Saturday, August 31, 2019

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:

Christensen Talks S’Backs Season:

BCHL teams are gearing up for the 2019-20 season with exhibition game over the next two weeks. caught up with Governor and Ops Manager Brooks Christensen to talk about the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. The team has been undergoing a number of renovations to its store front and dressing room while also getting the players ready for another tough season in one of the best divisions in Junior A hockey.

One On One With Cam Keith:

When the Surrey Eagles open training camp next week, the two busiest people in South Surrey Arena may not be a player or coach, but rather the play-by-play announcer tasked with remembering a host of new players, and the equipment manager responsible for stitching those players’ last names on the backs of the uniforms. Because to suggest there will be a few new faces in the locker room this year is something of an understatement. All told, just three players from last year’s BC Hockey League team – second-year forward Brandon Santa Juana, 19-year-old Holden Katzalay and new captain Cody Schiavon – are set to return in Eagles colours for the 2019/20 season. Replacing outgoing players is nothing new in junior hockey – players graduate or move to new teams or leagues every season – but the amount of turnover facing the Eagles is unusually high, new head coach Cam Keith admits. It’s also by design. “It’s pretty rare – (this amount of turnover) just doesn’t happen at all, but I’m excited because these are my guys coming in, guys who I’ve recruited,” said the 38-year-old Keith, who was hired by the team in March. “When I came in, I kind of took the philosophy that I wasn’t going to try to change anybody (who was already here)… I was just going to bring in my own guys who I believe in, and do it that way.” That philosophy seems to be one shared by the team’s general manager Blaine Neufeld, who last November – in the wake of former head coach Peter Schaefer’s firing – told Peace Arch News that Schaefer was put in an unenviable position of having to take over the top coaching job just days before training camp, after former coach Brandon West resigned. “Any coach is going to want months to prepare for a season, and is going to want to recruit the players that you want at an earlier stage than Day 1 of camp, and Peter wasn’t given that opportunity,” Neufeld said at the time. “We tried to adjust (the roster) on the fly and that’s not an easy thing to do in junior hockey.” The team finished the season with just 13 wins, missed the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons and went through three head coaches; current assistant Linden Saip finished last year as the interim bench boss. Change, then, was inevitable this summer, Keith said. “With the unfortunate season we had last year, we have to sort of rebuild certain areas,” he said. “I’m excited, because we’ll have a ton of new kids who I think are going to bring a really good energy. There will be no hard feelings from last year, and I think everyone is excited to get started with something new. “We’re putting the past behind us.” The new crop of players include about a dozen players coming from hockey academies or the major-midget system, as well as a handful of older players, many of whom arrive from U.S. programs with NCAA scholarships already in tow. Despite their varied backgrounds, Keith said they all have one thing in common – they’re smart hockey players. “Our philosophy was to recruit to recruit players with a high hockey I.Q., and kids who move pucks fast. Not kids who necessarily skate fast, but guys who just move the puck (up the ice) quickly,” Keith explained. “We want to use our Olympic-sized ice to our advantage, so I went after kids who can read plays as they’re happening and can move the puck quickly.” Keith, who is also the associate general manager with the Eagles, joins the team after one year spent as an associate coach with the Chilliwack Chiefs. Prior to that, he spent two seasons as the head coach/GM of the Trail Smoke Eaters and two as an assistant coach with the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones. As a player, he spent three seasons in the BCHL, in Victoria and Trail, before playing four years at the NCAA’s University of Alaska-Fairbanks, followed by a handful of years playing professionally in both North America and Europe. Even with so many different cities on his hockey resume – or perhaps because of it – Keith said he preaches patience and stability as a junior-hockey coach. Aside from a few players who have requested trades, he’s never traded a player in-season, he told PAN. “Stability is my main focus. You want to be a family, and everyone is an important part of it,” he said. “Even if a kid isn’t playing well, he’s still an important part of it if he’s working hard, so you have to be patient with him and let him find his game, rather than bringing in the unknown.” Such an approach will be a stark contrast to last year, for example, when the Eagles’ opening-day roster barely resembled the one that finished the season. “That’ll be different now, I can guarantee you that,” Keith said. With an eye towards giving his young group – which as of now has no 20-year-olds – time to gel, Keith was hesitant to toss around any wins-and-losses predictions for the coming year, though he said a playoff spot “is achievable.” “We want to have moderate expectations when it comes to wins and losses, just because we are so young. But we want to be competitive, and you never want to rule anything out, because you just don’t know,” he said. The team will open training camp on Monday, Aug. 19, and Day 1 will include an intra-squad game that is open to the public. The game is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at South Surrey Arena. Surrey’s official preseason schedule begins Aug. 22, when they travel to Langley to take on the Rivermen. The first home game of the exhibition schedule is Aug. 24 against the Chiefs. Surrey opens the regular season on the road, with back-to-back games in Prince George from Sept. 6-7. The home-opener is Sept. 13 against Coquitlam.

