Thursday, February 23, 2017

Ex Viper Stevenson Recieves Honourable Mention For Player Of The Week:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Chase Stevenson receives honourable mention for Player of the Week.

Stevenson is in his first season with the West Kelowna Warriors, attended the Vipers training camp in August. Stevenson never played any exhibition games was injured during camp, before being placed on the injured reserve to start the regular season. Stevenson was released early into the regular season. The Warriors signed Stevenson November 9th 2016. In 31 games this season, Stevenson has (10-goals-10-assists-20-points).

Chase Stevenson's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=299156

This is posted on the BCHL website:

Kozlowski almost flawless in BCHL POW turn

February 20, 2017

Salmon Arm Silverbacks goaltender Trevin Kozlowski has been named the BCHL Player of the Week for the week ending February 19, the league announced Monday.

Kozlowski was in net for two of the team’s three wins for the week and he was named 1st Star both games. His first outing was a 5-1 win over Interior-leading Penticton where he made 35 saves and he topped that with a shutout including 29 saves in a 1-0 home win over Merritt. Committed to Army West Point for next season, Kozlowski wound up making 64 saves on 65 shots for a .985 save percentage and 0.50 goals-against average.

Honourable Mentions this week:

Penticton Vees G Mat Robson: 2W, SO, 1st Star, 3rd Star, 53 saves/54 shots, .981 sv%, 0.49 GAA

Wenatchee Wild F Brian Williams: 5G, 3A, 2nd Star, GWG

Wenatchee Wild F Matt Baker: 2G, 5A, 1st Star, FortisBC Energy Player of the Game

Chilliwack Chiefs D Connor McCarthy: 2G, 3A, 1st Star

Chilliwack Chiefs F Kohen Olischefski: 4G, 2A, two 3rd Stars, GWG

West Kelowna Warriors F Chase Stevenson: 4G, 2nd Star, 2 GWGs

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Stapley Commits To Denver University:

This is posted on Hockeytube.net

Brett Stapley Commits to Denver University

Posted by HockeyTube on Feb 20th, 2017

Vernon Viper second year forward Brett Stapley has committed to the University of Denver for the 2018-19 season. The talented forward made the decision earlier this week to join the NCAA school after what will be his 3rd year playing Junior A hockey with the BCHL Vipers.  Stapley talks about what weighed in his decision to join the Denver University Pioneers in the future.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQKGC76nJtU

Brett Stapley

Position: F
5’10 / 165lbs
Shoots: R
Birthdate: 1999-02-23
Birth place:
Home town: Campbell River, BC, Canada
2016-17 Regular Season:
GP 50 G 13 A 31 PTS 44 Pt/G 0.88

Vipers Giving Away Free Playoff Tickets:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers giving away free playoff tickets

by Kevin Mitchell - Vernon Morning Star

Feb 22, 2017

A loud and energized crowd is sometimes worth a goal for the home team come playoff time.

The Vernon Vipers are banking on some youthful enthusiasm when they open the B.C. Hockey League post-season.

The Vipers are giving free tickets to all children and students during round two of the playoffs, thanks to sponsorship from Hytec, Kiss FM and The Morning Star.

“Hytec and Kohler are thrilled to continue on with our partnership with the Vernon Vipers in finding ways to give back to the community,” said Michael Sanfilippo, Hytec business manager.

“We saw this as an excellent opportunity to partner with Kiss FM and The Morning Star to continue to make an impact and get the kids out to see some great playoff hockey. Go Vipers.”

There is no purchase necessary. However, each child or student will require a game ticket to be admitted.
The Vipers are stoked to be part of this campaign with the three companies.

“Now let’s fill the building,” said Todd Miller, Vipers executive vice-president.

The Vipers have secured a first-round bye. They are scheduled to begin the playoffs Friday, March 17 and March 18 at Kal Tire Place (both 7 p.m. starts).

Tickets for the playoffs will go on sale at the Vipers office Feb. 27 at 10 a.m.

Season-ticket holders will have until noon on game day to pick up their seats or they will be released for general sale. Adult tickets for round two will be $16, while seniors will be $14.

Meanwhile, the Vipers will be down a defenceman when they finish the regular season with a home and home series against the Trail Smoke Eaters starting Friday in the Kootenays.

“We just found out Cooper Watson has mono,” said Viper head coach/GM Mark Ferner. “He was at practice yesterday (Monday) but couldn’t finish. We’re going to shut him down for a while.”

The towering Watson, 20, missed both games last weekend after feeling sick to his stomach. He had blood work done Saturday.

F Hunter Zandee (knee) has been back skating and should be ready for the playoffs. The 20-year-old was injured Jan. 25 in a 3-3 double overtime tie with the Vees in Penticton.

Captain Riley Brandt scored twice as the Vipers bounced the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 4-1 before 2,089 fans Saturday night at Kal Tire Place.

Brandt, named first star, converted powerplay tallies two minutes apart late in the first period. The Trail product has nine snipes on the season. Jagger Williamson and d-man Chris Jandric drew helpers on both goals.

Luke Gingras registered his fourth of the year with one second left in the opening 20, while D Connor Clouston netted his second early in the third. Alex Macdonald replied for the Dawgs 4:09 into the second stanza.

“We were fortunate to have the lead, but I didn’t think we played that well,”said Ferner. “I thought our effort was much better the night before and we lost (4-2 to Victoria Grizzlies).”

Ex-Viper F Keith Anderson took on D Shane Kelly in a non-eventful scrap with 2:24 left in the game.

Alberni Valley, who will miss the playoffs, outshot Vernon 36-30. Darion Hanson improved to 14-14-4 with a 1.84 GAA. Carson Schamerhorn, a Kelowna product, dipped to 4-12.

The Wenatchee Wild ran over the Langley Rivermen 6-1 Saturday and took the BCHL title, becoming the first American team to do so since the Bellingham Blazers (1975 and ‘79). Wenatchee is 43-9-4-0.

The Interior Division final four spots won’t be decided until this weekend with the Smokies and West Kelowna Warriors tied for third with 56 points, four ahead of the Merritt Centennials, who are a deuce in front of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

Salmon Arm surprised the first-place Vees 5-1 Saturday before 4,225 fans at the South Okanagan Events Centre and iced Merritt 1-0 Sunday. Californian Trevin Kozlowski was in net for both wins.

