Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Vipers Draw Silverbacks:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers draw Silverbacks

Vernon News Staff

Feb. 28, 2018

The Vernon Vipers will face the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in the first round of the B.C. Hockey League playoffs.

The best-of-seven series starts Friday at Kal Tire Place with Game 2 Saturday night, also in Vernon. The series moves to the Shaw Centre Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

The Vipers officially finished second in the Interior Division Saturday, following an 8-3 dismantling of the fourth-place Trail Smoke Eaters in both teams’ final regular season games. Vernon went 7-1 in February and posted 39 wins and 83 points for second overall in the BCHL, three points back of the Penticton Vees.

The Vees clinched first spot with a 5-1 win at home over the Wenatchee Wild, who finished third in the division.

Salmon Arm wrapped up the regular season Sunday in Penticton, its fifth game in four-and-a-half days. The Silverbacks were relegated to seventh place Friday when the Merritt Centennials picked up a point in an overtime loss at home to West Kelowna.

Vernon led 2-0 and 5-2 by periods Saturday, going 3-for-6 with the man advantage.

Brett Stapley scored three times, giving him a team-high 27 goals. He finished 27-32-59, two points behind team scoring leader Jimmy Lambert, who had 1+3 against Trail (finished with 23 goals).

Jesse Lansdell, Niko Karamanis, Mitch Andres and Keyvan Mokhtari had the other goals for the Vipers, who received a 19-save performance from Anthony Yamnitsky. Tanner Marshall delivered 38 saves for the Smokies.

Children and students tickets in round one will be free through sponsorship of Hytec, Beach Radio and The Vernon Morning Star.

There is no purchase necessary, however, each child or student will require a game ticket to be admitted.

Hytec a Kohler Company is excited to offer this opportunity to local youth and families in the North Okanagan.

Said Hytec GM Michael Sanfilippo: “Hytec and Kohler are thrilled to continue on our partnership with the Vernon Vipers in finding ways to give back to the community. We saw this as an excellent opportunity to partner with Beach Radio and the Vernon Morning Star to continue to make an impact and get the kids out to see some great playoff hockey. Go Vipers.”

Viper captain Jagger Williamson was honoured in a pre-game ceremony for playing in his 200th BCHL game last Sunday in Port Alberni.

“It means a lot,” said Williamson, a 19-year-old Michigan Tech Huskies commit. “Obviously, it’s a big milestone. I think someone said I am of only six players in the organization to have done it. It’s been pretty cool to experience it with these guys; it’s been a lot of fun.”

Viper head coach Mark Ferner, who recruited some clutch players to bolster a strong returning core, said he is very proud of how the team overcame the death of beloved owner Duncan Wray and left very few points on the table.

“I certainly give our kids the praise and it starts with our leadership group. They handled it quite well and we finished the season the right way.”

The Vees will take on the Coquitlam Express in the first round of the playoffs. The Express finished fifth in the Mainland Division and, with 16 of 17 teams making the post-season, cross over to the Interior to become the division’s eighth seed.

Wenatchee will take on Merritt and the Smoke Eaters face the West Kelowna Warriors in the other Interior Division matchups.

The Victoria Grizzlies won the Island Division and will take on the Bulldogs in the opening round. The Mainland pennant-winning Prince George Spruce Kings will host the Royal Bank Cup-hosting Chilliwack Chiefs. SNAKE BITES: Viper G Ty Taylor led the league at 22-5-3 with a 1.83 GAA and .932 save percentage. The Richmond product just committed to the Hockey East University of New Hampshire Wildcats for next season. He tied a BCHL record with seven shutouts…Viper D Jack Judson turned 18 Monday…Williamson rang up 18 goals and 53 points, his best of four seasons in Vernon. “I guess you could say the real fun (playoffs) begins now,” said Williamson.

Teams Switch Jersey's Opening Round Of Playoffs:

Reminder - Playoffs sees all BCHL home teams switch back to their white/home jersey's, while wearing their dark/or third set jersey's on the road.

1st Round-BCHL Playoff Preview:

This is posted on the Junior website:

DAILY DISH: BCHL PLAYOFF PREVIEW - 1st ROUND Canadian Junior Hockey News

Published: Tuesday, 27 Feb 2018  

By: Stephen Heisler,

Canada’s British Columbia Hockey League pairings for the 1st Round of the Playoffs are set so today we’ll get a closer look and even make some not so bold predictions. Let the fun begin!


#1 Prince George Spruce Kings vs. #4 Chilliwack Chiefs
– On paper this matchup looks like it would be very easy to assume that the Spruce Kings have the advantage. That’s the thing about hockey; games are not played on paper. I still can’t figure out how such a talent rich team like Chilliwack could get their way to the playoffs as a #4 seed. The other issue I see is the fact that the Chiefs ticket to the Royal Bank Cup has already been punched as the home team. There’s a ton of hockey that could be played before now on then so maybe Chilliwack puts the pedal to the metal now that the playoffs are beginning. MY PICK: Chilliwack

#2 Langley Rivermen vs. #3 Surrey Eagles
– The Rivermen and Eagles know each other about as well as twin brothers could. It’s going to be difficult for either team to pull a surprise on the other and that means it’s going to come down to what team wants it more. MY PICK: Langley


#1 Victoria Grizzlies vs. #4 Alberni Valley Bulldogs
– No team should ever go into a playoff series suffering from over confidence. This is certainly one match-up where Victoria has to stay focused and refuse to allow the Bulldogs to stay in it. MY PICK: Victoria

#2 Nanaimo Clippers vs. #3 Powell River Kings
– This is going to be one of the most exciting series to watch. Like Langley-Surrey, these teams know each other a little too well. That’s not only the players, but also goes for the staffs, parents, and supporters. When bitter rivals go at it in the playoffs, the intensity rises to even higher levels. I am literally tossing a coin for this one. MY PICK: Nanaimo


#1 Penticton Vees vs. #8 Coquitlam Express
– This is a series that has to be played…and one I have to pick. MY PICK: Penticton

#4 Trail Smoke Eaters vs. #5 West Kelowna Warriors
– Only ten points separated these two teams during the regular season, but the gulf between these two teams is much wider than that. MY PICK: Trail

#2 Vernon Vipers vs. #7 Salmon Arm Silverbacks – The Vipers are one of junior hockey’s best teams this year…at any level. I’m sorry, but Salmon Arm will need to surgically attach plexiglass to the backsides of their netminders to get past Vernon in this series. MY PICK: Vernon

#3 Wenatchee Wild vs. #6 Merritt Centennials
– I know Wild Head Coach Bliss Littler well enough to feel that his team will not be overlooking Merritt. The Centennials will give it their all, but I’m afraid their chances are not realistic…yet. MY PICK: Wenatchee

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Ufberg-Former Viper Whistle Recieve Honourable Mention For Player Of The Week:

This is posted on the BCHL website:

Cooper’s shutouts good for BCHLPOW

February 27, 2018

Prince George Spruce Kings goalie Bradley Cooper has been named the BCHL Player of the Week for the week ending Feb. 25, the league announced Tuesday.

Cooper posted consecutive shutouts on the road in the final two regular-
season games for P.G. The product of West Vancouver made all 30 saves in a 2-0 victory over Chilliwack where he was named the game’s 2nd Star. The next night, again nothing beat him in a 23-save performance and a 1-0 win over Langley where he was 1st Star.

The flawless weekend gave Cooper four shutouts on the season and evened his record at 7-7. He carries a .918 save percentage and a 2.31 goals-against average into the playoffs.

Honourable Mentions this week:

Salmon Arm Silverbacks F Brandon Whistle: 4G, 3A, 2nd Star

Langley Rivermen goalie Braedon Fleming: W, SO, 60 saves/63 shots, .952 sv%, 0.95 GAA, 2nd Star

Victoria Grizzlies D Dayne Finnson: 1G, 3A, 1st Star

Vernon Vipers D Michael Ufberg: 1G, 4A, GWG, FortisBC Energy Player of the Game

Penticton Vees F Dakota Boutin: 3G, 2A, 1st Star

Alberni Valley Bulldogs F Keaton Mastrodonato: 3G, 2nd Star

Vipers Receive Honourable Mention In CJHL Weekly Rankings:

This is posted on the BCHL website:

CJHL Weekly Top 20

February 26, 2018

CALGARY, Alta. – The Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) stay No. 1 in the latest Canadian Junior Hockey League Top 20 rankings as do the No. 2 is the Okotoks Oilers (AJHL); No. 3 Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) and the No. 4 Nipawin Hawks (SJHL) while the Ottawa Jr. A Senators move to No. 5.

MHL: The Edmundston Blizzard (No. 19) remain two points up on Honourable Mention Yarmouth Jr. A Mariners with a game in hand in the MHL’s race for first.

LHJAAAQ: No. 10 Cobras de Terrebonne are four points clear of No. 15 College Français de Longueuil in the LHJAAAQ standings and have an extra game to play.

