Friday, August 31, 2018

Salmon Arm 3 Vernon 2 Shootout

I have had season tickets for 29 years and been following junior hockey in Vernon for over thirty five years. I haven't missed a Vipers home game in nine years and only missed three home games since the 1998-99 season. For anyone who could not attend or watch tonight's Vipers game here are my thought's and view's 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 thought's on how I saw tonight's game. I try to be unbiased and give a fare recap on both sides. Thank you for stopping by and visiting my blog.

I was at tonight's Vipers-Silverbacks exhibition game as Salmon Arm defeated Vernon 3-2 in a shootout at the Shaw Centre. No attendance was announced for tonight's game.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Aidan Porter
Salmon Arm: Devin Chapman

1st Period: Just fifteen seconds off the opening puck drop, Trey Thomas & Noah Wakeford lead an odd man rush. Thomas decided to keep and shoot, was denied by Aidan Porter. Off the next faceoff the Vipers would get the puck in deep. Michael Young's point shot was stopped before Elan Bar-Lev-Wise couldn't bury the rebound on a quality chance in front. Two good chances at both ends of the rink inside the opening minute. Five minutes in, Nicholas Wildgoose lead the Snakes on a three on one attack, kept and fired but couldn't beat Devin Chapman. About a minute or so later Trey Thomas and Hudson Schandor broke in two on one, couldn't beat Aidan Porter before the Vipers stormed back the other way. On a flurry of chances in and around the net, Vernon couldn't capitalize before Elan Bar-Lev-Wise banked a shot in off the back of Silverbacks starting goaltender Devin Chapman giving Vernon a 1-0 lead. (I couldn't hear/understand the pa announcer, so I didn't hear the time of the goal or who recorded the assists). Minutes later the Vipers would get the games first powerplay but couldn't muster much offence. Vernon product Coleton Bilodeau with a quality chance in the dying the seconds of the man advantage couldn't give the Snakes a two goal lead. Salmon Arm would kill off the minor. With about six minutes left Cody Hough's point shot forced Aidan Porter into making a difficult save with bodies in front. Minutes later Alex Swetlikoff setup Teddy Woodling in front as the puck rolled through the crease. Shortly after Elan Bar-Lev-Wise with a good look-opportunity was denied in front. The Snakes with a few good looks late in the frame. It was 1-0 Vernon after 20 minutes of play. I thought the Silverbacks had the early edge in play, carried the better of the play in the first half but didn't get many pucks to the net-create chances. I thought the Vipers got better as the period went on, had the better of the scoring chances. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 13-7.

2nd Period: The Vipers got off to a quick start and capitalized early. Coleton Bilodeau setup Nicholas Wildgoose in front, giving Vernon an early 2-0 lead at 1:44 Bilodeau drew the lone assist. But just sixteen seconds later the Backs responded. Matthew Verboom with a quick backhand beat Vipers starting goaltender Aidan Porter high and over the shoulder getting Salmon Arm to within a goal at 2:00 Demetri Kambeitz with the only helper on the play. Minutes later the Snakes would get their second powerplay of the contest. Trey Taylor jumped in from the point, looked to give Vernon a two goal lead somehow was robbed by Devin Chapman who made a huge game saver, keeping this a one goal game. The Silverbacks would kill off the penalty. Just over a minute later SA would get their first PP of the night. But shorthanded the Vipers sprung Alex Swetlikoff in for the breakaway, would be denied by Ethan Langenegger. The S'Backs would get a few good looks couldn't capitalize with the man advantage. Just as the penalty expired both teams would switch goaltenders with about nine minutes left in the middle frame. Aidan Hosein replaced Aidan Porter. Porter stopped allowed one goal on thirteen Salmon Arm shots. Ethan Langenegger replaced Devin Chapman who allowed two goals on twenty Vernon shots. In the second half former Silverbacks forward Josh Latta raced down the right wing, ripped a quick shot couldn't solve Ethan Langenegger. Minutes later Akito Hirose with a good opportunity at the other end couldn't solve Aidan Hosein. Hosein had to be sharp was forced to make several stops in the second half with SA pressing. Late in the period the Snakes would get a late powerplay after Demetri Kambeitz was given two minutes and an automatic ten minute misconduct for a check to the head. The Vipers struggled with the powerplay as the Backs killed off the minor. The Silverbacks would finish the 2nd period on the man advantage. Aidan Hosein once again had to be alert, coming up with some big saves to finish the middle frame. It was 2-1 Vernon after 40 minutes of play. The Vipers jumped on the Apes early, had some good jump in the opening few minutes before the Silverbacks rallied and took over the edge in play for a lot of the second period. Salmon Arm was hitting and the more physical team in this period. Aidan Hosein was very sharp between the pipes for the Snakes. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 13-11.

