Thursday, April 17, 2014

Royals Sign Former Vernon Viper Santana:

The East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Reading Royals have signed former Vernon Vipers forward Ryan Santana.  Santana was signed on March 9th 2014 just three days after the Royals released the rookie forward.  No official press release from the Royals but the transaction was posted on the transactions page on the ECHL website.

Santana finished his fourth and final year at Boston University last year before signing with the Royals on August 6th 2013.  After playing in just 12 games with the Royals (going pointless) Santana was released on March 6th 2014.

Santana played one season in Vernon (2008-2009) In 56 games with the Vipers collected (12-goals-13-assists-25-points).

Ryan Santana's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=38021

Sharks Recall Former Vipers Defenceman Bigos From ECHL:

The American Hockey League (AHL) Worcester Sharks have
recalled former Vernon Vipers defenceman Kyle Bigos from the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Ontario Reign . 

Bigos finished his fourth year at Merrimack College last season before signing with the San Jose Sharks farm club the Worcester Sharks on July, 16th 2013. Bigos attended the San Jose Sharks Training Camp this season but was released going back to the American Hockey League where he was then assigned to the East Coast Hockey League San Francisco Bulls on October, 1st 2013. In 40 games with the Bulls Bigos collected (2-goals-4-assists-6-points) before the team ceased operations in late January.

Bigos become an unrestricted free agent after the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) San Francisco Bulls ceased operations on January 27th 2014. The Bulls folded that day while all players became unrestricted free agents, effective immediately.  Bigos signed with the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Ontario Reign on January 29th 2014.
   
Bigos finished his fourth year at Merrimack College last season. In 30 regular season games Bigos collected (4-7-11). Bigos played two seasons in Vernon (2007-2009) collecting (10-40-50) in 166 regular season games with the Vipers. Bigos an assistant captain in his second and final season with the Vipers was drafted 99th overall by the NHL Edmonton Oilers in the 4th round of the 2009 NHL Draft. Bigos attended the Oilers Developement Camp two out of the last three years. The Edmonton Oilers traded Bigos to San Jose for Lee Moffie on July 7th 2013.

Kyle Bigos's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=38020

This is posted on the Sharks website:

Worcester Sharks sign Brock Higgs (R.P.I.) to an ATO
Defenseman Kyle Bigos recalled from Ontario (ECHL)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

March 14, 2014

WORCESTER, MA – Worcester Sharks (@WorcesterSharks) General Manager Joe Will has announced

the signing of forward Brock Higgs (R.P.I.) to an amateur tryout (ATO) agreement and that the club has recalled defenseman Kyle Bigos from the Ontario Reign (ECHL).

Brock Higgs (5-11, 180lbs)signs an ATO with Worcester after completing four seasons atRenssealer Polytechnic Institute where he recorded 91 points (27-64-91) in 137 games. The 21-year-old native of Kingston, Ontario served as an alternate captain for RPI this season and was 2nd on the club with 29 points (14-15-29) in 37 games. Higgs is expected to skate with the Worcester Sharks on Friday morning and will wear #13.

Kyle Bigos (6-4,235lbs) was recalled from the Ontario Reign (ECHL) where he posted two points (0-2-2) in 11 games along with 29 penalty minutes. Prior to Ontario, the 24 year-old-native from Upland, CA played in 40 games for the San Francisco Bulls (2-6-8) along with 64 penalty minutes. The first year pro attended the San Jose and Worcester Sharks training camps back in September after he completed four seasons at Merrimack College. Bigos is expected to skate with the Worcester Sharks on Friday morning and will wear #6.

For more information please visit www.SharksAHL.com or call 508-929-0500.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Former Vipers Forward Ikkala Wins National Championship:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Cole Ikkala & Union College won its first National Championship after a 7-4 win Saturday over Minnesota.  Ikkala finishes his fourth and final year at Union College, played two seasons in Vernon (2008-2010) playing in 92 games with the Vipers collecting (30-goals-32-assists-62-points).

Cole Ikkala's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=38024

This is posted on the Union College website:

Union wins NCAA Div. I Men's Ice Hockey Championship, 7-4 over Minnesota

4/12/2014

PHILADELPHIA, PA -- The NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship Trophy has a new home....Schenectady, NY, and the campus of Union College.

The Dutchmen scored three goals in a span of under three minutes late in the first period, and defeated the University of Minnesota, 7-4 at the Wells Fargo Center in front of 18,742. Union finishes the 2013-14 season with a record of 32-6-4 and the school's first championship since the 1929 men's lacrosse team.

Only 19 seconds into the contest, the Gophers took a penalty. Union had a two on one but after a Mike Vecchione drive from the right circle was stopped by Adam Wilcox, the rebound came out to an open Daniel Ciampini, but he shot it high. Minnesota took a 1-0 lead at 2:37. Nate Condon's shot was stopped by Stevens but the rebound dribbled out in front and Justin Kloos took the bouncing puck to the left of the net and fired it in for his 16th of the season.

Union got another man advantage at 3:11, and had crisp passing but many shots that
were high or wide just missing the net. Minnesota got the man up aMIH t 6:42 and had some chances in close but the Dutchmen killed it off. But at 9:26, Union knotted the game at 1-1. Shane Gostisbehere came in through traffic from the blue line and got a strong shot while covered by two Gophers just inside the blue line that quickly found the back of the net at 9:26. Jeff Taylor and Matt Wilkins got the assists.Just 37 seconds later, Minnesota regained the lead at 2-1. Sam Warning took a shot from an impossible angle on the left goal line that found the inside right part of the net with a host of guys in front of the crease.

Union poured on the pressure with under five minutes remaining in the first and it paid off. Big time, to the tune of three goals in under three minutes. At 15:09, Mike Vecchione capped off four straight shots right outside the crease, picking up the final rebound and slamming home his 14th to tie it at 2-2. At 16:06, Eli Lichtenwald got his own rebound in close and his shot went off the back of the right goalie pad and in for #9 and it was Union's first lead, 3-2. Then, at 17:03, Daniel Ciampini capped off a furious flurry with his 23rd and Union now led, 4-2.

The period ended with 20 Dutchmen shots on the board and 15 for the Gophers. The Union total was the most shot total for any period of a championship game since North Dakota had 23 in the third period in the 2005 title contest.

At 1:13 of the second period, the Gophers got closer and made it 4-3. Justin Kloos, who scored with one second left to beat North Dakota in the semifinal, tried a wraparound that was stopped. Taylor Cammarata tried to knock in the rebound but after the initial save he was successful for his 17th goal. Union got a penalty at 2:25 and during that, a shot from the point came back out to the right post area but Cammarata went high and wide. Later, at 7:13 Gabe Guertler had a wrister from the left circle stopped by Stevens.

The Dutchmen got a power play at 9:33, and during the opportunity, Kevin Sullivan had a clean shot stopped after the shot from between the circles.  Stevens made a great left pad save with five minutes left in the second after Kloos came in from a pretty pass and tried to put it inside the right post. The Gophers had a penalty at 15:39 and after that power play was killed off, Union got a call at 18:06, and shots were 34-33 Union after two periods.

The Dutchmen were 23-2-1 when leading after two periods. They got insurance on the one goal lead at 5:31, as Max Novak had a give and go with Kevin Sullivan. Sullivan dished it back to Novak who directed it in on the go in front for his 15th of the season and a 5-3 Union lead.

Down 2-1 midway through the first period, Union scored three consecutive goals in a span of 1:54 to gain a 4-2 lead. It is the fastest that three goals have been scored in a row in the championship since 1977, when Michigan and Wisconsin combined to score three goals in 1:04. The Dutchmen's trio of goals in 1:54 matched the mark set by Colorado College in the 1957 title game, the last time the same team scored three in such a short span. The Tigers posted three over the duration of 1:54 in the third period. The record for three consecutive goals by one team in the title game is 1:45 by Colorado College, set in the third period of the 1950 championship.

