Saturday, June 25, 2016

Mavericks Trade Former Vernon Viper Jones To Norfolk:

The East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Missouri Mavericks have traded the rights to former Vernon Vipers forward Connor Jones to the Norfolk Admirals.

The Mavericks signed Jones to a contract September 24 2015. Jones never played a game with Missouri, landed a try out just days later with the American Hockey League (AHL) Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Jones attend the Sound Tigers training camp, made the Sound Tigers roster, signed a contract with
Bridgeport December 6th 2016. Jones spent the entire 2015-16 season with the Sound Tigers. In 51 games last year Jones collected (6-goals-7-assists-13-points).

After four years at Quinnipiac University Jones signed his first pro contract with the American Hockey League (AHL) Oklahoma City Barons April 3rd 2014 before splitting the 2014-15 season between the ECHL & AHL.

Jones played four years in Vernon (2006-2010). In 163 regular season games with the Vipers collected (80-goals-118-assists-198-points) Jones is the Vipers all-time franchise points leader (regular season & playoffs) with 228 & all-time franchise goals leader (regular season & playoffs) with 95.

Connor Jones Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=38011


This was posted on the Admirals website:

Admirals announce roster moves ahead of homestand

November 23, 2015

NORFOLK, Va. - The Norfolk Admirals announce several roster moves today, including the release of three players signed in the last week as well as two players from the Missouri Mavericks.

The Admirals received forward Scott Allen and the rights to forward Connor Jones as a part of the deal over the summer that sent Sebastien Sylvestre to the Mavericks. Allen, 25, finished a four-year career at the University of Alaska-Anchorage last season, and subsequently played his first nine games as a pro with the Colorado Eagles. The 6-foot-3, 198-pounder out of Edmonton recorded his first professional assist and point with Colorado, and has two goals and two helpers through five games this season with Missouri.

Jones, 25, is a 5-foot-9 and 176-pound attacker from Montrose, B.C. who is currently on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers' roster in the American Hockey League (AHL). Jones has not scored in seven games for Bridgeport, but logged four goals and 10 points in 46 career previous AHL games with Oklahoma City. He has yet to suit up in an ECHL contest in 2015-16, but put up 10-16=26 points with Bakersfield last season over 27 games.

As for the past week, Norfolk added several players, including goaltender Tyler Beskorowany and forwards Thomas Gobeil, Christophe Lalonde, Peter MacIntyre, Steve Mele and Quinn Smith. While MacIntyre and Smith remain with the Admirals, Gobeil, Lalonde and Mele have been released. Beskorowany was recalled by Springfield (AHL).

Gobeil, 21, appeared in four games with the Admirals, including his professional debut, but did not register a point. Lalonde, 21, participated in three games without a point. Mele, 26, skated in four contests and did not enter the scoresheet.

Beskorowany, 25, went 0-2-0 in three games for Norfolk and accumulated a 2.78 goals-against average and .927 save percentage.

The Admirals return home on Wednesday, November 25, for a four-game homestand. Family Fun Packs and $10 Student Rush tickets are available at the Scope Box Office on game day. Those interested in purchasing Student Rush admission should bring a valid college or high school ID to the box office after 2 p.m. on game day. Individual tickets are also available for purchase at the Scope Box Office, ticketmaster.com, and charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Cyclones Add Former Vipers Defenceman Weinstein To Teams Protected List:

The East Coast Hockey League announced their Protected Lists as submitted by each of its member teams.  The Cincinnati Cyclones have twenty three players listed on their protected list one is former Vernon Vipers defenceman Steve Weinstein.

Weinstein finished his first full professional season this past year, started the season in Cincinnati after signing with the Cyclones July 15, 2015 before signing with the American Hockey League (AHL) Lake Erie Monsters December 27th 2015. After playing in four games with the Monsters Weinstein picked up one assist before returning to the East Coast Hockey League. In 52 games last season with Cincinnati Weinstein collected (3-goals-19-assists-22-points).

Weinstein finished his fourth and final year with Bentley University in 2014-15 before signing an amateur try-out contract with the American Hockey League (AHL) Springfield Falcons on March 23rd 2015. Weinstein had just one assist in three games with the Falcons.

Weinstein played three seasons in Vernon (2008-2011) in 153 regular season games with the Vipers collected (10-goals-49-assists-59-points).

Steve Weinstein's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=38003

This is posted on the Cyclones website:

CYCLONES ANNOUNCE PROTECTED LIST

For Immediate Release: June 2, 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
23-Man List Includes 19 Who Suited Up for Cincinnati in 2015-16

Cincinnati, OH- The Cincinnati Cyclones, in conjunction with the ECHL, have released this offseason’s Protected List.

The Cyclones’ Protected List is as follows:

Goaltenders (2): Neil Conway, Andy Iles

Defensemen (7): Andrew Blazek, Cody Carlson, Kevin Lind, Michael Quinn, Steve Weinstein, Riley Weselowski, Brett Wysopal

Forwards (14): Zach Budish, Jack Downing, Brett Ferguson, Branden Gracel, Nick Huard, Geoff Irwin, Levko Koper, Tommy Mele, Christiaan Minella, Colin Mulvey, Adam Payerl, Garrick Perry, Joe Wilson, Andrew Yogan

*Italics indicate player did not appear in 2015-16 regular season games for Cyclones

Teams are allowed to protect as many players as they wish, provided the players protected meet the guidelines as defined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the ECHL and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association, which state that teams shall retain the rights to each player that: 


1. Signed an SPC in 2015-16 with the Member, and has not been traded or released

.

2. Signed an SPC in 2015-16, and was recalled to the NHL/AHL or IIHF team, and has not been traded or released

.

3. Had received a Qualifying Offer last summer for the current Season, DID NOT sign an SPC, and has not been traded or released.

4. Has been suspended by the Member or League, and has not been traded or released

.

5. Signed an SPC on or after the first day of the 2015-16 Regular Season, then subsequently signed an NHL/AHL contract, and has not been traded or released
.

6. Has executed the ECHL Retirement Form, and has not been traded or released.

The ECHL also announced that teams must complete all Future Consideration trades by 3 p.m. ET on June 13 and that teams must submit their Season-Ending Roster by 3 p.m. ET on June 15. Season-ending rosters may include up to 20 players and cannot include any players who did not sign an ECHL contract in 2015-16.

The countdown to the 2016-17 First Face-Off is underway! The Cyclones will return to U.S. Bank Arena on Saturday, October 15 when they host the Indy Fuel at 7:35pm. Between now and then, be on the lookout for several offseason events like Meijer Concrete Clones! Additionally, 2016-17 Season Ticket Packages are available NOW! Call 513.421.PUCK to reserve your seats. Fans can also get the latest team updates throughout the offseason on Facebook, Twitter (@CincyCyclones), and Instagram, along with our website, www.cycloneshockey.com!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

HC Mikron Nové Zámky Sign Ex Vernon Viper Marino:

HC Mikron Nové Zámky or known as in English (HC New Locks) have signed former Vernon Vipers forward Brandon Marino.  HC New Locks is a Slovak ice hockey club in New Zámky , that plays in the Tipsport League. 

Marino started last season with the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Brampton 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).

After four years with Bemidji State University Marino spent the next five seasons playing in four different leagues (IHL, CHL, ECHL & AHL) with three different teams (Quad City, Fort Wayne & Norfolk) before playing in Hungary during the 2014-15 season.

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

Brandon Marino's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=39227

This is posted on the HC New Locks website:

to attack the Carriage comes American Brandon Marino

22.5.2016

NEW LOCKS — the highest hockey competition Newcomer HC New Locks has agreed to cooperate with American invaders Brandonom Marino. Dvadsaťdeväťročný a native of Riverside, who comes from the Utica Comets, AHL, the band signed a contract for one year.

'Brandon is a further 20,000 reinforcements from beyond the sea, that the hockey side puts on our Jersey. We expect him to improve offensive series and we believe that their goals will delight more memorable fan, 'said marketing and Media Manager HC Nové Zámky Jacob Takáč.