CCHL: Winners of 14 straight, including a 2-1 OT victory over the No. 5 and Fred Page Cup-host Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators Sunday, No. 1 Carleton Place is the only CJHL side with over 50 victories and 100-plus points.

OJHL: Jumping to No. 6 nationally, the Toronto Patriots are joined by fellow OJHL clubs, the No. 18 North York Rangers and No. 20 Oakville Blades in the rankings while the Georgetown Raiders and Aurora Tigers picked up Honourable Mention laurels this week.

NOJHL: The Powassan Voodoos have moved up to No. 7 overall in the CJHL while the Cochrane Crunch earned themselves an Honourable Mention nod.

SIJHL: The Dudley-Hewitt Cup host Dryden GM Ice Dogs have moved into first place in the SIJHL standings ahead of the Thief River Falls Norskies, who were tabbed 17th.

MJHL: Still No. 3 in the country, the Steinbach Pistons have already claimed the MJHL’s 2017-18 regular season title and boast 45-plus wins for a third year in a row.

SJHL: The Nipawin Hawks hold at No. 4 in the CJHL and are joined in the rankings by the No. 13 Battlefords North Stars and the No. 14 Melfort Mustangs.

AJHL: The red-hot Okotoks Oilers have won 21 in succession while staying at No. 2 in the CJHL. The Spruce Grove Saints were tabbed 8th, the Brooks Bandits 11th and the Fort McMurray Oil Barons 16th.

BCHL: Continuing to impress, the defending BCHL champion Penticton Vees have secured their league’s regular season title while also moving up to No. 12 in the CJHL this week. Meanwhile another perennial BCHL power, the Vernon Vipers, picked up Honourable Mention status heading into the postseason.

CJHL 2017-18 TOP 20 (As of Feb. 26/18)


Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) (1)
Okotoks Oilers (AJHL) (2)
Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) (3)
Nipawin Hawks (SJHL) (4)
Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators (CCHL) (6)
Toronto Patriots (OJHL) (8)
Powassan Voodoos (NOJHL) (10)
Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) (5)
Dryden GM Ice Dogs (SIJHL) (15)
Les Cobras de Terrebonne (LHJAAAQ) (11)
Brooks Bandits (AJHL) (12)
Penticton Vees (BCHL) (16)
Battlefords North Stars (SJHL) (9)
Melfort Mustangs (SJHL) (17)
College Français de Longueuil (LHJAAAQ) (14)
Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL) (13)
Thief River Falls Norskies (SIJHL) (7)
North York Rangers (OJHL) (20)
Edmundston Blizzard (MHL) (19)
Oakville Blades (OJHL) (NR)

HONOURABLE MENTION: Vernon Vipers (BCHL); Cochrane Crunch (NOJHL); Aurora Tigers (OJHL); Georgetown Raiders (OJHL); Yarmouth Jr. ‘A’ Mariners (MHL)

ABOUT THE CJHL: The Canadian Junior Hockey League is made up of the 10 Junior ‘A’ leagues across Canada. Representing 132 teams and over 3,000 players, the CJHL also boast over 2,800 alumni furthering their hockey careers at the NHL, AHL, ECHL, CHL, NCAA and CIS level across North America.

ABOUT THE CJHL RANKINGS: Selected by an independent scouting service, the rankings are based upon a variety of factors, including winning percentage.

Former Vernon Viper Kisio Moves To 3rd All-Time In Hurricanes Wins:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Brent Kisio surpasses Mike Dyck
for third all-time on the Lethbridge Hurricanes franchise coaching wins list after a 5-2 victory over Kootenay February 12th 2018.

Kisio is in his third season with the Western Hockey League Lethbridge Hurricanes, also coached at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and the 2017 Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team that won the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup in August.

In his first season with the Hurricanes, Kisio led the team to a 46-24-1-1 record, helping the team back to the post-season after a six year absence. Kisio also led the Hurricanes to their first Central Division Championship since 1996-1997 while being named the Eastern Conference’s nominee for Coach of the Year. Kisio guided the Huricanes last season to 3rd place in the Eastern Conference with a (44-21-4-3) regular season record. Kisio & the Hurricanes sit 2nd in the Central Division this year with a 30-25-6-0 record.

Kisio was an Assistant, Associate Coach & Assistant General Manager for eight seasons with the Western Hockey League (WHL) Calgary Hitmen before being named the Lethbridge Hurricanes Head Coach June 4th 2015.

Kisio played one season in Vernon (2002-2003) The Vipers acquired Kisio in August 2002 in a trade with the Alberta Junior Hockey League Ft. McMurray Oil Barons. In 59 regular season games with the Vipers Kisio collected (20-goals-46-assists-66-points).

Brent Kisio's Player-Coaches Profile:

This was posted on the Hurricanes website:

Canes Defeat Ice 5-2; Kisio Moves to 3rd All-Time in Wins

February 12, 2018

Cranbrook, BC – The Lethbridge Hurricanes wrapped up a three-game road trip on Monday afternoon in Cranbrook with a 5-2 victory over the Kootenay Ice at Western Financial Place.

The Hurricanes re-inserted 16-year-old forward Dylan Cozens into the line-up on Monday. Cozens had been sidelined for the last nine games with an upper-body injury.

It was a fast-paced first period that saw Kootenay jump out on the early shot-lead having outshot the Hurricanes 5-2 early in the game. The ‘Canes found their legs and were able to push the pace and start to generate some scoring chances. Egor Zudilov had a glorious opportunity mid-way through the period but he shot the puck wide of the net as the game was scoreless after twenty minutes. The ‘Canes outshot the Ice 10-6 in the first period.

The ‘Canes had a power play chance to start the second period but failed to capitalize with the extra man. The teams traded chances in the period, including a three-on-one opportunity for the Ice but Logan Flodell made a miraculous save on Gilian Kohler to keep the game scoreless. Shortly after the Flodell save, Koletrane Wilson potted his third goal of the season with a point-shot to make it 1-0 Lethbridge; Matthew Stanley and Egor Zudilov earned the assists. It didn’t take long for the Ice to respond to tie the game as Cozens was issued a double-minor for high-sticking and Alec Baer would pot his team-leading 24th of the season to draw the game even 1-1 after forty minutes of play. The ‘Canes outshot the Ice 16-14 in the second period.

The Hurricanes were assessed a cross-checking penalty early in the third period as Igor Merezhko was sent off. On the ensuing power play, the Ice would pull ahead as Colton Veloso banged home his 19th of the year to make it a 2-1 Kootenay lead. Lethbridge equalized as Brad Morrison followed up and snapped home his 19th of the year; Jordy Bellerive and Calen Addison picked up the helpers. Morrison scored again just under eight minutes later as he snapped home his 20th of the season to make it 3-2 Lethbridge. Just 19 seconds later, Jake Elmer ripped home his 15th of the year to quickly make it a 4-2 advantage for the Hurricanes. Bellerive rounded out the scoring potting his 38th of the season into the empty-net to make it a 5-2 final.

The Hurricanes outshot the Ice 13-8 in the third period and 39-28 in the game. Lethbridge went 0/5 on the power play while they were 3/5 on the penalty kill.

Three stars of the game were:

1) ‘Canes – #19 Brad Morrison (2 goals, 1 assist)
2) Ice – #8 Alec Baer (1 goal)
3) ‘Canes – #15 Jordy Bellerive (1 goal, 2 assists)

The win for the Hurricanes snaps a two-game losing streak and improves their record to 26-23-6-0 on the season. It was also the 114th career victory for Brent Kisio who surpasses Mike Dyck for third all-time on the Hurricanes franchise coaching wins list.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Taylor & Yamnitsky Win Wally Forslund Trophy:

This is posted on the BCHL website:

Hull & Forslund Trophy Winners

February 26, 2018

With the regular season wrapped up, we can officially announce the winners of the statistically based trophies.

Taking the Brett Hull Trophy as the league’s leading scorer is Wenatchee Wild forward Jasper Weatherby. The product of Lummi Island, Wash. notched 37 goals and 37 assists for 74 points while playing all 58 games for the Wild. The second-year forward had 12-20-32 in 46 games last year.

Weatherby’s scoring title makes it back-to-back seasons for the top scorer coming from Wenatchee. Last season, Brendan Harris took the trophy after posting 23 goals and 75 assists for 98 points
which helped him earn a scholarship to Bemidji State University.

Weatherby is committed to the University of North Dakota for next season.

On the goaltending front, the Wally Forslund Trophy goes to the league’s top tandem as determined by combined goals-against average. The Vernon Vipers’ duo of Ty Taylor and Anthony Yamnitsky paired up to post a 1.98 mark while sharing duties almost down the middle.

Taylor and Yamnitsky are the first goalie tandem not from Penticton to earn the Forslund Trophy since 2012.

Taylor has earned a scholarship to the University of New Hampshire for the 2019-2020 season.

