Sunday, September 30, 2018

Vipers Looking At Kjemhus:

The Morning Star newspaper reported Friday the Vipers are taking a look at 17-year-old left winger Kjell Kjemhus of Grande Prairie.

Kjemhus played with four different teams last season (Pursuit of Excellence Prep,  Pursuit of Excellence 18U, Regina Pats & the  Prince George Cougars). The Cougars acquired Kjemhus from the Pats January 5th 2018.

Kjell Kjemhus's Player Profile:

This was posted on the WHL website:

WHL Next Generation: Kjell Kjemhus

August 14, 2017

WHL Next Generation is a 22-part series highlighting a handful of the future stars of the Western Hockey League. From first-round bantam draft picks to later-blooming selections, get to know the names of players set to establish themselves as the newest crop of exciting talent to grace the WHL. From August 1 through September 11, get the inside scoop on the incoming crew of 16-year-olds.

This was posted on the Cougars website:

Cougars, Pats Swing Four-Player Trade

January 5, 2018

The Prince George Cougars Hockey Club have acquired forward Kjell Kjemhus (01), defenceman Ethan McColm (02), along with a third round and fifth round pick in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft from the Regina Pats. In exchange, the Cougars sent the WHL playing rights of forward Jesse Gabrielle (97) and defenseman Jonas Harkins (00) to Regina.

Kjell Kjemhus (pronounced ‘Chell Shay-moose’) is from Grande Prairie, Alberta, and has split this season between the Pats and the Pursuit of Excellence (POE) Academy in Kelowna, BC. Kjemhus played three games with the Pats and has played 30 games at POE with their Midget Prep team in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL), and their U-18 team in the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL). In 18 games in the CSSHL, Kjemhus has tallied four goals and seven points and has scored another four goals in 12 games in the NAPHL. He suited up for 13 playoff games last season with Regina, picking up one assist and was a plus one, as the Pats won the WHL’s Eastern Conference Championship. The 16-year-old left-winger was drafted by the Pats in the fourth round, 77th overall, in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft. Kjemhus will wear number 12 with the Cougars.

This was posted on

Kjemhus set for first full season in WHL

September 20, 2018

Hytec Weekly Wrap Post Game Show:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Hytec Weekly Wrap-Up 9-30-2018

Recent News 

September 30, 2018

The Vernon Vipers split a pair of home games this weekend. Watch the Hytec weekly wrap-up with Mark Ferner, Jack Judson and Teddy Wooding!

Vipers Shut Down Wenatchee:

This is posted on the Morning Star website:

Vipers shut down Wenatchee

Kevin Mitchell

Sep. 28, 2018 

Local Sports

Their No. 1 forward line manned the press box in civvies. Their all-star second-year forward Josh Prokop was in Red Deer making his Western Hockey League debut with the Calgary Hitmen.

Neither point mattered to the Vernon Vipers as they showed true grit, character and a whole lotta of heart by stopping the defending B.C. League champion Wenatchee Wild 2-0 before 2,089 highly appreciative fans Friday night at Kal Tire Place.

Sophomore defenceman Jack Judson looked more like Jack Johnson, scoring once and setting up another to earn first star as the Vipers improved to 3-2-2 for a three-way share of third place in the Interior Division with the Wild and Merritt Centennials – 6-3 losers to the Penticton Vees.

Wenatchee, who defeated Vernon 5-3 on opening night here almost a month ago, dipped to 4-4. The Wild lost 5-2 to the West Kelowna Warriors Wednesday night in Washington State.

The Warriors top the table at 5-3 after grounding the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, one point in front of the Trail Smoke Eaters, who iced the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 7-3.

Captain Jagger Williamson, a fifth-year veteran, and skilled forwards Jesse Lansdell (suspension) and Alex Swetlikoff watched the game. Both Williamson and Swetlikoff are on injured reserve and doubtful for Saturday night when the Vipers entertain the Centennials.

Viper head coach Mark Ferner, who went with three lines, called it a terrific effort.

“From our goaltender (Aidan Porter) out, they all played very hard for one another and the coaching staff is very proud of every one of them,” Ferner said on the Beach Radio post-game show. “They all had a terrific, positive impact on the hockey game.”

The Wild, who have dropped three straight, outshot the Vipers 16-5 in the first period with Porter making some stellar stops. Wenatchee pretty much dominated play until Josh Latta and Ben Helgeson both enjoyed Grade A chances in the final two minutes.

Newbie Viper defenceman Landon Fuller, a 6-foot-5 skyscraper, delivered a beauty hit on Murphy Stratton just inside the Wenatchee blueline nine minutes in, becoming an instant crowd favourite. Fuller earned the secondary assist on Connor Marritt’s winner 92 seconds into the second period, won multiple puck battles along the wall and in the corner, and delivered a clutch shot block on Matt Gosiewiski with four minutes remaining.

Porter’s best two saves of the opening 20 came when he made a crest stop off a Stratton shot on an early powerplay and then neatly blocked a deflection by Brian Adams. Vernon killed two penalties in the first period finished with six kills. They went 8-for-8 on the kill in their last Bauer Showcase game against the Surrey Eagles.

