I was at tonight's Vipers-Silverbacks game as Vernon defeated Salmon Arm 10-5 in front of 1,290 fans at the Shaw Centre.
Vernon: Brendan Barry
Salmon Arm: Angus Redmond
Before tonight's game Adam Bighill from the BC Lions dropped the puck for the opening faceoff.
1st Period: The Silverbacks needed less then two minutes to open the scoring. Cameron Trott's point shot missed the net, took a funny bounce off the end wall coming out the other side to a wide open Elijiah Barriga who gave Salmon Arm a 1-0 lead at 1:50 Trott with the lone helper. The Backs with a strong start, jumped on Vernon early and often. About a minute after opening the scoring a mad scramble in front of the Viper goal had Brendan Barry scrambling to get back in position, a Salmon Arm had a wide open cage to shoot at but decided to pass back to the point, this giving Barry time to recover, get back in position before making the save off the shot from the blueline. I don't think the Silverback player saw the open net. Less then two minutes later Jared Turcotte put Salmon Arm up 2-0 at 4:20 Phil Middleton & Chase Zieky collected the assists. On the following shift the Silverbacks kept coming, Carson Bolduc with a ton of speed, dropped back to setup Josh Laframboise who ripped a hard shot off the mask of Brendan Barry who shook that one off and stayed in the game. On the following shift, Ross Heidt gave Salmon Arm a 3-0 lead at 6:01 Josh Blanchard and Cameron Trott picked up the helpers before the Vipers would call a timeout. It was all Backs as they dominated the first six minutes. The timeout seemed to work as Vernon would get their first real zone time in the offensive zone. Just before the halfway mark the Vipers would get the games first powerplay. Latrell Charleson's point shot would get redirected by Ben Butcher In front on Vernon's first shot of the game, Salmon Arm was up 3-1 at 10:20 Charleson and Liam Finlay with the assists. The Vipers responded with a few decent shifts, Ben Butcher with a great opportunity from the slot looking for his second of the game would be denied after Damian Chrcek dove in front of Butcher blocking the shot from the in close. The Silverbacks would get two goals four minutes apart. Chase Zieky put Salmon Arm up 4-1 at 13:40 Phil Middleton picked up the assist. Chase Zieky with his second of the night, gave Salmon Arm a 5-1 lead at 17:50 Elijiah Barriga and Jared Turcotte collected the assists. Just inside the final minute Mac Ferner would cough the puck up to a wide open Josh Blanchard who went in all alone for the breakaway couldn't beat Barry blocker side who made a big save inside the final minute. It was 5-1 Salmon Arm after 20 minutes of play. Other then a few shifts it was all Silverbacks as Salmon Arm dominated the edge in play. The Backs jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead 1:50 into the frame, never looked back were up by three just six minutes into the opening period. SA carried and controlled most of the play, looked to have the puck on a string at times. The Backs skating hard, playing with a lot of jump and energy were cruising. The Vipers needed ten minutes to record their first shot of the night, would get three shots on the man advantage only mustered one shot afterwards in the remainder of the period. Vernon with just a few decent shifts, played most of the period in their own end. The Vipers struggled offensively, looked flat, had no jump, were back on their heels, had all kinds of trouble containing the Silverbacks speed and skill. Salmon Arm outshot Vernon 17-4.