3rd Period: Three minutes in, the S'Backs setup Trey Thomas going hard to the net, was stopped in close by Aidan Hosein. On the following play Hosein was forced to make a second big stop as the Silverbacks were pressing early. The Vipers couldn't clear the zone after Michael Young turned over the puck, it looked like SA was in on the odd man rush before the Vipers made a solid defensive play breaking up the odd man rush. But Vernon couldn't recover and clear the zone before Wyatt Marlow found the back of the net, tying the game 2-2 at 4:11 Cody Hough & Akito Hirose collected the helpers. About six minutes in the Vipers would lose newcomer Ben Helgeson, while the Silverbacks would lose Tyler Browning. Both players received ten minute misconducts for diving. About five minutes later Salmon Arm would get called for too many men but the Vipers would take a penalty of their own, evening up the play at four on four, before the Apes would get a late powerplay. The Vipers were able to kill it off. Vernon would go at least seven or eight minutes without a shot as it was all Backs. In the second half Cody Hough's shot got through traffic, before grazing the far post on a close call. Late in the period Logan Cash setup Teddy Woodling on a two on one, Woodling couldn't get the puck up and over Ethan Langenegger who sprawled out making a huge pad save, keeping this game tied with 1:31 remaining. In the dying the seconds Trevor Adams looked to end it for the Silverbacks wired a lazer of a shot from the circle forcing Aidan Hosein to just get a piece of it with his glove. It was tied 2-2 after 60 minutes. It was all Salmon Arm who had full control of the 3rd period. The S'Backs carried the majority of the play, had several good looks-opportunities. The Vipers struggled in their own end, had troubles clearing the zone, couldn't muster any kind of offence. The Snakes went at least seven or eight minutes without a shot. Salmon Arm outshot Vernon 10-5.

Overtime: This year the BCHL is going with a new overtime format. Both teams will play three on three for five minutes. If the game is still tied, teams will go to a shootout. The Vipers would get the better of the chances early. Josh Latta down the left wing, couldn't beat Ethan Langenegger, while Teddy Woodling on an odd man rush couldn't put home the OT winner and then with a second opportunity was denied again. The Snakes would get an early powerplay but struggled as SA killed off the penalty. A big kill from the Silverbacks. It was tied 2-2 after overtime. Vernon was the better team, had some grade a chances couldn't capitalize on their opportunities. Ethan Langenegger made some big stops. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 4-2.


Vernon Shooters:

Teddy Woodling (Was stopped)
Elan Bar-Lev-Wise (Was stopped)

Salmon Arm Shooters:

Justin Wilson (Scored)
Matthew Verboom (Scored)

Ethan Langenegger made two big stops off Teddy Woodling and Elan Bar-Lev-Wise.

Top Player's: (Vernon)

Nicolas Ardanaz I thought played very well on the Vipers blueline. Didn't look out of place tonight. I was a little surprised he was still in camp. I thought he wasn't playing with Vernon this year? Has committed to the Vipers for the 2019-20 season. Does this mean he has a chance at making the team this year?

Trey Taylor Was another defenceman I thought played well, made a few nice defensive plays.

Nick Cherowski Caught my attention a few times. I thought was one of the better forwards.

Josh Latta Facing his former team played well. Was involved in the play, had some looks-opportunities.

Elan Bar-Lev-Wise (1 goal) I thought was the Snakes best player tonight. Had a strong 1st period with some looks/chances. Looks to have put on some weight over the summer. Was in the face of a few Silverbacks through out the contest.

Aidan Porter (13 saves-1 goal) Started the game, Played well for a period and a half. Looked confident, didn't give up rebounds/second opportunities.

Aidan Hosein (16 saves-1 goal) Played the second half of tonight's game. Was the busier of the two Viper goaltenders, made some big stops in the second period. Played well.

Game Thought's: (Vernon)

I thought the Vipers got off to a bit of a slow start but seemed to get better as the 1st period went along. Vernon got off to a quick start to start the middle frame but were outplayed often in the 2nd and 3rd periods. The Snakes had troubles clearing the zone, coughed up the puck in their own end. Vernon's powerplay struggled. The Vipers had some very good chances late in the 3rd and in overtime couldn't bury their opportunities. The Vipers going with seven returning players in the lineup, dressed two 20 yr olds. I counted ten players-scratches sitting in the stands. Kevin Kraus is getting married married this weekend so it was Mark Ferner and Kevin Pederson behind the bench. A pretty good turnout of Viper fans made the trip down for tonight's game. The Snakes were wearing their home white jerseys, while Salmon Arm was wearing their black away jerseys. The Vipers suffer their first exhibition loss fall to 2-1 will host Salmon Arm tomorrow in their final exhibition game. The Vipers will open the regular season September 7th vs the Wenatchee Wild.

Top Player's: (Salmon Arm)

Cody Hough (1 assist) I thought played very well on the backend. Was getting pucks to the net, isn't the biggest d-man on the ice but played well through out the game.

Akito Hirose (1 assist) Was another defenceman that had a solid game for the Backs. Was involved in the play, was getting pucks to the net, played well at both ends of the rink.

The line of Trey Thomas, Hudson Schandor and Noah Wakeford Was Salmon Arm's most potent unit. This line really showed off their speed, they were creating/generating chances all night. Were hard to defend against.

