Saturday, March 18, 2023

Vernon 2 Trail 1 Shootout

I was born and raised in Vernon, BC and been watching/following Junior hockey in Vernon my whole 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 tonight's Vipers game, here are my thoughts and views from tonight's hockey game. You may agree or disagree, but we all have our own opinion on the hockey game and see things differently. 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 Vernon Vipers-Trail Smoke Eaters game as Vernon defeated Trail 2-1 in a shootout in front of 2,137 fans at Kal Tire Place.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon Vipers: Ethan David
Trail Smoke Eaters: Keegan Maddocks

1st Period: Off the opening faceoff, Lee Parks would cut towards the goal and try going high on Keegan Maddocks who stayed with the play, making the big save inside the opening minute. About three and a half minutes in, Rhett Hamilton with a quality chance couldn't solve Ethan David who made a big pad save early into the hockey game. The Smoke Eaters would get the games first power play, just over five minutes into the 1st. Trail didn't generate much with the man advantage as Vernon killed off the minor. Just as the penalty expired, the Snakes would jump on their first power play after Adam Marshall was given a double minor for kneeing on Thomas Tien. Tien limped to the bench but seemed to be ok and stayed in the hockey game. Walker Erickson & Lee Parks with quality opportunities couldn't bury one early on the lengthy PP before Josh Schenk somehow gets one past Ethan David on a draw in the Vernon zone, giving Trail a 1-0 lead at 9:51 Ethan Mann with the assist. Before the double minor expired, the Smokies couldn't connect on a two on one odd man rush as Trail plays well shorthanded and kills off the double minor. Just as the penalty expired, the Smoke Eaters sprung Adam Marshall coming out of the penalty box in for the breakaway, but Ethan David with a big stop, keeping this a one goal game. On the same play, the Smokies went back to the sin bin, sending Vernon back to the power play. The Snakes would register only one shot  and again the Snakes give up a shorthanded odd man rush, luckily for the Vipers Trail missed the net. Not long after Trail would take a penalty, sending both teams to four on four before the Smoke Eaters would get a shortened man advantage. Shorthanded Luke Pakulak won the puck race, before ripping a shot past Keegan Maddocks, tying the game 1-1 at 14:25 Anson McMaster with the lone assist. Vernon would kill off the remainder of the penalty. The Vipers setup Isaac Tremblay at the top of the crease, looked to have an open cage but Luke Margenau with a solid defensive play, lifted Tremblay's stick, taking away what looked like a sure goal with about four minutes remaining. Shortly after Trail would get their third power play late in the period but unable to generate much with the man advantage as the Vipers killed off the minor. It was 1-1 after 20 minutes of play. This was a fairly even period with neither team really outplaying the other team. The Snakes struggled with the man advantage, didn't play with a whole lot of jump/energy, didn't look very sharp in the 1st period. Vernon missing passes often, didn't create/generate much for opportunities. The Smoke Eaters played well, were good defensively, also didn't have a whole lot of scoring chances. Trail outshot Vernon 12-10.

2nd Period: One minute into the period, Jullian Facchinelli come out of the corner with the puck, forcing Trail Smoke Eaters starting netminder Keegan Maddocks into flashing the leather with a quick glove save off a shot from inside the circle. Just over seven minutes into the middle frame, Vernon would get a power play, just as the penalty was about to expire, Hank Cleaves shot got through traffic, hit the post as the Vipers come close to taking the lead. As the penalty expired, the Smokies come back the other way on an odd man rush. Trail tried setting up Brady Hunter on a missed opportunity. Late in the period, Trail would jump on the man advantage and former Vernon Vipers forward Nicholas Remissong with a good look in front would be denied by Vernon Vipers starting goaltender Ethan David. This was the Smokies lone shot with the PP as Vernon killed off the minor. It was 1-1 after 40 minutes of play. Both teams looked very scrambled and couldn't much traction going. The Vipers had the better of the play for most of the first half but couldn't do anything with the puck. Both teams went a long period of time with no shots on goal. The Smokies were physical and played with an edge, mixing it up after a few whistles. Both teams struggled getting pucks to the net and getting scoring chances. A very boring period with very little action. Trail outshot Vernon 6-5.

3rd Period: About a minute or so into the frame, Adam Marshall and Ethan Mann lead an odd man rush. Marshall decided to keep and shoot, forcing Ethan David into making a pad save early into the 3rd. Just over seven minutes in, Vernon would get their first of back to back power plays. The Snakes couldn't capitalize on a goal mouth scramble as Trail killed off the first minor. About a minute later, Vernon had a couple of looks couldn't capitalize with the man advantage as Trail with a strong PK kills off back to back penalties. The Smoke Eaters would get a late PP with about five minutes remaining. Trail had a couple of looks but unable to take the lead as the Snakes kill off the penalty. With about three minutes remaining, Ayden Third & Ethan Mann mix it up in a scrum as both players get minors. With about two minutes left in the 3rd, Lee Parks looked to have an open cage but somehow couldn't put home the puck on a missed opportunity. It was 1-1 after 60 minutes of play. The Snakes a bit of an edge in the play but again didn't generate a whole lot of chances. The Vipers struggled to take the lead with back to back power plays. Vernon was able to get more pucks to the net still didn't look sharp. The Smoke Eaters defence & PK was very good keeping the Vipers to the outside, limiting their chances and closing the shooting lanes. Trail had a couple of looks but just like Vernon didn't create/generate much. The Smokies with another physical/in your face period played hard. Vernon outshot Trail 12-6.

