Sunday, September 3, 2023

Game Recap - Exhibition: Vernon 5 Trail 4 Overtime

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 2.5 million viewers. For anyone who couldn't watch or attend today's Vipers game, here are my thoughts and views from today'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 today's Vernon Vipers-Trail Smoke Eaters pre-season game as Vernon defeated Trail 5-4 in overtime in front of small crowd at Kal Tire Place. (No attendance announced)

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon Vipers: Dylan Adams
Trail Smoke Eaters: Ryan Parker

1st Period: Both teams took a few minutes to get into the hockey game and first pre-season game of the new year before the Vipers slowly took over the edge in play. I thought Vernon was the better team and carried the better of the play early and often. The Snakes were leading 5-1 in shots about five minutes into the game and were the better team in the first half. The Vipers made a few mistakes early in their own end. The Smoke Eaters fell behind 1-0 before scoring two quick goals about two minutes apart and played much better in the second half. The Vipers were ahead in shots 11-4 at the halfway mark. Trail got their legs going and were the better team in the second half. The Smokies outshot Vernon 13-5 in the second half of the period. This was an entertaining period with the Vipers the more physical team. It was 3-2 Vipers after 20 minutes of play. Trail outshot Vernon 17-16.

2nd Period: The Snakes with two or three big hits in the opening two minutes, while Owen King hit the post. The Smokies would get the games first power play just over five minutes into the middle frame, but only managed one shot on goal as Vernon killed off the double minor. I thought both teams were fairly even in the first half with not a lot of scoring chances. The Vipers switched goaltenders at the halfway mark. Dylan Adams allowed three goals on twenty one shots was replaced by former Drayton Valley Thunder goaltender Colin Reay. Adams biggest save of the afternoon was a pad save off a breakaway just before the midway mark. Reay wasn't tested much in relief. The Snakes were the better team in the second half as tempers heated up a bit as a lot more physical play and some pushing and shoving between whistles. It was 3-3 after 40 minutes of play. Vernon outshot Trail 10-7.

3rd Period: The Snakes carried the play and were the better team for most of the period. After only having one penalty the entire game, four penalties were called in the final frame. Vernon moved the puck well and had some good looks but couldn't capitalize. The Smoke Eaters went several minutes without a shot on goal, only had two shots on goal for over several minutes. Colin Reay wasn't tested much in the 3rd. Trail played a lot of the 3rd period in their own end. The Smoke Eaters did get some zone time late in the period and had the Snakes on their heels at times. With Ryan Parker way out of his crease, looking to head to the bench for the extra attacker, Michael Risteau's low shot along the ice, somehow got through Colin Reay, tying the hockey game 4-4 at 18:16 this is a goal I'm sure Colin Reay would like to have back. It was 4-4 after 60 minutes of play. Vernon outshot Trail 14-7.

Overtime: The Vipers won the opening draw and it didn't take long to put the game away. Nick Larkin spotted Erik Pastro who sent Adam Csabi in for the breakaway, deking out Ryan Parker for the OT game winner at 0:42 as the Vipers bench erupted onto the ice. Vernon outshot Trail 1-0.

Vernon Vipers Top Performers:

Georgios Stavrianeas (2 assists) I thought looked good at different times through out the hockey game

Erik Pastro (3 assists) Played very well and looked very good this evening. Looked very good in the 3rd on multiple shifts. This kid has some size, can skate and make plays happen. 

Bronson Ross (2 goals) Was another committed forward who played very well and looked good in the victory. 

Shea Busch (1 assist) I was impressed with Mr Busch. A big kid that goes to the net, plays hard/physical and makes plays happen.

Owen King (1 goal) Is another forward who impressed me and caught my attention. Played very well and looked good up front. Another kid that drives to the net, plays in and around the goal and can make plays and make things happen with and without the puck.

Dylan Adams (18 saves) Wasn't tested a whole lot but did make a few big stops when called upon. Gave up three goals on twenty one shots, was replaced by Colin Reay halfway through the 2nd period. 

