Friday, September 30, 2016

Game Preview: Vernon @ Powell River:

Vernon (4-2-0-0) @ Powell River (4-4-0-0) 7:30pm

Tonight is the first of two regular season meetings between the Vernon Vipers & Powell River Kings. The two teams split the season series last year 1-1

Last Game:

Saturday, September 24 Wenatchee defeated Vernon 6-3
Wednesday, September 28 Powell River defeated Nanaimo 7-1

Next Game:

Saturday, October 1st Vernon @ Alberni Valley
Saturday, October 1st Victoria @ Powell River

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

Vipers Trade Rizzolo To Dawgs:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers trade Rizzolo to Dawgs
by  Kevin Mitchell - Vernon Morning Star

Sep 30, 2016

The Vernon Vipers have traded defenceman Darren Rizzolo to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in exchange for future considerations.

Head coach and director of hockey operations Mark Ferner was forced to make a move as second-year forward Brett Stapley is set to come off the injured reserve list.

Rizzolo is an 18-year-old Mission product who compiled three goals and 10 points in 45 games last year with the Snakes. He was acquired in a trade with the Chilliwack Chiefs last year that saw forward Linden Hora of Kelowna sent to the Fraser Valley. Rizzolo, a former speed skater, is committed to the NCAA Northeastern Huskies.

"We had zero issues with Darren," said Ferner. "It was him or one of the older kids that had to go. It breaks your heart trading such a good kid. He asked me: 'What did I do wrong?' I told him he did everything we asked him to; we just had too many defencemen with the addition of Cooper Watson. We sent Darren to a good program. Kevin Willison is a good coach and Darren will get to play more and have success."

Stapley, a prize recruit at 16 last year, has been on IR for a month with an upper-body injury. Forward Nick Rasovic remains on IR with a lacerated kidney.

The move now leaves the Vernon active roster at 22 as they begin a three-game road trip Friday night in Powell River against the Kings. The Vipers still have room for one 20-year-old and one import.

Ferner may stick with the hottest goaltender rather than rotate the impressive 17-year-old tandem of Ty Taylor and Cole Demers.

"I'm going to have a talk with them. They've both played three games so the real competition starts now."

The Vipers face the Bulldogs Saturday night in Port Alberni and then battle the Clippers in a Sunday matinee in Nanaimo. Vernon entertains the Surrey Eagles in their next home tilt, Friday, Oct. 7.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Vernon-Alberni Valley Trade:

This is on the Vipers twitter account:

The Vipers have traded Defenceman Darren Rizzolo to the AV Bulldogs in exchange for future considerations.  Rasovic on IR. Roster at 23

Darren Rizzolo's Player Profile:

This is posted on the Morning Star website:

Vipers trade Rizzolo to Dawgs

Sep 29, 2016

The Vernon Vipers have traded defenceman Darren Rizzolo to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in exchange for future considerations.

Head coach and director of hockey operations Mark Ferner was forced to make a move as second-year forward Brett Stapley is set to come off the injured reserve list.

Rizzolo is an 18-year-old Mission product who compiled three goals and 10 points in 45 games last year with the Snakes.

The move now leaves the Vernon roster at 22 as they begin a three-game road trip Friday night in Powell River against the Kings. The Vipers still have room for one 20-year-old and one import.

The Vipers face the Bulldogs Saturday night in Port Alberni and then battle the Clippers in a Sunday matinee in Nanaimo. Vernon entertains the Surrey Eagles in their next home tilt, Friday, Oct. 7.

Ex Viper Gill Makes NHL Debut With Stanley Cup Champion Penguins:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Sahir Gill made his NHL pre-season
debut Wednesday with the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins. Gill wearing #52 saw 8:33 of ice time went pointless in the Penguins 2-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.


Game Recap,,game_state=final,game_tab=wrap

Takeaways from Penguins-Blackhawks game,

Gill was invited to the Penguins Training camp has spent the past three seasons in the American Hockey League & East Coast Hockey League. Gill left Boston University after three seasons to sign with the ECHL Wheeling Nailers in 2013. Gill attended the Montreal Canadians Training Camp in 2014 before being released played last season with the AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins & the ECHL Wheeling Nailers. In 21 games with the Penguins Gill recorded (5-goals-9-assists-14-points) & in 24 games with the Nailers Gill picked up (3-goals-15-assists-18-points).

Gill played parts of two seasons in Vernon (2008-2010). Gill left the Vipers in July 2009 for the United States Hockey League (USHL) Chicago Steel but after playing in 26 games returned to Vernon in mid January 2010 to finish his Junior hockey career with the Vipers. In 71 regular season games with the Vipers Gill collected (21-goals-30-assists-42-points).

Sahir Gill's Player Profile:

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Comets Re-Sign Viper Alumni Zalewski:

The American Hockey League (AHL) Utica Comets have re-signed former Vernon Vipers forward Mike Zalewski.

Zalewski will be entering his third season with the Comets. Last season in 58 games with Utica Zalewski picked up (16-goals-17-assists-33-points). Zalewski left his third year at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) signing with the Vancouver Canucks March 17th 2014. Zalewski skated in his first NHL practice with the Canucks March 21, 2014 before making his NHL debut on Saturday April 12 2014 in a 5-2 loss in Edmonton. Zalewski picked up his first career NHL point (assist) in a 5-1 win over the visiting Calgary Flames the following night.

Zalewski played two season's in Vernon (2010-2012) In 106 regular season games with the Vipers Zalewski collected (50-goals-54-assists-104-points).

Mike Zalewski's Player Profile:

This is posted on the Comets website:

Zalewski and Bachman Sign Extensions

Jul 13, 2016

Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced today that the Canucks have signed forward Mike Zalewski and goaltender Richard Bachman each to a one-year, two-way contract extension.

Zalewski, 23, appeared in 58 games for the AHL Utica Comets this past season where he ranked tied for fifth in points (33) and tied for third in goals (16). He also skated in three games for Vancouver in 2015.16, collecting an assist (0-1-1) along with two penalty minutes. In 2014.15, Zalewski collected 12 points (3-9-12) and 18 penalty minutes in 55 games played with the Comets. He made his NHL debut on April 12, 2014 at Edmonton and registered his first NHL point (assist) the following night versus Calgary.

Prior to making his professional debut in 2014, the 6-2, 205-pound forward spent two seasons with the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Engineers. In 71 career NCAA games, Zalewski compiled 47 points (21-26-47) and 75 penalty minutes.

The New Hartford, New York, native was signed by Vancouver as a free agent on March 14, 2014.

Bachman, 28, spent the 2015-16 season with the Utica Comets, posting a record of 17-12-5 and a goals against average of 2.75. He also made his debut with the Canucks last season, registering a win on October 30 at Arizona. The 5'10", 176 pound goaltender has played in 43 career NHL games, amassing a record of 18-14-2, 2.93 goals against average and save percentage of .904.

On the international stage, the Salt Lake City, Utah native represented the United State at the 2012 IIHF World Hockey Championship, earning a win in his only start. Prior to his professional career, Bachman played two seasons at Colorado College. He was named WCHA Player and Rookie of the Year, NCAA Rookie of the Year and NCAA West First Team All-American with a record of 25-9-1, four shutouts, and program-record GAA (1.85) and save percentage (.931).