Overtime: The Vipers won the opening draw and held possession for almost the first minute and a half but no shots on goal before taking a penalty. The Smokies would get an early PP and had several good looks but fired wide or high over the net on at least four or five different shots. Trail did get a few pucks to the net but Ethan David was good. Just as the penalty was coming to an end, Ethan Mann's blast forced Ethan David into flashing the leather with a big glove save, keeping this game tied. In the final minute of play Seiya Tanaka-Campbell was out for almost all of overtime, stayed out for way too long of a shift, couldn't get back to the bench in time, as Vernon was called with too many men, sending the visiting Trail Smoke Eaters back to the man advantage with twenty seconds remaining. The Snakes were able to dodge a huge bullet and escape OT killing off the final twenty seconds. It was 1-1 after 65 minutes of play. The Snakes had the early edge in play but a strong defensive effort from the Smoke Eaters, didn't allow Vernon to generate any kind of offensive attack. Trail had several good looks/quality chances couldn't convert in OT. Trail outshot Vernon 4-0.


Vernon Vipers Shooters:

Connor Welsh
Hank Cleaves (goal)

Trail Smoke Eaters Shooters:

Josh Schenk
Jordan Hendry
Brady Hunter

Vernon Vipers Top Player's:

Hank Cleaves (1 goal-Shootout winner) Played a heck of a game last night, was one of Vernon's lone bright spots tonight. I thought Cleaves was one of a very select few forwards who was skating and played with some energy. Cleaves had some looks and rang a 2nd period shot off the post on the PP

Ethan David (27 saves) Played well between the pipes in the victory. Stopped all three Trail shooters in the shootout. At one point in the game, David got lucky on one shot that come straight off the back wall, through his legs, could have easily hit the back of his pads and gone back into his own goal. 

Game Thought's: Vernon Vipers

- This wasn't the same Vipers team that beat Trail 6-1 Friday night

- The Snakes have won five straight games, their longest winning streak of the season

- Vernon goes 0-5 with the man advantage

- A fairly big crowd on hand tonight. Tonight's attendance was announced at 2,137

- Vernon didn't look sharp, were out of sink often, didn't have much jump/engery and played with not the same type of emotion and intensity as last night

- The Vipers went 4-1 vs Trail this season

- Tonight was the Vipers final regular season home game

- Kal Tire Place was very quiet with very little atmosphere tonight, until fans started getting the wave going in the 3rd and the odd chants of "Go Vipers Go" 

- Former Vernon Vipers Assistant Coach & Head Coach Joe Oliver was in attendance

- The Vipers didn't look or play very well this evening, were lucky to get the win

- What a huge difference this team is from the team we watched play in September, October and some of November until now

- Tonight was the final game of a four game home stand

- Vernon's penalty kill was good as it has been for most of the season

- The Vipers gave up way too many odd man rushes as Trail had at least four or five odd man rushes

- I did not see any movie cameras or film crew filming any parts of tonight's game

- Tonight was a very big hockey game and two points and the Vipers need to be much better and play much better if they want to try and climb the standings before the regular season ends

- The Vipers took way too many penalties tonight, luckily the Smoke Eaters power play went 0-7

- This was a very scrambled hockey game, with lots of mistakes, defensive plays, tight checking, poor passing, very limited opportunities and not a lot of shots on goal

- The Snakes have won fifteen of their last twenty home games

- The Vipers will finish the 2022-23 regular season on the road next weekend with games in Penticton & Merritt

- The Vipers had troubles generating/creating opportunities all evening, were held to the outside and limited on their chances through out the hockey game

- Vernon struggled offensively, had just five shots on goal in the 2nd period

- If you would have told me back in November the Vipers would have a chance at finishing 3rd or 4th in the division, I would have laughed 

- Did the Snakes play down to their opponents level tonight?

- The race in the Interior Division heats up even more. Vernon is one point ahead of Wenatchee, tied in points with Prince George & West Kelowna and two points back of Salmon Arm

- The Vipers have won five straight games and won six of their past ten games

- Walker Erickson played 31 games with the 2019-20 Trail Smoke Eaters

- If the Vipers want to try and climb the standings, tonight was a huge win and huge two points

- This wasn't a very exciting hockey game

- Former Vernon Vipers defenceman Brad Cook was at tonight's game

- You have to wonder if the Vipers looked at the scoreboard from last night and figured tonight was going to be another 6-1 type of game? 

