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 6 as Penticton defeated Vernon 5-1 in front of 3,196 fans at Kal Tire Place.
Vernon: Danny Todosychuk
Penticton: Hunter Miska
1st Period: Off the opening faceoff the Vipers got the play deep in the Penticton zone tried to setup Liam Coughlin who was alone in front of the net couldnt connect on the pass through the slot on a great opportunity just seconds into the game. A few minutes later Coughlin would send a high shot from just inside the blueline that handcuffed Miska who had troubles making wich looked to be a routine save. Vernon would get the games first powerplay, just three minutes into the period but struggled as the Vees with a solid penalty kill gave up just two shots killed off the minor. Both teams looked a little slow/tired after last night's double overtime game in Penticton. Both teams looked a little tenative early playing with a little caution trying not to make the games first mistake. The Vipers had the only real scoring opportunities early but it was the Vees outshooting the Vipers 4-1 in the first few minutes. Riley Brandt was stopped twice at the halfway mark in tight on a good quality chance by the Vipers. Both teams looked fairly even with not alot of action at either ends of the rink before Penticton slowly come on. The Vees began skating, moving the puck looked to have more jump over the Vipers as the Vees were coming on in the second half. Vernon would get into penalty trouble taking back to back penalties. Penticton with their first of two straight powerplays but it was the Vipers aggresive forecheck that just about cost the Vees the opening goal of the night. Dante Fabbro lost an edge inside his own blueline with Riley Brandt lurking around for the loose puck would have been off to the races on a shorthanded breakaway but Fabbro was quick to recover swatted at the loose puck to clear it away from the Viper rookie. The Vees struggled with the man advantage couldnt get setup before Liam Coughlin went in all alone for the shorthanded breakaway beat Hunter Miska in close but hit the outside of the net on a very close call as the Vipers with a solid aggresive penalty kill would kill off the first of two penalties. Penticton would waist anytime on the second man advantage, moving the puck around Connor Chartier picked the top corner beat Danny Todosychuk from in close giving Penticton a 1-0 lead late in the frame at 18:49 Cody DePourcq & Miles Gendron collected the assists. Penticton was up 1-0 after 20 minutes of play. Like I said earlier both teams looked a little slow/tired at the start of the game were fairly even in the first ten minutes. The Vipers would get the better of the scoring chances held their own in the first half before the Vees got things rolling in the second half. Penticton carried the flow of the second half played with alot more jump didnt get any real scoring chances other then the powerplay goal. The Vipers looked out of sink making some poor passes, werent skating, looked a little sluggish didnt have that energy/jump to start the game. This was not a good period for the Vipers. Penticton outshot Vernon 14-10.
2nd Period: Just two minutes into the middle frame Vees captain Patrick Sexton with a shot from the blueline had Tyson Jost parked in front forced Vipers starting goaltender Danny Todosychuk to make a difficult save with Jost in front at the top of the crease. Just over four minutes in veteran forward Cam Amantea gave Penticton a 2-0 lead early to start the period at 4:05 Cody DePourcq and Mike Lee with the helpers. On the following shift the Vees would get into penalty trouble. The Vees would lose Miles Gendron after picking up a ten minute misconduct while Vernon would get a two man advantage. The Vipers struggled with the open ice, moving the puck ever so slowly Vernon waisted most of the PP passing the puck around, taking second looks at the net allowed the Vees penalty killers to get set and block the shooting lanes. Penticton with a solid penalty kill gave up very little room would limit the Viper scoring chances before the Vipers would end up taking a penalty ending the powerplay. Both teams played four on four for thirty seconds before Penticton would get a late man advantage. The Vipers were able to kill off the minor but just as the penalty expired Cam Amantea would get his second of the night and period giving Penticton a 3-0 lead at 8:32 this sending the Vees fans in attendance into a frenzy. Tyson Jost with the lone assist. The Vees then began to come on and come on hard, taking it to the Vipers. Penticton really using their speed and strong work ethic had the Vipers back on their heels down three goals in front of a packed rink gave Vernon troubles all night. The Vees carried most of the play, didnt get alot of scoring opportunities had lots of sustained pressure. Hunter Miska lost an edge took a spill in the crease looked to go down awkwardly didnt get up, was in alot of discomfort. The team trainer come out to talk-check on the veteran netminder who was slow to get up, shook it off