Bachman was signed by Vancouver as a free agent on July 1, 2015. He was originally selected by Dallas in the fourth round, 120th overall, at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

Watson Primed For Viper Duty:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Watson primed for Vernon Viper duty

by  Kevin Mitchell - Vernon Morning Star

Sep 28, 2016

They couldn’t find his luggage in Vancouver after a long flight from Minneapolis. Then there were some delays at customs.

Despite all the chaos, Cooper Watson used the word fun to describe his weary arrival in Canada early Friday morning.

The newest defenceman and 20-year-old appears to have the no-whine attitude required to fit in with the B.C. Hockey League Vernon Vipers. He makes his debut Friday night in Powell River versus the Kings.

“I literally knew nothing about the Vipers and I didn’t know anything about the league,” said Watson, prior to Tuesday’s practice. “People said the league is a little different than the USHL and I thought I may get on with another USHL team, but when that didn’t happen, this was the next best spot.”

A product of Appleton, Wisc., where Watson loves fishing with his father and three brothers, the big d-man spent the last two years with the Madison Capitols of the USHL.

“I feel coming here will further develop me as a complete player. Mark (Viper head coach Ferner) was an NHL defenceman so I know he’s going to be a big help. I’m known as a stay-at-home guy so I’d like to explore my offensive side while here.”

His brother, Carver, recently left the Tri-City Storm of the USHL for the BCHL Chilliwack Chiefs, while brother Cliff is a senior captain of the NCAA Division 1 Michigan Tech Huskies. Cooper and fellow Viper Jagger Williamson have committed to the Huskies.

“I don’t know my billets’ names or even what part of town I’m living in; it’s all too new,” chuckled Watson, a cycling addict who is a nasty 6-foot-3, 175-pounder.

He rang up four goals, 13 points and 176 penalty minutes in two seasons with Madison.

Ferner liked what he was in Watson at practice Monday at Kal Tire Place. The Vipers now move to Priest Valley Arena since their dressing room is being groomed for the Edmonton Oilers for this weekend’s Kraft Hockeyville.

“He’s fine, he’s a big body and he plays hard. I’m not sure who we’ll pair him up with yet. We’ll wait and see.”

Ferner, meanwhile, figured the Wenatchee Wild would give his club a true and tough test in the fifth BCHL Bauer Showcase in Chilliwack.

Ferner was bang on as the Wild – the only team in the BCHL without a regulation loss – brushed back the Snakes 6-3 Saturday night at Prospera Centre.

Vernon (4-2) got into penalty trouble and killed seven of nine Wenatchee powerplays. Viper goalie Cole Demers was outstanding in the period, stopping 12 shots.

“Five-on-five, we were fine,” said Ferner. “Half the game was played on special teams and we weren’t being dirty or malicious. It was frustrating for the players.”

Wenatchee took an early penalty in the second and Steven Jandric poked in a loose puck for his fifth goal.

the season to make it 2-1. D-man Carter Stephenson and Niko Karamanis earned assists.

The Wild converted shortly after a powerplay expired as Dakota Raabe knocked a puck out of mid-air to make it 3-1. Slava Demin delivered a seeing-eye wrister through a maze of bodies to give Wenatchee a 4-1 lead with the man advantage.

The Vipers cut the deficit to 4-3 thanks to a power play goal from Christian Cakebread at 10:59, and Shane Kelly unleashed another seeing-eye shot from the right wing boards at 14:54 that eluded Wild goalie Anthony Yamnitsky, and suddenly despite a dominating performance, the Wild lead was trimmed to one. It was Kelly’s first BCHL snipe.

Stephenson and d-man Chris Jandric set up Cakebread, while Karamanis and Jimmy Lambert pocketed helpers on Kelly’s tally.

The Wild responded just 17 seconds later with a dagger from Burston.

Austin Chavez fired a crisp head-man pass to Matthew Baker, who tossed a quick backhand dish to Dakota Raabe. Raabe, who has been on fire with a goal in four straight games, fired from the right wing and the rebound was collected and buried by Burston.

The Vipers called a timeout late in the period and pulled their Demers for a sixth attacker, but Charlie Combs sniffed the puck out and picked off a cross blue-line pass and raced down to deposit the puck in the abandoned net.

The Wild outshot Vernon 46-21, and Yamnitsky picked up his second win of the year. Demers was stellar with 40 saves. Vernon clicked twice on the power play.

Harris leads the BCHL with 12 points in five games.

Three stars were: 1. Burston. 2. Raabe. 3. Stephenson.

The Vipers-Kings game can be heard  at 7:15 p.m. Friday on 107.5 KissFM. Vernon visits the Alberni Valley Bulldogs Saturday night and take on the Clippers in a Sunday matinee in Nanaimo.

The Penticton Vees lead the Interior at 5-1, followed by the defending national champion West Kelowna Warriors at 4-1.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Devils Re-Sign Former Vernon Viper Forward Pelley:

The American Hockey League (AHL) Albany Devils have re-signed former Vernon Vipers forward Rod Pelley. 

Pelley will be entering his fourth season with the Devils. After four years at Ohio State University Pelley signed a two year entry-level contract with the New Jersey Devils. Pelley would spend (2006-2011) with the New Jersey Devils and Lowell Devils before being traded to the Anaheim Ducks in 2011. Pelley has spent the past three seasons in the American Hockey League with the Albany Devils, has played five seasons in the NHL with New Jersey & Anaheim. In 65 games last season with the Devils Pelley collected (8-goals-5-assists-13-points). Pelley will enter this season his fourth season as captain with Albany.

Pelley played parts of one season in Vernon (2001-2002) On January 10th 2001 the Vipers traded Mark Nelson & Tyler Scofield to Prince George for Josh Ciocco, Rod Pelley & Dan Rossi. Pelley played in 19 regular season games with the Vipers collecting (10-goals-8-assists-18-points).

Rod Pelley's Player Profile:

This is posted on the Devils Blog:

A-Devils Re-Sign Rod Pelley

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Published in Blog, Transactions

ALBANY, NY – The Albany Devils have signed forward Rod Pelley to a one-year American Hockey League contract. The announcement was made by Albany Devils General Manager Tom Fitzgerald.

Pelley, who just completed his 10th professional season, has served as the Devils’ captain for the last three seasons. Under his leadership, Albany has produced a 123-71-18-16 record, earning a Calder Cup Playoff berth during the 2013-14 and 2015-16 seasons. The 31-year-old is a veteran of 676 professional games, including 420 in the AHL and 256 in the NHL. His career totals include 65 goals and 61 helpers for 126 points in the AHL and nine tallies and 20 assists in the NHL.

Pelley’s career has included two stints with the Devils’ organization. He split time between the Lowell Devils and New Jersey Devils between 2006-07 and 2011-12. After spending the remainder of the 2011-12 season and all of 2012-13 with the Anaheim Ducks organization, he signed as a free agent with the Devils prior to the 2013-14 campaign.

