Friday, November 30, 2018

Vernon 3 Merritt 2

I have had season tickets for 29 years and been following junior hockey in Vernon for over thirty five years. I have missed four Vipers home games since 2009 and five Vipers home games since the 2002-03 season. For anyone who couldn't watch or attend tonight's game, here are my thought's and view's from tonight's game. You may agree or disagree but we all have our own opinion on the game. I try to be unbiased and give a fare game recap from both sides. Thank you for stopping by and visiting my blog.

I was at tonight's Vipers-Centennials game as Vernon defeated Merritt 3-2 in front of 1,700 fans at Kal Tire Place.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Aidan Porter
Merritt: Austin Roden

1st Period: Just fourty three seconds into the contest with the Cents using their speed cutting through the offensive zone, Bradley Cocca with a quick shot from in close was denied by Aidan Porter before Nick Granowicz would be stopped on the rebound on two quality chances for Merritt. The Centennials had the early jump and pressure. A few minutes later a quick shot from the point got through traffic beat Austin Roden but not the post as the Vipers grazed the post off a shot from the blueline. Shortly after Vernon would get the games first powerplay. The Snakes with a goal mouth scramble couldn't find the back of the cage with the loose puck lying in the crease. After some solid penalty kill by the Cents aggressive forecheckers, the Snakes would take a penalty while on the PP. Merritt would come out with a shortened powerplay but it was Vipers captain Jagger Williamson using his speed tried blowing by his defender before being hauled down on the way to the goal, before crashing into Austin Roden and the Centennials net. No call on the play as the Vipers wanted a penalty. Vernon would kill off the remainder of the minor. Just as the penalty expired, the Cents went back to work on their second straight PP. Mathieu Gosselin's point shot beat Aidan Porter ringing his shot off the crossbar as Merritt come very close to opening the scoring. The Cents would get a few chances in close but couldn't capitalize with the man advantage. Just as the penalty expired Teddy Wooding sprung Connor Marritt in for the breakaway beating Austin Roden short side giving Vernon a 1-0 lead at 11:17 Wooding drew the lone helper on just the Vipers second shot of the period. The Centennials outshooting Vernon 6-2 at this point. Minutes later the Snakes went back to the powerplay but unable to capitalize with the man advantage. In the second half Rylan Van Unen with a quality chance couldn't solve Aidan Porter. It was 1-0 Vernon after 20 minutes of play. The Centennials jumped on the Vipers early, using their speed, skill and hard work to win a lot of the puck battles and one on ones down low. The Cents jumped out to a 6-1 lead in shots in the first half before the Vipers battled back getting the next seven shots to finish the opening frame. I thought Vernon played a little better in the second half, didn't really muster much for offence but had some zone time. Overall Merritt was the better of the two teams and carried the better of the play. Vernon outshot Merritt 8-6.

2nd Period: The Centennials once again jumped on Vernon early. Just a minute and a half in Rylan Van Unen with a quality opportunity couldn't beat Vipers starting goaltender Aidan Porter. The Vipers having all kinds of troubles getting out of their own end and across the red line. Merritt with a strong forecheck were causing all kinds of turnovers inside the Viper blueline. Just over five minutes in the Vipers would get the first powerplay and capitalize. On some nice three way passing Jesse Lansdell spotted a wide open Matt Kowalski at the side of the goal, giving Vernon a 2-0 lead at 6:43 Lansdell & Jagger Williamson with the assists. Shortly after on an odd man rush Michael Young with a solid defensive play broke up the Centennials attack. On the following shift, Landon Fuller made a strong defensive play to break up a Merritt rush coming in across the blueline before the Centennials would jump on the PP. Merritt moved the puck around setting up Christian Sabin who's point shot had eyes, finding its way to the back of the goal, cutting Vernon's lead to 2-1 at 9:50 Michael Van Unen and Nick Wicks picked up the helpers. Just past the halfway mark the Snakes would lose Jesse Lansdell for the remainder of the period after picking up a two minute minor and an automatic ten minute misconduct for a blow to the head penalty. The Cents with a few flurries unable to score as Vernon killed off the penalty. Just after the penalty expired Coleton Bilodeau and Nick Granowicz got tangled up and mixed it up down low, giving one another some shots before both went to the sin bin. No real flow in the second half as the play went back and fourth but very scrambled at times. Neither team really had or generated much for opportunities. With about four minutes remaining Nick Wicks and Rylan Van Unen with back to back chances couldn't beat Aidan Porter. In the dying seconds Jagger Williamson's shot from just outside centre ice handcuffed Centennials starting goaltender Austin Roden after catching the puck high in the mask. It was 2-1 Vernon after 40 minutes of play. I thought the Centennials were the better team for most of the first half. Merritt with a strong forecheck were forcing the Snakes into coughing up or turning over the puck inside their own blueline. Vernon having all kinds of trouble getting out of their own end and across the red line for a lot of the first half. Not much action in the second half as the play become very scrambled with no real quality chances at either end of the rink. Merritt outshot Vernon 12-10.