Brandon Marino sa v juniorskom veku vybral cestou univerzitného hokeja a štyri sezóny obliekal dres Bemidji State University v NCAA. Ďalšie tri súťažné ročníky pôsobil v Central Hockey League, kde hájil farby Quad City Mallards. Za "Divé kačky" nastúpil dovedna na 200 zápasov, v ktorých si na svoje konto pripísal 175 bodov. V sezóne 2011-12 získal v CHL ocenenie MVP pre najužitočnejšieho hráča základnej časti. Výborné výkony mu priniesli kontrakt s Fort Wayne Komets, hrajúcej East Coast Hockey League. V americkom štáte Indiana pôsobil dve sezóne, počas ktorých nastúpil na 154 zápasov, strelil 51 gólov a nazbieral 167 bodov. V sezóne 2013-14 sa stal najužitočnejším hráčom základnej časti ECHL.

Next season will be presented in a multinational EBEL League, where dressing up Jersey Hungarian Székesfehérváru. Including playoff games, during which 56 joined on to your account, scored 40 points (12 goals and 28 assists). After a season in Europe to the United States, where he returned on a contract deal with the Brampton Beast playing ECHL. As the captain of the ' Beasts ' he played 40 matches and scored thirteen goals and racked up a total of 41 points. At the end of February, has signed a contract with the AHL Club in the prestigious trial Utica, where 34 matches and scored four goals in Comets. From the new season oblieče Brandon Marino Jersey HC New Locks.

Brandon Marino Highlight Video,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdN3D8MYoSE

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Penguins Re-Sign Former Viper Forward Collins:

The Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) Krefeld Pinguine (Krefeld Penguins) have re-signed former Vernon Vipers forward Mike Collins.  The Pinguine is an ice hockey team in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga hockey league. Their home is in Krefeld, North-Rhine-Westphalia, Germany at the König Palast.

Collins will be entering his second season with the Pinguine this coming season after signing June 1 2015.  In 52 games last year Collins collected (10-goals-15-assists-25-points).

After four years at Merrimack College Collins turned pro in early March 2014.  Collins signed a Professional Try Out (PTO) contract with the American Hockey League (AHL) Providence Bruins on March 11th 2014. Collins went pointless in four games with the Bruins was released on March 27th 2014.  On the same day Collins signed his second pro contract with the AHL Iowa Wild before being released after going pointless in six games. Collins headed to Germany where he played the 2014-15 season with the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) Kassel Huskies. The Huskies are a professional ice hockey team based in Kassel, Hesse, Germany that play in the Deutsche Eishockey
Liga Hockey League.

Collins played two season's in Vernon (2008-2010) In 119 regular season games with the Vipers Collins recorded (55-goals-71-assists-126-points).

Mike Collins Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=38014

This is posted on the Pinguine facebook page:

March 9 2016

After the season is in front of the season! The krefeld pinguine are working flat out on the upcoming 2016/17 Season and could be right with three players of the current cadre, extend it. Steve Hanusch, Norman Hauner and Mike Collins will also be available in the next season the black-and-Yellow Jersey. Hanusch is since 2012, hauner since 2014 and Mike Collins since last season a penguin.

Franz Fritz Meier, head coach krefeld pinguine: " we're in the middle of the planning for the upcoming season. Steve and Norman have their potential not yet quite exhausted and should strengthen our German base, Mike Collins, we have an option."

Rüdiger Noack, sporty consultant krefeld pinguine: " we are now gradually speak with all candidates and the team of the 2016/17 Season, put together with care. In doing so, we want a good mix of young and learn bring on the ice."

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Mavericks Add Former Vipers Nowick & Jones To Teams Protected List:

On June 2nd 2016 the East Coast Hockey League announced their Protected Lists as submitted by each of its member teams.  The Missouri Mavericks have nineteen players listed on their protected list two of are former Vernon Vipers forwards Darren Nowick & Kellen Jones.

Missouri Mavericks Protected List:

Josh Robinson, Chris Owens, Trevor Ludwig, Zach Tolkinen, Travis Walsh, Patrick Cullity, Alex Lepkowski, Tyson Gimblett, Lee Moffie, Rocco Carzo, David de Kastrozza, Andrew Courtney, Darian Dziurzynski, Darren Nowick, Reed Seckel, Scott Howes, Tanner Fritz, Kellen Jones, Eric Neilson

Nowick finished his fourth and final year at Northern Michigan University signed his first professional contract with the Mavericks March 16 2016. In 13 games with the Mavericks Nowick collected (2-goals-5-assists-7-points). Nowick played two years in Vernon (2010-2012) playing in 109 games with the Vipers collecting (36-goals-50-assists-86-points).

Darren Nowick's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=93823

Jones started the season with the Mavericks after signing on September 24th 2015. Jones landed a try out with the American Hockey League (AHL) Bridgeport Sound Tigers (September 30th 2015) was released before being sent back to Missouri. Jones was loaned to the American Hockey League Bakersfield Condors before returning to the Mavericks February 17th 2016. Jones would finish the remainder of the season in the American Hockey League after signing with the Uitca Comets March 3 2016. In 21 games with the Comets Jones picked up (3-goals-2-assists-5-points).

After four years at Quinnipiac University, Jones signed his first pro contract with the American Hockey League (AHL) Oklahoma City Barons on April 3rd 2014. Jones spent the 2014-15 season playing in both the AHL & ECHL with Oklahoma City & Bakersfield. 

Jones played four years in Vernon (2006-2010) playing in 154 regular season games with the Vipers collecting (39-goals-134-assists-173-points). Jones is also the all-time franchise assists leader (regular season & playoffs) with 150. Jones was drafted in Round 7 of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft #202 overall by the Edmonton Oilers.

This is posted on the ECHL website:

ECHL announces Protected List

June 2, 2016

The ECHL on Thursday announced the Protected Lists as submitted by each of its Member teams.

Teams are allowed to protect as many players as they wish provided the players protected meet the guidelines as defined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the ECHL and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association which state that teams shall retain the rights to each player that:

1. Signed an SPC in 2015-16 with the Member, and has not been traded or released, OR

2. Signed an SPC in 2015-16, and was recalled to the NHL/AHL or IIHF team, and has not been traded or released, OR

3. Had received a Qualifying Offer last summer for the current Season, DID NOT sign an SPC, and has not been traded or released, OR

4. Has been suspended by the Member or League, and has not been traded or released, OR

5. Signed an SPC on or after the first day of the 2015-16 Regular Season, then subsequently signed an NHL/AHL contract, and has not been traded or released, OR

6. Has executed the ECHL Retirement Form, and has not been traded or released.

Protected lists may exceed 20 players.

The ECHL also announced that teams must complete all Future Consideration trades by 3 p.m. ET on June 13 and that teams must submit their Season-Ending Roster by 3 p.m. ET on June 15.

Season-ending rosters may include up to 20 players and cannot include any players who did not sign an ECHL contract in 2015-16.

Monday, June 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:

Eagles Name Hemingway New Assistant Coach:


The Surrey Eagles have made a key addition to their coaching staff for the upcoming season. Colin Hemingway, a forward for the team in the late 90s, has returned to the organization. He will join Blaine Neufeld and Brad Tobin behind the bench as an assistant coach. Hemingway played 117 games for the then-named South Surrey Eagles from 1997 to 1999, recording 132 points. He scored 40 goals in his final season with the team, before accepting an NCAA division I scholarship to attend the University of New Hampshire. That same year, he was selected in the 8th round, 221st overall by the St. Louis Blues in the NHL draft. After four successful years of NCAA hockey with the UNH Wildcats, Hemingway would embark on a nine-year professional career. He spent two years in the minor leagues before playing three games for the St. Louis Blues during the 2005-2006 NHL season. His career would then take him through Germany, Scotland, and Ireland, before finishing with the Wichita Thunder of the Central Hockey League in 2012. In total, Hemingway boasts the experience of 412 professional games played. “I’m really excited,” Hemingway said in an interview with SurreyEagles.ca. “I’ve always wanted to give back to hockey. I think my resume in pro hockey – 9 years, being drafted, going to university – shows that I have a lot to give to the players, this team, and this community. I know what it takes to get to the next level, both on the ice and off the ice. Hopefully I can relay some of my experiences to the players, and help them any way I can.” Hemingway, now 35 years old, has resided in White Rock since his playing career ended four years ago. As a proud member of the community, the urge to get back into the game and return to his former junior team was too hard to resist. “I want to get this program back to where it needs to be, where it should be. We need to get into a position where we’re winning hockey games, and are competitive on the ice every night. We have a great head coach in Blaine [Neufeld], it’s a great community, and it’s an unbelievable rink. It’s a good fit for me.” For Neufeld, who also acts as the team’s general manager, he sees it as a unique opportunity to bring a former member of the team back into the fold. “It’s a unique situation. Colin still lives in the community where he played junior hockey, and he has the desire to give back. He has so much to offer the kids in our program with his experience.” “We’ve been working hard all summer to recruit high-end players, and now to be able to add somebody like Colin to our staff, it shows the positive progression that we’re making.” As Neufeld noted, Hemingway’s experience makes him a valuable resource for the Eagles’ players. His knowledge of the NCAA route, and path to the NHL with the Blues should be an immense help for players that are looking to follow in his footsteps. “When you play all over the world like I did, you definitely pick up a few things,” Hemingway recalled. “I had several different coaches, and many of them left lasting impressions. I want to be a coach that leaves a lasting impression.”

