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.
Friday, March 10, 2023
Vernon 5 Salmon Arm 2
I was at tonight's Vipers-Silverbacks game as Vernon defeated Salmon Arm 5-2 in front of 2,753 fans at Kal Tire Place.
Vernon Vipers: Ethan David
Salmon Arm Silverbacks: Matthew Tovell
1st Period: Off the opening faceoff, Reagan Milburn took a quick release from the high slot that forced Matthew Tovell into making a big stop at the top of the crease. Tovell couldn't handle the puck, forcing a rebound and a goal mouth scramble, where the Vipers tried on several occasions to bury the rebound but couldn't beat a down and out Silverbacks goaltender. About a minute or so later, the Silverbacks responded with a quick push back shift. Isaac Lambert would be denied by Ethan David. Just over a minute later, Brandon Santa Juana would be stopped by Ethan David as the Vernon netminder come up with back to back saves early to start the hockey game. Shortly after, Lee Parks setup Reagan Milburn who ripped a shot past Matthew Tovell, giving Vernon an early 1-0 lead at 3:48 Lee Parks with the lone assist. 2:13 later Lee Parks ripped a shot past Matthew Tovell, giving Vernon a quick 2-0 lead at 5:01 Hank Cleaves recorded the only helper. Viper forward Jonathan Horn took a puck to the face and was bleeding, was attended to by the trainer and never returned to the hockey game. Just before the halfway mark, the Snakes turned over the puck in their own end, allowing Tristan Allen to setup Ryan Gillespie, cutting Vernon's lead to 2-1 at 8:44 Tristan Allen & Liam Steele drew the assists. On the following shift, the Vipers would get the games first power play. Julian Facchinelli with a quality opportunity from the high slot, would be denied by Matthew Tovell. Lee Parks had a couple of looks but couldn't get a good enough shot off as the Apes killed off the minor. It was 2-1 Vernon after 20 minutes of play. I liked the Snakes opening period and thought Vernon had the edge in play for a lot of the 1st period. The Vipers were moving their feet, had several looks, pucks to the net and lots of zone time, played very well. The Gorillas had a few opportunities but didn't generate a lot of puck possession in the offensive zone. Matthew Tovell looked a little shaky at times, seemed to bobble a few pucks and lose control off a few shots from well out. SA did come on strong to finish the period, having some pressure and zone time in the final three or four minutes to end the opening frame. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 13-11.
2nd Period: About a minute and a half into the middle frame, Julian Facchinelli with a quick release from the goal line, forced Matthew Tovell to stand tall and make a bit of a difficult save early into the period. A few minutes later, the Vipers couldn't beat Matthew Tovell on a goal mouth scramble. The S'Backs would get an early PP, their first of the hockey game just over four minutes into the middle frame. Hayden Stavroff with a good look/opportunity couldn't solve Vernon Vipers starting goaltender Ethan David as Salmon Arm had some pressure but not a whole lot of looks as the hometown Snakes killed off the penalty. The Gorillas went back to the man advantage a minute later, would get a ton of pressure but the Viper PK/defence was solid. The Snakes blocked at least three or four shots but none bigger then Luke Pakulak's at the end of the penalty, as Vernon killed off the two minute minor. Shortly after on a nice three way passing play, the Vipers setup former Merritt Centennials forward Walker Erickson alone in front, but would be robbed after a massive save off Matthew Tovell. Shortly after, the Silverbacks would get their third power play of the 2nd period. Ethan David turned over the puck while outside of the blue paint, Hayden Stavroff looked to have a wide open goal, but somehow fired wide as the Vipers catch a big break. David was forced to scramble back between the pipes and make a hand full of saves on a goal mouth scramble before the Snakes cleared the zone. Towards the end of the PP, Ethan David was forced into making at least two big stops on the door step before former Cowichan Capitals defenceman Connor Elliott made a heads up pass spotting Julian Facchinelli coming out of the sin bin. Facchinelli went in for the breakaway, deked out Salmon Arm Silverbacks starting netminder Matthew Tovell, giving Vernon a 3-1 lead at 14:52 sending Kal Tire Place into a frenzy. Connor Elliott with the lone assist. Salmon Arm bench boss Tyler Shattock didn't look too impressed from the bench. Hayden Stavroff would be stopped in close with just over two minutes remaining, keeping this a two goal contest in favour of the Vipers. It was 3-1 Vernon after 40 minutes of play. The Snakes took their first of three penalties this period and the Apes gained momentum off back to back to back power play's as I thought SA had the edge in play and carried the better of the play for most of the 2nd period. Due to three power play's, the Backs obviously had more puck possession and zone time but also seemed to have a lot more step in their game. Salmon Arm didn't generate a whole lot of shots but when they did, they were very good quality chances. Give props to the Snakes PK that blocked a lot of shots and managed to kill off all three penalties. Ethan David was the difference as the Vipers goaltender come up with some large saves, keeping this a two goal Vernon lead. The Vipers looked flat and didn't have their feet moving, did play and look better in the final few minutes. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 11-6.
