Friday, November 27, 2015

Game Preview: Vernon @ Salmon Arm:

Vernon (13-13-0-2) @ Salmon Arm (16-6-2-1) 7pm

Tonight is the second of seven regular season meetings between the Vernon Vipers & Salmon Arm Silverbacks. The Silverbacks lead the season series 1-0

Last Game:

Wednesday, November 25th Penticton defeated Vernon 4-3 in overtime
Saturday, November 21st Prince George defeated Salmon Arm 4-3

Next Game:

Saturday, November 28th Salmon Arm @ Vernon

Conway Gives Vees Comeback Win Over Vipers:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Conway gives Vees comeback win over Vipers

Nov 27, 2015

Black Press Sports

Undefeated at home, ranked No. 1 in the 126-team Canadian Junior Hockey League, loaded with projected first-round NHL draft picks and NCAA refugees, and losers of just two games.

The Penticton Vees are a B.C. Hockey League powerhouse and on pace to break the New Westminster Royals’ record 108-point season in 1989-90 should they run the table.

The Vernon Vipers, struggling around the .500 digit, appeared unimpressed with the Vees’ numbers, earning a point in a 4-3 overtime loss before 2,521 fans Wednesday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

The new and improved Vipers, who have tweaked their roster with four new additions in the last few weeks, actually held a 3-2 lead until defenceman Griffin Mendel’s point shot was deflected by Scott Conway past Viper goalie Andrew Shortridge with 1:36 to play.

Conway, who played for the Nittany Lions at Penn State last year, scored his 20th of the season at 3:17 of overtime, stretching his point streak to 24 games.

“It was just one of those things,” said Viper head coach Mark Ferner, of the 3-3 equalizer. “It goes back to the point and maybe we could have blocked it. The defenceman just throws it at the net and it finds a way to go in.

“When teams are playing well and they’re on a roll, that’s what happens; they find a way to tie it and they find a way to win it. They’re an older group and they’re a good, talented group. They didn’t panic; they stuck with it and they got a seeing-eye goal to tie it.”

Said Vees’ coach Fred Harbinson of Conway: “He played in the Big 10 last year. He was on the all-rookie team. We knew he was going to be able to contribute offensively. He’s gotten some big goals, a lot of game -inning goals for us. It’s exciting. It was a game we had to grind out with that many guys (five) out of the lineup.”

Vernon, fourth in the Interior Division at 13-13-0-2, led 2-0 early in the second period. D-man Griffin James potted his third of the year at 4:17 of the first on a point shot top cheddar by goalie Anthony Brodeur (son of ex-NHLer Martin Brodeur). Odeen Tufto and Charley Michalowski drew assists.

Red-hot Christian Cakebread made it 2-0 on the powerplay at 5:49 in the middle frame, knocking in a rebound from the slot after Tufto’s attempt. Liam Finlay earned the secondary assist.

Nic Jones, a former AJHL all-star who left the Ohio State Buckeyes three games into his sophomore season, converted on a Penticton powerplay 59 seconds later, tipping Dante Fabbro’s slapper from the point.

Shortridge dove to deny Conway’s one-timer on a later powerplay.

Cakebread put the Snakes up by a deuce 6:41 into the third, tapping in a backdoor feed from Jagger Williamson after a bizarre puck bounce off the boards. Finlay earned the other helper. Chris Gerrie’s ninth of the year, 1:14 later, pulled Penticton within a goal. Gerrie buried a loose puck after Shortridge recorded two fabulous stops in tight.

League points leader Tyson Jost – a first-round NHL draft prospect – dropped a pass for Conway down the sidewall and Conway beat Shortridge with a wrister for the winner.

“I thought we played real well against a real good hockey team,” said Ferner. “We came out and did a lot of things that we wanted to. It was a back and forth game and unfortunately, they ended up scoring with about a minute, 30 left and won in overtime, but that’s what good teams do; they find ways.

“We’re disappointed we didn’t come out of here with two points, but certainly happy we got one, and more importantly, our kids played real hard against a good hockey team and even more so on the road, where you don’t have the last change. I know our guys don’t understand it, but at the same time, they should be proud of their effort because we did a lot of good things out there and played our butts off.”

Ferner hopes the Vipers will sustain Wednesday’s effort as they open a home-and-home series tonight in Salmon Arm against the second-place Silverbacks (16-6-2-1). The Silverbacks just lost high-scoring forward Nick Hutchison with a serious shoulder injury in practice.

Finlay says the Snakes simply have to turn in a carbon-copy of Wednesday to keep moving forward.

“It was a fun game until the end, obviously,” said Finlay. “We did a real good job of playing against the best team in the league. We were on them really hard and created some opportunities and kept them on their heels.”

Finlay is one of 18 BCHLers invited to the Team Canada West camp, Dec. 5-8, in Leduc, Alta. The World Junior A Hockey Challenge will be co-hosted by Whitby and Cobourg, Ont. from Dec. 13-19.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Vipers-Vees Highlight's:

Here are the Vipers-Vees game highlight's from Wednesday,
November 25th 2015. The Vees defeated the Vipers 4-3 in overtime.

Finlay Named To Canada West Camp Roster:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Finlay Named to Canada West Camp Roster

Wednesday, November 25, 2015 - Submitted by Vipers Staff

The Vernon Vipers are pleased to announce that Forward Liam Finlay has been named to the selection camp roster of Canada West for the upcoming World Junior A Challenge.

Finlay is currently tied for the team lead in points with 26 including 11 goals.

The World Junior A Challenge will be held in Wellington and Trenton Ontario beginning on December 13th.