Before turning pro, Pelley spent four seasons with Ohio State (CCHA), posting 47 goals and 41 assists for 88 points in 165 games. He was a member of the 2004 CCHA Championship team, earning All-Tournament honors. He signed as a free agent with New Jersey after his senior year and made his professional debut with Lowell on Oct. 7, 2006. His NHL debut came on Feb. 1, 2007.

The 6’0”, 205-lb., left-shooting forward was born Sept. 1, 1984 in Kitimat, BC.

Hockeytube Highlight – #23 Jimmy Lambert

This is posted on the website:

Hockeytube Highlight – #23 Jimmy Lambert

Posted by HockeyTube on Sep 22nd, 2016

During the Vernon Vipers season opener September 9th 2016, Vernon Viper forward #23 Jimmy Lambert scores a highlight goal against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. The play develops back in the Vipers zone with a break out pass to Lambert on the right side who then makes a couple of awesome moves to beat a couple of Silverback defenders and undresses the goal to give his team a 5-3 win. It was one of a number highlight goals scored that weekend including teammate Jagger Williamson’s nationally televised goal.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Stephenson Recieves Honourable Mention For Player Of The Week:

Vernon Vipers defenceman Carter Stephenson earns honourable mention for BCHL Player of the Week.

This is posted on the BCHL website:

Foreman's Showing at Showcase Earns POW

September 26, 2016

West Kelowna Warriors forward Quin Foreman has been named the BCHL Player of the Week for the week ending Sept. 25, the league announced Monday.

Foreman led all scorers at the fifth Bauer BCHL Showcase with five goals, including a hat trick. The Dartmouth College recruit had a hat trick, including the game-winner, in a 5-2 win over Chilliwack where he was named 1st Star. He added two more goals and another 1st Star nod in a 5-3 win over Coquitlam.

A 6-foot-3, 195-pound native of Norwood, Mass., Foreman now has 10 points in five games and leads the BCHL with seven goals on the season.

Honourable mentions this week:

Vernon Vipers D Carter Stephenson: 2G, 2A, 2nd Star, 3rd Star

Prince George Spruce Kings F Tanner Campbell: 4A, 1st Star

Cowichan Capitals G Adam Marcoux: W, 54 saves/56 shots, .964 sv%, 2.00 GAA, 1st Star

Powell River Kings F Ted McGeen: 2G, GWG, 1st Star

Salmon Arm Silverbacks F Elijiah Barriga: 2G, 4A, two 2nd Stars

Wenatchee Wild F Dakota Raabe: 2G, 2A, 2nd Star

Beast Re-Sign Ex Viper Marino:

The East Coast Hockey League Brampton Beast have re-signed former Vernon Vipers forward Brandon Marino.

Marino started last season with the Beast, picked up (13-goals-28-assists-41-points) in 40 games before signing a Professional Tryout Contract (PTO) with the American Hockey League (AHL) Uitca Comets January 12th 2016. Marino was released February 10th 2016 after scoring once in eight games with Utica before signing with the Comets for a second time February 26 2016. In 30 games with the Comets Marino collected (4-goals-0-assists-4-points). Marino recently signed with the HC Mikron Nové Zámky or known as in English (HC New Locks) on May 22nd 2016 but never played a single game.  HC New Locks is a Slovak ice hockey club in New Zámky , that plays in the Tipsport League.

After four years with Bemidji State University Marino has spent the past seven seasons playing in five different leagues (IHL, CHL, ECHL, AHL & EBEL) with six different teams (Quad City, Fort Wayne, Norfolk, Szekesfehervar, Brampton & Utica).

Marino played two games with the 2002-2003 Vernon Vipers.

Brandon Marino's Player Profile:

This is posted on the Beast website:

Captain and Former Scoring Champion Brandon Marino Returns to Beast


BRAMPTON, ONTARIO – The Brampton Beast, ECHL affiliate of the St. John’s IceCaps and Montreal Canadiens, announce today that the club has re-signed 2015-16 leading scorer Brandon Marino for the 2016-17 season.

Beast sign scoring champion Brandon Marino,

Marino, 30, is a native of Riverside, California and was a tour-de-force with the Beast throughout his 40 games played with the club last season.

In 2015-16, Marino was a point-per-game player, recording 13 goals and 28 assists while chipping in with 22 penalty minutes. His 41 points led the club, despite playing in 16 fewer games than the next highest-scoring teammate.

Marino, who took over as the captain of the Beast when Cal Wild retired early in the season, has been an explosive, high-scoring forward throughout his ECHL career and is looking to continue that trend with the Beast this season. His ECHL numbers speak for themselves. In 183 career ECHL contests, the sniper has recorded a combined 63 goals and 140 assists shared between the Beast and the Fort Wayne Komets.

A message to Best fans from Brandon Marino,

His goal-scoring prowess was on full display during the 2013-14 season, when he registered 30 goals and 58 assists for 88 points, enough points to earn him an ECHL scoring title during his tenure with the Komets.

Marino believes his best days are ahead of him with the Beast this season and he is excited to get back to the Powerade Centre in front of the hometown fans in Brampton.

“This organization treats you well,” Marino said. “They do things the right way and I can see that the fan base is growing and we’re starting to get more support.”

Marino shared the 2015-16 season between the Beast and the American Hockey League’s Utica Comets, spending a career-high 34 regular season games in the AHL, during which he recorded four goals and 16 penalty minutes.

While Marino certainly admits he learned a lot during the 2015-16 campaign, he believes he is an improved version of the same player.

“Honestly, I don’t think I am a different player,” Marino said. “I have been lucky enough to produce in terms of points, but I consider myself a hard worker and I’m looking forward to being a part of a playoff team this season in Brampton.”

Beast Head Coach Colin Chaulk is no stranger to Brandon Marino. The pair suited up together as teammates on the Fort Wayne Komets and got to know each other a step further last season with Chaulk acting as Marino’s Head Coach.  Chaulk is excited to have a player of Marino’s calibre back in the mix for this upcoming season.

“Brandon has led the ECHL in scoring,” Chaulk said. “From the outside looking in, you know he has talent. What people don’t know is that Brandon is also one of our hardest working players. He says and does the right things and not just on the ice. It’s definitely a big step in the right direction for our organization to get a player like Brandon back.”

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Vipers-Wild Highlight's:

Here are the game highlight's from Prospera Centre in Chilliwack at the BCHL Showcase Saturday. The Wenatchee Wild defeated the Vernon Vipers 6-3.

Vipers Sharing Penthouse:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers sharing penthouse
by Kevin Mitchell - Vernon Morning Star

Sep 25, 2016

The Vernon Vipers are showing early signs of being a contender in the B.C. Hockey League’s Interior Conference.

The Snakes stopped the Nanaimo Clippers 6-3 in a Bauer Showcase Friday matinee at Prospera Centre in Chilliwack. Vernon finished the four-day extravaganza against the Wenatchee Wild Saturday night.

Winger Steven Jandric supplied 2+1, while rookie defenceman Carter Stephenson also scored twice for the Vipers (4-1) to earn first star. Stephenson was second star.

“They (Nanaimo) were a little chippy and our powerplay took advantage (twice),” said Viper head coach Mark Ferner. “We used three lines on the powerplay and the guys are still learning the 1-3-1.”

