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-Silverbacks pre-season game as Salmon Arm defeated Vernon 4-3 in overtime in front of a decent crowd at Kal Tire Place. (They didnt announce tonight's attendance)
Vernon: Andrew Shortridge
Salmon Arm: Angus Redmond
1st Period: The Silverbacks would get two good scoring chances early. Just two minutes into the opening period Jake Simons was stopped in close by Andrew Shortridge before Josh Blanchard was stopped on the rebound as Salmon Arm with back to back opportunities couldnt open the scoring. The Vipers who struggled last night come ready to play tonight with a much better performance and it showed as both teams were fairly even through out the 1st period. Vernon had their fare share of offensive zone time was having troubles getting pucks to the net as the Backs defence was solid early and through out the period blocking several Viper shots. The Vipers needed almost six minutes to get their first shot on goal. On the other side the Silverbacks were firing everything on goal, getting lots of pucks to the net on Andrew Shortridge. Seven minutes into the game Griffin James the lone back back on defence made a huge defensive play breaking up a Silverbacks three on one rush. Just before the halway mark Vernon would get the games first powerplay, before getting a shortened two man advantage. Salmon Arm's defence/penalty killers were bang on come up with a great penalty kill would kill off the five on three as the Vipers didnt register a single shot with the two man advantage. Just as the penalties expired back come SA who come very close to scoring at the other end of the rink but Andrew Shortridge made a huge goal line save with traffic crashing the crease. The Backs then come very close to grabing the 1-0 lead shortly after Brody Valette's point shot was redirected in front forcing Shortridge to make a tough save with bodies in front. With just under five minutes to go Tak Anholt would get Vernon's best opportunity of the frame couldnt beat veteran goaltender Angus Redmond who made a huge save in close keeping this game scoreless. Salmon Arm was outshooting the Vipers 16-3 at this point as Vernon was struggling getting shots on net. The Vipers come on strong to finish the 1st had some good strong energy shifts to finish the period as it was tied 0-0 after 20 minutes of play. Salmon Arm outshot Vernon 18-9. A much better opening period by Vernon who looked much better compared to last night's 6-1 loss in Salmon Arm. Both teams played hard, competed and had a few scoring chances. The Backs had the better of the scoring opportunities were firing everything on net didnt play as physical after last night's hard hitting afair. Vernon had the two biggest hits of the period after two monsterous hits by Riley Brandt and Austin Cho. Andrew Shortridge was the busier of the two goaltenders played big made some good saves keeping this game scoreless. Even though the Silverbacks outshot Vernon the play was alot closer then the shot clock.
2nd Period: The Vipers with a strong start carried the edge in play early. Although needing almost four minutes to record their first shot on goal Vernon looked good to start the second period. Joey Cipollone with a great chance in front couldnt beat Silverbacks starting goaltender Angus Redmond who made a big save in close. The Vipers would ,lose Bo Pellah for ten minutes early into the middle frame after picking up a ten minute misconduct but a minute later would get their second powerplay of the evening. The Vipers couldnt capitalize after coming close. Griffin James graized the post as the Vipers come close to opening the scoring, Vernon getting some quality shots on goal were 0-2 with the PP. Just after the penalty expired #21 for SA (wasnt on the lineup-roster sheet) had a great look in front couldnt beat Vipers starting goaltender Andrew Shortridge before Steven Jandric come back the other way was stopped by Redmond as both teams had chances at each end. On the following stoppage in play Joesph McLeod would replace Shortridge with just over eight minutes remaining in the frame. Shortridge stopped all 22 Salmon Arm shots. Up until this point it was all Vernon as the Vipers carried the play for all of the first half of the period before the Silverbacks slowly adjusted and come back with a strong finish to the 2nd. Bo Pellah made a huge defensive play batted the puck down from in the crease after a shot from the point, was very close to bouncing into the open cage. Brett Steward was allowed to walk right in from the point untouched before getting off a quick shot, with a scramble in front Cam Coutre put home the loose puck in front just before the net come off the mourings giving Salmon Arm a 1-0 lead at 14:20 Steward & Josh Blanchard with the assists. Less then a minute later Nick Hutchison on a wrap around gave the Silverbacks