Penticton Vees Run For Title Starts Now:

The RBC Cup championship that saw division rival West Kelowna Warriors claim the national title only ended on Sunday, but the Penticton Vees have already begun the process of next season’s run for the title. From May 26 to 29, the Vees will be holding their annual spring camp. Consisting mostly of scrimmages, the camp will have six full teams alternating on the ice all day from about 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m..  Vees coach and general manager Fred Harbinson said this is a very important part of the process of building the team, and he explained what he’s looking for from players. “Whenever we build our teams, you’re looking for all kinds of different players,” Harbinson said. “You don’t want all the same type of player. We always tell the kids there’s a reason they’ve been invited, so we ask them just to play their game.” Harbinson is expecting to have six to nine returning players on the Vees this coming season. Although those players haven’t definitively committed yet, that would be an increase over the four players that returned last year. Spring camp is an opportunity for players to make an impression. “There are opportunities to get an invite to our main camp in August,” Harbinson said. “But we’re really looking to build our affiliate list for next year. Over the past few years, probably 85 per cent of the players who have played for the Vees attended our spring camp. “This is all part of the process, the end game is to find 22 players that are on the roster, and 19 players on the affiliate list. We’ll get there with some combination of ‘x’ players from spring camp, free agency and main camp. There’s no set goal.” Having all of the players together for spring camp is not only critical for the players chances to make the team this year or in the future, but also for the coaches evaluation process. “You watch players spread out from different leagues and teams, now you get them under your roof and get to meet them and see them face to face,” Harbinson said. “It’s important to see how guys perform in that pressure situation. There are guys you’re excited about and then they get to camp and don’t do as much, and there are guys who are the opposite, they come out of nowhere.” The spring camp will begin on Thursday with fitness testing, before wrapping up the scrimmages Sunday around 1 p.m.

Trail-Langley Trade:

The Trail Smoke Eaters have announced a trade with the Langley Rivermen.  Cooper Leitch of the Smokies has been dealt to Langley for defenceman Troy Ring.  Troy heralds from North Vancouver and is 19 years old.  He is 6′ 1″ and weighs 188 pounds.  Troy played in the Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL) for the North Van Wolf Pack.  In two and a half seasons with the Wolf Pack he played in 94 games and had 14 goals and 27 assists for 41 points.  Half way through the 2015/16 season he was signed by the Rivermen and in 23 games had 4 goals and 4 assists for 8 points. Assistant Coach, of the Smokies, Curtis Toneff, stated, “Troy will be relied upon to play in all situations and will be an asset to our Power Play.  We have heard nothing but good things about Troy as a player and person.  We’d like to welcome Troy to the Smoke Eater Family.” “We would like to thank Cooper for his tireless effort on and off the ice and wish him the best in Langley.”

Anderson Leaves Warriors:

Vernon’s Kyle Anderson has left the West Kelowna Warriors during their RBC Cup run. The Warriors play by play guy is now in the process of moving to Chilliwack for a new job. Word was let loose on twitter after the Warriors clinched the Western Canada Cup. No official word on what job Anderson will be taking, but the Warriors will be looking for a new broadcaster for next season.

Hill Joins Wild Front Office:

The Wenatchee Wild, proud member of the BCHL, are pleased to announce the latest addition to the front office, Tim Hill. He joins the Wild family to run day to day business operations. Hill’s playing days included a year of major junior hockey with the Peterborough Petes (OHL), followed by four years at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree. He followed up his collegiate career by playing minor pro hockey for four years. Off the ice, he gravitated to the front office, serving as Director of Sales & Marketing for the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs for 5 seasons in the WPHL & CHL. He also spent five seasons as the GM of the Rapid City Rush (CHL). Wild Head Coach / GM Bliss Littler is confident Hill is the right man for the job. “I look forward to working with Tim”, Littler remarked. “He has had tremendous success at the minor pro level, and I’m excited to see how he puts his mark on the Wild.” He notes, “This is an exciting time for the Wenatchee Wild.” Wild owner David White echoes the sentiment. “I am very excited to have Tim joining our team”, White stated. “As our organization continues to grow and develop elite players, his addition was a natural evolution for us. His leadership capabilities and extensive experience will certainly help take us to the next level.” Hill has seen what the Wenatchee Wild have accomplished from afar, and is more than ready to bring his experience to help the franchise continue to strengthen and grow. “I am very excited to join the Wild family, and appreciate the opportunity that the White family has given me”, he said, adding, “I’m looking forward to working with Coach Littler, and the rest of the Wild staff. I have heard nothing but great things about the city, the Town Toyota Center, and the incredible Wild fans. I can’t wait to get going!” Hill is expected to arrive in Wenatchee at the end of May.

Casey Commits To Nanaimo:


The Nanaimo Clippers are very pleased to announce that Aidan Casey has committed to play for the Team for the 2016-2017 season.  The 1998 born forward joins the Clippers after playing last season for the North York Rangers Midget AAA in the Greater Toronto Hockey League.  During the 2015-2016 season the 5’9” 165lb Toronto Ontario native tallied 17 goals and 21 assists for 38 points in 30 games played.  Aidan also added 12 goals and 10 assists in 13 playoff games helping the Rangers win the Telus Cup Midget AAA Canadian Championships.

Silverbacks Name Skapski Captain For Next Season:

Salmon Arm Silverbacks today announced the team has appointed 20 year old Abbotsford, BC native Mitch Skapski as the team captain for the 2016-2017 season. “Mitch made an immediate impact on our group last season after he was acquired from the Chilliwack Chiefs at the trade deadline”, Stated Head Coach Brandon West. He is a leader on and off the ice and there is no doubt he will lead by example. Mitch is a mature young man and comes from a great family, we know he is as excited as we are about him leading our team this season. The Silverbacks are currently conducting there USA Spring Camps in Denver, CO & Simi Valley, CA and will be attending the BCHL AGM June 2nd thru the 4th in Richmond, BC.

West Kelowna-Prince George Trade:

The West Kelowna Warriors and Prince George Spruce Kings have finalized their January 7th trade, as forward Brett Mennear (96) will head north to join the Spruce Kings for the 2016/2017 season. The 5’9” 185 pound Mennear is from West Kelowna, B.C. and will join former Warrior Tanner Campbell with Prince George. West Kelowna acquired Bryan Basilico and Jake LeBrun in the deal. Brett Mennear was a big part of the West Kelowna Warriors team that just finished their run as the Fred Page Cup, Western Canada Cup, and Royal Bank Cup NATIONAL Champions. In 2015/2016, Mennear was an assistant captain and had 18 goals and 24 assists for 42 points in 52 regular season games. He added 7 goals and 14 assists for 21 points in 35 playoff games. “Brett was a vital part of our program the last three years and a big part of our RBC team,” Head Coach and General Manager Rylan Ferster said Friday, “to get something you have to give up something and that’s the reality of our business. We would like to thank Brett for his contributions to the program and wish him continued success with the Spruce Kings.” Mennear is committed to play NCAA Division 1 hockey at Bentley University starting in the 2017-2018 season.