The combined six goals in the first period are the most in the championship since the 1963 final, when North Dakota (5) and Denver (2) totaled seven, which is the record for the opening frame. A combined seven goals in the first period has occurred three times (1956, 1961, 1963). The combined six goals are the most in any period of the championship since 1997 (North Dakota 5, Boston University 1, 2nd).

Express Seek Sweep Of Vipers:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Express seek sweep of Vipers

posted Apr 16, 2014 at 1:00 AM

The Coquitlam Express were trying to make B.C. Hockey League history, while the Vernon Vipers were hoping to avoid making the record book Tuesday night at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre.

Captain Ryan Rosenthal scored 7:46 into overtime as the Express grounded the Vipers 3-2 Monday night before 1,170 fans. Coquitlam took a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven Fred Page Cup championship series into Game 4.

A fifth game, if necessary, would go Thursday night at Kal Tire Place in Vernon.

The Express, who won the BCHL and Royal Bank Cup titles as the Burnaby Express, with Kyle Turris, in 2006, have not won a Fred Page Cup in Coquitlam.

Vernon teams have reached the league playoff final 19 times, but have never been swept. The Vipers lost in five games to the Surrey Eagles, in 2005. Vernon has won a dozen playoff crowns.

Viper alternate captain Josh Bryan said the Vipers, who lost 4-3 in overtime Saturday night, were trying to remain calm heading into Game 4.

“We had a meeting at breakfast. The coaches told us that we can’t get stressed out. We just need to go back to our instincts and enjoy it. There is no point in putting pressure on ourselves four hours until game time.”

Rosenthal, a 6-foot-2 New Jersey power winger, forced the extra session when he shot from the right side wall and fooled Vernon goalie Austin Smith with 71 seconds left in regulation. Smith was fabulous in overtime and earned third star.

“I think everyone was expecting him to pass the puck. When he threw it on net, it caught everyone off guard, not just Smith,” said Bryan. “He has saved a lot of games for us this playoffs so we’re are not hanging this one on him at all.”

Said Rosenthal, who leads the Express with 14 playoff snipes: “It was a weird angle. I got a little step on the dee and I wasn’t sure if anybody was going to the net but I was hoping my shot would leave a rebound or go in.”

The Express found their groove in overtime and outshot the Snakes 12-3.

“Overtime was fast-paced,” said Bryan. “They carried some momentum from those late goals and kept it going. We couldn’t really get anything going offensively.”

Corey Mackin drew assists on both Rosenthal goals. Mackin grabbed his own rebound in overtime and fed Rosenthal near the crease paint. Brendan Lamont converted from defenceman Zach Hodder for Coquitlam`s other snipe, at 10:29 of the second period.

The Vipers outshot the Express 34-24 in regulation time and went up 8:15 into the first period when d-man Dylan Chanter moved up and beat Gordie Defiel. Tyler Povelofskie and Mason Blacklock drew assists.

Vernon went up 2-0 at 1:14 of the second period when Liam Coughlin took a nifty feed from Michael McNicholas and found an empty net, on the powerplay.

“We definitely outplayed them the first two periods,” said McNicholas. “We outshot them 28-12 in the first two periods. They got a few bounces but I still think we have been outplaying them most of the series. We just need to keep playing with confidence and see what happens.”

Each team received three minor penalties.

Coquitlam assistant coach Robert Boyd, who used to live in Vernon and Enderby back in the day, has seen Rosenthal find the net flying down the right wing in the past.

“He’s scored a ton of goals from there,” said Boyd. “He’s always trying to score high from there, but this time he put it six, eight inches stick side and it fooled him (Smith).”

Boyd said the Express celebrated the overtime glory but noted “we haven’t won anything yet.” He said the Express are not totally surprised to be leading the series.

“The teams are pretty evenly matched. It’s just one of those things where we could be down 3-0 as well. The coaching staff is a little concerned that it takes our team so long to get into the games.”

It marked the third straight game the Vipers grabbed an early two-goal lead.

“That was probably our best 60-minute game of the series,” added Bryan. “We definitely outplayed them in the first two periods. I thought we deserved enough to win, we just didn’t bury enough of our chances.”

Rosenthal, who used to have season tickets to the NHL Devils, and is a Dallas Cowboys’ fan, knows the fourth game is always the toughest to close.

“Everyone feels really good about how we’re playing, but we know Vernon’s not going to quit.”

He said Defiel, who starred for the Minnesota Wilderness in last year’s RBC, thrives on playoff hockey. Defiel has been brilliant in the finals.

“He’s been talking about the RBC all year,” said Rosenthal. “He’s in the gym all the time and he works really hard in practice. He’s calm back there. He knows if he makes some mistakes, we can score in bunches and we know if we make some mistakes, he can make some big saves.”

In Game 3 Saturday, the Vipers struck first again as Dexter Dancs simply threw the puck on net from below the left faceoff circle when it sneaked past Defiel. D-man Jared Wilson earned the assist.

The Vipers went up by two when Brendan Persley kept the puck on a shorthanded 2-on-1 rush. Persley went short side over Defiel. T.J. Dumonceaux picked up the assist.

Shortly after assisting on the short-handed tally, Dumonceaux was busted for high-sticking. It was Coquitlam’s turn to go to work on special teams.

Canon Pieper scored on the man advantage, from Rosenthal and Marc Biega, 7:13 into the first.

The only goal in the second period came off the head of Dancs. Coughlin threw the puck into a pinball machine at the front of the net and it somehow found its way through. McNicholas registered the other assist.

“I feel like I haven’t changed my game at all. Coquitlam plays a different style of defence which opens up the ice for me,” said Dancs.

Mackin got his third goal of the series, from Adam Rockwood, 46 seconds into the third. Mackin returned the favor later in the period as he set up Rockwood for the equalizer.

Rockwood wasn’t done there. Two minutes into overtime, Rockwood won the game on an unassisted solo mission.

“The puck bounced over the d-man’s stick, then we took off on a rush. I just waited and it kind of took a lucky bounce to go in. It is definitely the most satisfying goal I have ever scored,” said Rockwood.

“I don’t know if anyone would have predicted us to win both games (in Vernon), it’s unreal,” said Express head coach Barry Wolff.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

BCHL Fred Page Cup Finals: Game 4: Coquitlam 4 Vernon 3

SCORING SUMMARY

PERIOD 1

Coquitlam Express at 3:19 - Jace Hennig from Cody Boyd 

PERIOD 2

Vernon Vipers at 0:42 - Colton Sparrow from Brett Mulcahy and Brendan Persley 
Coquitlam Express at 7:15 - Canon Pieper from Bo Pieper and Mark Whiteley 
Vernon Vipers at 10:25 - Brendan Persley from Colton Sparrow 
Vernon Vipers at 18:57 - Brendan Persley from Colton Sparrow 

PERIOD 3

Coquitlam Express at 1:43 - Bo Pieper from Joey Santucci 
Coquitlam Express at 15:06 (SH) - Adam Rockwood (unassisted) 

Vernon outshot Coquitlam 38-30 Austin Smith made 26 saves in the loss, Gordie Defiel made 35 saves in the win.  Coquitlam wins the series 4-0 winning the 2014 Fred Page Cup Championship advancing to the Western Canada Cup.  The Vipers now have 25 days off until their first game at the 2014 RBC Cup in Vernon.

For more on tonight's game visit the BCHL boxscore,

http://www.bchl.ca/leagues/hockey_boxscores.cfm?clientID=1413&leagueID=2393&gameID=1316017&link=bchl

For more on the Coquitlam Express and tonight's game visit Eddie Gregory's Express blog,

http://expressvoice.blogspot.ca/

Sparrow’s Taken Flight In BCHL Playoffs:

This was in the Vancouver Province Newspaper:

Sparrow’s taken flight in BCHL playoffs

Regular season scoring wasn’t Vipers’ forward’s forte; but this is the post-season ...