a 2-0 lead at 15:07 Brody Valette collected the helper. Just shortly after Aidan Salerno with a rocket of a shot from the circle beat Joesph McLeod but hit the post on a close call. The Backs kept coming and were now the better team as Vernon was back on their heels. Vernon would eventually get on the board after a hard nose shift from Peter Tufto. Tufto skated over the Silverbacks blueline ripped a high shot glove side past Angus Redmond cut the Silverbacks lead to 2-1 at 17:20 Steven Jandric & Austin Cho with the helpers. Salmon Arm come right back with a flurry of shots from in tight, as McLeod had to be alert made a few saves to keep this a two goal game. Late in the frame SA would get their first look with the powerplay but it was the Vipers who come close to tying the game. Michael Roberts lead a two on one shorthanded rush in the final minute tried setting up Riley Brandt who was going to the net but the puck looked to hit the Silverbacks defenceman and stay out as the net come off its mourings. Salmon Arm was up 2-1 after 40 minutes of play. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 15-11. The Vipers with a great first half looked strong. Vernon carried the better of the play in the first ten to eleven minutes had a few opportunities couldnt find the back of the net. Salmon Arm was back on their heels a bit before re-gaining their composure once Vernon switched goaltenders. This seemed to be a bit of a turning point in the game as once the Vipers switched goaltenders the Backs got some life, scored two quick back to back goals jumped out to a two goal lead and were the better of the two teams in the second half. Salmon Arm with some good chances come close to making it 3-0 were up by one heading into the third.
3rd Period: The Silverbacks would start the third on the PP that was carried over from the 2nd period. Having the Vipers back on their heels, Vernon couldnt clear the zone but SA couldnt capitalize with the man advantage. Liam Finlay tried setting up Peter Tufto on a Viper two on one rush early but it was Brody Valette who come up with the big defensive play to break up the odd man rush. A few minutes later Ryan Cooper was hit from behind, Nicholas Rasovic jumped in dropping the gloves with Aidan Salerno as a minor scrum took place deep in the Backs zone. Rasovic would get tossed from the game for fighting. A few minutes later Austin Cho setup Tak Anholt on a Vernon two on one but Anholt was robbed by Angus Redmond who made a huge game save keeping this a one goal game. A few minutes later the Vipers would get a shot with the PP and capitalize. Jimmy Lambert with a rock of a shot went high glove on Redmond tied the game 2-2 at 11:04 Reece Soukoroff and Bo Pellah with the assists. Salmon Arm having troubles getting shots on goal went the first eleven minutes with just one shot on goal. As the period got into the final ten minutes both teams evened up in play as the play went back and fourth. The play got a little chippy at times as the Silverbacks laid out atleast three cheap shots that went undetected. Some pushing and shoving coming from both clubs as the physical play picked up a bit as the game wore on. With about six minutes to go the Silverbacks stepped up their game come on with several hard shifts getting some great looks at the net-great opportunities. Joesph McLeod made a big stop from in close before quickly getting across to rob Aidan Salerno. Former Viper forward Matty Saharchuk had three good opportunities from in close couldnt beat McLeod. Nick Hutchison, Marcus Mitchell & #21 all with good chances couldnt beat the Viper goaltender who come up big for his team late in the game. Vernon back on their heels late in a tied game relied on their goaltender to keep em in it. Late in the period Peter Tufto with all the work along the boards dodged a check, made a sweet pass out front setup second year Viper Liam Finlay who gave Vernon their first lead of the night at 18:11 Tufto with the lone assist. Late in the game Riley Brandt & Aidan Salerno would both get ten minute misconducts and leave the game. The Vipers would get called for icing the puck with 1:06 remaining. SA would call a timeout got Angus Redmond to the bench for the extra attacker. The Backs would win the draw before Brett Steward tied the game just six seconds after the timeout tying the game 3-3 at 18:58 Nick Hutchison & Phil Middleton picked up the helpers. The game was tied 3-3 after 60 minutes of play. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 15-13. Both teams battled hard and played hard in a pretty evenly matched period. The Vipers with some great chances early to start the period would eventually tie the game. Salmon Arm responded late with a ton of pressure and opportunities tied the game late forcing overtime. Both goaltenders played very well in the 3rd made for some heroic type saves.
