I was at tonight's Vipers Blue-White intersquad game as Team White defeated Team Blue 7-3 in front of a small crowd at Kal Tire Place.
Team Blue: Boston Bilous
Team White: Greg Maggio
1st Period: Both teams had a few good scoring chanes early off the opening faceoff before Team White would open the scoring just under five minutes into the contest. Hunter Zandee who was recently acquired from the West Kelowna Warriors found the back of the net off a goal mouth scramble from in close gave Team White the 1-0 lead at 4:30 Zach Zorn & Bradley Ong collected the assists. I thought the play was fairly even early before Team White slowly took over the edge in play, Team White with some good chances couldnt beat Boston Bilous. Team Blue rallied in the second half, would get some great scoring opportunities but it was former Nanaimo Buccaneer Greg Maggio who was solid between the pipes making several big saves keeping this a one goal game. Team White was the more physical of the two teams in the 1st period. Team White was up 1-0 after 20 minutes of play. There was no goal judges wich meant no shots on goal were counted.
2nd Period: Team White started the middle frame with the man advantage that was carried over from the opening period, but couldnt capitalize before Team Blue tied the game early. Peter Tufto evened the scoring 1-1 at 1:13 Vipers forward Liam Finlay with the helper. Five minutes later Team White exploded with four goals in eight minutes. Jimmy Lambert gave Team White a 2-1 lead at 5:12 Steven Jandric picked up the helper. Less then a minute later Ryan Cooper tied the game at two at 6:06 on a nice bang bang play. Viper forward Blaine Caton and Aiden Wilson with the assists. Less then three minutes later Zach Sullivan would give Team White the lead again, going ahead 3-2 at 8:45 Steven Jandric and Hunter Zandee picked up the assists. A few shifts later both teams would change goaltenders just before the midway mark. Joesph McLeod replaced Greg Maggio who gave up two goals for Team White, while Tyler Shugrue replaced Boston Bilous who gave up three goals for Team Blue. About a minute later Jimmy Lambert with his second of the night gave Team White a 4-2 lead at 11:34 Viper forward Jagger Williamson picked up the helper. Just over a minute later Zach Sullivan with his second goal of the night gave Team White a 5-2 lead at 12:55 Joey Cipollone & Steven Jandric collected the assists. Jandric already with three helpers on the night. The scoring wasnt finished, less then two minutes later Liam Finlay on the powerplay with a rocket made the water bottle pop cut the White lead to two at 14:38 Peter Tufto & Austin Cho added the helpers. This was a shoot-out as both teams scored seven goals combined in a wild 2nd period. Team White was up 5-3 after 40 minutes of play.
3rd Period: Just 1:39 into the final frame Joey Cipollone with his second point of the game gave Team White a 6-3 lead. Jimmy Lambert & Jordan Robinson with the assists. This basically put the game away as from here on in the pace went to a crawl with very little action. Team Blue down three goals couldnt get much of anything going the entire third, as Team White looked like they were on a PP at times moving the puck around. Zach Sullivan would put the game away with less then five minutes to go with his third of the night at 14:35 Sullivan's goal was unassisted. Team White would come away with the 7-3 victory putting an end to the Vipers Training Camp weekend.
Top Players: (Team White)
Greg Maggio allowed two goals played half of tonight's game. I thought was the better of the four goaltenders tonight. Maggio with Junior B experience playing last season in Nanaimo impressed me over the weekend and again tonight. This kid really see's the play develop, quick on his feet, made several big saves late in the 1st period to keep this a one goal game at the time.
Markus Jensen I thought had a steady game on the blueline. Was physical at times, wasnt afraid to through his weight around had a few big checks through out the Intersquad game. A bigger kid used his size played well.
Steven Jandric (3 assists) Was by far the best player on the ice tonight. I never really noticed him during Training Camp Friday or Saturday's scrimmages until this morning in the final scrimmage of Training Camp. This kid can skate, has some slick hands and can really handle the puck-be creative in and around the net. A very smooth skater was hard to contain at times. I really like the looks of this kid.
Joey Cipollone (1 goal & 1 assist) Played well through out the Blue-White game. Here's a kid that impressed me through Training Camp. I thought he stood out tonight picking up two points in the win.
Jimmy Lambert (2 goals & 1 assist) Was another kid that caught my eye during Training Camp this weekend. Has some wheels, can put the puck in the net.
Zach Sullivan (3 goals) Here's a kid who I didnt even notice during Training Camp collects the hat-trick tonight in a game where he was in the right spot at the right time. Played well, was going to the net alot, worked hard for his three goals.
Hunter Zandee (1 goal & 1 assist) Wearing Rob Short's retired #20 jersey, Zandee picked up two points played well for Team White. I really like the looks of this kid, plays hard, shows alot of hustle, competes hard and has some skill with the puck. I thought played very well all weekend.
Boston Bilous started the game allowed three goals also played half of the game. I thought played well through out the weekend.
Griffin James has some size and plays with a mean streak. I thought had a good game on the backend for Team Blue.
Liam Finlay (1 goal & 1 assist) Was buzzing through out the entire weekend. Finlay was really flying tonight, picked up a powerplay goal was stopped on a penalty shot in the 3rd period. This kid can skate and really create plays and make things happen in a hurry. Very exciting to watch.
Ryan Cooper (1 goal) I thought played hard, was good with the puck, seemed to always be involved in and around the net. Caught my attention a few times through out Training Camp and the Intersquad game.
Overall Game Thoughts:
After watching Training Camp all weekend the Vipers look like they are going to have lots of speed and skill up front. The Vipers look to have some very promising young kids out there. Alot more hitting-physical play tonight compared to the weekend scrimmages that had almost no hitting-contact. I dont think the Vipers will keep-go with two 20 yr old goaltenders. After watching Camp I thought Andrew Shortridge was the better of the two 20 yr old goaltenders. Will we see Jarrod Schamerhorn traded before the season starts? The Vipers sat out most of their returning players from last season, only dressing 45 kids for tonight's Blue-White game with wich looked to be 11 scratches in the stands, meaning they are still carrying 56 kids heading into this week-Exhibition games.
Here is a look at both team's rosters from tonight's game.
Ethan De Jong