Friday, March 17, 2023

Vernon 6 Trail 1

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 6-1 in front of 2,016 fans at Kal Tire Place.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon Vipers: Roan Clarke
Trail Smoke Eaters: Teagan Kendrick

1st Period: Smoke Eaters defenceman Jordan Hendry took a puck off the side of the head off the opening faceoff but seemed to be ok and stayed in the hockey game. Just over a minute into the period, the Snakes setup Isaac Tremblay going to the net, would be denied by Teagan Kendrick at the top of the crease. About two and a half minutes later, Hank Cleaves beat Teagan Kendrick but not the post before Lee Parks tried jamming home the rebound in front before the Smokies goaltender smothered the puck. Shortly after Trail would get the games first power play. The Smoke Eaters would get their one and only shot with the man advantage, which happened to be their first shot of the hockey game. Vernon killed off the minor with a good PK. Just before the halfway mark, Hank Cleaves with his second opportunity, would be stopped by Teagan Kendrick. Just past the midway mark, Trail's leading scorer Brady Hunter capitalized on a Viper turnover, setup Josh Schenk who beat Roan Clarke five hole, giving Trail a 1-0 lead at 11:44 Brady Hunter with the lone assist. Shortly after the Vipers would get their first look with the PP and capitalize. Hank Cleaves wired home his shot from the high slot, tying the hockey game 1-1 at 13:32 Griffen Barr & Walker Erickson drew the helpers. With about three and a half minutes remaining, former Wenatchee Wild forward Jonathan Horn returned to the lineup had a good look in front, couldn't solve Teagan Kendrick, before Rhett Hamilton come right back the other way, would be stopped by Roan Clarke. Two good looks/opportunities at both ends of the period. With a minute remaining, Vernon would get a late man advantage. The Snakes unable to capitalize before the buzzer. It was 1-1 after 20 minutes of play. The Vipers were by far the better team, carried the better of the play, had more puck possession, zone time, scoring chances & shots on goal. Vernon created/generated several good looks/opportunities as Teagan Kendrick was solid in goal for Trail. The Smoke Eaters didn't have their legs going, had troubles generating/creating chances, getting pucks on goal, gaining any kind of traction and defending. The Smokies were outplayed for most of the period. Vernon outshot Trail 11-3.

2nd Period: The Vipers started the period on the power play, that was carried over from the opening frame. The Snakes unable to generate any kind of attack with the man advantage, didn't get a single shot to finish the PP as Trail killed off the remainder of the penalty. About four minutes into the period, Hank Cleaves with a quality chance would be stopped by Trail Smoke Eaters starting netminder Teagan Kendrick. Just before the midway mark, the Smokies couldn't solve Vernon Vipers starting goaltender Roan Clarke on a goal mouth scramble at the top of the crease. Trail would get several wacks at the loose puck, recording five shots on goal but unable to jam one home before the Snakes were able to clear the puck and the zone. Just past the halfway mark, the Vipers would get the only power play of the 2nd period and capitalize. Dylan Compton's shot hit a Smoke Eater in front or Teagan Kendrick as the puck lied in the crease before Luke Pakulak put home the loose puck, giving Vernon a 2-1 lead at 11:46 Dylan Compton with the only assist. Not too long after Lee Parks with a quality chance in front, couldn't solve Teagan Kendrick. Shortly after the Vipers with some nice passing coming into the zone, tried setting up Luke Pakulak going to the goal, couldn't get his stick on what looked like a tap in goal. Shortly after Luke Pakulak's shot would be redirected in by Reagan Milburn, giving Vernon a 3-1 lead at 16:03 Luke Pakulak and Isaac Tremblay with the helpers. Just over two minutes later, Luke Pakulak setup Isaac Tremblay, giving Vernon a 4-1 lead at 18:25 Luke Pakulak & Jonathan Horn with the assists. It was 4-1 Vernon after 40 minutes of play. The Smoke Eaters seemed to find their legs and looked/played much better at least to start the 2nd period. Trail had the early edge in play and was the better team in the first half. The Smokies had more puck possession and zone time in the first eight to ten minutes of play. The Snakes power play goal, giving them their first lead of the night, seemed to turn the tables and tilt the ice as Vernon gained momentum, took over the edge in play and were the better team in the second half. The Vipers seemed to get their legs going, were firing pucks to the net, generated some chances and scored three goals. Vernon outshot Trail 16-7.