Hildebrand, Leahy & Nash Commit To Penticton Vees:


The Penticton Vees Jr. ‘A’ Hockey Club is pleased to announce a trio of recruits for the upcoming 2016-17 season. Goaltender Nolan Hildebrand (98), defenceman Joe Leahy (97) and forward Jared Nash (98) will suit up for the Vees in the fall. “We look to recruit not only great players but great people and all three are very well-rounded young men, who not only excel on the ice but away from the rink as well. These three fit the Penticton Vees mould and we’re excited to add them to our program,” stated President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson. Hildebrand, 18, spent the past two seasons next door at the Okanagan Hockey Academy (OHA). This past year 6’2 goaltender fashioned together a 16-6-1 record in 24 games with OHA Prep White in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL). Hildebrand was second in the CSSHL Prep Division in wins (16) and save percentage (.939) and fourth in goals-against average (2.04); he also had three shutouts. In all competitions last year, the Summerland, BC, product sported a 22-9-4 record in 37 games and owned a .940 save percentage. Fans may be familiar with the athletic goaltender, as he was an Affiliate Player this past season with the Vees. Joe Leahy and Jared Nash both played for the Stratford Cullitons in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL) last season. The Vees have strong ties to the program, as Mitch Brooks and former Captain Brad McClure both came to Penticton from Stratford. Leahy, 19, had an excellent season on the blue-line for the Cullitons, as he was named the Midwest Conference Defenceman of the Year and First Team All-Star, after racking up 19 goals and 48 points in 44 regular season games. The Waterloo, Ontario, native was fifth in team scoring and fourth among defencemen in the GOJHL. The 6’4, 204 pound rear-guard averaged a point per-game in the playoffs, scoring six goals and 21 points, helping lead the Cullitons to a Cherry Cup title as Midwest Conference champions. In 82 career regular season games in the GOJHL, Leahy amassed 28 goals and 70 points and another 25 points in 36 career playoff games. Nash, 18, finished second in team scoring with 19 goals and 62 points in 45 regular season games, and played in the GOJHL Top Prospects Game and served as an Assistant Captain this past season.  His production didn’t fall off in the post-season, as the hometown kid put up six goals and 26 points in 21 playoff games; he had 10 points in five games during the Cherry Cup Final. Nash won a trio of team awards this past season, including the best plus/minus award, the top Stratford Minor Hockey graduate award and the fan’s choice as player of the Year. In 90 career regular season games, the Stratford, Ontario, product amassed 28 goals and 58 assists for 86 points. In 38 career playoff games, Nash had another 10 goals and 35 points. The Vees organization is excited to welcome Nolan, Joe and Jared into the fold and the three will arrive in the South Okanagan in August, for the team’s Main Camp.

Solin Commits To Nanaimo:


The Nanaimo Clippers are very pleased to announce that Ben Solin has committed to play for the Team for the 2016-2017 season.  The 1997 born forward joins the Clippers after playing the past two seasons at the Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire.  During the 2015-2016 season the 5’10”, 175 lb Madison Connecticut native tallied 21 goals and 28 assists for 49 points in 29 games played.  Ben is also committed to the NCAA Division 1 Harvard Crimson in the ECAC league.

Lennon Commits To Spruce Kings:

The Prince George Spruce Kings are excited to announce the commitment of 18 year old defenseman Drew Lennon. The 6’2” 180 pound Lennon from Bloomington, Illinois played last season for the Connecticut Oilers of the Eastern Hockey League. With the Oilers, Lennon scored three goals and had 14 assists for 17 points to go along with 31 penalty minutes in 39 games. In six playoff contests he had one assist. Prior to suiting up with the Oilers, Lennon was a member of the Rocky Mountain RoughRiders 16U AAA team where he picked up eight goals and 18 assists en route to making the East Coast Elite League (ECEL) 2014-15 U16 All-Star Team. While playing in Texas with the U14 Ice Jets Academy, Lennon won the national AA title. “Drew has good size, skates very well and has great vision on the ice.  He works hard on and off the ice towards improving his overall play.  He is the type of player that we are looking for to be a Spruce King. We are excited that he has chosen to join our organization and we look forward to working with him upon his arrival in August.” said Spruce Kings Head Coach Chad van Diemen. Lennon added, “I met coach Chad out in Boston and he explained what they were trying to do there [Prince George] with the culture change. That really caught my attention and is something I want to be a part of. I think I bring some strong defensive play, the ability to get the puck up to the forwards with a good first pass, and get into the rush with my skating. ” said newly acquired Spruce Kings defenseman Drew Lennon. Drew Lennon will join the rest of his Spruce Kings team mates just prior to the start of the team’s main training camp on August 25th.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Ex Viper Hora Named Fortis BC Energy Player Of The Year:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Linden Hora and West Kelowna Warriors forward Kylar Hope tied-claimed the Fortis BC Energy Player of the Year award.

Hora was recruited by the Vipers, played one season in Vernon (2014-15) attended the Vipers 2015 Training Camp, played in a few exhibition games before being traded before the start of the regular season. Linden Hora & Tak Anholt were traded to Chilliwack on September 9th 2015 for Darren Rizzolo. In 54 games with the Vipers Hora collected (1-goal-3-assists-4-points).

Linden Hora's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=180500

This was posted on the BCHL website:

Fortis BC Energy Players

May 26, 2016

The BCHL and FortisBC are proud to announce the Energy Players of the Year for the 2015-16 regular season and playoffs.

At the conclusion of each game, a player is recognized just after the 3 Stars are announced who demonstrated exceptional hustle and drive during that night’s contest. The results are tracked through the regular season and playoffs and the players with the most Energy Player nominations take the title for the year.

This season, there was a tie for the regular season with Kylar Hope of the West Kelowna Warriors and Linden Hora of the Chilliwack Chiefs each accumulating 12 FortisBC Energy Player of the Game nods. In the playoffs, it was West Kelowna captain Kyle Marino, with four nominations, that takes the crown.

Hope, a native of Lashburn, Sask. finished the season 10th in BCHL scoring with 28 goals and 46 assists for 74 points to go along with 62 penalty minutes. He played all 58 games for the Warriors this season. Hope is committed to NCAA Div. I University of Alaska-Fairbanks for next season.

Hora, from Kelowna, tallied eight goals and nine assists along with 82 penalty minutes this season, helping the Chiefs to the Mainland Division title. He missed just two games, suiting up in 56 contests for the Chiefs.

Marino, from Niagara Falls, Ont., posted seven goals and four assists with 46 penalty minutes while playing all 24 Warriors’ playoff games. The captain led the Warriors to the Fred Page Cup, Crescent Point Energy Western Canada Cup and the RBC Cup national title. He’ll remain teammates with Hope as he is also committed to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks for next season.

Past winners:

2015

Regular season – Joe Drapluk, Surrey Eagles
Playoffs – Spencer Hewson, Nanaimo Clippers

2014

Regular season – Andrew Silard, Chilliwack Chiefs
Playoffs – Colton Sparrow, Vernon Vipers

2013

Regular season – Trevor Esau, Prince George Spruce Kings
Playoffs – Max French, West Kelowna Warriors

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Vees Acquire Former Vipers Defenceman Meek In Three Way Trade:

The Cowichan Capitals traded former Vernon Vipers defenceman Mitch
Meek to the Penticton Vees in a three team trade.

Meek played parts of one season in Vernon (2014-15) playing in 50 games with the Vipers collecting (6-goals-10-assists-16-points) after coming over in a trade with the Victoria Grizzlies.  On October 8th 2014 the Grizzlies traded Brandon Egli, Mitch Meek & Future Considerations to the Vipers for Aydan Macdonald & Jake Emilio. Over the off season the Vipers traded Meek in a three way deal with West Kelowna & Prince George.  On July 9th 2015 the Vipers traded Meek to West Kelowna for Mac Ferner before the Warriors traded Meek to Prince George for Luke Harrison.  The Spruce Kings traded Meek to Cowichan on August 12th 2015. In 48 games with the Capitals last year, Meek Collected (5-goals-26-assists-31-points).

Mitch Meek's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=120807

This was posted on the Vees website:

Vees Acquire Veteran Defenceman from Capitals

June 6, 2016

by fraser

Recent News, Three V's Blog

The Penticton Vees Jr. ‘A’ Hockey Club acquired veteran defenceman Mitch Meek (96) from the Cowichan Valley Capitals in a three-team trade, the club announced Monday.

To facilitate the trade, the Vees sent forward Darius Davidson (96) to the Surrey Eagles for future considerations. The Vees then flipped those future considerations to Cowichan Valley for the playing rights to Meek.

“We were in need of an experienced, veteran defenceman and he being a right-handed shot was the perfect fit for us. We’re excited to have him on our blue-line next season,” said President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson.