3rd Period: Just four minutes in the Centennials would get an early powerplay before the Vipers would go down two men sending Merritt to a five on three early into the final frame. The Snakes with a very strong penalty kill didn't allow the Cents to touch the puck often. I don't recall seeing Merritt get a shot on goal as Vernon would kill off both minors and escape. Seconds after the five on three, the Vipers would go on the powerplay. With several flurries in and around the Cents goal. Jack Judson with a solid individual effort weaved in and out of traffic before going to the goal hard would be stoned in front. The Snakes couldn't bury any of their chances as Merritt killed off the penalty. A minute later the Centennials would jump on the man advantage as most of the first half of the period was penalties. The Vipers with another strong penalty kill, would kill off the minor. Less then a minute later Alex Swetlikoff with a burst of speed come down the wing, got by his defender before beating Austin Roden fivehole giving Vernon a 3-1 lead at 13:29 Elan Bar-Lev-Wise collected the assist. On the following play, the Cents come right back and come very close to getting within a goal after Rylan Van Unen's shot beat Aidan Porter but not the crossbar. Minutes later Bradley Ziemer with a knuckler from the corner somehow beat Aidan Porter high glove cutting Vernon's lead to 3-2 at 15:07 Frazer Dodd with the lone assist. Merritt kept pressing but Aidan Porter made several key stops down the stretch. The Centennials with pressure late couldn't get anything towards the front of the goal as Vernon's defence played very well in the final minutes. The Cents would call a late timeout before getting Austin Roden to the bench with 1:44 left. The Centennials had troubles setting up, couldn't get set as the Vipers had several looks at the open cage couldn't hit the net. The Snakes played very well defensively to finish the game and hold onto the 3-2 victory. At the buzzer several players started pushing and shoving just to the left of the Viper bench before Jesse Lansdell was getting involved with a player on the Merritt bench. Both trainers had to get involved to break the pair up as lots of words were exchanged between the two benches before the teams made their ways off the ice. The Vipers only managed two shots in the first half and two in the second half I thought played very well defensively down the stretch. With the Centennials pressing Vernon did a good job at limiting Merritt's opportunities. The Cents had some good looks at times but couldn't beat Aidan Porter. Merritt had an edge in play for a lot of the 3rd period. Merritt outshot Vernon 11-4.

Top Player's: (Vernon)

Landon Fuller I thought played well on the Vipers backend. Used his size and played well defensively.

Michael Young was solid on the blueline, made several big defensive plays.

Jagger Williamson (1 assist) Played with a lot of jump/energy, played hard all night.

Connor Marritt (1 goal) Was another kid who played hard, played with a lot of jump and energy most of the game.

Tyler Ho Making his Vipers debut was impressive. Has some size, can skate, plays hard, always moving his feet, looks to have some speed and skill. Lets hope he's not like the previous WHL players that were acquired and then left back to the Western Hockey League.

Aidan Porter (20 saves) I thought played well, wasn't forced into making any real big stops but made some key saves at key times in the hockey game.