By Steve Ewen, The Province April 10, 2014

Colton Sparrow finished seventh on his team in scoring in the regular season.

Heading into the BCHL final, he’s third in the entire league in points.

If you’re searching for a guy who symbolizes what’s going on with the Vernon Vipers this spring, Sparrow is a start.

The Vipers, who are taking on the Coquitlam Express in the Junior A league’s best-of-seven championship starting Friday, have prided themselves on being a playoff-type team all year long. Big, strong, physical, grinding down their opponents at every turn.

Sparrow is one of those guys. Coach Jason Williamson put him together with fellow 20-year-old forwards Brett Mulcahy and Brendan Persley with the idea that they would be Vernon’s shutdown line.

Sure enough, teams are now trying to find checkers to match up against them. Sparrow has seven goals and 18 points in 15 playoffs matchups, after putting up 11 goals and 34 points in 50 regular season games.

Vernon (30-18-4-6) finished third in the Interior Division during the regular season, and needed overtime in Game 7 in the division finals to get by the first-place Penticton Vees (36-16-2-4).

Vernon and Coquitlam (27-26-2-3) outlasted the Victoria Grizzlies (37-15-3-3) in the three-team round-robin semifinals.

“Colton has been a heart and soul guy all year, playing the way we want to play,” said Williamson. “You just know when certain guys are playoff performers and he’s that type of guy. He knows what it takes to win, and he knows, as a 20-year-old, it’s his last kick at the can.”

He knows Vernon, too.

It’s his hometown and he grew up a fan of the Vipers. He remembers as a five-year-old going to watch a 1998-99 Viper team playing home games at old, tiny Civic Arena. That club, featuring the likes of Lanny Gare and Todd Knight, went on to win the Royal Bank Cup national championship that May in Yorkton, Sask.

Kal Tire Place, the current home of the Vipers, opened in 2001.

“I remember one time getting to go in their dressing room, and thinking how loud it was with the stereo blaring,” Sparrow said.

He has parlayed this playoff run into an NCAA scholarship as well. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Sparrow, who’s in his fourth year with the Vipers, recently committed to play next season with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks. Williamson said that he had interest for several schools during the BCHL playoffs.

“As soon as his game took off to another level, I knew it was going to get busy for him,” Williamson said.

Things will stay busy for Sparrow and the Vipers regardless of how this Coquitlam series plays out, since they are the host team for the now-monickered RBC Cup national championship. It runs May 10-18 at Kal Tire.

Williamson is stressing to them that qualifying by traditional channels is more appealing. Sparrow was a rookie on the 2011 Viper team that lost in the RBC finale in Camrose, Alta.

“Winning a national title is a special, special thing, but going about it the right way, and winning your way all the way there, will make it that much more memorable when you look back at it,” he said.

Game Preview: BCHL Fred Page Cup Finals: Game 4: Vernon @ Coquitlam:

Vernon (10-8) @ Coquitlam (13-5) 7pm start

Tonight is the seventh meeting of the season (regular season & playoffs) between the Vipers & Express. The regular season series was tied 1-1 while the Vipers won the only playoff game during the Round Robin playoff Tournament. Coquitlam leads the Fred Page Cup Finals 3-0. You can listen to tonight's game live with Graham Turnbull starting with the pre-game show at 6:45pm on 107.5 Kiss FM

Here's a look at the regular season series between the two teams

December 8th Coquitlam won 4-2
January 11th Vernon won 3-1

Vernon-Coquitlam Regular Season Overall Records-Stats:

Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon is 7-2-0-0 vs. Coquitlam

Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon has outscored Coquitlam 34-27

Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon is 5-0-0-0 at home vs. Coquitlam

Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon is 2-2-0-0 in Coquitlam

Vernons last win in Coquitlam was a 7-5 victory back on Sunday, November 18th 2012

Coquitlam's last win at home vs Vernon was a 4-2 win back on Sunday, December 8th 2013

Vernon's last win at home vs Coquitlam was a 3-1 win back on Saturday, January 11th 2014

Coquitlam's last win in Vernon-The Express havnt won in Vernon since before the 2003-04 season. (Due to the stats only going as far back as the 2003-04 regular season I dont know when the last win was)

Vernon-Coquitlam Playoff Overall Records-Stats:

Since the 2003-04 playoffs Vernon is 1-3 vs. Coquitlam

Since the 2003-04 playoffs Vernon has outscored Coquitlam 15-14

Since the 2003-04 playoffs Vernon is 1-2 at home vs. Coquitlam

Since the 2003-04 playoffs Vernon is 0-1 in Coquitlam

The Vipers went 1-0-0-0 last season vs Coquitlam

For more stats & former Vernon Junior Hockey Team rosters & lineups please visit Paul’s Vernon Junior Hockey History website,

http://members.shaw.ca/vernonfranchise/index.html








Lets take a look at the Vernon Vipers:

The Vernon Vipers have their backs against the wall, with their season on the line make their third visit of the season (regular season and playoffs) to the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre are down 3-0 in the Fred Page Cup Finals.  The Vipers are coming off a tough 3-2 overtime loss in Game 3 last night need a win tonight to keep their season going.  Vernon has lost three straight and are 0-2 in Coquitlam this season (Regular Season & Playoffs).

Vernon’s Junior Hockey Team’s have now made the BCHL League Finals 19 times since 1970 with a record of 12-6.

Here’s a look back at Vernon’s run to the League Championship:

1970 Vernon Essos defeated Victoria 4-2
1972 Vernon Essos defeated Penticton 4-3
1988 Vernon Lakers defeated Richmond 4-1
1989 Vernon Lakers defeated New Westminister 4-1
1990 New Westminister defeated Vernon Lakers 4-2
1991 Vernon Lakers defeated Powell River 4-0
1992 Vernon Lakers defeated Bellingham 4-0
1996 Vernon Vipers defeated Langley 4-1
1997 Surrey defeated Vernon Vipers 4-1
1999 Vernon Vipers defeated Chilliwack 4-1
2000 Chilliwack defeated Vernon Vipers 4-1
2002 Chilliwack defeated Vernon Vipers 4-2
2003 Vernon Vipers defeated Chilliwack 4-0
2005 Surrey defeated Vernon Vipers 4-1
2007 Nanaimo defeated Vernon Vipers 4-2
2009 Vernon Vipers defeated Powell River 4-2
2010 Vernon Vipers defeated Powell River 4-3
2011 Vernon Vipers defeated Powell River 4-0

Brett Mulcahy (14-3-17) leads the Vipers in playoff goals with fourteen while Colton Sparrow (7-12-19) leads the Vipers in playoff points with nineteen.

Vernon Vipers 2014 Playoff Stats:

Games Played: 18
Wins: 10
Losses: 8
Overtime Losses: 2
Home Record: 5-4
Road Record: 5-4
Overtime Record: 1-2
When the Vipers score first: 6-5
When the opponents score first: 4-3
Leading after 1st Period: 5-5
Tied after 1st Period: 4-1
Trailing after 1st Period: 1-2
Leading after 2nd Period: 8-3
Tied after 2nd Period: 1-2
Trailing after 2nd Period: 1-3
Out shooting Opponents: 5-2
Out shot by Opponents: 4-5
One goal games: 4-3
Goals For: 63
Goals Against: 54
Streak: Three game losing streak

Vernon Vipers Returning Players:

Mason Blacklock (94)
Dexter Dancs (95)
TJ Dumonceaux (94)
Logan Mick (96)
Brendan Persley (93)
Ryan Renz (93)
Colton Sparrow (93)
Michael Statchuk (94)
Austin Smith (93)
Danny Todosychuk (94)

Vernon Vipers Departing & traded players from last years team:

Liam Board (93)
Brett Corkey (92)
Bryce Eviston (94)
Jason Bird (93)
Andrew Tegeler (92)
Craig Martin (95)
Mitch McAllister (94)
Marc Hetnik (92)
Michael Roberts (95)
Braeden Russell (93)
Geoff Crisfield (93)

