Friday, September 23, 2022

Regular Season Opener - Salmon Arm 3 Vernon 0

I was born and raised in Vernon, BC and been watching/following Junior hockey in Vernon my entire life. My family watched Senior men's hockey in Vernon in the 1950's and has been watching Junior hockey in Vernon since it started in 1961. I have two family members that played Junior hockey in Vernon. I have had season tickets since 1990 and missed 5 home games since 2004 and 46 home games since 1990. I started and created this blog in November 2008 and have over 2.2 million viewers. For anyone who couldn't watch or attend today's Vipers game, here are my thoughts and views 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 regular season opener as Salmon Arm defeated Vernon 3-0 in front of 1,361 fans at the Shaw Centre.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon Vipers: Roan Clarke 
Salmon Arm Silverbacks: Matthew Tovell

1st Period: 1:24 into the Silverbacks home opener it was the visiting Vernon Vipers who would get an early power play after Salmon Arm would get called with too many men. The Vipers struggled with the early man advantage as Ethan Ullrick on an odd man rush would be stoned in front after Roan Clarke come across the crease to make a left pad save off a two on one opportunity. The Silverbacks with three shots shorthanded, while the Snakes didn't record a single shot on the PP as SA kills off the minor. Six minutes into the 1st Connor Welsh unloaded a quick shot from the top of the slot, but Roan Clarke was out to challenge, made the stop. Shortly after the Vipers would get their second power play of the period. Vernon would eventually generate some pressure and get two or three cracks at a loose puck at the top of the crease but couldn't solve Matthew Tovell who was down and out, somehow managed to track the puck and smother it, stopping the play. The S'Backs got some key saves from their goaltender and killed off the penalty. Salmon Arm was outshooting Vernon 6-2 at one point and now the shots were 6-6 at the midway point of the 1st period. Just past the halfway mark, the Apes would get their first PP of the hockey game. Ethan Ullrick, Nathan Morin and Connor Welsh all had good looks/opportunities but couldn't beat Roan Clarke. The Vipers netminder was forced to make a few big stops as Vernon killed off the minor. With about five and a half minutes left in the opening frame, the Snakes would get a flurry of chances in and around the goal but unable to find the back of the net. In the final seconds, the Backs tried shoving the puck between Roan Clarke and the post as the Silverbacks come close to sneaking in a late goal at the buzzer. It was 0-0 after 20 minutes of play. I thought this was a fairly even played game with both teams getting some looks/opportunities. Both goaltenders played well. A very evenly matched period. This was an entertaining period. Salmon Arm outshot Vernon 16-10.

2nd Period: Three minutes into the middle frame Ethan Ullrick couldn't solve Vernon Vipers starting goaltender Roan Clarke on an odd man rush. Clarke was forced to make a difficult save with bodies driving to the goal. About a minute later, Luke Lavery with a strong individual effort, created a scoring chance couldn't beat Salmon Arm Silverbacks starting netminder Matthew Tovell in close. Lavery would get a second opportunity shortly after forcing Matthew Tovell to stretch to make the blocker save. Two quality chances from Luke Lavery. Shortly after the Snakes would get caught giving up the odd man rush. Isaac Lambert beat Roan Clarke on the backhand five hole, giving Salmon Arm a 1-0 lead at 6:32 Connor Welsh & Aidan Lindblad collected the assists. Just less than two minutes later, the Gorillas would jump on the man advantage. One minute into the power play, on a delayed penalty Max Borovinskiy gave a Salmon Arm player a crosscheck behind the goal, this started a minor scrum as everyone grabbed a partner and started pushing and shoving. Borovinskiy was given two minutes for roughing while Isaac Lambert was given two minutes for boarding and two minutes for roughing. Both teams were four on four until Vernon would get a shortened power play. Just as the Vipers went on the man advantage, Owen Desilets sprung Silverbacks captain Nathan Mackie in for the breakaway. Mackie beat Roan Clarke five hole, giving Salmon Arm a 2-0 shorthanded lead at 10:30 Owen Desilets drew the lone assist. Just as the penalty was coming to an end, the Apes would get a PP. Ethan Ullrick with a wicked shot from the circle, forced Roan Clarke into making a big stop as the Snakes would kill off the penalty. It was 2-0 Salmon Arm after 40 minutes of play. Both teams were fairly even until the Silverbacks opened the scoring. This seemed to change the momentum and the tide as SA had a slight edge in play for the remainder of the period. The S'Backs had more puck control but didn't get a whole lot of pucks on goal or generate a whole lot of chances but seemed to have the better of the play. The Vipers had some very good looks early in the period, were getting pucks to the net but saw a lot of play in their own end. Two back to back goals seemed to take the wind out of the sail of the Vernon Vipers. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 15-6.