2nd Period: Ben Butcher took a huge hit behind the Silverbacks net, somehow spotted-setup Jimmy Lambert in front who got the Vipers on the scoreboard early cutting the SA lead to 5-2 at 1:01 Butcher & Odeen Tufto with the assists. Less then two minutes later the Vipers would get their second powerplay of the night. Bo Pellah fed Jimmy Lambert for his second of the night-period cut the Salmon Arm lead to 5-3 at 3:21 Pellah with the lone helper. Less then a minute later with the Vipers pressing, Vernon had a good forecheck down low, Angus Redmond would get bumped was slow to get up, the Vipers still with control of the puck with the crowd yelling for a gaoltender interference call the Vipers moved the puck around. Mitchell Oliver spotted former Chilliwack Chiefs defenceman Darren Rizzolo at the point, whos quick shot from the blueline somehow found the back of the net after Redmond was just getting up, trying to make the save couldn't as the Vipers got to within a goal at 4:17 Oliver and Steven Jandric collected the helpers. The Shaw Centre went nuts, giving it to the officials for no penalty on the play. Redmond looked a little woozy after the goal, would be ok and stay in the hockey game. Vernon who was completely outplayed and down 5-1 after the 1st period come to life in the 2nd scored three quick goals less then five minutes into the frame were within a goal. Liam Finlay with a rocket of a shot beat Redmond but went off the crossbar as Vernon come close to tying the game. A few plays later Vernon product Jagger Williamson skated inside the SA zone befire wiring a shot post and in beating Silverbacks starting goaltender Angus Redmond tying the game 5-5 at 7:57 Odeen Tufto & Mitchell Oliver picked up the assists. Brandon West and the Silverbacks called their timeout to try and settle the troops down. But just after the timeout the Vipers would get their third PP of the night. Odeen Tufto beat Redmond giving Vernon their first lead of the night 6-5 at 9:34 Jimmy Lambert & Liam Finlay with the assists. This was the end of the night for Angus Redmond who was pulled in favor of Brandon Kegler. Redmond gave up six goals on just twelve Vernon shots. A few plays later the Backs who were outplayed and held in their own end for most of the period come back with a few hard working shifts. Salmon Arm with their first real pressure of the middle frame. Newcomer Mitch Skapski come very close to tying the game, was hooked-held up at the top of the crease, couldn't get the puck up and over a diving Brendan Barry who was sprawled out with just his goal stick covering the goal line made the paddle save with tons of traffic in front. Back come the Vipers a few plays later, Odeen Tufto setup Riley Brandt on a two man rush, Brandt was robbed by Brandon Kegler who come across the blue paint to make a huge pad save off Brandt, keeping this a one goal game. The Silverbacks would eventually get their first powerplay of the night, but a very strong penalty kill by Vernon would kill off the minor. Just after the penalty expired, Odeen Tufto with his second of the period-night gave Vernon a 7-5 lead at 17:02 Jimmy Lambert and Riley Brandt collecting the helpers. 1:30 later Liam Finlay out waited Brandon Kegler before giving Vernon a 8-5 lead at 18:37 Ben Butcher with the assist. Vernon was up 8-5 after 40 minutes of play. What happened between periods? Salmon Arm was in complete control and up 5-1 after 20 minutes of play. The Vipers-Jimmy Lambert got a huge goal 1:01 into the period, come out on fire! Vernon with three early goals less then five minutes into the frame got to within a goal before scoring four more goals. The Vipers with six unanswered goals. The Vipers playing with a lot more jump-energy, were skating this period, played much better defensively and didn't give up many if any scoring chances. Vernon outplayed and dominated the 2nd. The Silverbacks looked like a completely different team. The Backs fell apart, couldn't get much of anything going. Angus Redmond didn't look like Angus Redmond tonight, it looked like whatever the Vipers through towards the goal, went in. SA with very little zone time, played most of the period in their own end. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 17-14.