Here is the entire Canada West Camp Roster:

Here is the Official Press Release from Hockey Canada:

Penticton 4 Vernon 3 Overtime

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-Vees game as Penticton defeated Vernon 4-3 in overtime in front of 2,521 fans at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Andrew Shortridge
Penticton: Anthony Brodeur

1st Period: The Vipers got off to a good start, had lots of jump and energy early had a good opening shift off the faceoff. Vernon with some good pressure early before the Vees would come back with a good push back shift or two of their own before the Vipers would open the scoring less then five minutes into the game. Griffin James with a shot from the blueline beat Anthony Brodeur with a Viper in front gave Vernon a 1-0 lead at 4:17 Odeen Tufto & Charley Michalowski collected the helpers. Penticton would respond with a good shift, Scott Conway alone in the slot couldnt beat Andrew Shortridge who went down before smothering the puck in his chest made a good save from in close. Just six and a half minutes into the frame Bo Bellah lead the Viper attack with a two on one rush, Pellah decided to keep and shoot couldnt beat Brodeur who made a big save keeping this a one goal game. On the following shift Viper captain Colton McCarthy with a good chance was stopped by Brodeur from the slot. Vernon with two good back to back quality chances. On the following play the Vees would get the games first powerplay, Vees captain Tyson Jost with a quick shot from the circle couldnt beat Shortridge who flashed the leather making a quick glove save off the Vees sniper kept this game 1-0. Penticton with just the lone opportunity and shot couldnt capitalize as the Vipers would kill off the minor. Ex Viper Demico Hannoun took a crosscheck along the boards from Riley Brandt, Hannoun looked in some discomfort as he headed off the ice but stayed in the game. The Vees slowly started to come on and took over the edge in play, having Vernon hemmed in their own end, the Vees looked like they were still on the PP. Moving the puck around, Penticton didnt get many chances but did create some real nice passing plays but couldnt connect at the end coming very close were buzzing in and around the goal. With just over seven minutes remaining Taylor Ward with a wrap around couldnt beat Andrew Shortridge who come up with another good save from in tight. The Viper defence played well blocking alot of shots, really limiting the Vees offence. The Vipers would get their first look with the man advantage with just under six minutes left in the opening frame. But shorthanded former Vipers Luke Voltin & Demico Hannoun broke out on the two on one, Hannoun waited before setting up Voltin who got off a bit of a weak shot that was stopped by Shortridge on a good opportunity on the penalty kill. The Vipers struggled, couldnt get much going with the PP. Vernon seemed to gain some momentum after the powerplay, as the Vipers come on strong to finish the period. It was 1-0 Vernon after 20 minutes of play. The Vipers with a good start, would open the scoring, looked very good in the first five to six minutes before the Vees responded with a good push. Penticton carried the play for a while it seemed as the Vipers couldnt get out of their own end or through the neutral zone. Vernon did respond late and finished the period with a good finish. Both teams had some good chances. Shots were 9-9.

2nd Period: The Vipers with another good start would generate some zone time and get a few chances in the first few minutes. Martin Brodeur's son Anthony Brodeur was having troubles controlling his rebounds but the Vipers couldnt capitalize, were having troubles getting to the puck on the second opportunities. Vernon would get an early powerplay. Christian Cakebread would give Vernon a 2-0 lead at 5:49 Ideen Tufto and Liam Finlay with the assists. The Vipers were outshooting the Vees 7-1 at this point. But just a minute later Penticton would get their second powerplay of the night and capitalize. Nick Jones blast from the point may have gone off a Viper defenceman in front would go in off the post and into the back of the net at 6:38 Tyson Jost and Dante Fabbro picked up the assists. The Vees get on the board and back in the hockey game, less then a minute after Vernon's goal. The Vees would gain some life and momentum and come back with a flurry of pressure in the offensive zone. Penticton again didnt generate alot of great scoring chances, carried the edge in play didnt give Vernon much of a chance to get out of their own end. The Vipers would respond and carry a slight edge as Vernon with some good zone time but like the Vees didnt get many good opportunities. In the second half Penticton would get their second straight man advantage and miss on a great opportunity. The puck come out to the side of the net where a Penticton player somehow missed the open net. The Vees with a few good chances down low couldnt beat Vipers starting goaltender Andrew Shortridge who come up with several big saves on the PK. Shorthanded Riley Brandt couldnt beat Vees starting goaltender Anthony Brodeur who come up with a big save on a Viper two on one. Vernon with a good penalty kill would kill off the minor, Jagger Williamson out of the box would lead the charge with a three on one but couldnt get the pass through the Vees d-man on a missed opportunity. The Vipers would get a late PP but couldnt capitalize before taking a late penalty of their own. The Vees with a late powerplay would run out of time as the period come to an end. Vernon was up 2-1 after 40 minutes of play. Vernon with another good start to the period, the Vipers would generate some chances before grabbing a two goal lead on an early powerplay. The Vees would respond less then a minute later getting a powerplay goal of their own. This got the Vees on the board and back in the game. From here on in I thought both teams went back and fourth, each team carrying the play or shifts at a different time. The Vees would carry the play and look better but then later Vernon would carry the play and look good. Alot of momentum swings in this period. Not alot of scoring chances for either team. Vernon outshot Penticton 13-11.

3rd Period: Penticton started the 3rd on the PP that was carried over from the end of the 2nd period. The Vipers would kill off the minor before the Vees come very close to tying the game in the opening minute after a shot from the blueline would hit Andrew Shortridge before just graizing the crossbar on a close call. The Vees would head right back to the PP getting an early powerplay. Penticton with a ton of pressure, poured on the offensive attack. The Vees moving the puck around were buzzing in and around the goal as the Vipers were having all kinds of trouble clearing the zone. The Vees with some very nice passing plays just couldnt finish in and around the net, come very close to tying the game. The Vipers would excape and kill off the penalty. Being outshot and outplayed the Vipers would respond just as the penalty expired.  The Vipers who couldnt get out of their own end or even through the neutral zone at all until this point of the period, would get their first rush into the Vees zone and score. Jagger Williamson was stopped by Brodeur before Christian Cakebread burried the rebound on Vernon's first shot of the period gave the Vipers their second two goal lead of the night, 3-1 at 6:49 Williamson & Liam Finlay with the assists. Penticton responded with another big push back. The Vees with a ton of pressure down low had the Viper defence in circles. Chris Gerrie would get stopped in close, before getting a second opportunity, the Vees would get four shots in a row couldnt beat Andrew Shortridge who was standing on his head before Gerrie would eventually find the back of the net with Shortridge down and out. Gerrie at 7:55 Nick Jones and Owen Sillinger collected the helpers. For a second time tonight, the Vees responded well after giving up a goal. Penticton scored less then a minute later after Vernon's second goal and now just over a minute would score after Vernon's third goal. The Vees werent done just yet, Penticton fired right back with another strong forecheck and attack. Shortridge made a huge glove save off Owen Sillinger at the halfway mark keeping this a one goal game. The Vipers having all kinds of trouble clearing the zone, turning over or coughing up the puck. Penticton with a strong forecheck had the Vipers hemmed in their own end for most of the period. The Vees moving the puck, had the Vipers chasing the puck all period come very close to tying the game. Vernon would call a timeout with seven minutes to go, the Vipers with just two shots on goal at this point were badly outplayed. The Vees kept coming and coming with a ton of pressure. Penticton would get Anthony Brodeur to the bench with about 1:45 remaining before tying the game. Griffin Mendel's point shot beat a screened Shortridge tied the game 3-3 at 18:24 sending the SOEC into a frenzy as the Vees bench erupted. Same Jones and Tyson Jost with the assists. Vernon who didnt have any zone time at all at this point, other then on their third goal would finish with a strong effort. The Vipers with a good attack to finish the period had a few shots on net blew a two goal lead were going to overtime. The Vees turned it up a notch and totally dominated the 3rd period. Penticton all over the Vipers for the entire period would battled back down two goals to force OT. The Vipers struggled and were badly outplayed the entire period. Vernon's defence was running around, turned over-coughed up the puck on several plays. The Vipers with just two shots in the first fourteen minutes of the period couldnt get out of their own end or through the neutral zone. The lone bright spot for Vernon was limiting the Vees chances and blocking alot of shots. Penticton outshot Vernon 10-6.