and stayed in the game. Vernon would come back just after the midway mark as Vees starting goaltender Hunter Miska had to make his two biggest saves of the night at this point, made two big pad saves from in close keeping this a three goal game. Once again Penticton would storm back with more pressure. The Vipers with a costly turnover inside their own blueline couldnt clear the zone allowed Steen Cooper to setup a wide open Dakota Conroy who beat Danny Todosychuk put Penticton up 4-0 and in full control at 14:06 Cooper & Connor Chartier picked up the assists. The Vipers who didnt show much for offence tonight responded in a hurry, just a minute and a half later TJ Dumonceaux on an odd man rush beat Miska getting Vernon on the board at 15:37 cutting the Vees lead to 4-1 Thomas Aldworth with the assist got the crowd into the game for the first time tonight. The Vipers seemed to gain some momentum off the goal and feed off the crowd come on strong to finish the period. Shortly after Vernon with a ton of pressure deep in the Vees zone were buzzing in and around the goal, Colton McCarthy couldnt lift the puck up and over Hunter Miska who was down come very close to getting the Vipers within two goals. The Vipers kept coming, with a flurry of chances in and around the net Thomas Aldworth and Liam Coughlin both couldnt lift the puck up and over Hunter Miska who was down for a second time before the puck come back to the point, Brandon Egli's shot went high and over the net as the Vipers with their best pressure-opportunities of the night couldnt capitalize. TJ Dumonceaux was then stopped by the quick glove of Miska who made a nice save off the Viper MVP. The Vees reeling, were back on their heels got lucky would excape the Viper attack were up 4-1 after 40 minutes of play. Penticton with a huge goal early to start the 2nd jumped out to a 2-0 lead just four minutes into the frame. On the next shift the Vipers would get a crucial two man advantage had all kinds of troubles with the powerplay, couldnt capitalize as the Vees with a solid penalty kill kept the Vipers off the scoreboard. Vernon really needed a goal at this point in the hockey game. Shortly after the Vees jumped out to a huge 3-0 lead, just after killing off the two man advantage. This goal seemed to really deflate the Vipers and the crowd, taking the life out of the Vipers and the rink. The fourth goal basically put the game away the way the Vipers were playing at this point. The Vees with a very strong period, were by far the better team. Penticton didnt generate a whole lot of offensive chances, capitalized on their chances. Vernon didnt look very good at all for most of the period. It wasnt until Dumonceaux's goal late in the period gave the Vipers some life, would gain some momentum and get their best pressure of the night had some very good chances in the final minutes once again couldnt capitalize. Vernon outshot Penticton 17-10.
3rd Period: Down by three heading into the final frame the Vipers needed a goal early to try and get back in the game. But it was Penticton who come very close to scoring early, just over two and a half minutes into the frame, a shot from in close at the side of the net rolled through the crease and out of the other side as Todosychuk didnt know where the puck was. A few shifts later Riley Brandt with a great look-opportunity couldnt connect on a pass out front. The Vipers had all kinds of troubles early getting any kind of pressure on the Vees. The play went back and fourth with very little action before Vernon would finally get some sustained pressure but couldnt get any real good scoring chances. The Vees sitting on a three goal lead did a great job at blocking shots, clogging up the neutral zone really limited the Vipers opportunities. The Vees would put this game away early after Patrick Newell on a breakaway gave Penticton a 5-1 lead at 6:19 Demico Hannoun with the helper. Both teams would shifts at a time with pressure but no real scoring chances. Matt Serratore with a great opportunity to give the Vees a 6-1 lead was stopped by Danny Todosychuk. The Vipers carried an edge in play for atleast half the period had very limited scoring chances as Penticton would come away with the huge 5-1 victory staving off elimination forcing a Game 7 tomorrow night in Penticton. With the Vees up by three goals heading into the 3rd the Vipers had some pressure at times didnt generate much for offence. Penticton played very well defensively shut down the Viper top line, limited the Vipers scoring chances salted the game away with an early goal in the frame. Vernon who really stepped up their physical play in the final twenty minutes played with alot more energy but it was too little too late dropped a very dissapointing game 6 on home ice. Vernon outshot Penticton 10-6.
Top Player's: (Vernon)
Liam Coughlin I thought played with alot of desire, was one of the lone Viper forwards that really created or generated much for offence. Coughlin was involved in the play, seemed to always be in the play was the lone Viper that stood out.