3rd Period: Isaac Tremblay with a good look/opportunity off the opening faceoff would be denied by Teagan Kendrick. Two minutes into the final frame, Luke Pakulak with a breakaway would be stopped by Teagan Kendrick. Just over four minutes later, Hank Cleaves setup Griffen Barr for a nice goal, giving Vernon a commanding 5-1 lead at 6:14 Hank Cleaves and Reagan Milburn drew the helpers. Just over a minute later, Jonathan Horn and Brady Hunter exchanged a few blows in the corner before everyone got involved. Hunter & Horn were given minors. On the following play, the Smoke Eaters would get just their second man advantage of the evening. The Snakes with several blocked shots played well defensively as Vernon killed off the minor. With about eight minutes remaining, former Vernon Vipers forward Nicholas Remissong beat Roan Clarke with a backhand from well out, Remissong would gain control of the puck on the same shift, cut back towards the net, but be stopped by Roan Clarke in front, Clarke then had to sprawl across the crease to make a second save off the rebound. Two big back to back saves from the Vipers netminder. Anthony Cliche levelled Ethan Mann into the Vipers bench. Mann was slow getting up and in some discomfort, made his way to the bench and then to the Smokies dressing room with the trainer. Late in the contest, Anthony Cliche's point shot would be redirected in by Luke Pakulak, giving Vernon a commanding 6-1 lead at 16:59 on Pakulak's second of the night. Anthony Cliche and Walker Erickson collected the assists. The Vipers would come away with the 6-1 victory. With the Snakes ahead 5-1 early into the 3rd it wasn't much of a period. Trail had some early play and a couple of opportunities, while Vernon responded in the second half and carried a lot of the play to finish the hockey game. Not one team really over played the other team with the game/score out of reach. Shots were 11-8 for Trail.

Vernon Vipers Top Player's:

Griffen Barr (1 goal & 1 assist) I thought played very well in the Vipers win

Hank Cleaves (1 goal & 1 assist) Was all over the rink this evening, had lots of scoring chances through out the game. Cleaves was dominate, generated/created opportunities, was hard to contain and defend against

Anson McMaster Was good on the PK, blocked a few shots and played well defensively 

Luke Pakulak (2 goals & 2 assists) Wow, when's the last time a Viper had a four point night? Pakulak was a force, physical, going to the net, played very well. Was hard to defend against and play against

Anthony Cliche (1 assist) Was another Vernon defenceman that was physical and played well on the blueline

Isaac Tremblay (1 assist) I thought generated some chances, was involved in the play, looked good/played well in the win

Roan Clarke (20 saves) Wasn't nearly as busy as Teagan Kendrick and wasn't tested often but was forced to make a handful of big stops, played well

Game Thought's: Vernon Vipers

- For the first time this season, the Snakes have won four straight games

- One of the smaller crowds in some time. Tonight's attendance was announced at 2,016

- The Vipers go 2-4 with the power play

- Vernon is 3-1 vs the Smoke Eaters this season

- I thought the Vipers played very well, created/generated a ton of chances, could have easily had another five or six goals

- The Vipers have played very disciplined as of late, only took two penalties tonight

- What a dumb schedule, who wants to see the same team back to back night's?

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

- These two teams will meet again tomorrow for the fifth and final time this season

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

- Does anyone know whatever happened to Jason Podollan? The former NHLer joined the Vipers broadcast booth as color commentator early in the season but hasn't been around since way before Christmas

- The Vipers were more physical, laid out some big hits

- Vernon has won eleven of their last fifteen home games

- Roan Clarke is 2-0 vs Trail this season

- The Snakes have three regular season games remaining 

- I was very critical of the Vipers at the start of the season and in the first few months but I will be the first to admit I have seen changes, improvement and a much better and more competitive Viper team now then I ever did back in September/October. This team is fun to watch and exciting 

- Jonathan Horn returned to the lineup after taking a puck to the face last weekend

- Former Vernon Vipers forward/captain Jo Jo Tanaka-Campbell was at tonight's game

- The Vipers are tied in points with Prince George, one point ahead of Wenatchee, one point back of West Kelowna and four points back of Salmon Arm

- The Vipers have won four of their last five games and six of their last ten games

- I thought the officials called a very good hockey game and let both teams play

- This year has to be one of the dumbest schedules I can ever reall

- The race in the Interior Division is heating up as teams from 3rd-7th are all in the mix of one another but running out of games

- Former Vernon Vipers Head Coach/GM Troy Mick was at tonight's game

- The Vipers blocked a lot of shots tonight, especially on the PK

- The Vipers don't face Trail all season and then they play the Smokies five times in the last two months of the regular season

- How good has the Viper PK been this year? 