Vernon Vipers 2018 Playoff Schedule:

Vernon Vipers 1st Round Playoff Schedule:

7th Place Salmon Arm Silverbacks (25-29-3-1) vs 2nd Place Vernon Vipers (39-14-1-4)

Game 1 Friday, March 2nd Salmon Arm @ Vernon 7pm
Game 2 Saturday, March 3rd Salmon Arm @ Vernon 7pm
Game 3 Tuesday, March 6th Vernon @ Salmon Arm 7pm
Game 4 Wednesday, March 7th Vernon @ Salmon Arm 7pm
Game 5 Friday, March 9th Salmon Arm @ Vernon 7pm
Game 6 Saturday, March 10th Vernon @ Salmon Arm 7pm
Game 7 Sunday, March 11th Salmon Arm @ Vernon 6pm

The Art Of Goaltending: What Is With Ex Viper Darion Hanson's Mask?

Here is an article on former Vernon Vipers goaltender Darion Hanson.

Hanson played one season in Vernon (2016-17) after coming over in a trade with Youngstown. The Youngstown Phantoms traded Hanson to Vernon November 18 2016 (No details on the trade were announced). Hanson is in his first season at Union College. In 21 games last season with the Vipers Hanson recorded a 14-4-2 record with 2 shutouts and a 1.84 GAA

Darion Hanson's Player Profile:

This was in the Daily Gazette:

The art of goaltending: What is with that mask?

Union College freshman goalie Darion Hanson tells the story behind the custom artwork on his facemask

Mike MacAdam @Mike_MacAdam | December 21, 2017

SCHENECTADY — If Allen Iverson is The Answer, the question is ... "Huh?"

The basketball Hall of Famer got that nickname when he was a rookie for the Philadelphia 76ers in 1996-97. He was named NBA rookie of the year on May 2 of 1997, and 17 days later Darion Hanson was born in East Bethel, Minn., just north of Minneapolis.

Almost seven years after Iverson played his last NBA game, the 42-year-old continues to be a sports icon in the city of Philadelphia, where he threw his (maybe) 6-foot frame into games with a ferocity that far outweighed his physical stature.

But that's a Philadelphia story. In Minneapolis, they play hockey, they root for the local university with a Gopher for a mascot and the NFL team represented by a blond, bearded, seafaring Norse warrior. And they play hockey, even during breaks from playing hockey.

So why in the world did the 20-year-old Hanson, Union College's 6-foot-3 freshman goalie, have an image of Iverson custom-painted — at substantial expense — on the back of his facemask just in time for this season?

It says a little bit about goalies in general and a lot, specifically, about Hanson, who has been one of the pleasant surprises on a young team while splitting time with junior Jake Kupsky.

"We bust his chops," junior center Ryan Walker said. "Obviously, goalies are a little weird."

Weird, because they embrace the job of absorbing vulcanized pucks at 100 miles an hour. So your equipment better be just right, and the facemask, a helmet with chinguard and backplate affectionately called the "bucket" by those who wear them, is as important as any other piece of armor.

Goalies have been getting creative with their masks since Gerry Cheevers of the Boston Bruins had stitches printed on his in the late 1960s to represent every spot where a puck blasted him in the face. At the top of Hanson's bucket list was the Iverson image. It's partially a basketball thing — he's a huge NBA fan — but mostly an Iverson thing, and distilled even further to the moment captured on his mask.

If you look closely, it's not just a generic picture of Iverson, but a reproduction of one of his defining moments, against the Los Angeles Lakers during the NBA Finals in 2001, when Iverson was league MVP. In Game 1, with current Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue guarding Iverson nose-to-nose, the Sixers guard nailed a three from the corner, right in front of the Lakers bench, in what would be a 48-point performance in the only game the Sixers would win in the series.

It was an ankle-breaker of a move to get free for the shot, so much so that Lue lost his balance and fell to the floor. Looking for a path back upcourt, Iverson stepped over Lue's carcass and looked down in disdain, instead of sidestepping around him. The moment so captured the Iverson mystique, a quality Hanson admires, that he had to get that picture on his mask.

"He was just a warrior," Hanson said. "He came out every day with a competitive edge, and just willed his way to win. As an under-6-foot guy in the NBA, you've got to respect that. He was always the little guy his whole life, and he wasn't afraid of anybody. And lastly, him stepping over Tyronn Lue there was just the epitome of Allen Iverson and his career."

"And, it's different."

And Hanson's teammates love it. When the subject was brought up with head coach Rick Bennett, he admitted he didn't know anything about the helmet.

Not quite on his radar, perhaps, but it has drawn raves from the players.

"I think it's sick. We love it," defenseman Vas Kolias said. "I don't know if people still know what happened on that play, where he stepped over Tyronn Lue."

"He's a big basketball guy, and I think it's an awesome mask," Walker said. "Everyone seems to love it. It's really cool, and if he likes it, we like it."

The Dutchmen certainly like what Hanson has done on the ice so far.

Kupsky was the obvious heir to the graduated Alex Sakellaropoulos' job, but the Union coaches were eager to see what Hanson, the top goalie in the British Columbia Hockey League last season in juniors, could do.

After an 0-5 start to the season, they gave him a shot against RIT, and Union won 4-1. In 19 games, he has started eight and is 7-1-0 with the best save percentage (.926) of any freshman goalie in the country. "I didn't think it [playing time this season] would be a ton," Hanson said. "I think I've already played more than I thought I would."

Speaking of freshmen, Bennett had imposed a media blackout on much of the team this season, in particular shielding the first-year players from interviews until they got their academic legs under them and had adjusted to life in Division I. He lifted the embargo two weekends ago.

"This team has a different identity," he said, referring to the veteran-laden team of last season.

An emerging part of the new identity is the freshman goalie with the cool mask, which has been lauded on a variety of national sports websites, after Hanson tweeted "New bucket for the year!" and a photo on Sept. 7.

"What a great moment, to capture that, and I thought, to put that on the back of my helmet could kind of reflect that maybe I can have that attitude going out," Hanson said.

"Because he was scared of nobody."

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Vipers/Silverbacks Playoff Preview:

The 2nd place Vernon Vipers (39-14-1-4) will face the 7th place Salmon Arm Silverbacks (25-29-3-1) in the opening round of the BCHL Playoffs.

These teams meet in the playoffs for a fourth time in franchise history. The Vipers have won two of the previous three playoff series over Salmon Arm.

Here's a look at the previous playoff series vs Salmon Arm

2005-06 (Interior Division Semifinals) Silverbacks won series 4-1
2008-09 (Interior Conference finals) Vipers won series 4-2
2010-11 (Interior Conference finals) Vipers won series 4-2

Here's a look at this year's regular season series vs Salmon Arm

Friday, August 25th Salmon Arm @ Vernon: Exhibition-Silverbacks won 2-1 double overtime
Saturday, August 26th Vernon @ Salmon Arm: Exhibition-Vipers won 4-3
Friday, September 8th Vernon @ Salmon Arm: Vipers won 5-1
Saturday, September 9th Salmon Arm @ Vernon: Vipers won 6-5
Friday, November 3rd Salmon Arm @ Vernon: Vipers won 6-3
Friday, December 8th Vernon @ Salmon Arm: Vipers won 3-1
Friday, December 29th Vernon @ Salmon Arm: Vipers won 4-0
Saturday, December 30th Salmon Arm @ Vernon: Silverbacks won 4-3

The Vipers outscored the Silverbacks 32-19 (exhibition & regular season) in their eight meetings this season

Here's a look at the regular season history/stats vs Salmon Arm since the 2002-03 season

Since the 2002-03 regular season Vernon is 58-40-11-6 vs Salmon Arm

Since the 2002-03 regular season Vernon has outscored Salmon Arm 386-373

Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon is 26-18-6-2 at home vs. Salmon Arm

Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon is 26-19-6-3 in Salmon Arm

The Silverbacks are 3-6-0-1 in their last ten games in Vernon

The Vipers are 6-3-0-1 in their last ten games in Salmon Arm

The Vipers last regular season win at home vs. Salmon Arm was a 6-3 victory on Friday, November 3rd 2017

The Silverbacks last regular season win in Vernon was a 4-3 victory on Saturday, December 30th 2017

The Vipers last regular season win in Salmon Arm was a 4-0 victory on Friday, December 29th 2017

The Silverbacks last regular season win at home vs. Vernon was a 6-1 victory on Saturday, January 30th 2016

Vernon's home record vs Salmon Arm this year:


Vernon's road record vs Salmon Arm this year:


Vernon's scoring leaders vs Salmon Arm this year:

Jesse Lansdell (5-6-11)
Jimmy Lambert (2-8-10)
Brett Stapley (3-4-7)
Jagger Williamson (3-4-7)
Josh Prokop (2-3-5)
Jordan Sandhu (3-1-4)
Alex Swetlikoff (1-3-4)
Coleton Bilodeau (0-3-3)
Keyvan Mokhtari (3-0-3)
Michael Ufberg (0-3-3)
Jack Judson (1-2-3)
Niko Karamanis (0-3-3)
Shane Kelly (0-1-1)
Mitch Andres (0-1-1)
Chris Jandric (1-0-1)
Michael Young (0-1-1)
Cameron Trott (1-0-1)
Connor Marritt (1-0-1)