Matthew Verboom (1 goal) I thought played with a lot of hustle, was quick, moved the puck and never quit skating.

Ethan Langenegger (15 saves-0 goals) Didn't see much action at first but as the game went on, was forced into making some big stops for the S'Backs. Made a highlight reel save off Teddy Woodling on a two on one with 1:31 left in the third. Then made three or four big saves in overtime before stopping both Vernon shooters in the shootout.

Game Thought's: (Vernon)

I thought the Silverbacks come out with a lot of energy, jumped on Vernon early just had troubles getting pucks to the net-creating/generating chances. SA was down two goals early into the second period, started hitting, was the more physical team, took over the game in the middle frame and continued to do so for the remainder of the 2nd and 3rd periods. I thought the Backs were quicker to the puck, had a strong forecheck forced the Snakes into turning over the puck. Salmon Arm could have easily lost tonight if it wasn't for their goaltending late in the 3rd and into overtime. The Silverbacks dressed five 20 yr olds. I counted six scratches-players sitting in the stands for the Silverbacks. The Silverbacks pick up their first pre-season victory improve their exhibition record to 1-1-1 These two teams will meet seven more times this season. I would guess their was around 600 people at tonight's game.


No scratches were announced

Three Star's:

1st Star:
2nd Star:
3rd Star:

No three star's were announced

Here are both teams rosters-lineup's


Nicolas Ardanaz D 02
Kyler Shmigelsky D 00
Michael Young D 98
Trey Taylor D 02
Liam Noble F 01
Ben Helgeson F 00
Nicholas Wildgoose F 99
Connor Marritt F 99
Nick Cherowski F 00
Alex Swetlikoff F 01
Josh Latta F 98
Teddy Woodling F 99
Jack Judson D 00
Brendan Kim D 00
Logan Cash F 01
Jett Saharchuk F 00
Coleton Bilodeau F 00
Elan Bar-Lev-Wise F 01
Aidan Porter G 99
Aidan Hosein G 99

Salmon Arm:

Julian Timba D 98
Tyler Browning D 99
Cody Hough D 01
Sol Seibel D 98
Aiden Jenner F 00
Tyson Gayfer F 00
John Little F 02
Akito Hirose D 99
Nick Unruh F 00
Wyatt Marlow F 02
Trey Thomas F 99
Hudson Schandor F 00
Noah Wakeford F 00
Justin Wilson F 98
Matthew Verboom F 00
Trevor Adams F 99
Andy Stevens D 98
Demetri Kambeitz F 98
Ethan Langenegger G 00
Devin Chapman G 01

The BCHL doesn't keep track of statistics during exhibition games. There will be no boxscore during preseason games.

Sale Talks Progress For Vernon Vipers:

This is posted on the Morning Star website:

BREAKING: Sale talks progress for Vernon Vipers

B.C. Hockey League franchise 

Kevin Mitchell

Aug. 31, 2018 


Talks are progressing in the sale of the Vernon Vipers.

After weeks of speculation, the B.C. Hockey League told The Morning Star a few minutes ago that new owners and the existing Vernon franchise owner are in negotiations.

The league says Vernon has identified a new owner and the BCHL is in the process of reviewing its franchise process.

The Morning Star reported Aug. 17 that rumours around Kal Tire Place had the Vipers being purchased by a group of out of town businessmen. The two men are believed to be owners of car dealerships and will retain the services of head coach/GM Mark Ferner, whose contract has expired with the team.

The six-time national Junior A champion Vipers lost their longtime owner Duncan Wray in January when he died in his sleep, at age 68. Wray’s widow, Libby, assumed the ownership and governor’s role.

Duncan, an oral surgeon beloved by fans, coaches and players, bought the then Vernon Lakers in 1992 from Vernon businessman Mel Lis and two years later re-named them the Vipers.

The BCHL has not announced the date for its franchise meeting with the proposed new owners. Guesses on how much the Vipers will fetch range from $750,000 to $1 million.

The Vipers face the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in exhibition play tonight at the Shaw Centre. The teams meet Saturday, 6 p.m., at Kal Tire Place. Vernon opens the regular season Friday, Sept. 7 against the defending champion Wenatchee Wild.

This is posted on the 107.5 Beach Radio website:

BCHL Reviews Sale of Vernon Vipers

Vernon, BC, Canada / 1075 Beach Radio Vernon

Kate Bouey

August 31, 2018 

It appears the Vernon Vipers hockey club is about to get new owners.

“Where is stands right now is the current owners of the Vernon Vipers have identified a new ownership group and have brought them forward to the league and their application to become the new owners of the Vipers is under review right now by the BCHL,” Brent 

Mutis, the BC Hockey League’s communications director, told Beach Radio News Friday afternoon.
Mutis could not say if local people were involved in the purchase of the club or how long the review would take.

As far as the coaches are concerned, Mutis believes contracts for the staff are currently registered.

