Monday, December 5, 2016

BCHL News & Trades:

I found these press releases off team websites, twitter accounts, blogs or online. All Vipers news-trades are posted on this blog as soon as released-announced.

BCHL News & Trades:

Penticton-Nanaimo Trade:

The Penticton Vees Jr. A Hockey Club has traded defenceman David Eccles (96) to the Nanaimo Clippers for future considerations, the team announced Wednesday. The Vees were forced to make the move with fellow 20-year-old defenceman Gabe Bast coming off the Injured Reserve; the team was sitting at seven 20-year-olds on their roster, one over the BCHL maximum. President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson says it was a hard move to make, “This was an extremely difficult decision, but it ultimately came down to a numbers game. David is a tremendous young man, who will be missed but we’re happy we can send him to a great organization in the Clippers. I know Mike Vandekamp is thrilled to have a player of his quality and character, and I know he’ll be a key piece for them moving forward.” Eccles, 20, played parts of two seasons in Penticton, appearing in 73 career regular season games, picking up a pair of goals and 13 points, to go along with 23 penalty-minutes, playing in a primary shutdown role; he also played in all 11 of the Vees’ playoff games last spring. The Ancaster, Ontario, product came to Penticton in September of last season, after playing with the Carleton Place Canadians in the Central Canadian Hockey League (CCHL). Eccles helped the Canadians to berth in the Final of the 2015 RBC Cup in Portage, Manitoba. The Vees organization would like to thank David for his contributions to the team on and off the ice in the past two seasons, and wish him all the best in his future with the Clippers.

Grizzlies Pleased With Start To Season:

One third of the way through the 2016-17 B.C. Hockey League season, the Victoria Grizzlies are occupying prime realty. With just three regulation losses in 19 outings, the Grizzlies have proven to be a tough out. They boast the second-lowest number of defeats so far over 60 minutes of play. Tied for third overall in the 17-team league, the 11-3-2-3 Grizzlies also have the third-highest winning percentage in the league at .711, behind Wenatchee’s .844 and Penticton’s .833. But the Grizzlies still need to be careful when the Alberni Valley Bulldogs visit tonight at 7 at The Q Centre. The Bulldogs sit at the opposite end of the spectrum, second-last in the league with a 4-11-3-0 record. But the Grizzlies know full well that the ’Dawgs can pack a mean bite. “We have to make sure we don’t get complacent and realize that every game in this league is a tough one, no matter who you’re playing,” captain Cody Van Lierop said. “We’ve definitely had a better start than last season. We’re getting better every game and every practice. We just have to keep improving every game.” One of those three regulation-time losses came Sunday in a 4-3 setback in Trail that concluded a three-games-in-three-days scenario. After a scoreless first period, the Grizzlies fell behind 3-0 in the opening 7:45 of the second before clawing back to trail 4-3 after 40 minutes. They outshot the Smoke Eaters 11-6 in the final frame and 36-27 overall, but couldn’t find the equalizer. “It’s a nice feeling looking at our record — with just three losses — and to know we’ve battled in every game,” Van Lierop said. “It shows that we’re willing to battle, no matter what the score and that showed in our last game.” The current record is not lost on general manager and head coach Craig Didmon, who likes to break down the year into five-game segments. “We’re happy with our first third. One of the things we talked about through the first quarter, or even fifth of the season, was to try to get better every sequence of five games — and we’ve been doing that,” he said. “The guys are continuing to get better, and with the addition of T.J. Friedmann last week, we think we have four strong lines we can throw out every night.” “It was a good road trip. In Trail, we had a good chance to win,” Didmon said. “It’s hard to come down on the guys when you know you had the opportunities. We outshot them in the third period. After three games in three days and tough travel, we showed a lot of integrity as a group. I was certainly happy with the effort.”

Warriors Sign Stevenson:

The West Kelowna Warriors Junior ‘A’ Hockey Club is pleased to announce the addition of forward Chase Stevenson (’99) from the Okanagan Rockets of the BC Major Midget League (BCMML). Stevenson, 17, was in the midst of his second season with the Okanagan Rockets of the BCMML, scoring four times and compiling nine points in just five games to start the year. Last season, the West Kelowna product amassed 15 goals and 29 points in just 20 games last season with the Rockets and 9 points in 5 playoffs games. In 2014/15, Stevenson was selected to compete for Team BC at the Canada Winter Games held in Prince George, BC where he played in six games and collected two goals and three points. “Adding a local player that provides skill and work ethic is a good combination.” commented Warriors general manager and head coach Rylan Ferster.

Trail-Canmore Trade:

The Trail Smoke Eaters have signed 19 year old, 5′ 11″, 183 lbs. defenceman Jonas Gordon.  The Smokies acquired Jonas in a trade with the Canmore Eagles for future considerations.  Jonas was born in Canmore Alberta and played for the Kimberley Dynamiters in 2014/15 season where in 34 games had 2 goals and 11 assists for 13 points.  In 56 games with Canmore of the AJHL he played 56 games in 2015/16 and had 3 goals and 8 assists for 11 points.  In 13 games with Canmore this season he had 1 goal and 2 assists.  Smokie coaching staff are pleased to sign Jonas as they were  in need of an experienced defenceman with good mobility and being steady behind their blueline. Eagles coaching staff commented, “Gordon’s leadership and physical presence on the backend has been an asset to the Eagles organization.”   Jonas is a mature hockey player and his leadership qualities are outstanding,” said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager, Andrew Milne.  “We are going to miss his demeanor in our dressing room.”   “The 20 year old situation has been a double edged sword all season for us.”  “This is not an easy move for us to make but allows Jonas the opportunity that he was looking for out of his junior experience.” The Smoke Eater organization welcomes Jonas to the team and our city and wish him good luck for the remainder of the season.

Vees TV:

Johnny Tychonick is back in action with the Penticton Vees after a two-week stint playing for Team Canada in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, in another edition of Vees' View with Coach Harbinson. Tychonick has yet to play a game with the team yet, but Vees head coach Fred Harbinson says he's brought some new enthusiasm back to practice. On top of that, two new players are proving to be a solid addition for the team, scoring big last week. The Vees took the Prince George Spruce Kings 3-2 at home on Saturday, and the Salmon Arm Silverbacks 4-1 in an away game on Friday, putting the team at 17 wins and three losses. That keeps the team firmly at the top, with 34 points – three points ahead of the three-way tie for second place, held by the Wenatchee Wild, the Powell River Kings and the Victoria Grizzlies.

West Kelowna Warriors Losing Money:

The owner of the West Kelowna Warriors says negotiating a new lease with the city on Royal Lepage Place was a smooth process. Mark Cheyne says he's pleased with the roughly $11,000 annual savings in rent, as well as the city's commitment to take over the snack bar. With the concession, he says past plans of big ticket events that never came to be, made the snack bar unprofitable. "Why it was so intriguing to have the concession in the first place is that I was told there was going to be multiple functions in there every year, whether it was bands or a curling event, or a wrestling evernt, or something," he said. "They were supposed to have a whole bunch of events in there, and that's just never materialized." Despite last year's national championship-winning season, Cheyne says the Warriors lost about $300,000. He says it really comes down to escalating operating costs with limited ways for the team to bring in extra revenue, and that the news is a shock to many people. "Oh yeah, it blows people away. And then when you start throwing the numbers around, they're just like, 'are you kidding?'" he said. "People don't understand how much it costs to run that thing. They can physically see what you drag in for revenue on any given night, but they just don't understand the budget side of it." Last week, city staff said they were optimistic about Cheyne's desire to be a long-term partner, though the owner confirmed he's been entertaining offers on the team since last year. However, he says that wasn't a decision that was made because of the financial situation. "I've had the team up for sale for a year now. And I've been doing this for 30 years," he said. "I started in '86 in Saskatchewan with it, and me and my wife want to do things in the winter on the weekends. I've drug her there long enough, it's time for us to do some .other things." Cheyne says he's had a few interested parties contact him, but that if they don't want to keep the team in West Kelowna, he's not interested in selling.