Vernon’s Home Playoff record vs. Coquitlam this season

1-2

Vernon’s Road Playoff record vs. Coquitlam this season

0-1

Vernon’s Playoff scoring leaders vs. Coquitlam this season

Dexter Dancs (3-3-6)
Michael McNicholas (1-4-5)
Liam Coughlin (2-3-5)
Brendan Persley (2-2-4)
Demico Hannoun (1-2-3)
Jared Wilson (0-3-3)
Brett Mulcahy (1-1-2)
Colton Sparrow (1-1-2)
Josh Bryan (0-2-2)
Dylan Chanter (2-0-2)
Mason Blacklock (1-1-2)
Riley Guenther (1-0-1)
Logan Mick (0-1-1)
TJ Dumonceaux (0-1-1)
Tyler Povelofskie (0-1-1)

Austin Smith (0-3 Record)

Key’s and Notes to tonight’s game:

-Vernon has the leagues 6th best powerplay

-The Vipers have the BCHL's 8th best penalty kill










Lets take a look at the Coquitlam Express:

The Coquitlam Express have a chance to win their first Fred Page Cup-League Championship in team history tonight are riding a five game winning streak after a 3-2 OT win in Game 3.  The Burnaby Express was the only Express team to win a League Championship back in 2006 when Burnaby won the 2006 RBC Cup.  The Express are very strong at home with a 7-1 home record in these playoffs.  Coquitlam has outscored the visiting team 29-20 at home.

For more on the Coquitlam Express please visit Eddie Gregory's Coquitlam Expressions blog,

http://expressvoice.blogspot.ca/

Ryan Rosenthal (14-7-21) leads the Express in goals during the playoffs with fourteen and in points during the playoffs with twenty one.

Coquitlam Express 2014 Playoff Stats:

Games Played: 18
Wins: 13
Losses: 5
Overtime Losses: 1
Home Record: 7-1
Road Record: 6-4
Overtime Record: 3-1
Goals For: 59
Goals Against: 52
Streak: Five game winning streak

Coquitlam Express's Returning Players:

Adam Rockwood (95)
Joey Santucci (94)
Marc Biega (94)
Zach Hodder (93)
Jace Henning (95)
Cameron Marks (95)

Coquitlam Express's Departing & traded players from last years team:

Justin Georgeson (93)
Bradley Ryan (92)
Zachary Pryzbek (94)
Brandon Morley (94)
Ben Israel (94)
Adam Rossingnol (93)
Travis Stephens (93)
Lars Hepso (92)
Garrett Forster (95)
Will Cook (94)
Cal Hofford (94)
Malcolm McKinney (92)
Mitchell Fyffe (94)
Michael Macaig (92)
Sam Majka (93)
Cole Huggins (92)
Daniel Urbani (95)

Coquitlam's Home Playoff record vs. Vernon this season

1-0

Coquitlam's Road Playoff record vs. Vernon this season

2-1

Coquitlam's Playoff scoring leaders vs. Vernon this season

Corey Mackin (3-3-6)
Bo Pieper (5-0-5)
Canon Pieper (1-3-4)
Zach Hodder (0-4-4)
Ryan Rosenthal (2-2-4)
Adam Rockwood (2-1-3)
Brendan Lamont (1-1-2)
Marc Biega (0-1-1)
Jace Hennig (0-1-1)
Mark Whiteley (0-1-1)
Daniell Lange (0-1-1)

Gordie Defiel (3-0 Record)

Key’s and Notes to tonight’s game:

-Coquitlam has the BCHL's 10th best powerplay

-The Express have the league's 2nd best penalty kill

Here's a look at both teams rosters:

Vernon Vipers:

http://www.bchl.ca/leagues/stats_1team.cfm?leagueID=2393&clientID=1413&teamid=224096

Coquitlam Express:

http://www.bchl.ca/leagues/stats_1team.cfm?leagueID=2393&clientID=1413&teamid=267274

Monday, April 14, 2014

BCHL Fred Page Cup Finals: Game 4: Coquitlam 3 Vernon 2 (Overtime)

SCORING SUMMARY

PERIOD 1

Vernon Vipers at 8:15 - Dylan Chanter from Tyler Povelofskie and Mason Blacklock

PERIOD 2

Vernon Vipers at 1:14 - Liam Coughlin from Michael McNicholas 
Coquitlam Express at 10:29 - Brendan Lamont from Zach Hodder

PERIOD 3

Coquitlam Express at 18:49 - Ryan Rosenthal from Corey Mackin
 
OVERTIME

Coquitlam Express at 12:16 - Ryan Rosenthal from Corey Mackin

Vernon outshot Coquitlam 37-36 Austin Smith made 33 saves in the loss, while Gordie Defiel made 35 saves in the win.  Coquitlam now leads the best of seven series 3-0

For more on tonight's game visit the BCHL boxscore,

http://www.bchl.ca/leagues/hockey_boxscores.cfm?clientID=1413&leagueID=2393&gameID=1316016&link=bchl

For more on the tonight's game and the Coquitlam Express visit Eddie Gregory's Express blog,

http://expressvoice.blogspot.ca/

BCHL Fred Page Cup Preview:

The BCHL Fred Page Cup finals have been set. The Six Time National Champion Vernon Vipers will meet the Coquitlam Express in the battle between the Interior and Coastal conferences. Despite both finishing third in their respective divisions, both Vernon and Coquitlam have stepped up in the playoffs and have earned their way to the league Final.Games one and two will be played in Vernon on April 11th and 12th. The series switches to Coquitlam for games 3 and 4 on April 14th and 15th.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynO4AwTl9No

Former Viper Zalewski Makes NHL Debut:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Mike Zalewski made his NHL debut with the Vancouver Canucks Saturday in a 5-2 loss in Edmonton.  Zalewski picked up his first career NHL point (assist) in a 5-1 win over the visiting Calgary Flames Sunday.

Game Recap

http://canucks.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=714487&navid=DL|VAN|home

The Canucks signed Zalewski on March 17th 2014.  Zalewski played two season's in Vernon (2010-2012) In 106 regular season games with the Vipers Zalewski collected (50-goals-54-assists-104-points).

Mike Zalewski's Player Profile:

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=139391

Game Preview: BCHL Fred Page Cup Finals: Game 3: Vernon @ Coquitlam:

Vernon (10-7) @ Coquitlam (12-5) 7pm start

Tonight is the sixth meeting of the season (regular season & playoffs) between the Vipers & Express. The regular season series was tied 1-1 while the Vipers won the one playoff game during the Round Robin playoff Tournament. Coquitlam leads the Fred Page Cup Finals 2-0. You can listen to tonight's game live with Graham Turnbull starting with the pre-game show at 6:45pm on 107.5 Kiss FM

Here's a look at the regular season series between the two teams

December 8th Coquitlam won 4-2
January 11th Vernon won 3-1

Vernon-Coquitlam Regular Season Overall Records-Stats:

Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon is 7-2-0-0 vs. Coquitlam

Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon has outscored Coquitlam 34-27

Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon is 5-0-0-0 at home vs. Coquitlam

Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon is 2-2-0-0 in Coquitlam

Vernons last win in Coquitlam was a 7-5 victory back on Sunday, November 18th 2012

Coquitlam's last win at home vs Vernon was a 4-2 win back on Sunday, December 8th 2013

Vernon's last win at home vs Coquitlam was a 3-1 win back on Saturday, January 11th 2014

Coquitlam's last win in Vernon-The Express havnt won in Vernon since before the 2003-04 season. (Due to the stats only going as far back as the 2003-04 regular season I dont know when the last win was)

Vernon-Coquitlam Playoff Overall Records-Stats:

Since the 2003-04 playoffs Vernon is 1-2-0-0 vs. Coquitlam

Since the 2003-04  playoffs Vernon has outscored Coquitlam 13-11

Since the 2003-04  playoffs Vernon is 1-2-0-0 at home vs. Coquitlam

Since the 2003-04  playoffs Vernon is 0-0-0-0 in Coquitlam

The Vipers went 1-0-0-0 last season vs Coquitlam

For more stats & former Vernon Junior Hockey Team rosters & lineups please visit Paul’s Vernon Junior Hockey History website,

http://members.shaw.ca/vernonfranchise/index.html










Lets take a look at the Vernon Vipers:

The Vernon Vipers make their second visit of the season (regular season and playoffs) to the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre.  This is the Vipers first ever playoff game in Coquitlam.  The Vipers are 0-1 in Coquitlam after a 4-2 loss back on December 8th.  For the first time these playoffs the Vipers are down 0-2 in a series.