Meek brings plenty of experience to the Vees blue-line, as the Victoria, BC, native has played four seasons in the BCHL with Cowichan Valley, Vernon and Victoria. This past season the blue-liner set career highs in assists (26) and points (31), helping the Capitals get back to the BCHL post-season for the first time in four years. In 193 career regular season games in the BCHL, the 20-year-old has accumulated 15 goals and 72 points. The 6’0, 200 pound right-shot defenceman has also played in 38 Fred Page Cup playoff games, including facing the Vees in the 2015 Interior Final, when he was with Vernon.

Meek says he looks forward to throwing on the Vees jersey, “I’m excited for the opportunity to come to an organization with such a great reputation like the Vees and competing for an RBC Cup. Can’t wait to get to Penticton and get things going.”

Davidson, 20, spent the 2015-16 season between Penticton and Surrey. In 51 games split between the two teams, Davidson collected 14 goals and 30 points. The Vees would like to thank Darius for his contributions to the organization and wish him well in Surrey.

The organization is excited to add Mitch to the fold and would like to welcome him and his family to the South Okanagan.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Ex Vernon Viper Cipollone Wins Clark Cup:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Joe Cipollone and the United States
Hockey League (USHL) Tri-City Storm captured their first Clark Cup Championship.

Cipollone was recruited by the Vipers, started his first season in Vernon last year (2015-16) played in 12 games (4-goals-3-assists-7-points) before leaving the team October 18th 2015 for the USHL. In 47 games this past season with the Storm Cipollone collected (7-goals-3-assists-10-points).  Cipollone was drafted 7th round, 107th overall by the Bloomington Thunder in Phase II of the 2015 USHL Draft.

Joe Cipollone Player Profiles:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=294411

http://www.stormhockey.com/Team/Roster/JosephCipollone.aspx

This is posted on the Storm website:

Storm captures first Clark Cup

Tri-City sweeps Dubuque with 4-1 win in Game 3

Kearney, Neb. – The Tri-City Storm won its first Clark Cup with a 4-1 win over the Dubuque Fighting Saints in Game 3 of the Clark Cup Final Friday at the Viaero Center. The sell-out crowd at the Viaero Center rumbled throughout the night and watched Dan Labosky net three assists and Alex Limoges score twice.

Wade Allison won the Clark Cup Playoffs Most Valuable Player Award, scoring five goals in the final and leading the league with nine goals. Allison finished the 2016 playoffs with nine goals and 16 points.

Jake Kielly stood out again, making 28 saves in Game 5 to finish the playoffs with a 9-2 record, a 1.64 goals against average and a .950 save percentage. Kielly's postseason save percentage is the best in the Tier-I history of the league.

The Storm was founded in the year 2000 and has reached the Final twice, in 2004 and 2016.

HIGHLIGHTS

BOX SCORE

The Storm killed off 1:57 of Dubuque 5-on-3 about halfway through the first. The Saints took two consecutive penalties in 1:10, allowing the Storm to go on a two-man edge. Alex Limoges shoveled a shot from a foot outside the crease and in with 3:31 left in the first, assisted by Dan Labosky and Wade Allison.

Limoges finished with five postseason goals and 14 points. Labosky had 19 postseason points, the most by a Tri-City player in one playoff. The 20-year-old Wisconsin commit passed Bill Thomas, who had 16 points in the 2004 Clark Cup Playoffs. Tri-City had a 22-15 shots edge in the first, the second-most shots Tri-City has attempted in a period this season.

The same trio combined in the second, with a Limoges wrist shot at 4:39 of the second from Labosky and Goransson. Limoges had the puck at the right slot and flung it far post and top shelf past Miska.

Dubuque struck next. Nathan Sucese answered at 12:15 of the second by backhanding a puck from the right post and by Kielly. Joey Keane and Petter Makitalo had the helpers.

The third period felt like a celebration at the Viaero Center. To reignite the fans, Wade Allison received a pass from Alex Limoges and deked to the right post, wristing it past Miska, who made 39 saves in the loss. The goal was at :57 of the third Labosky received the second assist

 Limoges, Allison and Labosky were on ice for 11 of the 13 goals in the playoffs.

After killing a Dubuque man up, time began to fiddle away, with tension growing to a fever pitch until Brandon Duhaime wristed the puck into the empty net to secure the win, 4-1.

Dubuque’s man up was 0-for-6 and the Storm finished 1-for-5.

Clark Cup Finals Schedule:

#1 Tri-City Storm vs. #3 Dubuque Fighting Saints

GAME 1: Friday, May 13, 7:35 p.m. (Mystique Ice Center) – Tri-City 5, Dubuque 1
GAME 2: Saturday, May 14, 7:05 p.m. (Mystique Ice Center) – Tri-City 4, Dubuque 2
GAME 3: Friday, May 20, 7:05 p.m. (Viaero Center) – Tri-City 4, Dubuque 1

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Rookie Kootenay Ice Coach-Former Vernon Viper Pierce Intent On Applying Lessons:

Here is an article on former Vernon Vipers forward Luke Pierce.

Pierce finished his first season with the Kootenay Ice, spent the previous six seasons as Head Coach-GM of the Merritt Centennials. Pierce was named BCHL Interior Conference Coach of the year in 2013 played his final year of Junior hockey in Vernon (2003-04) after being acquired from the Merritt Centennials for future considerations on June, 10th 2003. In 53 regular season games with the Vipers Pierce collected (7-goals-21-assists-28-points).

Luke Pierce's Player-Coaches Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=136883

This was in the Cranbrook Daily Townsman Newspaper:

Rookie Kootenay Ice coach intent on applying lessons
           
by Taylor Rocca - Cranbrook Daily Townsman

Apr 5, 2016

When Luke Pierce took on the task of guiding a rebuilding Kootenay Ice squad, he brought along a reputation that long preceded him from his days with the Merritt Centennials of the British Columbia Hockey League.

For six years in the B.C. Interior, the Merritt native found a way, season after season, to get every drop of talent and work ethic out of teams often labelled as short on skill and not expected to compete with the heavyweights of the Interior Division, like the Penticton Vees and Vernon Vipers.

Yet, for six straight seasons Pierce led his Centennials to the post-season.

With the Ice facing life without NHL-drafted junior stars Sam Reinhart, Tim Bozon, Rinat Valiev and a host of other well-established veterans, which eventually included the likes of the goal-scoring Jaedon Descheneau, heavy-hitting Tanner Faith, two-way beast Jon Martin and heart-and-soul Luke Philp, there’s absolutely no question the 2015-16 Kootenay Ice were going to be a bit shorter on elite ability than many had become accustomed to.

And so despite moving from a Junior A bench in the B.C. Interior to a Western Hockey League bench in the East Kootenay, the rookie shot-caller was faced with a very similar challenge — bring together a young, inexperienced group without a great deal of depth.

“What I want is to play a much better team game,” Pierce said from behind his desk, deep in the depths of Western Financial Place, days after having sent his charges home with marching orders for the off-season, leaving the usually echoing halls with nothing to hear but silence. “We all know there are going to be huge expectations on Matt [Alfaro] and Zak [Zborosky] to lead us offensively, especially, but we need more contributions in other areas of the game. We need more physicality, we need more sacrifice. We need better defensive hockey.

“You need guys to embrace different roles on your team and we need to emphasize those guys and cite their importance, night in and night out.”

At too many times over the course of the 2015-16 season, there weren’t enough contributions in other areas of the game. There wasn’t enough physicality, there wasn’t enough sacrifice and there were certainly serious lapses in the defensive zone.

So with a 12-53-6-1 campaign in the books and having seen a celebrated franchise miss the WHL playoff bracket for the first time since 1997-98, Pierce reflects on his rookie year as a WHL head coach.

“Unless you’ve been an assistant coach in this league for several years and experienced what it’s like, day in and day out, I don’t think you can ever be prepared for what it is,” Pierce said. “I took the job in June…and that doesn’t leave you a lot of time to prepare. Even if you take over in April, I don’t think you can fully prepare for what it is.”

And so with that in mind, Pierce took every opportunity he had to seek out advice from veteran Western League coaches over the course of the 2015-16 season.

The best — and perhaps simplest — slice of wisdom came from none other than the storied and established Kelly McCrimmon, head coach and general manager of the Brandon Wheat Kings.