Overtime: The Vipers would get setup in the offensive zone early into the extra frame but couldnt generate much before the Vees responded with a good shift back the other way, Penticton moving the puck around couldnt were kept to the outside, limiting their chances. The Vees would get the puck back and get back into the Viper zone. Tyson Jost with some nice moves would setup Scott Conway who was able to walk in front and rip a shot past Andrew Shortridge giving Penticton the 4-3 overtime victory at 3:17 as the Vees bench erupted onto the ice sending the SOEC into a frenzy. Tyson Jost and Colton Poolman with the helpers. No real scoring chances in overtime other then Conway's OT winner. Penticton outshot Vernon 1-0.

Top Player's: (Vernon)

Charley Michalowski playing in just his second game with the Vipers I thought was one of the better forwards tonight. Michalowski has some skill-talent can skate and move the puck, quick with his hands played very well.

Odeen Tufto (2 assists) I thought played well through out the game. Tufto played hard at both ends of the rink was going to the net.

Andrew Shortridge (26 saves) Played well, made the saves when called apon, didnt see alot of action but played well giving his team a chance to win, especially in the 3rd when the Vipers were being outplayed.

Game Thought's: (Vernon)

I thought the Vipers held their own and played fairly well against the Vees in the first two periods before getting outplayed pretty bad in the 3rd. I thought the Vipers come ready to play, got off to a good start, had lots of jump and energy, opened the scoring early. The Vipers got off to a good start in the 1st and 2nd periods played fairly well against the league leading Vees. Vernon did a good job at blocking alot of shots tonight, limited the number of Penticton shots and opportunities, held their own at times through the first two periods. Give credit to the Vipers for shutting down the Vees top two lines. Yes Conway scored the OT winner and Jost picked up two assists but I thought Vernon did a good job at containing Penticton's top two lines for most of the night. The Vipers didnt get alot of scoring chances, did get lots of zone time at times especially in the 3rd, capitalized on their chances. At times through out the game Vernon had a few good opportunities to grab a three goal lead but couldnt capitalize. This could have easily changed the outcome of the game. Vernon struggled in the faceoff department. The Vipers had troubles at times containing the Vees speed, allowing Penticton to walk-get a scoring chance. It was in the 3rd when the wheels fell off. Penticton jumped on the Vipers early but it was the Vipers who scored early for a third straight period would get their second two goal lead of the night, but couldnt hold onto the lead. The Vees kept coming and coming forced the Viper defence into several turnovers. Vernon struggled clearing the zone-getting through the neutral zone had just two shots on goal fourteen minutes into the 3rd. Vernon with no zone time played most of the 3rd in their own end. The Vipers back on their heels watched a two goal lead slip away before falling in overtime. Even though they were badly outplayed in the 3rd, up 3-1 this is a game you have to try and hold on to and come away with the win.  

Top Player's: (Penticton)

Nick Jones (2 assists) Was involved in the play most of the night, jumping up into the play also played very well defensively on the blueline.

Scott Conway (Overtime winner) Now has points in twenty four straight games. Conway didnt get alot of chances tonight but played well through out the game.

Luke Voltin faced his former team for the first time this season, battled hard and played hard in front of the net. Took a beating in and around the net on the powerplay and five on five, competed hard.

Mitch Brooks was another forward that I thought played hard-competed hard. Was in and around the net alot.

Owen Sillinger (1 assist) Played well through out the game. Had a few good looks at the net, was involved in the play-always in and around the net.

Chris Gerrie (1 goal) Also played very well up front for the Vees. Was in and around the net all night, was quick on his feet, played with alot of energy.

Anthony Brodeur (29 saves) Gave up alot of rebounds wasnt forced into making alot of difficult saves tonight, made a few big saves played well.

Game Thought's: (Penticton)

The Penticton Vees never had a lead until overtime. Give the Vees full credit for battling back and not giving up. The Vees were down 2-0 and 3-1 and still somehow, managed to tie the game before pulling out the win in overtime. I thought the Vipers held their own against Penticton for atleast the first two periods but in the 3rd the Vees really showed how good they are. The Vees carried the play at times in the first two periods but didnt generate alot for offence. I didnt think either team had alot of opportunities, both teams did a good job at shutting down the other teams offensive players. The Vees were really limited in their shots and chances couldnt finish in and around the net. Penticton with some very nice passing plays, looked to have a goal lined up but couldnt finish in close, either just missing on the pass or waiting that extra second to shoot-pass before a Viper defender would cover someone. The Vees had to work for the two points and deserved it. Penticton really showed how good of a team they are in the 3rd when they took it too the Vipers. The Vees dominated the 3rd outplayed the Vipers, scoring twice forcing overtime. Penticton won most of the faceoffs, can really move the puck in a hurry, get shots off in a hurry and have a ton of skill-talent up front as well as on the backend. Penticton has some very shifty-crafty skilled forwards who seem to find a way to get away from their defenders. This was no easy win by far, look at some of the injuries the Vees have, but just another gritty performance by a team that is very tough to beat. The Vees are 2-0 against Vernon, have now won eighteen straight games at home, going back to last season. A pretty big crowd for a Wednesday night. $5 tickets-kids get in for free. The SOEC has added a new goal horn for this season. 