Stephenson and Jandric recorded power play snipes as Vernon enjoyed period leads of 2-1 and 5-3.

Newcomer Ryan Brushett, an 18-year-old Quebec product, and Philadelphia rookie d-man Michael Ufberg provided the other Viper goals in front of red-hot rookie Ty Taylor. Vernon outshot Nanaimo 36-33.

“The new guy (Brushett) is pretty smart and pretty slick on the puck; he distributed it real well,” said Ferner. “The goal he scored was real nice. He got the puck in traffic and beat a couple of guys.”

Brushett bagged two goals and 10 points with the USHL Sioux Falls Stampede and Bloomington Thunder last season. The Verdun native has committed to the NCAA Providence Friars.

Vernon product Matt Kowalski, Ben Solin and third star Adam Pilotte replied for Nanaimo.

Kowalski, an Okanagan Rocket grad, tipped a shot near post by Taylor Karel midway through the second period, narrowing Vernon’s lead to 4-2.

“They simply outworked us,” said Kowalski. “We just have to work harder and be smarter and be better as a team. Vernon has a pretty smart group of guys and they definitely have some physical forwards. They like to hit.”

Kowalski played on a few different lines as head coach Mike Vandekamp went with 11 forwards.

Centre Niko Karamanis chipped in with two assists for the Snakes. The Jandric-Karamanis-Jimmy Lambert combined for six points.

Captain Riley Brandt took the Fortis Energy Player of the Game. The Vipers went to Chilliwack’s finest Italian restaurant – Bozzini’s – for a post-game dinner.

Taylor improved to 3-0, while Austin Roden suffered the loss.

Vernon welcomed 20-year-old bruising Madison, Wisc. native Cooper Watson to their hotel Saturday night. He was not expected to play versus Wenatchee.

Watson, a towering big higger,  spent the last two seasons with the Madison Capitols of the USHL. He has a scholarship to the Michigan Tech Huskies for next year. Viper alternate captain Jagger
Williamson has committed to the same Division 1 school, where Watson’s brother, Cliff, is captain.

“Wenatchee will be our toughest test so far,” said Ferner. “They’re quick and they come at you fast. They were unfortunate not to beat Powell River; they outshot them 50-24 and lost 5-4 in overtime.”

Ontario product Kyle Betts, who has a schollie with Cornell Big Red, supplied 2+1 for the Kings.

All 17 teams will play twice at the fifth Showcase, attended by more than 75 NCAA, CIS and NHL scouts.

The defending BCHL champion Penticton Vees shaded the Prince George Spruce Kings 3-2 Friday to join the 2016 national champion West Kelowna Warriors and Vipers atop the Interior table.

Okanagan Rocket grad Linden Hora netted the winner on a powerplay at 13:29 of the first period as the Chilliwack Chiefs shut down the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 4-0 Friday.

The Cowichan Valley Capitals brushed off the Merritt Centennials 4-2 Friday afternoon. Vernon’s Brett Jewell, captain of the Cents, had one goal.

Cowichan clipped the Surrey Eagles 3-2, while the Prince George Spruce Kings mauled Merritt 7-2 in other Thursday action. Jewell scored once for Merritt.

SNAKEBITES: Forwards Nick Rasovic and Brett Stapley are on Vernon’s injured reserve list...The Vipers visit Powell River Friday night, move over to Port Alberni Saturday and finish the weekend Sunday afternoon in Nanaimo...Next home game is Friday, Oct. 7 against Surrey...F Sahir Gill, who helped the Vipers win back-to-back Royal Bank Cups n 2009-10, is attending the Pittsburgh Penguins training camp. The Terrace native rang up 14 points in 21 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pens of the American League last season. The speedy Gill played university hockey for the Boston Terriers...Jared Turcotte’s goal had th Salmon Arm Silverbacks leading the Clippers 1-0 early in a Saturday morning tilt.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

BCHL Showcase: Wenatchee 6 Vernon 3


1st Period

0:35 WEN Colin Burston (1) ASST: Matthew Baker (3), Dakota Raabe (1)
12:46 WEN Matthew Baker (3) ASST: Colin Burston (5), Brendan Harris (9) (PP)

2nd Period

2:06 VER Steven Jandric (5) ASST: Carter Stephenson (3), Niko Karamanis (4) (PP)
7:27 WEN Dakota Raabe (4) ASST: Jasper Weatherby (2), Slava Demin (2)
14:31 WEN Slava Demin (3) ASST: Troy Conzo (6), Alex Bates (3) (PP)

3rd Period

10:59 VER Christian Cakebread (1) ASST: Carter Stephenson (4), Chris Jandric (4) (PP)
14:54 VER Shane Kelly (1) ASST: Niko Karamanis (5), Jimmy Lambert (6)
15:17 WEN Colin Burston (2) ASST: Matthew Baker (4), Dakota Raabe (2)
19:57 WEN Charlie Combs (6) ASST: None (EN)

Wenatchee outshot Vernon 46-21 Anthony Yamnitsky made 18 saves in the win, while Cole Demers made 40 saves in the loss.

BCHL Boxscore-Game Summary,

Game Preview: BCHL Showcase: Vernon vs Wenatchee:

Vernon (4-1-0-0) @ Wenatchee (3-0-1-0) 7:30pm

Tonight is the first of three regular season meetings between the Vernon Vipers & Wenatchee Wild. The Wild won the season series last year 2-1

Last Game:

Friday, September 23 Vernon defeated Nanaimo 6-3
Friday, September 23 Powell River defeated Wenatchee 5-4 Overtime

Next Game:

Friday, September 30 Vernon @ Powell River
Friday, September 30 Langley @ Wenatchee

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

Friday, September 23, 2016

Brushett Scores Highlight Reel Goal In Win Over Nanaimo:

Newly acquired Vernon Vipers forward Ryan Brushett playing in his first game with the Vipers, scores his first career BCHL goal this afternoon to give the Vipers a 4-1 2nd period lead over Nanaimo at the BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack. Vernon improves to 4-1 after a 6-3 victory over the Nanaimo Clippers.

BCHL Showcase: Vernon 6 Nanaimo 3


1st Period:

1:18 NAN Adam Pilotte (1) ASST: Lucas Finner (2)
9:06 VER Steven Jandric (3) ASST: Mitchell Oliver (2), Jimmy Lambert (5)
10:46 VER Carter Stephenson (2) ASST: None

2nd Period:

5:21 VER Steven Jandric (4) ASST: Niko Karamanis (2), Michael Ufberg (4) (PP)
8:33 VER Ryan Brushett (1) ASST: Christian Cakebread (3)
10:15 NAN Matt Kowalski (1) ASST: Taylor Karel (1)
13:41 VER Michael Ufberg (1) ASST: Mitchell Oliver (3), Jagger Williamson (4) (PP)
14:38 NAN Ben Solin (3) ASST: Shawn Guison (2), Adam Pilotte (1)

3rd Period:

16:37 VER Carter Stephenson (3) ASST: Steven Jandric (3), Niko Karamanis (3) (PP)

Vernon outshot Nanaimo 36-33 Ty Taylor made 30 saves in the win, while Austin Roden made 30 saves in the loss.