Vernon’s Brett Jewell supplied an empty netter as the Cents doubled the Smokies 4-2 Saturday. Jewell has 13 goals.

D James Miller connected at 3:34 of overtime as the Vees shaded the Grizzlies 2-1 Sunday.

F Zach Risteau of the Cents has committed to the St. Lawrence University Saints for the 2018-19 season.

The 18-year-old Minnesota native leads Merritt with 48 points (25 G) in 48 games. Risteau has 13 multiple-point games this season.

Viper grads Kellen and Connor Jones assisted on former Smoke Eater/Vee Travis St. Denis’ ninth of the year as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers toppled the visiting Hershey Bears 5-1 in American League play Sunday afternoon before 3,456 fans at the Webster Bank Arena.

Connor has five goals and 17 points, while Kellen has 3-8-11. The twins are 26 and in their first year with Bridgeport, the top affiliate of the New York Islasnders. Jaroslav Halak made 24 saves for the Sound Tigers, third in the Atlantic Division at 33-16-1.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

HYTEC To Sponsor Free Vipers Tickets:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

HYTEC To Sponsor Free Tickets

February 20, 2017

by Vernon Vipers

The final weekend of the BCHL regular season is upon us and the Vernon Vipers have some exciting news regarding the playoffs.

Vernon is scheduled to begin playoff action on Friday March 17 and Saturday March 18 at Kal Tire Place. The Vipers will have to wait until the conclusion of round one to find out who their opponent will be as the Snakes have secured a first round playoff bye. Due to a scheduling conflict at Kal Tire Place both the Friday and Saturday games will be 7pm starts.

Tickets for the playoffs will go on sale at the Viper Office beginning on Monday February 27th at 10am. Season ticket holders will have until 12 noon on game day to pick up their seats or they will be released for general sale. Adult tickets for round two will be $16.00 while seniors will be $14.00.

The Vernon Vipers are very pleased to announce that all Children and Students tickets in Round two will be FREE. Hytec, 1075 Kiss FM and The Vernon Morning Star are pleased to make this possible. There is no purchase necessary however each child or student will require a game ticket to be admitted.

Hytec a Kohler Company is very pleased to offer this opportunity to local youth and families in the North Okanagan, Michael Sanfilippo is the Business Manager for Hytec, “Hytec and Kohler are thrilled to continue on with our partnership with the Vernon Vipers in finding ways to give back to the community. We saw this as an excellent opportunity to partner with Kiss FM and the Vernon Morning Star to continue to make an impact and get the kids out to see some great playoff hockey. Go Vipers”.

Hytec is a full line manufacturer of gelcoat and acrylic bathtubs and showers as well as many other items with their head office being located in Armstrong.

The Vipers would like to thank Hytec, The Vernon Morning Star and 1075 Kiss FM for this great initiative to open the playoffs for the Snakes. Now let’s fill the building!!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Fred Page Cup Championship Schedule:

This was in my BCHL Newsletter-email

Fred Page Cup Championship Schedule

The 2017 Fred Page Cup playoff format will see 14 teams qualify – four from the Island Division, four from the Mainland Division and six from the Interior Division. (This means all Interior teams are in the playoffs, unless the fifth-place team from the Mainland has more points in the standings than Interior sixth place. In that case, the Mainland team will cross over and play as the No. 6 seed in the Interior).

Also of note for the Interior, the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds will have a first-round bye. The Mainland and Island winners will meet in Round 3 to determine who will go to the Finals against the winner of the Interior.

Each round sets up as a best-of-seven series.

The dates for each round will be as follows:

Round 1 – Must be completed between Friday, March 3 and Sunday, March 12

Round 2 – Must be completed between Friday, March 17 and Sunday, March 26

Round 3 – Must be completed between Friday, March 31 and Sunday, April 9

Round 4 (Fred Page Cup Finals) – Must be completed between Friday, April 14 and Sunday April 23

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Vernon Vipers Press Conference Set For Monday:

This is on the Vernon Vipers twitter account:

February 19th 2016 

We'll be making a major announcement regarding playoffs tomorrow morning! Exciting news!

Grizzlies Brush Back Vipers 4-2

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Grizzlies brush back Vipers 4-2

by Kevin Mitchell - Vernon Morning Star

Feb 19, 2017

Two teams with aspirations of long playoff runs blessed with loads of speed and solid structure on defence. Something had to give between the Vernon Vipers and Victoria Grizzlies Friday night at Kal Tire Place.

The Grizzlies’ 747 start was the difference as they grounded the Vipers 4-2 in an entertaining B.C. Hockey League tilt before 1,743 fans.

Tim Friedmann (15th), d-man Cody Van Lierop (4th), first star Keyvan Mokhtari (19th) and Nathan Looysen (19th), into an empty net with 20 seconds remaining, scored for Victoria (36-11-3-4).

Friedmann and Van Lierop supplied goals 61 seconds apart early in the opening period with Mokhtari making it 3-0 with 84 seconds left in the stanza.

Said Mokharti, a Burnaby product who scored with a quick wrister wheeling down the left wing: “We knew they were gonna come out hard and we had to weather the storm at the beginning, but that lead we got in the first period helped us to calm down for the rest of the game, and even when we were only up by one, we were very confident we could get the job done.

“They’re a really good team; they’re second in their division. They’ve got a lot of speed and grit and you can see they like to hit and play physical so we tried to stay out of the stuff after the whistles and make sure we played our game and not fall into their trap.”

Ryan Brushett, with his ninth, and Brett Stapley, with his 13th, on powerplays seven minutes apart in the third period, answered for Vernon (28-18-5-4).

Vernon captain Riley Brandt showed great poise along the right sidewall to keep a loose puck inside the Victoria zone before d-men Cameron Trott and Michael Ufberg moved the puck to Brushett from five feet out.

The Vipers outshot the Grizzlies 37-26 with all-star Matthew Galajda improving to 24-9 with a marvellous showing. Ty Taylor dropped to 12-11.