“If the ownership application is approved and the new group moves forward, it’ll be up to them to inherit those contracts and decide whether to honour them or not,” Mutis says. “As far as operation of the team on the ice, I don’t think anything changes in the short term. It would be a decision of the new ownership group, should they be approved, what they’re going to do with the current staff.”

Just a few weeks ago, the current owner Libby Wray denied she was selling the club.

Wray took over ownership of the team when her husband — Duncan — died in January.

Duncan Wray bought the team in 1992 when it was the Vernon Lakers, changing the name to Vipers in 1995.

Game Preview: Exhibition Vernon @ Salmon Arm:

Vernon (2-0-0) @ Salmon Arm (0-1-1) 7pm

Tonight is the first of eight meetings (exhibition & regular season) between the Vernon Vipers & Salmon Arm Silverbacks. The Vipers won last year's season series 6-2

Last Game:

Saturday, August 26th Vernon defeated Merritt 2-1
Saturday, August 26th West Kelowna defeated Salmon Arm 3-2 overtime

Next Game:

Saturday, September 1st Salmon Arm @ Vernon

Vernon's record & stats vs the Silverbacks since 2002

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

Here's a look at last year's 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

Let's take a look at the Vernon Vipers: 

The 2-0-0 Vernon Vipers make their first of four visits (exhibition & regular season) to the Shaw Centre. The Snakes are coming off a 2-1 victory over the visiting Merritt Centennials Saturday. Vernon won both of their first two exhibition games over Merritt last weekend. The Vipers have won four straight regular season games in Salmon Arm, have at least a single point in six straight regular season games at the Shaw Centre. Vernon's last regular season loss in Salmon Arm was a 6-1 loss January 30 2016. Tonight is the first of eight meetings vs the Silverbacks (exhibition & regular season). After tomorrow these two clubs wont meet again until October 21st in Salmon Arm. Tonight's the Snakes final exhibition road game. The Vipers will wrap up the pre-season tomorrow night when they host the Silverbacks in Vernon. The Vipers will open the 2018-19 season vs the defending BCHL Champion Wenatchee Wild September 7th. 

Vernon Vipers Roster:

Brett Stapley (27-32-59) lead the team last year in goals with twenty seven, while Jimmy Lambert (23-38-61) lead the team last year in points with sixty one.

Austin Chorney played 72 games with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (2017-2018) was traded to Vernon August 28 2018

Josh Latta played in 64 games with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (2015-2017) was traded to Vernon December 29 2017

Kevin Kraus was an Assistant Coach with the 2013-14 Salmon Arm Silverbacks

Vernon Vipers 2017-18 regular season stats:

Games Played: 58
Wins: 39
Losses: 14
Ties: 4
Overtime Wins: 2
Overtime Losses: 1
Home Record: 21-5-1-1
Road Record: 18-9-0-3
Overtime Record: 2-0-4
Record vs Interior Division: 25-7-0-2
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: 7-1-0-0
When the Vipers score first: 28-6-0-2
When the opponents score first: 11-8-1-2
Leading after the 1st period: 23-5-0-1
Tied after the 1st period: 8-2-0-3
Trailing after the 1st period: 7-6-1-0
Leading after the 2nd period: 30-1-0-1
Tied after the 2nd period: 9-5-0-0
Trailing after the 2nd period: 0-8-1-3
Out shooting opponents: 32-10-1-2
Out shot by opponents: 7-4-0-2
One goal games: 6-11-1-0
Goals for: 205
Goals against: 118
Standings: 2nd Place (Interior Division)
Win-loss Streak: Four 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:

Josh Prokop (00)
Jagger Williamson (98)
Connor Marritt (99)
Jesse Lansdell (98)
Alex Swetlikoff (01)
Coleton Bilodeau (00)
Josh Latta (98)
Michael Young (98)
Jack Judson (00)
Mitch Andres (98)

Vernon Vipers departed & traded players from last years team:

Brett Stapley (99)
Derek Brown (97)
Keyvan Mokhtari (98)
Jordan Sandhu (99)
Niko Karamanis (98)
Jimmy Lambert (97)
Michael Ufberg (97)
Cameron Trott (97)
Shane Kelly (97)
Chris Jandric (98)
Anthony Yamnitsky (97)
Ty Taylor (99)

Vernon's home record vs Salmon Arm last year:


Vernon's road record vs Salmon Arm last year:


Vernon's scoring leaders vs Salmon Arm last 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)

Let's take a look at the Salmon Arm Silverbacks:

The 0-1-1 Salmon Arm Silverbacks are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to the visiting West Kelowna Warriors August 26th. The Silverbacks lost both of their first two pre-season games vs West Kelowna last weekend. Tonight's the first game of a home & home series vs the Snakes. Vernon won the regular season series last year going 6-2 vs the Backs. These two teams met in the opening round of last season's BCHL playoffs with Vernon sweeping the Silverbacks in four straight. Salmon Arm won only nine home games last year, finished last season with a 9-17-2-1 home record. The Backs will open the BCHL regular season September 14th in Trail.   