3rd Period: 1:26 into the final frame, Anthony Cliche tripped up Ryan Gillespie on the breakaway, giving Salmon Arm an early man advantage. The Apes had a ton of pressure, had a few good looks, were unable to capitalize with the power play. Four minutes later, Vernon would get their lone PP of the 3rd. The Vipers had some pressure but not a whole lot of chances as the Backs defence was blocking shots, keeping the Snakes to the outside and limiting their chances. SA killed off the minor. Just as the penalty expired, the Gorillas went back to the power play. Reid Varkonyi setup CJ Foley who would be robbed by Roan Clarke on one of if not his biggest saves of the evening. The Vipers gave up a few looks but managed to kill off the minor. With about three and a half minutes remaining, William Lavigne's point shot either found its way through traffic or was redirected, either way Roan Clarke had to be sharp to make an outstanding left pad save, keeping this a two goal game. Vernon would get Roan Clarke to the bench for the extra attacker with 1:37 left in the contest. The Snakes had a few cracks at a bouncing puck in and around the goal, couldn't get the puck through a pile of bodies in front of the goal before Brandon Santa Juana setup Ethan Ullrick on the two on one. Ullrick hit the open cage, giving Salmon Arm a 3-0 lead at 19:24 Brandon Santa Juana and Jake Lammens picked up the helpers. This goal sealed the win as Salmon Arm opened the 2022-23 regular season with a 3-0 victory. Another evenly matched period. The Silverbacks had the better scoring chances while Vernon struggled offensively to generate many quality opportunities. The Vipers managed to get the puck out front and to the front of the goal, but no player was anywhere near the puck. Any chance the Snakes did get in close, Salmon Arm blocked the shot or Matthew Tovell was there for the save. Shots were 11-11.

Vernon Vipers Top Player's:

Ludovik Tardif had a strong 1st period. Played with energy, was moving the puck and trying to create/generate chances.

Luke Lavery I thought was the Vipers best player in the loss. Played hard, had lots of jump and was involved offensively. Had some looks/opportunities.

Roan Clarke (30 saves) Played well between the pipes. 

Game Thought's: Vernon Vipers

- I thought the Vipers played very well and held their own for most of the night

- The Snakes struggled offensively, need a goal scorer

- Vernon struggled with their passing at times

- The Vipers had some good looks/opportunities, couldn't find the back of the net

- The Snakes have 11 players returning from last season

- Vernon's last regular season win in Salmon Arm was a 5-3 victory January 12th 2020

- The Vipers went 0-4 in Salmon Arm last year

- These two teams will meet again Saturday in Vernon for the Vipers home opener

- I know it's early and the first regular season game, but I think the Vipers have a much better team on paper this year compared to last season

- The Vipers didn't get any puck luck/have the bounces go their way 

- The Snakes play three of their first four games on the road

- Vernon was in tonight's game and had a chance

- I spotted about 20 or so Viper fans at tonight's game

- With the loss, Vernon falls to 0-1-0-0

Top Player's: Salmon Arm Silverbacks

CJ Foley impressed me. I thought played well on the Silverbacks blueline

Owen Desilets (1 assist) Was very good on the Gorillas blueline. This kid can skate/move the puck, jump into the rush and is very skilled. Had a strong game.

Connor Welsh (1 assist) Isn't the biggest forward but plays with a lot of drive/energy. Works hard and competes every shift.

Ethan Ullrick (1 goal) Scored the empty netter was the S'Backs best player this evening. Had a ton of looks/chances, was all over the rink. Hard to contain/defend against

Isaac Lambert (1 goal) A big body, is hard to knock off the puck and defend against, played very well.

Jake Lammens Was another Salmon Arm defender that played very well in the win

Matthew Tovell (36 saves) Made his Silverbacks regular season debut recorded his first career BCHL shutout in his first career BCHL regular season game. The Silverbacks acquired Tovell from the CCHL Hawkesbury Hawks August 22nd 2022. A bigger goaltender played very well, had some puck luck and a few bounces go his way, but was on top of his game.

Game Thought's: Salmon Arm Silverbacks

- The Silverbacks played well in a very entertaining hockey game

- A very large and rowdy crowd on hand for the Silverbacks home opener

- Salmon Arm had a slight edge in play at times but overall tonight's game was evenly matched and could have gone either way

- The Apes played very well defensively and in front of their own net. SA blocked a lot of shots and got some puck luck along the way

- I'm really liking the Silverbacks new/old look. The Backs went back to their original look/jerseys last season going with the purple and silver, a much cleaner look over the previous black and silver jerseys the Silverbacks had been wearing 

- The Gorillas have a little more speed and skill over Vernon

- Both teams couldn't capitalize with the man advantage. Vernon went 0-4 with the power play, while Salmon Arm went 0-5

- I thought teams could only carry 23 players? Vernon has 23 players while the Silverbacks have 25

- Overall this was a very exciting and entertaining hockey game

- The S'Backs have 13 players returning from last season

- The Silverbacks went 2-0 vs Vernon in the preseason

- Salmon Arm went 6-0-2-0 vs Vernon last year

- The Silverbacks & Vipers will play seven times this regular season

- The Silverbacks play three of their first four games on home ice

- With the win, Salmon Arm improves to 1-0-0-0


Vernon Vipers:

Dylan Compton
Revy Mack
Will Blackburn

Salmon Arm Silverbacks:

Nic Leggett
Mathieu Bourgault
Lian Gayfer
Hayden Stavroff
Jayden Grier

Three Star's:

1st Star: Matthew Tovell (36 saves)
2nd Star: Nathan Mackie (1 goal)
3rd Star: Isaac Lambert (1 goal)

Energy Player of the Game:

Connor Welsh (1 assist)

Boxscore-Game Summary,

Game Report,

Text Box Score,

Vernon Junior Hockey History website,

Please feel free to leave comments or suggestions in the comment box below. I always enjoy and post all comments as long as there tasteful.

Here are some photo's I took before and during tonight's Vipers-Silverbacks game.


PaulyWog54 said...

0 goals, seriously! ….. over-all a pretty decent game!

Viper fan said...

It was a good game to watch. I agree we are much further ahead than last year. Hopefully will show much better as the season progresses. Anyone know why none of last night's games show the total shots on goal? Seems a strange statistic not to record.