I was born and raised in Vernon, BC and been watching/following Junior hockey in Vernon my entire life. My family has been watching/following Senior men's hockey in Vernon since the 1950s and Junior hockey in Vernon since it started in 1961. I have had season tickets since 1990 and only missed 5 home games since 2004 and 46 home games since 1990. I'm not a journalist, writer, reporter or work for the Vernon Vipers. I don't get paid to do this blog and do this blog on my own personal time. I started and created this blog in November 2008 and have over 2 million viewers. For anyone who couldn't watch or attend tonight's Vipers game, here are my thought's and opinions from tonight's game. You may agree or disagree but we all have our own opinion on the hockey game. I try to be professional and give a fare game recap from both sides. Thank you for visiting my blog.
I was at tonight's Vipers-Silverbacks game as Salmon Arm defeated Vernon 4-3 in overtime in front of a small crowd at the Shaw Centre. No attendance was announced.
Vernon: Roan Clarke
Salmon Arm: Liam Vanderkooi
1st Period: The Vipers won the opening draw and had puck possession but unable to get much of anything going before the Silverbacks turned the puck/play up ice inside the opening minute. Fourty seconds into the 1st period Reagan Milburn with a solid defensive play broke up an Apes odd man rush, taking away a possible scoring chance for Salmon Arm. The Vipers would get the games first powerplay just over three minutes into the contest. Vernon struggled with the man advantage getting only one shot on goal before taking a penalty of their own, sending both teams to four on four before the S'Backs would get a shortened PP, their first of the night. It didn't take long for the Silverbacks to respond. Noah Serdachny spotted an open Brandon Santa Juana who beat Roan Clarke top shelf with a seeing eye shot, giving Salmon Arm a 1-0 lead at 5:29 Serdachny & Simon Tassy collected the assists. Sixteen seconds later on a weird play put Salmon Arm up 2-0. A shot from the circle looked to hit someone or something in front, as the puck went high in the air come back down behind Roan Clarke and a mad scramble a top the Vernon Vipers crease, somehow the puck ended up in the back of the net, giving Salmon Arm a 2-0 lead at 5:45 Brandon Santa Juana was credited with the goal that was unassisted. The Snakes found themselves in trouble, down two goals less then six minutes into the hockey game. The Gorillas were outshooting Vernon 4-1 at this point. About two and a half minutes later the Vipers give up an odd man rush, that allowed Mat Bourgault in for the partial breakaway would be denied at the top of the crease on a huge save from Roan Clarke. Shortly after the Snakes would get their second man advantage. Vernon struggled with the PP as the Apes penalty kill was very strong. Simon Tassy & Noah Serdachny on a two on one couldn't give SA a 3-0 lead after Serdachny couldn't connect on the pass through the slot on a very good shorthanded opportunity. Still shorthanded Simon Tassy and Daniel Panetta on a two on one forced Roan Clarke into making a large save as the Snakes give up two odd man rushes on the powerplay. Towards the end of the PP Liam Vanderkooi flashed the leather making a quick glove save off Reagan Milburn from the top of the circle. In the dying seconds of the man advantage the Vipers couldn't bang home the puck on a goal mouth scramble as Salmon Arm with a very strong PK killed off the minor. With three and a half minutes left in the frame, Desmond Johnson's point shot would be redirected by Reagan Milburn on it's way to the net, cutting Salmon Arm's lead to 2-1 at 16:30 Johnson & Ryan Shostak with the helpers. Thirty two seconds later Vernon would get it's third powerplay of the evening. The Vipers with a ton of pressure had several looks but couldn't capitalize as the Silverbacks kill off the minor. Twenty seconds later the Backs get a late PP inside the final minute. SA unable to capitalize before the buzzer. It was 2-1 Salmon Arm after 20 minutes of play. The Apes were the better of the two teams in the first half. Salmon Arm jumped out to an early 2-0 lead and were outshooting Vernon 9-4 at one point in the hockey game. The Vipers improved in the second half and played much better in the final six to seven minutes were the better team down the stretch. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 15-10.