3rd Period: About seven and a half minutes into the final frame, Nathan Mackie would be stopped cold by Ethan David on a quality chance for the Silverbacks. In and around the midway mark, Isaac Lambert would somehow sneak one through Ethan David down low, cutting Vernon's lead to 3-2 at 10:39 Casy Laylin and Nic Leggett picked up the helpers. Eleven seconds later, the Snakes would head to the PP and capitalize early into the man advantage. Luke Pakulak's snipe beat Matthew Tovell, giving Vernon a 4-2 lead at 11:08 Seiya Tanaka-Campbell and Reagan Milburn collected the assists. Just under three minutes later, Anson McMaster and Nic Leggett got tangled up in what looked like a wrestling match before both players were given minors. Towards the end of the period, the Vipers allowed Liam Steele to walk in and rip a shot from the high slot, forcing Ethan David out to challenge, making a big save late in a two goal hockey game. The Snakes would ice the puck and Salmon Arm would get Matthew Tovell to the bench for the extra attacker with 2:30 remaining on the score clock. Seiya Tanaka-Campbell spotted Walker Erickson for the empty netter, giving Vernon a 5-2 lead at 18:02 Seiya Tanaka-Campbell & Julian Facchinelli with the helpers. Matthew Tovell would return between the pipes as Vernon would come away with the 5-2 victory and win the season series 4-3. With a two goal lead, Vernon played a very defensive 3rd period and chip and chase, didn't give up a whole lot of shots or opportunities. The Apes carried the better of the play and had more puck possession and zone time but didn't generate a whole lot of quality chances. The Vipers kept SA to the outside and any pucks that did get through, Ethan David was there. Not a whole lot of action as Salmon Arm outshot Vernon 6-3.
Vernon Vipers Top Player's:
Julian Facchinelli (1 goal & 1 assist) Was one of Vernon's more dangerous forwards, recording two points with some opportunities.
Reagan Milburn (1 goal & 1 assist) Opened the scoring for the Snakes, was skating, moving his feet and played very well in the win.
Lee Parks (1 goal & 1 assist) Looked very good in the opening period, also played well this evening.
Luke Pakulak (1 goal) I thought played hard/well through out the hockey game. Was finishing checks and blocked a couple of shots tonight.
Ethan David (21 saves) Started back to back games, was very solid in goal for the Vernon Vipers. David made a couple of big saves early to start the contest before coming up with some large saves in the middle frame.
Game Thought's: Vernon Vipers
- Forward Jonathan Horn took a puck to the face in the 1st period, leaving the hockey game and didn't return
- The Vipers win the regular season series vs Salmon Arm going 4-3 in seven games this season
- Vernon's PK was very good, come up with several blocked shots
- I really liked the Snakes start to the hockey game and their 1st period
- The second biggest crowd of the 2022-23 season, tonight's attendance announced at 2,753
- The Vipers go 1-2 with the man advantage
- The Vipers are one point back of 6th place Wenatchee and three points back of 5th place Prince George
- Vernon looked flat and wasn't skating in the 2nd period, got some big saves from Ethan David on the penalty kill
- Tonight's the first game of a four game home stand
- The Vipers went 3-1 at home this season vs the Silverbacks
- The Snakes were 1-2 in Salmon Arm this year
- Tonight's game felt like a playoff game with a great atmosphere in the arena
- The Vipers next game is Saturday at home vs Prince George
- It's hard to believe how much better this team is playing now compared to the start of the season. This team has improved, playing much better and is a much different team from September and a lot more fun to watch
- The Vipers are 15-6-1-2 at home this season
- I thought Vernon did a good job at limiting the Backs on shots & opportunities through out the game
- The Snakes have five games remaining in the regular season, with three of those five games at Kal Tire Place
- Did anyone else notice the electronic billboards working tonight? Both billboards were installed many years ago but never once on during a Vipers game until tonight for the first time
- Vernon has played eleven of their last fifteen games on the road
- This has to be one of the worst schedules for long periods at a time with no home games or seeing the same team often in a short period of time
- I liked Vernon's defence tonight, thought they blocked shots and did a good job at limiting the Gorillas on their opportunities
- The Snakes have won nine of their last thirteen home games
- The Vipers have won back to back games, three of their last five games and are 5-5 in their last ten games
- With the win, Vernon improves to 23-20-2-4 sit 7th in the Interior Division
Salmon Arm Silverbacks Top Player's:
Liam Steele (1 assist) I thought played well on the Gorillas blueline, had some looks/opportunities
Raoul Boilard I thought played with some speed and jump and was involved in the play often
Hayden Stavroff Was one of the more dangerous Silverbacks forwards, had several looks/chances through out the hockey game
Nathan Mackie The captain of your Salmon Arm Silverbacks was another forward that I thought played well in the loss tonight
Isaac Lambert (1 goal) Had some step in his game, had some looks/chances was in and around the goal often
Game Thought's: Salmon Arm Silverbacks
- A good turn out of Silverbacks fans that made the trip for tonight's game
- The last time these two teams met, the Silverbacks won 3-0 in Salmon Arm January 6th 2023
- Salmon Arm went 0-3 on the power play
- The Apes only record twelve shots on goal in the final two periods
- The Silverbacks next game is Saturday vs the visiting Wenatchee Wild
- The Backs have lost seven of their last ten road games
- I thought SA was quick on their feet, had a good transition game, didn't generate a whole lot of opportunities
- The Silverbacks limit Vernon to just three shots on goal in the 3rd period
- Salmon Arm has lost four of their last five games to the Vipers
- The Apes had troubles getting pucks to the net and generating offence
- The Silverbacks have six games remaining in the 2022-23 regular season
- The Silverbacks have lost back to back games, have won three of their last five games and won six of their last ten games
- With the win, Salmon Arm falls to 25-17-4-2 remain 4th in the Interior Division
Salmon Arm Silverbacks:
Energy Player of the Game:
Julian Facchinelli (1 goal & 1 assist)
1st Star: Reagan Milburn (1 goal & 1 assist)
2nd Star: Ethan David (21 saves)
3rd Star: Lee Parks (1 goal & 1 assist)
Text Box Score,
Vernon Junior Hockey History website,