Saturday, April 30, 2022

Former Viper Bilous Records Shutout In Game 2 Of SJHL Finals:

Former Vernon Vipers goaltender Boston Bilous stopped all 26 shots to

record his first playoff shutout in a 2-0 victory over the Flin Flon Bombers in Game 2 of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Finals. 

Here is the press release from the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League website,

Bilous Blanks Bombers in Game 2 | Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL)

Bilous and the Estevan Bruins host the Flin Flon Bombers in Game 5 tonight in Estevan. The series is currently tied 2-2. The Bruins are the 2022 Centennial Cup Hosts. 

Bilous is in his first season with the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Estevan Briuns. In 40 regular season games this season, Bilous went 25-9-4 with a 2.11 GAA is 10-3 in the playoffs with a 1.95 GAA

Bilous played the past four seasons in the Western Hockey League with Edmonton, Prince Albert & Moose Jaw. Bilous was drafted 80th overall in Round 4 of the 2016 Western Hockey League Draft. 

Bilous attended the Vernon Vipers training camp in August 2015. 

Boston Bilous's Player Profile:

Boston Bilous - Elite Prospects

Friday, April 29, 2022

Ex Viper Mercer-Bandits Adavance To AJHL League Finals:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Ethan Mercer and the Alberta Junior Hockey

League Brooks Bandits advanced to the AJHL League Finals after eliminating the Okotoks Oilers in four games to win the South Division Championship. The Bandits will face the Spruce Grove Saints in the AJHL Finals starting April 29th 2022.

Mercer is in his first season with the Alberta Junior Hockey League Brooks Bandits. In 34 regular season games with the Bandits, Mercer collected (5-goals-6-assists-11-points). In 6 playoff games, Mercer has (0-goals-1-assist-1-point).

Here is the press release from the Brooks Bandits website,

Brooks Bandits | News Archives

The AJHL League Finals info and schedule is now available,

Here is the press release from the Brooks Bandits website,

Brooks Bandits | News Archives

Here is the press release from the AJHL website,

AJHL | League News Archives

Mercer was recruited by the Vipers, committed to the Vernon Vipers June 12th 2020 for the 2020-21 season. Mercer played one season in Vernon with the 2020-21 Vernon Vipers. Mercer started the 2021-22 season with the Vipers, was traded to the Alberta Junior Hockey League Brooks Bandits two games into the 2021-22 season. The Vipers traded Mercer to the Brooks Bandits October 19th 2021 for future considerations. In 18 games with the Vipers, Mercer collected (0-goals-2-assists-2-points).

Ethan Mercer's Player Profile:

Ethan Mercer - Elite Prospects

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Blog Hits 2.2 Million Viewers:

On April 27th 2022 Vipersdiehardfan Blog hit 2.2 million viewers.

I would like to thank everyone who visit's my Vipersdiehardfan Blog and thank the fans that leave comments and suggestions, for their continued support.

I created and started this blog in November 2008.

Blogger tells me how many viewers I get per minute, per hour, per day, per week, per month and per year. During the Vipers season this year, I averaged between 350-1000 viewers a day, sometimes more. My blog hit 2.1 million viewers November 2nd 2021.

To follow the view count, check out the view counter on the left hand side of the blog.

Thank you for your support,

Vipersdiehardfan


Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Former Vernon Viper Swetlikoff Suspended:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Alex Swetlikoff has been suspended two

games for a check from behind.

Here is the press release from the Western Hockey League website,

WHL Discipline – WHL Network

Swetlikoff is in his first season with the Western Hockey League Everett Silvertips after coming over in a trade with the Kelowna Rockets August 25th 2021. In 68 regular season games, Swetlikoff collected (33-goals-51-assists-84-points).

Swetlikoff and the Silvertips are tied 1-1 in the best of seven 1st round playoff series vs the Vancouver Giants, with Game 3 going Wednesday in Langley. Swetlikoff has one goal in the first two playoff games.

Swetlikoff played two and a half seasons with his hometown Kelowna Rockets before being traded to Everett August 25th 2021.

Swetlikoff played a season and a half in Vernon from 2017-2018. Swetlikoff left the Vipers once his rights were traded from the Lethbridge Hurricanes to the Kelowna Rockets December 6th 2018. Swetlikoff left the Vipers December 18th 2018 for the Kelowna Rockets. In 78 games with the Vipers, Swetlikoff collected (11-goals-23-assists-34-points).