2nd Period: The Gorillas started the period on the powerplay that was carried over from the 1st period. Inside the opening minute in the opening shift, Simon Tassy was left alone at the faceoff dot, couldn't beat Vernon Vipers starting netminder Roan Clarke, making a big save early on the penalty kill. Vernon killed off the minor. Shortly after Luke Pakulak missed an open cage at the side of the crease on a chance to tie the game at two. On the same shift, the Silverbacks would jump on the man advantage. The Snakes would kill off the minor. Minutes before the midway mark the Snakes couldn't capitalize on a goul mouth scramble as Salmon Arm Silverbacks starting goaltender Liam Vanderkooi had to be sharp with a maze of players in and around the blue paint. Around the halfway mark Kieran Ruscheinski made a big defensive play, blocking a shot, taking away a Vipers scoring chance. Shortly after Vernon would get their fourth PP of the game. Twelve seconds into the PP Reagan Milburn with a laser beat Liam Vanderkooi tying the game 2-2 at 10:21 Griffen Barr & Ryan Shostak picked up the assists. With about four minutes remaining in the middle frame, former Wenatchee Wild defenceman Nicholas Kent with a defensive play broke up a two on one Silverbacks odd man rush. Inside the final minute Vernon would get a late powerplay but unable to capitalize before the buzzer. It was 2-2 after 40 minutes of play. This was a very entertaining period with chances at both ends of the rink as both teams played hard, going back and fourth in a very evenly matched period. Salmon Arm outshot Vernon 9-7.
3rd Period: The Snakes started the period on the man advantage that was carried over from the 2nd period. The Vipers won the opening faceoff, and on what looked to be an odd man rush the puck come across going in off Kjell Kjemhus and into the net, giving Vernon at 3-2 lead at 0:07 The Silverbacks bench were saying the puck was kicked in while the officials got together in front of the penalty boxes. After a short visit, the goal stood. Kjemhus's goal was unassisted. On the play, Salmon Arm was given an interference penalty, sending the Vipers back to the powerplay. The Snakes struggled with the man advantage. Just as the penalty was about to come to an end, the Vipers would get a very short six second two man advantage. The Gorilla's killed off the first minor and then with a quality chance shorthanded couldn't capitalize on another odd man rush before killing off the second minor. Just before the halfway mark Nicholas Kent unloaded a shot from the circle that beat Liam Vanderkooi but not the crossbar. Shortly after the Apes went to the powerplay and connected. Less then a minutes into the man advantage, the Backs moved the puck around before Brandon Santa Juana spotted Simon Tassy in front, tying the game 3-3 at 10:53 Sanata Juana & Tucker Hartmann drew the helpers. This goal got the crowd back into the hockey game as well as gave the Silverbacks a huge boost. Salmon Arm really fed off the tying goal and the crowd slowly started to take over the edge in play. Simon Tassy with a great chance to take the lead late couldn't solve Roan Clarke with a minute remaining on a low shot from the circle forcing the Vipers netminder to make a big pad stop. It was 3-3 after 60 minutes of play. Kjell Kjemhus gave Vernon an early lead seven seconds into the 3rd couldn't put the game away with three powerplay's in the first ten minutes, allowed SA to stay in the contest, gain some confidence before tying the game on the PP. Like I said earlier, this goal seemed to get the Backs going as Salmon Arm had more puck possession and the better of the play in the second half. The Snakes did a good job at limiting the Apes chances as the Silverbacks didn't get many pucks to the net but were buzzing. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 7-5.