Salmon Arm Silverbacks Roster:

Rhett Kingston (24-26-50) lead the team last year in goals with twenty four, & in points with fifty. 

Sol Seibel played in 76 games with the Vernon Vipers (2015-2018) was traded to Salmon Arm January 8 2018

Salmon Arm Silverbacks 2017-18 regular season stats:

Games Played: 58
Wins: 25
Losses: 29
Ties: 1
Overtime Losses: 3
Home Record: 16-12-1-0
Road Record: 9-17-2-1
Goals for: 172
Goals against: 231
Standings: 7th Place (Interior Division)

Salmon Arm Silverbacks Returning Players:

Stats unavailable 

Salmon Arm Silverbacks departed and traded players from last years team:

Stats unavailable 

Salmon Arm's home record vs Vernon last year:


Salmon Arm's road record vs Vernon last year:


Salmon Arm Silverbacks scoring leaders vs Vernon last 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 Hopeful As New Season Nears:

This was posted on the Global News website:

Junior hockey: Vipers hopeful as new season nears

August 28, 2018 


By Travis Lowe Global News

No other team in tier-two junior hockey has won more national championships than the Vernon Vipers.

So, just how many have they won?

“Good question. I think six,” said Vipers head coach Mark Ferner.

He was bang on.

During 58 seasons, the Vipers have won a staggering half-dozen national titles.

However, last season, they suffered their biggest loss ever.

And it wasn’t on the ice.

“It was January 10th. I remember it like it was yesterday,” said Ferner. “I got a phone call from Duncan’s daughter, saying Duncan had suddenly passed away.”

The passing of Duncan Wray, the Vipers’ much-loved owner, left the whole team shaken.

“I had such a great relationship with him, and it was like losing our leader, our alpha,” said Vipers captain Jagger Williamson.
Although Vernon dedicated its playoff run to Wray, the Vipers went down in the second round.

It’s been eight seasons since Veron brought home a national championship, and with the team’s history, there’s always pressure to perform. But what will the team look like this season?

“Good question. I mean, everyone thinks they’re good right now,” said Ferner. “We are really fortunate we got some good veterans. We got some young recruits coming in.”

Two of those recruits are the big story of camp this year: The tale of two Aidans.

Two 19-year-old netminders are vying to be the starter, Aidan Porter and Aidan Hosein.

Porter is an American import from Boston, while Hosein hails from Ontario. Both are rookies to the league and are adjusting to the speed of the BCHL.

Porter says he’s “feeling good. Got off to a slow start, but starting to feel comfortable and having a lot of fun on the ice.”

Hosein says “I knew I would come into camp and have to earn my spot. I’ve felt pretty good about it so far. I think I have been one of the better goalies at camp.”

Watching them from the bench is Williamson, who is sidelined by shingles.

“They look good and I saw them play in the pre-season game,” said Williamson. “Hosein got a shut-out, so hopefully they can keep it up.”

The Vipers head to Salmon Arm on Friday to take on the beefed-up Slverbacks in exhibition play.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Vipers-Silverbacks Game Live On Hockey TV:

The Vernon Vipers will play their final exhibition road game Friday
night in Salmon Arm. 107.5 Beach Radio will not be broadcasting any of the Vipers pre-season games. Hockey TV will be showing/broadcasting Friday's Vipers game in Salmon Arm.

Hockey TV website

BCHL News & Trades:

I found these press releases off team websites, twitter accounts, blogs or online. All Vipers news-trades are posted on this blog as soon as released-announced.

BCHL News & Trades:

Hora Ready To Add Physical presence To Bulldogs Lineup:

Just prior to trade deadline last season Head Coach Matt Hughes made a deal that raised a few eyebrows when he sent Ryan Steele to West Kelowna in exchange for Spencer Hora but the coaches decision was vindicated when the fans saw how effective Hora was as a physical defenseman. Hora, who hails from Kelowna, BC has already suited up for 105 BCHL games with the majority of those  from when he played in Salmon Arm was excited when he got the news he was traded to the Bulldogs “Whenever I played in the Dogs rink as the opposing team I could always feel the good vibes from the fans and the atmosphere is one of the best in the BCHL, so I was thrilled when I found out I was coming here.” Hora said. Coach Hughes has had a goal since the end of last season and it was to make the backend bigger and stronger and Hora will help lead that crew alongside returning and newly acquired players. Personally for Hora this season he hopes to talk to more schools “I want to get closer to hopefully earning myself a scholarship while still becoming a better player everyday and doing more in the community with the team.”