Victoria took four of six minor penalties. Stapley, who just committed to the Denver University Pioneers for the 2018-19 season, was named the Fortis Energy Player of the game for Vernon. He supplied the goal of the night, taking a feed from Jimmy Lambert in stride and juking and jiving in front before going top shelf. Ufberg drew the secondary assist.

Ufberg’s high shot from the left point bounced high off Galajda’s chest and rolled away from the crease as Vernon pressed for the equalizer with six attackers in the final 83 seconds. Looysen grabbed a loose puck just outside the blueline, skated past centre and buried a wrister for the empty netter.

“That was a tough loss,” said Ufberg, chosen second star. “We didn’t come out of the gate too strong but after the first 10 minutes or so, we came together and outplayed them the rest of the game. All the guys put in a good effort tonight.”

On Victoria, Ufberg said: “They’re a good team, You gotta give them credit. They’ve kind of got all the tools: a lot of skill up front and some big bodies that can hit, some skill on the back end and their goalie played phenomenally tonight. It’s a team that we may see again if we end up winning our division, in the Fred Page Cup.”

Brandt tossed the two heaviest hits of the night, levelling d-man Dayne Finnson with an open-ice smash with two minutes and change left in the first period and later rocking Mokhtari to the ice on a late Victoria powerplay in the third.

The Vipers carried most of the play in the second period, outshooting the Grizzlies 15-8 and enjoying a few Grade A scoring chances. Vernon product Coleton Bilodeau played on the Viper fourth line with Simon Sagissor and Brody Dale and just missed in the low slot after a sweet pass by Lambert late in the period. Jesse Lansdell came inches away from converting a wraparound on Galajda shortly after.

Mokharti believes the Grizzlies have the moxy to reach the league finals. They clipped the Penticton Vees 2-1 in OT at home and have played the Wenatchee Wild tough.

“We have strength from the back,” said the 5-foot-8, 160-pound roadrunner. “We’ve got a really good dee core and our goaltending’s really good. It makes it easy for us forwards since we can get out of our zone pretty easy most of the time and we can go down and create some offence.”

The Vipers host the Alberni Valley Bulldogs Saturday at 6 p.m., while the Grizzlies visit the West Kelowna Warriors at Royal LePage Place. The Salmon Arm Silverbacks shut out the Dawgs 4-0 Friday night at Shaw Centre, while the Warriors lost 5-0 to Penticton.

Vernon product Blaine Caton registered his 14th and 15th goals of the season as the Trail Smoke Eaters dispatched the Merritt Centennials 8-5 before 1,407 fans at Cominco Arena. The Smokies are third in the Interior with 56 points, two more than West Kelowna and four in front of the Cents. The Silverbacks clinched the crossover playoff spot and have 46 points.

The Vipers finish the regular season next weekend with a home and home series with the Smokies and then get a 20-day break before the playoffs.

Vernon was without injured F Hunter Zandee and ill D Cooper Watson. Alternate captain Jagger Williamson was given the night off.

Prince George Spruce Kings’ D Tyler Anderson, who was traded by West Kelowna after six games this year, has signed a letter of intent with Lake Superior State Lakers. The towering Manitoba native has 18 goals and 47 points.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Vernon 4 Alberni Valley 1

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

I was at tonight's Vipers-Bulldogs game as Vernon defeated Alberni Valley 4-1 in front of 2,089 fans at Kal Tire Place.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Darion Hanson
Alberni Valley: Carson Schamerhorn

1st Period: Off the opening faceoff former Vernon Vipers forward Nicholas Rasovic broke in for the parcial breakaway, beat Darion Hanson before ringing his shot off the post. The Dogs would get the games first powerplay of the game, just over a minute into the 1st. The Bulldogs jumped on the Vipers early with several scrambles in and around the goal, had some pressure-looks but couldn't capitalize with the man advantage. Alberni Valley kept the pressure going, had the Snakes hemmed in their own end, back on their heels. About four and a half minutes in, Ryan Steele went in alone for the breakaway, looked to beat Darion Hanson who somehow kicked the puck out with his pad after reaching back, making a huge pad save off Steele, keeping this a scoreless game. Hanson was then forced to flash the leather on the same play, after the Dogs got the puck back to the point, Paul Savage's quick shot from the blueline was stopped by Hanson who made the glove save. About two minutes later former Vernon Vipers forward Keith Anderson was denied in front after Darion Hanson made a difficult save on a goal mouth scramble as the Alberni Valley Bulldogs were all over Vernon. The Bulldogs were outshooting the Vipers 11-2 at the midway mark. Jagger Williamson & former team mate Nicholas Rasovic were jawing at one another during a stoppage in play, as the two exchanged a few jabs at one another. Just past the halfway mark AV would get their second powerplay of the period. Darion Hanson had to be sharp as the Snakes killed off the minor. Vernon finally responded and got their game going in the second half. Austin Adamson broke in down the right wing, ripped a heavy shot from the circle forced Carson Schamerhorn into making his biggest save of the evening, before getting tangled up with Paul Savage behind the Dogs goal. Adamson and Savage wrestled to the ice, with Vernon coming out with the late powerplay, their first of the evening. Jagger Williamson setup Riley Brandt in the slot who beat Carson Schamerhorn fivehole giving Vernon the 1-0 lead at 17:31 Williamson & Chris Jandric picked up the helpers. The Snakes would head back to the powerplay, with the Dogs taking two late minors. Chris Jandric's shot from the point, was redirected in front by captain Riley Brandt giving Vernon a 2-0 lead at 19:44 Jandric & Jagger Williamson drew the assists. Just fifteen seconds later Luke Gingras caught Carson Schamerhorn napping, beating the Bulldogs goaltender on the wrap around giving Vernon a 3-0 lead at 19:59 Gingras's goal was unassisted. Alberni Valley/Carson Schamerhorn were shocked the Vipers were able to beat the buzzer with a second remaining. It was 3-0 Vernon after 20 minutes of play. The Bulldogs come ready to play, jumped on the Snakes early, with a ton of pressure, created/generated several quality chances. It was all Alberni Valley in the first half, couldn't solve Darion Hanson who was very solid between the pipes for the Vipers, keeping the Snakes in the game. The Vipers responded in the second half and come on late with back to back powerplay goals, capitalizing on specialty teams. I thought the Dogs were by far the better team in the first half and for most of the opening frame, carried most of the play, had several good chances. The Vipers come on late, didn't generate much for offence, but capitalized with the man advantage, were lucky to be winning after twenty minutes. Shots were 13-13.