Alex Swetlikoff's Player Profile:

Alex Swetlikoff - Elite Prospects

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Turnbull Shares Broadcaster Of The Year:

Vernon Vipers broadcaster Graham Turnbull & Alberni Valley Bulldogs broadcaster Evan Hammond have been named the BCHL's co-Broadcasters of the Year.

Here is the press release from the Vernon Vipers website,

Turnbull Shares Broadcaster Of The Year | Vernon Vipers

Here is the press release from the Alberni Valley Bulldogs website,

Vernon’s Graham Turnbull and Alberni’s Evan Hammond named Broadcasters of the Year | Alberni Valley Bulldogs

Here is the press release from the BCHL website,

Vernon’s Graham Turnbull and Alberni’s Evan Hammond named Broadcasters of the Year | BCHL League Site

Railers Release Vipers Alumni Jandric:

The ECHL Worcester Railers have released former Vernon Vipers forward

Steven Jandric.

Here is the press release from www.echl.com

ECHL Transactions - March 27

Jandric was in his first season with the ECHL Worcester Railers. The Railers signed Jandric March 20th 2022. In 5 games, Jandric collected (2 goals-3-assists-5-points).

Jandric spent the past five seasons playing with three Universities. Jandric committed to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks for the 2017-18 season. Jandric played three seasons in Alaska before transferring to Denver University for the 2020-21 season. After one season at Denver University, Jandric transferred to Merrimack College for the 2021-22 season. In 34 games this season, Jandric collected (8-goals-20-assists-28-points).

Jandric played two seasons in Vernon from 2015-2017. In 115 games with the Vipers, Jandric collected (34-goals-39-assists-73-points).

Steven Jandric's Player Profile:

Steven Jandric - Elite Prospects

Monday, April 25, 2022

Komets Place Ex Viper Twins On Reserve:

The ECHL Fort Wayne Komets have placed former Vernon Vipers forwards/twins

Connor & Kellen Jones on reserve.

Here is the press release from the ECHL website,

ECHL Transactions - April 14

Connor Jones is in his first season with the ECHL Fort Wayne Komets. The Komets signed Jones August 30th 2021. In 52 games, Jones has (10-goals-29-assists-39-points).

Connor Jones played last season in Sweden with Vasterviks IK, a professional hockey team from Vasterviks, Sweden that play in the Swedish Ice Hockey League.

Connor Jones played in the ECHL & American Hockey League from 2014-2019 before playing hockey in Sweden in 2019.

Connor Jones played four years at Quinnipiac University from 2010-2014 before signing his first professional contract with the American Hockey League Oklahoma City Barons April 3rd 2014. Jones signed a one year-two way contract with the New York Islanders February 22nd 2017. Jones made his NHL/Islanders debut April 1st 2017 vs the Buffalo Sabres. 

Connor Jones played three seasons in Vernon from 2007-2010. In 163 games with the Vipers, Jones collected (80-goals-118-assists-198-points). Jones is 6th on the franchise all-time goals list with 80 goals, is 7th on the franchise all-time assists list with 118 assists and 6th on the franchise all-time points list with 198 points.

Connor Jones Player Profile:

Connor Jones - Elite Prospects

Kellen Jones is in his first season with the ECHL Fort Wayne Komets. The Komets signed Jones August 30th 2021. In 70 games, Jones has (12-goals-47-assists-59-points).

Kellen Jones played last season in Sweden with Vasterviks IK, a professional hockey team from Vasterviks, Sweden that play in the Swedish Ice Hockey League.

Kellen Jones played in the ECHL & American Hockey League from 2014-2018 before playing hockey in Sweden in 2018.

Kellen Jones played four years at Quinnipiac University from 2010-2014 before signing his first professional contract with the American Hockey League Oklahoma City Barons April 3rd 2014.

Kellen Jones played three seasons in Vernon from 2007-1010. In 154 games with the Vipers, Jones collected (39-goals-134-assists-173-points).

Kellen Jones Player Profile:

Kellen Jones - Elite Prospects

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Day 3 Report From Vernon Vipers Spring Camp:

I have had season tickets since 1990 and been following/watching Junior hockey in Vernon my whole life. Here are my thought's from the Vipers spring camp.

I was at Kal Tire Place this morning to check out the final day of the Vipers spring camp. Each game/scrimmage is two thirty minute non-stop running periods, with a full ice clean between periods. A penalty is an automatic penalty shot.