Anthony Yamnitsky (1-1 Record)
Ty Taylor (4-0 Record-1 Shutout)

Salmon Arm's home record vs Vernon this year:


Salmon Arm's road record vs Vernon this year:


Salmon Arm Silverbacks scoring leaders vs Vernon this year:

Rhett Kingston (1-3-4)
Justin Wilson (2-1-3)
Grayson Constable (1-2-3)
Nick Unruh (1-2-3)
Trey Thomas (0-2-2)
Akito Hirose (0-2-2)
Tanner Campbell (1-1-2)
Logan Mostat (2-0-2)
Noah Wakeford (1-1-2)
Trevor Adams (0-2-2)
Max Wutzke (0-1-1)
Riley Hayles (1-0-1)
Ryan Hogg (0-1-1)
Austin Chorney (1-0-1)
Hudson Schandor (1-0-1)
Joseph Leahy (0-1-1)

Kyle Dumba (0-2 Record)
Cooper Reid (1-1 Record)

Vipers Finish 2nd In Regular Season:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Vipers Finish 2nd In Regular Season

February 25, 2018

by Vernon Vipers

Recent News

Brett Stapley rang up a hat trick and the Vipers offense exploded in the regular season finale defeating the Trail Smoke Eaters 8-3 at Kal Tire Place.

The Vipers came out with a strong effort in the first period and used their powerplay to get on the board. After a missed chance for Trail while shorthanded, Jagger Williamson set up Jesse Lansdell to make it 1-0 with his 17th of the year. The Viper powerplay would get another shot and after a handful of important plays to keep a puck onside Niko Karmanis teed up a shot from the slot to make it 2-0. The Vipers dominated the shot clock lead 19-4 in that department and had a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.

The Smokies struck early in the second as a penalty was expiring, Andre Ghantous sprung himself on a breakaway and snapped home his 19th of the year to make it 2-1. Shortly after that Jimmy Lambert stole a puck along the wall and lobbed a back hand at the net that was deflected home by Brett Stapley to make it a 3-1 game. The Smokies got their first powerplay of the game, but it worked to Vernon’s benefit as Lambert set up Stapley again to make it 4-1. Just under a minute later, Karamanis sent Mokhtari away on a shorthanded break and made no mistake to make it 5-1. Trail goaltender Tanner Marshall made some spectacular saves in the last half of the period and his offense helped out as well as late in the period, Daine Dubois cut the deficit to 5-2 with his 6th of the year. That’s the way the 2nd period would finish.

With the finish line of the regular season in sight, the Vipers added to their lead as Jimmy Lambert ripped home his 23rd of the year on a partial breakaway to make it 6-2. Mitch Andres added another powerplay marker with his 3rd of the year making it 7-2. Levi Glasman tipped in a powerplay goal for his 24th of the year making it 7-3 at the 12 minute mark of the frame. Brett Stapley finished off his hat trick performance following a great set up from Jimmy Lambert and the game finished 8-3.

The Vipers will start the BCHL postseason against Salmon Arm starting Friday and Saturday for games 1 and 2. Note the start times as both games will be at 7pm. Playoff tickets go on sale Monday at the Viper office.

Post game interview's-highlight's,

Vipers Tame Wild For Second Place:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers tame Wild for second place

Morning Star Staff

Mathematically, the Vernon Vipers still had a chance of winning the B.C. Hockey league's Interior Division.

But they would need help to do so.

Vernon beat the Wenatchee Wild 4-3 at home Friday and closed out the regular season Saturday against the fourth-place Trail Smoke Eaters at Kal Tire Place.

Vernon entered Saturday's game two points ahead of third-place Wenatchee-who played in Penticton Saturday-and two points behind the first-place Vees, who finish the regular season Sunday at home against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

The Vees need only a point to clinch first place.

A Vernon win and two regulation time losses by the Vees would give Vernon the pennant and a first-round playoff date with the Coquitlam Express, the fifth-place finishers in the Mainland Division who cross over into the Interior to become the division's eighth seed.

If Vernon finishes second, they'll play the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, who lost 8-5 Friday in Trail wich, combined with Merritt's single point in a 2-1 home-ice overtime defeat to the West Kelowna Warriors, officially put the Gorillas in seventh spot.

Vernon holds tiebreakers with both Penticton and Wenatchee in the event of ties in the standings.

Defenceman Michael Ufberg scored the game-winner Friday night in front of 2,222 fans at Kal Tire Place at 5:34 of the third period, giving Vernon a 4-2 lead over the Wild, who jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead on goals by AJ Vanderbeck and Zac Galambos.

Niko Karamanis and Jimmy Lambert replied before the end of the frame for the Vipers, who took a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes on the second of the night from Karamanis.

Lucas Sowder cut the Vernon lead to 4-3 with 7:31 left but the Wild could not beat Ty Taylor for the equalizer. The playoffs start March 2.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Vees Clinch 1st Place/Win Seventh Straight Interior Division Pennant:

The 40-12-2-3 defending Interior Division Champion, League Champion and Royal Bank Cup semi-finalist Penticton Vees have clinched 1st place and a BCHL record seventh straight Interior Division Pennant after a 5-1 victory over the visiting Wenatchee Wild tonight. This is the third time in four years the Vees have clinched the Ron Boileau trophy and thirteenth time in franchise history.                                    

The Vees will host the 5th place Coquitlam Express (15-38-1-4) in the opening round of the BCHL playoffs. Penticton went 2-0 vs Coquitlam this season, outscoring the Express 12-2 in their two games. With the Vees victory the Vernon Vipers (39-14-1-4) will finish the 2017-18 regular season 2nd in the Interior Division host the 7th place Salmon Arm Silverbacks (24-29-3-1) in the 1st round of the playoffs. Vernon went 5-1 in six regular season games vs Salmon Arm, while the two teams split their two exhibition games.

Vernon 8 Trail 3

I have had season tickets for the past 28 years and been following Junior hockey in Vernon for close to thirty five years. I have missed only three home games since the 1998-99 season. 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-Smoke Eaters game as Vernon defeated Trail 8-3 in front of 2,158 fans at Kal Tire Place.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Anthony Yamnitsky
Trail: Tanner Marshall

Before tonight's game the Vipers honoured fourth year forward/captain Jagger Williamson with a special plaque for playing in his 200th career BCHL February 18th in Alberni Valley. Williamson becomes just the seventh Vernon Junior hockey player to play in 200 or more career games.

1st Period: Two minutes in Daine Dubois setup Braeden Tuck going to the net, tried beating Anthony Yamnitsky in close before the net come off its pipes. A quality chance early for Trail. Jagger Williamson come back the other way on the following shift/play, the Viper captain come down the left wing, leaned into a shot from just inside the circle beat Tanner Marshall but not the post as Vernon comes within inches of opening the scoring. The Vipers carrying the play early, would get the games first powerplay about seven minutes in, but shorthanded Braeden Tuck alone in the slot wired high and over the goal, on a missed opportunity. The Snakes with a ton of pressure moved the puck around, had some looks. Michael Young with two shots that just went up and over the goal, before Jagger Williamson setup Jesse Lansdell who put Vernon up 1-0 at 8:31 Williamson drew the lone helper. It was all Vipers in the first half as Vernon was outshooting Trail 9-1 at the midway mark. Just past the halfway mark, Vernon sprung Derek Brown in for the parcial breakaway, would be denied by Tanner Marshall in close. The Snakes would get their second powerplay of the night just minutes later. Trevor Zins blocked a shot and felt it, was limping around on the penalty kill was basically useless in front of the Trail goal, couldn't get off before finally making his way to the bench. Jagger Williamson spotted Niko Karamanis in front giving Vernon a 2-0 lead at 14:35 Williamson and Michael Ufberg collected the assists. With three and a half minutes remaining Derek Brown would get in behind the Smokies defence, go in for the parcial breakaway would be denied for a second time this evening. The Vipers would get a late powerplay with just over a minute to go. The Snakes unable to capitalize would run out of time before the final buzzer. It was 2-0 Vernon after 20 minutes of play. It was all Vipers as the Snakes outplayed the Smoke Eaters. Vernon using their speed and skill, totally dominated the edge in play, played most of the entire 1st period in the offensive zone. The Vipers with several quality chances, had a ton of looks. The Smokies played most of the period in their own end, were chasing the Vipers most of the period. Trail couldn't muster any real kind of offence, struggled to get into the offensive zone. The Smoke Eaters didn't have much time with the puck, were defending most of the period. Vernon outshot Trail 19-4.