SilverBacks President –GM Mick On The Firing Of Head Coach Brandon West:

The Salmon Arm SilverBacks announced November 9th parting ways with Head Coach Brandon West. SilverBacks President and GM Troy Mick talks about the move.

Harbinson Collects 400th Win:

The Penticton Vees cruised to a 5-2 win at the South Okanagan Events Centre Wednesday in front of just over three thousand fans. It was a milestone win for Head Coach-GM Fred Harbinson, as he won his 400th career BCHL game behind the Vees’ bench. Harbinson took over the Vees’ bench starting with the 2007-08 season, where he guided Penticton to a Fred Page Cup BCHL title. He’s since won two more BCHL titles, in 2012 and 2015 and won the RBC Cup national championship in 2012. The Calgary native is a three-time winner of the Joe Tennant Memorial Trophy as BCHL coach of the year.

West Kelowna-Wellington Trade:

The West Kelowna Warriors Junior ‘A’ Hockey Club have traded forward Mitchell Martan (’98) to the Wellington Dukes of the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL). Martan, 18, played in 18 games with the Warriors this season, registering a goal and three points with the club to start the year. The Warriors committed to the Boston College commit out of prep in the offseason, spending his 2015/16 season with St. Andrew’s college of the CAHS. The Whitby, Ontario native will find his way closer to home as he moves on to play with Wellington. The Warriors would like to wish Mitch all the best in his future endeavors.

Eagles Add Westgard & Bruce To Roster:

The Surrey Eagles Hockey Club has announced the addition of two players on Wednesday afternoon. Forwards Ty Westgard and Josh Bruce have been added to the team’s active roster, and both are expected to make their season debuts on Thursday night against Salmon Arm. Westgard, 18, has played in a total of 44 BCHL games with the Eagles, dating back to the 2013-14 season. He has 12 goals and 21 assists in those games. The native of White Rock, BC returns to the club after a stint with the Victoria Royals, where he began the season. Bruce, 18, played for the Valley West Hawks of the BC Major Midget League last season, amassing 28 points, and 101 penalty minutes in 39 games. He started the season playing with the Saskatoon Blades and Vancouver Giants, and will be making his BCHL debut on Thursday night. “We are very excited to be welcoming Westgard back to the organization,” head coach and general manager Blaine Neufeld said about the transactions. “We know what we’re getting, which is a player with game-breaking ability that can step into a major role immediately.” The acquisition of Bruce is expected to be for a bit of a different role. “Bruce plays with a lot of jam in his game,” Neufeld explained. “That’s what we really like about him. At this point in the season, a lot of the roster changes are just fine-tuning. We think Bruce can be the type of piece that really puts this team over the top.” To make room for the two new players, forward Rob Johnson and defenceman Ryan Markovic were traded to Whitecourt of the AJHL in exchange for future considerations. Defenceman Trent Huitema was also moved to the Prince George Spruce Kings in a separate deal, also in exchange for futures. The Surrey Eagles Hockey Club thank Rob, Ryan, and Trent for their time in Surrey, and wish them luck on their new teams.

Martin Leaves Warriors For QMJHL:

G Trevor Martin, who played in the WHL with the Saskatoon Blades and Red Deer Rebels, has joined the QMJHL’s Baie-Comeau Drakkar. Martin, from Ardrossan, Alta., cleared WHL waivers after being released by the Red Deer Rebels as they got down to three 20-year-olds. Martin then joined the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors but now has signed with Baie-Comeau. . . . Martin was a ninth-round pick by the Spokane Chiefs in the WHL’s 2011 bantam draft. However, he never played for the Chiefs. . . . Last season, he was 18-8-2, 2.63, .911 with the Rebels, who played host to the Memorial Cup. . . . This season, he got into only three games with Red Deer, going 0-1-1, 4.14, .888. . . . He was 2-1-0, 2.35, .936 in three appearances with West Kelowna.

Penticton Named One Of North America's 'Must-Visit' Hockey Towns:

With the Western Canada Cup coming to Penticton in 2017, it's fitting the city has been named one of North America's must-visit hockey towns. The list of 22 hockey towns, in no particular order, by Expedia includes Edmonton, Vancouver and Penticton. The article states: "Prepare to hear a lot more about Penticton, British Columbia, in 2017. This town is playing host to the 2017 Western Canada Cup in late April through early May. Taking place at the South Okanagan Events Centre, the 13-game tournament pits the best junior “A” teams against each other for sweet, sweet glory. Be sure to look out for Penticton Vees, the local club. And if you’re wondering why this town has so many great players, look to one of Okanagan Hockey Group’s world-renowned summer hockey camps that have been in operation since 1963 or the Okanagan Hockey Academy. This centre taught the great Mark MacMillan. “Whether you are a hockey player or a fan, Penticton is hard to beat. Whether it’s exciting Junior A hockey with the Penticton Vees, world class summer hockey camps with Okanagan Hockey Group, watching future NHL stars at the annual Canuck Young Stars tournament, or just a visit to the BC Hockey Hall of Fame, Penticton has something for every hockey family.” – Blair Noel, Vice President, Okanagan Hockey Group.

West Kelowna-Prince George Trade:

The West Kelowna Warriors Junior ‘A’ Hockey Club has acquired forward Cavin Tilsley (’98) from the Prince George Spruce Kings in exchange for future considerations. Tilsley, 18, is a veteran of 78 BCHL games, spending the last two seasons up north with the Spruce Kings. This season, Tilsley has compiled two goals and nine points in 22 games with Prince George, coming off of a productive 2015/16 season that saw him tally 10 goals and 21 points in 56 games to go along with 83 penalty minutes. The Delta, BC native is no stranger to the Okanagan as he spent the 2013/14 season with the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy before heading to the Fernie Ghostriders of the KIJHL in the 2014/15 season. “Tilsley is a young veteran player,” commented general manager and head coach Rylan Ferster, ”who is hard to play against and will be a nice addition for our hockey club.” In a related move, the Warriors are pleased to announce the addition of goaltender Nik Amundrud (’97) from the Western Hockey League (WHL). Amundrud, 19, split last season between the Saskatoon Blades and the Calgary Hitmen in the WHL, playing in 31 total games with a 13-12-0-1 record and a 3.17 GAA while amassing a .887 SV%. The Melfort, Saskatchewan native has ties to Junior ‘A’ hockey with his father, Trevor, spending the 1993/94 season with the Melfort Mustangs of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL). “Adding a goalie like Nik with a lot of WHL experience at 19 is an nice piece to have a this time of the year” continued Ferster. The Warriors would like to welcome both Cavin and Nik to the city of West Kelowna.

Coquitlam-Trenton Trade:

The Coquitlam Express have transferred the CJHL playing rights to Cal Walker(97)(D) to the Trenton Golden Hawks of the OJHL in exchange for future considerations.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Vipers Stuff Warriors For Charity:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers stuff Warriors for charity

by  Kevin Mitchell - Vernon Morning Star

Dec 4, 2016

Send your head coach to Arizona. Hold the charity Teddy Bear Toss. Start your red-hot new American goalie.

All of the above paid off for the Vernon Vipers in a 6-1 dispatching of the West Kelowna Warriors before 2,048 B.C. Hockey League fans Friday night at Kal Tire Place.

Kevin Kraus stepped in as bench boss with Mark Ferner away scouting a big Midget tournament in Phoenix and the Vipers didn’t miss a beat while improving to 15-12-3. Kraus was assisted by Kevin Pedersen.