BCHL Boxscore-Game Summary,

Game Preview: BCHL Showcase: Nanaimo vs Vernon:

Nanaimo (3-1-0-0) @ Vernon (3-1-0-0) 1pm

Today is the first of three regular season meetings between the Vernon Vipers & Nanaimo Clippers. These two teams split the season series last year 1-1

Last Game:

Saturday, September 17 West Kelowna defeated Vernon 3-1
Saturday, September 17 Nanaimo defeated Surrey 3-2

Next Game:

Saturday, September 24 (BCHL Showcase) Vernon vs Wenatchee
Saturday, September 24 (BCHL Showcase) Salmon Arm vs Nanaimo

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

Vipers Add Two NCCA-Bound Players:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers add two NCCA-bound players

by  Kevin Mitchell - Vernon Morning Star

Sep 23, 2016

The Vernon Vipers just got a little meaner and older on the back end, while adding a healthy young centre, heading into the fifth B.C. Hockey League Bauer Showcase in Chilliwack.

The Vipers have signed 6-foot-3, 175-pound defenceman Cooper Watson, 20, and are awaiting a release from Quebec Hockey before adding 18-year-old forward Ryan Brushett of Verdun. Vernon released second-year blue liner Callum Volpe, an 18-year-old from Coquitlam.

Vernon head coach/GM Mark Ferner hopes to put both players on his roster for Saturday night's game against the powerful Wenatchee Wild at Prospera Centre. The Vipers face the Nanaimo Clippers Friday at 1 p.m. The Showcase draws scouts from dozens of NCAA and CIS schools, along with most NHL bird-dogs.

"Cooper has a scholarship with Michigan Tech (Huskies) and his brother Cliff is the captain there this year and his other brother, Carver (Tri-City USHL), is also going to Michigan Tech next year so he comes from good bloodlines," said Ferner, in Chilliwack watching a Showcase matinee game.

"Cooper is a little meaner than both his brothers. He's a big kid who is a stay-at-home, puck-moving d-man which is just what we needed."

Watson compiled 4-9-13 and 176 penalty minutes in two years with the Madison Capitols of the USHL. He rang up 25 points in 24 games with Appleton United as a 16-year-old Midget.

Brushett turned 18 in June and posted 2-8-10 with the Sioux Falls Stampede and Bloomington Thunder last season.

The 5-foot-11, 172-pound centre racked up 87 points in two Midget seasons with the Lac St-Louis Lions in Quebec.

"He had good numbers in Midget and he has a scholarship to Providence (Friars) so he's got some skill," said Ferner. "Lac St.-Louis is the Eastern equivalent of Shattuck St. Mary's (in Minnesota) so it's a good, quality program."

Brushell will give the Vipers another healthy forward since veterans Nick Rasovic and Brett Stapley are on injured reserve.

Second-year F Christian Cakebread and d-men Carter Stevenson and Mitch Oliver all missed practice this week due to illness. All three are expected to play against the Clippers.

Ferner said Ty Taylor will start in goal against Nanaimo, who has Vernon products Spencer Hewson, captain, and Matt Kowalski in their lineup.

"We've show the kids video on Nanaimo's tendencies on the penalty kill and power play and we know they're going to work hard and be physical," said Ferner. "They're off to a good start at 3-1."

The Vipers are also 3-1 and also know what they're getting against Wenatchee (3-0).

"Everybody down here (Chilliwack) says they're just as good as they were last year. They will play with pace so we'll have to be physical and slow them down."

Volpe became expendable since the Vipers had nine defencemen in camp. Volpe had 4-7-11 in 44 games as a rookie last season.

“It’s always tough releasing a young kid, but he took it well,” said Ferner. “It was a hockey decision.”

There West Kelowna Warriors stopped the Chilliwack Chiefs 5-2 in a rematch of last season’s league Fred Page Cup finals to open the Showcase Wednesday.

Quin Foreman notched a hat trick, including the winner. After a scoreless first period, the Norwood, Mass. product notched a pair in the second as West Kelowna built a 3-0 lead.

Foreman completed his hat trick into an empty net. New Warrior netminder Xavier Burghardt made 31 saves for his second win of the season.

Owen Sillinger, the son of former NHLer Mike Sillinger, pulled the hat trick Thursday afternoon as the Penticton Vees iced the Langley Rivermen 6-4. The Vees also have high-scoring Boston product Ty Amonte, son of retired NHLer Tony Amonte.

Foreman bagged a deuce as West Kelowna brushed back the Coquitlam Express 5-3.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Vipers Sign Brushett & Watson:

The Vernon Vipers have added 18 year old forward Ryan Brushett
and 20 year old defenceman Cooper Watson. Both players are listed on the Vipers roster. Defenceman Callum Volpe is no longer listed on the Vipers roster. With the additions of Brushett and Watson, the Vipers roster sits at 24 players.

Brushett listed at 5'11 and 175lbs played last season with the United States Hockey League (USHL) Sioux Falls Stampede and the Bloomington Thunder. In 25 games with the Stampede Brushett collected (1-goal-3-assists-4-points) and in 22 games with the Thunder picked up (1-goal-5-assists-6-points). Brushett is listed to be with the Thunder this season but has yet to play a game. Brushett was drafted 125th overall in Round 8 by the Sioux City Musketeers at the 2014 USHL Futures Draft was also drafted 97th overall in Round 6 by the Charlottetown Islanders at the 2014 QMJHL Entry Draft. Brushett has committed to Providence College for the 2017-18 season.

Ryan Brushett's Player Profile:

Ryan Brushett Interview,

Thunder acquire Brushett from Sious Falls,

Watson listed at 6'3 and 180lbs played last season with the United States Hockey League (USHL) Madison Capitols, playing in 57 games collected (2-goals-5-assists-7-points). Watson is listed to be with the Capitols this season but has yet to play a game. Watson has spent parts of the past three seasons in the USHL was drafted 132nd overall in Round 9 by the Waterloo Black Hawks at the 2013 USHL Entry Draft. Watson has committed to Michigan Tech University for the 2017-18 season.

Cooper Watson's Player Profile:

Cooper Watson fight,

Cooper Watson chooses Michigan Tech,

Former Viper Goaltender Barry No Longer With Clippers:

Former Vernon Vipers goaltender Brendan Barry is no longer with the
Nanaimo Clippers.

Barry played last season with the Penticton Vees & Vernon Vipers. The Vees sent Barry home September 12th 2015 for violation of team policy, was later released after playing in just one game with Penticton. The Vipers signed Barry October 1st 2015 played in 13 games with the Vipers last season going 4-6 posting a 4.24 GAA. Barry was a no show at Vipers training camp in August, was released before signing with the Nanaimo Clippers August 22nd 2016. Barry played one game this season with Nanaimo before no longer being listed on the Clippers roster. Barry was taken off the Clippers roster after Nanaimo acquired goaltender Evan DeBrouwer from the Smith Falls Bears September 15th 2016. No official word if Barry was released or traded.