On Vernon’s first goal, Judson’s shot went just wide of the Wenatchee net with Marritt somehow bouncing the rebound past Wenatchee goalie Austin Park. Marritt, who skated on the top line with Latta and Elan Bar-Lev-Wise, has two goals on the season.

Just 10 minutes later, Judson wired a low slapper from the mid ringette line, 27 seconds into Drake Usher’s roughing minor. Latta, who was named the Fortis Energy Player of the Game, and Bar-Lev-Wise earned assists.

Coleton Bilodeau of the Snakes was stopped by Park on a breakaway with 5:42 left in the middle stanza, drawing a penalty to Adams. Bar-Lev-Wise took an interference penalty 13 seconds later to snuff out that powerplay chance.

Vernon outshot Wenatchee 9-8 and showed far more energy and pushback than they did in the first period.

Porter registered another nine saves in the third period, including a sharp toe stop on Christophe Fillion, who scored twice last visit to Vernon.

With Park on the bench for a sixth attacker, the Vipers missed two glorious chances for insurance with d-man Mitch Andres just missing with 90 seconds left on a shot from just past centre, and Judson coming a foot away with a rink-length wrister with 18 seconds to play.

Newcomer Max Palaga, who was a back-up with the WHL Kamloops Blazers last year, was Porter’s caddy Friday night. Rookie netminder Aidan Hosein is still on the Viper roster.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Merritt 5 Vernon 2

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 couldn't 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 the game. This is my opinion and thought's on how I saw tonight's game. I try to be unbiased and give a fare recap from both sides. Thank you for stopping by and visiting my blog.

I was at tonight's Vipers-Centennials game as Merritt defeated Vernon 5-2 in front of 1,715 fans at Kal Tire Place.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Aidan Porter
Merritt: Vincent Duplessis

1st Period: About a minute and twenty five seconds into the 1st period Teddy Wooding found himself alone in the slot, couldn't beat Vincent Duplessis before Ben Helgeson tried burying the rebound on a shot that was blocked in front. The Cents would eventually spring Brendan Schneider in for the parcial odd man rush. Schneider ripped a shot from the circle that was stopped by Aidan Porter. Two good quality chances at both ends of the rink. Merritt would get an early powerplay about two minutes in. Aidan Porter looked to make a stop at the side of the net, before the Centennials moved the puck around before Matt Kopperud's shot went off a Viper defender in front landed on the stick of Nick Granowicz who hit the open cage, giving Merritt a early 1-0 lead at 3:08 Kopperud and Talon Zakall picked up the assists. Just before the halfway mark former Salmon Arm Silverback & Chilliwack Chief Austin Chorney went to lay a hip check on Brett Roloson. Roloson went down very easily after barely being touched, while it was Chorney heading to the penalty box. Both referee's talked things over before sending Roloson to the sin bin for unsportsmanlike conduct. Both players were shocked they were given penalties. Just past the midway mark Jack Judson coughed up the puck, allowing Rylan Van Unen in for the breakaway. Van Unen looked to beat Aidan Porter going crossbar and in but with no goal light the play continued. Van Unen with his arms in the air, thought he gave Merritt a 2-0 lead. On the following stoppage, the Cents didn't challenge the previous play as the game continued. You could hear the puck ring off the post/crossbar. About a minute and a half later the Vipers would jump on their first powerplay of the evening. Josh Latta with some nifty passing setup Jack Judson who's shot from the blueline found it's way to the back of the goal, tying the game 1-1 at 13:03 Latta drew the lone helper. It was 1-1 after 20 minutes of play. I thought the Centennials were the better team. The Cents had a bit of an edge in play, carried the play often at times. The two teams looked evenly matched at times but it was Merritt who's speed was the difference. The Centennials didn't get many pucks to the net, didn't create/or generate much for offence, did have a lot more puck possession. The Snakes didn't see as much time with the puck, just like Merritt didn't generate or create many offensive opportunities. Vernon was getting pucks to the goal, but a lot of shots were from well out. Vernon outshot Merritt 11-4.