Joe Sacco
Callum Volpe


Gabe Bast (Injured)
Ben Brar (Suspended)  
Easton Brodzinski (Injured)
Dixon Bowen (Injured)
Seamus Donohue (Injured)

Energy Player of the Game:

Owen Sillinger (1 assist)

Three Star's:

1st Star: Nick Jones (2 assists)
2nd Star: Christian Cakebread (2 goals)
3rd Star: Scott Conway (Overtime winner)

BCHL Boxscore,

Fraser Rodgers Penticton Vees Blog

Graham Turnbull's Vernon Vipers Blog,

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Game Preview: Vernon @ Penticton:

Vernon (13-13-0-1)  @ Penticton (24-2-0-0) 7pm

Tonight is second of six meetings between the Vernon Vipers & Penticton Vees. The Vees lead the season series 1-0

Last Game:

Sunday, November 22nd Vernon defeated Alberni Valley 5-0
Saturday, November 21st Penticton defeated Coquitlam 8-2

Next Game:

Friday, November 27th Vernon @ Salmon Arm
Saturday, November 28th Trail @ Penticton

My game previews take up close to a full page, this is why I have had to shorten the front page.  In order to read the full page-game preview, click on the "read more" near the bottom left corner of this post.

Vipers Prepared For No. 1 Vees:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers prepared for No. 1 Vees
by  Kevin Mitchell - Vernon Morning Star

Nov 25, 2015

Nearing the midway point of the season, the Vernon Vipers are a good B.C. Hockey League team learning to trust in one another and execute head coach Mark Ferner’s way of doing things.

Their next step in trying to become a great team comes tonight in Penticton when they face the nation’s No. 1 ranked Vees at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Penticton is 24-2 and undefeated at home. The Vees crushed the Coquitlam Express 8-2 Saturday night after having their winning streak halted at 23 games the night before by the Langley Rivermen.

The Vipers are much bigger, older and tougher than they were a few weeks ago. That extra sandpaper showed in Sunday’s 5-0 matinee masterpiece over the road-weary Alberni Valley Bulldogs.

“It was a good comeback from our game in West Kelowna which we weren’t ready for and fell hard (4-1 loss which could have been double digits if not for goalie Andrew Shortridge),” said Viper forward Christian Cakebread. “We stuck to our systems today and trusted in each other.”

Cakebread, an Arizona product who has three goals and 11 points in nine games since leaving the USHL, says the Vipers are no longer playing scared and own a slight swagger since the recent additions of big-bodied Latrell Charleson and Ben Butcher.

Charleson, a 6-foot-4 220-pound giant, basically swatted a few Bulldogs to the ice like they were fruit flies on at least three occasions. He held back in a brief scuffle with Marshall Skapski early in the third period, both players earning roughing minors.

Cakebread, a 6-foot-1, 205-pounder, credited his billet brother Shortridge for keeping the Vipers rolling Sunday. Shortridge was named first star, but has had busier games. He was at his best in the final few minutes as the Dawgs pulled goalie Brody Claeys for a sixth attacker.

“It was a hard, physical game,” said Shortbridge, an Alaskan product sporting a 2.51 GAA and .928 save percentage. “Everyone was doing the little things all over the ice that we needed to do to win and we’re all buying into it.

“There seems to be a little more experience out here and there’s not as much panic. Everyone just trusts each other and knows what to do with the puck and will make the easy plays now.”

Shortridge expects bigger things over the final 31 regular-season games.

“We have a great group of guys and everyone’s working hard day in and out to get better. Hopefully we can use this as a stepping stone and just go straight up from here.”

Captain Colton McCarthy supplied his 13th and 14th goals of the season as the Vipers improved to 13-13-0-1. The Bulldogs, finishing a three-day road trip, dipped to 10-13-1-1. Alberni Valley doubled the West Kelowna Warriors 10-5 Saturday night after falling 10-1 to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks 24 hours earlier.

“They looked a little tired out there,” said Viper newbie  Charley Michalowski, wearing No. 9 in his debut. “They were making some quick changes and stuff. We probably didn’t get their best tonight.”

Michalowski, a 19-year-old Boston product and big fan of Bruin centre Patrice Bergeron, posted two goals in eight games with the USHL Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and was seeking a change of scenery. He has a scholarship to New Hampshire’s Dartmouth Big Green of the NCAA next year. His family advisor recommended the Vipers.

“It’s a way different league, a lot more open ice, people try to make plays all over the place and not just chip and chase. It’s a little less physical so it’s a little bit more fun to play in.”

The 6-foot, 185-pound Michalowski, also a Red Sox fan who played catcher in his early teens, played some prep school hockey against Viper Joe Sacco. Michalowski rang up 41 points in 31 games with Belmont Hill High last year.

Liam Finlay, off the rush with linemates Jagger Williamson and Christian Cakebread drawing assists, put Vernon in front at 9:26 of the opening period.

McCarthy went to the net and finished a nice passing play with Hunter Zandee and Riley Brandt just 26 seconds into the second period. Vernon added three goals in the final 20 minutes.

Zandee banged in his own rebound, Cakebread converted from gimme range on a power play and McCarthy hit the open net, with 39 seconds remaining. Zandee, who was a physical force all afternoon, finished with 1+2 and should have been first star. He has three goals on the year,

The Vipers outshot the Dawgs 34-26 with Alberni Valley registering a handful of dangerous attempts with six attackers.

Bulldog captain Eric Margo, a four-year veteran out of North Vancouver, could not explain his speedy, skate-till-ya-drop team’s wacky weekend.

“We had ups and downs for sure all weekend and today we just really couldn’t do the little things to put it together for a win,” he smiled. “Vernon’s a pretty skilled team and they played physical against us today and it’s hard to compete against that. They did what they needed to get the win.”