Brendan Barry's Player Profile:

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Steven Jandric's BDO Goal Of The Game:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

#27 Steven Jandric BDO GOAL OF THE GAME 9-16-16

September 20, 2016

by Vernon Vipers

Home Goal Of The Game

Vernon Viper forward Steve Jandric scores his second goal of the season during a game against the Coquitlam express. The Prince George native opened the scoring in the game with this marker just 2 and 1/2 minutes into the opening period from Jimmy Lambert and Michael Ufberg.

Lambert Turning Heads With Vipers:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Lambert turning heads with Vipers

by  Kevin Mitchell - Vernon Morning Star

Sep 21, 2016

At first glance, Mark Ferner wasn’t sure if Jimmy Lambert could handle the physical battles in the B.C. Hockey League.

Lambert was with the Saskatoon Contacts and getting prime-time minutes with Garrett Pilon and Kole Lind, the highest-scoring line in the Saskatchewan Major Midget League.

Pilon signed with the Kamloops Blazers and was plucked by the Washington Capitals in Round 3 of the 2016 NHL entry draft. Lind went to the Kelowna Rockets.

All three players racked up decent rookie numbers a year ago and Lambert signed a NCAA scholarship deal with the University of Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks while with the Vernon Vipers. WHL players are considered professional and ineligible for the NCAA.

“He (Lambert) was so tiny in Midget and I wondered if he could take the hitting,” laughed Ferner, head coach/GM of the Vernon Vipers. “He has sprouted up and you could argue he was our best player at the end of last year. His line this year is clicking; they get it.”

Ferner noted that Pilon was dead-last in dryland sprints and he wondered if the son of former NHLer, Richard Pilon, could play in Kamloops, where Ferner was an assistant at the time.

“Once he was on the ice, his hockey IQ was so high, he could definitely play.”

Lambert is close to six-feet these days and added some muscle over the summer.

“It’s a tough choice between Junior A and the WHL, but going from the WHL to pro is a huge step compared to jumping from college to pro,” said the alternate Viper captain. “I never really got any interest from the WHL. I wanted to focus on my development here and play four years of college. I’m getting thicker and our line, with Steven (Jandric) and Niko (Karamanis) has lots of speed which you need to be successful in the BCHL.”

The Pilon-Lind-Lambert combo rang up 232 points with the Contacts and Lambert is now tied for ninth in BCHL points with four goals and two assists through four games.

Lambert and company were held pointless as the defending national champion West Kelowna Warriors iced the Vipers 3-1 before 900 fans Saturday night at Royal LePage Place.

It was normal feisty Warrior-Viper affair that saw 15 power plays awarded between the two rivals.

“It kind of looked like most of us were tired,” said Lambert, who wears No. 23. “Our work ethic wasn’t quite there. Anybody can beat anybody in this league as Penticton lost to Alberni Valley. If you have an off night, you’re going to lose.”

The Warriors peppered the Vipers net with 16 shots in the first period but couldn’t beat a red-hot rookie goalie Cole Demers.

The Vipers missed multiple opportunities on a five-minute power play with Tyler Anderson ejected for a checking-from-behind penalty on Viper captain Riley Brandt in the second period. The Warriors’ penalty kill blocked at least seven Viper shots.

Anderson was assessed a major, but the league reviewed the penalty and much to Ferner’s disappointment, changed it to a minor so Anderson will not face any disciplinary action. Brandt, meanwhile is sidelined with a knee injury.

“They are big and fast and they play the same style they did last year,” said the soft-spoken Lambert. “They compete hard and that’s what you want.”

Captain Nick Rutigliano gave the Warriors the 1-0 lead late in the second frame.

The Vipers power play evened things up with birthday boy Jagger Williamson converting from Carter Stephenson and Christian Cakebread, at 7:59 of the final 20.

Just 79 seconds later, Quin Foreman swiped the puck and made 2-1. Mitchell Barker scored his first of the season two minutes later for insurance. Foreman and Chase Dubois drew helpers.

The Vipers tried to rally late but couldn’t get anything past Xavier Burghardt. West Kelowna is 2-1. The Warriors outshot the Snakes 42-31, including a 16-4 advantage in the first period.

“We were second to pucks all night,” said Ferner. “Cole kept us in the game in the first period and we pressed hard after that but couldn’t get a clean shot. Cole was very good: he competed hard.”

The Vipers are 3-1 and head to Chilliwack’s Prospera Place for the BCHL showcase where they face the Nanaimo Clippers Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. They take the bus Friday morning. Vernon plays the Wenatchee Wild Saturday night.

Forward Nick Rasovic had a kidney lacerated with a stick in Friday’s win over Coquitlam and will be sidelined at least a month. Ferner is still working the phones on trades. He has room for two 20-year-olds and two more imports.

F Brett Stapley skated in practice Monday but remains on IR. Vernon G Tyler Steel (Brown Universty Bears/Merritt Centennials grad) blocked some pucks at Tuesday practice as he prepares to play for Huntsville Havoc of the SPHL.

In other Saturday games, it was: Wenatchee 11 Prince George 4; Coquitlam 3 Salmon Arm 1; Merritt 3 Trail 2; Nanaimo 3 Surrey 2; Alberni Valley 2 Penticton 1; Langley 4 Chilliwack 1; Cowichan Valley 2 Victoria 1.

In Sunday play, it was: Penticton 4 Cowichan 3 (2OT); Powell River 3 Surrey 2.

Tuesday, September 20, 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:

Grizzlies Name Lierop Captain:

It was a tricky task to decide in a two-man sweepstake, said Victoria Grizzlies head coach and GM Craig Didmon. Didmon has selected Cody Van Lierop, a 20-year-old defenceman from Sutton West, Ont., to captain the Grizzlies this season in the B.C. Hockey League. “We have two captains in our dressing room and it was a difficult decision between [Van Lierop] and [forward] Cole Pickup,” said Didmon. “Both players have a lot of [NCAA] schools interested in them.” In the end, Didmon said he liked that Van Lierop was captain of his Lake Forest Academy prep team in Chicago and “knows what is expected of the role.” “He comes to play every day and is a hard working player with character,” said Didmon. The Grizzlies’ bench boss also cited Van Lierop’s temperament. “He has a tough mentality. He doesn’t get too high or too low,” said Didmon. The six-foot-one Van Lierop is entering his third season with the Grizzlies and scored four goals with eight points in 54 games in 2014-15 and two goals with 25 points in 55 games last season. Van Lierop will be aided by assistant captains Pickup, Tyler Welsh, Jake Stevens and Brett Stirling. “It’s a real honour, especially being a third-year player in this organization,” said Van Lierop. “It’s an awesome feeling. I am really excited by our group of players. We have lots of talent on the back end, including the best goaltender in the league [NCAA Cornell-bound Matthew Galajda], and we have people up front who can score.”