Vernon’s Junior Hockey Team’s have now made the BCHL League Finals 19 times since 1970 with a record of 12-6.

Here’s a look back at Vernon’s run to the League Championship:

1970 Vernon Essos defeated Victoria 4-2
1972 Vernon Essos defeated Penticton 4-3
1988 Vernon Lakers defeated Richmond 4-1
1989 Vernon Lakers defeated New Westminister 4-1
1990 New Westminister defeated Vernon Lakers 4-2
1991 Vernon Lakers defeated Powell River 4-0
1992 Vernon Lakers defeated Bellingham 4-0
1996 Vernon Vipers defeated Langley 4-1
1997 Surrey defeated Vernon Vipers 4-1
1999 Vernon Vipers defeated Chilliwack 4-1
2000 Chilliwack defeated Vernon Vipers 4-1
2002 Chilliwack defeated Vernon Vipers 4-2
2003 Vernon Vipers defeated Chilliwack 4-0
2005 Surrey defeated Vernon Vipers 4-1
2007 Nanaimo defeated Vernon Vipers 4-2
2009 Vernon Vipers defeated Powell River 4-2
2010 Vernon Vipers defeated Powell River 4-3
2011 Vernon Vipers defeated Powell River 4-0

Brett Mulcahy (14-3-17) leads the Vipers in playoff goals with fourteen while Colton Sparrow (7-12-19) leads the Vipers in playoff points with nineteen.

Vernon Vipers 2014 Playoff Stats:

Games Played: 17
Wins: 10
Losses: 7
Overtime Losses: 1
Home Record: 5-4
Road Record: 5-3
Overtime Record: 1-1
When the Vipers score first: 6-4
When the opponents score first: 4-3
Leading after 1st Period: 5-4
Tied after 1st Period: 4-1
Trailing after 1st Period: 1-2
Leading after 2nd Period: 8-2
Tied after 2nd Period: 1-2
Trailing after 2nd Period: 1-3
Out shooting Opponents: 5-1
Out shot by Opponents: 4-5
One goal games: 4-2
Goals For: 61
Goals Against:  51
Streak: Two game losing streak

Vernon Vipers Returning Players:

Mason Blacklock (94)
Dexter Dancs (95)
TJ Dumonceaux (94)
Logan Mick (96)
Brendan Persley (93)
Ryan Renz (93)
Colton Sparrow (93)
Michael Statchuk (94)
Austin Smith (93)
Danny Todosychuk (94)

Vernon Vipers Departing & traded players from last years team:

Liam Board (93)
Brett Corkey (92)
Bryce Eviston (94)
Jason Bird (93)
Andrew Tegeler (92)
Craig Martin (95)
Mitch McAllister (94)
Marc Hetnik (92)
Michael Roberts (95)
Braeden Russell (93)
Geoff Crisfield (93)

Vernon’s Home record vs. Coquitlam this season (Regular Season & Playoffs)

2-2-0-0

Vernon’s Road record vs. Coquitlam this season (Regular Season & Playoffs)

0-1-0-0

Vernon’s scoring leaders vs. Coquitlam this season (Regular Season & Playoffs)

Dexter Dancs (3-4-7)
Demico Hannoun (1-4-5)
Liam Coughlin (1-4-5)
Jared Wilson (1-4-5)
Michael McNicholas (2-3-5)
Brendan Persley (2-3-5)
Brett Mulcahy (3-1-4)
Colton Sparrow (2-2-4)
Josh Bryan (0-3-3)
Riley Guenther (1-1-2)
Logan Mick (0-1-1)
Dylan Chanter (1-0-1)
Mason Blacklock (1-0-1)
TJ Dumonceaux (0-1-1)

Austin Smith (2-3 Record)

Key’s and Notes to tonight’s game:

-Vernon has the leagues 7th best powerplay

-The Vipers have the BCHL's 9th best penalty kill



















Lets take a look at the Coquitlam Express:

The Coquitlam Express come into Game 3 riding a four game winning streak return home after playing the last three games away from home.  The Express come into tonight's game with a 6-1 home record in these playoffs.

For more on the Coquitlam Express please visit Eddie Gregory's Coquitlam Expressions blog,

http://expressvoice.blogspot.ca/

Ryan Rosenthal (12-7-19) leads the Express in goals during the playoffs with twelve and in points during the playoffs with nineteen.

Coquitlam Express 2014 Playoff Stats:

Games Played: 17
Wins: 12
Losses: 5
Overtime Losses: 1
Home Record: 6-1
Road Record: 6-4
Overtime Record: 2-1
Goals For: 56
Goals Against: 50
Streak: Four game winning streak

Coquitlam Express's Returning Players:

Adam Rockwood (95)
Joey Santucci (94)
Marc Biega (94)
Zach Hodder (93)
Jace Henning (95)
Cameron Marks (95)

Coquitlam Express's Departing & traded players from last years team:

Justin Georgeson (93)
Bradley Ryan (92)
Zachary Pryzbek (94)
Brandon Morley (94)
Ben Israel (94)
Adam Rossingnol (93)
Travis Stephens (93)
Lars Hepso (92)
Garrett Forster (95)
Will Cook (94)
Cal Hofford (94)
Malcolm McKinney (92)
Mitchell Fyffe (94)
Michael Macaig (92)
Sam Majka (93)
Cole Huggins (92)
Daniel Urbani (95)

Coquitlam's Home record vs. Vernon this season (Regular Season & Playoffs)

1-0-0-0

Coquitlam's Road record vs. Vernon this season (Regular Season & Playoffs)

2-2-0-0

Coquitlam's scoring leaders vs. Vernon this season (Regular Season & Playoffs)

Bo Pieper (5-1-7)
Corey Mackin (3-3-6)
Canon Pieper (2-3-5)
Adam Rockwood (2-3-5)
Zach Hodder (0-4-4)
Marc Biega (1-2-3)
Ryan Rosenthal (1-2-3)
Jace Hennig (1-1-2)
Mark Whiteley (0-2-2)
Ben Israel (1-0-1)
Joey Santucci (0-1-1)
Brendan Lamont (0-1-1)
Daniell Lange (0-1-1)

Pierce Dushenko (0-1 Record)
Gordie Defiel (3-1 Record)

Key’s and Notes to tonight’s game:

-Coquitlam has the BCHL's 10th best powerplay

-The Express have the league's 2nd best penalty kill

Here's a look at both teams rosters:

Vernon Vipers:

http://www.bchl.ca/leagues/stats_1team.cfm?leagueID=2393&clientID=1413&teamid=224096

Coquitlam Express:

http://www.bchl.ca/leagues/stats_1team.cfm?leagueID=2393&clientID=1413&teamid=267274

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Former Vipers Forward Zalewski Attends First Canucks Practice:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Mike Zalewski skated in his first NHL practice with the Vancouver Canucks March 21, 2014. The RPI product spoke to the BCHL after his first ice time at Rogers Arena

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7J3dSIbPco#t=26

The Vancouver Canucks signed Zalewski on March 17th 2014. Zalewski was in his third year at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) before signing with the Canucks. Zalewski played two season's in Vernon (2010-2012) In 106 regular season games with the Vipers Zalewski collected (50-goals-54-assists-104-points).