The Vipers (15-12-3) moved into sole possession of second place in the Interior Division, two points ahead of the Trail Smoke Eaters, 4-1 losers to the visiting Alberni Valley Bulldogs.

“Krauser could be coach of the year now,” laughed newbie net detective Darion Hanson of Minnesota. “He did great. We respect both of them very much. I thought we started out strong and I’m very proud of how we responded after we gave up an early one and our PK was especially huge in the second period.”

A big fan of Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby, Hanson loves playing pick-up hoops in the summer. He used to play baseball and showed some sweet athleticism Friday. He’s high on his new club.

“I really am excited,” said the amiable Hanson. “Coming in with these guys, it’s been an awesome opportunity and it seems like a great group. They’ve been so nice to me so it’s been an easy transition. That says a lot about them. There are a lot of real good human beings in that locker room. We play hard and I think this is a team that people should watch for. I think we’re built for a playoff run. It’s been fun; these last three games I really couldn’t have wished for anything better.”

Niko Karamanis scored twice for the Vipers, while singles went to Jimmy Lambert, Austin Adamson, Brett Stapley and Ryan Brushett. Michael Ryan replied for the Warriors (12-15-1), who have given up 17 goals in their last two games. Karamanis made it rain stuffies for Santa’s Toy Club 97 seconds after Ryan’s snipe.

“It was kind of special to score that goal. Before the game, we were joking about it. It was a geat effort there by both my linemates (Brushett and Christian Cakebread). Ryan made the nice move to get around him and I just took a one-timer. We knew we could beat this goalie (Nik Amundrud) up high being a smaller goalie so it was a good shot and definitely one I’ll remember.”

Karamanis, an 18-year-old centre out of Courtenay, supplied the winner early in the second period. D-man Sol Seibel drove the length of the ice, cruised behind the net and fed Karamanis for an easy tap in.

“It was definitely a freebie,” said Karamanis, who has 11 goals. “I told him he could have the goal and assist on that one. Great rush by him and go to the net with your stick on the ice and get a tap in.”

The Warriors, who have seven returnees from last year’s Royal Bank championship roster, went ahead on Ryan’s fourth 4:22 after the national anthem. They had a goal by Connor Sodergren waved off for a throwing motion and trailed 2-1 after the first period.

“I thought for two periods it was pretty good,” said West Kelowna head coach Ryan Ferster, a former Vernon Laker. “It’s unfortunate that a goal like that has to get called back. I don’t understand how a back linesman can see that going through people. We watched it on tape and it was a call that happened and we could have gone in 2-2. I’m certainly not saying that’s why we lost the game, but we have a young team and it kind of got away from us in the third and full marks to them; they’ve got a veteran team, they’re four lines deep and they played well.”

Carter Cochrane supplied the winner as the Salmon Arm Silverbacks clipped the first-place Penticton Vees 4-3 in double overtime in front of 2,651 fans at the South Okanagan Events Centre. The Silverbacks share fifth spot with West Kelowna, three digits back of the idle Merritt Centennials.

Vernon visits Penticton Wednesday night.

Adamson took on the much bigger Tyler Jutting in the game’s only scrap, with 4:55 remaining. Neither player landed any major blows.

Meanwhile, Penticton goaltender Mat Robson has committed to the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers for the 2017-18 season.

The Toronto native has had stellar season for the Vees thus far, as he leads the BCHL in wins (18), goals-against average (1.90) and save percentage (.927); he’s tied for second in shutouts (2). Robson says Minnesota is the perfect fit.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Vernon Vipers 2016 Teddy Bear Toss Video:

This is posted on the website:

Vipers 2016 Teddy Bear Toss

Posted by HockeyTube on Dec 3rd, 2016

Vipers 2016 Teddy Bear Toss – The BCHL Vernon Vipers hosted their annual Teddy Bear Toss game in support of KISS FM’s Santa Toy Club charity.  Fans tossed more than a thousand stuffed toys onto the ice following Niko Karamanis’ tying goal early in the first period against the West Kelowna Warriors.

Vernon Vipers Alumni-College Hockey On TSN:

Former Vernon Vipers forwards Logan Mick (2012-2014) Craig Martin (2012-2014) Thomas Aldworth (2014-15) former Vernon Vipers defenceman Luke Shiplo (2014-15) former Vernon Vipers goaltender Andrew Shortridge (2015-16) & the Quinnipiac Bobcats take on former Vernon Vipers goaltender Joe Young (2012-13) & the Union Minutemen at 4pm on TSN 2

Friday, December 2, 2016

Vernon 6 West Kelowna 1

I have had season tickets for the past 27 years and been following Junior hockey in Vernon for well over thirty years. Ive missed only three home games since 1998-99 season. For anyone who could not attend or watch tonight’s Vipers game here are my thoughts and views from tonight’s game. You may agree or disagree but we all have our own view and opinion on any game we watch. This is my opinion and my thoughts on how I saw tonight’s game. I try to be unbiased and give a fare recap on both sides. Thanks for stopping by & visiting my blog.

I was at tonight's Vipers-Warriors game as Vernon defeated West Kelowna 6-1 in front of 2,048 fans at Kal Tire Place.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Darion Hanson
West Kelowna: Nik Amundrud

1st Period: The Vipers would get the games first good opportunity early. Just two and a half minutes into the opening frame the Vipers couldn't convert on a goal mouth scramble as Nik Amundrud somehow managed to keep his eye on the puck and keep the game scoreless. The Warriors would get the games first powerplay just less then four minutes in. Chase Dubois couldn't convert on a pass at the side of the net, after somehow missing the wide open cage. I think Sol Seibel managed to get a stick on Dubois at the last second. The Warriors would eventually open the scoring after Michael Ryan's point shot beat a screened Darion Hanson fivehole giving West Kelowna the 1-0 lead at 4:22 Stephen Kleysen and Chase Stephenson collected the helpers. Vernon pushed right back after Jimmy Lambert would get denied on an odd man rush was stopped by Nik Amundrud who come across the blue paint to make the big glove save, keeping this a one goal game. Shortly after Niko Karamanis went high beating Nik Amundrud tying the game 1-1 at 5:59 as the teddy bears hit the ice on the Vipers annual teddy bear toss. Ryan Brushett & Christian Cakebread with the assists. This goal seemed to get the Vipers going as Vernon responded with a strong forecheck getting some solid zone time before jumping on their first powerplay of the evening. The Vipers couldn't capitalize with the man advantage as West Kelowna killed off the minor. Just after the penalty expired, Cooper Watson's point shot forced Nik Amundrud into making a huge pad save with Jimmy Lambert on the doorstep couldn't bury the rebound in close. Vernon took over the play in the second half and carried the better of the play, getting lots of pucks to the net. The Vipers with a strong forecheck and work ethic dominated the play along the boards and down low. Nik Amundrud had to be sharp made several big saves. The Vipers would grab their first lead of the night late in the period. Sol Seibel with a nice rush up ice setup Niko Karamanis in front who buried his second of the night gave Vernon a 2-1 lead at 17:22 Seibel with the lone helper. It stayed 2-1 Vernon after 20 minutes of play. Other then the powerplay and a few hard working shifts I thought the Vipers were the better team and carried the better of the play. Vernon fell behind early responded with the game tying goal less then two minutes later were really skating, dominated the boards and the front of the net. The Vipers with good looks and chances played very well in the 1st period. The Warriors opened the scoring but didn't generate much offence, played a lot of the period in their own end. Vernon outshot West Kelowna 15-7.