Game Thought's: Vernon Vipers

- Today was the first of five pre-season games for the Snakes

- Today was the first of six pre-season/regular season meetings vs the Trail Smoke Eaters

- Overall I thought Vernon was the better of the two teams

- The Vipers went 1-2 with the man advantage

- A pretty good crowd for a Sunday afternoon on a long weekend with the IPE in town. I would guess around 500 or so fans in attendance today

- The Snakes next exhibition game is Friday in Salmon Arm

- It looks like the Vipers have some skilled players this season, at least it looked like that tonight

- For both teams playing their first exhibition game, I thought it was an entertaining hockey game

- I liked what I saw from Vernon in the teams first pre-season game. I thought the Vipers did a lot of good things and played very well for most of the game

- The Vipers have 7 players returning from last season

- Defenceman Ryan Lukko looked out of place and made several mistakes. One of the smallest kids on the ice, didn't have a strong game 

- The Vipers went 4-1 vs Trail last season

- Jason McKee was not behind the bench for the Vipers

- Goaltender Colin Reay played last season with the AJHL Drayton Valley Thunder

- This was a fairly physical game with several big hits laid out. I thought the Vipers were the more physical team

- I think Vernon has more skill compared to the Smokies

Trail Smoke Eaters Top Performers:

Jack Ketsa I thought held his own and played fairly well on the Smoke Eaters blueline

Rhett Hamilton (1 goal) Returning from last season, played very well up front for Trail

Jack DesRuisseaux (2 goals) A quick skater, was one of the more skilled forwards

Michael Risteau (1 goal) Impressed me, I thought played hard all night, was strong on the puck and battled every shift. One of the more skilled Smokie forwards

Ryan Parker (36 saves) Was the busier of the three goaltenders and played well in the loss. 

Game Thought's: Trail Smoke Eaters

- The Smoke Eaters played well at times but very inconsistent

- Trail went lengthy periods of time in the 3rd period with only having two shots on goal

- The Smokies went 0-2 with the power play

- Trail went 1-1-0-1 in Vernon during last years regular season

- Trail had their names on the back of their jerseys

- The Smoke Eaters had two kids wearing cages

- The Smokies didn't create or generate a whole lot of opportunities but managed to score on their chances

- I spotted a small handful of Trail fans in attendance 

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

- After getting off to a slow start, I really liked Trail's response in the second half of the 1st period as the Smokies were the better team to finish the opening period

- The Smokies have 5 players returning from last season

- Trail held 2-1 and 3-2 leads but couldn't hold on for the win

- Trails next exhibition game is Wednesday vs Cranbrook

- Last season the Smoke Eaters had orange road jerseys. Today the Smokies were wearing black road jerseys with orange stripes and numbers

Vernon Vipers Roster:


Dylan Adams 06
Colin Reay 05


Nick Larkin 05
Ryan Lukko 06
Fritz Berback-Rosengreen 06
Linden Burrett 06
Cooper Cleaves 06
Russell Weatherhead 06


Georgios Stavrianeas 05
Erik Pastro 05
Bronson Ross 06
Shea Busch 07
Owen King 05
Owen Kim 05
Adam Csabi 05
Jiri Duda 05
Marcello Giorgi 05
Weston Field 06
Kurtis Kinoshita 06
Tyce Wood 06

Trail Smoke Eaters Roster:


Ryan Parker 05
Teagan Kendricks 04


Jack Kennedy 04
Alec Whipple 04
Cameron Johnsen 05 
Sam Chartres 06
Jack Ketsa 05
Patrick Reilly 04
Will Caputo 06


Callas Pierce 06
Brayden Rotach 07
Kayden Clarke 06
Gryphon Bucci 06
Rhett Hamilton 04
Chase Stefanek 06
Jack DesRuisseaux 04
Michael Risteau 06
Remi Lapalme 05
Corson Maguire 05
Nathan Domminici 04
Trip Pendy 05


Vernon Vipers:

No scratches were announced

Trail Smoke Eaters:

No scratches were announced

Three Star's:

1st Star: Bronson Ross (2 goals)
2nd Star: Jack DesRuisseaux (2 goals)
3rd Star: Adam Csabi (Overtime winner)

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 today's Vernon Vipers-Trail Smoke Eaters game.

1 comment:

Sneaky said...

Nice to see all participants that say “ F___K You, Hockey Canada”!