Game Thought's: (Vernon)
With a chance to win their 17th Interior Division Championship on home ice the Vipers were outplayed not looking very good at all in Game 6 will have another crack at it tomorrow night in Game 7. Vernon looked tired/sluggish and very tenative early in the game, never showed or played with much jump-energy through out the game. Was it nerves? One of the biggest crowds in recent years other then one goal had nothing to reallt cheer about tonight. I didnt think the Vipers looked or played very well tonight, everyone looked out of sink, made some poor passes, players overskating the puck, waited too long to shoot, were very slow moving the puck coming out of their own end. The powerplay was not very good, were way too slow, didnt generate much for opportunities. I did really like the penalty kill, had atleast one or two good shorthanded chances tonight. The Vipers with not alot of pressure, pucks to the net or scoring chances. Vernon had their best opportunity-chances late in the 2nd but other then that, didnt really generate much for offence tonight. Where was the Vipers aggresive physical play tonight? They didnt start hitting until the 3rd period, by then the game was over. The turning point or one of two would have to be Liam Coughlin's shorthanded breakaway in the 1st. Coughlin scores here and it gives the Vipers a huge 1-0 lead, gets the crowd into the game. Maybe puts the Vees back on their heels. Or the two man advantage. The Vipers down 2-0 needed a powerplay goal at this point to get back in the game. Vernon scores once or twice here and this could be a different game. It seems over the years that the Vipers never do well-play well in front of large crowds at home. Going back to the Mike Vandekamp era the Vipers struggled at home in front of a large crowd. Is it nerves? I dont know.... After a huge emotional come from behind double overtime win last night in Penticton, it looked like the Vipers emptied the tanks in Game 5 and ran out of gas for Game 6. This was a pretty dissapointing loss in front of one of the biggest crowds in recent years. The Vipers better respond and come ready to play in Game 7 with the season on the line.
Top Players: (Penticton)
Gabe Bast had a strong game on the Vees backend. Stood his own, was good defensively, played well through out the night.
Cody DePourcq (2 assists) The Penticton native and the lone Vee left from the RBC Cup Championship team had a strong effort-game tonight picking up two assists. Took a huge check in the 3rd period, was right back up and stayed in the play. Battled hard, was a warrior down low, hard to contain along the wall, played his heart out.
Connor Chartier (1 goal & 1 assist) Has played very well in this series got Penticton on the scoreboard first with a PP goal played very well this evening. Strong with the puck, good skater, moves the puck well, hard to defend against.
Patrick Sexton was a rock on the Vees blueline, played physical, dished out some of the more bigger Penticton hits tonight. Saw alot of minutes, was solid all night.
Cam Amantea (2 goals) The veteran twenty year old scored two huge goals for Penticton, giving them a 2-0 and 3-0 lead in the 2nd period was ready for tonight, come to play. Playing his final year of Junior hockey had a very strong night.
Hunter Miska (36 saves) Didnt see alot of action but was his busiest-saw the most Viper flurries towards the end of the 2nd period. Wasnt overly tested much tonight but did have to make a few big stops.
Game Thought's: (Penticton)
It was one year ago today the Penticton Vees were down 3-2 in the series to the Vipers played Game 6 in Vernon won 2-0 forced a Game 7 where Vernon would come away with the overtime victory. With their season on the line in a must win situation the Penticton Vees basically dominated coming away with a huge-must win Game 6 5-1 victory forcing a Game 7 back home tomorrow night. Both teams looked a little tenative early before the Vees would get rolling and carried the play in the second half of the opening period. Penticton with a huge late powerplay goal got on the board first then scored three times in a crucial second period basically putting the Vipers away. Penticton playing with a ton of jump and energy looked hungry tonight, outplayed and outworked the Vipers most of the night. The Vees were very good with the forecheck, won alot of the battles, forced Vernon into coughing up the puck-making turnovers didnt get alot of chances tonight but capitalized on their chances. In Game 5 Penticton had the better opportunities, couldnt capitalize. Tonight they took advantage and burried their chances. It seemed like the Vees would carry the play for several minutes at a time, didnt get any real scoring chances before getting one shot that would go in. The Vees battled hard all night, were very strong with the puck down low, along the wall and in and around the net. The Vees really limited the Viper attack, keeping them away from out front, allowing Hunter Miska to see most of the Vernon shots. Penticton did a great job at shutting down Thomas Aldworth. Give the Vees full credit for a huge-must win game, playing in front of large crowd on the road, held off the Vipers early before taking over tonight's game. For a second year in a row these two teams will meet in Penticton in Game 7, winner takes all!
Michael Roberts "AP"
Energy player of the game:
TJ Dumonceaux (1 goal)
1st Star: Cam Amantea (2 goals)
2nd Star: Connor Chartier (1 goal & 1 assist)
3rd Star: Hunter Miska (36 saves)
Fraser Rodgers Penticton Vees Blog,
Graham Turnbull's Vernon Vipers Blog,