2nd Period: The Vipers looked to grab a two goal lead inside the opening two minutes couldn't convert on a wrap around before getting a good chance in close on a goal mouth scramble. WK would get an early powerplay. On the man advantage Vernon would get caught with two many men sending the defending champions to a lengthy five on three. Darion Hanson making his home debut had to be alert and was solid on the penalty kill making several key stops. The Vipers and Hanson with a strong penalty kill would kill off both minors. A few minutes later Riley Brandt and Scott Allen got tangled up in the corner before punches were thrown. A scrum broke loose with several players getting involved. On the play the Vipers would get called again for too many men sending WK back to the powerplay. Connor Sodergren looked to tie the game after batting in a high pass in front. One of the linesmen went to one of the officials before both linesmen and referee's gathered in front of the penalty box before calling off the goal. The goal was disallowed after Sodergren batted the puck into the net. Still on the PP former Viper Chase Stephenson would get stoned by Vipers starting goaltender Darion Hanson. Hanson come across the crease to make a huge blocker save before flashing the leather on the second attempt. Stephenson with two back to back quality chances couldn't solve Hanson. Hanson and Vernon's penalty kill was once again solid killing off the penalty. The Warriors with three powerplays in the first half were firing everything towards Hanson and the Viper net, were outshooting Vernon 14-3 at this point. The Vipers went a good five to six minutes without a single shot on goal. Vernon seemed to build off the PK battled back and showed a good push back in the second half. The Vipers with a good forecheck once again showed that strong work ethic. Riley Brandt would get robbed with five and a half minutes to go after Warriors starting goaltender Nik Amundrud stopped Brandt on the wrap around. West Kelowna with a strong push back come on late to finish the middle frame. With two and a half minutes left, Braiden Epp looked to have Darion Hanson beat was denied in tight on a great opportunity. The Tribe looking for that long stretch pass spotted Chase Dubois inside the final minute, couldn't beat Hanson on the breakaway. With 2.5 seconds remaining Connor Sodergren couldn't beat Darion Hanson who flashed the leather, making a big glove save in the final seconds. West Kelowna with some solid opportunities late couldn't beat the Viper goaltender. Vernon was up 2-1 after 40 minutes of play. The Warriors with an early two man advantage couldn't capitalize on the powerplay. WK with three powerplay's in the first half had some very good looks-chances couldn't beat Darion Hanson. West Kelowna carried the better of the play in the first half due to three straight powerplays before the Vipers responded with a good pushback in the second half. I thought the Warriors were the better team, carried the better of the play and had most of the opportunities that period. How big was that disallowed goal on the powerplay? Instead of 2-2 going into the 3rd, its still 2-1 Vipers. Give Vernon some credit for getting some big saves from Darion Hanson and a big penalty kill. West Kelowna outshot Vernon 18-10.

3rd Period: The Vipers would get that all important two goal lead early to start the 3rd. Brett Stapley setup a wide open Jimmy Lambert in the crease for the easy tap in gave Vernon a 3-1 lead at 1:15 Stapley and Cameron Trott with the assists. Then the parade to the penalty box. Both teams basically rotated taking penalties as lots of four on four action or very shortened powerplays. The referees calling lots of penalties early and often took a lot of the flow away from the game, making for a very slow and scrambled 3rd. The Vipers would come away with a two man advantage but spent most of the five on three passing the puck. With only two shots the Vipers moved the puck around very slowly, waisted a key five on three as WK killed off both minors. Shortly after Vernon would jump back on the powerplay but again struggle with the man advantage. The Warriors digging themselves a huge hole got into penalty trouble before the Vipers would eventually respond. Austin Adamson on a goal mouth scramble gave Vernon a 4-1 lead at 12:13 Hunter Zandee & Nicholas Rasovic picked up the helpers. About a minute and a half later Steven Jandric kept his point streak going after springing Breatt Stapley for the breakaway. Stapley with a nice dangle in front found the back of the net giving Vernon a 5-1 lead at 13:46 Jandric with the lone assist. A few minutes later tempers heated up as Tyler Jutting went after Austin Adamson as the two dropped the gloves. At the same time Nicholas Rasovic and Stephen Kleysen started exchanging words before both players threw a few punches at each other before the linesmen jumped in separating the two. Adamson and Jutting were both tossed from the game. On the following shift Nik Amundrud made an awkward save down low, was very slow getting up, stayed down on his knees for several seconds after making the save before getting up looking to be in some discomfort. Amundrud looked to be in some discomfort for the following few shifts toughed it out, stayed in the game. Late in the game on a goal mouth scramble after getting a few wacks at the loose puck, Ryan Brushett was last to bang home the rebound giving Vernon a 6-1 lead at 17:54 Jesse Lansdell collected the assist. At this point of the night West Kelowna looked like they just wanted to hit the showers and go home. In the end Vernon would hang on for the 6-1 victory. The Vipers got that all important third goal they needed, early to start the 3rd. A penalty filled period, really slowed the game down, dragged the 3rd period on, making for very scrambled play. It seemed like neither team could get much of anything going in the first half with lots of stopages in play-penalties being called. West Kelowna then got into penalty trouble and played most of the 3rd shorthanded-in their own end. The Vipers carried a lot of the play, had lots of offensive zone time struggled with the man advantage in the 3rd but put the game away with a convincing win with four 3rd period goals. Vernon outshot West Kelowna 17-6.

Top Player's: (Vernon)

Sol Seibel (1 assist) I thought played very well at both ends of the rink. The rookie defenceman played with a lot of confidence, saw a lot of ice time.

Brett Stapley (1 goal & 1 assist) Played very well in the win. Was skating, working hard, made some nice heads up plays through out the night.

Ryan Brushett (1 goal & 1 assist) I thought was really skating well, had the puck on his stick a lot, was going to the net, created-generated chances through out the night.

Austin Adamson (1 goal) Played with a lot of jump-energy, was good on the penalty kill, blocked atleast two shots while on the PK. Played hard through out the night. Didn't back down after Tyler Jutting went after him in the 3rd.

Jesse Lansdell (1 assist) Was another forward I thought played very well. Played physical, was laying the body, played with a lot of jump, had a strong game.

Jimmy Lambert (1 goal) Was really hustling tonight, played with a ton of jump-energy, was skating hard, going to the net, was another kid who created/generated opportunities.

Darion Hanson (30 saves) Started his third straight game, made his home debut tonight was stellar in the victory. Didn't see much action in the 1st and 3rd periods but was at his best in the middle frame. Was one of if not the Vipers best penalty killer, coming up with some game savers on the PK. Hanson was solid between the pipes made some key saves in that 2nd period to keep it a one goal game.

Game Thought's: (Vernon)

This was a hard fought win that the Vipers fully deserved. Vernon winning their third straight for just a second time this season and the first since opening the season winning their first three games. Other then the 2nd period I thought the Vipers were the better of the two teams for two out of the three periods. Vernon played very well in the opening frame, had to come up big on the penalty kill in the 2nd period, got some key saves from Darion Hanson on the PK built off the penalty kill. How big was the disallowed goal on the powerplay in the middle frame? The Warriors score here and its tied 2-2, instead its 2-1 Vipers after 40 minutes of the play. The TSN turning point? Ive said it a few times tonight, how big was Jimmy Lambert's goal 1:15 into the 3rd? The Vipers get that all important two goal lead and then bury the defending champs with three more to come away with the convincing 6-1 victory. The Vipers seemed to keep their emotions in check in that 3rd period, didn't get caught up in anything more then they needed too. A very strong 3rd with four goals. I really liked the Vipers work ethic, forecheck and penalty kill tonight. I thought Vernon showed a lot of hustle, hard work and domination along the boards and in front of the net. The Vipers were going to the net a lot and it paid off, getting some big goals in front. I thought the Vipers were skating hard for most of the night, were getting pucks to the net and going to the net. I thought Vernon did a good job at limiting West Kelowna's snipers. Did a good job at shutting down some of the Warriors offensive players. The Vipers showed and played with a lot of energy tonight and it come from all four lines. I thought the powerplay struggled, a lot of puck movement but no shots. It looks like the Vipers are slowly coming together and finally getting on a roll. Winning three straight and four of their last five, have really picked up their consistency as of late. Maybe all these roster moves lately are helping? Congrats to Kevin Kraus who was running the bench tonight with Mark Ferner on a scouting trip in Arizona. Nice to see a big crowd, a much more exciting atmosphere. With the win the Vipers move into 2nd place, two points up on 3rd place Trail.