2nd Period: The Snakes started the middle frame on the man advantage, that was carried over from the 1st period. Former Salmon Arm Silverbacks d-man Cameron Trott stepped into one beat Smoke Eaters starting goaltender Tanner Marshall rang his shot off the crossbar, as the Vipers were within inches of grabbing a 3-0 lead. Trail with a quick turn around, quickly fired the puck up ice sprung Andre Ghantous for the breakaway just as the penalty expired. Ghantous snapped home a quick wrist shot beating Vipers starting goaltender Anthony Yamnitsky who barely even flinched on the goal cutting Vernon's lead to 2-1 at 1:12 Ghantous's goal was unassisted. Six minutes later Jimmy Lambert setup Brett Stapley on a two on one rush, giving Vernon a 3-1 lead and their two goal lead back at 7:36 Lambert with the lone helper. Just minutes later the Smoke Eaters would get their first PP of the contest. But shorthanded Jagger Williamson lead the two on one attack setup Jesse Lansdell who was robbed by the pad save off Tanner Marshall. A huge game saver, keeping this a two goal game. The Vipers weren't done there. Jimmy Lambert and Brett Stapley broke out on an oddman rush shorthanded, Lambert setup Stapley for his second of the night, giving Vernon a 4-1 lead at 10:16 Lambert with the assist. On the same penalty kill and less then a minute later Niko Karamanis sprung Keyvan Mokhtari for the breakaway, put a nice deke in on Tanner Marshall giving Vernon a commanding 5-1 lead at 11:11 Karamanis with the lone assist. The Snakes with back to back shorthanded goals. Whats up with the Trail powerplay? The Vipers would eventually kill off the remainder of the minor. Vernon would jump on a late powerplay with about five minutes left. The Snakes with a ton of looks/opportunities couldn't capitalize as the Smoke Eaters killed off the minor. Just as the penalty expired, Josh Latta alone at the side of the net, looked to have a sure goal was flat out robbed by Tanner Marshall who come diving across the blue paint to make an unbelievable save off the former Salmon Arm Silverback. On the following shift/play, Vernon sprung former Kelowna Rockets draft pick Jordan Sandhu in for the breakaway, couldn't solve Tanner Marshall. Marshall with back to back large saves, keeping his team from getting blown out. Shortly after on a goal mouth scramble the Vipers couldn't clear the front of the goal, allowing Daine Dubois to beat Anthony Yamnitsky in front, cutting Vernon's lead to 5-2 at 18:08 Ryan Moon & Braeden Tuck picked up the assists. Inside the final minute Andre Ghantous was able to get behind the Viper defence, in for the parcial breakaway couldn't solve former Wenatchee Wild goaltender Anthony Yamnitsky. It was 5-2 Vernon after 40 minutes of play. For a second straight period the Vipers were the better team and outplayed Trail for most of the second frame. Viper fans may have got a little worried once Andre Ghantous got the Smokies on the board. It was all Vipers but yet it was only 2-1 early to start the 2nd. It didn't take long before the Snakes blew the doors open and pulled away with back to back shorthanded markers to really take control of the game. The Vipers with a ton of quality chances, were buzzing in and around the Smoke Eaters goal. The Smoke Eaters again saw most of the period in their own end, didn't generate/create much of anything offensively until getting a few late shifts in the attacking zone inside the final three minutes. The TSN turning point was giving up the two shorthanded goals. This was a killer for the Smokies. Vernon outshot Trail 16-12.

3rd Period: The Vipers with several good looks-opportunities early to start the final frame before Jimmy Lambert gave Vernon a 6-2 lead at 4:36 Michael Young & Michael Ufberg collected the assists. On the following shift/play Vernon would go to the PP and capitalize. Mitch Andres wired a shot top shelf on a lazer shot from the circle gave Vernon a commanding 7-2 lead at 5:57 Andres goal was unassisted. Just over three minutes later Spencer McLean took a high stick from Josh Latta and was down on the ice before rushing to the bench for repairs. Latta was given four minutes for high sticking, sending Trail to just their second man advantage of the evening. The Snakes would kill off the first two minutes before Connor Welsh's shot from the point would be redirected in by Levi Glassman cutting Vernon's lead to 7-3 at 12:19 Welsh and Seth Barton picked up the assists. Just under three minutes later Jimmy Lambert spotted Brett Stapley for the open cage and his third goal of the contest, put Vernon up 8-3 at 14:54 Lambert & Chris Jndric drew the helpers. Tanner Marshall had no chance was still between the pipes after giving up all eight Vernon goals. With just over two and a half minutes left Tyler Ghirandosi stepped over the blueline beat Anthony Yamnitsky with a long shot but not the post as Trail come very close to getting within four goals. This was the third post/crossbar of the game. The Snakes took their foot off the gas and basically coasted the rest of the way before coming away with the 8-3 victory. A bit of a scrum would take place at the buzzer but was quickly broken up. Ethan Martini would take a slashing penalty at the buzzer. The Smokies come off the bench to console Tanner Marshall who stayed between the pipes the entire game, even after giving up eight goals. The Vipers carried the better of the play, didn't dominate as much as the first two periods, looked to take their foot off the gas once the score got out of hand. Because of this the Smoke Eaters were able to get some play in the offensive zone from time to time. With the score out of hand and the game basically over didn't make for much of a 3rd period. Vernon outshot Trail 11-6.

I thought the Vipers were suppose to have their year end awards banquet tonight on ice after the game, but didn't. This has been a special presentation for the fans on the final regular season home game the past few seasons.

Top Player's: (Vernon)

Michael Ufberg (2 assists) I thought showed a lot of hustle getting back defensively on a few occasions. Made some smart plays on the point while on the powerplay, really played hard/well.

The line of Brett Stapley (3 goals), Jordan Sandhu & Jimmy Lambert (1 goal & 3 assists) were very dangerous in the win. This line was very strong last night in the victory over Wenatchee but just as dangerous tonight vs Trail. Brett Stapley & Jimmy Lambert both had a ton of looks/quality chances through out the contest. The Smokies had troubles all night defending against this line.

Jagger Williamson (2 assists) Had another strong night. Four assists over the weekend. Great to see the Vipers honour their captain and fourth year forward before the game with a plaque for playing his 200th career game last weekend. Look at the amount of games hes been out of the lineup due to injury, he may have broken the franchise record for most games played in a Vernon jersey.

The Vipers 4th line of Connor Marritt, Coleton Bilodeau and Alex Swetlikoff saw a ton of ice tonight and were out after almost every goal, really played well. This line has played very well this season. They don't put up the big numbers but play hard, get their fare share of opportunities, work hard and play hard against their opponents.

Jesse Lansdell (1 goal) Had another impact game physically, is another kid who played hard/well this weekend. Laid out some big checks last night and again tonight. Levelled Kyle Chernenkoff hard into the boards in the 2nd period.

Keyvan Mokhtari (1 goal) Played with a ton of jump/energy, had some looks/opportunities was skating hard, going hard for the puck, was hard to defend against.

Niko Karamanis (1 goal & 1 assist) Scored twice in the win over Wenatchee Friday, I didn't think really stood out other then scoring two goals. Tonight was a different story. Karamanis really used his wheels and was driving hard to the net, played hard, was another forward giving Trail defenders a difficult time.

Game Thought's: (Vernon)

Tonight was a totally different game compared to last night's hard fought come from behind win over the Wenatchee Wild. Playing their final regular season game the Vipers gave the fans their money worth scoring eight goals. Vernon was by far the better of the two teams, dominated most of the game. The Vipers gave the Smokies all kinds of trouble with their speed and skill. The Snakes getting a ton of looks/opportunities, were buzzing in the offensive zone most of the night. In a game where the Vipers were in full control, the score was only 2-1 early into the 2nd before Vernon jumped ahead 3-1 and then scored two quick back to back shorthanded markers to change the momentum of the game and blow the doors open. This was the TSN turning point. I think even if the Snakes don't get those two shorthanded goals, up 3-1 at that point and how well they were playing I don't think the Smoke Eaters were getting back in this hockey game. The Vipers looked poised, confident and in control of the game from the start. I really liked the Viper powerplay, going 3-6 with the man advantage I thought Vernon's PP looked much better after struggling with the man advantage in the win over Wenatchee Friday. The Snakes win their seventh straight on home ice, have won eleven of their last thirteen home games. Vernon has now won four straight and nine of their last eleven games overall. The Vipers won six out of the seven games vs Trail this season (exhibition & regular season) outscoring the Smoke Eaters 38-12 in seven games. The Vipers pick up win #39 of the season, one short of 40. This is the 37th time a Vernon Junior hockey team has picked up thirty or more wins during the regular season. With the victory the Vipers finish the 2017-18 regular season 2nd in the Interior Division with a record of 39-14-1-4 four points ahead of Wenatchee and two points back of Division/League leading Penticton who still has one game remaining in the season. With the victory and Penticton's win over Wenatchee the Vipers will host the 7th place Salmon Arm Silverbacks in the opening round of the BCHL playoffs. Former Vernon Lakers forward and current West Kelowna Warriors head coach/gm Rylan Ferster was in attendance tonight. Ferster and the Warriors will face Trail in the 1st round of the playoffs. A small handful of Viper parents were also in attendance tonight.