Viper forward Brett Stapley accepted a challenge from fellow 16-year-old rookie Cayden Kraus of Whistler 6:57 into the third period. Stapley won a unanimous decision and is now 2-0.

Penticton will look to beat Vernon for the second time this season. They are led by projected 2016 first-round NHL draft pick Tyson Jost, who pocketed 1+4 versus Coquitlam and leads the BCHL scoring parade with 54 points, one more digit than Nanaimo’s Sheldon Rempal.

Scott Conway of the Vees is riding a 23-game point streak.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Williamson Receives Honorable Mention For Player Of The Week:

This is posted on the BCHL website:

Clips forward Rempal goes on goal spree, earns POW

Monday, November 23, 2015 - Submitted by BCHL Media

Nanaimo Clippers forward Sheldon Rempal has been named the BCHL Player of the Week for the week ending Nov. 22, the league announced Monday.

?Rempal led his team to three wins in as many games and racked up seven goals, including a hat trick, and an assist along the way. The native of Calgary was named 1st Star in all three contests, starting with his two-goal effort in a 5-1 win over Victoria. He upped the ante to two goals and helper in a 7-2 win over Trail and concluded with a hat trick - including the double-overtime winner - in a 4-3 win over the Cowichan Valley Capitals.

The 5-foot-10, 175-pound recruit of Clarkson University leads the BCHL in goals with 26 and is second in points with 53.

Honourable mentions this week:

Wenatchee Wild F Brendan Harris: 2G, 4A, 2nd Star, 3rd Star

Powell River Kings F Tristan Mullin: 4G, 1st Star

West Kelowna Warriors F Kylar Hope: 1G, 6A, 1st Star, FortisBC Energy Player of the Game

Nanaimo Clippers G Evan Johnson: 2W, 3rd Star, 51 saves/55 shots, 0.927 sv%, 1.91 GA

Vernon Vipers F Jagger Williamson: 4A, 1st Star, FortisBC Energy Player of the Game

Penticton Vees F Tyson Jost: 2G, 6A, 1st Star, 2nd Star, FortisBC Energy Player of the Game

Vipers Support Arena Referendum:

This is posted on the Kiss FM website:

Vipers Support Arena Referendum

Posted on 11/23/2015 by KISS News Staff

The second advance poll for the arena referendum will take place Wednesday.

The turnout of 11-hundred people at last week's advance suggests strong interest in the issue.

Vernon Vipers owner Duncan Wray is a strong proponent of a 2nd ice sheet at Kal Tire Place.

"The life span over the Civic Arena, it's served it's purpose over the years and it certainly has issues with it and there have been for a number of years. I think for the good of the community to throw money at that facility at this time would be foolhardy because you're going to be putting a band aid on it."

Wray says it won't benefit the Vipers to any great extent, but will help other minor sports and the local economy.

"The Vernon Vipers have been approached about hosting the BCHL Showcase which is a huge economic spin off for the hotels, restaurants and people coming into town. You can talk to the people in Chilliwack who have held it for the last three years."

Monday, November 23, 2015

Sound Tigers Sign Former Viper Connor Jones-Release Former Viper Kellen Jones:

Just days after signing with the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Missouri Mavericks (September 24th 2015) former Vernon Vipers forwards-twins Connor and Kellen Jones have landed a try out with the American Hockey League (AHL) Bridgeport Sound Tigers (September 30th 2015).

For the first time in their hockey career Connor & Kellen Jones will be playing on different teams. Connor would make the Sound Tigers roster-sign with the team and is still currently playing in the AHL. Connor is pointless in eight games this season with the Sound Tigers. No official press release by either team, but Connor Jones is listed on the Sound Tigers roster, while Kellen Jones is listed on the Mavericks roster.

Kellen would be released from the Sound Tigers Training Camp and sent back down to the ECHL Missouri Mavericks. In 7 games this season with the Mavericks Kellen has (2-goals-4-assists-6-points). 

The Jones twins played their first pro-season last year with two different teams in two different leagues.  The Connor & Kellen started last season with the American Hockey League (AHL) Oklahoma City Barons also spent time with the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Bakersfield Condors. In 41 games last season with the Barons Connor collected (4-goals-6-assists-10-points) and in 27 games with the Condors picked up (10-goals-16-assists-26-points). In 48 games with the Barons Kellen collected (5-goals-9-assists-14-points) and in 27 games with the Condors recorded (7-goals-18-assists-25-points). After four years at Quinnipiac University, the Jones Twins signed their first pro contract with the Barons on April 3rd 2014. The Barons assigned Connor & Kellen to Bakersfield after Training camp last year before the pair went back and fourth between the ECHL & AHL. Connor & Kellen both played four years in Vernon (2006-2010). 

Connor played In 163 regular season games with the Vipers collecting (80-goals-118-assists-198-points) Connor also is the Vipers all-time franchise points leader (regular season & playoffs) with 228 & all-time franchise goals leader (regular season & playoffs) with 95.

Kellen played in 154 regular season games with the Vipers collecting (39-goals-134-assists-173-points). Kellen is also the all-time franchise assists leader (regular season & playoffs) with 150. Kellen was drafted in Round 7 of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft #202 overall by the Edmonton Oilers.

Connor Jones Player Profile:

Kellen Jones Player Profile:

This was in the Connecticut Post Newspaper:

Quinnipiac’s Jones brothers aim to earn spots with Sound Tigers

By Michael Fornabaio Published 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

BRIDGEPORT — You play hockey with anybody for 20 years, Kellen Jones said, and you're going to have some chemistry.

When it's your twin brother, sure, it's all the more special.

"It's a lot of fun," Connor Jones said after Wednesday's practice at Bridgeport Sound Tigers training camp. "People ask a lot if we could split up. I think we would, but we have a great time out there together."
And coming into their second professional camp? "It's someone you know," Kellen Jones said. "That in itself is lucky."

The former Quinnipiac standouts, 25, are in camp with the Sound Tigers on tryouts in their second professional season. They have contracts with Bridgeport's ECHL affiliate in Independence, Mo., the Missouri Mavericks.

They could get a chance at least to make an impression in Bridgeport when the Sound Tigers face the Hartford Wolf Pack in an exhibition game Thursday night at the Wonderland of Ice.