2nd Period: The Vipers would get an early powerplay that only lasted 1:04 before taking a minor of their own. While playing four on four, Teddy Wooding stole the puck at the blueline, turned on the jets went in for the breakaway couldn't beat Centennials starting goaltender Vincent Duplessis on the backhand. Logan Cash hustled hard for the puck setup Wooding in front who had two cracks at it, buried his second chance in tight, giving Vernon their first lead of the night, 2-1 at 4:02 Cash with the assist. Once the Cents penalty expired Merritt would get a shortened powerplay they couldn't capitalize on. Nick Granowicz looked to be hurt/injured was in some discomfort on his way off the ice, was attended to by the trainer on the bench but stayed in the game. Just before the halfway mark the Centennials would jump back to the man advantage and again didn't really create/or generate much as Vernon killed off the minor. Just past the midway mark Josh Latta with a burst of speed, blew by his defender before cutting hard to the goal, couldn't stuff home the puck on the way to the front of the net on a good individual effort from Latta. Minutes later Connor Marritt with a quick shot from just inside the blueline forced Vincent Duplessis into making a bit of a difficult save on a shot that handcuffed the Merritt goaltender. Minutes later the Centennials went back to the PP. Once again the Snakes with a good penalty kill, would kill off the penalty. With four minutes remaining Nick Granowicz with a quick shot from the circle couldn't solve Vipers starting goaltender Aidan Porter. About fourty five seconds later Michael Young and Matthew Kopperud exchanged a few words, while giving each other a slash and a punch. Both players were given two minute minors. Seconds later Merritt would get a late penalty as the fans at Kal Tire Place were letting the referee's know what they thought about the call. The Vipers would be forced to killing off their fourth penalty of the middle frame. It was 2-1 Vernon after 40 minutes of play. Tonight reminded me a lot like last night's game. The Vipers with a strong second period, played hard, were skating hard, moving the puck, carried the better of the play for most of the period. The Snakes didn't get a whole lot of good opportunities, managed to have more puck possession. The Centennials didn't nearly have as much time with the puck, were chasing Vernon a lot more in this period. The Cents go 0-4 with the man advantage, could have changed the looks of this game heading into the 3rd if the powerplay was clicking. The Centennials did come on late in the final four or five minutes, had a bit of pressure towards the end of the period. The referees called nine minors took the flow right out of the game by calling so many penalties. I thought the Vipers were the better team. Shots were even 8-8.

3rd Period: Off the opening faceoff, Elan Bar-Lev-Wise carried the play into the Merritt zone ripped a quick shot from the circle that forced Vincent Duplessis into making a blocker save. Merritt would jump on an early powerplay just fifty one seconds into the final frame. The Cents only needed a minute to capitalize. Bradley Cocca with a lazer of a shot beat Aidan Porter tying the game 2-2 at 1:51 Brendan Schneider & Christian Sabin collected the helpers. The Vipers come right back with a play off the rush. Austin Chorney couldn't beat Vincent Duplessis on the wrap around. Just a minute after tying the game, Daniel Tkac with a shot along the ice gives Merritt a 3-2 lead at 2:53 Tkac's goal was unassisted. The Cents bench showing a ton of emotion on the bench after the go ahead goal. This goal took the life out of Vernon as the Vipers looked dejected. Just over three minutes later the Centennials would get their second powerplay of the 3rd and get their second PP goal of the frame. Mathieu Gosselin gives Merritt a 4-2 lead at 7:39 Talon Zakall and Nick Wicks with the assists. Minutes later Teddy Wooding with a strong individual effort couldn't get the Snakes to within a goal after a big stop from Vincent Duplessis. As the period went on the Vipers struggled at times, missing passes, players not in the right position, the puck getting blocked or hitting a stick on it's way to the goal. Vernon just having no puck luck couldn't gain any traction in the 3rd. Merritt didn't quit skating, played a very solid shut down 3rd, were finishing their checks, grinding guys down, making it hard to play against. With about three and a half minutes left Aidan Porter would be run over before having to push the Merritt player off him, taking a swing at the Cents forward. With no call on the play and the Viper bench up in arms, the play continued. Porter was forced into making an unreal pad save while down and out and a bit of a scrum going on in front of him. Once the play come to a stop, the Viper netminder let the referee have it on a blown call. The Centennials would call a late timeout before the Vipers would call their timeout. The Snakes would get Aidan Porter to the bench for the extra attacker with 2:10 left and down by two goals. The Vipers struggled to even muster any kind of offence before Brendan Schneider with a long shot from well inside the neutral zone, hit the post before the open cage, giving Merritt a commanding 5-2 lead at 19:40 as the fans started making their way to the exists. Bradley Cocca and Christian Sabin picked up the assists. Merritt would hang on for the 5-2 victory. The Vipers held a 2-1 lead heading into the 3rd when the wheels come off. The Cents with two powerplay goals took the wind out of the sails and the Snakes couldn't recover. Vernon playing with basically three lines ran out of gas, had troubles gaining any traction for the remainder of the period. Merritt with two quick back to back goals played a hard nosed third period, finishing their checks, didn't give Vernon any time or space, limited their chances and kept the Vipers to the outside. The Vipers struggled offensively and couldn't generate/or create much of anything. The Centennials played hard in a greasy road win. The Cents were by far the better team. Merritt outshot Vernon 11-8.

Top Player's: (Vernon)

Teddy Wooding (1 goal) Scored his first career BCHL goal Was by far the Vipers best player in the loss. Had a strong night all around, was weaving in and out of traffic, created/generated some very good quality opportunities, gave the Cents defence all kinds of trouble. Work and skated hard, played hard, really showed off his talent.

Carver Watson I thought played very well on Vernon's blueline. Made a few nice heads up plays, was solid defensively.

Elan Bar-Le-Wise Played very well in the win over Wenatchee Friday night, Played very well in the loss to Merritt tonight.