2018-19 Outlook With Vees New Recruit Mussio:

Devon Mussio has been on skates as long as he can remember. The 19-year-old defenceman from Vancouver has been playing hockey for the last 16 years all thanks to his dad who put him on skates when he was just two years old. “My dad used to play in Trail and then later at the University of British Columbia,” Mussio explained. “My dad played against Ray Ferraro and his uncle played against the Niedermayer’s, so it’s kind of funny that Jackson Niedermayer is going to be on the Vees this year.” Mussio also played soccer and was a speed skater as a child too but gravitated more towards hockey as he got older. In a big city like Vancouver, Junior ‘A’ hockey can take a back seat to the National Hockey League. It wasn’t until later in life that Mussio discovered the BCHL and wanted to be a part of it. “When my friends and I were young we would play the NHL video games and, and they had the Western Hockey League teams in them,” Mussio explained. “We used to all want to play in the WHL. I was lucky enough to not have to move away from home for hockey and when I got into high school, I was getting really good marks because St. George’s was so focused on academics. I knew I was a late bloomer and the BCHL would be the best way for me to grow my game.” As a 16-year-old, Mussio made the jump to junior hockey with the Delta Ice Hawks of the Pacific Junior Hockey League. After attending a plethora of camps leading up to the season, Mussio said he felt more prepared to become a full-time junior player. That year he also affiliated with the Surrey Eagles for two games. The first one just so happened to be in a special place for his family. “I thought my first game was going to be in Salmon Arm, but my AP card didn’t go through,” Mussio explained. “I didn’t find out until like five minutes before the game. So my first game ended up being in Trail, which was really cool because that’s where my dad grew up and my grandparents are from there. My family all came to watch that game so that was pretty special.” For the 2016-17 season Mussio was able to make the jump to the BCHL, playing in 55 of the Coqutilam Express’s 58 games. He recorded seven assists over the year and says while the team didn’t have a ton of success, it was a big change for him. “We started off the year pretty well, right around .500 for the first 20 games,” Mussio recalled. “Hanging out with all the older players and going on long road trips, playing in front of rinks with big crowds, it was a lot of fun. We came to Penticton that year with like seven AP’s, but we were all excited for that game because of the huge crowd. We lost 5-2 but we were honestly pretty happy with that result.” After not recording a goal through his first 96 BCHL games, the milestone moment finally came January 17 of last season. Though it wasn’t exactly how Mussio thought it would go. “We were beating up on Surrey pretty badly that game,” he said. “We got a power play late, and I never really played on the power play, so our coach put me and my defence partner at forward. Off the faceoff he got the puck and took a shot, and it went off my skate and into the net.” Going so long in between goals, regardless of position, is something that undoubtedly comes with friendly banter from teammates. It was no different for Mussio and the Express. “I had such bad puck luck that year and they were getting on my case pretty good,” he said with a laugh. “They all kept telling me a puck was going to have to go off my ass and into the net for me to get one.” Mussio finished the season with a goal and 11 assists in 56 games. The Express showed a huge improvement after the hiring of Jason Fortier as their new head coach, making the Fred Page Cup playoffs and setting up a first-round matchup against the Vees. Despite going in as massive underdogs, Mussio says he and his teammates couldn’t wait for that series. “The crowd fires up the home team, but I think it also gets the away team going a little bit,” Mussio said. “We only lost the first game 2-1. We were really excited because it gave us a chance to play in front of a really big crowd that wanted to watch.” The Vees went on to sweep the series, ending Mussio’s season. Mid July it was announced the Vees were bringing Mussio on board for the 2018-19 season. It’s a situation that Mussio still has trouble believing is actually happening. “It’s surreal, it hasn’t really sunk in yet,” he said. “I think once I get there and kind of look around I’ll realize that I’m actually there. It just feels like a really good dream right now.” Mussio can now quickly get used to seeing huge crowds regularly, and not just when he’s on the road.

Trail Smoke Eaters Name Scafe-Pozzobon New Broadcaster:

The Trail Smoke Eaters are pleased to announce Dustin Scafe-Pozzobon as the team’s Play-by-Play Announcer for the upcoming 2018-19 season.  Scafe-Pozzobon, 27, swapped his hockey stick for a microphone 8 years ago and has never looked back. He began his broadcasting career with the KIJHL’s Sicamous Eagles, before moving to his first Junior-A opportunity with the SJHL’s Melfort Mustangs and Nipawin Hawks. Dustin’s most notable achievement was the opportunity to work with Hockey Canada and TSN at the 2014 RBC Cup in Vernon. The former Marketing Manager and Voice of the Merritt Centennials is excited to call Trail home and looks forward to bringing fans to the edge of their seats for years to come, adding “What has taken place in Trail over the last few seasons is incredible, and the support of the community has proven to be second-to-none in the BCHL. To do something I am so passionate toward in a city filled with energy motivates me to work tirelessly to give the best fans in the league the best broadcast and coverage in the league.” “We are thrilled to have Dustin join the Smoke Eaters as our new play-by-play broadcaster,” said Smoke Eaters Director of Hockey & Business Operations, Craig Clare. “Dustin is a talented broadcaster, who brings a wide array of skills to our organization, while also being extremely passionate and knowlegeable about both our team and the BCHL. Fans will also be excited as they will now have an opportunity to listen to the team’s road games live.” Last season’s Smoke Eaters Play-by-Play Announcer, Wylie Henderson can still be heard calling games in the East Kootenay, where he relocated this past spring to become the News Director for 102.9-FM, The Drive. The entire Smoke Eaters organization thank Wylie for his years of service with the team and wish him the very best in his career.