Top Player's: (West Kelowna)

Tyler Jutting I thought played well on the blueline. Played with an edge, dropped the gloves with Austin Adamson in the 3rd period.

Jake Harrison Was another d-man that I thought played well. Took a big hit from Nicholas Rasovic and didn't seem to return to the ice. Atleast I didn't see him much or at all in the 3rd.

Quin Foreman Carried the puck often, especially in the first two periods. Was dangerous at times, seems to play well vs the Vipers didn't dominate or get those grade a chances he normally does. Seemed to have troubles creating-generating chances at times.

Braiden Epp I thought played well through out the game, had a few good looks-chances. Not the biggest kid but was going to the net often, looking for opportunities in tight.

Peter Tomaras I thought was consistent through out the game, played very well. Was involved in the play, was skating hard, played with energy.

Nik Amundrud (36 saves) Played very well in goal for West Kelowna. Was busy all night, made some big stops through out the game. Quick on his feet, played his position well. Couldn't be faulted on any of the six goals.

Game Thought's: (West Kelowna)

The Warriors struggled offensively tonight, didn't generate much for offence in the 1st and 3rd periods. Played a lot of time in their own zone. West Kelowna opened the scoring on an early powerplay but had trouble solving Darion Hanson for the rest of the night. It was in that 2nd period when the Tribe had a five on three had several good looks-chances couldn't find the back of the net. WK with several quality chances couldn't beat Hanson who was the difference in that middle frame. Other then that 2nd period I thought West Kelowna was outplayed most of the night. Didn't get a lot of sustained pressure or zone time, played a lot of the game in their own end, got into penalty trouble come the 3rd. Giving up that 3rd goal early to start the 3rd really hurt. West Kelowna couldn't recover and Vernon added three more to put the game away. The Warriors finish their four game road trip with just one win, host Alberni Valley tomorrow night. West Kelowna has struggled in Vernon. Since the 2010-11 regular season the Warriors have just four wins in Vernon. The season series is now tied 2-2 as these two teams will meet again January 20th in West Kelowna. With the loss the Warriors are now tied for last with Salmon Arm.



Jagger Williamson (Injured)
Chris Jandric (Injured)

West Kelowna:

Cavin Tilsley

Energy Player of the Game:

Austin Adamson (1 goal)

Three Star's:
1st Star: Niko Karamanis (2 goals)
2nd Star: Darion Hanson (30 saves)
3rd Star: Brett Stapley (1 goal & 1 assist)

BCHL Boxscore-Game summary,

BCHL Game report,

BCHL Text boxscore,

Game Preview: West Kelowna @ Vernon:

West Kelowna (12-14-1-0) @ Vernon (14-12-3-0) 7pm

Tonight is the fourth of seven regular season meetings between the Vernon Vipers & West Kelowna Warriors. The Warriors lead the season series 2-1

Last Game:

Sunday, November 27th Vernon defeated Langley 4-1
Saturday, November 26th Wenatchee defeated West Kelowna 11-2

Next Game:

Wednesday, December 7th Vernon @ Penticton
Saturday, December 3rd Alberni Valley @ West Kelowna

To read more, click on the "Read More" button In the bottom left hand corner of this post.

Vernon Vipers Alumni-NCAA Hockey On TSN:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Jedd Soleway (2011-2013) & the Wisconsin Badgers take on the Omaha Mavericks at 5:30pm tonight on TSN 2

Kraus Runs Vipers

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Kraus runs Vipers

Dec 2, 2016

Morning Star Staff

Undefeated in regulation as an interim head coach, Kevin Kraus will guide the Vernon Vipers against the West Kelowna Warriors tonight at Kal Tire Place.

Head coach Mark Ferner is scouting a Midget tournament in Phoenix so Kraus, a former Viper captain, and Kevin Pedersen, are in charge.

The Vipers are 14-12-3 and in a share of second place with the surging Trail Smoke Eaters in the Interior Division of the B.C. Hockey League.

The Smokies (15-13-1) parlayed a Kale Howarth hat trick into a 5-3 win over the first-place Penticton Vees before 975 fans Wednesday night at Cominco Arena.

Vernon is three points ahead of the Merritt Centennials and six ahead of West Kelowna. The Salmon Arm Silverbacks are a deuce back of the Warriors.

“We’re pretty even teams,” said Kraus of the defending national champion Warriors. “This month is going to be huge because every game is within our division. We have to take as many points as we can in regulation.”

Kraus plans to start newbie Darion Hanson in net. Hanson, a 19-year-old Minnesota product, has allowed one goal in 140 minutes.

Hanson has a scholarship locked up with the Union Dutchmen in Schenectady, NY. Union won the 2014 NCAA Division 1 title.

The Snakes have brought in six players in the last month and Kraus sees good things ahead.

“We’re starting to come together and play as a hockey team. We have had a lot of new personnel and guys are starting to realize our style of hockey and system can be successful. They are learning how we can beat teams and when we get away from our system, even for a period, we can get beat.”

Veteran alternate captain Jagger Williamson (back) and rookie d-man Chris Jandric are on injured reserve.

The Vipers will roll six d-men and use the same forward lines as they did in a 4-1 win Sunday over the Langley Rivermen.

Captain Riley Brandt lines up with newcomer Luke Gingras and Jesse Lansdell, while Brett Stapley centres Jimmy Lambert and Steve Jandric. Game time is 7 p.m.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Jandric & Hanson Recieve Honourable Mention For Player Of The Week.

Steven Jandric & Darion Hanson recieve honourable mention for Player of the Week.

This is posted on the BCHL website:

Mennear hat trick paves way to BCHLPOW

November 28, 2016

Prince George Spruce Kings forward Brett Mennear has been named the BCHL Player of the Week for the week ending November 27, the league announced Monday.

Mennear helped his team to two wins in as many tries and picked up a hat trick and five assists in the process. The native of West Kelowna, B.C. notched his hat trick plus a helper in an 8-0 victory over
Coquitlam where he was 1st Star. He was 1st Star again the next night after four helpers in a 6-3 PG win over Salmon Arm.

The 5-foot-9, 185-pound captain moved up to fourth in BCHL scoring and has 13 points in his last four games.

Honourable mentions this week:

Vernon Vipers F Steven Jandric: 4G, 3A, 1st Star, 2nd Star, FortisBC Energy Player of the Game

Vernon Vipers G Darion Hanson: 2W, 1st Star, 64 shots/65 saves, .985 sv%, 0.43 GAA

Wenatchee Wild D Alex Bates: 6A, 1st Star

Penticton Vees F Nic Jones: 3G, 2A, 1st Star, GWG

Cowichan Valley Capitals F Rhett Kingston: 4G, two 2nd Stars, 3rd Star

Vernon Viper's Highlight Hall Of Fame - #15 Kellen Jones:

This is posted on the website:

Vipers HHOF – #15 Kellen Jones

Posted by HockeyTube on Aug 14th, 2016

#15 Kellen Jones played for the BCHL Vernon Vipers between the 2006 and 2010 season and now becomes the 5th person to be inducted into the Viper’s ‘Highlight Hall Of Fame’ alongside his brother Connor who was inducted earlier this month. Let’s be serious…you can’t have one Jones twin without the other! In fact while Connor might have scored more goals than Kellen, it was only because #15 was one the setting up most of Connor’s goals.