3rd Period: The Silverbacks got into penalty trouble early and it cost them. The Vipers would get a two man advantage after Vernon product Colton Thibault ran Vipers starting goaltender Brendan Barry. Barry went down and didn't move. Thibault was given five minutes for goaltender interference and tossed from the game. Barry was down for several minutes, being looked at by the team trainer. Barry was a little shaken but seemed to be ok and stayed in the game. Vernon would struggle with the two man advantage. The Backs with a very strong PK would kill off the remainder of the first penalty, were still down a man. Brendan Kegler was slow to get up after making a save at the side of the net. Kegler looked to be in some discomfort for several minutes, would seem to be ok, stayed in the game. The Vipers had troubles containing any pressure, before Odeen Tufto would eventually find the back of the net, giving Vernon a 9-5 lead at 8:31 Liam Finlay and Bo Pellah with the helpers. Still on the man advantage (five minute major) Vernon struggled as SA would kill off the remainder of the five minute major, giving up just one goal. Shortly after their 9th goal Charley Michalowski would give Vernon a 10-5 lead at 11:19 Colton McCarthy with the assist. While the Vipers were skating by the benches to celebrate the goal, Ayrton Nikkel would slash the stick out of Mitchell Oliver's hands, Nikkel was given a ten minute misconduct and tossed from the game. SA would was coming un-glued at this point, got into more penalty trouble. Just a minute later the Vipers would head back to the PP. The Silverbacks with a good penalty kill would kill off the minor. But just three minutes after killing the penalty, the Backs would be subject to more undcipline play, giving Vernon another man advantage. The Vipers unable to capitalize would eventually just chip and chase, killing off the remainder of the period. Salmon Arm who wasn't in this period from the start, played most of the 3rd shorthanded as Vernon would come away with the huge come from behind 10-5 victory. The Backs got into penalty trouble early and often, playing most of the 3rd shorthanded. The Vipers already up by three goals added two more in third for insurance. This wasn't much of a period as Vernon seemed to get powerplay after powerplay. The Silverbacks lost their composure and took way too many undciplined penalties. The Vipers kept their cool and played a perfect 3rd period with the lead. For a second straight period, the Vipers carried the play and gave up very little scoring chances. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 9-3.
Top Player's: (Vernon)
Charley Michalowski (1 goal) Who I didn't notice until the 3rd period, had a heck of a period. It looked like he was double shifting or just getting lots of icetime with the Vipers holding a big lead in the final period. I thought played with a lot of energy, was skating hard, going to the net, worked hard.
Odeen Tufto (3 goals & 2 assists) Had a strong night, picking up five points. Tufto really used his wheels, was flying out there tonight. Skating hard, was in and around the net, involved in the play often.
Liam Finlay (1 goal & 2 assists) Was also flying in the win. Finlay was really skating hard, made some real nice plays, was creating-generating chances all night.
Jimmy Lambert (2 goals & 2 assists) With two big goals early in the 2nd period, got the Vipers rolling and onto their way for the comeback. Lambert had a strong game, collected four points seemed to be all over the ice.
Callum Volpe I thought had a strong game on the backend. Not the biggest kid but played very well, made some smart-heads up plays through out the game.
Ben Butcher (1 goal & 2 assists) Has really picked up his game the past few weeks and it showed again this evening. Butcher was going to the net all night, also made some nice plays. A bigger body, took some big hits but made life miserable for the defencemen.
Game Thought's: (Vernon)
For a third straight game the Vipers give up an early goal to start the game. The Vipers with a terrible start were badly outplayed in the 1st and it showed on the ice and the scoreboard. Vernon looked flat, had no energy or jump, played most of the period in their own end. Salmon Arm with three goals in the first six minutes were up 5-1 after the first twenty minutes. What happened between periods because the Vipers were a completely different team come the 2nd period. In the middle frame it was the Vipers who got the early goal, scored three quick goals in less then five minutes got to within a goal. Vernon with a much better performance and effort in that 2nd period, come to play and it showed on the ice and scoreboard. The Vipers with seven goals in the second period, outplayed and took it too the Silverbacks. It looked like whatever Vernon put on goal, went in. The Vipers played much better defensively and did a great job at containing and shutting down Salmon Arm's offence. I thought Vernon's defence did a great job at limiting the Backs offence, paid a little more attention to the big guns and tightened up defensively in the 2nd and 3rd periods. Brendan Barry wasn't tested much after the opening period, didn't have to make many tough saves in the final two periods. The Vipers really stepped up their play in the 2nd and 3rd periods, were skating hard, moving the puck, going to the net, getting lots of traffic in front, stayed out of the penalty box and played as a team. The key for the Vipers was to stay away from the after the whistle activities, don't get involved in the pushing and shoving. Stay discipline and stay out of the box. The Vipers have shot themselves in the foot, on several occassions this season, getting into penalty trouble and its cost them games. The final two periods were the best the Vipers have played in a while. I have said it all season, this team has been so incosistant all year and it showed again tonight. If this team could play like they did in the 2nd and 3rd periods for all three periods, they would be a much better hockey team. Give the Vipers full credit for not folding the tents, these kids could have easily packed it in and got blown out. The team responded with one heck of a 2nd period, scoring seven goals to shock everyone in attendance. Kevin Kraus said on the post game show on the radio, Christian Cakebread & Hunter Zandee both left the game and didn't return. Vernon snaps a five game losing streak vs Salmon Arm, gets their first win of the season over the Backs. Vernon is now 1-4 vs Salmon Arm this season. The Vipers last win in Salmon Arm before tonight was a 7-5 victory on November 28th 2014. These two teams will meet again in two weeks in a home and home series. I'm shocked! Im still in aww after tonight's game, after watching the 1st period I would have never guessed the outcome to be like this. I thought the Silverbacks were going to crush the Vipers putting up ten goals, not the other way around. This was a huge win tonight, with the Smoke Eaters loss in West Kelowna, the Vipers move into 4th place two points up on Trail for the final Playoff spot. This is also the Vipers first win vs a team in the Interior Division other then Merritt & Trail. Will this be a turning point in the Vipers season? Can Vernon build off tonight's come from behind win? Can the Vipers now get on a bit of a roll and put together a winning streak? Time will tell.