2019-20 Penticton Vees Spotlight: Lukas Sillinger

One of two Vees to be entering their third season in the Peach City is forward Lukas Sillinger, having played a total of 90 BCHL games all in Penticton. During the 2018/19 campaign, the 5’10”, 172-pound left handed shot amassed 14 goals and 11 assists for 25 points in 34 games played with a season that was hampered a bit due to injuries, “Both my years in Penticton have been really good years and a couple of the best years of my life” said Sillinger. “My first season playing with my brother (Owen) was a great experience and in my second year, I battled some injuries at times and it wasn’t the year our team was looking for but we can’t dwell on the past and move forward to bring back a National Championship to the City of Penticton.” Being a third year member of the Vees, Sillinger knows the expectations of the organization, “Fred and his staff do a great job in getting the guys ready and I know everyone will be dialled in at the start of camp,” Silinger explained, “Penticton is the best spot to play junior hockey so I’m sure everyone is really excited to come in there and, coming into my third season, I’m going to do my best to help out the guys as much as I can.” During the 2018/19 season, the Regina, Saskatchewan native was able to secure his future in hockey by committing to the University of Nebraska-Omaha, a tough decision but one that Sillinger felt was the right one, “It was a tough decision between Nebraska-Omaha and Bemidji State and having the chance to play with Owen,” said Sillinger, “But I took my visit down to Omaha last season and they treated me with so much respect and I loved the program there and I’m really looking forward to heading there.” The Sillinger name is one that is notorious in hockey circles with father Mike having played through a very successful 1,049 game NHL career. Older brother Owen’s name is very familiar with fans in Penticton after playing three seasons with the Vees, including a Fred Page Cup championship in 2017 and captaining the team during the 2017/18 season. Younger brother Cole has just begun his junior hockey career and signed on with the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League. In a family full of hockey, there weren’t many occasions that games wouldn’t break out, “Hockey has always been a big thing in our family,” Sillinger mentioned, “From playing mini-sticks in the basement to street hockey to fooling around in the garage , hockey is basically our lives. Passed down from my father, my brothers and I have learnt a lot from him and have been very supportive of us and my mom has been there every step of the way for us and we couldn’t be more thankful for them too.” Having the chance to play with his older brother during the 2017/18 season is something Lukas relished in, “It was a pretty special year for us,” Sillinger recalled, “Our whole family was done there for the season and we don’t get many chances to play together being three years apart but it was an amazing year to get to spend some time with him.” With all of the Sillinger kids away from home, whether it be playing junior or collegiate hockey, the summers where everyone can get together mean that much more, “As you get older, you learn to appreciate each other more when you come back in the summer,” Sillinger said, “We spend as much time together as we can in the summer and my family loves that, it will be the first year that my parents won’t have any boys at the house so they will be travelling a lot and coming to a lot of our games.” There are a lot of things that Sillinger is looking forward to when coming back to Penticton for his third season, “The facilities that we get to use and the rink we get to play in and how well we get treated by the staff and our trainers and everyone is so supportive of us” Sillinger explained. When it comes to a leadership role, Sillinger is looking forward to helping out some of his younger teammates, “As you get older, you want to grow into a bigger leadership role and help with the younger guys who might not be as familiar with playing junior hockey,” said Sillinger, “I remember when I was younger, I was a bit nervous coming to the team and the older guys were great to me and always helped me out so I want to help do the same thing.”

New Grizzlies Captain Plans To Lead By Example:

If last year’s B.C. Hockey League playoffs are any indication, the Victoria Grizzlies’ leadership group is in good hands this season. And those hands belong to a couple of homegrown talents. The Grizzlies will be led on and off the ice this season by a pair of players heading into their fourth BCHL seasons as the club on Tuesday named forward Marty Westhaver captain and fellow 20-year-old Island product, defenceman Nico Somerville, as associate captain. “They’re two very deserving players who have served our club for a long time and have the experience to be great leaders in this league,” said Grizzlies GM and head coach Craig Didmon, whose club opens training camp on Monday at Juan de Fuca Arena. The speedy and skilled Westhaver had an OK regular season last year but when the playoffs rolled around, “Big Game Marty’ came to the forefront. The Spectrum Community School grad’s eight goals in 13 playoff games last spring were second best on the team after Colorado Avalanche first-round draft pick Alex Newhook’s 11. And Westhaver missed the last two games of the Coastal Conference final against Prince George with a shoulder injury. “I’m super excited about the opportunity to lead this team and I think we have a great group of veterans coming back and some really skilled new guys so I’m really looking forward to the season,” said Westhaver, who has played 168 regular season games in the BCHL and another 30 playoff contests. “I’ve played three seasons with the Grizzlies now and I think I can pass along alot of knowledge about the team and what it takes to play in the B.C. Hockey League.” Westhaver has some big shoes to fill with the Grizzlies captaincy as Newhook led the BCHL in scoring before being selected 16th overall by the Avalanche in June’s NHL draft in Vancouver. But the Saanich Minor Hockey product says he’s more than up for the task. “You can learn so much from a guy like Alex, just from watching how he performs on the ice, his work ethic and dedication to the game. He’s an amazing player and to be captain at such a young age like 18 takes a lot of character and I learned a lot from him and hope to pass that along to the younger players this season.” Somerville, who hails from Port Alberni, is coming off his best regular season in the BCHL, scoring six goals and adding 30 assists in 57 games, and he, too, had an impressive showing in the post-season, despite also missing a pair of games in the final series due to injury. The smooth-skating blue-liner had four goals and three assists in 13 playoff games. And like Westhaver, Somerville has plenty of post-season experience having played 25 playoff games in the past two season. Both players are also looking to secure NCAA scholarships this season and Westhaver expects a strong season by the team will go along way to helping them achieve their goals. “We have a talented group this year and now it’s up to us veterans to lead the way, especially early with all the road games at the start of the season,” added Westhaver, whose team will play its first eight games away from The Q Centre. “I’ve been in this league for a long time now and I know how important a good start is and it’s up to me and the rest of the leadership group to pass that along. We’re going to have a good season.”