Game Thought's: (Vernon)

I didn't think the Vipers had nearly as much puck possession as did the Merritt Centennials but the Vipers penalty kill, defense and goaltending was the difference. I didn't think either team had a lot of quality opportunities through out the night but the Vipers scored some timely goals. How big was killing off the five on three early to start the 3rd with a one goal lead. I thought the Viper defence played well especially in the 3rd period. Holding Merritt to just a goal heading into the 3rd didn't give up a lot of quality chances. Vernon did have troubles defending against the Centennials speed and aggressive forecheck. The Snakes lost a lot of puck battles-one on one battles down low. The Vipers were just a step behind Merritt most of the night. Vernon wins back to back games move three points up on Trail and are now tied in points with Salmon Arm. The Vipers pick up just their third win in their last nine games.

Top Player's: (Merritt)

Michael Van Unen (1 assist) I thought played hard on the Cents backend.

Rylan Van Unen Was one of Merritt's most dangerous forwards. A strong, quick skater was really moving the puck up ice in a hurry, created/generated all kinds of chances.

Nick Granowicz Was another forward who played well, had some looks-opportunities.

Brendan Schneider Has some wheels, can move, really opened up the ice with his speed and quickness, was buzzing all night.

Payton Matsui Another kid that can skate, has some wheels, was giving the Vipers trouble all night with his aggressive forecheck.

Bradley Cocca Not the biggest kid but quick on his feet, plays hard, aggressive on the forecheck, played with a ton of jump/energy.

Game Thought's: (Merritt)

This Merritt team is super quick, has a ton of speed, likes to rush-carry the play up ice in a hurry. The second highest scoring team in the league was held to just two goals tonight and limited on their opportunities. The Centennials play hard at both ends of the rink, have an aggressive forecheck, forced Vernon into several turnovers, won most of the puck battles. I thought Merritt carried the better of the play this evening but like the Vipers didn't generate/or create a lot of quality chances. The Cents struggled with the man advantage going 1-7 on the powerplay. Merritt has lost back to back games falls to 18-11-1-1 drop to 3rd in the division are tied in points with Wenatchee.



Ben Sanderson (Injured)
Logan Cash (Injured)
Carver Watson (Injured)


Mattias Dal Monte
Vincent Guy
Daniel Tkac

Energy Player of the Game:

Jagger Williamson (1 assist)

Three Star's:

1st Star: Connor Marritt (1 goal)
2nd Star: Matt Kowalski (1 goal)
3rd Star: Christian Sabin (1 goal)

Boxscore-Game Summary,

Game Report,

Text Boxscore,

Ho Joins Vipers:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Tyler Ho Joins Vipers

November 30, 2018

Vernon, BC:  The Vernon Vipers are pleased to announce the addition of 18 year old forward Tyler Ho.

The Surrey product has spent the last season and a half with the Vancouver Giants of the WHL, where he tallied 2 goals and 9 assists.  He also played 3 games with the Coquitlam Express in 2016-17.

He was an integral part of the Valley West Hawks that season in the BCMML putting up 49 points in 39 games.

Tyler will make his Vipers debut tonight when they welcome the Merritt Centennials to town.

Interview With Vipers New Owner John Glen:

This is posted on

Vipers New Owner John Glen

November 30, 2018 HockeyTube

Vipers New Owner John Glen – had a chance to catch up with the new owner of the BCHL Vernon Vipers. John Glen along with his brother Tom Glen purchased the Junior A hockey team at the beginning of the season from the late Duncan Wray’s family.

John talks about why his family wanted to purchase a team and in particular the six time national champion Vipers…as well his goals for the organization as well as for the players who come play for the team.

Game Preview: Merritt @ Vernon:

Merritt (18-9-1-1) @ Vernon (10-9-6-3) 7pm

Tonight is the fourth of six regular season meetings vs the Centennials. The Centennials lead the season series 2-1

Last Game:

Saturday, November 24th Vernon defeated Trail 1-0
Wednesday, November 28th Prince George defeated Merritt 3-1

Next Game:

Saturday, December 1st Wenatchee @ Vernon
Saturday, December 1st Salmon Arm @ Merritt