Overtime: Off the opening faceoff the Vipers with three real good chances were stopped by Angus Redmond who was solid tonight. Salmon Arm with just two shots would score the game winner after Marcus Mitchell setup Nick Hutchison who walked into the slot beat Joesph McLeod giving the Backs the 4-3 OT victory as the Silverbacks bench poured onto the ice for the celebration. Marcus Mitchell & Cameron Trott collected the helpers. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 4-2. The Vipers with the early chances couldnt beat Redmond before Nick Hutchison's second goal of the night proved to be the OT winner as Salmon Arm takes both games of the home and home series.
Top Players: (Vernon)
Andrew Shortridge (22 saves) Stopped all 22 Salmon Arm shots started the game for the Vipers before being replaced by Joesph McLeod just past the midway mark of the 2nd period. Shortridge a 20 yr old goaltender played very well made some good saves in the opening frame. A bigger goaltender covers alot of the net is hard to be in close.
Joesph McLeod (18 saves) I thought looked a little off after replacing Andrew Shortridge. Im not sure if he was nervous or just not comfortable but he looked a little off early but settled down once the game went on. I Didnt get over quick enough to stop Nick Hutchison on the wrap around on Salmon Arm's second goal did get better as the game went on was forced into making some huge saves late in the 3rd with the game tied. McLeod made some game savers in the final six-five minutes, looked vert focused keeping this game tied.
Griffin James played very well on the Vernon backend. A bigger kid plays with an edge was steady all night.
Austin Cho was another defenceman that I thought played very well. Not the quickest skater but has some size, was physical, steady on the blueline and made some nice offensive plays through out the contest. Jumped up into the play, joined the rush on several occasions.
Peter Tufto (1 goal & 1 assist) Started off a little slow but as the game went along picked up his game and was one of Vernon's more dangerous threats with the puck. Not the biggest kid, has some wheels can really move up ice in a hurry, really sees and reads the ice well. Scored the Vipers first goal of the night after a wicked shot from just outside the dots beat Angus Redmond high glove. Then dodged a hit before setting up Liam Finlay on the Vipers 3rd goal.
Nicholas Rasovic caught my eye tonight. Another second year Viper returning to Vernon this season played with an edge, had a bit of a mean streak tonight. Battled and competed hard, went to the corners and the grey areas, didnt back down from the rough stuff before standing up for a teammate after Ryan Cooper was drilled from behind.
Jimmy Lambert was another kid who I didnt really notice until the 2nd period. As the game went on Lambert improved and showed some of his talent. Played very well in the second half of the game.
Game Thought's: (Vernon)
After watching last night's disapointing 6-1 loss in Salmon Arm the Vipers responded with a much better performance and effort tonight. The Vipers fall to 0-2 this pre-season play in Prince George Friday. This was a 360 turn around from last night. Vernon come ready to play, were skating, working and competing all night. The Vipers werent scared of the physical play tonight, unlike last night, stepped up their physical play and worked-played as a team. I know its only the pre-season but the Vipers looked like a different team. Give Vernon credit they fell behind 2-0 but didnt quit, battled back to tie the game before scoring late in the 3rd looked to come away with their first win of the Exhibition season. The Vipers improved defensively, didnt make anywhere near the amount of mistakes-turnovers compared to last night. Vernon was having trouble getting pucks to the net especially early to start the game, give some credit to Salmon Arm's defence but the Vipers looked to pass instead of shoot on several occasions. As the game went on the Vipers seemed to shoot more, getting more pucks on goal. A big goal by Peter Tufto late in the 2nd period gets Vernon on the scoreboard, cuts the SA lead to 2-1. At this point the Silverbacks were coming on and had a few chances come close to grabbing a 3-0 lead. Salmon Arm goes up by three and this may be a different game-final score. Tufto gets the Vipers and the crowd back into the game and gives Vernon some momentum. I thought the Vipers struggled with the man advantage, just like last night. This was a very good yet exciting hockey game even if its only Exhibition. Vernon dressed twenty players for tonight's matchup with eleven players sitting in the stands.