Vees TV:

The Penticton Vees are feeling good with two out of six exhibition games out of the way. The Vees took the Vipers in a 4-1 game in Vernon on Thursday and shut out the West Kelowna Warriors in a 2-0 home game on Tuesday. Coach Fred Harbinson said the games have been an opportunity to experiment with line-ups and rundowns. "We've had a chance to get some different guys in the line-up and work on some different system stuff," he said. "Just kind of get everybody acclimated to what we do here." He said it's a busy week with four more exhibition games set along with preparing for the season ahead. "You're trying to get all your practices in and different things that you want to get across to players through video," he said. "Then you have four games, back to back, Tuesday-Wednesday and then Friday-Saturday and then you're a week away from playing for real." Despite a heavy workload, he said the team is kicking it into gear for the coming season. "Everybody's come in great shape with a great attitude," he said. The Vees' next game is at home against the Vernon Vipers on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Chilliwack Chiefs Name DeBartolo New Broadcaster:

The Chiefs are pleased to announce that Vanni DeBartolo has joined the organization as their play by play voice. Debartolo, a graduate of the BCIT Radio Broadcast Program has over 15 years experience which includes calling more than 400 games.  His experience includes calling Chiefs games from 2002-2006. He has also worked with the Chilliwack Bruins, Abbotsford Heat, Vancouver Whitecaps and BC Lions. “It’s an honour to once again be calling games for such a prestigious club”, said DeBartolo. “When I was 15 years old  I entered my name as the Subway Jr. Broadcaster and was able to do an interview during an intermission of a Chiefs game. That really paved the way for me to begin the road into broadcasting and it was such a blessing to be able to circle back after my schooling to begin my career with the Chiefs.” DeBartolo will be joined on all broadcasts by color analyst Jacob Bestebroer.  All home games will be broadcast online via mixlr (audio only) and Fasthockey (pay per view video). All playoff games, home and away will be broadcast. “Hopefully I can be a part of something really special and be able to call a Royal Bank Cup championship,” added DeBartolo. “The city should be really excited about what’s to come. My broadcast partner JB and I will do our best to bring this excitement to you.”

Silverbacks To Honour local RCMP-Firefighters:

Salmon Arm Silverbacks’ general manager Troy Mick today announced the Salmon Arm Silverbacks will be planning two special game nights to honour the Salmon Arm RCMP and the Salmon Arm Firefighters.  The Silverbacks have invited members from both organizations to be a part of the games that will see the team wearing replica jerseys supporting the first responders. Also the RCMP and Firefighters and their families have been invited to the game for free. On November 19th the Silverbacks will be wearing a jersey with a red serge design against the Cowichan Valley Capitals as a fitting tribute to the countless hours of service that the RCMP do. On January 27th against the Nanaimo Clippers, the Silverbacks will then sport a black and yellow firefighters style jersey to pay tribute to the firefighters for all of their hard work in keeping  our beautiful city safe!

Vees Name Assistant Captains:

The Penticton Vees Jr. ‘A’ Club has rounded out its leadership group for the upcoming 2016-17 BCHL season. Monday the team announced defenceman Mitch Meek (96) and forward Owen Sillinger (97) will serve as Assistant Captains. Meek and Sillinger join fellow Assistant Captain Gabe Bast (96) and Captain Nic Jones (96) as part of the Vees’ Captains. “I am confident that our leadership group is in good hands led by Nick Jones, Gabe Bast, Owen Sillinger and Mitch Meek,” stated President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson. “The word culture seems to be over used these days but all four of these players have a solid grasp of what it means to be a Penticton Vee, and will do an outstanding job as an extension of our coaching staff.” Meek is entering his fifth and final season of junior hockey and his first with the Vees, after stops in Victoria, Vernon and Cowichan Valley. The Victoria, BC, product has a wealth of experience under his belt, as he is nearing the 200 games played plateau. In four seasons, Meek has played in 193 career regular season games, collecting 15 goals and 72 points, to go along with 162 penalty-minutes. Meek was acquired from the Capitals earlier in the summer. The 20-year-old rearguard has played in 38 career playoffs games and played in both the 2014 Fred Page Cup Final and RBC Cup with the Vernon Vipers. In those 38 playoff games, Meek has a goal and 10 points. Meek led all Vees defenceman in scoring this pre-season with a goal and six points in four games. Sillinger, 19, is entering his second season with the Vees after coming from the Regina Pat Canadians in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League (SMHL). In his rookie season, the Regina, Saskatchewan, native had 16 goals and 45 points in 58 games. He was one of the Vees’ best forwards after the Christmas break and was named the Vees’ Player of the Month in January. Prior to joining the Vees, Sillinger won the SMHL Championship in 2015 and led the Pat Canadians to a third place finish at the Telus Cup in Quebec. There, he was the Top Scorer and was named the Top Forward and Tournament MVP. Wearing a letter isn’t new to Sillinger as he was the Captain of his midget team two years ago. Sillinger finished with a goal and five points in four pre-season games. He’s committed to Arizona State University next fall. The Vees open their regular season on Saturday, September 10th, when they travel to Prince George to face the Spruce Kings; face-off is 7 pm. Fans can listen to the season opener on EZ Rock AM 800, or they can watch online at

McAvoy Returning As Eagles Captain:

The Surrey Eagles hockey club has formally announced their leadership group for the 2016-17 BCHL season. Paul McAvoy will return as the team’s captain, after picking up the ‘C’ partway through last season. His assistants will be Nick Minerva, Darius Davidson, and Tyler Cooper. McAvoy, a native of Lexington, Kentucky, tied for the team lead in goals last season with 14. The 1996-born forward will resume the leadership role that he took in 2015. Minerva, acquired this offseason after playing for the Fort Frances Lakers of the SIJHL, made a strong first impression on his new teammates. He was also an assistant captain last season with the Lakers. Davidson, who was re-acquired this offseason after finishing the year with Penticton, led the Eagles in scoring in 2014-15. Entering his final year of junior eligibility, he is expected to be a player that leads by example. Cooper, who was acquired from the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in 2015-16, is a workhorse on defence. The Sudbury, Ontario native won the team’s “best defenceman” award last season, and is a vocal leader both on and off the ice.

Victoria Grizzlies Hungry For Playoff Spot:

A hint of grey shoulder stripes will adorn the Victoria Grizzlies jerseys this season, but there is nothing but blue-sky optimism for the B.C. Hockey League club which opens regular-season play tonight at 7 at The Q Centre. Just turned 50-year-old general manager and coach Kent Lewis will lead the opposition as he brings the Powell River Kings to town before the Grizzlies play host to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Saturday for opening weekend. Grizzlies GM and head coach Craig Didmon has plenty to be excited about as he leads a veteran-laden team onto the fresh ice at The Q, looking to make amends on a playoff-less and disappointing 2015-16 campaign. At 24-30-4-0, the Grizzlies took a giant slide in the final two weeks to narrowly miss a post-season spot last season. They are nothing but bad memories now and the players are looking to establish themselves early in 2016-17. “It was a roller-coaster of a ride last year, so many ups and down, at the beginning, the end and the middle. In the end, it left a weird feeling in my stomach, knowing we could have given more with games we could have had back,” said captain Cody Van Lierop. “It gave me a different outlook coming in here this year, knowing I don’t want that happening again. We want to put in full effort every game and not have any regrets.” After a solid 6-0 preseason, there are high expectations for the club, but they know exhibition games mean little. “We can’t take too much from the preseason,” said veteran Cole Pickup, who is lining up on left wing with Nathan Looysen on the right (his off-wing) and Tyler Welsh at centre. “It’s better than going 0-5 or 1-5, but, again, some of the teams aren’t fully dressed and neither were we. “We’ve got more to come. We’re not playing our best hockey yet and I’m sure it will be a good test Friday,” he said of facing the Kings. Pickup, too, was not happy with last year’s outcome. “With the guys coming back we were eager to get back together on the ice and get back at it for the logo. It wasn’t a good feeling missing the playoffs,” said Pickup, who will wear an A as assistant captain along with Welsh and blue-liners Jake Stevens and Brett Stirling. “The Grizzlies aren’t an organization that misses that too often. It’s a season we want to turn around and be at the opposite end of the standings, for sure.” Pickup, Looysen and Welsh will be needed for offensive output, but the team has plenty of depth there, adding some talent in the likes of Justin Michaelian, Sage Englund and Jamie Rome. Keyvan Mokhtari and Nick Guiney are also back and Didmon has added other locals in Cam Thompson, Marty Westhaver and Cory Hatcher. In goal the GM is more than comfortable with Matthew Galajda, who recently committed to Cornell University of the NCAA for the 2017-18 season, and Mitchel Benson, and the defence is loaded with experience in Van Lierop, Stevens, Stirling and Drayson Pears. Nico Somerville was an affiliated player last season and Didmon and the scouts have brought in Dayne Finnson and Carter Berger. There is plenty of talk that this team could be among the top three in the league, but all 17 clubs start at 0-0. “It’s an honour if we are. It’s being talked about throughout the league, but we haven’t proven anything yet,” added Pickup. “It’s important for all the guys to have a good start going into that [BCHL] Showcase,” said Welsh. “Schools definitely seem to look at teams that are having a good season. “Last year was a struggle,” he admitted of a poor start. “We didn’t have many returning guys and it took the new guys some time to get a feel for the league and to adjust. “We’ve got a good core group of guys this year. We think we’re one of the stronger teams on the Island. Powell River will be good and Nanaimo will be as well.” They’ll find out where they stand, starting tonight.

Warriors Name Leadership Group:

The West Kelowna are pleased to announce their leadership group for the 2016/17 season. Joining captain Nicholas Rutigliano will be forwards Connor Sodergren, Quin Foreman and defensemen Tyler Anderson as they will serve as alternate captains for the Warriors this season. Sodergren, 20, is going into 2nd BCHL season after suited up in every one of the 58 regular season games for the Warriors last season, collecting 8 goals and 22 assists for 30 points. In the BCHL playoffs, the Tewksbury, Massachusetts native exploded for 6 goals and 7 assists for 13 points in 24 games while the Army commit earned a goal and 3 assists for 4 points in 11 games combined between the Western Canada Cup and RBC Cup. Foreman, 20, enters his 2nd BCHL season having played in 50 games last season, picking up 13 goals and 26 points while netting four goals and 10 points in the postseason for the Warriors. The Norwood, Mass. native collected four goals and 8 points in 10 games between the WCC and RBC Cup. Anderson, 20, returns for his second season after scoring three times and adding nine points in all 58 games for the Warriors last season. The Niverville, Manitoba native suited up in all 24-league playoff games, earning a goal and six points before appearing in 11 games between the WCC and RBC Cup, earning two assists en route to the Warriors National Championship victory. “All three have shown solid leadership qualities coming back in very good shape and really selling the vision to the younger players,” stated Warriors head coach and GM Rylan Ferster, “They are winners and played key roles for us last year.”

Nanaimo-Grande Prairie Trade:

The Nanaimo Clippers have acquired the CJHL playing rights to Tristan Crozier(98)(F) from the Grande Prairie Storm of the AJHL in exchange for future considerations.

Coquitlam-Alberni Valley Trade:

The Coquitlam Express have transferred the CJHL playing rights to Malik Kaila(96)(D) to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in exchange for future considerations.

Vees Sign Johnson:

The Penticton Vees Jr. ‘A’ Hockey Club has signed defenceman Kenny Johnson (98), the team announced Wednesday afternoon. President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson, “We had a spot open on our backend with the injury to Sam Rossini, and Kenny is the piece we were looking for. He’s a big body that plays a heavy game and he’s a sound player on both sides of the puck.” Johnson, 18, comes to Penticton after spending the last four years at the prestigious Shattuck-St. Mary’s prep school in Faribault, Minnesota. Johnson spent the last two seasons playing for the school’s prep team, where he appeared in 91 games, picking up 10 goals and 53 points. The 6’3, 220 pound blue-liner also played on both Shattuck-St. Mary’s Under-16 and Bantam Tier One teams. The Ann Arbor, Michigan, native is the younger brother of Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson, and is committed to the University of Michigan. Johnson will wear number 28 with the Vees and his signing fills out the team’s 22-man roster. Shattuck-St. Mary’s has a rich history of NHL alumni, including Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews and Zach Parise. The Vees also have a connection to the school, as alumni Mike Reilly and Anthony Brodeur also played their prep hockey there. Johnson will have a chance to make his Vees debut this weekend on the team’s three-game Island Division road trip. The Vees play Powell River Friday, Alberni Valley Saturday and Cowichan Valley Sunday afternoon.

Spruce Kings Acquire Luhmann:

The Prince George Spruce Kings are pleased to announce the acquisition of 19 year old forward Hunter Luhmann from the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League (USHL). The 5’11” 194 pound Luhmann is from White River Junction, Vermont. Last season with Waterloo Luhmann scored three goals and had four assists for seven points to go along with 21 penalty minutes in 40 games played. Prior to joining the USHL, Luhmann played three season at Proctor Academy of the United States High School League putting up 76 points (43 goals and 33 assists) in a combined 82 games. “We are excited to add Hunter to our roster. He’s a very good hockey player and a great young man who will come in here and enhance a talented group of forwards. He brings good speed and skill and will be a good fit with what we are trying to build with this group,” said Spruce Kings General Manager Mike Hawes. Hunter Luhmann is expected to join the team ahead of this weekend’s double header with the Wenatchee Wild.

Nanaimo-Wenatchee Trade:

The Nanaimo Clippers have acquired the CJHL playing rights to Ian Beck(98)(D) from the Wenatchee Wild in exchange for future considerations.

Cougars Trade Ex Viper Defenceman James To Georgetown Raiders:

The Ontario Junior Hockey League Burlington Cougars have traded former
Vernon Vipers defenceman Griffin James to the Georgetown Raiders.

James was recruited by the Vipers played last season in Vernon (2015-16). James played in 35 games collected (3-goals-3-assists-6-points) before asking for a trade. The Vipers traded James to the Burlington Cougars January 10th 2016 for future considerations. James played in 13 games last year with the Cougars picking up (1-goal-2-assists-3-points).

Griffin James Player Profile:

This is posted on the transactions page on the OJHL website:

2016-07-29 Confirmed Burlington Cougars trade Griffin James to Georgetown Raiders

Monday, September 19, 2016

Vipers-Warriors Highlight's:

Here are the game highlight's-post game interviews from Royal Le Page Place in West Kelowna Saturday. The West Kelowna Warriors defeated the Vernon Vipers 3-1.