Vernon's record & stats vs the Centennials since 2002

Since the 2002-03 regular season Vernon is 69-27-9-4 vs Merritt

Since the 2002-03 regular season Vernon has outscored Merritt 398-280

Since the 2002-03 regular season Vernon is 34-10-1-5 at home vs Merritt

Since the 2002-03 regular season Vernon is 29-14-5-3 in Merritt

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

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

The Vipers are 5-4-0-1 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 5-2 victory on Saturday, September 29th 2018

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 4-3 victory on Friday, November 9th 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: Centennials won 5-2
November 9th Vernon @ Merritt: Centennials won 4-3
November 30th Merritt @ Vernon
January 5th Merritt @ Vernon
February 23rd Vernon @ Merritt 

Let's take a look at the Vernon Vipers:

The 10-9-6-3 Vernon Vipers are coming off a 1-0 victory over the visiting Trail Smoke Eaters Saturday night. Tonight's the fourth game of a five game home stand where the Vipers have lost four of their last five games on home ice. Aidan Porter has started the last twelve games for the Snakes. The Vipers have lost three of their last five games and seven of their last ten. Vernon sits 6th in the Interior division are a point up on last place Trail, two points back of Salmon Arm.

Vernon Vipers Roster:

Josh Latta (10-9-19) leads the team lead in goals with ten, while Jack Judson (4-17-21) leads the team in points with twenty one

Vernon Vipers 2018-19 regular season stats:

Games Played: 28
Wins: 10
Losses: 9
Overtime Wins: 0
Overtime Losses: 6
Shootout Wins: 0
Shootout Losses: 3
Home Record: 6-4-4-2
Road Record: 4-5-2-1
Overtime Record: 0-6
Record vs Interior Division: 7-7-3-1
Record vs Island & Mainland Divisions: 3-2-3-2
When the Vipers score first: 8-3-4-0
When the opponents score first: 2-6-2-3
Leading after the 1st period: 5-2-3-0
Tied after the 1st period: 5-3-3-1
Trailing after the 1st period: 0-2-0-2
Leading after the 2nd period: 8-2-5-1
Tied after the 2nd period: 2-3-1-1
Trailing after the 2nd period: 0-4-0-1
Out shooting opponents: 7-4-4-1
Out shot by opponents: 2-5-2-1
One goal games: 2-3-6-3
Goals for: 79
Goals against: 79
Standings: 6th Place (Interior Division)
Win-loss Streak: One game winning streak
Longest winning streak: Two games
Longest losing streak: Four 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)
Keyvan Mokhtari (98)
Josh Prokop (00)
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:

Teddy Wooding (2-3-5)
Coleton Bilodeau (1-3-4)
Ben Helgeson (1-2-3)
Jesse Lansdell (1-1-2)
Alex Swetlikoff (1-1-2)
Jack Judson (2-0-2)
Michael Young (1-0-1)
Nicholas Cherkowski (0-2-2)
Carver Watson (0-1-1)
Josh Latta (0-1-1)
Logan Cash (0-1-1)
Trey Taylor (0-1-1)
Elan Bar-Lev-Wise (0-1-1)
Ben Sanderson (0-1-1)

Aidan Porter (1-2 Record)

Let's take a look at the Merritt Centennials:

The 18-9-1-1 Merritt Centennials make their second of three regular season visits to Kal Tire Place, are coming off a 3-1 loss Wednesday in Prince George. The last time the Centennials were in Vernon, Merritt won 5-2 September 29th. Tonight's the second game of a two game road trip. Merritt has lost back to back road games, have just one win in their last five games away from home. The next time these two teams meet will be January 5th in Vernon. The Centennials have won three of their last five and six of their last ten games. Merritt sits 2nd in the division are nine points up on Vernon and one point back of division leading Penticton.