No rosters/lineup sheets were available.

The first game/scrimmage of the morning saw Team Black shutout Team Green 3-0. It was 0-0 after the 1st period with Team Black goaltender #1 not allowing a goal. Team Green's goaltender #30 was the only goaltender and played the entire game. This was an entertaining game/scrimmage. With Team Black ahead 1-0 in the 2nd period, #13 on Team Green was hit the post on a penalty shot. Team Black added an empty netter for the victory.

Forward #18 for Team Black stood out again for a second day at camp. I thought he looked very good in one of the games yesterday, was by far the best player on the ice in today's game. A very highly skilled player, that can skate, move the puck, create/generate opportunities and hard to defend against. I talked to someone in the crowd that told me he's an import and 19 years old. This kid was by far the most skilled and best player at spring camp.

In the second game/scrimmage of the day saw Team Blue defeat Team Gold 4-1. It was 2-0 Team Blue after one period. Both teams were fairly even in the 1st but it was Team Gold that come on in the 2nd period, getting the better of the opportunities. Team Blue's goaltender #30 played very well in the 2nd period. Team Gold's goaltender #1 allowed two soft goals from the goal line in the 2nd period that put the game away. 

Goaltender #30 on Team Blue played the 2nd period and was tested often, played very well, only allowing one goal in the final period. 

Forward #14 on Team Gold isn't very big but is quick, goes to the net and created some chances. 

In the third and final game of spring camp saw Team White come from behind to beat Team Red 2-1 in a shootout. It was 1-0 Team Red after one period in a game/scrimmage that wasn't too exciting. Both teams didn't generate many chances. Team Red's goaltender #30 didn't allow a goal, while Team White's goaltender #30 allowed one goal. Team Red's goaltender #35 allowed one goal in regulation, while Team White's goaltender #1 didn't allow a goal. 

Forward #19 on Team Red had a few good shifts, was one of the players I noticed in one of the games on Saturday. 

Side Notes:

I talked to someone last night at one of the games/scrimmages and was told the reason the Vipers didn't put out any rosters/lineup sheets was because it's a privacy act towards the players. None of these players have committed to the Vipers, so they don't want other teams or scouts talking to these kids if the Vipers are interested. 

I was a little surprised to not see any Viper fans or season tickets over the weekend.

I would guess between 50-80 people in attendance for the three games today.

You have to wonder if any of these kids will be invited back to the main camp in September? And even if so, with a possible 24 kids already on the Vipers roster for next season, what chances do they have of making it? The Vipers have a possible fourteen players returning from this past season and eleven players who have already committed to the team for next season.

Here is a look at possible player's returning from the 2021-22 Vernon Vipers

Forwards:

Luke Buss 03
Max Borovinskiy 04
Tyler Chan 05
Copeland Fricker 03
Luke Lavery 04
Luke Pakulak 03

Defencemen:

Griffen Barr 02
Luke Ashton 05
Anthony Cliche 03
Ayden Third 02

Goaltenders:

Roan Clarke 03
Ethan David 03

Forwards Seiya Tanaka-Campbell and Reagan Milburn both show they are off to University next season but two posters on here said they are returning to Vernon next season. Guess will have to wait and see.

New recruits/Committed players for the 2022-23 season

Forwards:

William Blackburn 03
Hank Cleaves 03
Julian Facchinelli 04
Kurt Gurkan 04
Revelin Mack 02
Max Seguin 04
Ludovik Tardif 04

Defencemen:

David Brandes 04
Connor Chalmers 04
Justin Chaput 03
Dane Weston 03

Here are some pictures I took during today's camp,









Catching Up With Vipers Alumni Bigos:

Easty catches up with former Vernon Vipers defenceman Kyle Bigos.

I received a comment on my blog this year, from a fellow who use to work with the Elite Ice Hockey League Edinburgh Capitals media team. Now doing his own work, Easty catches up with former Vipers & Capitals defenceman Kyle Bigos. Easty wanted me to publish his story for all Viper fans.

Here is Easty's story from Easty's blog,

….Kyle Bigos – Easty Catches Up With… (wordpress.com)

Bigos is retired from professional hockey and currently an EMT working on an ambulance and recently graduated from fire academy and pursuing a career as a firefighter.