2nd Period: The Bulldogs jumped on the Snakes off the opening faceoff and with a ton of pressure, looked to have Vernon back on their heels early. Two and a half minutes into the middle frame, a quick shot from well outside the zone took a awkward bounce off the end boards, come straight out, before banking off the back of Vipers starting goaltender Darion Hanson, who had to be alert was able to recover and clear the puck from the blue paint, as Alberni Valley come within inches of getting on the board. The Dogs were all over the Snakes early and often. AV with several quality chances in and around the net, as Darion Hanson was keeping his club in the game. The hard work would eventually pay off after the puck was caught between the skates of two Viper defencemen before Alex Mac Donald beat Darion Hanson who couldn't react in time, cutting the Vernon lead to 3-1 at 4:09 Cole Slaney drew the assist. The Bulldogs would jump on a powerplay just before the halfway mark, but it would be the Vipers who jumped on the attack. Jimmy Lambert tried setting up Steven Jandric going hard to the goal was denied by Carson Schamerhorn who come up with a big stop shorthanded. Riley Brandt and MacKenzie Wight got tangled up along the side wall, as the two took a few shots at each other, before getting back into the play. Just before the minor expired, Jimmy Lambert would get called four minutes for highsticking, giving AV a short two man advantage. The Vipers with a strong penalty kill, were able to kill off the penalty. Darion Hanson come out to play the puck on a Bulldogs dump in, but the puck took an awkward bounce off the end boards, giving Hanson some troubles. Steven Jandric setup Brett Stapley going to the net with about two and a half minutes remaining, tried redirecting the shot past Carson Schamerhorn on a great opportunity late in the period. Vernon would get a late powerplay, but unable to capitalize as it was 3-1 Vernon after 40 minutes of play. The Dogs with a strong start, carried most of the play for a lot of the first half. Alberni Valley had several good looks-opportunities in the first ten minutes, were only able to beat Darion Hanson once. I thought the Bulldogs were the better of the two teams. The Snakes with a huge penalty kill, looked good shorthanded didn't look very good in the middle frame. Alberni Valley outshot Vernon 12-11.

3rd Period: Inside the opening minute, MacKenzie Wight missed the net on a three on one rush, had a good chance at the side of the net, couldn't beat a sprawling Darion Hanson. Alberni Valley jumped on the Vipers early before getting an early powerplay just minutes into the final frame. The Snakes were able to kill off the minor before slowly taking over the play. Vernon carried a lot of the play but didn't really generate/create a lot of great opportunities before putting this game away. Jimmy Lambert took a huge hit along the side wall before staying with the play, setup Connor Clouston who's quick release from just inside the blueline beat Carson Schamerhorn high giving Vernon a 4-1 lead and in full control of the game at 6:48 Lambert & Jagger Williamson collected the helpers. Shortly after the Vipers would jump on the powerplay, had a few good looks couldn't capitalize with the man advantage. It looked like both teams were just wanting to wind the clock down and get off the ice with not a lot of action happening at either ends of the rink. Vernon did get a few quality chances in the second half, were playing the 3rd and 4th lines a lot. Jagger Williamson raced for a loose puck that took a funny bounce off the end boards, where Carson Schamerhorn was quick to smother the loose puck. With about two and a half minutes remaining former team mates Keith Anderson & Shane Kelly got involved in a scrum in front of the Viper goal before the two dropped the gloves. Both players were tossed from the game for fighting. The Dogs took over the play in the final minutes, had a few good looks but would run out of time as Vernon would come away with the 4-1 victory. This wasn't much of a period with not a lot of flow-action at either ends of the rink. I thought the Bulldogs come out hard, couldn't capitalize on an early powerplay before Vernon carried a lot of the play-game for the remainder of the game. The Snakes had some good looks-opportunities, gave the 3rd and 4th line some ice time, were dumping and chasing the puck a lot. AV had some late pressure, had a few good looks in and around the net, didn't put up much fight down by three goals. The Vipers were the better team. Vernon outshot Alberni Valley 12-5.

Top Player's: (Vernon)

Riley Brandt (2 goals) Scored on back to back powerplays, played with some energy at times, played physical, was getting involved with a few Alberni Valley players through out the game. Skated-played hard for most of the night. Looked to get under the skin of a few Bulldogs late in the 3rd as several Dogs looked to try and get the Viper captain to drop the gloves.

Steven Jandric I thought showed a lot of hustle, was really flying most of the night, played with a lot of jump in his game, created/generated a few chances through out the game.

Darion Hanson (35 saves) If it wasn't for Hanson early, this could have easily been a different outcome. Hanson was forced to make some big stops off the opening faceoff and through out the 1st period, as the Snakes were outplayed. Hanson played very well through out the night, again was forced into making some big saves in the 2nd. Was solid between the pipes.

Game Thought's: (Vernon)