Mike Zalewski's Player Profile:

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=139391

Coquitlam Closes Out Game 1:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Coquitlam closes out Game 1

By Tyler Lowey - Vernon Morning Star

Published: April 13, 2014

There was a different feeling in the air Friday night at Kal Tire Place. The place was packed, there were new banners hung on the walls and the rafters donned a pair of superhero-sized team Canada Jerseys. It must be Fred Page Cup time.

Despite the arena makeover, the Vernon Vipers melted away a 3-0 lead and lost 6-4 to the Coquitlam Express in Game 1 of the B.C. Hockey League best-of-seven final series.

“The game was a mix of highs and lows for us. We started out strong but kind of fell asleep,” said Brendan Persley.

The Vipers started the game as if they were shot out of a cannon.

D-man Josh Bryan chipped the puck off the glass out of his zone sending Persley in all alone. He faked backhand, brought it back to the front and slid it past Express goaltender Gordie Defiel.

Persley’s eighth of the playoffs came 40 seconds in, sending the 2,000 patrons into euphoria. Jared Wilson earned the secondary assist.

Brett Mulcahy continues to be hotter than Kal beach in July this postseason. From the corner, Colton Sparrow found a wide open Mulcahy standing in the slot. Mulcahy didn’t hesitate to rip it top shelf. Persley picked up the other assist on Mulcahy’s 14th of the playoffs, 3:05 into the first.

With an expiring Express powerplay, Dexter Dancs grabbed a loose puck at his own blueline, spun off a defender and was off to the races with Demico Hannoun escorting him on a 2-on-1 rush. Hannoun scored his third of the playoffs from Dancs and Michael McNicholas, giving the Vipers a 3-0 lead at recess.

A frantic first period put to rest any thoughts of rust.

The Vipers hadn’t played in 12 nights and the Express had a week off since their triple-overtime thriller against Victoria.

“The first period was good, but the rest wasn’t,” said Vipers’ head coach Jason Williamson. “We started to cheat and against a team like that, they are going to make you pay.”

The Express turned the tables on the Vipers in the second. The Express responded with three unanswered goals of their own.

Bo Pieper, the Minnesota product, was on a mission Friday night. He got his first of four goals on the from Daniell Lange and Zach Hodder 2:58 into the second. Hodder is a former Vancouver Giants’ blueliner.

“We had a big adjustment from playing in front of this crowd two weeks ago. Some of our guys were a bit intimidated last time but they battled through it tonight,” said Express head coach Barry Wolff.

Viper captain Ryan Renz was doing time for slashing when Pieper struck again.

A clearing attempt bounced off of T.J. Dumonceaux’s neck, back into the Snakes zone keeping the play alive. Jace Hennig and Hodder cycled the puck until they found Pieper open at the top off the right faceoff circle.

With just over one minute remaining in the period, Corey Mackin won a foot race against Dylan Chanter on the penalty kill. He shovelled a backhand past Smith, tying it up at three.

“I felt we were the better team for most of the night,” said Persley. “We started to hold our sticks a bit tight as they were making their comeback and we had some turnovers.”

The Vipers never seem to make it easy on themselves in there playoffs. The series against the Vees saw the Vipers squander away a few 3-1 leads.

Dancs had a pair of superb scoring chances seconds before and after the second intermission. He had a puck fail off the heel of his stick with five seconds left. During his first shift of the third he hammered a point-blank, one-timer only to be denied by Defiel.

Mason Blacklock knocked down an aerial pass from Hannoun in the neutral zone as he busted in on Defiel. He was able corral the puck before chipping it glove-side on the Express netminder 3:04 into the third.

Pieper scored the game-tying goal and eventual winner in the third. The equalizer was set up by brother Canon Pieper at 6:40 with the winner assisted by Mark Whiteley and Canon Pieper two minutes later.

Mackin put the game on ice with nine minutes left in the game. Hodder, a North Delta product, registered his third assist of the night on the goal.

The shots were even at 35-35.

“We need to go out there, get pucks in deep and put some pressure on their defence. We need to out work them tomorrow,” said Persley.

The new banners and jerseys hanging in Kal Tire Place are in preparation for the RBC Cup which goes May 10-18.

Game 2 went Saturday night at Kal Tire Place.

Game 5 goes Thursday night in Vernon with a sixth game, if necessary, going Saturday in Coquitlam.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

BCHL Fred Page Cup Finals: Game 2: Coquitlam 4 Vernon 3 (Overtime)

For anyone who could not attend or watch tonight’s Vipers game here are my thoughts and views from tonight’s game. You may agree or disagree but we all have our own view and opinion on any game we watch. This is my opinion and my thoughts on how I saw tonight’s game. I try to be unbiased and give a fare recap on both sides. Thanks for stopping by & visiting my blog.

I was at tonight's Game 2 of the BCHL Fred Page Cup Finals as Coquitlam defeated Vernon 4-3 in overtime in front of 1,865 fans at Kal Tire Place.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Austin Smith
Coquitlam: Gordie Defiel

1st Period: The Vipers would get off to a good start, getting the play in deep Vernon with some early pressure would attack early.  TJ Dumonceaux with an excellent chance just over two minutes into the opening period got a shot off from the slot that didnt catch enough of it with his stick forced Gordie Defiel to make the save.  The Express come right back about a minute later with their first play in the Viper zone caught Austin Smith out of position but Marc Biega couldnt get a off a quick shot before Smith was able to recover back into the crease on a missed opportunity by Coquitlam.  The Vipers would come right back opening the scoring about a minute and a half later after Jared Wilson spotted Dexter Dancs down the left wing, Dancs went hard to the goal got a shot off that went in and off Defiel and into the back of the net giving Vernon the early 1-0 lead at 4:47 Wilson with the assist.  Less then a minute later the Express would get the games first powerplay but it was the Vipers penalty kill that stood out after TJ Dumonceaux setup Brendan Persley on a two on one giving the Vipers a 2-0 lead at 6:27 Dumonceaux with the helper.  Vernon would get into penalty trouble taking a penalty shorthanded giving Coquitlam a two man advantage and the Express capitalized.  With just fourteen seconds remaining on the first penalty Ryan Rosenthal was stopped by Smith before Canon Pieper got the Express on the scoresheet on the rebound at 7:13 Rosenthal and Marc Biega collected the helpers.  Still on the man advantage the Express couldnt tie the game as Vernon was able to kill off the minor.  Both teams were battling hard, going back and fourth in a fairly evenly matched period.  Not alot of scoring chances at either ends of the rink as both teams were doing a good job at closing the shooting lanes and keeping each others offensive players to the outside.  The Vipers slowly started to come on late in the 1st and would carry the edge in the final five minutes as Demico Hannoun with a spin and fire from the circle beat Coquitlam starting goaltender Gordie Defiel but went off the crossbar as the Vipers come close to re-taking a two goal lead.  In the final minute Dexter Dancs fed Josh Bryan who was going hard to the net was stopped by Defiel who come across the crease to make a big pad save off Bryan at the side of the goal.  The Vipers with a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of play.  The Vipers got off to a good start, had some early pressure scored early before taking a two goal lead shorthanded.  Both teams were fairly even.  Coquitlam outshot Vernon 12-11.

