was the better team in the first half of the 1st period before the Vipers come back with a good finish in the second half.  For the second straight game Vernon didnt look good at all in the 2nd period, were outplayed pretty bad for most of the frame.  Two late goals just seven seconds apart looked to be a killer but give this team full credit.  All season Viper fans have seen this team come back to win hockey games in the 3rd.  This team has done very well this season with 3rd period comebacks and they did it once again tonight.  Down two goals heading into the 3rd the Vipers get a huge goal from Mackenzie Bauer early to start the third giving them some life and getting them back into the game, as the Vipers pressed and took it too the Vees Vernon would eventually tie the game forcing overtime.  The Vipers once again were outplayed in the first overtime got very lucky forced a second overtime before Luke Voltin's second goal of the night was the OT winner.  Here is my turning point.  Lets say Todosychuk is hurt and cant finish the game, Jarrod Schamerhorn starts the 3rd period cold, seeing his first action in three games.  With the Vees up by two goals, pepper Schamerhorn maybe get to the cold goaltender get one, maybe two more goals in the 3rd come away with the 4 or 5-1 victory.  But Todosychuk stays in the game, battles through whatever kind of injury or discomfort he has and makes several big saves in overtime to give the Vipers a chance to win.  The Vipers with very little puck possession and very few if any scoring chances in the 2nd period and first overtime didnt quit, kept battling have now won three straight games in this series and their first playoff win in Penticton in this series.  Vernon didnt get alot of great scoring chances tonight, capitalized on their chances, got solid goaltending, never quit.  After Sunday's Game two 5-2 loss in Penticton the Vipers were down 2-0 in the series didnt look good.  I would have never seen this coming.  This was very close to Game 7 last year between these two teams.  The Vees had a 3-1 lead heading into the 3rd before the Vipers scored two goals to force overtime won it in OT 4-3.  This was a huge emotional win for the Vipers.  This game-win will go along ways for the boys.  Winning three straight over the Vees and winning in Penticton, something they have had troubles doing during the regular season.  Throw all the stats out the window, Game 6 is tomorrow.  The Vipers now have a chance to win their 17th Interior Division Championship tomorrow night on home ice.  How do the Vees get two out of the three stars? Vernon wins the game and the OT hero dosnt get a star? How about Danny Todosychuk? Stays in the game, makes 48 saves and no star?

Top Players: (Penticton)

Dante Fabbro I thought played a strong game on the Vees backend.  Was moving the puck well, made some smart plays this evening.

Patrick Newell had a very strong game up front for Penticton.  Had several good scoring chances, was hard to defend against.  A good skater, quick on his feet, is good with the puck.

Steen Cooper (1 goal) Played well, had lots of jump in his game, was in and around the net has played well this series.

Lewis Zerter-Gossage Had a few looks-chances, was a bigger body that looked and played very well in Game 5.

Game Thoughts: (Penticton)

The Vees really stepped up their game after back to back 5-2 losses in Games 3 & 4 in Vernon.  I didnt think Penticton played their best hockey in both Games 3 & 4 were ready to go tonight in front of a huge crowd, looked very close to being sold out.  For the first time this series the Vees didnt get on the scoreboard first, did manage to score three straight goals to grab a two goal lead heading into the 3rd before blowing a two goal lead for the third time this series.  Penticton who outplayed and dominated the Vipers in periods 2 and the first overtime had the better scoring chances through out the game couldnt capitalize on their chances.  The Vees really used their speed and aggresive forecheck tonight to give Vernon all kinds of troubles.  The Vipers on several opportunities couldnt clear the zone after the Vees defence did a great job at standing tall at the blueline, keeping the puck-play inside the Viper zone.  I thought Penticton won most of the one on one battles and races for the pucks, and was better on the draw.  I really liked the Vees defensive efforts keeping the puck in at the blueline.  After the Vipers looked very good in the faceoff circle in the first few games the Vees won more of the faceoffs in Game 5.  What happened to the Vees in the 3rd?  Your up 3-1 in your own rink and cant hold onto that lead?  The Vees lost just three times at home during the regular season, one was to the Vipers.  Just one loss in the playoffs at the SOEC Penticton is almost unbeatable at home.  The Vees who have lost three straight for the first time this season, are now one game away from their season coming to an end.  What happened to Hunter Miska?  This kid was lights out vs Vernon during the regular season and Games 1 & 2 has looked beatable since.  The Vipers have scored fourteen goals on Penticton in the last three games.  You have to wonder if the Vees coaching staff and players from last year are thinking about last years Game 7 loss to Vernon.  The Vees in a game where they should have won, leave devistated. 



Mitchell Oliver
Nicholas Rasovic
Michael Roberts "AP"


Mitch Newsome

Energy player of the game:

Steen Cooper (1 goal) 

Three Stars:

1st Star: Connor Chartier (1 goal)
2nd Star: Riley Alferd (1 goal)
3rd Star: Riley Guenther (1 goal)

Fraser Rodgers Penticton Vees Blog,

Graham Turnbull's Vernon Vipers Blog,

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