Bigos retired from professional hockey in 2018. Bigos last played professional hockey during the 2017-18 season playing in the ECHL with the Quad City Mallards and Jacksonville Icemen.

Bigos played four seasons at Merrimack College from 2009-2013 before signing his first professional contract with the American Hockey League Worcester Sharks July 16th 2013. Bigos played four seasons in the American Hockey League & ECHL from 2013-2015 & 2016-2018 playing with Worcester, San Francisco, Ontario, Idaho, Quad City & Jacksonville also played one season (2015-16) with the Elite Ice Hockey League Edinburgh Capitals. The Capitals are Scottish ice hockey team that plays in the UK.

Bigos was drafted 99th overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the 4th round at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Bigos never played a game with the Oilers, attended the Oilers development camp two out of three years before being traded to the San Jose Sharks July 7th 2013. Bigos never played a game for the Sharks.

Bigos played two seasons in Vernon from 2007-2009. In 166 games with the Vipers, Bigos collected (10-goals-40-assists-50-points). 

Kyle Bigos's Player Profile:

Kyle Bigos - Elite Prospects

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Day 2 Report From Vernon Vipers Spring Camp:

I have had season tickets since 1990 and been following/watching Junior hockey in Vernon my whole life. Here are my thought's from the Vipers spring camp.

I was at Kal Tire Place all morning and evening to watch the Vipers spring camp. Each game/scrimmage is two thirty non-stop running periods, with a full ice clean between periods. A penalty is an automatic penalty shot.

No rosters/lineup sheets were available today.

The first game/scrimmage of the morning saw Team White defeat Team Black 4-3 in a shootout. Team Black had a slight edge in play at times and the better of the opportunities. Team Black looked good in the 1st period. It was 1-1 after the 1st period. Team Black's goaltender #1 and Team White's goaltender #30 both gave up a goal each in the opening frame, while Team Black's goaltender #30 gave up three goals in the 2nd period, while Team White's goaltender #1 gave up two goals in the second half.

Defenceman #3 from Team White played well through out the scrimmage.

Goaltender wearing #1 from Team White made some big stops in the 1st period, played well.

Forward #18 from Team Black was by far the best player on the ice. Wearing New York Islanders pants, gloves and helmet is highly skilled, can skate, move the puck and has a wicked shot. 

In the second game/scrimmage of the morning saw Team Gold beat Team Green 6-2. It was 3-1 for Team Gold after the 1st in a game that was pretty boring and not much happening. Team Gold's goaltender #30 gave up one goal after the 1st while Team Green's goaltender #1 allowed three goals. Team Gold's goaltender #1 allowed one goal in the 2nd period, while Team Green's goaltender #30 allowed three goals. Nobody from either team stood out or caught my attention.

In the third game/scrimmage of the day saw Team Blue defeat Team Red 4-3 in a shootout. It was 3-2 for Team Blue after the 1st. Team Blue's goaltender #1 allowed two goals in the 1st, while Team Red's goaltender #30 gave up three goals. Team Blue's goaltender #30 allowed one goal in the 2nd while Team Red's goaltender #35 allowed no goals during regulation. This was a very physical, fast paced scrimmage with lots of pace and chances through out the game. This was by far the more entertaining game/scrimmage of the day.

Forwards #15 & #12 from Team Blue were the more skilled forwards on Team Blue. Both scored once and had several opportunities. 

Forward #19 from Team Red has some size and skill was by far Team Red's best player. Was physical, played well at both ends of the rink. Made a strong defensive play on the back check to break up a breakaway.

In the fourth game/scrimmage today saw Team Black beat Team Gold 6-0. It was 2-0 Team Black after the 1st. Team Gold only had one goaltender who played the entire game/scrimmage while Team Black's goaltender #30 played the 1st period, while goaltender #1 played in the 2nd period. This wasn't much of a game/scrimmage as it was basically all Team Black. No players from either team really stood out.

In the fifth game of the day saw Team Blue beat Team White 3-1. Team White lead 1-0 after the 1st with Team Blue scoring three goals in the 2nd period to earn the victory. Team Blue's goaltender #30 gave up one goal, played the 1st period, while Team White's goaltender # 1 played the 1st period. Team Blue's goaltender #1 played didn't allow a goal in the 2nd period, while Team White's goaltender #30 gave up three goals. This was an entertaining game/scrimmage with both teams evenly matched at times.

Team Blue's goaltender #1 played the 2nd period, didn't give up a single goal, was solid between the pipes with Team White getting some good opportunities.