Overtime: The Silverbacks won the draw and gained first possession. The S'Backs carried the play for the first two minutes but couldn't create or generate any kind of opportunities as Vernon's defenders were keeping SA to the outside and only surrendered one shot. The Vipers finally got puck possession but only lasting a handful of seconds before Salmon Arm regained puck possession. Noah Serdachny with a nice move coming across the blueline, spotted Owen Desilets who got by his defender before ripping a shot past Roan Clarke, giving Salmon Arm the 4-3 overtime victory at 2:28 as the Backs jumped off the bench, piling onto one another along the side wall. Salmon Arm outshot Vernon 2-0. Overtime didn't last long as the Apes had control of the puck/play for almost the entire overtime. The Snakes managed to get control of the puck once and couldn't get out of their own end. One play and one goal was all that was needed to end tonight's hockey game.
Top Player's: Vernon Vipers
Roan Clarke (22 saves) Making his second start of the preseason, played well between the pipes.
Nicholas Kent I thought was Vernon's best d-man in the loss. Kent made a strong defensive play in the 2nd period, hit the crossbar in the 3rd on a shot that would have given the Snakes a two goal lead.
Cameron MacDonald Was buzzing and making things happen tonight. One player who always come to play and played hard the past two seasons, wasn't very noticeable this season until tonight. This is the Cameron MacDonald I have been waiting for this preseason. Was skating hard, creating/generating plays and hard to defend against.
Reagan Milburn (2 goals) Was one of the better Vipers this evening. I thought played a great game. Was involved in the play, was shooting the puck, getting pucks towards the net and using his skill to create/generate opportunities.
Ryan Shostak (2 assists) Was another forward who played very well.
Luke Buss I thought had a few real good shifts through out the game. I wouldn't say he stood out the entire game but was very noticeable from shift to shift now and again.
Nicholas Remissong I thought played fairly well in tonight's overtime loss. I liked his game and thought he was consistent through out the game.
Luke Pakulak Is another kid I thought looked good and played very well. This kid is big, has some size, had some looks/chances through out the game.
Game Thought's: Vernon Vipers
After four exhibition games, tonight was by far the best game I have seen Vernon play this preseason. For the first time this season, I think the Vipers played their most consistent game of the preseason. The Snakes fell behind 2-0 less then six minutes into the hockey game, were outplayed for the first half of the opening frame, but didn't quit. The Vipers scored late to get within a goal and would score the next three goals to take a 3-2 lead into the 3rd period. Vernon may have scored two powerplay goals this evening but the PP really struggled. The Vipers gave up way too many shorthanded odd man rushes and opportunities. The Vipers were very lucky the Apes didn't pot a few shorthanded goals. Vernon started the 3rd period with three straight powerplay's and couldn't put the game away. Instead Salmon Arm kills off all three PP's, has no gained some confidence and a little momentum before tying the game on a powerplay of their own. I did like the Vipers compete level, their jump/energy and for the first time this preseason they finally found ways to create/generate chances. In the previous three exhibition games, Vernon lacked scoring and generated very few opportunities. Tonight the Vipers were getting pucks to the net and creating/generating chances through out the game. I still think Vernon needs to work on their passing. They improved tonight but still need some work on those tape to tape passes. The Vipers gave up way too many odd man rushes and too many shorthanded opportunities. I also would like to see the boys shoot the puck a little more from the point or from the high slot. Tonight there were lots of examples where the player waited a second or two, that now allowed the d-man or defender to get in the shooting lane or get a stick in the way. Jason Siedem & Adam Bourgeois two players who committed to the Vipers for this year, haven't impressed me this preseason. Spotted a small handful of Vipers fans at the game. The Vipers have dropped back to back games in overtime have yet to win this preseason. Vernon falls to 0-2-2-0 and travel to West Kelowna Friday.
Top Player's: Salmon Arm Silverbacks
Kieran Ruscheinski I thought played well on the Silverbacks blueline. This kid has some size and uses it. Finishes his checks, plays hard, was good defensively.
Noah Serdachny (2 assists) This kid has some wheels. Was giving the Snakes trouble all game.