Bowen Returning To Chilliwack:

The Kelowna Rockets will have one, but not both of the Bowen brothers on their roster this season and in the fold when training camp opens on Friday. Ryan Bowen, an over-age winger who has WHL experience from previous stints with Moose Jaw and Lethbridge, is reporting to camp in hopes of earning one of Kelowna's three 20-year-old spots for the 2018-19 campaign. Ryan was acquired by the Rockets ahead of last season's trade deadline, on Jan. 8, but opted to finish the season with his hometown Chilliwack Chiefs — helping the BCHL club capture the RBC Cup national Junior A championship as the tournament host in May. As it stands, Ryan is one of only two over-agers on Kelowna's roster, along with big defenceman Braydyn Chizen. Goaltender Brodan Salmond would have been the third, but he was released in the off-season and is now auditioning at Moose Jaw's camp. That's the good news on the Bowen front. The bad news is younger brother Ethan — the Rockets' top pick from the 2017 bantam draft, a second-rounder (39th overall) who was widely considered a top-10 talent in his age class at the time — will be staying in Chilliwack. He plans on playing his 16-year-old season for the Chiefs, who he debuted with last season as a 15-year-old affiliate — suiting up for a total of six games through the regular season and playoffs, including two at the RBC Cup tournament where Ethan tallied two points (one goal, one assist). Ethan, who attended Hockey Canada's camp for the World Under-17 Challenge this summer, is committed to the University of North Dakota for the 2020-21 season and wanted to maintain that NCAA eligibility while continuing to weigh the options for his playing future. That college commitment is what scared off teams picking in the first round of last year's WHL bantam draft, but Ethan hasn't ruled out the major-junior route and could still join Kelowna as a 17-year-old next season — especially if the Rockets are successful in their bid to host the 2020 Memorial Cup. That decision will be made by the WHL board of governors at their Oct. 3 meeting, with Victoria, Kamloops and Lethbridge also in the running. Steve Bowen, their father, confirmed the intentions of both brothers in a Twitter conversation on Wednesday evening. With regards to Ryan, he wrote: “Ryan will play in Kelowna. He's excited, and I think with his experience in the league and a national championship last season, he can help with what looks to be a rebuilding roster.” The Rockets were able to get Ryan's rights from Lethbridge for an eighth-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft. As for Ethan, he met with Rockets general manager Bruce Hamilton and head coach Jason Smith a couple times over the summer but decided to stay the course in Chilliwack for another season. “The lure right now of North Dakota at 18, and the fact in his 16-year-old season both the WHL and BCHL will provide him all the challenge he can handle, we just thought as a family we kind of have another year to really make up our minds,” wrote Steve, adding: “Being 16, in both leagues, is a tough challenge even for the top young guys. Next summer will be much harder to decide on, as 17 is the latest you come into the WHL as a young player. . . . “I know enough about the game not to think too far ahead as things change in this game, but for now he’ll start as a 16 in the BCHL and we’ll reassess if something happens or at the conclusion of the season.” By no means have the Bowens closed the door on the WHL option for Ethan, which Steve reiterated several times. They are also keen on Kelowna owning Ethan's rights should he make the move to major junior. “We have nothing but great things to say about them and the organization,” Steve wrote of their interactions with Hamilton and Smith. “Definitely, it is not a WHL or Kelowna Rockets issue. It is extending your development cycle in college, and at this age we believe it is important to still keep options open if we can. And with our feeling that Ethan’s development as a 16-year-old is fine either way (in either league, the BCHL or WHL), then we don’t feel compelled to go 'all in' on any particular direction. YET.” Of course, Steve and Ethan Bowen can also evaluate from afar based on Ryan's experience in Kelowna. That will give them a sneak peak into the Rockets' organization as this season plays out, assuming Ryan solidifies his spot as an over-ager. Ryan, who is listed at 6-foot-2.5 and 175 pounds, started last season in Lethbridge, playing 13 games for the Hurricanes and producing six points (one goal, five assists). Shortly after his 19th birthday in December, Ryan left Lethbridge and returned home to Chilliwack, where he played 17 regular-season games with the Chiefs and recorded 10 points (six goals, four assists) before adding four points (two goals, two assists) in 13 playoff games counting the RBC Cup. Ryan has played parts of four seasons in the WHL, totalling 143 regular-season games with 57 points (21 goals, 36 assists) and 55 penalty minutes, plus 23 playoff contests with three points (two goals, one assist) and four penalty minutes. Among his goal total, Ryan has scored five on the power play and one shorthanded as well as four game-winners. Ryan was originally a fifth-round pick (95th overall) by the Moose Jaw Warriors in the 2013 bantam draft.