Game Thought's: (Vernon)

I thought Vernon held their own in the opening frame, come out of the first twenty minutes with a tie may have outshot Merritt but didn't have much offensive zone time, didn't have a lot of puck possession and played a bit too much in their own end at times. The Centennials speed gave the Vipers some troubles in that 1st period. Like last night, the Snakes were a different team come the 2nd period. I thought the Vipers played much better in the middle frame last night and again tonight. I thought Vernon was the better team in the 2nd period and played their best hockey in that middle frame. Scoring the only goal, the Snakes had much more time with the puck, were skating hard, making plays happen. They didn't generate or create a ton of opportunities but had the better of the play at times. I also thought the penalty kill was also very good in that second period, killing off all four minors. It was the 3rd period that killed Vernon. Two quick back to back goals by Merritt and that seemed to change the tide and the flow of the game. The Vipers just couldn't get much of anything going after Merritt's 3rd goal. The Snakes couldn't gain any traction, had a few opportunities but never really put any pressure on the Cents the rest of the way. The Snakes really missed Jagger Williamson, Alex Swetlikoff and Jesse Lansdell. Lansdell was serving his final game of a four game suspension tonight. I have noticed the Vipers take way too many penalties so far this year, ten penalties tonight. Weather or not they were rewarding or not you cant take ten penalties in a hockey game and expect to win. Penalties killed the Vipers tonight. I don't like to come on here and complain about the officials but after tonight it's hard not too. It seemed like every time a Viper touched a Merritt player, they were given a penalty. Some rather mythical penalties called on Vernon. At one point the referee's even got the wrong player and had to talk things over before pulling the player out of the penalty box and sending in the player that took the penalty. When the Vipers goaltender gets run over late in the game and no call on the play, the referee's were lucky there wasn't a huge scrum/fight after the play. Several calls were very soft and took the flow out of the game. The second period was filled with penalties. After eight games the Vipers have struggled offensively and need to go out and acquire or bring in a goal scorer or a kid that can put the puck in the net. The Vipers have no finish in and around the net. Vernon is one of the lowest scoring teams in the league. The Vipers have been inconsistent this year and their record shows it. The Snakes have lost four of their last five games. A very disappointing-small crowd on hand for tonight's matchup. With the loss Vernon falls to 3-3-2-0 drop to last place in the Interior Division.

Top Player's: (Merritt)

Nick Wicks (1 assist) Not the biggest kid, but can skate and move the puck. This kid has some wheels, looked good through out the night.

Vincent Guy recently signed by the Cents playing with no name bar on his jersey was another kid who isn't very big but has some wheels. Played last season with the QCHL St. Lawrence Lions. Was hard to defend against, gave the Vipers all kinds of troubles through out the contest. Really opened up the ice, made things happen in a hurry.

Bradley Cocca (1 goal & 1 assist) I thought was one of the better Merritt forwards. Played hard, can skate, move the puck up ice and has a wicked shot.

Brett Roloson The son of former NHL goaltener Dwyane Roloson I thought played hard-smart. Had a strong game in the win.

Game Thought's: (Merritt)

Only managed four shots on goal in the opening period I still thought the Centennials were the better team in that 1st period. Merritt really used their speed to open the ice, didn't create/or generate much for chances but had a bit of edge in play, had more puck possession. Merritt seemed to have some troubles with the Vipers in the middle frame, but managed to come on late with some pressure wich seemed to carry over into the 3rd period. The Cents could have really changed the game if they connected on at least two of their powerplays in the middle frame. The turning point was the Centennials two quick back to back goals to start the final frame. This took the life out of the Snakes, while Merritt didn't back off, they battled hard, didn't give Vernon any time or space, wore down the Vipers with a strong work ethic in the final twenty minutes. Give the Cents credit for limiting the Viper offence to just a few quality chances. Merritt was hard to play against in the 3rd, made things tough for Vernon. The Centennials with a greasy road win snap their two game losing skid. Good to see a small handful of Centennial fans made the trip. With the win Merritt improves to 5-4-0-0 sit atop the Division. This is the Centennials first win over Vernon this year, are now 1-3 (preseason & regular season).



Jagger Williamson (Injured)
Jesse Lansdell (Suspended)
Alex Swetlikoff (Injured)


Ben Ward
Jaydon Fetter

Energy Player of the Game:

Jack Judson (1 goal)

Three Star's:

1st Star: Bradley Cocca (1 goal & 1 assist)
2nd Star: Teddy Wooding (1 goal)
3rd Star: Nick Granowicz (1 goal)

Boxscore-Game Summary,  

Merritt Centennials Blog,

Game Report,

Text Boxscore,

Game Preview: Merritt @ Vernon:

Merritt (4-4-0-0) @ Vernon (3-2-2-0) 6pm

Tonight is the second of six regular season meetings vs the Centennials. The Vipers lead the season series 1-0
Last Game:

Friday, September 28th Vernon defeated Wenatchee 2-0
Friday, September 28th Penticton defeated Merritt 6-3

Next Game:

Friday, October 5th Vernon @ Penticton
Friday, October 5th Merritt @ Alberni Valley