Warriors Name Nikkel New Assistant Coach:

The West Kelowna Warriors Junior ‘A’ Hockey Club is pleased to announce the hiring of Ayrton Nikkel as an Assistant Coach and Paige Shannon as Athletic Therapist. Nikkel, 24, comes to the Warriors after playing four seasons in the Western Hockey League (WHL) while finishing his junior career with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (BCHL) in 2015. After playing with the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns in 2016-17, the Kelowna native would return to the Okanagan and transfer to UBC Okanagan. “I returned home because the Okanagan Valley will always have my heart and the UBC Okanagan campus and their professors, are the highest quality” commented Nikkel, “I have been teaching on ice skills to players of all ages for the better part of a decade now and the opportunity to teach the game to experienced players was an opportunity I could not pass up.” Nikkel has had a previous relationship with Warriors Head Coach and General Manager Brandon West dating back to their time with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. “I have the utmost respect for him as a coach and a person,” stated Nikkel. “I was honored he considered me for the position and has confidence in me to develop the defensive core of the team.” Warriors Head Coach and General Manager Brandon West states “Ayrton gave everything he had as a player and I look forward to seeing him develop as a coach now. He’s done a tremendous job as a player development coach in his time away from playing the game. It’s a great fit for our defencemen and our team will benefit greatly from him. The Warriors also welcome Paige Shannon to the Central Okanagan. Shannon brings a wealth of experience in Athletic therapy after graduating from the University of Winnipeg in 2016. Shannon would then move on to Olds, Alberta where she spent time with the Olds Grizzlys Midget club, Olds Mavericks Lacrosse, Olds College Broncos Women’s Hockey(ACAC), and was part of the Medical staff at the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer this past February. “Paige has incredible passion for the game and separated herself in the interview process because of it. She really cares for her players health and wellness and that’s what the position is all about,” stated Warriors General Manager and Head Coach Brandon West. “Our players are fortunate to have someone with the qualifications she has. Paige came highly recommended by a lot of people in the hockey world”. The Warriors would like to welcome Ayrton and Paige to the Warriors organization and the City of West Kelowna. In addition, the Warriors are pleased to welcome back Goaltending Coach Chad Carder. This will be Chad’s 6th season with the Warriors. “Chad’s passion to develop goaltenders is second to none. He has the ability to develop their strengths while correcting weaknesses. He’s very committed to them as well as our team” says HC/GM Brandon West.

2019-20 Penticton Vees Spotlight: Jack Barnes

Another Vee who is back for his third season with the club is forward Jack Barnes, who carries 108 games of BCHL experience under his belt. The Penticton, BC native was one of three Vees, alongside Eric Linell and James Miller, to play in all 58 regular season games during the 2018/19 campaign and felt the year was a good one for his development, “It was a good year for development I thought,” noted Barnes, “Obviously as a team aspect, it didn’t turn out the way we had wanted to but I thought it was a good step forward in my game.” The way the season ended for the Vees left a bitter taste in a lot of players mouths, especially for the nine players who are returning to compete for their ultimate goal of a championship in the 2019/20 season, “It’s something we think about for sure,” Barnes said, “There’s always that in the back of our minds where we lost out early and that’s something that this team isn’t used to with the rich history of winning games. We want to keep that tradition alive this season and move forward with that goal in mind.” Penticton has become a home for Barnes, who grew up in Dallas, Texas while his father Stu was playing for the Dallas Stars and in the middle of his 16-year National Hockey League career. Penticton and Dallas have their differences but for Barnes, the transition was a good one, “Growing up in Dallas, I had some really good coaching and my Dad helped out as well,” Barnes explained, “Coming up to the Okanagan Hockey Academy was a big adjustment but it was great for me as they instill a hard working mentality so I thought it was an easy transition.” “I’m a big city guy so I still miss Dallas quite a bit,” Barnes continued, “Coming up here, it was good though and definitely a change of pace for me. Penticton is such a great city to live in and the atmosphere that is here is so unbelievable with the weather and the lakes but it was a big shock coming up here.” Making the move after playing two seasons at OHA to compete with the Vees at the beginning of the 2017/18 season was made easier with the two teams playing side by side at the South Okanagan Events Centre, “Being familiar with the rink helped and I lived with Taylor Ward for two seasons at OHA,” Barnes said, “He gave me a little but of a heads up on what to expect and I played with him in my first year with the Vees and made the transition easier.” Having a father who has experienced just about everything you can in the game of hockey, including playing 1146 career NHL games makes for a valuable resource for any questions Jack may have, “Not very many people get that so I’m very, very fortunate to have him here,” Barnes noted, “I’m very appreciative of my Dad and I can pick his brain whenever I want. He watches all the games so he will let me know if I am playing well or not and he’s a big part of getting me to where I am today.” In the offseason, training and skating to prepare for another season is what is at the top of the priority list, “Once the season came to an end, I went down to Dallas for a couple of months while my Dad was still working down there,” Barnes said, “I did a bit of yoga and a lot of stretching and cardio to stay loose and work out some of the tweeks of a long season.” “When I came back to Penticton, I got right back into workouts and skating three times a week with some other Junior players as well as college and pro guys,” Barnes continued, “Off the ice, I love golfing so I try to get out as much as possible and we also try to get out and boat as much as possible and hanging out with buddies in my spare time away from the rink.” With Penticton being a full-time summer spot for Barnes, seeing teammates trickle in as the season draws nearer makes the excitement build, “I’ve been missing a lot of the guys and it’s great when you can come to the rink and see 20 other faces,” explained Barnes, “They are your brothers and they have your back all the time so I’m really excited to see all the new faces and get back into games because that’s the best part of the season is being able to be in front of the crowd and perform well.”