2nd Period: The Express come out hard to start the middle frame were in strong on the forecheck had the Vipers back on their heels a bit as Vernon had troubles getting out of their own end.  Coquitlam with all kinds of pressure couldnt get pucks to the net as the Vipers did a good job at keeping the Express to the outside, the Vipers also come up big with a ton of blocked shots.  It was all Coquitlam early as the Vipers had troubles getting through the neutral zone and into the offensive zone.  Vernon would catch a bit of a break, Dexter Dancs was able to break through a check before carrying the puck into the Express zone, going to the net a scramble in front of Gordie Defiel before the puck went up in the air and somehow landed in back of the net giving the Vipers a 3-1 lead at 7:58 Dancs was credited with the goal, Liam Coughlin & Michael McNicholas picked up the assists.  This goal seemed to wake up the Vipers as Vernon slowly started getting the play in deep and was able to generate a little offence.  The Vipers really picked up the physical play in the second half were hitting hard, both teams were hitting most of the night.  Coquitlam would get into penalty trouble giving Vernon a late two man advantage.  Gordie Defiel made a nice glove save but didnt see alot of rubber as the Vipers powerplay struggled.  The Express with a good penalty kill was able to kill off both minors were still down by two late in the period.  Coquitlam would get a late powerplay in the final minute and a half couldnt capitalize as Vernon was up 3-1 after 40 minutes of play.  The Express carried the early edge in play couldnt generate much offence were held to the outside with very good looks at the net.  The Vipers caught a bit of a break scored the lone goal of the period were up by two heading into the 3rd.  Just like the 1st period not alot of scoring chances at both ends of the rink.  Vernon outshot Coquitlam 12-7.

3rd Period: The Express started the third on the man advantage that was carried over from the 2nd period.  With not much time remaining on the powerplay Coquitlam couldnt get much going before the Vipers couldnt clear the zone just as the penalty expired.  Adam Rockwood stayed with the puck and play setup Corey Mackin who beat Vipers starting goaltender Austin Smith cutting the Vernon lead to just a goal at :46 Rockwood with the assist.  The Express come right back off the following faceoff, Bo Pieper alone in the slot just missed the goal on a very close call as Coquitlam was within inches of tying the game.  Colton Sparrow early into the period in tight looked to put Vernon ahead by two but hit the crossbar on a close call.  A few minutes later Austin Smith come up with his biggest save of the night stopping Bo Pieper on a parcial breakaway.  Chances at both ends of the rink early as the scoring opportunities started to pick up.  Colton Sparrow with another good chance lead the attack on a Vernon two on one couldnt beat Gordie Defiel who made a big save keeping this a 3-2 game.  The Vipers with several good opportunities in the first half couldnt beat the Express netminder who was huge in the period making several big saves.  Liam Coughlin went wide around his defender cut hard to the goal was stopped by Defiel before getting a second opportunity on the rebound beat Defiel as the puck rolled behind the goaltender near the goal line before the puck was cleared on a close call.  Vernon was really coming on in the first ten minutes with lots of good looks couldnt score on their opportunities.  Coquitlam really using their speed didnt get many scoring opportunties but capitalized on their chances.  Adam Rockwood was able to walk in from behind the net beat Smith upstairs tying the game 3-3 at 12:21 Corey Mackin with the helper.  The Vipers looked real tired as the game went on, didnt have much jump or speed in their game were being outskated and outworked at times as Coquitlam's speed and energy used it to their advantage.  As time was winding down it looked like Vernon was sitting back, trying to get out of the period still tied.  With fourty seven seconds left Michael MicNicholas with the puck on his stick ripped a hard shot from the slot forced Gordie Defiel to just get a peice of the puck with the tip of his glove making a huge save to keep the game tied.  The Vipers with several goal mouth scrambles in the final minute come close to just about banging home a loose puck for the game winner couldnt beat Defiel.  The game was tied 3-3 after 60 minutes of play.  Coquitlam with an early goal cut the lead to within one made for a exciting period as both teams exchanged chances early before the Vipers took over the play getting numerous scoring opportunities couldnt beat Gordie Defiel who come up large in the 3rd keeping the Express in the game.  Vernon outshot Coquitlam 22-13.

Overtime:  Just 2:07 into the extra frame Riley Guenther lost the puck in the neutral zone allowing Adam Rockwood to lead the rush on a three on one, Rockwood waited before going to the net beat Austin Smith on the only shot of overtime gave the Express the come from behind 4-3 OT win as the Coquitlam bench erupted onto the ice taking a 2-0 series lead.  The Vipers were caught standing around the entire period, Vernon wasnt skating, were standing still didnt last very long before giving up the overtime winner.  Coquitlam outshot Vernon 1-0.

Top Players: (Vernon)

The line of Dexter Dancs (2 goals), Michael McNicholas (1 assist) & Liam Coughlin (1 assist) was pretty good.  I dont think they were dangerous or very good but looked good at times through out the hockey game.  Coughlin was skating hard and getting a few good rushes-looks at the net on seperate occasions, while Dancs scored twice was going to the net hard played hard. 

Colton Sparrow I thought played another great game.  Really picked up the physical play laid out several big checks, was battling and skating hard.  Had a great opportunity to give Vernon a 4-2 lead early in the third hit the crossbar.

Dylan Chanter had another strong-physical game on the Vipers backend.  Chanter who looked good last night, played hard and physical again tonight.  Seemed to play a little more with the puck tonight, jumped up into the play was the Vipers best d-man.

Game Thought's: (Vernon)

For the second straight night Vernon cant hold onto a lead.  Last night the Vipers up 3-0 after the opening period gave up three in the second before re-taking the lead early in the third gave up three more in the 3rd to lose 6-4.  Tonight the Vipers get off to another great start, jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead blew a 3-1 lead in the 3rd.  I thought the Vipers played much better tonight still didnt play a full sixty minutes, couldnt capitalize on their chances looked very tired and out of gas tonight, especially in the third period.  The Vipers just dont seem to have that high twempo-high energy play in their game, they look tired-worn out and cant keep up with the Express at times.  In both games this series, the Vipers come out strong, play with alot of jump and energy, have gotten out to two or three goal leads on Coquitlam but then cant seem to keep playing like this for the remainder of the game.  The Vipers should be up 2-0 in this series after being up 3-0 in Game 1 and 2-0 in Game 2.  If the Vipers couldnt have played a full sixty minutes Coquitlam wouldnt have been able to come from behind in either of the games.  Vernon up 3-1 late in the 2nd period gets a two man advantage cant put the Express away had several good opportunities in the 3rd couldnt beat Gordie Defiel who was solid.  I thought the Vipers did a good job at limiting the Express opportunities closed the shooting lanes, didnt give up alot of time and space for Coquitlam couldnt get that fourth goal.  Austin Smith looked very shaky at times tonight, giving up a ton of rebounds.  For the first time these playoffs the Vipers are down 2-0 in a series head to Coquitlam in a very tough situation and a must win in Game 3 Monday.  Another very dissapointing small crowd for Game 2 of the League Finals.

Top Players: (Coquitlam)

Canon Pieper (1 goal) Took a big hit in the 2nd period left the ice-Coquitlam bench before returning to the game.  Played very well, another player that is good with and without the puck, really sees and reads the play well. 

Brendan Lamont I thought played with a ton of energy, was really flying all night.  Wasnt afraid to go into the corners, was buzzing in and around the Viper zone all game.  Had alot of jump was a real energy player for the Express. Was another player that the Vipers had troubles containing-slowing down. 

Adam Rockwood (2 goals & 1 assist) Had a strong game for Coquitlam.  Rockwood can really skate and move the puck as well as does a great job at avoiding being hit.  This kid can really move in and out of his defenders giving the oposition a very hard time to contain him. Im surprised was still in the game after taking a huge hit from Colton Sparrow late in the second period, stayed on the ice and in the game, must be a tough kid. 

Corey Mackin (1 goal & 1 assist) Looked good again for the second straight night.  Mackin is another Express player that plays hard, hard to contain and get off the puck, always seems to be battling in the thick of things down low and in and around the net.

Gordie Defiel (42 saves) This kid was solid in the 3rd gave his team a chance to come from behind and pull off the win.  Defiel was rock solid in the 3rd making several big saves keeping the Vipers off the scoresheet.  He allows one or two early goals on several of the Vernon opportunities and this game may have been over.  Made some huge saves, is very good down low.