Vernon's record & stats vs the Centennials since 2002

Since the 2002-03 regular season Vernon is 69-25-9-4 vs Merritt

Since the 2002-03 regular season Vernon has outscored Merritt 393-271

Since the 2002-03 regular season Vernon is 34-9-1-5 at home vs Merritt

Since the 2002-03 regular season Vernon is 29-13-5-3 in Merritt

The Vipers are 6-4-0-0 in their last ten games vs Merritt

The Vipers are 5-4-1-0 vs Merritt in their last ten games in Merritt

The Vipers are 6-3-0-1 vs Merritt in their last ten games in Vernon

Vernon's last win at home vs Merritt was a 4-1 victory Wednesday, January 31st 2018

Merritt's last win at Kal Tire Place was a 5-4 victory Wednesday, January 18th 2017

Vernon's last regular season win at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena was a 5-2 victory on Saturday, September 8th 2018

Merritt's last regular season win at home vs Vernon was a 5-0 victory Friday, January 12th 2018

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

September 8th Vernon @ Merritt: Vipers won 5-2
September 29th Merritt @ Vernon
November 9th Vernon @ Merritt
November 30th Merritt @ Vernon
January 5th Merritt @ Vernon
February 23rd Vernon @ Merritt 

Let's take a look at the Vernon Vipers:

The 3-2-2-0 Vernon Vipers are coming off a 2-0 victory over the visiting Wenatchee Wild Friday night. Tonight's the fourth meeting of the season (exhibition & regular season) vs the Merritt Centennials. The Vipers have won all three of the previous games vs the Cents this season. These two teams will meet again November 9th in Merritt. Tonight's the second game of a two game home stand. The Snakes come into tonight looking for their second straight win. The Vipers have just one win in their last four games sit 3rd in the Interior Division are tied in points with Merritt & Wenatchee. The Vipers are two points up on Penticton & Salmon Arm, are only a single point back of 2nd place Trail and two points back of Division leading West Kelowna. 

Vernon Vipers Roster:

Alex Swetlikoff (3-1-4) & Josh Latta (3-2-5) share the team lead in goals with three each, while Josh Latta (3-2-5) & Jack Judson (2-3-5) share the team lead in points with five each 

Vernon Vipers 2018-19 regular season stats:

Games Played: 7
Wins: 3
Losses: 2
Overtime Wins: 0
Overtime Losses: 2
Shootout Wins: 0
Shootout Losses: 0
Home Record: 2-2-2-0
Road Record: 1-0-0-0
Overtime Record: 0-2
Record vs Interior Division: 3-2-0-0
Record vs Island & Mainland Divisions: 0-0-2-0
When the Vipers score first: 2-2-1-0
When the opponents score first: 1-0-1-0
Leading after the 1st period: 0-2-1-0
Tied after the 1st period: 3-0-1-0
Trailing after the 1st period: 0-0-0-0
Leading after the 2nd period: 3-0-2-0
Tied after the 2nd period: 0-1-0-0
Trailing after the 2nd period: 0-1-0-0
Out shooting opponents: 2-1-2-0
Out shot by opponents: 1-1-0-0
One goal games: 0-0-2-0
Goals for: 19
Goals against: 19
Standings: 3rd Place (Interior Division)
Win-loss Streak: One game winning streak
Longest winning streak: Two games
Longest losing streak: Three games

Vernon Vipers Returning Players:

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) 
Josh Prokop (00)
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 Merritt this year:


Vernon's road record vs Merritt this year:


Vernon's scoring leaders vs Merritt this year:

Jesse Lansdell (1-1-2)
Alex Swetlikoff (1-1-2)
Teddy Wooding (0-2-2)
Michael Young (1-0-1)
Ben Helgeson (0-1-1)
Nicholas Cherkowski (0-1-1)
Jack Judson (1-0-1)
Carver Watson (0-1-1)
Coleton Bilodeau (0-1-1)

Aidan Porter (1-0 Record)

Let's take a look at the Merritt Centennials:

The 4-4-0-0 Merritt Centennials make their first of three regular season visits to Kal Tire Place, are coming off a 6-3 loss last night to the visiting Penticton Vees. The last time the Centennials were in Vernon was a 2-1 exhibition loss August 25th. The Cents next game in Vernon isn't until November 30th. The Centennials have lost back to back games, have won four of their last six games. Tonight's the first game of a five game road trip where Merritt has won just once away from home. The Cents have scored the second highest goals behind West Kelowna & Coquitlam. Merritt sits 4th in the Division are tied in points with Vernon & Wenatchee. 

Merritt Centennials Roster:

Mathieu Gosselin (5-4-9) & Rylan Van Unen (5-2-7 share the team lead in goals with five each, while Bradley Cocca (2-8-10) leads the team in points with ten.