For a second straight night the Vipers come no where near near playing sixty minutes, were lucky to come away with the win. Vernon was outplayed for a lot of the 1st and 2nd periods, were lucky to be up three goals. The Snakes carried a lot of the play in the 3rd but it was already 4-1 at this point. The Vipers looked flat-didn't play with a lot of energy-urgency tonight, were turning over pucks-coughing up pucks early in the 1st, making several defensive mistakes. Vernon with very little puck possession heavily relied on Darion Hanson the first half of the 1st period to make some big stops-keep them in this hockey game. I thought the Snakes come on in the second half and played much better, didn't get a lot of opportunities-capitalized on the powerplay to get out to a 2-0 lead late in that opening frame. Another 2nd period letdown as once again the Vipers stumble-look awful in the middle frame. Again the Vipers are lucky to be holding the lead, after Darion Hanson was forced into making several big stops in that 2nd period. The far end boards below the old beer gardens was causing some awkward bounces off the end boards all night. I didn't like the Snakes game tonight, in a game where I thought the losing team was the better team. I thought the Snakes looked sloppy at times through out the night, turned over-coughed up the puck alot, mad some poor decissions with and without the puck, waited for Darion Hanson to bail them out on occasion. Give Vernon some credit for battling back in the second half of the 1st, to get on the board first before pumping in three quick late goals to grab a three goal lead, heading into the 2nd. The Vipers have been a different hockey team ever since their 11 game winning-point streak ended. The Vipers got atleast a point in eleven straight games, haven't look-played the same since. The Vipers havent been there best the past month and it dosnt help, playing mean nothing games-teams at this point in the season. I'm sure its hard getting up for these games when 2nd place is already clinched, and your playing weaker teams that are below you in the standings. Too much home cooking? I wonder if playing all these home games, one after another has something to do with anything? For the past month or two Vernon has been playing most of there games at home, do you think there too relaxed-getting comfortable being at home all the time? Eating at home, hanging around with their buddies-gfs, being around different kids at school? They haven't really gone anywhere very far on the bus lately? They are into their same routine week after week, maybe has something to do with there funk as of late? Maybe getting away-out of town would be a good thing, only problem with that is, the regular season ends next weekend. Vernon better pick it up-play better come playoffs, or its going to be a short series. Former Vernon Vipers forward Trevor Keenan was in attendance. A great size crowd on hand, added a great atmosphere to the rink.

Top Player's: (Alberni Valley)

Kyle Kaufmann I thought played well for most of the night, seemed to be involved in the play, showed hustle through out the evening.

Nicholas Rasovic hit the post on a parcial breakaway off the opening faceoff, showed a lot of jump-energy in his game, I thought played with a bit of an edge through out the night, especially in that 1st and 2nd periods.

MacKenzie Wight I thought was one of, if not the more dangerous-effective Bulldogs forward this evening. A good strong skater, moves the puck in a hurry, has some wheels, can skate hard, goes to the net, was involved in the play a lot. Plays with an edge, was being physical, taking the body, getting involved in the scrums, played-battled hard.

Game Thought's: (Alberni Valley)

After a tough 4-0 loss in Salmon Arm Friday, The Bulldogs were ready to go tonight. AV jumped on the Snakes early and often and were by far the better of the two teams for most of the first two periods. The Bulldogs sure didnt look like a team in last place-out of the playoff race. Played with lots of jump-energy, had lots of pressure-quality scoring chances through out the night. Alberni Valley didn't get the bounces-have much puck luck. The Dogs had several good-quality chances in both the 1st and 2nd periods, couldn't bury their chances-solve Darion Hanson. AV takes back to back penalties late in the 1st, gives up two quick powerplay goals, falls behind 2-0 and couldn't seem to recover. If Alberni Valley could have popped a goal or two past Darion Hanson early in that opening frame, this may have been a different hockey game. AV went 0-6 with the man advantage, the Dogs score a powerplay goal or two and this could change things. The Dogs played-battled hard in the first two periods, just didn't seem to have much fight left in the 3rd down three goals. This team is really struggling as of late. The Bulldogs have lost four straight away from home and now seven of their last eleven road games. Alberni Valley has now lost seven straight, has just one win in their last nine and two wins in their last thirteen games. The Dogs sit last in the Island Division wont be in this years playoffs. Bulldogs goaltender Carson Schamerhorn is the younger brother of former Vernon Vipers goaltender Jarrod Schamerhorn. The Bulldogs last regular season win in Vernon was a 4-3 victory December 8th 2012.

Scratches:

Vernon:

Cooper Watson
Hunter Zandee (Injured)
Niko Karamanis

Alberni Valley:

Malik Kaila
Braydon Nelson
Jake Wilhelm

Energy Player of the Game:

Jimmy Lambert (1 assist)

Three Stars:

1st Star: Riley Brandt (2 goals)
2nd Star: Jagger Williamson (3 assists)
3rd Star: Chris Jandric (2 assists)

Boxscore-Game Summary,


Evan Hammond's Alberni Valley Bulldogs Blog,


Game Report,


Text-Boxscore,


Game Preview: Alberni Valley @ Vernon:

Alberni Valley (16-29-7-2) @ Vernon (27-18-5-4) 6pm

Tonight is the second and final regular season meeting between the Vernon Vipers & Alberni Valley Bulldogs. The Bulldogs lead the season series 1-0

Last Game:

Friday, February 17th Victoria defeated Vernon 4-2
Friday, February 17th Salmon Arm defeated Alberni Valley 4-0

Next Game:

Friday, February 24th Vernon @ Trail
Sunday, February 19th Alberni Valley @ Coquitlam

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

Friday, February 17, 2017

Victoria 4 Vernon 2

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

I was at tonight's Vipers-Grizzlies game as Victoria defeated Vernon 4-2 in front of 1,742 fans at Kal Tire Place.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Ty Taylor
Victoria: Matthew Galajda

1st Period: Just twenty four seconds into the opening frame, Jamie Rome going hard to the net couldn't beat Ty Taylor at the top of the crease on a quality chance inside the opening minute for the Grizzlies. Back come the Vipers about a minute and a half later, Ryan Brushett with a good chance in close, couldn't beat Matthew Galajda. The Grizzlies would open the scoring after a wicked shot from well out. T.J. Friedmann lazer of a shot went top corner crossbar and in beating Ty Taylor giving Victoria a 1-0 lead at 3:30 Keyvan Mokhtari picked up the assist. A minute later Cody Van Lierop's shot from the point beat Ty Taylor with a Grizzly forward in the blue paint, gave Victoria a 2-0 lead at 4:31 Dane Finnson & Cam Thompson drew the assists. The Vipers went straight to the officials saying a Victoria forward was deep in the crease. After a short gathering by the officials, the goal stood as the Grizzlies jumped out to an early two goal lead. The Snakes responded with a good push back shift, had a few good opportunities in tight, couldn't solve Matthew Galajda. Vernon was outshooting Victoria 8-3 eight minutes in but down two goals. In the second half the Vipers would get the games first powerplay, with good sustained pressure, Vernon rattled off four or five shots but unable to capitalize with the man advantage as the Grizzlies killed off the minor. With just under three minutes remaining, Cole Pickup on a parcial breakaway fired high and over the goal, missing on a good opportunity. About a minute later Shane Kelly couldn't hold the puck in at the blueline, allowing Keyvan Mokhtari & Lucas Clark to break free on the two on one, Mokhtari kept and fired, beating Ty Taylor fivehole giving Victoria a 3-0 lead at 18:36 Mokhtari's goal was unassisted. It was 3-0 Victoria after 20 minutes of play. The Grizzlies jump out to a quick two goal lead on just three shots, just less then five minutes in. T.J. Friedmann's shot-goal was a hell of a shot and a heck of a goal, but I thought the Grizzlies second goal should have been waived off, after a Victoria forward was deep in the crease. Even with the Grizzlies up 3-0 I thought this was a fairly evenly matched and played opening period. I thought both teams played hard with very little hitting in a pretty non physical game. Victoria capitalized-scored on their chances, while Vernon couldn't bury some of their chances in close. Vernon outshot Victoria 14-8.