“As far as dealing with players, the best piece of advice probably [came] from Kelly McCrimmon, who has been in it a long time, obviously,” Pierce said. “It was just how important the little things are with a team like ours, which he had. He went through nine-win type seasons and he talked about the little things — shift length, face-offs, shot blocks. There’s nothing new-age about it, but it’s just reminding yourself how important the basics are.”

From there, Pierce realized there was a significant disconnect between his coaching staff and their group of inexperienced soldiers.

When a sports team undergoes a change in coaching, it’s easy to focus in on how systems and game play might be impacted. Fans and pundits are quick to watch how player roles might shift or alter.

But what can so easily be forgotten is the weight of mass culture shock when a new coach brings a completely new approach to every aspect of the game. Whether on the ice in practice and games or off-ice in the dressing room and video sessions, a change in coaching staff calls for much greater adjustment than many realize.

Sometimes that’s a connection even a coach can’t dial in at first and there’s no question Pierce brought a drastically different approach from that of longtime taskmaster Ryan McGill, who mutually parted ways with the team at the expiration of his contract following the 2014-15 WHL season.

“I think early on in the year we didn’t do a good enough job of reinforcing just how we wanted to play,” Pierce said. “We gave guys, veteran guys, probably too much leeway playing in old habits. We have to all be on the same page on day one. They have to give themselves up to coaching.

“It’s hard to convey the message to the players, because they choose whether or not they want to believe in you. But it’s just them opening themselves up to being coached. Even if your plan is a bad plan, if they execute it properly, it will still have success. We tried to continue to always bring that message back to just follow the plan, follow the plan, follow the plan.”

As the season wore on the players became more open to coaching. Pierce will tell you that and every fan in every seat at Western Financial Place was witness to a group seemingly more dedicated to following the plan.

From a 2-0 full team-effort shutout of the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Feb. 6 to an electrifying 2-0 blanking of the Edmonton Oil Kings on March 15, there were visible strides made by a young group that didn’t tack up many wins, but did an admirable job when they triumphed.

Though the season ended in a 6-5 shootout defeat at the hands of the Calgary Hitmen on March 20, the Ice erased a 5-2 deficit in the third period to force overtime in a game that otherwise would have remained unquestioned should the team have chosen to pack it in.

What took place in those contests, just to pinpoint a few highlights, is a sample of the building blocks Pierce is hoping will provide a strong foundation to help get his squad off to a better start when his sophomore campaign rolls around this fall.

“There’s such little practice time over the course of the year that it’s really difficult to make major adjustments or even reinforce your basics,” Pierce said. “To me, having the skeleton outline of how we want to play already all in place when they get here prepared for them in video and packages on system structure [is critical].”

After having 10 first-year WHL players this season, Pierce will be faced with yet another young and relatively inexperienced crew in 2016-17, with Alfaro and Zborosky the only returning 20-year-olds.

In the face of what will continue to be an uphill battle as this franchise works through its first significant rebuild since landing in Cranbrook, Pierce’s players maintain they fully expect to be able to battle their way back into the playoff race in 2016-17.

Jeff Chynoweth, president and general manager of the Kootenay Ice, knew fully that even his young coaching staff was set to battle through a learning curve, much like his inexperienced squad did this season.

But he also knows that despite slugging through one of the most challenging years in franchise history, those involved will be all the better as a result of surviving the adversity.

“I’m looking forward — everyone is going to be a year older and a year smarter,” Chynoweth said. “Our coaches — now they aren’t rookies anymore. They know what the Western Hockey League is about. They know how good the coaches are. They know how good the players are. The travel, the preparation — everything was new for them as well.

“Next year, everyone knows what to expect… I expect improvements in all areas.”

Though the season is over and the players have gone home, Pierce and his players are left with plenty of time to digest the experience of the past campaign and process it in preparation for what comes next.

Ask anyone around the Kootenay Ice dressing room — what comes next season is the goal and expectation to fight for a playoff spot right down to the bitter end.

“Some things definitely exceeded what my expectation would have been, things like travel, how busy the schedule is and how exhausting that can be,” Pierce said. “Other things didn’t exceed my expectations. I maybe overestimated the mentality and maturity of our players. Really, that was a silly mistake on my part because they’re the same age and younger as the teams I’ve been working with for years past. But you just have this psychological belief that because they’re Western Hockey Leaguers, they’re going to have a different type of approach to the game.

“There was a lot of little things that we overlooked — game play, as far as how important your starts are, how important shifts after goals are, last minutes, discipline — those types of things that you really think should just be engrained in those guys and they’re not.

“That’s on us. That’s not their fault. They’re all young guys that come out of minor hockey learning the same stuff.

“Now that we know that stuff, I think we’ll be in a much better position next year to get started.”

So with greater knowledge at his disposal, committed dedication to the plan from his players and all-around growth in terms of experience, Pierce and the Kootenay Ice head into the off-season with only one thing in mind: return to the playoff race in 2016-17.

With a strong coaching track record in place, it isn’t a question of whether or not Pierce will strike success in the Western Hockey League, only a matter of when.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Ex Vipers Defenceman Thiessen Wins SEMHL Championship:

Former Vernon Vipers defenceman Stewart
Thiessen and the South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League (SEMHL) Carman Beavers won the 2016 SEMHL league championship.

This was the Beavers first league title in ten years after a 9-1 victory over the Morden Redskins.  The Carman Beavers are a Canadian Senior ice hockey team from Carman, Manitoba. They play in the South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League. Stewart the Beavers captain would eventually fall short at the Manitoba Cup, losing in the semi-finals to the eventual Manitoba Cup Champion Killarney Shamrocks.

After four years at the University of Manitoba Thiessen joined the Beavers, finished his sixth season, collecting (5-goals-11-assists-16-points) in 13 games this season.
Thiessen played parts of two seasons in Vernon (2004-2005) Playing in 24 games over parts of two seasons with the Vipers collected (7-goals-15-assists-22-points). The Western Hockey League Kelowna Rockets acquired Thiessen from the Everett Silvertips on the WHL trade deadline (January 8th 2004) re-assigned Thiessen to the Vipers for the remainder of the 2003-04 season. Thiessen played in 20 games finished the 2003-04 season with the Vipers, before joining the Rockets. Thiessen would finish the remainder of the 2003-04 season with the Rockets, was re-assigned back to the Vipers for the start of the 2004-05 season. (September 25th 2004) On October 5th 2004 the Rockets traded Thiessen to the Vancouver Giants, Thiessen left Vernon to join the Giants after playing in just four games with the Vipers that season. The Vipers would trade the playing rights of Thiessen four days later (October 8th 2004) to the AJHL Canmore Eagles for Jeff Fedyk.

Stewart Thiessen's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=67673

This is in the Pembina Newspaper:

Beavers win championship

Greg Vandermeulen

Sunday, March 27, 2016

MORDEN - The Carman Beavers were crowned SEMHL league champions in Morden, March 26, after a dominating 9-1 victory over the Morden Redskins.

 Rebounding off their 3-2 double overtime loss on home ice, it took less than six minutes for the Beavers to score the game winner.

 Jason Rose scored for Carman only 4:44 into the first, and 41 seconds later Brett Chartier scored what would prove to be the last goal they needed.

 It definitely wasn’t the last goal they got. Morden’s Clint Olson put the Redskins on the board but Carman would go on to score seven more goals including a pair from Aaron Lewadniuk, and singles from Paul VanDeVelde, Brett Chartier, Jesse Livingston and Ryan McIntosh.

 This marks the first time in a decade the Beavers have won the championship and ended the Redskins attempt at three consecutive championships.

 Aaron Lewadniuk and Mark Owen were named MVPs. Lewadniuk said the feeling of winning was “unbelievable”.

 “The guys came to play,” he said. “We were fortunate to get the bounces our way.”

 “It’s just an incredible feeling,” he added. “The boys have been through a long season together and it’s just nice to get the championship.”

 Carman goalie Steve Christie said the team came out with the right attitude.

 “We came out ready to go, right from the get-go with that good start,” he said. “We didn’t look back from there. We had everybody contributing.”

 Although the team boasts some great talent, Christie said it takes more than that to win the championship.

 “I think some people forget how gritty we are,” he said. “We have some guys on the top two lines do a lot of scoring. They pay the price to get pucks in.”

 The Carman Beavers will now participate in the Manitoba Cup, hosted this year in Portage.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

New Arena Construction Likely In 2017

This is posted on the 107.5 Kiss FM website:

Arena Construction Likely in 2017

Posted on 5/9/2016 

by Pete McIntyre
  
Local government will have a little extra to spend on the new arena at Kal Tire Place -- if it's needed.