Simon Tassy (1 goal & 1 assist) Was by far Salmon Arm's best player in the win. I remember watching him play online during last season's pod season and saying how good he was. Tassy is very hard to defend against, created/generated several opportunities, is very skilled. Scored the game tying goal on the PP that forced overtime.
Daniel Panetta Played well at times was another forward that gave Vernon's d-men difficulties.
Mathieu Bourgault Was another kid who has wheels and is very skilled. Was hard to defend against, hard to contain and very dangerous with and without the puck. Had several looks/chances through out the evening.
Brandon Santa Juana (2 goals & 1 assist) Scored Salmon Arm's first two goals, giving the Backs an early 2-0 lead, less then six minutes into the hockey game. Not the biggest kid but drives to the net, works and competes hard.
Liam Vanderkooi (26 saves) Was very good in goal tonight. A bigger body that covers a lot of net. Played well in the victory.
Game Thought's: Salmon Arm Silverbacks
The Silverbacks got off to a good start, jumped out to an early 2-0 lead less then six minutes into the hockey game. Salmon Arm allowed Vernon to score the next three goals were down 3-2 in the 3rd period, had to rally to tie the game to forced overtime. I thought the Silverbacks played very well even if they blew a 2-0 lead. Overall this was a very entertaining exhibition hockey game. Both teams had lots of chances through out the game. Both teams were fairly evenly matched as the play went back and fourth for a lot of the game. The Backs have some speed, skill and dangerous forwards. The Apes penalty kill was very aggressive and very good. The Backs had several very good shorthanded chances. Salmon Arm had a ton of odd man rushes through out the game. The Silverbacks unveiled new jerseys earlier this month and wore their new home jerseys tonight. This was the Silverbacks second home exhibition game and the first game with more then only season ticket holders. The Apes first exhibition home game was only allowing season ticket holders in. Unlike Vernon, fans were allowed to stand, walk around the concourse and mingle between periods as the Silverbacks are very lax when it comes to the new protocols. A very small crowd on hand to watch the Vipers tonight. They didn't announce the attendance but I would guess 350 people? Salmon Arm improves to 3-1-0-0 and hosts Penticton Friday.
No scratches were announced
Salmon Arm Silverbacks:
No scratches were announced
1st Star: Brandon Santa Juana (2 goals & 1 assist)
2nd Star: Simon Tassy (1 goal & 1 assist)
3rd Star: Reagan Milburn (2 goals)
Energy Player of the Game:
Owen Desilets (Overtime winning goal)
Here is a look at both teams rosters,
Ayden Third 02 D
Nicholas Kent 01 D
Griffen Barr 02 D
Adam Bourgeois 04 D
Desmond Johnson 02 D
Holdin Getzlaf 04 D
Greye Rampton 04 F
Jo Jo Tanaka-Campbell 01 F
Cameron MacDonald 02 F
Reagan Milburn 03 F
Ryan Shostak 01 F
Jason Siedem 02 F
Kjell Kjemhus 01 F
Daniel North 03 F
Luke Buss 03 F
Jack Glen 01 F
Nicholas Remissong 02 F
Luke Pakulak 03 F
Roan Clarke 03 G
Ethan David 03 G
Salmon Arm Silverbacks:
Kieran Ruscheinski 01 D
Tucker Hartmann 02 D
Owen Desilets 04 D
Mathieu Cobetto-Roy 03 F
Noah Serdachny 03 F
Simon Tassy 01 F
Daniel Panetta 01 F
Mathieu Bourgault 03 F
Will Lavigne 02 D
Lian Gayfer 05 F
Aidan Linblad 04 F
Owen Beckner 05 F
Nathan Morin 04 F
Ethan Ullrick 03 F
Nathan Mackie 04 F
Nic Leggett 05 D
Jake Lammens 02 D
Brandon Sanata Junana 02 F
Gabriel Murrells-Allaway 03 G
Liam Vanderkooi 03 G
Text Box Score,
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Here are some photo's I took before and during tonight's Vipers-Silverbacks game.