Merritt Centennials Roster:

Nick Granowicz (20-18-38) leads the team lead in goals with twenty, while Bradley Cocca (14-27-41) leads the team in points with fourty one

Merritt Centennials Blog,

Merritt Centennials 2018-19 regular season stats:

Games Played: 29
Wins: 18
Losses: 9
Overtime Losses: 1
Shootout Wins: 0
Shootout Losses: 1
Home Record: 12-4-0-0
Road Record: 6-6-1-1
Goals for: 114
Goals against: 102
Standings: 2nd Place (Interior Division)

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:

Nick Granowicz (2-2-4)
Bradley Cocca (1-3-4)
Nicholas Wicks (3-1-4)
Christian Sabin (1-2-3)
Mathieu Gosselin (1-2-3)
Matthew Kopperud (1-2-3)
Brendan Schneider (1-2-3)
Talon Zakall (0-2-2)
Michael Van Unen (0-2-2)
Daniel Tkac (1-0-1)
Jackson Munro (0-1-1)
Joey Berkopec (0-1-1)
Jayden Fetter (0-1-1)

Austin Roden (0-1 Record)
Vincent Duplessis (2-0 Record)

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Card Deadline Day Looming:

This was posted on my blog last year:

Dec. 1 deadline arrives Saturday, reducing the number of cards for Canadian Junior A teams to 25. BCHL teams with 23 players on their active roster will have two cards to use to sign new players for the rest of the season.

BCHL Report:

This is posted on

DAILY DISH: BCHL REPORT Canadian Junior Hockey News

Published: Tuesday, 27 Nov 2018   

By: Stephen Heisler,

Prince George has knocked the Chilliwack Chiefs off the top of our British Columbia Hockey League rankings this week. We’ll talk about that and more in today’s BCHL Report.

The BCHL Insider is exactly that...a coach, or employee, with incredible insight into the league.

Now for the disclosure… the following is my opinion and not written under the influence of anything or anybody.

1 – Prince George Spruce Kings (19-7-1-2): PG picked up a nice split at Chilliwack last week that propelled the Spruce Kings to the top of our heap. Merritt at Langley visit this week. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: The Spruce Kings have known they were this good all along, and the stats are proving it. Playing at home this week should help them strengthen their position even more. 

2 – Chilliwack Chiefs (21-9-0-0): The Chiefs got leapfrogged by PG and find themselves at #2. Chilliwack is at Surrey Friday night. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: The Chiefs will tell you they don’t care about these rankings, but they do. With a potential feast of Eagles this weekend, expect an onslaught from a focused and ready Chilliwack squad. 

3 – Victoria Grizzlies (19-8-0-1): The Grizz have wins in eight of the last nine games and look to be on track for an incredible season. Victoria is at Cowichan Valley tomorrow before Coquitlam and West K visits this weekend. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: If the Grizzlies can stay focused and not fall victim to believing their own hype, they should easily cruise to a division title. They face three hungry hockey teams this week, and that’s a tall order for any club. 

3 – Penticton Vees (18-7-1-2): The Vees are back. Penticton took care of business in all three games over the weekend and will bring a five-game win streak to Wenatchee tomorrow night. The Vees and Trail have a home-and-home set planned for the weekend. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: It’s hard to imagine Penticton flying under the radar but that’s exactly what they’ve done so far this year. They will continue to improve, which is bad news for the rest of the Interior. 

5 – Merritt Centennials (18-9-1-1): The Cents lost at Trail Friday before beating Salmon Arm Saturday. Both games went into overtime. Merritt is at PG tomorrow before going to Vernon Friday before Salmon Arm coming in Saturday.  BCHL INSIDER SAYS: Merritt is an interesting story but they have built a solid contender and their opponents have been finding that out first hand. They’re good for at least 4 points this week. 

6 - Wenatchee Wild (16-10-2-0): The Wild took care of business at home against West K; that’s what great teams are supposed to do. The Vees visit tomorrow before Wenatchee goes to Salmon Arm and Vernon this weekend. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: The Wild might not have come out of the gates hot but they seem to be gathering steam, somewhat like Penticton has done this year which makes this week's Wild vs Vees game an interesting matchup. 

7 - Salmon Arm Silverbacks (14-10-1-0): The ‘Backs are having some success, and that’s the good news. Good teams are fine with picking up a trio of points in two road games. Salmon Arm hosts Langley (Wednesday) and Wenatchee (Friday) before going to Merritt Saturday. INSIDER SAYS: The ‘Backs just keep plugging along, finding ways to win games. That’s the kind of opponent you fear come playoff time. 