"The Jones brothers, to me, they've been great for us," Bridgeport coach Brent Thompson said. "They've opened a lot of eyes. They both bring a great element of work ethic and energy. You can see the skill."

College hockey fans around here are familiar.

The Jones boys helped the Bobcats reach the 2013 national final and the NCAA East Regional, which was in Bridgeport, the next year.

"It was unbelievable, a great four years," Connor Jones said. "I couldn't say enough about the organization, Rand (Pecknold, head coach, and assistants) Bill Riga, Reid Cashman. ... All three do a lot of extra work with the organization. I couldn't say enough about the school, the teachers."

They have been linemates just about everywhere, with Connor at center and Kellen on the wing. Kellen was an Edmonton Oilers draft pick; they signed AHL contracts together with Oklahoma City for last season, joining the Barons at the end of the 2013-14 season for a brief amateur tryout.

"It was a change from playing college hockey," Kellen Jones said. "It took a bit to get used to it."

They split last season between Oklahoma City and the Oilers' ECHL affiliate in Bakersfield, Calif. (The AHL franchise moved to Bakersfield for this season.) They both played 27 ECHL games, both scoring about a point a game. Connor played 41 AHL games; Kellen, 49. They earned 10 and 15 points, respectively.

"It's different," Connor Jones said. "You're facing NHL-caliber players. You do it in college, too, but now they're 25, 30 years old."

Their second go-round brought them to Connecticut, and they've shown their stuff on a line in practice the past three days on a line with Tyler Barnes, another second-year pro out of college.

"Can it translate to a game? That's what we're looking for," Thompson said.

The first of Bridgeport's two exhibition games — the teams meet again Sunday afternoon in Cromwell — will feature tryouts, rookies and AHL-contract players, Thompson said, a chance for them to showcase what they can bring to the team.

There aren't a lot of spots open as it stands, but there are a few decisions to be made, both up front and on defense, and an AHL roster can change in a heartbeat.

"I'll be happy when I get a uniform on," Connor Jones said, "wherever that may be."

10 Need-To-Know Facts About NCAA Hockey Scholarships:

This is posted on the College Hockey INC website:

10 Need-to-Know Facts About NCAA Hockey Scholarships

Thursday, September 3, 2015

What you need to know as you pursue your dream of earning an NCAA hockey scholarship.

It’s the dream of so many young hockey players and their parents.

And it’s often misunderstood.

A hockey scholarship to a Division I program is a treasured prize, a ticket to student-athletes reaching their full athletic and academic potential. With so many shooting for that goal, it’s worth reviewing these 10 facts about scholarships:

Why College Hockey? | NCAA Eligibility | Recruiting FAQ

1. Most Division I men’s hockey programs offer 18 athletic scholarships. Teams in Atlantic Hockey are limited to 14, while some schools – those in the Ivy League, RIT and Union – do not offer athletic scholarships. All of those schools offer competitive financial aid packages, whether or not they are tied to a student-athlete’s athletic ability.

2. Those scholarships can be divided up among members of the team at the coaching staff’s discretion. Some teams might award 18 full scholarships and carry eight or nine players who do not receive athletic aid. Most will divide their scholarships so that more than 18 players are on athletic scholarship; on some teams, every player will receive at least a portion of a hockey scholarship.

3. Athletic scholarships may be supplemented by other forms of financial aid. Many schools have need-based or academic-based financial aid programs in place, another reason why academic success in high school can benefit a prospective student-athlete. A top hockey player with excellent grades may qualify for academic aid – saving his family money, and saving his NCAA team scholarship dollars that they can then allocate to another player.

4. Need-based financial aid is determined by an institution’s financial aid office and varies by school. It is typically calculated based upon the student and his family’s ability to contribute to the cost of his education. Many schools have grants or loans available to cover additional costs.

5. Coaches determine which players on their teams receive athletic scholarships, but need-based or academic-based scholarships are determined by an institution’s financial aid office, not the coaching staff.

6. Many scholarships will cover summer classes and even allow students who turn pro prior to graduation to return to school to complete their degree. NHL players like David Backes, Nick Bjugstad and Anders Lee have all finished their degrees in the past two years while playing in the NHL.

7. Athletic scholarship offers prior to enrollment are formalized by signing a National Letter of Intent. The scholarship offers can be for anywhere from one to five years, and cannot be signed prior to a prospective student-athlete’s 12th grade year. Any commitments prior to that time are verbal commitments; those are not legally binding for either the athlete or the institution.

8. Scholarships can be offered for up to five years. Partial scholarships can be increased at any time by the coaching staff. Ross Mauermann, the top career scorer on 2015 NCAA champion Providence, began his career as a walk-on but quickly earned a scholarship. Athletic scholarships cannot be reduced or cancelled year-to-year based on ability or performance, or because of injury. Some reasons why a scholarship could be cancelled include academic ineligibility or disciplinary issues. Any student-athlete whose athletic aid is reduced or cancelled has the right to a hearing with institutional representatives outside of the athletic department.

9. New this year, many schools are offering scholarships that include full cost of attendance. A full athletic scholarship has typically covered tuition and fees, room and board, and books. Full cost of attendance grants are designed to cover additional expenses such as transportation to and from campus and additional meals. The amount of these full cost of attendance grants varies by school, and not all schools will offer them.

10. NCAA Division III schools do not offer athletic scholarships, but do provide need- and academic-based aid, much like the Division I schools that operate without athletic scholarships.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Vernon 5 Alberni Valley 0

For anyone who could not attend or watch today’s Vipers game here are my thoughts and views from today’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 today’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 todays Vipers-Bulldogs game as Vernon defeated Alberni Valley 5-0 in front of 1,492 fans at Kal Tire Place.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Andrew Shortridge
Alberni Valley: Brody Claeys