Doug Ross, City of Vernon Recreation Services Director, says they have an agreement with the Regional District of North Okanagan to provide a minimum standard of building with 400 seats  -- with a fixed budget of 13 million dollars.

"We actually have more than that available to us, because if you took the referendum into consideration, the money we had in the Civic Arena reserve fund, and the $25,000 we got from Minor Hockey, we actually have closer to $13.8 million, but we are going forward with a $13 million budget right now," Ross tells Kiss FM.

Ross says testing of the soil will be the first process for the site -- where holes will be drilled into the parking lot -- but no dates have been set for that by MQN Architects which is overseeing the project..

He says the Vernon Farmer's Market will move to the north part of the parking lot, when that is taking place.

"They've chosen to stay in their current location until we start work on the parking lot. Once that's underway, they've decided they are going to move further north in the parking lot and take up the new location," says Ross.

Ross says there's a lot of steps before construction of the second arena will start.

"What we're into now is the design phase, which will probably take 8 to 9 months. We're hoping we will be looking for a contractor sometime around the beginning of the new year."

The target for completing the facility is the fall of 2018.

Monday, June 13, 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:

Antisin Leaves Silverbacks:


The group that owns the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks — Salmon Arm Sports Inc. Is proud to announce that we have secured a Tier 3 Jr A franchise in the RMJHL. The team is located in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and is home to former Backs alumni Andrew Farny. At a Press Conference held today in front of a capacity crowd at the Olympian Hall in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, it announced it would compete in the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League (RMJHL) starting in the fall of 2016. “With a passionate fan base for high school hockey, community support, and high-quality facilities, it provides the perfect fit to become a top-quality organization in the RMJHL”, Stated Troy Mick. “They are a perfect fit inside our existing footprint and the early support from both the community and town council has been overwhelming” explained RMJHL Commissioner Mike Gempeler. “With natural ski-town rivalries already established with Breckenridge and Aspen, the game day atmosphere with be through the roof and there will be no better place to play junior hockey.” The new team will play out of beautiful Howelsen Arena, an Olympic sized rink with the capacity to accommodate up to 1,000 loud fans. With the news today Backs assistant Coach Misko Antisin resigned from the club and will be the 1st ever GM/Head Coach in Steamboat. “I have mixed emotions right now I am sad that I won't be back with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks team this coming season”, I am going to miss the players’ fans and most of all the staff who work so hard everyday to make this proud organization run so smoothly. The Silverbacks wish to Thank Misko for his time in Salmon Arm and we are a better organization because of him. We look forward to working with him in Steamboat. The Silverbacks will begin the search for a new assistant coach for this coming season immediately.

Clippers To Hold Press Conference:

The Nanaimo Clippers will be holding a Press Conference on Wednesday June 8, 2016 at 10 am in the Upper Mezzanine at the Frank Crane Arena.  The Major Announcement at this Press Conference will involve a former NHL Player, who resides in Nanaimo,  joining the Club’s current Ownership Group in the position of Team President and League Governor.  We will also have some other team business to update the Media on.  This Press Conference will be open to the Public.

Marshall, Cosgrove & Moore Commit To Bulldogs:


Coming off two very successful spring identification camps, the Alberni Valley Bulldogs announce the first round of committed players for the 2016/17 campaign. Henry Marshall, a 6’1, 175lbs, forward from New Canaan, CT, had a breakout season at Choate Rosemary Hall this season with 29 points in 28 games. Marshall is committed to the NCAA Division I program at Colgate for 2017/18. Trevor Cosgrove, a 6’1, 182lbs, defenseman, comes to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs from Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, NH. Cosgrove spent the last four seasons at Exeter. The SB*Nation College Hockey blog describes Cosgrove as a steady defenseman with good mobility. The solid defenseman helped lead Exeter to a 26-4-1 record in 2015/16. After being recruited by several NCAA Division I programs, Cosgrove, too, committed to Colgate for the 2017/18 season. Last but not least, the Alberni Valley Bulldogs have also committed to 1998-born standout forward Augustine “Auggie” Moore from Edina, MN. Moore had a breakout season with Benilde-St. Margaret’s School in the United Stats High School (USHS) league, putting up 44 points (19 goals, 25 assists) in 25 games. Moore followed that performance up with an additional 4 points in 2 playoff games. Moore was the captain of Benilde-St. Margaret this season. “I am extremely excited to become a part of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs organization,” said Auggie Moore. “I look forward to coming to Port Alberni and being a Bulldog next year.” “These three players are great additions to an already strong and exciting group of returning players from the 2015/16 season,” said Alberni Valley Bulldogs head coach and general manager Kevin Willison. “We are as excited about adding Henry, Trevor, and Auggie to our program as our fans will be watching them next season.” These are the first three commitments the Bulldogs have announced. The team will announce additional commitments within the next week. The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are very excited to welcome Henry, Trevor, and Auggie to the Bulldogs family. Fans had a chance to see Marshall and Cosgrove at the Bulldogs Port Alberni spring identification camp. All three players will be reporting to the team in mid-August.

Merritt-Nanaimo Trade:

The Merritt Centennials have acquired veteran forward, 1996 born Chris Dodero from the Naniamo Clippers. This trade finalizes the deal Joe Martin made on this past season’s trade deadline of January 10th. Dodero finished the regular season in Nanaimo with 14 goals and 21 assists, then added 4 goals and 2 assists in a 14 game playoff run. “Acquiring Chris is a big statement for us, he is a player we targeted when making the trade with Nanaimo. He will be provided with an opportunity to finish his junior hockey career in a pivotal place inside our lineup. He already has chemistry with Zach Court and we’re hoping the two of them has something to prove come September. We welcome Chris and the Dodero family to the Centennial organization.”  Joe Martin-Head Coach.

Rivermen Forced Out Of Langley Events Centre, As Vancouver Giants Move In:


The Vancouver Giants, long rumoured to be moving from the Pacific Coliseum to Langley Events Centre, have called a news conference at the LEC for Tuesday morning. They’re expected to announce that they’ll play the majority of the 2016-17 Western Hockey League season at the seven-year-old rink, which lists capacity at 5,276. Various sources say the club will also announce that it will play at least two of its 36 regular-season home games at the 17,150-seat Coliseum, including the traditional Teddy Bear Toss contest. They are expected to keep the Vancouver Giants name. The team is still hunting for a coach to replace Lorne Molleken, who was fired with two games left in the regular season, and for a general manager to replace Scott Bonner, who resigned in December but stayed on until the end of the season. Vancouver finished 2015-16 league play at 23-40-5-4, which left them last in the 10-team Western Conference, 20 points shy of a playoff spot. The Giants have the second pick in the WHL bantam draft, which goes Thursday in Calgary. Director of player personnel Jason Ripplinger, who recently had his contract extended, will run the proceedings for Vancouver there. The club has been based at the Pacific Coliseum, the former home of the Vancouver Canucks, every season since its inaugural 2001-02 campaign. They did play six games at the LEC during the 2010 Winter Olympics, when the Coliseum was being used for figure skating and short-track speedskating. They also played an exhibition game there before this season. According to various sources, the Giants will save $300,000 by moving to the suburban rink from the larger East Vancouver facility. Giants owner Ron Toigo was quoted as saying that he lost $400,000 in both 2012-13 and 2013-14. He hasn’t talked about finances for the past two seasons, but attendance has dropped in both campaigns. The Giants announced that crowds averaged 5,169 this past season. Business in Vancouver, thanks to figures obtained from Freedom of Information, reported in April that actual attendance worked out to 3,332 per game. Vancouver’s announced average attendance in the 2006-07 regular season was 8,760. They won the Memorial Cup national championship at the Coliseum that spring as the tournament host. Vancouver’s announced average in 2009-10 was 7,117. That was the last time the Giants won a playoff series. They have missed the playoffs three of the past four seasons and were swept in the first round in 2013-14. The Giants last won a playoff game in 2012, when they took a 2-0 lead on the Spokane Chiefs in the best-of-seven first round, then dropped four straight. That was Brendan Gallagher’s last season with the Giants. It will be interesting to see how long the deal with LEC is. Toigo hasn’t been shy about the possibility of eventually moving to Surrey. The Giants were one of the parties that approached Surrey about a public-private partnership to build a new rink near the Scott Road SkyTrain Station. Coun. Bruce Hayne said in January that none of the proposals met Surrey requirements, explaining that city refused to be “responsible for construction costs or operational losses.” Hayne did say that the city was willing to revisit the concept in the future. In moving to the LEC, the Giants will share arena space with the National Lacrosse League’s Vancouver Stealth. Oddly enough, Toigo balked heavily at the NLL moving into the Coliseum when Tom Mayenknecht was trying to restart the Vancouver Ravens in 2007. The Langley Rivermen, a B.C. Hockey League franchise that moved to Langley from Chilliwack in the 2006-07 season and began play at the LEC when it opened for the 2009-10 campaign, are expected to move to another rink.