8 – Coquitlam Express (15-11-1-0): The Express have dropped five in a row, there’s no other way to get around that fact. They HAVE to get a positive result from the three-game roadie this weekend and put an end to the nonsense. The trip includes stops at Victoria, Nanaimo, and Alberni Valley. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: Was the red-hot start for the Express just a fluke? Not if you ask the team. They just got knocked off the rails a bit but will recover. Good time for an Island swing. 

9 – Powell River Kings (16-12-0-0): The Kings swept the home double with the Capitals and get Alberni Valley this week. INSIDER SAYS: Things have a bit of a challenge for the Kings lately, but they still managed to escape relatively unharmed. Kings need to regroup a little and refocus. They might be coming off a pair of wins, but the need to shore up remains. 

10 - West Kelowna Warriors (15-12-0-1): The Warriors ran into a wall at Wenatchee, that’s over now. Langley visits tonight before the bus rolls to Nanaimo, Cowichan Valley, and Victoria this weekend. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: Four games is a lot of hockey in six days, under any circumstances. Playing them in four different cities adds to the burden. That last one on Sunday afternoon at Victoria could be a lot to ask.  

11 - Langley Rivermen (13-12-1-0): The Riv looked good in the weekend win over Coquitlam and 2-1 loss at Chilliwack. Langley is at West K tonight before hitting Salmon Arm tomorrow. The weekend at top-ranked PG should tell us the rest of the story. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: Rough schedule to play two in a row BEFORE heading north to face a very good PG club. Bring lots of ibuprofen, it’s gonna be a long week. 

12 - Vernon Vipers (10-9-6-3): The Vipers went 1-1 on the week and host Merritt and Wenatchee this weekend. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: The task for Vernon will be to get a lead and hold it, to avoid going to overtime or a shootout, where they’ve been terrible this season. Playing at home might help, but the Snakes will have to be sharp to stay above .500. 

13 - Trail Smoke Eaters (11-13-4-2): Trail is that close to turning the corner. They could give the Vees fits this week. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: The Smoke Eaters have a lot of good individual pieces that can really be a threat when they operate cohesively. That’s been a challenge, though, and that’s why they’re two games below .500. 

14 – Nanaimo Clippers (12-14-0-0): I’ll go ahead and say this now; the Clippers are a better hockey team than the sub .500 record indicates. It’s a good possibility that this group makes a splash in the playoffs. West K and Coquitlam visit the Crane this weekend. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: The Clips will get steamrolled if they aren’t on top of their game this weekend. West K and the Express are both salivating for a win and Nanaimo looks like a big juicy steak.  

15 - Alberni Valley Bulldogs (9-18-1-0): The ‘Dogs will try and shake off the double loss weekend before visiting Powell River this week. Coquitlam visits Sunday. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: This team deserves a better fate. A good, honest, hard-working club that just ends up on the wrong end a lot. If they continue to bring the same consistent effort, it won’t take much to start stringing a couple of wins together. 

16 – Cowichan Valley Capitals (6-17-4-1): The Caps are still fighting and have the talent to embarrass any opponent on the schedule. Victoria and West K visit this week.  BCHL INSIDER SAYS: The Caps are good enough that when they rise up and defeat someone that “on paper” they shouldn’t, no one gets too surprised. They may not contend for the division, but their opponents always know they were in a battle.

17 – Surrey Eagles (7-23-0-1): Going up against the Vees seldom works out for the league’s cellar dwellers. Chilliwack visits Friday. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: Two weeks ago Chilliwack bombed Surrey with a double digit beatdown, with the Chiefs scoring on their first three shots. More of the same, or is Surrey ready to serve up some payback? Wouldn’t bet on it.  

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Vipers Take Baby Step With Win Over Trail:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers take baby step with win over Trail

John K. White

Morning Star

Saturday's B.C. Hockey League game started with a bang. Well, two bangs.

Vernon Vipers forward Jesse Lansdell was aggressive on his forecheck on the first shift, and his first hit sent a Trail Smoke Eaters defender into the boards, hard.

Lansdell noticed he was getting a penalty for that hit, and decided to add another and drove a second defender into the boards with a crosscheck, possibly thinking he surely wouldn't get two penalties on the play. He did. He also had to serve a 10-minute misconduct.