2nd Period: The Grizz jumped on the Snakes early and often, had Vernon hemmed in their own end early. Nick Guiney left the Grizzlies bench for the dressing room early, looked to be in some discomfort, was looked at by the trainer before returning to the bench on the following shift. Three minutes into the middle frame Victoria was buzzing in and around the Viper goal. Ty Taylor was flopping around like a fish out of water after having to sprawl back and fourth after two goal mouth scrambles just minutes in. The Grizzlies come close to grabbing a four goal lead, couldn't convert on an open cage after some nice tic tac toe passing. Five minutes in Nathan Looysen was hooked on the breakaway, unable to get a shot off, put Victoria on their first powerplay of the night. On the man advantage, Lucas Clark with a great opportunity at the top of the crease was stoned by Vipers starting goaltender Ty Taylor, who come up with a huge pad save. After the big stop it was all Vernon who played very well on the penalty kill. Shorthanded captain Riley Brandt did all the work with the puck along the end wall, used his strength to hold of two defenders before cutting back out front of the net, couldn't beat Grizzlies starting goaltender Matthew Galajda who made a big save shorthanded. The Snakes with a very strong penalty kill, killed off the penalty. It was all Victoria in the first half before the Vipers slowly got going. In the second half "AP" Coleton Bilodeau with a great chance in the high slot was denied by Matthew Galajda. Shortly after Austin Adamson with a redirect going to the net couldn't solve Matthew Galajda. Vernon started coming on in the second half, and playing-looking better. Late in the frame the Snakes would get just their second powerplay of the evening. The Vipers struggled with the PP as the Grizz were able to kill off the minor. Just as the penalty expired, Jesse Lansdell couldn't beat Matthew Galajda on the wrap around. The Vipers with some good looks in the final minutes. It was 3-0 Victoria after 40 minutes of play. The Grizzlies jumped on the Snakes early and often as it was all Victoria in the first half. The Grizz with a ton of zone time-sustained pressure, had the Vipers back on their heels, as Vernon was having all kinds of troubles clearing the zone. Victoria with a strong forecheck and team speed, were dangerous in the offensive zone. The Grizzlies may have been the better team/carried the better of the play in the opening ten minutes, didn't get a lot of pucks to the net, had a few good looks. The Vipers badly outplayed in the first half, seemed to re-group and look-play a little better in the second half. The Vipers with a strong penalty kill, had some quality chances in the second half, couldn't solve Matthew Galajda. The Grizz were the better of the two teams for most of the 2nd period. Vernon outshot Victoria 15-8.

3rd Period: For a second straight period Victoria jumped on the Vipers, as Vernon looked flat to start the final frame. The Snakes struggled offensively early, had troubles getting out of their own end. The Vernon forwards were way up at the centre line, looking for the long stretch pass, wich the Grizzlies were picking off almost every attempt. Nathan Looysen with a great chance in close about four minutes into the frame, was stopped twice by Ty Taylor who come up with back to back pad saves, keeping the Vipers in the game. The Snakes would get a powerplay just before the midway mark and capitalize. Cameron Trott's shot was stopped in front before Ryan Brushett buried the rebound in front, cutting the Victoria lead to 3-1 at 9:39 Trott and Michael Ufberg collected the helpers. The Grizzlies would jump on the powerplay three minutes later. Victoria unable to put this game away, as Vernon killed off the minor. The Snakes would get a powerplay about a minute later as teams exchanging powerplays. Brett Stapley with a great individual effort, went in and around two Victoria defenders before beating Matthew Galajda cutting the Victoria lead to 3-2 at 16:23 Jimmy Lambert & Michael Ufberg drew the assists. Vernon coming on strong late, had some good looks-chances, missed the far corner on atleast two opportunities. Mark Ferner would call a timeout, getting Ty Taylor to the bench for the extra attacker with 1:23 to go. The Snakes with good pressure, were forced/held to the outside, limited to their shots finally able to allow Michael Ufberg's point shot get through traffic with fourty one seconds left, looked to hit someone on it's way to the net looked to hit Matthew Galajda in the shoulder before bouncing down in the blue paint before the Grizz were able to clear the puck from harms way. Nathan Looysen would eventually put the game away with an empty netter from the neutral zone, giving Victoria a 4-2 lead. Looysen's goal was unassisted. Victoria would hold onto the 4-2 win. After the game and both teams had filed off the ice, Nathan Looysen was talking with the officials in front of the penalty box for a good minute or so before making his way back to the Victoria bench, where two coaches were standing waiting for him. While talking to one coach, it looked like the coach was very upset, giving Looysen a stern talking before the two made their way to the dressing room. The Vipers looked flat off the opening faceoff, were caught standing around. The Grizzlies jumped on Vernon early, had some good looks before the Vipers would get on the board and get with in two. I thought the Snakes struggled offensively for most of the first half, had all kinds of troubles getting out of their own end-getting through the neutral zone. Both teams didn't get a lot of great chances in that first half. I thought the Vipers come on once getting on the board, played with a little more urgency in the second half. Vernon had some good looks in the second half, didn't get much puck luck in and around the goal. The Vipers got within one, making things interesting. I thought Vernon had the better of the opportunities. Victoria outshot Vernon 10-8.

Top Players: (Vernon)

Ryan Brushett (1 goal) I thought was dangerous at times, used his speed and skill, to create/generate chances. Was one of the more dangerous forwards.