In the final game/scrimmage of the day saw Team Red shutout Team Green 2-0. It was 0-0 after the 1st with Team Red scoring both goals in the 2nd period. Team Red's goaltender #35 didn't allow a goal in the 1st, while #1 didn't allow a goal in the 2nd period. Team Green's goaltender #1 didn't allow a goal, while goaltender #30 allowed two goals in the 2nd period. This was a very good defensive game with very little scoring chances. Both teams played hard but neither team could get the offence going.

Defenceman #3 on Team Red looked good at times tonight.

Side Notes:

With no lineup sheets/rosters, it's really hard to follow the kids and know who to watch from game to game.

A very small turnout of fans through out the day with mostly the Vipers coaching staff and parents/family members in attendance. I would guess between 40-70 people per game through out the day.

I was talking to one parent who was told a handful of these kids will be invited back to the Vipers main camp in September. 

The final day of spring camp continues Sunday with the first game/scrimmage starting at 9am

Here are some photo's I took through out the day,
















Sheffield Steelers Sign Former Viper Whistle:

The Elite Ice Hockey League Sheffield Steelers have signed forner Vernon Vipers forward Brandon Whistle.

Here is the press release from the Sheffield Steelers website,

Steelers Add Brandon Whistle on 2-Way Deal – Sheffield Steelers

The Steelers are a professional ice hockey team located in Sheffield, England that play in the Elite Ice Hockey League. This is Whistle's second stint with the Steelers. Whistle played one season with the Steelers during the 2018-19 season. 

Whistle started the 2021-22 season with the National League Leeds Knights. In 29 games with the Knights, Whistle collected (28-goals-33-assists-61-points). The Knights are a professional ice hockey team from Leeds, West Yorkshire, England that play in the National League.

Whistle didn't play professional hockey last season due to COVID-19. Whistle last played professional hockey with the Telford Tigers during the 2019-20 season. The Tigers are a professional ice hockey team from Telford, England that play in the National Ice Hockey League.

Whistle finished his Junior hockey career with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in 2018 before signing his first professional contract with the Elite Ice Hockey League Sheffield Steelers in 2018. Whistle has played three of the past four seasons in England with three different teams.

Whistle played parts of one season in Vernon with the 2017-18 Vernon Vipers. The Vipers traded the playing rights of Adam Panacci to the Alberta Junior Hockey League Bonnyville Pontiacs November 6th 2017 for Brandon Whistle. The Vipers traded Whistle to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks December 30th 2017 for Josh Latta. In 16 games with the Vipers, Whistle collected (0-goals-3-assists-3-points). 

Brandon Whistle's Player Profile:

Brandon Whistle - Elite Prospects

Friday, April 22, 2022

Day 1 Report From Vernon Vipers Spring Camp:

I have had season tickets since 1990 and been following/watching Junior hockey in Vernon my whole life. Here are some of my thought's from the Vernon Vipers spring camp.

I stopped by Kal Tire Place this evening for the third and final scrimmage of the day. Each game/scrimmage is two thirty non-stop running periods, with a full ice clean between periods. A penalty is an automatic penalty shot.

This afternoon saw Team Black vs Team Blue at 1:30pm and Team White vs Team Green at 3:30pm

I attended and watched the third and final game/scrimmage of opening day between Team Red vs Team Gold. 

No rosters/lineup sheets were available for tonight's game/scrimmage.

Team Gold shutout Team Red 6-0 in front of about fifty or so fans in attendance. Team Gold was obviously the better of the two teams. It was 4-0 Team Gold after the 1st period. Team Red's goaltender #35 gave up four goals, while Team Gold's goaltender #1 didn't allow a goal. Team Gold score two more goals in the 2nd and final period. Team Red's goaltender #30 gave up both goals, while Team Gold's goaltender #30 didn't allow a goal. 

Not many player's stood out other then #14 on Team Gold. A smaller forward, has some wheels, can skate and make plays. 

Side Notes:

Day 2 of spring camp continue's Saturday morning, with the first game/scrimmage starting at 8am

Here are a few pictures I took tonight,








Vernon Vipers Spring Camp Schedule:

The Vernon Vipers open spring camp this afteroon at 12pm with camp going all weekend.

Here is the full spring camp schedule and more info on camp from the Vernon Vipers webite,

Spring Camp This Weekend | Vernon Vipers