Bast Returning To Vees-Named Assistant Captain:

The Penticton Vees confirmed Wednesday that veteran defenceman Gabe Bast (96) will return for the 2016-17 season. The University of North Dakota commitment registered six points in eight games this season, as he missed the majority of the year with a lower-body injury. The Red Deer, Alberta, product had 40 points in 49 regular season games in 2014-15, en route to being named the Vees’ Top Defenceman. Bast had another 13 points in 22 BCHL playoff games, helping the Vees capture the 2015 Fred Page Cup and 2015 Western Canada Cup. Bast will also wear a letter next season, as the team named him an Assistant Captain, joining Nic Jones (96) as part of the Vees’ leadership group. Jones was anointed the team’s Captain back in April. The Vees’ annual Spring Camp kicks-off tomorrow with fitness testing and runs right through Sunday at the SOEC. Six teams of prospects will play two games a day in front of the Vees’ brass. President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson told the Penticton Western News it’s a chance for younger players to make an impression. “There are opportunities to get an invite to our main camp in August,” Harbinson said. “But we’re really looking to build our affiliate list for next year. Over the past few years, probably 85 per cent of the players who have played for the Vees attended our spring camp.”

Hayduk Wont Be Back With Bulldogs:

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have opted not to renew assistant general manager/ coach Adam Hayduk's contract. Hayduk was with the team for five years. "In hockey and in business you are forced to make tough decisions in the long-term interests of the team," Port Alberni Junior Hockey Society president Ron Paulson said in a press release. "We wish Adam all the very best as he pursues new opportunities in the hockey world." Athletic trainer Damon Pugerude, whose contract was up this year, will also not return as the Bulldogs opted not to renew his contract. JT Ward will join the team in August and take on the athletic trainer and equipment manager role for the 2016-17 season. Head coach Kevin Willison and assistant coach Alex Evin will continue behind the bench this season.

Dupont Commits To Surrey:

The Surrey Eagles are proud to announce that 19-year-old Jacob Dupont of Phillips Exeter Academy has committed to play for the team in 2016-2017. Dupont is a skilled defenceman, who is listed at 6 feet, 185 pounds. Although he attended an American school, Dupont is Canadian, hailing from Waterloo, Quebec – which is east of Montreal. He made a very big impression on the coaching staff at Eagles spring camp, which was held April 15th to 17th. Head coach and general manager Blaine Neufeld was extremely pleased with what he saw. “He is head and shoulders above a lot of other players his age that are looking to come to the BCHL. I absolutely love his skating. It’s near a professional standard. We will be able to utilize him in key situations because of the bigger ice surface that we play on.” Although Dupont drew interest from multiple BCHL teams, coming to Surrey was an easy choice for him to make. “Surrey has beautiful scenery and a lot of things to do,” praised Dupont, in an interview with SurreyEagles.ca. “I didn’t want to be in a smaller city in the middle of nowhere. I like the city life and Surrey can provide that for me. I really enjoy the view of the water and the climate is a lot nicer than in Montreal in the winter!” On top of his skating ability, Dupont sees his offensive mindset as another plus to his game. He possesses a powerful shot, and is a confident puck-mover, who is able to exit the defensive zone quickly. “Our staff feel like he’s a player that has a lot of potential. Personally, he reminds me of [former Eagles defenceman] Devon Toews,” said Neufeld. Dupont believes that he can contribute to a winning cause in his first season in the BCHL, and the Eagles are very excited that he has decided to bring his talent to the west coast. “I want to be a leader on and off the ice for my team. I work hard and always try to lead by example with a positive attitude. My main goal is to win.”

Silverbacks Give Mick Contract Extension:


The Board of Directors of Salmon Arm Sports Inc. are pleased to announce a five-year contract extension for team President and General Manager Troy Mick. We are very happy to have agreed to a contract extension with Troy for multiple seasons. Troy is an energetic, accomplished and experienced hockey professional who has instilled a culture of hard work throughout our organization. Troy and his coaching staff work in a unique and demanding hockey market and the team's success over the last few seasons is a reflection of his excellent work. This decision reflects our desire for stability and consistency within our franchise. Troy Mick has proven himself as a leader who achieves success whether as a player or coach and has now demonstrated the same ability to succeed as a President and General Manager. “It is an honor to represent Salmon Arm for another 5 years” stated Mick, This is a beautiful community for Junior hockey and the fans here are truly amazing.

Wild Name Ecker New Play By Play Man:


The Wenatchee Wild is pleased to welcome Arch Ecker, who joins the franchise as a Sales person. Mr. Ecker will also handle Director of Media & Communications as well play-by-play radio broadcaster. Ecker brings 20 years of experience on the mic, having called nearly 1,200 games in the NAHL, AWHL, and AFHL. Wild fans may have heard him calling games in recent years when the Wild would travel to Topeka KS, where he was the voice of the Roadrunners for 10 seasons. Prior to that, he spent four seasons with the Helena Bighorns (NAHL, AWHL) and six seasons with the Butte Irish (AWHL, AFHL).  Said Wild GM/Head coach “Arch brings a wealth of experience to the Wild. He has worked almost every position in the front office over his career. On the air as a broadcaster he has turned himself into one of the best in the business. His sales skills will help drive season ticket and group sales.” Ecker is thrilled to be returning to the northwest, and particularly the Wenatchee Valley. “I was fortunate enough to come here three times with the Roadrunners, and to see first-hand how impressive the Wild operation is run”, Ecker said. “It’s a great honor, and I’m excited to get started.” His main role will be working on group and season ticket sales. Ecker will also handle the team’s media relations along with being the Wilds play by play radio person. Ecker is expected to join the Wild the end of May. With the restructuring of the Wilds front office look for some big news early next week.   Season ticket information will be sent out next week. The Wild will be having one of their spring tryout camps this weekend in Colorado. Look for news from the camp next week also.

Prince George-Cowichan Trade:

The Prince George Spruce Kings are pleased to announce the acquisition of 20 year old defenseman Connor Russell from The Cowichan Valley Capitals. The 6’2” 195 pound Russell is from Guelph Ontario and was acquired by The Spruce Kings as the future considerations portion of the January 10th trade between Prince George and Cowichan Valley that sent 19 year old forward Corey Hoffman to the Capitals. Last season with Cowichan Valley Connor Russell scored 3 goals and had 17 assists for 20 points to go along with 52 penalty minutes in 58 games played. “We are excited to add Connor to our organization. He is a big solid defenseman who can excel in both ends of the ice. He’s also a veteran player and a tremendous young man who will be leaned on heavily to provide leadership to our team on and off the ice” said Spruce Kings General Manager Mike Hawes. “I am looking forward to getting started in Prince George. I want to be a leader and a big part of helping the Spruce Kings turn things around this year to become a playoff contender” said newly acquired Spruce Kings defenseman Connor Russell. Connor Russell will join the rest of his Spruce Kings team mates just prior to the start of the team’s main training camp on August 25th.

Heerspink Commits To Silverbacks:


18 year old defenceman Jake Heerspink has committed to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks for next season. This past season with the AAA Regina Pats Heerspinks had 22 pts in 44 games.

Collins Commits To Clippers:


The Nanaimo Clippers are very pleased to announce that Jamie Collins has committed to play for the Team for the 2016-2017 season.  The 1997 born forward joins the Clippers after playing the past three seasons at the Culver Military Academy in Culver, Indiana.   During the 2015-2016 season the 5’8”, 160 lb, Fergus, Ontario native tallied 22 goals and 41 assists for 63 points in 49 games played.  Jamie is also committed to the NCAA Division 1 Clarkson Golden Knights in the ECAC league.