Coleton Bilodeau (AP) I thought was one of if not Vernon's most consistent players in the loss. Was very strong on the draw, won most of if not all of his faceoffs, showed a bit of speed, has some size, worked-battled hard, was skating hard, creating-generating chances. I thought after down 3-0 put this kid up on the 1st or 2nd line, to see what he can do. Maybe add a spark-create-generate a goal, to try and get the Vipers going. Overall played a strong game. 

Ty Taylor (23 saves) Didn't get much luck in the opening frame, allowed three goals on just eight shots, would like the third Victoria goal back, couldn't be blamed on the first two goals. I thought after the 1st period Taylor settled down, didn't see a lot of rubber in the 2nd and 3rd periods, did make a few big saves to keep this game-score from getting away and giving his team a chance to stay in the contest.

Game Thought's: (Vernon)

I didn't think the Vipers played all that bad in the 1st but saw themselves down 3-0 heading into the 2nd period. I thought Victoria got lucky-the bounces on their first two goals, saw Vernon down two goals less then five minutes into the hockey game. I thought the Snakes played fairly well in the 1st other then being down three goals. I thought Vernon had some good chances-needed to capitalize on a few of these opportunities. The Vipers had a few good looks-chances in close couldn't find the back of the net. Now the 2nd period was a different story. How many times have Viper fans seen this movie? Vernon come out flat, were hemmed in their own end, running around, chasing the Grizzlies for the first half of that 2nd period. The Snakes struggled defensively and offensively before getting their game going in the second half, were able to come on strong late to finish the middle frame, were still down three goals. I thought the Vipers looked flat to start the 3rd, had troubles offensively seemed to get going after Ryan Brushett's powerplay marker. The Vipers had some looks-chances in the second half of the 3rd, got within a goal come very close to tying the game after Michael Ufberg's point shot hit someone-Matthew Galajda in front, didn't bounce into the goal. Overall I didn't think the Snakes played near sixty minutes. I liked Vernon's 1st period and their second half in the 2nd and 3rd periods. The Vipers had troubles scoring all night, were staying away from the front of the net. The Snakes missed on a few good opportunities, didnt get many bounces-breaks in and around the goal. Vernon had some good opportunities, but nobody was driving to the net-looking for the rebound-second opportunities. At times the Vipers were shooting from well out, making Matthew Galajda look good. I didn't like the Viper powerplay, but thought the penalty kill was very good-strong. In a basically mean nothing game other then pride, the Vipers played a pretty non physical game with not a lot of urgency-intensity at times. The Vipers struggled with Victoria's strong forecheck, turned over the puck several times through out the night. Watching Vernon try and breakout of their own end was painful. The wingers were way out near centre ice, waiting for the long stretch pass. Give the Vipers some credit, after going down 3-0 they managed to hold the Grizzlies off the board until Nathan Looysen's empty netter. Vernon also held the Island leading Grizzlies to eight shots in periods 1 & 2 before only giving up ten in the 3rd. The Vipers have now lost three of their last four and four of their last six. Vernon has won just nine of their last fifteen games.

Top Player's: (Victoria)

Jake Stevens I thought was very solid on the backend. Saw a lot of ice time, was very hard to beat one on one, played very well at both ends of the rink.

Brett Stirling was another Victoria defenceman that played very well.

Keyvan Mokhtari (1 goal & 1 assist) Was very dangerous, has some wheels, can move the puck in a hurry, very shifty-crafty with and without the puck, was a force up front through out the game. One of the Grizzlies more dominat forwards.

Nathan Looysen (1 goal) I thought was another forward who played well, has some size, had some opportunities, was going to the net.

Lucas Clark had a strong night in the win, was another forward who was dangerous through out the evening. A good strong skater, was creating/generating chances.

Matthew Galajda (35 saves) Improves to 2-0 vs the Vipers this season, shutout Vernon 3-0 in Victoria back in November. Galajda was tested-made some big stops in that opening period, was focused, calm and confident between the pipes. Made some big saves in the second half of the 2nd period, is quick on his feet, dosnt give up a lot of second opportunities, played well.

Game Thought's: (Victoria)

The Grizzlies with a quick start, jumped out to a 2-0 lead just less then five minutes into the game. I thought Victoria's second goal should have been waived off after a player was deep in the Viper crease. Victoria was outshot 8-3 about eight minutes into the game, but up two goals. I thought the Grizz played well for most of the night. Victoria played a very good/smart road game, in a tough rink where the Vipers have been good on home ice. This team has some size, has speed and skill and a strong forecheck. The Grizzlies didn't fire a ton of pucks towards the goal, seem to move the puck around often, looking-waiting for the perfect setup-play before getting that shot off. The Grizzlies capitalized on their chances. I thought Victoria was the better of the two teams, forced the Vipers into turnovers-making mistakes. Really forced the puck at the blueline, forcing the Vernon d-men into turning over the puck. A pretty non physical game, in where the Snakes did more of the few hits that were tossed tonight. The Grizzlies have won five of their last six on the road. Victoria extends their winning streak to three games, have won nine of their last ten games. The Grizzlies win the season series 2-0.

Scratches:

Vernon:

Cooper Watson
Jagger Williamson
Hunter Zandee (Injured)

Victoria:

Nico Somerville
Nolan Welsh

Energy Player of the Game:

Brett Stapley ( goal)

Three Star's:

1st Star: Cody Van Lierop (1 goal)
2nd Star: Michael Ufberg (2 assists)
3rd Star: T.J. Friedmann (1 goal)

Boxscore-Game Summary,


Game Report,


Text Bosxcore,


Game Preview: Victoria @ Vernon:

Victoria (35-11-3-4) @ Vernon (27-17-5-4) 7pm

Tonight is the second and final regular season meeting between the Vernon Vipers & Victoria Grizzlies. The Grizzlies lead the season series 1-0

Last Game:

Saturday, February 11th Vernon defeated West Kelowna 3-1
Sunday, February 12th Victoria defeated Salmon Arm 5-3

Next Game:

Saturday, February 18th Alberni Valley @ Vernon
Saturday, February 18th Victoria @ West Kelowna

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

Denver Super High On Viper Centre Stapley:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Denver super high on Viper centre Stapley

by Kevin Mitchell - Vernon Morning Star

Feb 17, 2017

Brett Stapley averages approximately 24 minutes ice time a game with the Vernon Vipers. He would play the full 60 if head coach Mark Ferner would let him.