Top Player's: (Salmon Arm)
Cameron Trott (2 assists) Picked up two helpers in the loss, I thought played very well at both ends of the rink, especially in the 1st period. Played well defensively but also jumped up into the play, was involved in the play.
Damian Chrcek I thought was another SA D-man that played very well in that opening period. Made a strong defensive play midway through the 1st to block a Ben Butcher shot from in close.
Carson Bolduc Was really flying, skating hard, creating-generating plays in the opening frame, was giving Vernon all kinds of troubles. Obviously as the game went in, Bolduc and the rest of the Silverbacks weren't much of a factor.
Chase Zieky (2 goals & 1 assist) Had a heck of a 1st period, picked up three points was dangerous. Was going to the net, was hard to contain didn't have that same jump-step in his game in the 2nd and 3rd periods.
Jared Turcotte (1 goal & 1 assist) Was another Silverback forward that looked-played very well in that opening period. But again wasn't very noticeable in the final two periods.
Elijiah Barriga (1 goal & 1 assist) Had a strong 1st, opened the scoring just 1:50 into the game. I thought was all over the ice for most of the first period.
Game Thought's: (Salmon Arm)
On November 27th the Silverbacks exploded for five first period goals, went on to defeat the visiting Vernon Vipers 5-1 that night. Tonight the Backs jump on the Vipers early and often, completelty dominated the opening period were up 5-1 after twenty minutes. SA could have easily been up 6 or 7-1. But what happened in that 2nd period? The Silverbacks give up seven goals to trail Vernon 8-5 going into the 3rd. What the heck happened? SA gave up three quick goals to start the 2nd allowed the Vipers back in the game, give Vernon some life, confidence and couldn't seem to get back on track. Salmon Arm was outplayed and couldn't get much going in that second period, pulled Angus Redmond after giving up six goals on twelve Vernon shots. I don't think the Backs got their best from Redmond, who didn't look all that confident between the pipes tonight. Redmond who has been lights out vs the Vipers this season, didn't have his best tonight. SA had troubles generating any kind of offence in the 2nd and 3rd periods, were limitied to their shots and chances. I thought the Backs may have had three decent scoring chances in the final two periods. SA was outplayed and outchanced in most of the 2nd and 3rd periods. The Silverbacks got into penalty trouble in the 3rd, had troubles staying out of the box, also had troubles with Vernon's speed. Salmon Arm lost their focus and cool at times in the 2nd and 3rd periods, will want to forget about tonight's game and now focus on West Kelowna tomorrow night. With the Warriors win tonight over Trail and the Silverbacks loss, both teams are now tied in points for 2nd place.
Nick Hutchison (Injured)
Sam De Melo
Energy Player of the Game:
Charley Michalowski (1 goal)
1st Star: Odeen Tufto (3 goals & 2 assists)
2nd Star: Liam Finlay (1 goal & 2 assists)
3rd Star: Ben Butcher (1 goal & 2 assists)
BCHL Game Summary,
BCHL Game Report,
BCHL Text Boxscore,