Kellen was not only one of the team’s best play makers but he also went into the dirty zones to score goals never afraid to take a hit to score a big goal. He like his brother were fantastic on the fore check and made it difficult on the oppositions defence. As you’ll see in the video lots of players were hit on the end boards.

Jones helped the Vipers win a pair of back to back RBC National Championships in 2009 and 2010. He along with his brother earned scholarships to NCAA Quinnipiac. Following an extremely successful college career, Kellen will be joining his brother Connor on the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Jones is the fifth former Viper to be inducted into the unofficial Vernon Vipers Highlight Hall Of Fame. 

The first was long time captain #18 Chris Crowell. Crowell played four season's in Vernon (2005-2009) winning the 2009 National Championship in his final year with the Vipers. Crowell holds the club record for most franchise penalty minutes. Crowell was the second Viper to have his jersey retired in team history.

The second former Viper to be inducted into the unofficial Vernon Vipers Highlight Hall Of Fame, is #1 Andrew Hammond. Hammond is now playing goal with the Ottawa Senators, played two season's in Vernon (2007-2009) winning the 2009 Royal Bank Cup in his final year of Junior hockey.

The third former Viper to be inducted into the unofficial Vernon Vipers Highlight Hall Of Fame, is #21 Kevin Kraus. Kraus is in his third season as Assistant Coach with the Vipers played three seasons in Vernon (2007-2010), was captain of the 2010 Vipers Royal Bank Cup winning team.

The fourth former Viper to be inducted into the unofficial Vernon Vipers Highlight Hall Of Fame, is #10 Connor Jones (Kellen's twin brother) is in his second season with the American Hockey League's Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Connor played four season's in Vernon (2006-2010) won back to back National Championships with the Vipers in 2009 & 2010.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

BCHL Card Deadline Approaching:

The BCHL card deadline is Thursday, December 1st 2016.

I haven't heard of any rule changes from last year's rules-regulations to the card deadline. So here is a look at the rules and regulations from last year's card deadline day.

This was posted on Brian Wiebe's BCHL Blog last season:

BCHL December 1st Roster Deadline:

Monday, November 30, 2015

The December 1st Hockey Canada roster deadline arrives tomorrow and it's one that's seen BCHL teams be relatively busy.

BCHL teams started with 35 cards on June 1st, on October 1st that was reduced to 30. At that point, teams with 22 players signed were left with only eight cards to sign any players acquired.

As of December 1st, the number is cut to 25 cards or less, which includes carded players plus available unused cards. The norm is for teams to end up with a 22 player roster and 3 cards, but occasionally teams will go with less than 22 players and then have more cards available for use leading up to the January 10th roster deadline.

For example, if a team has 28 cards remaining of the 35 they started with on June 1st, (including the 22 players on their roster) and it reduces to 25 tomorrow night, it makes sense to trade now, rather than after December 1st. The idea being that the team uses cards 23 through 28 instead of losing them. This is assuming the team wants to make some changes.

Vipers Pocket Four Points:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers pocket four points

Nov 30, 2016

Power winger Steven Jandric is having an all-star sophomore season with the Vernon Vipers.

The 19-year-old Prince George product compiled 2+1 as the Vipers dispatched the Langley Rivermen 4-1 before 615 B.C. Hockey League fans Sunday afternoon at George Preston Arena.

Jandric leads the Snakes with 15 goals and 23 points in 29 games. The Alaska-Fairbanks Nanook commit supplied seven goals and 22 points as a rookie last season.

“He’s just playing between the dots,” said Viper head coach Mark Ferner. “He’s got seven goals in his last six games. It works like that sometimes. He’s moving his feet more.”

Jandric was chosen second star behind Viper newcomer Darion Hanson (32 saves) and Langley net detective Chad Cromar (31 stops).

Jandric put Vernon up 3-1 at 12:08 of the second period, the assist going to linemate Jimmy Lambert. Jandric added an empty-netter with 91 seconds to play.

The Vipers looked to their skyscraper defencemen for early second-period offence, getting goals from Cameron Trott and Cooper Watson 44 seconds apart. Trott scored his fourth of the year 36 seconds into the frame with fellow newbie Luke Gringas drawing the assist.

Jandric and Brett Stapley set up Watson for his first BCHL goal.

Ryan Barrow replied for the Rivermen 75 seconds into the third period.

Viper rookie d-man Sol Seibel took on 6-foot-6, 245-pound forward Michael McLaren in the game’s only scrap, with 20 seconds remaining.

Vernon improved to 14-12-3, good for second place in the Interior Division. The Penticton Vees, 3-2 overtime winners over the visiting Chilliwack Chiefs before 2,815 fans Saturday night, are first at 23-4.

Langley dipped to 10-13-3-2, alone in fourth place in the Mainland Division.

The Vipers shut down the injury-riddled Coquitlam Express 6-0 in front of 614 fans Saturday night at the Poirier Sports & Leisure Centre.

Hanson recorded 18 saves for his first BCHL shutout. He stopped all 14 shots he faced in the third period of the Vipers’ 4-1 loss Friday night in Wenatchee, in his Viper debut.

Hanson, who has already committed to NCAA Union Dutchmen for next year, spent last season in the North American Hockey League, playing in 34 games with the Aston (suburb of Philadelphia) Rebels, where he was named an East Division All-Star and a member of the First Rookie Team. A native of East Bethel, Minn., Hanson is 6-foot-3, 181 pounds.

“He’s kind of like Ty Taylor except he’s two years older,” said Ferner. He’s calm and he makes hard saves look easy. He’s going to help Ty as well as us.”

Michael Ufberg opened the scoring with a slap shot from the left point with six players parked in front that found its way through goalie Reid Cooper, at 8:55. Lambert assisted on Ufberg’s 4th.

Stapley added his fourth after a nice pass from Jandric three minutes later. Gingras finished a 2-on-1 just 34 seconds later, unassisted.

D-man Shane Kelly got into the action with a point shot to make it 4-0 with seven minutes gone in the second period. Gingras converted in the final minute of the stanza, from Christian Cakebread and Lambert.

Jandric connected on a sweet 3-on 2 rush to complete the offence at six minutes of the final period, assisted by Gingras and Austin Adamson.

Gingras, 18, of Langley, amassed six goals and 13 points in 109 WHL games with the Saskatoon Blades before being released. He rang up 22 goals and 43 points in just 44 games with the Valley West Hawks of the B.C. Major Midget League.

“He’s physical and he can shoot it,” said Ferner, of the 6-foot, 210-pound Gingras, chosen in Round 4 of the WHL Bantam Draft. “He’s a straight-line guy.”

Vernon hosts the West Kelowna Warriors Friday at Kal Tire Place on Teddy Bear Toss Night. The Warriors were ambushed 11-2 by Wenatchee Saturday night.

SNAKE BITES: Viper grad Connor Jones scored at 3:55 of overtime as ghe Bridgeport Sound Tigers clipped the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 3-2 in AHL play. Former NHLer Steve Bernier drew the assist. Jones took first star before 3,366 home fans at Webster Bank Arena. Ex-Merritt Centennials Casey Pierro-Zabotel, a Penguin draft, plays for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton...Vernon’s Cole Sanford set up Josh Nicholls at 1:26 of overtime as the host Colorado Eagles shaded the Rapid City Rush 3-2 in ECHL action before 5,003 at the Budweiser Events Centre in Loveland. Sanford has 7-8-15. Vernon-born Ryan Harrison has 4-9-13 with the Eagles.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

2016 Vernon Vipers Teddy Bear Toss Promo Video:

This is posted on the website:

2016 Vipers Teddy Bear Toss Promo

Posted by HockeyTube on Nov 25th, 2016

Vipers Teddy Bear Toss Promo 2016 – It’s a tradition around rinks everywhere in North America and the Vernon Vipers have been doing the annual Teddy Bear Toss game for over a decade. And for many players scoring the TBT goal is always a memorable one! This year’s promo video for the game includes the past eight years of goals that launched many a stuffed animal!