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


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Vipers vs Warriors Bad Blood:

This is posted on Hockeytube.net

Vipers vs Warriors Bad Blood

Posted by HockeyTube on Feb 13th, 2017

Vipers vs Warriors Bad Blood – The Vernon Vipers and West Kelowna Warriors wrapped up their regular season series with some more last second bad blood. The game which had some chippy moments saw some fireworks on a literal last second rush by West Kelowna’s Chase
Dubois who first took a slash from one Viper and then a huge body check from #4 Cameron Trott.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8x5yFt1YGwc

This is not the first time these two teams engaged in some rough stuff near the end of the game.

Bad Blood Part 1

http://www.hockeytube.net/2014/12/11/bad-blood-vernon-vs-west-kelowna/

Bad Blood Part 2

http://www.hockeytube.net/2014/10/21/vernon-vipers-west-kelowna-brawl-10-18-2014/

Former Vernon Viper Hora Suspended:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Linden Hora has been suspended.

Hora was recruited by the Vipers, played one season in Vernon (2014-15). Hora attended the Vipers 2015 training camp, played in a few exhibition games before being traded before the start of the 2015-16 regular season. The Vipers traded Hora & Tak Anholt to Chilliwack September 9th 2015 for Darren Rizzolo. In 54 games with the Vipers Hora collected (1-goal-3-assists-4-points). In 51 games this year with Chilliwack Hora has (8-goals-9-assists-17-points).

Linden Hora's Player Profile:

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

This is posted on the BCHL website:

11-Feb-17 The Chilliwack Chiefs Linden Hora is suspended 2 games for receiving his 3rd minor penalty for goaltender interference.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Stapley Commits To Denver University:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Stapley Commits to Denver University

February 14, 2017

by Vernon Vipers

Recent News

The Vernon Vipers are pleased to announce that Brett Stapley has committed to Denver University, a NCAA Division I school in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

Stapley in his second season with the Vipers has 12 goals and 31 assists for 43 points in 48 games this season.

The 5-foot-10 native of Campbell River, British Columbia is a quick footed forward that has a tenacious work ethic and high compete level.

“We are extremely excited for Brett and he has worked very hard to earn this opportunity,” said Viper’s Head Coach Mark Ferner. “It’s a fantastic school with a top notch hockey program and the team couldn’t be happier for him.”

Stapley will also join former Vernon Viper Liam Finlay, who is currenty in his freshman season with the Denver Pioneers.

Vipers Happy With Crease Cops:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers happy with crease cops

by Kevin Mitchell - Vernon Morning Star

Feb 15, 2017

With four games left until the playoffs, the Vernon Vipers are clearly confident in the crease with Darion Hanson and Ty Taylor.

Hanson drew the start Saturday night and took second star with 38 saves as the Snakes shut down the West Kelowna Warriors 3-1 in B.C. Hockey League action before 1,582 fans at Kal Tire Place.

Hanson is the No. 1 goalie in the 17-team BCHL at 13-4-0-2 with a scorching 1.89 goals against average and .944 save percentage. The Minnesota product turns 20 in April and has brought leadership and moxy to the Snakepit since arriving in November.

Taylor, who won’t be 18 until July, is ninth in netminding stats at 12-10-0-2 with a 3.03 GAA and .907 save percentage.

“It”s a treat to not have to worry about your goaltending; that’s a huge part of our success,” said Viper winger Jimmy Lambert. “You need good goaltending to win a championship and I think we have the goaltenders to do it.”

The Vipers will finish second in the Interior Division behind the Penticton Vees. Both teams receive first-round playoff byes.

Vernon hosts the Island Division-leading Victoria Grizzlies Friday night and entertain the Alberni Valley Bulldogs Saturday before ending the regular season with a home and home series the Trail Smoke Eaters starting Friday, Feb. 24 at Cominco Arena.

The Smokies lost 5-4 to the first-overall Wenatchee Wild before a packed house of 1,342 Sunday afternoon in Trail. The Smokies are third, two points in front of the Warriors and four ahead of the Merritt Centennials. The sixth-place Salmon Arm Silverbacks iced the Bulldogs 3-0 Saturday night on the Island and hold a six-point margin on the Surrey Eagles of the Mainland Division for the final crossover playoff berth.

The Vipers opened the scoring midway through the first period as Brett Stapley buried his 12th on a nice feed from behind the goal-line by Steven Jandric. Stapley beat former Viper goalie Cole Demers glove side. Demers recorded several clutch stops as Vernon outshot West Kelowna 15-5 in the opening 20.

Chase Dubois equalized with 1:39 left in the second period on a powerplay (Michael Ufberg off for tripping). Parm Dhaliwal circled behind the net, and from the left face-off circle, spotted an open Dubois on the blocker side for his 17th goal of the season.

Ryan Brushett responded just 48 seconds later with the winner, converting his eighth from the top of the right hash marks over Demers’ shoulder. Jandric and d-man Connor Clouston drew assists.

West Kelowna outshot Vernon 23-8 in the second period with Hanson in brilliant form.

Chase Stevenson, a former Viper prospect, was hauled down by Jagger Williamson and given a penalty shot while the Warriors were shorthanded early in the third period. Stevenson made a move to his backhand and beat Hanson through the legs but the puck slid by the blocker side post.

Just three minutes later, Austin Adamson re-directed a Shane Kelly right point shot for his 16th tally of the season. Ufberg – named first star – earned the secondary helper.

Viper captain Riley Brandt, playing his second game after spending almost six weeks on injured reserve, was chosen the Fortis Energy Player of the Game.

Wenatchee lost 2-0 to the Vees before 4,142 fans at the South Okanagan Events Centre Saturday night and are three points ahead of the Chilliwack Chiefs in the race for the league banner. Wenatchee is bidding to become the first American franchise to claim the BCHL championship since the Bellingham Blazers (1975 and 1979). The Wild and Chiefs each have five games remaining.