- With the win, Vernon improves to 26-20-2-4 sit 5th in the Interior Division tied in points with Prince George & West Kelowna

Trail Smoke Eaters Top Player's:

Jordan Hendry was stopped in the shootout, played well on the Smoke Eaters blueline in the loss

Adam Marshall was quick on his feet, played with some jump, had some looks/generated some chances

Ethan Mann was another forward I thought played well. Was involved in the play, played with a bit of an edge, was in the face of several Vipers through out the contest

Brady Hunter leads the Smokies in points, is by far Trails most skilled forward. This kid can skate, move the puck, sees & reads the ice very well, is hard to contain and defend against. Had a couple of looks/opportunities tonight

Adam Parsons was another Trail forward who was involved in the play, played with some pace, moved the puck up ice

Evan Bushy Played well on the backend

Keegan Maddocks (26 saves) Played well in goal for the Trail Smoke Eaters. Both goaltenders played well this evening

Game Thought's: Trail Smoke Eaters

- This was a much different Trail team tonight compared to the team we saw lose 6-1 in Vernon Friday night

- The Smoke Eaters went 1-2 in Vernon this season

- Trail went 0-7 with the power play

- Tonight is the second game of a four game road trip

- Assistant Coach Dallas Calvin played with the 2013-14 Vernon Vipers

- The Smokies who were outhit in Friday's loss to the Vipers, were physical and finishing their checks tonight, outhit the hometown Vipers

- Trail played a very solid defensive game, keeping the Snakes shooters to the outside, limiting their chances and closing the shooting lanes

- Tonight was a mean nothing game as the Smoke Eaters can't catch 7th place and will finish 8th in the division

- The Smoke Eaters struggled with the man advantage

- The Smokies will finish the 2022-23 regular season next weekend with two games in Wenatchee

- Trail has lost three of their last five games and lost seven of their last ten games

- Lots of Smokie fans in attendance tonight

- This was a tight defensive game with both teams not generating much offensive chances

- Trail played a much better game tonight, played well defensively, played hard, were physical and played with an edge. Several scrums broke out in between whistles

- The Smoke Eaters have lost twelve of their last fourteen road games

- Nicholas Remissong played 37 games with the 2020-21 & 2021-22 Vernon Vipers

- Trail has only six wins on the road this season. One of those victories was in Vernon on February 20th 

- The Smoke Eaters have lost nineteen of their last twenty four games

- Trail will finish 8th in the Interior Division will meet the Penticton Vees in the first round of the playoffs

- With the shootout loss, Trail falls to 19-26-3-4 remain 8th in the Interior Division


Vernon Vipers:

Max Borovinskiy
Ethan Merner
Ethan Sundar (Injured)

Trail Smoke Eaters:

Ethan Warrener
Ridge Dawson
Connor Seeley
Judah Makway
Brady Smith
Troy Fechko

Energy Player of the Game:

Thomas Tien

Three Star's:

1st Star: Ethan David (27 saves)
2nd Star: Hank Cleaves (1 goal-Shootout winner)
3rd Star: 

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. Please be respectful when leaving comments.

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


BINGO said...

Vernon vipers sucked. Vernon vipers didn't play like they did last weekend with that intense
motivation to win at least not until half way thru the third period. To be honest Trail should have won this contest as they gave it everything they had and played a full sixty. Vernon Vipers if this is how your going to play from now on then you deserve to be gone in the first round. Vipers at this time of year every game is important. You sucked and to be honest a very boring game except for Trail and they way they played and should have won. As a fan I hope to see a better effort as you OWE IT TO THE FANS.

Anonymous said...

Not sure they SUCKED but, it surely was not an exciting game till overtime and shoot-out. This is the reason we don’t go to the playoffs, it’s costs to much and the entertainment value is lacking,

The fan experience at these game needs to improve, when it does we’ll consider season tickets but, next season as like this year we are going to pick and choose which games we attend.

Bobby C said...

It's been the same problem since Jason Mckee arrived. No Finish!

Anonymous said...

Bingo, the team doesn’t need people like you at the games. You keep buying tickets expecting a higher quality of hockey that you know will meet your expectations. I thought this weekend the games were good. Friday was certainly better than Saturdays game. We’re in the playoffs and in October no one really thought that was possible. So enjoy what is left of the season. If you can’t enjoy it, find something else to do as it’s very clear you’re not happy. Go VIPERS Go!!!

BINGO said...

Anonymous I enjoy the games when I see the work effort of our players put forward and saturdays game didn't provide that for me until half way thru the third period and listening to Jason on the radio after the game only supported my attitude. We as a team cannot take games for granted as you must put in the work every night not just some of the time. GO,vipers!

Anonymous said...

Comment was deleted by Vipersdiehardfan

Bob McInnes said...

Vernon's final game of the season will be against an undermanned Merritt team. In the Saturday March 18 game, Merritt lost three players to suspensions. Mark Thurston was suspended for one game after his second fighting major of the year and he'll be back for the Vernon game but Erik Sollied and Aidan Lindblad are done for the year after committing blows to the head in their 10-0 loss to Penticton. Penticton outshot Merritt 71-14 including a 31-0 second period.

Anonymous said...

I see you are eliminating all the negative comments making It a one sided blog!

vipersdiehardfan said...

I'm not deleting any negative comments and have always posted negative comments for the most part. This is not a one sided blog. I'm deleting spam messages, childish comments or comments that are bs and have nothing to do with the Vipers, hockey or regarding the topic of conversation.