Merritt Centennials Blog,

Merritt Centennials 2018-19 regular season stats:

Games Played: 8
Wins: 4
Losses: 4
Overtime Losses: 0
Shootout Wins: 0
Shootout Losses: 0
Home Record: 3-2-0-0
Road Record: 1-2-0-0
Goals for: 30
Goals against: 33

Merritt Centennials Returning Players: 

Nicholas Wicks (98)
Rylan Van Unen (99)
Christian Sabin (98)
Matthew Kopperud (99)
Brendan Schneider (98)
Bradley Cocca (99)
Michael Van Unen (99)
Joey Berkopec (99)
Jackson Munro (00)
Mattias Dal Monte (00)
Austin Roden (98)

Merritt Centennials departed and traded players from last years team: 

Zach Zorn (97)
Chase Bell (97)
Henry Cleghorn (97)
Mathieu Gosselin (99)
Zach Court (97)
Zach Risteau (98)
Ashton Stockie (99)
Sam Miller (99)
Tyrell Buckley (97)
Colten Gerlib (99)
Jacob Berger (97)

Merritt's home record vs Vernon this year:


Merritt's road record vs Vernon this year:


Merritt Centennials scoring leaders vs Vernon this year:

Nicholas Wicks (2-0-2)
Nick Granowicz (0-2-2)
Michael Van Unen (0-1-1)

Austin Roden (0-1 Record)

Friday, September 28, 2018

Vernon 2 Wenatchee 0

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 couldn't 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 the game. This is my opinion and thought's on how I saw tonight's game. I try to be unbiased and give a fare recap from both sides. Thank you for stopping by and visiting my blog.

I was at tonight's Vipers-Wild game as Vernon defeated Wenatchee 2-0 in front of 2,089 fans at Kal Tire Place.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Aidan Porter
Wenatchee: Austin Park

Before tonight's game the Vipers unveiled a special banner, in tribute of the Humboldt Broncos. The green and gold banner hangs from the press box above centre ice. On September 1st 2018 the CJHL announced all 133 CJHL teams would unveil this same banner in tribute of the Humboldt Broncos. The banner is in honour and remembrance of all of those involved in the tragic events of April 6th 2018.

1st Period: Just thirty six seconds into tonight's game the Vipers tried setting up a wide open Teddy Wooding in the slot who couldn't connect on the pass, on a missed opportunity inside the opening minute. Twenty seconds later Elan Bar-Lev-Wise on an odd man rush couldn't beat Austin Park as the Snakes with back to back opportunities off the opening faceoff. A minute later Wenatchee Wild captain Lucas Sowder on an odd man rush, decided to keep and shoot was denied by Aidan Porter. Just over three minutes in, the Wild would get the games first powerplay. Murphy Stratton with a quick release from the slot couldn't solve Aidan Porter who come up with a large save on the penalty kill. This was Wenatchee's only shot on the man advantage as Vernon with a strong PK, killed off the minor. Eight minutes in Vernon product Coleton Bilodeau alone at the top of the crease forced Austin Park into making a quick pad save on a shot I don't think the Wild goaltender saw until the last second. About a minute later newly acquired Landon Fuller with the biggest hit of the night in the neutral zone, opened the ice for Wenatchee as Matt Gosiewski on a two on one decided to keep and shoot, was stopped by Aidan Porter. Two big saves at both ends of the rink in a scoreless hockey game. Minutes past the halfway mark, Wenatchee would jump on their second PP of the 1st. The Snakes with another big kill. With just over three minutes remaining AJ Hodges on a two on one attack, kept and fired forcing Aidan Porter into making a big stop late. Back come Vernon less then a minute later. Former Salmon Arm Silverbacks forward Josh Latta on an odd man rush ripped a shot from the circle that forced Austin Park to just get a piece of it with his body before Jacob Modry with a strong defensive play, cleared the puck from the blue paint on a close call. Inside the final minute Teddy Wooding setup Ben Helgeson at the side of the goal, looked to have an open cage somehow couldn't beat Austin Park who made a large save towards the end of the opening frame. It was 0-0 after 20 minutes of play. The Vipers got off to a quick start, jumped on Wenatchee off the opening faceoff, had some chances/looks before the Wild took over the period/game. It was all Wolves for most of the 1st period as Wenatchee carried the better of the play, had a ton of pressure inside the Vernon zone, forced the Snakes defence back on their heels, forcing the Vipers into several turnovers with a very strong yet relentless forecheck. Aidan Porter was busy between the pipes, played very well keeping Vernon in the contest. The Viper defence had all kinds of troubles with Wenatchee's forecheck and speed. The Wild were by far the better of the two teams. The Vipers had a few quality opportunities towards the end of the period, didn't have much puck possession. Wenatchee outshot Vernon 16-5.