Top Players: (Salmon Arm)
Angus Redmond (40 saves) Wasnt very busy in the opening period (9 shots) made some big saves in the 2nd, 3rd and overtime periods. Remond a 20 yr old returning to Salmon Arm for his final year of Junior hockey has played very well over the years against the Vipers. A bigger goaltender covers alot of the net sees and reads the plays well, has a quick glove and dosnt give up alot of rebounds.
Brody Valette (1 assist) had a heck of a game for the Silverbacks. Was very good at both ends of the rink, was involved in the play, steady on the back end, made one huge defensive play to break up a Vipers odd man rush impressed me through out the game tonight.
Brett Steward (1 goal & 1 assist) Was another d-man that caught my attention. Another defenceman that liked to get involved in the play, found the open ice to jump up into the play. Reads and sees the ice well.
Nick Hutchison (2 goals & 1 assist) I was surprised to see in the linup tonight after picking up an extra game misconduct for being third man in a fight. Hutchison was given a game misconduct last night and then picked up the second game misconduct for third man in. Why was he playing tonight? Moving on... had a strong game for the Backs scored the OT winner collecting three points was very good through out the game.
Marcus Mitchell (1 assist) Also had a strong game up front. Was in and around the play through out tonight's contest.
#21 Wasnt listed on the Silverbacks roster-lineup sheet caught my attention. Played a strong game. Not the biggest kid but played well.
Game Thought's: (Salmon Arm)
The Silverbacks improve to 2-1 in the pre-season won both games of the home & home series with Vernon. Salmon Arm wasnt nearly as physical compared to last night but did still lay out some hits. This was a totally different game compared to last night. Both teams played very well. SA likes to fire everything and anything on goal, had a ton of shots in the opening period couldnt beat Andrew Shortridge. The Backs played with an edge laying out some very close hits that could have deserved penalties but so did the Vipers on occasion. Salmon Arm is quick, can move the puck in a hurry, gets shots off in a hurry and was very good defensively especially in the opening period. The Backs dressed twenty players with eleven players sitting in the stands. Good to see a handful of Silverbacks fans make the trip up from Salmon Arm for tonight's game.
Scratches (They didnt announce any scratches)
Three Stars: (They didnt announce any three stars)
Here is a look at both team's roster-lineups:
Joesph McLeod "97"
Andrew Shortridge "95"
Griffin James "97"
Bo Pellah "95"
Mitchell Oliver "97"
Reece Soukoroff "98"
Nick Higgs "98"
Austin Cho "97"
Steven Jandric "97"
Riley Brandt "96"
Tak Anholt "98"
Peter Tufto "97"
Linden Hora "96"
Joey Cipollone "97"
Nicholas Rasovic "96"
Jimmy Lambert "97"
Liam Finlay "97"
Ryan Cooper "99"
Zach Sullivan "97"
Michael Roberts "95"
Angus Redmond "95"
Daniel Toews "98"
Phil Middleton "95"
Aidan Salerno "95"
Cameron Trott "97"
Brody Valette "95"
Brett Steward "96"
Damian Chrcek "96"
Matty Saharchuk "95"
Nick Hutchison "95"
Jake Simons "95"
Marcus Mitchell "98"
Josh Blanchard "96"
Akito Hirose "99"
Aaron Aragon "97"
Colton Thibault "95"
Josh Pilon "98"
Cam Coutre "98"
Jared Turcotte "97"
Danny O'Donnell "96"
I noticed Damian Chrcek, Aaron Aragon & Colton Thibault werent in the lineup but the Backs had a # 5, #15 & #21 that were playing that werent on the lineup-roster sheet.