Top Player's: (Trail)

Braeden Tuck (1 assist) I thought created a few looks/opportunities, was going to the net, played well in the loss.

Andre Ghantous (1 goal) Was by far Trail's best forward/player. Played with a lot of jump/energy, really used his speed to blow by a few Vernon defenders, had some quality chances, scored on a 2nd period breakaway.

Tanner Marshall (38 saves) I know the kid gave up eight goals but give the kid credit for battling-staying between the pipes for the entire game. Most kids would want the heck out of their. Marshall may have given up eight goals but didn't get a lot of help from his defenders. The Smokies netminder made several big stops through out the night, or this could have easily been a bigger outcome.

Game Thought's: (Trail)

The Smoke Eaters weren't in this game much at all right off the opening puck drop. Trail was outplayed, outhustled and outscored most of the night. The Smokies with very little puck posession, offensive zone time, created/generated very few quality opportunities, had troubles getting pucks to the goal, played most of the night in their own end. Trail was chasing Vernon most of the night, had troubles defending against the Vipers speed and skill. The Smoke Eaters give up several chances shorthanded, resulting in two shorthanded goals, didn't look very good in the loss. The Smoke Eaters were missing some key/veteran players. Trail has lost seven straight on the road and winless in their last nine road games (8 losses-1 tie). The Smoke Eaters have now lost five of their last six games going into the playoffs. The Smoke Eaters playing in their final regular season game had nothing to play for other then team pride/stats. The Smokies coming off an 8-5 victory over the visiting Salmon Arm Silverbacks Friday will open the 1st round of the BCHL playoffs vs the West Kelowna Warriors. Trail won four of the six regular season meetings with the Warriors. With the loss the Smoke Eaters finish with a record of 32-21-4-1 will finish 4th in the Interior Division. Great to see a small handful of Trail fans in attendance.



Shane Kelly (Injured)
Josh Prokop (Injured-Out for the season)


Kale Howarth
Ross Armour
Troy Ring

Energy Player of the Game:

Michael Ufberg (2 assists)

Three Star's:

1st Star: Brett Stapley (3 goals)
2nd Star: Jimmy Lambert (1 goal & 3 assists)
3rd Star: Niko Karamanis (1 goal & 1 assist)

Boxscore-Game Summary,

Game Report,

Text Boxscore,

Game Preview: Trail @ Vernon:

Trail (32-20-4-1) @  Vernon (38-14-1-4) 6pm

Tonight is the sixth and final regular season meeting between the Vernon Vipers & Trail Smoke Eaters. The Vipers lead the season series 4-1

Last Game:

Friday, February 23rd Vernon defeated Wenatchee 4-3
Friday, February 23rd Trail defeated Salmon Arm 8-5

Next Game:

Friday, March 2nd Game 1 Team Unknown @ Vernon
Friday, March 2nd Game 1 West Kelowna @ Trail

Since the 2002-03 regular season Vernon is 79-21-1-3 vs Trail

Since the 2002-03 regular season Vernon has outscored Trail 452-244

Since the 2002-03 regular season Vernon is 40-7-0-2 at home vs. Trail

Since the 2002-03 regular season Vernon is 32-12-1-1 in Trail

The Vipers are 8-2-0-0 in their last ten home games vs. the Smoke Eaters

The Vipers are 7-3-0-0 in their last ten road games vs. the Smoke Eaters

The Vipers last regular season win at home vs. Trail was a 5-2 victory on Saturday, December 16th 2017

The Smoke Eaters last regular season win in Vernon was a 4-3 victory on Friday, October 21st 2016

The Vipers last regular season win in Trail was a 4-0 victory on Friday, November 24th 2017

The Smoke Eaters last regular season win at home vs. Vernon was a 4-1 victory on Sunday, January 28th 2018

Here's a look at this years regular season series vs Trail

September 2nd Trail @ Vernon: (Exhibition) Vipers won 5-3
October 22nd Vernon @ Trail: Vipers won 9-0
November 24th Vernon @ Trail: Vipers won 4-0
December 1st Trail @ Vernon: Vipers won 6-3
December 16th Trail @ Vernon: Vipers won 5-2
January 28th Vernon @ Trail: Smoke Eaters won 4-1
February 24th Trail @ Vernon:

Let's take a look at the Vernon Vipers:

The 38-14-1-4 Vernon Vipers are coming off a 4-3 victory Friday night over the visiting Wenatchee Wild. With the win the Vipers clinced 2nd place and may host the 7th place Salmon Arm Silverbacks in the 1st round of the BCHL Playoffs, but still have a shot at 1st place depending on how the Penticton Vees end their final two games of the season this weekend. Tonight's the Vipers final regular season home game. Vernon has won six straight at home and ten of their last twelve home games. The Vipers enter tonight have won three straight and four of their last five games are eight of their last ten. Vernon sits 2nd in the Interior Division are twelve points up on Trail, two points up on Wenatchee and two points back of Division/League leading Penticton. The Vees need just a single point in one of their final two regular season games to clinch 1st place and win their seventh straight Interior Division Pennant.

Vernon Vipers Roster:

Brett Stapley (24-31-55) leads the team lead in goals with twenty four, while Jimmy Lambert (22-35-57) leads the team in points with fifty seven.

Vernon Vipers 2017-18 regular season stats:

Games Played: 57
Wins: 38
Losses: 14
Ties: 4
Overtime Wins: 2
Overtime Losses: 1
Home Record: 20-5-1-1
Road Record: 18-9-0-3
Overtime Record: 2-0-4
Record vs Interior Division: 24-7-0-2
Record vs Island & Mainland Divisions: 14-7-1-2
Record In September: 6-1-0-1
Record In October: 6-3-0-1
Record In November: 7-3-0-2
Record In December: 7-1-1-0
Record In January: 6-5-0-0
Record In February: 6-1-0-0
When the Vipers score first: 27-6-0-2
When the opponents score first: 11-8-1-2
Leading after the 1st period: 22-5-0-1
Tied after the 1st period: 8-2-0-3
Trailing after the 1st period: 7-6-1-0
Leading after the 2nd period: 29-1-0-1
Tied after the 2nd period: 9-5-0-0
Trailing after the 2nd period: 0-8-1-3
Out shooting opponents: 31-10-1-2
Out shot by opponents: 7-4-0-2
One goal games: 6-11-1-0
Goals for: 197
Goals against: 115
Standings: 2nd Place (Interior Division)
Win-loss Streak: Three game winning streak
Longest winning streak: Unbeaten in eight games (6 wins-2 ties)
Longest losing streak: Winless in three games (2 losses & 1 tie)

Vernon Vipers Returning Players:

Brett Stapley (99)
Cameron Trott (97)
Jagger Williamson (98)
Jimmy Lambert (97)
Niko Karamanis (98)
Jesse Lansdell (98)
Michael Ufberg (97)
Shane Kelly (97)
Chris Jandric (98)
Ty Taylor (99)

Vernon Vipers departed & traded players from last years team:

Austin Adamson (96)
Riley Brandt (96)
Ryan Brushett (98)
Simon Sagissor (97)
Brody Dale (99)
Hunter Zandee (96)
Sol Seibel (99)
Luke Gingras (98)
Steven Jandric (97)
Cooper Watson (96)
Connor Clouston (96)
Darion Hanson (97)

Vernon's home record vs Trail this year:


Vernon's road record vs Trail this year:


Vernon's scoring leaders vs Trail this year:

Michael Ufberg (1-8-9)
Josh Prokop (8-1-9)
Jesse Lansdell (1-8-9)
Jagger Williamson (2-6-8)
Michael Young (1-5-6)
Brett Stapley (3-2-5)
Jimmy Lambert (2-3-5)
Keyvan Mokhtari (2-1-3)
Jordan Sandhu (1-2-3)
Chris Jandric (1-2-3)
Niko Karamanis (1-2-3)
Shane Kelly (0-2-2)
Alex Swetlikoff (0-1-1)
Jack Judson (0-1-1)
Coleton Bilodeau (0-1-1)
Mitch Andres (0-1-1)
Connor Marritt (0-1-1)

Anthony Yamnitsky (4-1 Record-2 Shutouts)

Let's take a look at the Trail Smoke Eaters:

The 32-20-4-1 Trail Smoke Eaters make their third and final regular season visit to Kal Tire Place are coming off a 8-5 victory over the visiting Salmon Arm Silverbacks last night. The Smoke Eaters will host the West Kelowna Warriors in the 1st round of the playoffs. Tonight's the Smokies final game of the regular season. Trail has lost six straight on the road are winless (7 losses-1 tie) in their last eight games away from home. Tonight's the seventh and final meeting of the season (exhibition & regular season) with the Vipers. Vernon has won five out of the six meetings vs Trail this year. The Snakes have outscored the Smoke Eaters 30-9 in the six games. The last time these two teams met, the Smokies won 4-1 January 28th in Trail. The Smokies snapped a four game losing skid with the win over Salmon Arm have lost four of their last five games are 4-6 in their last ten. Trail sits 4th in the Interior Division are ten points up on West Kelowna and ten points back of Wenatchee.