Despite all of that fury, the Smoke Eaters were unable to score in the four-minute man advantage to start the game thanks mostly to the work of goaltender Aidan Porter.

Luckily for Lansdell, redemption would come at 3:35 of the third period as he was able to score on a wrister from the slot to net the game-winner for Vernon in a 1-0 shutout of the visiting Smoke Eaters.

"I'm not going to comment on the hit or the penalty, but until we see the video, I just thought Jesse caught him off guard and didn't know he was going come, and then he pushed the kid, and he takes a double minor," Vernon Vipers head coach Mark Ferner said after the game. "But, we were behind the eightball early, they've got a good power play, they've got some talent over there, they find those seams. But goalie Aidan Porter, again, has to be your best penalty killer."

Much like Friday night's game, an end-of-the-period scrum resulted in a mittful of penalties to both teams, this time in the first. Vernon came away with a man advantage but they were unable to convert despite having better success setting up their system down low.

It looked like Trail tied things up with a spin-around shot to the top corner in the third, but the goal was waved off by the referee and they remained a goal behind heading into the final seven minutes of the third.

"I think we got a little break. I mean obviously we haven't seen the video yet, but you know tough call for the ref, but much needed break possibly for our group, "Ferner said.

Porter was able to preserve the shutout for Vernon with 23 saves. Marcoux also had 23 saves in a losing cause.

Friday was a tight-checking game with limited quality scoring chances, and it came down to a few clutch plays to swing the result.

For the Vipers facing the visiting Salmon Arm Silverbacks in front of 2,637 fans at Kal Tire Place, it came down to a pair of incredible saves from Salmon Arm's Matthew Armitage and two laser-like second-period snipes from Nick Unrah and Tyson Gayfer in a 2-0 Silverbacks shutout.

Armitage stopped two parcial break-aways in the second period that could have been the difference, in the score and momentum. Instead, Armitage's heroics deflated any hope Vernon had to gain back an energy advantage. In all, Armitage stopped 31 shots, Porter stopped 24 of 26 and really had no chance on either Salmon Arm goal.

Neither side could capitalize on five power plays each, and Vernon had trouble setting up in the offensive zone. Vernon managed to kill off a two-man advantage to start the third period, after a minor line brawl at the end of the second.

Unrah added an assist to his goal for Salmon Arm, while Noah Wakeford had two assists.

A pre-game ceremony involved a tribute to first responders, tying into the recognition of their work every day, as well as the effort made by responders in last season's horrific bus crash that killed 16 people in the Humboldt Broncos organization. The Vipers wore special Broncos jerseys for the game, and the teams gathered side by side during the anthem to stand united in honouring the Broncos and the first responders in their midst.

The Vipers next face the Merritt Centennials at home Friday. The win moved the Vipers out of last place with 29 points, one ahead of Trail.

We"re taking baby steps, but at the same time we"ll take the victory for sure, but we know that we"ve got some work to do," Ferner said.

SNAKEBITES: Two Vipers were selected to the 2018 World Jr. A Canada West Camp Roster by Hockey Canada Monday. Defenceman Jack Judson and forward Alex Swetlikoff will join 42 other selections for Team Canada West.

Former Viper Brushett Named Player Of The Week:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Ryan Brushett has been named the BCHL Player of the week.

Brushett is in his first season in Powell River after the Alberta Junior Hockey League Grande Prairie Storm traded Brushett to the Kings September 7th 2018. 

Brushett played last year with the Surrey Eagles before being traded to Vernon over the summer for future considerations. The Eagles announced the trade on June 14th 2018. In 58 games last season with Surrey Brushett picked up (21-goals-28-assists-49-points).  

The Vipers traded Brushett to the Alberta Junior Hockey League Bonnyville Pontiacs June 1st 2018. Brushett was the future considerations in the Derek Brown trade. The Pontiacs traded Derek Brown to Vernon January 9th 2018 for Sol Seibel & future considerations. Seibel never reported to Bonnyville was later traded to Salmon Arm January 10th 2018 for future considerations.