Redwings Sign Viper Alumni Bayda:

The AAA Rosetown Redwings have signed former Vernon Vipers forward
Ryan Bayda. The Redwings are a mens Senior B hockey team in Rosetown, Saskatchewan.

Bayda retired this spring from professional hockey after playing last season with the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) Straubing Tigers. The Tigers are a professional men's ice hockey team, based in Straubing, Germany, which plays in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. After just one season with the Tigers Bayda collected (13-goals-13-assists-26-points) in 44 games last season.

After playing three years at the University of North Dakota Bayda played the following eight seasons splitting between the American Hockey League & NHL with five different teams (Lowell, Manitoba, Albany, Wilkes-Barrie & Carolina). Since the 2010-11 season Bayda has played the past six seasons in Germany with three different teams (Nurnberg, Augsburger & Staubing).

Bayda played one season in Vernon (1998-99) playing in 45 games with the Vipers collecting (24-goals-58-assists-82-points). Bayda was drafted 80th overall in Round 3 of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft by the Carolina Huricanes. Bayda played parts of five seasons with the Huricanes before signing with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Bayda never played a game with the Penguins played the 2009-10 season with the Penguins farm club the AHL Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins.

Ryan Bayda's Player Profile:

This was posted on the Redwings twitter account:

AAA Redwings ‏@RedwingsAAA  Jul 30 2016

Due to holiday Monday we have decided to announce the next three #wings @glenthe3rd @11Jbomber and @thies89 have a safe and fun weekend.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Vipers-Rivermen Highlight's:

Here are the game highlight's from the George
Preston Arena Sunday in Langley. Steven Jandric scored twice as the Vipers went on to defeat the Langley Rivermen 4-1. The Vipers won the season series 2-0.

BCHL News & Trades:

I found these press releases off team websites, twitter accounts, blogs or online. All Vipers news-trades are posted on this blog as soon as released-announced.

BCHL News & Trades:

Smoke Eaters Name Clare Director Of Hockey Operations:

Trail Smoke Eaters assistant coach, Craig Clare, has been named “Director of Hockey Operations”  by Rich Murphy, new owner of the Smokie franchise.  “I am very excited to take on this new role with the team and am looking forward to working with our coaches, volunteers, fans, and corporate sponsors to make our team one of the best in the BCHL.”  “My goal is to work with the entire community to ensure the longevity of the team.” Craig began his coaching career with the Smoke Eaters in 2013 and for two weeks of that season he and assistant coach Barry Zanier took over the reigns of Co-Coach/GM when the Smokie board searched for a new head coach.  He has been with the team for the last 4 years. Clare played for the Smokies in 1997/98, and 1998/99 and in 112 games had 50 goals and 37 assists for a total of 87 points.  As a 20 year old he was traded to the Victoria Salsa and in 51 games scored 17 goals and 24 assists for 41 points.  Craig stated, “the trade was mutually agreed to as the Smokies were rebuilding and it gave Craig a chance to play on a playoff contender in his last season in the BCHL.”  “It was difficult to leave the Smokies as they were a great organization to play for.” Craig earned a scholarship to the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in 2000/01 and played with the team for three years.  In his tenure with SAIT he scored 48 goals and 50 assists for a total of 98 points in 70 games. Craig earned a degree in Business Administration and has been working with Fortis BC, in Trail, for the last 13 years. Owner, Rich Murphy, is excited to have Craig on board and felt it was imperative to have a local presence for the very important role of Director of Hockey Operations.  In addition, the present board members of the Trail Smoke Eaters are as excited as Mr. Murphy to have Craig on board.  Over the last four years Craig has juggled his time between Fortis and the Smoke Eaters and his hard work and dedication to the team and Fortis was unparallelled. Craig will officially take over the reigns of the team on November 11.   The present board will work with Craig to make the transition as smooth as possible. On behalf of the present board members we wish Craig the best of luck in his new position as Director of Hockey Operations.

Silverbacks TV:

Salmon Arm Silverback’s Head Coach Brandon West recaps October and takes a look at the team’s schedule this November. He also talks about the new playoff structure the league approved for the 2016-17 season with additional comments from the Silverback’s President and GM Troy Mick.

Wild Give Littler Contract Extension:

The Wenatchee Wild, proud members of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), are proud to announce they have signed Head Coach / GM Bliss Littler to a contract extension that will keep him in Wenatchee through the 2020-21 season. For Littler, the extension is satisfying on multiple levels. On the personal side, he proclaims, “My family truly loves living here in the Wenatchee Valley.” He adds, “The quality of life is very high, and it’s a great place to raise a family.” Asked how it feels to have the organization demonstrate this level of commitment, he states, “Humbled is the one word that comes to mind. The confidence that David and Lisa White have shown in me and my staff is very humbling. I have worked for some of the best owners in junior hockey over the last 25 years. The Whites have demonstrated they are truly special people and owners.” He’s excited to continue the pursuit of a shared mission. “The goal that David and I share has not changed, and that’s to become the best junior organization on and off the ice regardless of league in North America.” The winningest coach in junior hockey, Littler considers himself fortunate to be surrounded by good people. “I’m thankful to work with coaches Tom Rudrud, Chris Clark, and Michael Zucker, as well a great staff that makes coming to work every day a pleasure.” He acknowledges the players who’ve been a part of the process as well. “Thank you to the past players as well as the talented group we have this year. Without good players and good people, it’s hard to have success. Without success, coaches do not get extensions. I’m very grateful for having lots of good players over the years.” Team owner and President David White is confident he has the right leadership in place to help guide the Wild franchise to great heights on and off the ice. “I am very excited to be able to extend Bliss’s contract, and look forward to many more great things to come.”

Eagles Sign Huitema:

The Surrey Eagles Hockey Club has announced that defenceman Trent Huitema has been added to the active roster. The 6-foot-7, 210-pound Huitema appeared in 46 games for the Eagles last season, amassing 7 assists and 48 penalty minutes. The 18-year-old Huitema is a native of Chilliwack, British Columbia, and should provide some defensive stability to the team’s back end. He is now the tallest player on the team, surpassing the 6-foot-6 Tyler Cooper – another defenceman that he played alongside in 2015-16. “We’re happy to have Trent back in the fold,” said Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Blaine Neufeld. “He has proven himself to be an effective defender in this league. Defence is an area that every BCHL team constantly tries to improve, and we’re very excited to make this addition today.” Assistant coach and defensive specialist Riley Sweeney also noted the importance of adding some internal competition amongst the defensive group. Huitema will travel with the team to Langley for their game at George Preston Arena on Friday night, and will be in the lineup.

Trail-West Kelowna Trade:

The Trail Smoke Eaters have added  180 lb. 5′ 11″ Mitchell Barker to to their roster.  Mitchell was acquired from the West Kelowna Warriors for future considerations.  “Mitch brings experience and character to our team”, commented Assistant Coach/GM, Curtis Toneff.  “He will also add depth, an area we were maybe lacking.”  “He’s a player that can kill penalties and play centre or wing, and we’re glad to have been the chosen destination for Mitch.” Mitch hails from Kamploops BC and in 12 games with West Kelowna this season had 2 goals and 4 assists.  Prior to moving to West Kelowna this year Mitch played two seasons with the Victoria Grizzlies. In order too make room for Mitch the Smokies released California native Jack Sitzman.  In his first season with the Smokies Sitzman played in 12 games and had 2 goals and 2 assists. The Trail Smoke Eaters welcome Mitchell to the team and the community and thank Jack for his contributions to the team and wish him all the best in his future.