2nd Period: For a second straight period Vernon got off to a quick start, jumping on the Wild early. A minute into the middle frame, Josh Latta with a nice play, opened up some ice up the middle, went hard to the goal before redirecting a shot in close forcing Wenatchee Wild starting goaltender Austin Park into making a tough save with bodies going to the goal. Thirty two seconds later the Snakes would open the scoring. Connor Marritt looked to bank the puck in and off the back of Austin Park who may have lost sight of the puck before it went into the back of the net, giving Vernon an early 1-0 lead at 1:32 Jack Judson & Landon Fuller drew the helpers. Shortly after Lucas Sowder went down inside the Wenatchee blueline, looked to be in some discomfort grabbing his ribs, was a little slow getting up before going to the Wild dressing room and then returning to the bench. About six minutes in tempers heated up a bit after a scrum along the side wall. Coleton Bilodeau and Drake Usher were mixing it up, as both were sent to the sin bin. Two minutes later Lucas Sowder and Murphy Stratton on a two on one, Sowder kept and shot wide on a missed opportunity. Shortly after Teddy Wooding couldn't bang home a loose puck at the midway mark on a goal mouth scramble. A shot from the point hit someone in front, before Wooding tried pouncing on the rebound before a pile of players come crashing in. Austin Park was down and out but somehow managed to smother the puck for a whistle. On the following play Matt Gosiewski took a hooking minor, was very slow going to the penalty box. On the play Wild captain Lucas Sowder was given a ten minute misconduct, missed the remainder of the second half of the 2nd period. Vernon would get their first look with the powerplay and capitalize. Jack Judson's shot from the point found its way to the back of the goal, giving Vernon a 2-0 lead at 10:58 Josh Latta & Elan Bar-Lev-Wise collected the assists. Wenatchee would get a powerplay a minute later and come very close to getting on the board. Connor Marritt near the crease, was quick with his stick, managed to clear the puck from the blue paint and out of harms way as the Viper penalty kill would kill off the minor. It was 2-0 Vernon after 40 minutes of play. The Snakes responded with a much better performance and looked like a different team come the second period. The Vipers playing with a ton more jump/energy, were really skating, moving the puck, creating/generating chances. Vernon played much better in their own end, were chipping pucks out, quickly moving the puck up ice, not giving the Wild forecheck a chance to force a turnover. The Wild on the other hand weren't as dominate as the opening frame. Wenatchee didn't have as much puck possession or zone time. I thought the Snakes had a slight edge in play and more time with the puck. Vernon outshot Wenatchee 14-8.

3rd Period: Just eighteen seconds into the final frame Wenatchee would jump on an early PP. Aidan Porter with at least two big stops as the Snakes killed off the minor. Five minutes in Josh Latta got in behind the Wild defence, was in for the parcial breakaway before being hooked forcing a Vernon powerplay. The Vipers couldn't capitalize with the man advantage. Just as the penalty expired Ben Helgeson would use some wheels and get in behind the Wild defenders couldn't beat Austin Park who made a big stop down by two goals. The tables slowly turned as the 3rd continued either the Vipers were sitting on a two goal lead or Wenatchee turned up their game. Either way, the Wild with a ton of pressure just before the halfway mark and into the second half of the frame. The Snakes defence was caught running around on a few occasions but overall Vernon's defence did a good job at keeping the defending champs to the outside, limiting their shots and opportunities. Vipers starting goaltender Aidan Porter was solid down the stretch. Just past the halfway mark Wenatchee would get the final powerplay of the evening, had some looks but couldn't find the back of the net. The Vipers tried slowing down the game, icing the puck on three straight plays. The Vipers would call a late timeout and with 1:42 the Wild would get Austin Park to the bench for the extra attacker. Off the following faceoff, Mitch Andres playing forward tonight, took a shot at the open cage from the neutral zone but just missed the empty netter. Vernon's defence tightened up and were chipping pucks out, before eventually winding down the clock, hung on for the 2-0 victory. At the buzzer as the Wild were heading off the ice, one player quickly grabbed the game puck and fired it down the hallway to the Wenatchee dressing room. The Vipers were looking for the game puck once the celebration ended but the puck was long gone. The Wild had a very early powerplay to start the 3rd could have used a goal then to get back in the contest and get within a goal. I thought the Vipers managed to create/and generate some good quality chances in the first half couldn't put the game away. As the period continued Wenatchee come on strong. The Wild had a ton of pressure in the offensive zone but didn't get a lot of opportunities. The Viper defence played well down the stretch, kept the Wild to the outside, along the wall and limited their opportunities. The Snakes defence with a few mistakes late but settled down and got the job done. How good was Aidan Porter tonight-In the 3rd? Didn't see a ton of chances but made the saves when called apon. The Wild carried a lot of the play and had more puck possession. Wenatchee outshot Vernon 10-5.

Top Player's: (Vernon)

Landon Fuller (1 assist) Making his Vipers debut played very well. Has some size, plays physical and very good defensively. Has a quick release, gets pucks to the net, very hard to play against. Fuller was acquired Wednesday in a trade with Coquitlam. The Vipers sent forward Nicholas Wildgoose and future considerations to the Express for Fuller.

Austin Chorney I thought played very well defensively. Didn't jump up into the rush as often as he did in his first few home games, played well tonight.

Ben Helgeson I thought played very well. Had some good looks/quality chances, was skating, going to the goal, created/generated several good opportunities.

The line of Josh Latta (1 assist), Elan Bar-Lev-Wise (1 assist) & Connor Marritt (1 goal) Was the Snakes top unit. This line had a heck of a game. Latta wearing an "A" this season has been one of the more consistent forwards this year. Looked very strong tonight, played with a lot of jump/energy, was making things happen, created/generated several good looks-opportunities. Marritt played very well at both ends of the rink. I thought showed a lot of hustle and determination getting back on the back check. Bar-Lev-Wise also played very well, had a few good looks-opportunities, played hard, was finishing his checks, battling/competing for pucks.

Teddy Wooding Was another forward who had a strong game. Had some looks/chances didn't get much puck luck this evening.

Jack Judson (1 goal & 1 assist) Played very solid on the Viper blueline.