2018-19 Outlook With Penticton Vees Newly Acquired Snell:

Mason Snell and his teammates made it all the way to final game of the Canadian Junior Hockey League season. Unfortunately for them, it didn’t end in a victory as the Wellington Dukes dropped a 4-2 game to the Chilliwack Chiefs in the RBC Cup final May 20. “Watching those guys celebrate and seeing the fans go wild, you know you were that close to winning something special,” Snell said. “It really does suck. I felt like I always had that in the back of my head all summer while I was training so that we can all come here and try to win something special for the city of Penticton.” The 2000-born defenceman enters his third season of junior hockey looking for another championship before he hits the NCAA ranks at Penn State University next season. Upon learning Snell’s father, Chris, had a 12-year professional hockey career, including 34 NHL games, it’s not surprising how much of an impact his father has had on his career. “I definitely got into hockey because of my dad,” Snell said. “He was a defenceman too so having him there to help me and give me pointers on how to play the position has been a big help for me.” Chris has been a scout in the Winnipeg Jets organization since the 2011-12 season. While Snell is now an established defenceman, he didn’t make the transition to the backend until just a few short seasons ago. “I didn’t start playing defence until minor bantam,” Snell explained. “I was always a forward growing up, but it wasn’t really working out for me. I played a few games on defence and I really liked it. When you’re a forward there’s always players all around you. As a defenceman I can see where everyone is, and I find that a lot easier to make plays.” The late change in position clearly didn’t hamper Snell’s development, as he garnered interest from both the Ontario Hockey League and NCAA as the years progressed. After being drafted 54thoverall by the North Bay Batallion in 2016, Snell didn’t want to jump to a rash decision on his future. “To be honest, I never really thought about the NCAA as a kid,” Snell admitted. “Growing up in the Oshawa area, the Generals are right there, and you grow up watching them. Everyone always talks about the OHL and that draft is a big moment for kids in Ontario. I didn’t start thinking about the NCAA until my first year in Whitby.” After speaking to Penn State during the OJHL showcase, Snell took a visit to the campus a few weeks later and committed shortly after. It was officially announced December 6, 2016. After a rookie season with Whitby which saw Snell score three goals with 13 assists in 45 games, Snell began the following season with Whitby before a move was made in late October. Moved to the Dukes, Snell skated in 30 regular season games with five goals and 11 assists. He also represented Team Canada East at the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge in Truro, Nova Scotia. Heading into the OJHL playoffs as the second seed in the North East Conference, the Dukes fought through two seven-game series before beating Aurora in five to advance to the league final. The Dukes finished it off in dramatic fashion, winning game six against Georgetown in overtime to claim the Buckland Cup. “If you have the chance to win a series like that, you want to do it,” Snell said. “Game seven is never a for sure thing that you’re going to win and we wanted to make sure it was over then. Winning it like that was really cool.” Following the OJHL championship, the Dukes advanced to the Dudley Hewitt Cup, which features champions from the OJHL, SIJHL and NOJHL along with a host to determine who advances to the RBC Cup. Snell says after winning the OJHL league title, there was never any doubt the Dukes would make it to Chilliwack. “I think we all had in our heads that we were the team there that was going to win it,” he said. “We all really wanted to get to Chilliwack because that’s a once in a lifetime experience.” Sure enough, the Dukes defeated the Thunder Bay North Stars 6-3 in the semi-final before a 7-4 triumph over the Dryden Ice Dogs to secure their spot in Chilliwack. Considering the OJHL doesn’t draw the same level of fan support as leagues out west, the adjustment to the spotlight and big crowds could be a little overwhelming to players who aren’t used to it. Luckily for Snell, he had experienced that at the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge and was able to help his teammates. “I think it was a lot easier for me to adjust than maybe some of my teammates,” Snell said. “But really none of that matters. All we have to do is perform on the ice whether there’s three people in the stands or 3,000.” After winning just one game during the round robin, a 3-2 overtime win against the Steinbach Pistons, the Dukes had the unenviable task of matching up against the Wenatchee Wild in the semi-final. Perhaps a mismatch on paper, the Dukes pulled off the huge upset with a 2-1 victory, despite being outshot 51-14. “That was definitely the most exhausting game I’ve ever played in,” Snell said with a laugh.” Our goalie, Jonah Capriotti, stood on his head and I have no other reason why we won that game. We saw him playing like that and tried to help him out as much as we could.” Snell’s rights were moved from the Dukes to the Powell River Kings, before the Vees reached a deal a month later to bring him to Penticton. A move that kick-started his excitement for a new season. “In Junior ‘A’, where ever you go, everyone knows the Penticton Vees,” Snell said. “They’ve never not had a good team in recent years and this is a place where a lot of guys want to play. It’s a special atmosphere and a special place and I’m looking forward to getting started. I want to be an uplifting guy in the room and on the bench. I really care about my defensive zone, I think that’s something I pride myself in.” Snell and his teammates hit for the first time as a team today, as training camps around the BCHL get underway.

Coquitlam-Cowichan Trade:

2000-born defenceman Doug Scott has been traded to the Cowichan Capitals for future considerations. Scott recorded 2 goals and 2 assists, along with 65 penalty minutes in 57 games played last season. Doug was a great teammate and will be missed by the Express organization.