- I would like when they announce the goals, to tell the fans how many goals the player has on the season like they do in most hockey arenas

- The Vipers are 17-6-1-2 at home 

- With the win, Vernon improves to 25-20-2-4 sit 6th in the Interior Division are tied in points with Prince George

Top Player's Trail Smoke Eaters

Brady Hunter (1 assist) Is fun to watch, is very skilled, quick on his feet and has quick hands. Hard to contain and defend, had a few good shifts tonight

Teagan Kendrick (29 saves) May have allowed six goals but kept Trail in the hockey game in the 1st period. Vernon could have easily had three or four goals in the opening frame. Kendrick was busy between the pipes, made some big stops when the game was scoreless/close

Game Thought's: Trail Smoke Eaters

- Tonight's the first game of a four game road trip

- Trail is 1-1 in Vernon this season

- The Smoke Eaters went 0-2 with the man advantage

- Trail was out chanced and outplayed for most of the hockey game

- The Smoke Eaters didn't have a lot of puck possession, zone time, didn't generate or create a whole lot of opportunities, couldn't seem to get any kind of traction going tonight

- The Smoke Eaters will face the Penticton Vees in the opening round of the BCHL playoffs, with Game 1 starting March 31st in Penticton

- The Smoke Eaters have lost eleven of their last thirteen road games

- Even though the Vipers were the better team, carried the better of the play and had a ton of opportunities, it was 1-1 midway through the 2nd period and if Trail would have taken a 2-1 lead, this could have been a different outcome

- With the playoffs and playoff matchup already set, tonight's game was a mean nothing game for the Trail Smoke Eaters

- The Smokies have three regular season games remaining before playoffs

- Trail has lost eighteen of their last twenty three games

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

- Trail played and looked their best in the first eight-ten minutes of the 2nd period, otherwise it was all Snakes

- The Smokies heavily relied on goaltender Teagan Kendrick. Kendrick was one of the lone bright spots in the loss

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

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


Vernon Vipers:

Thomas Tien
Ethan Merner
Ethan Sundar (Injured)

Trail Smoke Eaters:

Ethan Warrener
Ridge Dawson
Connor Seeley
Judah Makway

Energy Player of the Game:

Anthony Cliche (1 assist)

Three Star's:

1st Star: Luke Pakulak (2 goals & 2 assists)
2nd Star: Hank Cleaves (1 goal & 1 assist)
3rd Star: Griffen Barr (1 goal & 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. Please be respectful when leaving comments.

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


Bobby C said...

Can't figure out why 2 forwards who bring energy and excitement to the game as proven last weekend are sitting in the stands and a D man playing on the fourth line. I know Barr scored a goal last night but he's a better player on defense than up front in my opinion. In the end this lineup worked tonight against Trail but but against any other team it won't work come playoff time.

PaulyWog54 said...

Was also nice to see my awesome buddy, former Viper Assistant Coach, former Pittsburg Penguin and now a scout for Minnesota Wild, Eric Godard at the game with his two boys.

Will never forget when he came over to our house, during his high school days, with a bunch of other boys, late at night and told us they were “kidnapping” our daughter for a school tradition, ha ha too funny.

As far as the Vipers game went I didn’t think it was overly exciting but, a win is a win, good job from the coaching staff.

On another note it seemed the owner John Glen has/had some big plans for our team and arena but, said trying to maneuver thru all of the Vernon City’s hoops is quite the obstacle. He also, seemed more friendly last night.


Steve said...

Enjoyed the game last night and thought Vernon played well and carried the play with lots of changes. To be fair, trail is pretty awful but still the Vipers pushed and didn't drop the level of their game.
There were a few times where I thought the Vipers were trying to be too cute with the puck instead of just shooting but when you are up a couple goals you can take more liberties.
Thought there would be more fans but probably everyone was drinking at St.Patty day parties lol