Vipers Trim Roster Down To 25

The Vipers website has reported the Vipers have trimmed their roster from 27 down to 25 players. The Vipers started training camp August 19th with 57 players, trimmed down to 42 on August 20th and then down to 34 after the teams annual Blue & White intersquad game on August 21st. The Vipers trimmed their roster down to 27 after a 3-2 exhibition loss to the visiting Alberta Junior Hockey League Grande Prairie Storm August 23rd.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Exhibition: Salmon Arm 4 Vernon 2

I was born and raised in Vernon and been following/watching Junior hockey in Vernon my entire life. I have had season tickets since 1990 and only missed four Vipers home games since 2004. In the past thirty year's I have only missed 45 home games. 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 opinion on the game. I try to be professional and 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/Silverbacks exhibition game as Salmon Arm defeated Vernon 4-2 in front of about 450-500 fans at Kal Tire Place. No final attendance was announced.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Dawson Pelletier
Salmon Arm: Dylan Kruss

1st Period: The Vipers with a strong opening shift off the faceoff were up 2-0 in shots early before Holden Knights spotted Coalson Wolford who cut across the middle of the hash marks before ripping a quick shot short side past Dawson Pelletier on the Silverbacks first shot of the night, giving Salmon Arm a 1-0 lead at 2:09 Knights & Logan Shaw drew the assists. Two minutes later Connor Sleeth alone at the side of the goal, just missed the far corner on a quality chance from the Snakes. Vernon now in full control are dominating the game early in puck possession before tying the game. Connor Sleeth ties the game at 1-1 at 6:51 Landon Fuller and Logan Cash picked up the helpers. Off the following faceoff Jo Jo Tanaka-Campbell tried setting up Nick Cherkowski driving up the middle, couldn't connect on the pass. Just before the halfway mark a shot from the circle handcuffed Dawson Pelletier who couldn't control the puck before losing sight of the puck as it rolled through the blue paint and out the other side, luckily for Pelletier no Salmon Arm Silverbacks forward was near or this could have been an easy tap in. On the following play/shift Vernon product Nick Cherkowski with two quality chances, couldn't beat Dylan Kruss. The Snakes kept pressing and on a goal mouth scramble couldn't solve Kruss at the midway mark. The Vipers with several good looks/chances. With about seven minutes remaining Landon Fuller coughed up the puck at his own blueline, allowing Holden Knights in for the breakaway but would be stopped in close by Dawson Pelletier. On the following shift/play the Vipers gave up an odd man rush, allowing Daniel Rybarik to beat Dawson Pelletier short side on a shot I think Pelletier would like to have back. Salmon Arm was up 2-1 at 14:27 Antonio Andreozzi collected the lone helper. Minutes later Vernon would jump on the games first power play but couldn't capitalize with the man advantage. The Silverbacks would get a late PP there first of the evening. The Backs would run out of time before the final buzzer. It was 2-1 Salmon Arm after 20 minutes of play. I Apes may hold a one goal lead but the Vipers were by far the better of the two teams and dominated most of the play this period. Vernon carried the better of the play for most of the opening twenty minutes. The Snakes had a ton of looks/opportunities but only managed one goal. The Gorillas didn't see a lot of time in the offensive zone, but when they did manage to get into the Vipers end, they scored on there chances. The Silverbacks saw a lot of action in their own end, were chasing the puck/Vipers and had trouble with Vernon's aggressive forecheck. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 14-7.