Trail Smoke Eaters Roster:

Kale Howarth (24-37-61) leads the team in goals with twenty four, while Ross Armour (21-42-63) leads the team lead in points with sixty three.

Blaine Caton played 52 games for his hometown Vipers (2013-2015) before being released.

Trail Smoke Eaters 2017-18 regular season stats:

Games Played: 57
Wins: 32
Losses: 20
Overtime Losses: 4
Home Record: 18-10-1-0
Road Record: 14-10-3-1
Goals for: 215
Goals against: 195
Standings: 4th Place (Interior Division)

Trail Smoke Eaters Returning Players:

Braeden Tuck (98)
Andre Ghantous (98)
Ryan Murphy (97)
Kale Howarth (97)
Ryan Moon (99)
Ross Armour (98)
Blaine Caton (97)
Spencer McLean (98)
Kyle Chernenkoff (98)
Jeremy Lucchini (97)
Troy Ring (97)
Ethan Martini (00)

Trail Smoke Eaters departed and traded players from last years team:

Luke Santerno (96)
Connor Brown-Maloski (96)
Korbyn Chabot (99)
Josh Laframboise (96)
Mitchell Barker (96)
Mitchell Stapley (97)
Ryan Warner (98)
Tyson Slater (97)
Carter Cochrane (96)
Zach Dyment (96)
Linden Marshall (98)

Trail's home record vs Vernon this year:


Trail's road record vs Vernon this year:


Trail Smoke Eaters scoring leaders vs Vernon this year:

Carter Jones (1-3-4)
Levi Glasman (0-2-2)
Andre Ghantous (0-2-2)
Ryan Murphy (2-0-2)
Blaine Caton (2-0-2)
Spencer McLen (1-1-2)
Seth Barton (1-1-2)
Jeremy Lucchini (0-2-2)
Tyler Ghirardosi (1-0-1)
Ross Armour (0-1-1)
Mack Byers (0-1-1)
Connor Welsh (1-0-1)

Tanner Marshall (0-3 Record)
Adam Marcoux (1-1 Record)

Friday, February 23, 2018

Vernon 4 Wenatchee 3

I have had season tickets for the past 28 years and been following Junior hockey in Vernon for close to thirty five years. I have missed only three home games since the 1998-99 season. 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.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Ty Taylor
Wenatchee: Seth Eisele

I was at tonight's Vipers-Wild game as Vernon defeated Wenatchee 4-3 in front of 2,222 fans at Kal Tire Place.

1st Period: The Wild jumped on the Vipers early and often. Ty Taylor had to be sharp early, making a big stop on a wrap around just fourty seconds into the opening frame. Off the following faceoff the Wild with a goal mouth scramble in front of Ty Taylor and the Viper net, Wenatchee digging for the loose puck, couldn't get it through a maze of players in the Vernon crease. The Snakes needed two and a half minutes to record their first shot of the game before Wenatchee would get the games first powerplay just minutes in. The Wild with a few early looks-chances before AJ Vanderbeck beat Ty Taylor high giving Wenatchee a 1-0 lead at 4:06 Vanderbeck's goal was unassisted. The Vipers would respond off the following faceoff. Jimmy Lambert got the play into the offensive zone before chipping the puck up to Keyvan Mokhtari who was denied in closed. Wenatchee with the early jump, were outshooting the Snakes 7-2 five minutes in. Minutes later on another goal mouth scramble the Wild looked to bump Ty Taylor, who lose control of the puck, as the play continued Vernon couldn't clear the front of the net, before August Von Ungren spotted Zak Galambos at the side of the net, hit the open cage, giving Wenatchee a 2-0 lead at 7:59 Von Ungren drew the lone helper. But just 1:09 later the Vipers with a bit of a goal mouth scramble of their own, were able to find Niko Karamanis open at the side of the goal, getting Vernon on the board, cutting Wenatchee's lead to 2-1 at 9:08 Jack Judson & Jagger Williamson picked up the assists. In the second half Vernon would get their first powerplay of the evening, after Jasper Weatherby took Jimmy Lambert hard from behind into the boards. The Vipers would struggle with the man advantage. The Snakes struggled to keep the play/puck in the offensive zone, didn't record a single shot with the man advantage as the Wild killed off the minor. Wenatchee getting at least two or three big shot blocks on the penalty kill. Late in the 1st Michael Young with a long stretch pass spotted Jimmy Lambert who got behind the Wenatchee defence, Lambert went in for the breakaway, deked out Seth Eisele tying the game 2-2 at 17:10 sending Kal Tire Place into a frenzy. Young with the lone helper. It was 2-2 after 20 minutes of play. It was all Wenatchee for most of the opening period. The Wild jumped on Vernon off the opening faceoff, were a step ahead of the Snakes most of the 1st. The Wild are very quick, can move the puck up ice in a hurry, fore checked the heck out of the Vipers most of the frame. Wenatchee with an aggressive fore check, were limiting the Viper time and space, forcing Vernon into turning over the puck or being caught running around in their own end. The Wild didn't get any real quality chances, had more goal mouth scrambles. The Vipers didn't seem to have their legs going early, fell behind two goals early but managed to battle back to tie the game, in a period I thought the Wild were by far the better team. The Vipers just couldn't seem to generate/create any kind of offensive opportunities, had troubles getting sustained pressure in the attacking zone. It seemed like once the Vipers got into the offensive zone, they couldn't get any zone time, were quickly going back the other way. The Snakes lucky to be in the game at this point, were lucky to be tied after one period. The Vipers went long periods at a time with no shots on goal. Wenatchee outshot Vernon 13-7.

2nd Period: The Wild would get an early powerplay to start the middle frame. But it would be the Vipers who would come close to capitalizing shorthanded. Jimmy Lambert setup Brett Stapley on a Viper odd man rush shorthanded. Stapley missed the net managed to get the puck back out front, Jimmy Lambert with a quick release missed the top corner as the Snakes with back to back shorthanded chances, couldn't grab their first lead of the contest. The Vipers killed off the minor. Just as the penalty expired, Jimmy Lambert couldn't clear the zone, allowing Matt Dorsey to wheel in from the high slot, missed the goal from the slot, showed some hustle, managed to get the puck back before ripping a quick shot from just inside the circle forced Vipers starting goaltender Ty Taylor to just get a piece of it with his glove, making a big stop. It didn't take long before Vernon went back to the penalty kill. The Wild with their second PP of the period. Wenatchee with good pressure, had some looks/chances couldn't capitalize as the Vipers killed off the penalty. Just before the midway mark former Victoria Grizzlie Keyvan Mokhtari with a great look/opportunity in front, couldn't solve Wild starting goaltender Seth Eisele. Back come the Wild about a minute and a half later, Jasper Weatherby lead the attack decided to shoot on a two on one, missed the net. In the second half the Snakes would get their first man advantage of the 2nd but again the Vipers struggled. For a second straight powerplay, Vernon didn't record a single shot as Wenatchee killed off the penalty. Late in the 2nd Jagger Williamson sprung Niko Karamanis down the left wing, Karamanis beat his defender before going hard to the goal, looked to make contact with Seth Eisele somehow managed to beat Eisele on his way to the goal, giving Vernon a 3-2 lead at 16:03 their first lead of the night. Williamson collected the assist. Karamanis's goal got the Viper bench and the crowd up on their feet. Shortly after the Vipers would get a second PP but again unable to register a shot on goal. Wenatchee with a very aggressive fore check, took away Vernon's time and space. Slava Demin with a huge defensive play, broke up a Viper odd man rush down low. The Wild with another penalty kill. It was 3-2 Vernon after 40 minutes of play. For a second straight period I thought the Wenatchee Wild were the better team. The Wild with a very aggressive fore check had the Vipers hemmed in their own end on several occasions. Vernon back on their heels, had all kinds of trouble with the Wenatchee fore check. The Wild were winning the races/battles had more puck possession and zone time. But for a second straight period I didnt think Wenatchee had any real quality chances. Yes the Wild had some good looks but no real scoring threat, other then a few goal mouth scrambles and broken plays in and around the Vernon goal. The Snakes again had troubles generating/creating chances. Vernon's powerplay struggled for a second straight period. The Viper passing was off, due to the Wild's strong fore check. Again I thought the Vipers were lucky to be ahead. The Snakes went long periods at a time with no shots on goal. Wenatchee outshot Vernon 12-7.