Vees TV:

The Penticton Vees took another two games in the last week – first against the Merritt Centennials on Friday, and then against the West Kelowna Warriors on Saturday. Those wins came 4-2 against the Centennials and 6-3 against the Warriors in a game that saw three Vees goals in just 44 seconds. That puts the team at 13 wins and two losses for the season so far, keeping the team firmly in their place at the top of the BCHL, and putting the team at number five in Canada. That comes after a shutout in on the home sheet, which head coach Fred Harbinson said caused the team to work on its goal scoring, leading to some points coming from the defence. Get the coach's take on the last weekend and the upcoming game against the Surrey Eagles on this week's edition of Vees' View with Coach Harbinson.

Prince George-Omaha Trade:

The Prince George Spruce Kings are pleased to announce the acquisition of 19 year old forward Keegan Ward from the Omaha Lancers of United States Hockey League (USHL) in exchange for future considerations. The 6’2” 200 pound Ward is from Galesburg Michigan. Last season in the USHL Ward tallied 1 goal and 2 assists for 3 points plus 121 penalty minutes in 34 games played. In three seasons in the USHL Ward has 3 goals and 4 assists for 7 points plus 311 penalty minutes in 95 games played. Keegan is committed to attend Northern Michigan University on an NCAA Division 1 scholarship starting in the 2017/2018 season. “We are excited to add Keegan to our organization. He is a great young man, a good team mate and will add some energy to our forward group. Keegan plays an honest game and will come in here and provide a physical element to our team while being a good contributor in both ends of the rink” said Spruce Kings General Manager Mike Hawes.

Thank You Smoke Eaters Fans:

The junior hockey game played at the Cominco Arena on Sunday, October 30 between the Trail Smoke Eaters and Victoria Grizzlies marked and end of an era.  It was the last game the junior Smoke Eaters played as a community based team.  The Trail Smoke Eater Hockey Club Society formed in 1991 had operated the hockey club for 25 years.  In 1995 the team moved from the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey to the BCHL.  Dwindling fans, rising operating costs and mounting debt forced the officers of the club to look for an alternative to the operation of the club.  That alternative was the sale of its assets to a private owner.  Fortunately, the board found a buyer that is community minded and not interested so much in the bottom line but in the longevity of the hockey team. At this time the present society board members would like to thank all those individuals who supported the team over the last 25 years.  They would like to thank the fans, the volunteers, the corporate sponsors and past board members for their contribution to the team.  Let’s not forget that first executive that purchased the Bellingham franchise to move us into the Junior A ranks as part of the BCHL. Moving forward the society still has a 10 % interest in the team and will operate to fund raise for the Smoke Eaters.  They will still be operating the 50/50 at Smoke Eater home games, and various other functions throughout the year.  The new name will be the Trail Hockey Club Society. The present board members would like to stress that community support for the team should not waiver.  It is imperative for fans to keep coming to the games, corporate sponsors to keep up their financial support and volunteers to keep up their dedicated and tireless work for the team.  The new owners, Rich & Annie Murphy, Minnesota natives are all for the community and that is why they were so interested in our team, our history and our City.   Let’s show them that never ending “Home of Champions” support that we are famous for.

West Kelowna-Grand Prairie Trade:

The West Kelowna Warriors have traded goaltender Xavier Burghardt (’97) to the Grand Prairie Storm of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) in exchange for future considerations. Burghardt, 19, was acquired by the Warriors from the Kindersley Klippers (SJHL) in mid-September and made eight appearances with the club earning two wins, six losses, a 3.49 GAA and posting a .897 SV%. The Medicine Hat, Alberta native is no stranger to the AJHL, playing last season with the Drumheller Dragons. The move was made out of necessity with last week’s signing of 20-year old goaltender Trevor Martin. “With acquiring Trevor Martin, we had to move a goaltender,” commented Warriors general manager and head coach Rylan Ferster, “Xavier wants an opportunity to be number one goalie and this will give him the chance. We wish him all the best with his new team.” The Warriors would like to thank Xavier for his time and contributions with the Warriors and wish him all the best with the Storm.

Vees TV:

Despite a 4-1 loss in Wenatchee on Saturday, the Penticton Vees took four out of six points in three games last week. That keeps the team at the top of the league, at 15 wins to three losses heading into a new month. Vees head coach Fred Harbinson talks about the games last week and some new forward power added to the roster on this week's edition of Vees' View with Coach Harbinson. That forward power comes from Matt Gosiewski from the Minnesota Magicians of the North American Hockey League, who got his first chance to play with the team in Saturday's game against the Wenatchee Wild. That was followed by the newest addition to the team, Duncan Campbell, who has yet to play a game with the team.

Silverbacks Head Coach West Relieved Of Duties:

Silverbacks President/General Manager Troy Mick announced today the club has relieved Head Coach Brandon West of his duties. “I would like to thank Brandon for his hard work and dedication to the franchise,” said Mick. “This was a very difficult decision to make. Brandon is a good coach and character person, and we wish him the best of luck in the future.” West was into his 5th year with the Silverbacks and 3rd as Head Coach. As head coach he recorded 91 wins – 83 losses – 20 overtime losses and 8 ties and a first round playoff appearance last year. Silverbacks Assistant Coaches Darrell Hay & Brooks Christensen will run the bench on an interim basis until a new Head Coach can be found.

Surrey-La Ronge Trade:

The Surrey Eagles Hockey Club has announced the acquisition of forward Michael Sauer (’96) from the La Ronge Ice Wolves of the SJHL for future considerations. A native of Bemidji, Minnesota, Sauer had played the previous two seasons in the Alberta Junior Hockey League with the Fort McMurray Oil Barons and Calgary Mustangs. Last season with Calgary he posted 17 points in 18 games. According to Eagles head coach and general manager Blaine Neufeld, Sauer is a terrific playmaker that will add even more depth to the team’s scoring ability. At 5-foot-11, 170 pounds he can hold his own physically, and should transition well to the BCHL game. “I’m more of a playmaker,” said Sauer in an interview with “I can bring some grit if the coach needs me to, but I see myself as more of a skill guy. I love to create plays.” There is some familiarity with the team, as captain Paul McAvoy was Sauer’s teammate for a year while they were growing up. “I played with Paul in Cleveland, in midget. We’re pretty good buddies. Hopefully some of that chemistry can carry over.” Sauer will look to inject his skill into the lineup when he suits up for his first game with the team on Thursday night against Prince George at South Surrey Arena. “I’m really looking forward to my first game. I’ve been itching to play!”

Saskatoon Blades Trade Tychonick To Calgary:

The Saskatoon Blades have traded the rights to 2000 born defenseman, Jonathan Tychonick, to the Calgary Hitmen in exchange for a 2017 3rd round pick, and a conditional 1st round pick. Tychonick was selected 12th overall by the Blades in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft, but opted to go the NCAA route. Tychonick made his junior hockey debut this season with the Pentiction Vees of the BCHL, and has 7 points in 14 games. He has already committed to the University of North Dakota for the 2018-19 season, and playing in the WHL would nullify that option. “At this time getting a guaranteed third-round pick for Jonathan was in the best interest of our club. We feel he belongs in the WHL one day, and if he is, his hometown team with a great organization like the Hitmen would give us the best odds of that happening,” explained Blades GM Colin Priestner. “If he signs with them at any juncture we will also get a first round pick back and that would be the best case scenario for all parties involved – he and his family, the Hitmen, the Blades and the WHL.” The Saskatoon Blades would like to wish Jonny the best of luck in his career moving forward, wherever that may be.