Trey Taylor The younger brother of former Vipers goaltender Ty Taylor played well on the backend. With Mitch Andres moving up to the forward position tonight, Taylor saw more ice time and I thought held his own.

Aidan Porter (34 saves-First career BCHL shutout) After brining in 18 yr old goaltender Max Palaga from the Western Hockey League Kamloops Blazers, Porter stepped up with his best performance of the season with a solid night in goal for the Snakes. The first year Viper goaltender made some big stops but also come up with some saves when the team really needed him the most. Porter looked big, square and confident.

Game Thought's: (Vernon)

The Vipers were outshot and outplayed for a lot of the opening period. Vernon had some good looks-quality chances off the opening faceoff but couldn't keep the pace going. Only five shots on goal the Viper defence were turning over pucks and had all kinds of trouble with Wenatchee's forecheck. Aidan Porter kept his team in the contest. The Snakes with a much better performance in the 2nd and 3rd periods were a different hockey club. I thought the Vipers played with a lot more jump/energy, were skating, moving the puck, had more puck possession and played much better defensively and in their own end. The Snakes didn't turn over the puck as often and were a lot quicker chipping pucks out of their own end, avoiding the Wild forecheck. I liked Vernon's passing and overall team game. The Vipers didn't panic, stuck with the process and held their own in a hard fought finish. Give the Viper defence credit for limiting the Wolves time and space. Vernon's defence did a good job at shutting down the Wild's more dynamic/skilled players. Wenatchee had a ton of pressure in the final period were limited to their opportunities. I thought the Snakes penalty kill was very good, killing off all six penalties. The crowd really jumped behind the boys in the 3rd, chanting "Go Vipers Go" rallying behind their Vipers for most of the final frame. A good atmosphere inside Kal Tire Place tonight with a pretty good crowd on hand. With the win, the Vipers snap their three game losing streak. Tonight was a character win and could be a turning point in the young season. Tonight's win was also done without the likes of Jagger Williamson, Jesse Lansdell and Alex Swetlikoff. Three key veterans out of the lineup. Mitch Andres and Brendan Kim were playing up front in their absence. Andres I thought struggled as a forward. Newly acquired goaltender Max Palaga was on the bench tonight. The Kamloops Blazers assigned Palaga to the Vipers on Wednesday. One fan told me tonight, he heard backup goaltender Aidan Hosein is no longer with the Vipers. Let's hope tonight's game/victory will build some confidence and team bonding. With the win the Vipers move to 3-2-2-0 jump from 6th to now 3rd place in a very tight Interior Division.

Top Player's: (Wenatchee)

Murphy Stratton A big body, likes going to the front of the net, used his size to open some ice, was involved in the play, causing trouble for the Viper defence, was very good in the loss.

Cristophe Teller I thought really used his wheels and skill, opened the ice, made things happen in a hurry. Was creating havoc for the Viper defenders.

Lucas Sowder The Wild captain played hard, had a good game, was involved in the play, had several looks-opportunities.

AJ Hodges Was another forward, who has some wheels, is quick, can move the play-puck, finds his holes, created/generated some chances.

Jacob Modry playing in his 100th game with the Wild, played well defensively.

Austin Park (22 saves) Only saw five shots in the opening frame, was forced into making a few big saves in the 1st was tested more in the 2nd period. I thought played well, made the saves when called apon, gave his team a chance to win.

Game Thought's: (Wenatchee)

Coming off back to back losses you knew the Wild would be hungry for a win. Wenatchee gave up a few looks-opportunities off the opening faceoff, seemed to settle down and slowly take over the game. The Wolves using their speed and skill, caused havoc most of the opening frame with their relentless forecheck. The Wild carried the better of the play and were by far the better of the two teams after one period but it was scoreless. I think Wenatchee really needed at least one goal in the 1st maybe would have changed the outcome of the game? The Wild still managed their chances in the middle frame couldn't capitalize on their opportunities. The Snakes had a slight edge in play scored the only two goals of the game in the middle frame. Wenatchee with a ton of pressure in the 3rd didn't generate a lot of offensive chances, were kept to the outside, had some shots blocked, didn't get the bounces or puck luck through out most of the night. Specialty teams didn't help the Wild, going 0-6 with the man advantage. Wenatchee has now lost three straight and been shutout in two of those losses. The Wild have yet to play at home this season, continue their eleven game road trip to start the regular season. The Wild's home opener isn't until October 12th vs Nanaimo. With the loss the Wild drop to 500 at 4-4-0-0 fall from 2nd in the Division to 5th in the standings. The Wild will board the bus and play in Trail tomorrow.



Jagger Williamson (Injured)
Jesse Lansdell (Suspended)
Alex Swetlikoff (Injured)


Trevor Griebel
Dylan Herzog
Jake Vaughn
Jacques Bouquot

Energy Player of the game:

Josh Latta (1 assist)

Three Stars:

1st Star: Jack Judson (1 goal & 1 assist)
2nd Star: Aidan Porter (34 saves-First career BCHL Shutout)
3rd Star: Connor Marritt (1 goal)

Game Summary-Boxscore,

Game Report,

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