1st Period: Vipers captain Colton McCarthy thought he opened the scoring just two minutes into the game after a tip in front of the net, but Brody Claeys closed the fivehole making a huge save on the goal line keeping the puck out. Both teams looked fairly even early as the play went back and fourth with not a whole lot of shots. Six and a half minutes in Ben Butcher would get a good chance at the side of the Bulldogs net, tried banging home a loose puck but couldnt squeeze it through Brody Claeys who was tight against the post, made the save after Butcher had a few wacks at the puck with bodies in and around the crease. About a minute later Claeys made a huge pad save off Christian Cakebread on a Vernon three on two rush kept this game scoreless. Shortly after former Penticton Vees forward Liam Finlay with a nice rush, went top shelf past Claeys giving Vernon a 1-0 lead at 9:26 Jagger Williamson and Christian Cakebread with the helpers. Shortly after the Bulldogs would get a good push back and with some good pressure hem the Vipers in their own end for several minutes. Alberni Valley moving the puck around, looked like they were on the PP controlling the play but didnt get alot of great opportunities. Vernon made atleast two or three turnovers on one shift, couldnt clear the zone. As the period went on the Bulldogs carried a slight edge in play, had more control of the play but still didnt generate much for offence. Both teams playing physical laid out some big hits through out the period. Just before the buzzer Riley Brandt went after Bulldogs captain Eric Margo who went knee on knee with a Viper. Brandt and Margo tried to drop the gloves, got tangled up in a bit of a wrestling match. The Vipers would the games first powerplay, late in the frame that would carry into the 2nd period. Vernon was up 1-0 after 20 minutes of play. Vernon with some good chances in the first half, forced Brody Claeys into making some big stops before the Vipers opened the scoring. The Bulldogs who played with a bit of an edge, were physical and chippy laying out several questionable hits. These two teams dont like each other, after several scrums through out the period-game. Alberni Valley got better as the period went on and carried a slight edge in play in the second half, didnt generate any real great scoring chances. Shots were even 8-8.

2nd Period: The Vipers started the middle frame with the man advantage that was carried over from the 1st period. Bo Pellah with a shot from the slot was tipped in front forcing Bulldogs starting goaltender Brody Claeys to make a huge save on the goal line with traffic in front. Claeys was down on his back, pushed back into the net still managed to keep the puck out as Alberni Valley would kill off the remainder of the penalty. Vernon looked very scrambled on that PP and early in the period, making several poor passes before getting their second powerplay just minutes into the period. The Vipers struggled, with no real pressure the Bulldogs were able to kill off the minor. The Vipers would slowly get going and begin to carry the edge in play. Newcomer Charlie Michalowski made his Vipers debut this afternoon after coming over in a trade with the USHL Cedar Rapids Roughriders Friday looks to have some talent-skill made several nice plays this period. Vernon didnt generate alot of great opportunities did carry the edge in play. The Vipers were getting pucks to the net, got Brody Claeys into kicking out some big rebounds couldnt capitalize on the second opportunity. AV who didnt see much zone time would get just one real good chance. With seven and a half minutes remaining Cayden Kraus with a redirect in front forced Vipers starting goaltender Andrew Shortridge into making a difficult save. On the following shift Ben Butcher with a nice move in the neutral zone broke free before setting up Steven Jandric going to the net on a odd man rush, Jandric couldnt beat Claeys who come up with a big pad save keeping this a one goal game. Former Alberni Valley Bulldogs defenceman Latrell Charleson was getting lots of attention from his former team as the Bulldogs were going after the big d-man in the 2nd period and through out the game. Quinn Syrydiuk was getting lots of attention from the Vipers, especially Riley Brandt. The two were exchanging words and battling through out the contest. The Vipers would get their third man advantage of the afternoon but unable to capitalize. Inside the final minute former West Kelowna Warriors forward Hunter Zandee with a nice move inside the neutral zone, picked up speed went into the Dogs zone before going for the wrap around spotted Viper captain Colton McCarthy in front who beat Brody Claeys late giving Vernon a 2-0 lead at 19:34 Zandee & Riley Brandt collected the assists. Tempers heated up with just nine seconds to go, as some pushing and shoving occurred at centre, both teams playing with an edge. Alberni Valley would lose Scott Clark for ten minutes, while the Vipers would lose Riley Brandt for ten minutes after the two were given ten minute misconducts. Vernon was up 2-0 after 40 minutes of play. The Vipers got off to a bit of a slow start, looked very scrambled/disorganized couldnt get much of anything going early before slowly getting their game going would pick up the pace and carry the better of the play for most of the period. Vernon with not alot of Grade A chances, were getting pucks to the net, looking for opportunities. Alberni Valley didnt have much offensive threat, couldnt seem to get anything going. The Dogs didnt generate much most of the night only had seven shots on net. Another chippy-physical period with both teams not liking one another. Vernon outshot Alberni Valley 16-7.

3rd Period: More rough stuff continued into the final frame after more pushing and shoving/altercations after the whistle. For a second straight period AV looked to be going after Latrell Charleson who had three Bulldogs in his face, trying to mix things up with the Vipers defenceman. Vernon would lose Colton McCarthy and Latrell Charleson early while the Dogs would lose Liam Conrad all picking up ten minute misconducts. Conrad wouldnt serve his penalty and for some reason not return to the game. Just minutes later the rough stuff/altercations continued after Brett Stapley & Cayden Kraus would drop the mits, both players would get tossed from the game for fighting in a very spirited scrap. Just minutes later the Vipers would grab a three goal lead after some hard work by Hunter Zandee. Zandee with a great individual effort would give Vernon a 3-0 lead at 9:12 Zandee's goal was unassisted. The Vipers would come back with a few nice passing plays created a few good opportunities couldnt find the back of the net. The Bulldogs who basically were unnoticed had just one shot in the first eleven minutes. Vernon would put the game away on the man advantage after Odeen Tufto was stopped in close before Christian Cakebread burried the rebound at 13:27 giving Vernon a 4-0 lead. Tufto and Darren Rizzolo picked up the assists. A few minutes later more pushing and shoving after Tristan Bukovec and Christian Cakebread got tangled up between the two benches, both players started pushing and shoving as more rough stuff continued in the 3rd. AV who didnt look very good in the 2nd and now 3rd period would get a few decent shifts late in the second half, forced Andrew Shortridge into making a few saves didnt have much gas left in the tank. With the game basically over Alberni picked up the physical play, laying out several big hits going after almost any player wearing a white-Viper jersey. Down 4-0 on a strange play the Bulldogs would get Brody Claeys to the bench for the extra attacker with just over two minutes remaining. Alberni Valley with the extra man pushed late to try and solve Andrew Shortridge. Shortridge was forced into making two or three tough saves late in the game, made a quick glove save off Jordan Sandhu's shot from the blueline. Colton McCarthy and Jagger Williamson on a two on one passed the puck back and fourth before McCarthy hit the open cage giving Vernon a 5-0 lead at 19:21 Williamson and Hunter Zandee picked up the assists. On the play Adam Donnelly would hit-crosscheck McCarthy from behind into the boards. Donnelly would get tossed from the game. The Vipers would come away with the 5-0 victory evening the season series 1-1 in the final meeting of the season between these two teams. A very chippy-physical period with lots of rough stuff/scrums in the opening few minutes of this period. Both teams going after one another, stirring-mixing things up during the game and even after the whistle. Lots of altercations going on through out the period. Not alot of game action in the first half before the Vipers would put the game away with three goals. Alberni Valley didnt have much gas left in the tank, didnt have much push in the 3rd was more involved in starting scrums-getting under the skin of several Vipers. The Dogs with just one shot in the first half. Alberni Valley outshot Vernon 11-10.