2nd Period: The Backs started the middle frame on the man advantage that was carried over from the 1st period. The Vipers would kill off the remainder of the penalty. Shortly after the penalty expired, about three minutes in, SA on an odd man rush, couldn't beat Vernon Vipers starting goaltender Dawson Pelletier on a chance in front with several bodies driving to the goal. Just over two minutes later, Daniel Rybarik on an odd man rush, couldn't solve Dawson Pelletier. Two back to back stops for the Snakes netminder early into the 2nd period. Shortly after the Apes would get into penalty trouble. The Vipers would get a shortened two man advantage. Jason McKee and the Snakes would call a timeout. Salmon Arm would kill off the first power play, before returning forward Ben Helgeson looked to tie the game 2-2 on the power play. Helgeson's shot from the low circle beat Salmon Arm Silverbacks starting netminder Dylan Kruss looked to go off the post and under the crossbar before coming back out. The goal light come on, but the referee waived off the goal as play continued. Viper fans were irate as was the goal judge, who was waving his arms. The Gorillas managed to escape and kill off the remainder of the minor, would kill off the two man advantage, keeping this a one goal game. Minutes later Brendan Kim on an odd man rush couldn't get enough on the pass, on what looked like a sure goal on a missed opportunity. On the following play/shift Vernon would head back to the PP, there third of the period. Connor Sleeth's quick shot from the circle would be snagged out of mid air after Dylan Kruss flashed the leather, making a nice glove save. On the same power play Nick Kent with a shot from the backend got through traffic, beat Dylan Kruss but not the crossbar as the Vipers come very close to tying the game. Salmon Arm would escape and kill off the minor. Minutes later towards the end of the frame, Coalson Wolford tripped Logan Cash who went hard into the end boards, and stayed down. Cash looked to be in discomfort holding his one leg. Cash needed help off the ice from the Vipers trainer and didn't return. The Snakes went back to the power play but again couldn't capitalize as SA killed off there fourth minor of the period. In the dying seconds returning forward Noah Wakeford on a parcial breakaway would be denied by Dawson Pelletier. Off the following faceoff Zach Gabruch setup Akito Hirose, giving Salmon Arm a 3-1 lead at 19:57 Gabruch picked up the assist. It was 3-1 Salmon Arm after 40 minutes of play. For a second straight period Vernon was the better of the two teams. The Snakes carried the better of the play, once again had several good looks/chances, didn't get any puck luck. The Vipers with a goal that looked like was in but was waived off, also hit the crossbar. Vernon goes 0-4 on the PP this period. The Apes for a second straight period didn't have a ton of puck possession or zone time but did manage a few good looks/quality opportunities. The Silverbacks caught some breaks but give credit to the PK and Dylan Kruss who were solid. The Gorillas with a huge goal in the dying seconds, gives them a two goal lead on the road. A back breaker for the Vipers. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 19-10.

3rd Period: The Vipers started the final frame with Ross Hawryluk between the pipes who replaced Dawson Pelletier. Pelletier gave up three goals on seventeen Salmon Arm shots after two periods of play. The Backs jumped on Hawryluk and the Snakes off the opening faceoff. Noah Wakeford with a ton of hustle, caught Hawryluk out of position and the Vipers defence standing still. Wakeford had all day to score on the wrap around, hitting the open cage, giving Salmon Arm a 4-1 lead at 0:16 Wakeford's goal was unassisted. This goal took the life out of Vernon who was caught standing around. Shortly after the Vipers tried setting up returning forward Ben Sanderson going to the net, shot high and over the goal, on a missed opportunity. Five minutes into the final frame the Silverbacks would get an early power play, just there second of the contest. Salmon Arm with a few good looks couldn't capitalize with the man advantage. About a minute after killing off the minor, the Snakes got to within two goals after Jo Jo Tanaka-Campbell beat Dylan Kruss down low, cutting Salmon Arm's lead to 4-2 at 8:13 Kruss and the Backs complained about goaltender interference as Tanaka-Campbell was at the top of or inside the blue paint, was very close to bumping the Silverbacks netminder, but the goal stood. Just before the halfway mark tempers heated up in a scrum inside the SA blueline, with everyone getting involved. Dylan Kruss didn't like traffic in and around his crease, took a shot at a Viper player tied up in the scrum. Lots of pushing and shoving as the teams went to four on four with each team getting a minor penalty. Shortly after the Vipers with a quick shot from the blueline, found it's way through traffic grazed the crossbar and up into the netting as Vernon come within inches of getting to within a goal. With time winding down and no a factor in the game, the Vipers had troubles getting Ross Hawryluk to the bench for the extra attacker as Salmon Arm with an aggressive forecheck held the Snakes inside their own blueline. Vernon having all kinds of trouble getting out of there own end as the Backs with a solid defensive game late in the contest. The Vipers were finally able to get the puck deep into the Apes end, getting a stoppage in play and getting Ross Hawryluk to the bench for the extra attacker with about fifty two seconds left. Vernon couldn't really muster any quality chances as SA kept the Snakes to the outside winding down the clock. With a long shot from well inside their own end, the Gorillas tried a shot towards the open cage before the final buzzer. Salmon Arm would come away with the 4-2 victory. Giving up a late goal with just seconds left in the 2nd period, and then giving up an early goal, just sixteen seconds into the 3rd cost the Vipers. The Backs fourth goal took the life out of the Snakes and Vernon didn't have the same jump/drive they played with in the first two periods. Up by three goals it looked more like a pond hockey game at times. The Silverbacks with a solid defensive game in the final twenty minutes, played well. Neither team really had many chances or a ton of pressure. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 8-7.

Top Player's: (Vernon)

Ryan Shostak Didn't put up any points but played with a lot of hustle, didn't quit skating and played hard all game. Very quick on his feet, likes to get involved. 

Ben Sanderson Was another Viper forward who played with a lot of jump/energy, didn't get on the score sheet but had a strong game. Was aggressive, trying to create/& or generate chances, quick on his feet, was hard to defend against. Gave Salmon Arm's defence troubles. 

Jo Jo Tanaka-Campbell (1 goal) I thought played well and had a strong game.

Nick Cherkowski Was another kid who played hard, had lots of jump/energy. I thought was the best Viper in the 1st period, had lots of looks/chances in that first twenty minutes. 

Connor Sleeth (1 goal) Has some speed and skill, and showed it tonight. Was dangerous with the puck.