The Pontiacs traded Brushett to Grande Prairie July 16 2018. Brushett was previously committed to Providence College for this coming season before joining the Kings.

The Vipers signed Brushett September 22nd 2016 after playing in the United States Hockey League. After one season in Vernon the Vipers traded Brushett to Surrey September 6th 2017 for future considerations. In 50 games with the Vipers Brushett collected (10-goals-16-assists-26-points). 

Ryan Brushett's Player Profile:

This is posted on the BCHL website:

Brushett earns BCHLPOW

November 26, 2018

Powell River Kings forward Ryan Brushett has been named the BCHL Player of the Week for the week ending Nov. 25, the league announced Monday.

Brushett was all over the scoresheet in Powell River’s three home wins last week, totaling five goals and three assists over that stretch.

The 20-year-old native of Verdun, Que. had a goal and an assist in the third period of Tuesday’s game against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs to seal his team’s 3-0 win. On Friday, he scored a hat trick, including the game-winning goal in overtime, added an assist and was named first star as the Kings topped the Cowichan Valley Capitals 6-5 in extra time. He finished off his week with another multi-point effort, chipping in a goal and an assist in the second half of a back-to-back against the Capitals to help his team to another 3-0 victory.

After this weekend’s games, Brushett is fourth in BCHL scoring with 39 points and third in goals with 19. After 27 games played this season, the three-year veteran of the league is only 10 points back of his career-high 49 points he set last year with the Surrey Eagles.

Honourable mentions:

Powell River Kings G Mitch Adamyk: 2GP, 2W, 2SO, 65 saves/65 shots, 1.00 SV%, 0.00 GAA, 1st star twice
Prince George Spruce Kings  G Logan Neaton: 3GP, 2W, 68 saves/ 73 shots, .932 SV%, 1.67 GAA
Trail Smoke Eaters G Adam Marcoux: 3GP, 1W, 87 saves/93 shots, .935 SV%, 1.98 GAA, 2nd star, 3rd star
Penticton Vees D James Miller: 3GP, 3G, 3A, GWG, 1st star twice
Penticton Vees F David Silye: 3GP, 3G, 3A

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Vernon-Prince George Trade:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Vipers Acquire Cooper From Spruce Kings

November 27, 2018

Vernon, BC; The Vernon Vipers would like to announce they have acquired goaltender Bradley Cooper and future considerations in exchange for forward Garrett Worth.

The 19-year-old Cooper, from West Vancouver, joins the Vipers into his second season with the BCHL.  He has 3 wins this season but has registered two shutouts in those victories.  He has a goals against average of 2.28 and a nice save percentage of .914%.

Garrett Worth from Duluth Minnesota had a goal and an assist in 4 games with the Vipers.

Cooper is expected to join the group in time for this weekend’s set of games against the Merritt Centennials and Wenatchee Wild

The Vipers would like to wish Garrett all the best in Prince George and welcome Bradley to the Vipers.

Garrett Worth's Player Profile:

Bradley Cooper's Player Profile:

This is posted on the Spruce Kings website:

Spruce Kings Acquire Worth

November 27, 2018

The Prince George Spruce Kings have acquired Forward Garrett Worth (99) from the Vernon Vipers in exchange for Goaltender Bradley Cooper (99) and Future Considerations.

Worth, from Duluth, Minnesota has played only 4 games with the Vipers this season, scoring once and adding an assist. Last season with Duluth East High he scored 38 goals and 19 assists for 57 points in 25 games. He also played 10 games for the NAHL’s Minnesota Wilderness he had 6 goals, 3 assists in 10 games.

Cooper from North Vancouver, BC is in his second season with the Spruce Kings. In 8 games this season, Cooper is 3-5 with a 2.28 GAA and .914 SV%. Last year, Cooper was 7-7 with a 2.31 GAA and .918 SV%.

“We’re excited to be adding a great young man and excellent player like Garrett to our team. He will help strengthen our forward group and provide us with some more offensive punch up front. At the same time we our sad to see Brad Cooper go. He’s been an excellent player and teammate during his time here and we wish him all the best in Vernon,” stated General Manager Mike Hawes

For more information please call the Spruce Kings office at 250-564-1747.