3rd Period: The Vipers would grab an early two goal lead after Michael Ufberg's shot looked to be redirected on it's way to the goal, found it's way through a maze of players giving Vernon a 4-2 lead at 5:34 Ufberg would be credited with the goal. Brett Stapley drew the lone helper. Minutes later the Snakes would jump on the powerplay. Vernon again struggled and couldn't capitalize as Wenatchee killed off the minor. Both teams battled hard, not giving up an inch in a very tight checking 3rd period. Viper captain Jagger Williamson was hit awkwardly along the boards was slow getting to his feet, managed to get to the bench, needed to catch a breather, seemed to be ok, stayed in the game. Just past the halfway mark, Cameron Trott went for the big hit in front of the Viper bench opened up the ice for Lucas Sowder who come down the left wing, ripped a lazer of a shot a shot from the circle, beating Ty Taylor far corner, cutting the Vernon lead to 4-3 at 12:29 August Von Ungren picked up the assist. I think Ty Taylor would like this goal back. Taylor was a little too deep in his crease, gave up just a little too much room on the other side of the net. Never less a wicked shot from Sowder. With about six minutes left, Jimmy Lambert setup Brett Stapley who couldn't solve Seth Eisele in close on a large save from the Wild netminder. On the following shift the Vipers/Jesse Lansdell playing physical, laid out several big checks. Lansdell levelled Cooper Zech along the end wall, Zech was down and didn't get up until Zak Galambos went after Lansdell. Galambos would take an undisciplined penalty with just under five minutes remaining. Zech was very slow getting off the ice, went to the Wild bench. Some pushing and shoving between whistles as both teams getting involved in some altercations after the whistle. Vernon unable to capitalize with the man advantage as Wenatchee gets a huge kill late in the contest, still down a goal. The Wild would get Seth Eisele to the bench for the extra attacker with about 1:30 remaining. A shot from the point somehow got through traffic, forced Ty Taylor into reaching out to make a large pad save, before the net was pushed off its pegs to stop play. Vernon catches a bit of a break, as I don't think Taylor fully had the puck covered before the net come loose. The Vipers with two attempts at the empty net, failed but would end up fore checking the Wild back into their own end, to eventuallty run out the clock and hang on for the 4-3 victory, as the Viper bench poured onto the ice to celebrate with Ty Taylor. I thought the third was very evenly matched in a very tight checking period. Both teams didn't give up much. I thought for the first time in the game Vernon was finally able to get some sustained pressure in the offensive zone, were winning battles/races to the puck. The Vipers seemed to step up their play in the 3rd had a bit more jump/energy, really battled hard along the wall. The Vipers played a very smart period, made very little mistakes. Wenatchee had to play more in their own end in the third, were now the team having to win the battles/fight for the puck along the wall. The Snakes were the more physical team in the final frame. Both teams didn't give up many scoring chances. Shots were 6-6.

Top Player's: (Vernon)

Michael Young (1 assist) I thought had a strong night on the blueline. The Vipers d-man played very well through out the contest.

The line of Brett Stapley, Jimmy Lambert (1 goal) & Jordan Sandhu were very strong up front. Stapley & Lambert had a lot of chemistry going tonight. The two were setting one another up, as both had some quality chances.

Jagger Williamson (2 assists) The Viper captain and Lumby product played/battled hard up and down the ice.

Jesse Lansdell Was physical, in the face of the Wild all night. Lead the charge with several big hits.

Keyvan Mokhtari Had a few good opportunities, I thought was skating hard, getting involved in the play, was making things happen.

Mitch Andres Seemed to settle in come the 3rd found some open ice and looked confident moving the puck up ice. Played a heck of a 3rd period.

Josh Latta I thought battled hard, was physical at times, really worked hard. Was in the battle zone, wasn't afraid to muck it up in the trenches.

Chris Jandric Was another Vernon defenceman who played well on the backend.

Game Thought's: (Vernon)

I thought the Vipers were outplayed for the first two periods, had all kinds of trouble with the Wenatchee fore check. It seemed like when Vernon had the puck, they quickly panicked under attack, forcing turnovers or poor judgement passes. I thought the Snakes were a step behind the Wild off the opening faceoff and at least the first half of the opening frame. Down 2-0 early it looked like Wenatchee may walk away with the game but give Vernon credit, they battled back even though being outplayed, managed to tie the game. I thought the Vipers were lucky to be tied after the 1st and ahead heading into the 3rd. The Vipers were losing the battles, races to the puck, had troubles creating/generating opportunities. Vernon had troubles getting pucks to the net, the Vipers have been managing 30-40 shots a game couldn't get over seven shots in a period. The Vipers had troubles getting any kind of pressure in the attacking zone in the first two periods. Vernon really struggled with the powerplay. The Vipers didn't record a single shot in their first three powerplay's. Vipers went 0-5 with the man advantage. I thought the Vipers really stepped up their game in the 3rd and played much better. Vernon seemed to get their legs going and were really skating hard, I really liked the Snakes game in the third. The Vipers used a strong fore check, were winning the battles./races were finally able to get some sustained pressure in the offensive zone and kill time off the clock. Vernon picked up their intensity, starting laying the body a bit more, were physical and getting under the Wild's skin at times in that 3rd period. The Snakes played a very tight checking style of play in the final frame, limiting the Wild's scoring chances. Overall I thought the Vipers had more quality chances compared to Wenatchee. Give the Vipers full credit for not folding the tent early. Vernon could have easily folded the tent after giving up the first two goals, battled back with four straight of their own. A Wild victory tonight and Vernon would have finished the regular season in 3rd place. A win tonight and the Vipers clinch 2nd place and look to host the 7th place Salmon Arm Silverbacks in the 1st round of the playoffs, but still have a shot at 1st place depending on what happens with the Penticton Vees. The Vees would have to lose Saturday and Sunday, combined with a Viper win tomorrow night and both teams would be tied atop the division, with the Vipers clinching 1st. With the win Vernon improves to 38-14-1-4 move two points ahead of Wenatchee into 2nd place are now just two points back of Division/League leading Penticton. The Vees need just a single point in one of their final two games to clinch 1st place and a seventh straight Interior Division Pennant.

Top Player's: (Wenatchee)

Nicholas Kent I thought had a strong game on the Wild blueline. Not the biggest kid but plays big. Took a few big checks, but stayed on his feet. Was one of the better Wenatchee players.

Jasper Weatherby Had some looks/chances was dangerous with and without the puck.

AJ Vanderbeck (1 goal) Was another Wild forward that was dangerous. Gave the Viper defence troubles all night.

Sam Hesler Played physical, was in battling for the puck. Played hard all night.

Game Thought's: (Wenatchee)

With a shot to clinch 2nd place the Wild looked like a team on a mission off the opening puck drop. Wenatchee got the early jump on Vernon, were just a step ahead of the Snakes most of the opening frame. The Wild jump out to an early 2-0 lead look to be in full control before allowing the Vipers back in the game. Wenatchee would give up four straight goals before getting to within a goal to make things interesting in the final minutes. Overall I thought the Wild were the better of the two teams, at least for the first two periods. I thought Wenatchee had more jump/energy, were skating, moving the puck, getting pucks to the net early, creating/generating chances, had Vernon back on their heels on several occasions in the first two periods, but yet unable to find the back of the net. The Wild with a strong aggressive fore check, forced the Snakes into several turnovers-poor passes didn't generate a lot of grade a chances, had more goal mouth scrambles/broken plays. The Wild get pucks to the net, create alot of action in and around the goal, had several goal mouth scrambles tonight. Wenatchee penalty kill was very strong, again a very aggressive fore check, forced the Vipers into turnovers-having troubles keeping the puck in the offensive zone. The Wild outplayed the Vipers in the first two periods really needed to capitalize on some of their chances. Wenatchee couldn't put the Vipers away up two goals. This game/loss will sting after blowing a two goal lead and having a great opportunity to clinch 2nd place. With the loss, the Wild's three game winning streak comes to an end. Wenatchee's final regular season game is tomorrow night in Penticton. With the loss the Wild fall to 37-15-4-1 sit 3rd in the Interior Division are two points back of Vernon and four points back of Penticton. The Wild twitter account is reporting the Wild will finish 3rd and face the 6th place Merritt Centennials in the 1st round of the playoffs. Great to see a fan bus up for the trip from Wenatchee, made a ton of noise through out the game, cheering on their Wild. Former longtime BCJHL referee and Vernon product Darren Zupp was in attendance tonight. Wild Assistant Coach Chris Clark was a goaltender with the 2001-02 Salmon Arm Silverbacks.



Shane Kelly (Injured)
Josh Prokop (Injured-Out for the season)


Noah Kim
Jackson Wozniak
Drake Usher

Energy Player of the Game:

Jimmy Lambert (1 goal)

Three Star's:

1st Star: Niko Karamanis (2 goals)
2nd Star: Jagger Williamson (2 assists)
3rd Star: AJ Vanderbeck (1 goal)

The league website looked to have trouble with the boxscore/game summary from tonight's game. The league website had the boxscore showing suspended after the 1st and the game showing 2-2 after the 1st period. It looks like the BCHL has updated the boxscore/game summary.

Boxscore-Game Summary,

Game Report,

Text Boxscore,