Game Thought's: (Vernon)

I thought the Vipers were by far the better team tonight. Maybe not so much in the 3rd period but dominated the first two periods. The scoreboard may not have shown that but it was all Vernon in the 1st and 2nd periods. The Snakes had all kinds of chances, didn't have any puck luck. Vernon had a ton of puck possession and offensive zone time in the first two periods. The Vipers are quick this year and showed it tonight. I was very impressed with there passing tonight, with only playing there third pre-season game. I liked there breakout and aggressive forecheck. It seemed like the Vipers would carry the play for several minutes, get all kinds of shots & opportunities but couldn't score. Back come Salmon Arm and score on one shot/one opportunity. Vernon needed to capitalize on the powerplay in that second period. The Apes got into penalty trouble and the Vipers didn't capitalize. The Snakes ran into a hot goaltender but also giving up the 3rd goal in the dying seconds of the 2nd period and the 4th goal sixteen seconds into the 3rd period were back breakers. Both goals took the life out of the team and they just couldn't recover afterwards. Vernon didn't look like the same team after giving up the 4th goal early into the 3rd. I thought both Vipers goaltenders looked average tonight. I heard the Vipers will be making there final three cuts after tonight's game. One goaltender and two forwards will be cut and the Vipers will be down to 23 players heading into Sunday's game vs Brooks. The Vipers & Silverbacks will meet six more times during the regular season. With the loss Vernon falls to 1-2-0-0 and will play there final pre-season game Sunday afternoon vs the Alberta Junior Hockey League Brooks Bandits. 

Top Player's: (Salmon Arm)

Holden Knight's (1 assist) I thought was very good. Very quick, had to contain, was good at both ends of the rink. Gave the Snakes troubles most of the night. 

Akito Hirose (1 goal) I thought played very well. Was involved in the play, was one of the stronger players.

Jayden Price Played hard, Played very well in the win.

Dylan Kruss (40 saves) Was the difference in the hockey game. Was very good through out the first two periods. Got some bounces go his way but was solid between the pipes. Gave his team a chance to win. Not the biggest goaltender but played big. Didn't allow many rebounds. 

Game Thought's: (Salmon Arm)

The Silverbacks played/and looked much better Wednesday night at home in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Vipers. The Backs were outplayed and outworked for the first two periods. The Apes saw a lot of action in there own end most of the 1st period. The Silverbacks had all kinds of trouble with Vernon's speed and aggressive forecheck. SA heavily relied on goaltender Dylan Kruss in the first two periods. The Backs didnt have a lot of puck possession or zone time in the 1st and 2nd periods but capitalize on there chances. Give credit to Salmon Arm who got two huge timely goals late in the 2nd period and early into the 3rd. The Apes defence played very well in the final frame, shutting down the Snakes offence, taking away there speed and hemming Vernon in there own end at times. The Gorillas didn't deserve to be in this game, but they were and took advantage of some solid goaltending and key goals. I was also impressed with the Silverbacks PK. Salmon Arm caught the breaks and had the puck luck going there way. I was surprised not too see more Silverbacks fans in attendance tonight. Only saw the odd one here and there. One of the linesmen tonight was a female. I counted five Salmon Arm players sitting in the crowd. With the win Salmon Arm finishes the pre-season at 2-0-2-0 and will open the 2019-20 regular season September 8th vs the visiting West Kelowna Warriors. 



No scratches were announced

Salmon Arm:

No scratches were announced

Energy Player of the Game:

No player was announced

Three Star's:

No three stars were handed out

Boxscore/Game Summary,

No boxscore/or game summary was available 

Here are both teams rosters/lineups,



Dawson Pelletier 01
Ross Hawryluk 01


Trey Taylor 02 (Returning from last season)
Keigo Hachisuka 01 (Recruited/Committed)
Nick Kent 01 (Acquired in an off season trade with the Buffalo Jr. Sabres)
Christian Felton 00 (Recruited/Committed)
Brendan Kim 00 (Returning from last season)
Landon Fuller 99 (Returning from last season)


Connor Marritt 99 (Captain/Returning from last season)
Ryan Shostak 01 (Recruited/Committed)
Curtis Hammond 01
Jack Glen 01 (Owner's son)
Hudson Foley 02
Ben Helgeson 00 (Returning from last season)
Ben Sanderson 00 (Returning from last season)
Jo Jo Tanaka-Campbell 01 (Recruited/Committed)
Nick Cherkowski 00 (Returning from last season)
Colby Feist 02
Connor Sleeth 99 (Acquired in an off season trade with Kanata Lasers)
Logan Cash 00 (Returning from last season)

Salmon Arm:


Ethan Langenegger 00 (Returning from last season)
Dylan Kruss 01


Kieran Ruscheinski 01
Hunter Sansbury 00
Noah Lugli 99
Akito Hirose 99 (Returning from last season)
Zach Gabruch 01


Holden Knights 01
Drew Bennett 00
Simon Tassy 01
Logan Shaw 00 (Returning from last season)
Trevor Adams 99 (Returning from last season)
Josh Zinger 01
Antonio Andreozzi 00
Daniel Rybarik 99
Coalson Wolford 01
Noah Wakeford 00 (Returning from last season)
Sam Schofield 02
Jarod Semchuk 02 (Returning from last season)
Jayden Price 01

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Here are some photo's I took from tonight's game,

Vipers-Silverbacks Highlight's:

Here are the highlight's off all four of the Silverbacks goals
Wednesday in a 5-4 overtime loss to the visiting Vernon Vipers. Drew Bennett, Sam Schofield, Antonio Andreozzi & Trevor Adams scored for Salmon Arm.