Top Player's: (Vernon)

Charlie Michalowski made his Vipers debut today made some real nice plays-moves during the 2nd period, showing signs of skill & talent. A smooth skater can move-handle the puck, looks promising.

The line of Liam Finlay (1 goal), Jagger Williamson (2 assists) & Christian Cakebread (1 goal & 1 assist) Played well through out the game. This line has been one of Vernon's better units since being put together. Created and generated some opportunities, plays with lots of speed and skill.

Riley Brandt (1 assist) Played with alot of intensity, played hard, was getting under the skin of several different Bulldogs. Laid out a few big hits, played with lots of energy, wasnt afraid to get involved in the altercations through out the game. 

Odeen Tufto (1 assist) I thought played very well through out the game. Was really skating-working hard, generated some offensive chances had a strong game this afternoon.

Griffin James had a strong game on the Vernon backend, has improved from the start of the season, has really come on and playing his best hockey as of late.

Hunter Zandee (1 goal & 2 assists) Hasnt done much this season, played one of his better games in a long time today. Was really skating, carrying the puck, was going to the net, played big, made some smart plays today. If only Zandee could play like this on a more consistant basis.

Mac Ferner I thought played very well defensively. Was very good one on one, played his position well. 

Andrew Shortridge (26 saves-Shutout) Didnt see a ton of rubber today, made two or three real good saves picked up his second shutout of the season. Third if you count one in the pre-season. Shortridge who has been the Vipers MVP this season played well, didnt have to stand on his head, made the saves when called apon.

Game Thought's: (Vernon)

After a very disapointing game-loss in West Kelowna Friday the Vipers played/looked much better this afternoon. Alberni Valley is last in the Island Division but the Bulldogs defeated Vernon 6-3 in Alberni Valley in early November as well as blowing out the Warriors in West Kelowna last night. I thought the Vipers got better as the game went on, matched the Bulldogs physical-chippy play, really used their team speed today, didnt generate alot of chances but capitalized on their opportunities. I thought the Vipers did a good job at shutting down the Dogs offence. Vernon didnt give up alot of chances, only gave up twenty six shots. The Vipers really limited the Bulldogs chances, allowed Andrew Shortridge to see most of the shots, didnt have a heavy work load unlike some previous games. I thought the Vipers stood up for one another today, playing for their team mates didnt back down from the rough stuff-chippy play. For two teams that only play each other twice this season, there sure was alot of bad blood in todays game. Lots of scrums/altercations through out the game. This game could have easily got out of hand in the 3rd.

Top Player's: (Alberni Valley)

Garrett Halls one of the Dogs bigger d-men played well on the AV blueline. 

Scott Clark and Quinn Syrydiuk both played with an edge, both players got under the skin of several Vipers through out the game. 

Cayden Kraus played well up front for Alberni, has some speed had a great opportunity in the 2nd period after redirecting a shot in front couldnt beat Andrew Shortridge.

Eric Margo Played-competed hard.

Brody Claeys (29 saves) Kept his team in the game early and often making some big saves, made two or three big saves in the first half of the opening frame to give his team a chance to win. Had some troubles kicking out several rebounds in the 2nd period, seemed to control his rebound control as the game went on.

Game Thought's; (Alberni Valley)

The Dogs gave up three or four good chances in the first half of the 1st period, seemed to settle down and get their game going in the second half of the opening frame. AV had some good pressure, didnt generate alot of great chances in the 1st period were only down a goal. In the second period the Bulldogs couldnt get much of anything going, allowed Vernon to control and carry the play for most of the period. Giving up a late goal inside the final minute of play, really hurt and cost the Dogs the game. Now down 2-0 heading into the 3rd playing their third game in three days was a tough task. For a second straight period Alberni couldnt get the offence going, getting just a single shot in the first eleven minutes of the 3rd looked to run out of gas on this nine game road trip. A very fiesty, physical-chippy game as both teams look to not like one another. The Bulldogs play with an edge, had some questionable hits in the 1st play a very chippy game, always mixing things up after a stopage in play, getting under the skin of several Vipers the Dogs took some undisaplined penalties this afternoon. Even though AV was outplayed at times and didnt carry alot of the play, the Bulldogs were only down a goal until the final minute of play in the 2nd period. Even going into the 3rd were only down 2-0 and still in the game. A quick-early goal to start the third and the Dogs are right back in it, but playing shorthanded or getting involved in altercations through out the game, wont win you many games. Alberni Valley struggled offensively today, didnt generate much for offence, was limited on their chances and shots, had troubles getting opportunities through out the game. The Bulldogs last win in Vernon was a 4-3 victory on December 8th 2012. Ex Vipers goaltender Jarrod Schamerhorn's younger brother Carson Schamerhorn was the Bulldogs backup goaltender today.



Jimmy Lambert
Callum Volpe

Alberni Valley:

Tyler Cooper
Logan Savard
Brodie Smith

Energy Player of the Game:

Jagger Williamson (2 assists)

Three Stars:

1st Star: Andrew Shortridge (26 saves-Shutout)
2nd Star: Hunter Zandee (1 goal & 2 assists)
3rd Star: Christian Cakebread (1 goal & 1 assist)

BCHL Boxscore,

Evan Hammond's Alberni Valley Bulldogs Blog,

Graham Turnbull's Vernon Vipers Blog,