Game Preview: Exhibition: Salmon Arm @ Vernon:

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

Tonight's the second of eight meetings vs the Salmon Arm Silverbacks this season (exhibition & regular season). The Silverbacks won last year's regular season series 5-1

Last Game:

Wednesday, August 28th Vernon defeated Salmon Arm 5-4 Overtime

Next Game:

Sunday, September 1st Brooks at Vernon

Sunday, September 8th West Kelowna at Salmon Arm

Here's a look at last year's exhibition/regular season series vs Salmon Arm

August 31st Pre-Season Salmon Arm @ Vernon: Silverbacks won 3-2 shoot out
September 1st Pre-Season Vernon @ Salmon Arm: Vipers won 3-2 shoot out
October 21st Vernon @ Salmon Arm: Silverbacks won 4-3 overtime
October 31st Salmon Arm @ Vernon: Silverbacks won 4-3 shoot out
November 10th Vernon @ Salmon Arm: Silverbacks won 4-3 overtime
November 23rd Salmon Arm @ Vernon: Silverbacks won 2-0
December 16th Vernon @ Salmon Arm: Silverbacks won 3-2
January 11th Salmon Arm @ Vernon: Vipers won 4-1

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

August 28th Pre-Season Vernon @ Salmon Arm: Vipers won 5-4 Overtime
August 30th Pre-Season Salmon Arm @ Vernon:
November 22nd Salmon Arm @ Vernon:
November 30th Vernon @ Salmon Arm:
December 28th Salmon Arm @ Vernon:
December 29th Vernon @ Salmon Arm:
January 12th Vernon @ Salmon Arm:
January 19th Salmon Arm @ Vernon:

Vernon's regular season record & stats vs the Silverbacks since 2002

Since the 2002-03 regular season Vernon is 59-42-12-7-1 vs Salmon Arm

Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon is 27-19-6-2-1 at home vs. Salmon Arm

Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon is 26-20-8-3 in Salmon Arm

The Silverbacks are 3-5-1-0 in their last ten games in Vernon

The Vipers are 4-4-1-0 in their last ten games in Salmon Arm

The Vipers last regular season win at home vs. Salmon Arm was a 4-1 victory on Friday, January 11th 2019

The Silverbacks last regular season win in Vernon was a 2-0 victory on Friday, November 23rd 2018

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 3-2 victory on Sunday, December 16th 2018

Let's take a look at the Vernon Vipers: 

The 1-1-0-0 Defending Interior Division Champion Vernon Vipers are coming off a 5-4 overtime victory in Salmon Arm Wednesday night. Tonight's the second game of a home & home series with the Silverbacks. Tonight's is Vernon's third pre-season game with one game remaining before the start of the 2019-20 regular season. The Vipers play three of four exhibition games at home. The Snakes have eleven players returning from last year, will finish the pre-season Sunday afternoon vs the Alberta Junior Hockey League Brooks Bandits. 

Vernon Vipers Roster:

Teddy Wooding (21-19-40) lead the team in goals last season with twenty one, while Matt Kowalski (13-30-43) lead the team in points last season with fourty three

Landon Fuller played 25 games with the 2016-17 Salmon Arm Silverbacks

Vernon Vipers 2018-19 regular season stats:

Games Played: 58
Wins: 25
Losses: 21
Overtime Wins: 2
Overtime Losses: 8
Shootout Wins: 1
Shootout Losses: 3
Home Record: 11-11-5-2
Road Record: 14-10-3-1
Overtime Record: 2-8
Record vs Interior Division: 17-13-5-1
Record vs Island & Mainland Divisions: 8-8-3-2
When the Vipers score first: 17-5-5-0
When the opponents score first: 8-16-3-3
Leading after the 1st period: 13-2-3-0
Tied after the 1st period: 10-7-4-1
Trailing after the 1st period: 2-10-1-2
Leading after the 2nd period: 18-3-5-1
Tied after the 2nd period: 4-8-3-1
Trailing after the 2nd period: 3-10-0-1
Out shooting opponents: 20-9-5-1
Out shot by opponents: 3-10-3-1
One goal games: 9-9-8-3
Goals for: 162
Goals against: 159
Standings: 4th Place (Interior Division)
Longest winning streak: Four games
Longest losing streak: Four games

Vernon Vipers Returning Players:

Matt Kowalski (99)
Ben Helgeson (00)
Ben Sanderson (00)
Nicholas Cherkowski (00)
Logan Cash (00)
Elan Bar-Lev-Wise (01)
Landon Fuller (99)
Brendan Kim (00)
Trey Taylor (02)
Max Palaga (00)

Vernon Vipers departed & traded players from last years team:

Jagger Williamson (98)
Jesse Lansdell (98)
Tyler Ho (00)
Josh Latta (98)
Teddy Wooding (99)
Lane Zablocki (98)
Coleton Bilodeau (00)
Michael Young (98)
Will Dow-Kenny (00)
Jack Judson (00)
Carver Watson (98)
Aidan Porter (99)
Bradley Cooper (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:

Ben Helgeson (3-2-5)
Michael Young (3-2-5)
Connor Marritt (2-2-4)
Josh Latta (1-3-4)
Elan Bar-Lev-Wise (1-2-3)
Coleton Bilodeau (1-2-3)
Carver Watson (1-1-2)
Jagger Williamson (0-2-2)
Jack Judson (0-2-2)
Teddy Wooding (1-1-2)
Brendan Kim (0-1-1)
Tyler Ho (0-1-1)
Landon Fuller (0-1-1)
Nick Cherkowski (0-1-1)
Brendan Kim (0-1-1)

Aidan Porter (1-5 Record)

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

The 1-0-2-0 Salmon Arm Silverbacks make their first of four visits (exhibition & regular season) to Kal Tire Place, are coming off a 5-4 overtime loss Wednesday to the visiting Vernon Vipers. The last time the Apes were in Vernon was a 4-3 triple overtime loss in Game 5 of the BCHL Playoffs March 8th 2019 that saw the Backs season come to an end. Tonight is the Gorlillas fourth and final exhibition game before opening the 2019-20 regular season September 8th vs the visiting West Kelowna Warriors. Salmon Arm went 3-1 in Vernon last season (exhibition & regular season) but lost two out of three playoff games at Kal Tire Place. These two teams will meet again November 22nd in Vernon. 

Salmon Arm Silverbacks Roster:

Matthew Verboon (28-28-56) lead the team lead in goals last season with twenty eight & in points with fifty six

Salmon Arm Silverbacks 2018-19 regular season stats:

Games Played: 58
Wins: 27
Losses: 26
Overtime Losses: 4
Shoot Out Losses: 1
Home Record: 16-10-2-1
Road Record: 11-16-2-0
Goals for: 170
Goals against: 203
Standings: 5th Place (Interior Division)

Salmon Arm Silverbacks Returning Players:

No statistics available 

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

No statistics available 

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:

Trevor Adams (3-4-7)
Nick Unruh (3-3-6)
Matthew Verboon (2-3-5)
John Little (0-5-5)
Olson Werenka (2-2-4)
Noah Wakeford (0-4-4)
Akito Hirose (0-3-3)
Andy Stevens (0-2-2)
Justin Wilson (2-0-2)
Hudson Schandor (2-0-2)
Jonathan Krahn (2-0-2)
Logan Shaw (0-2-2)
Aiden Jenner (0-1-1)
Sol Seibel (0-1-1)
Tyson Gayfer (1-0-1)
Ethan McLaughlin (0-1-1)
Sam Schoenfeld (0-1-1)

Ethan Langenegger (3-0 Record)
Matthew Armitage (2-1 Record)

Vipers Score OT Pre-Season Win:

This is posted on the Vernon Morning Star website:

Vipers score OT pre-season win

Morning Star Staff

Aug. 30, 2019 

Local Sports

The Vernon Vipers improved their B.C. Hockey League pre-season record to 1-1 Wednesday with a 5-4 overtime win in Salmon Arm over the Silverbacks.

The two teams meet again Friday at 7 p.m. at Kal Tire Place (tickets are just $5).

Connor Sleeth got the winner 19 seconds into overtime as the Vipers led a 4-1 second-period lead slip away.

After Drew Bennett opened the scoring four-on-four in the opening period for the home side, the Vipers rattled off the next four goals.

Trey Taylor – named one of three alternate captains for this year’s squad by head coach Jason McKee – tied the game on a five-on-three powerplay, and Curtis Hammond gave the Snakes a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.

Goals 29 seconds apart by Colby Feist and Nick Cherkowski made it 4-1 Vernon less than three minutes into the middle frame. Sam Schofield got one back for Salmon Arm and it was 4-2 Vipers heading into the third period.

Antonio Andreozzi cut the lead to one goal four minutes into the frame while Trevor Adams scored at 14 minutes to force overtime.

“The game had its up and downs as expected, but it was a good challenge for our group as we continue in the next step of the process,” said McKee on the team’s website. “We were probably guilty of trying to do too much individually at times. That’s an area that needs to be cleaned up before Friday.”

Max Balaga and Dawson Pelletier split the goaltending duties for the Vipers, who will close out the exhibition slate Sunday at 2 p.m. against the defending national Junior A champion Brooks (Albert) Bandits. Vernon fell 3-2 to the Alberta Junior League’s Grande Prairie Storm in their pre-season opener at Kal Tire Place. Ryan Shostack and Ryan Maclean scored for Vernon.

* Joining captain Connor Marritt on the Vipers’ leadership group are Taylor, Landon Fuller and Ben Sanderson.

Fuller, a 20-year-old Williams Lake native, is entering his fifth season of Junior hockey.

“With Landon he has such a commanding presence,” said McKee. “It resonates on the ice and in our dressing room.”

Taylor, 17, from Richmond, is a calming presence in the dressing room and the experience he gained as a 16-year-old last season, as the team made its run to the Fred Page Cup final, will continue to serve the club well.

“Age is just a number and he’s a very mature young man,” said McKee.

Sanderson, 19, from Calgary, joined the Vipers in late October last season and made an immediate impact before injury shortened his season. He returned for the post-season, collecting 10 points.

“Ben is a lead by example type of player,” said McKee. “He never takes a shift off and works hard in every regard of the game whether it’s on or off the ice.”