Game Thought's: (Coquitlam)

For the second straight night the Express fall behind early, giving up two early back to back goals to fall behind 2-0 but once again rallied to mount another come from behind win on the road.  Coquitlam played a much better 1st period after being outplayed last night in period one.  The Express are very quick, move the puck in a hurry and get into the Vipers zone in a hurry.  Tonight the Express were limited to scoring chances but capitalized on their opportunities and also relied on their goaltender to bail them out every now and again.  Not alot of scoring chances at both ends of the rink in the first two periods, before the Vipers had a ton of good scoring opportunities in the third.  The Express are very opportunistic and go to the net, looking for chances.  Coquitlam played a much more physical game tonight, also took some big hits.  Give this team credit they battled back, they didnt quit and won both games on the road to open the League Finals.  Coquitlam now heads home with a chance to sweep the series and a chance at winning their first league championship title.

Scratches:

Mark Hamilton (Injured)
Kenny Citron (Injured)

Coquitlam:

Anthony Gardner
Joey Santucci (Suspended)

Energy player of the game:

Colton Sparrow

Three Stars:

1st Star: Adam Rockwood (2 goals & 1 assist)
2nd Star: Dexter Dancs (2 goals)
3rd Star: Gordie Defiel (42 saves)

For more on tonight's game visit the BCHL boxscore,

http://www.bchl.ca/leagues/hockey_boxscores.cfm?clientID=1413&leagueID=2393&gameID=1316015&link=bchl

For more on tonight's game and the Coquitlam Express visit Eddie Gregorys Express blog,

http://expressvoice.blogspot.ca/

Former Viper Twins-Oklahoma City Barons Live On Sportsnet 360:

Viper fans will get their first look at watching former Vernon Vipers forwards Connor & Kellen Jones Sunday as the Jones Twins and the AHL Oklahoma City Barons visit the Abbotsford Heat live on "the score" Sportsnet 360 at 1pm

The Jones Twins recently signed an amateur tryout contract with the Barons on April 3rd 2014 after finishing four years at Quinnipiac University.  Connor and Kellen both played four years in Vernon (2006-2010).

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

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

Connor Jones Player Profile:

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=113610

Kellen Jones Player Profile:

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=113607




Game Preview: BCHL Fred Page Cup Finals: Game 2 Coquitlam @ Vernon:

Coquitlam (11-5) @ Vernon (10-6) 7pm start

Tonight is the fifth meeting of the season (regular season & playoffs) between the Vipers & Express. The regular season series was tied 1-1 while the Vipers won the one playoff game during the Round Robin playoff Tournament.  Coquitlam leads the Fred Page Cup Finals 1-0.  You can listen to tonight's game live with Graham Turnbull starting with the pre-game show at 6:45pm on 107.5 Kiss FM

Here's a look at the regular season series between the two teams

December 8th Coquitlam won 4-2
January 11th Vernon won 3-1

Vernon-Coquitlam Regular Season Overall Records-Stats:

Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon is 7-2-0-0 vs. Coquitlam

Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon has outscored Coquitlam 34-27

Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon is 5-0-0-0 at home vs. Coquitlam

Since the 2003-04 regular season Vernon is 2-2-0-0 in Coquitlam

Vernons last win in Coquitlam was a 7-5 victory back on Sunday, November 18th 2012

Coquitlam's last win at home vs Vernon was a 4-2 win back on Sunday, December 8th 2013

Vernon's last win at home vs Coquitlam was a 3-1 win back on Saturday, January 11th 2014

Coquitlam's last win in Vernon-The Express havnt won in Vernon since before the 2003-04 season. (Due to the stats only going as far back as the 2003-04 regular season I dont know when the last win was)

The Vipers went 1-0-0-0 last season vs Coquitlam

For more stats & former Vernon Junior Hockey Team rosters & lineups please visit Paul’s Vernon Junior Hockey History website,

http://members.shaw.ca/vernonfranchise/index.html














Lets take a look at the Vernon Vipers:

The Vernon Vipers snapped their three game winning streak after falling 6-4 at home in Game 1 Friday.  The Vipers have lost just nine games all season (Regular Season & Playoffs) at home this year drop the first game in a playoff series for the second time in three series. 

Vernon’s Junior Hockey Team’s have now made the BCHL League Finals 19 times since 1970 with a record of 12-6.

Here’s a look back at Vernon’s run to the League Championship:

1970 Vernon Essos defeated Victoria 4-2
1972 Vernon Essos defeated Penticton 4-3
1988 Vernon Lakers defeated Richmond 4-1
1989 Vernon Lakers defeated New Westminister 4-1
1990 New Westminister defeated Vernon Lakers 4-2
1991 Vernon Lakers defeated Powell River 4-0
1992 Vernon Lakers defeated Bellingham 4-0
1996 Vernon Vipers defeated Langley 4-1
1997 Surrey defeated Vernon Vipers 4-1
1999 Vernon Vipers defeated Chilliwack 4-1
2000 Chilliwack defeated Vernon Vipers 4-1
2002 Chilliwack defeated Vernon Vipers 4-2
2003 Vernon Vipers defeated Chilliwack 4-0
2005 Surrey defeated Vernon Vipers 4-1
2007 Nanaimo defeated Vernon Vipers 4-2
2009 Vernon Vipers defeated Powell River 4-2
2010 Vernon Vipers defeated Powell River 4-3
2011 Vernon Vipers defeated Powell River 4-0

Brett Mulcahy (14-3-17) leads the Vipers in playoff goals with fourteen while Colton Sparrow (7-12-19) leads the Vipers in playoff points with nineteen.

Vernon Vipers 2014 Playoff Stats:

Games Played: 16
Wins: 10
Losses: 6
Overtime Losses: 0
Home Record: 5-3
Road Record: 5-3
Overtime Record: 1-0
When the Vipers score first: 6-3
When the opponents score first: 4-3
Leading after 1st Period: 5-3
Tied after 1st Period: 4-1
Trailing after 1st Period: 1-2
Leading after 2nd Period: 8-1
Tied after 2nd Period: 1-2
Trailing after 2nd Period: 1-3
Out shooting Opponents: 5-0
Out shot by Opponents: 4-5
One goal games: 4-1
Goals For: 58
Goals Against: 47
Streak: One game losing streak

Vernon Vipers Returning Players:

Mason Blacklock (94)
Dexter Dancs (95)
TJ Dumonceaux (94)
Logan Mick (96)
Brendan Persley (93)
Ryan Renz (93)
Colton Sparrow (93)
Michael Statchuk (94)
Austin Smith (93)
Danny Todosychuk (94)

Vernon Vipers Departing & traded players from last years team:

Liam Board (93)
Brett Corkey (92)
Bryce Eviston (94)
Jason Bird (93)
Andrew Tegeler (92)
Craig Martin (95)
Mitch McAllister (94)
Marc Hetnik (92)
Michael Roberts (95)
Braeden Russell (93)
Geoff Crisfield (93)

Vernon’s Home record vs. Coquitlam this season (Regular Season & Playoffs)

2-1-0-0

Vernon’s Road record vs. Coquitlam this season (Regular Season & Playoffs)

0-1-0-0

Vernon’s scoring leaders vs. Coquitlam this season (Regular Season & Playoffs)

Demico Hannoun (1-4-5)
Dexter Dancs (1-4-5)
Liam Coughlin (1-3-4)
Brett Mulcahy (3-1-4)
Colton Sparrow (2-2-4)
Jared Wilson (1-3-4)
Michael McNicholas (2-2-4)
Brendan Persley (1-3-4)
Josh Bryan (0-3-3)
Riley Guenther (1-1-2)
Logan Mick (0-1-1)
Dylan Chanter (1-0-1)
Mason Blacklock (1-0-1)

Austin Smith (2-2 Record)

Key’s and Notes to tonight’s game:

-Vernon has the leagues 6th best powerplay

-The Vipers have the BCHL's 9th best penalty kill

















Lets take a look at the Coquitlam Express:

The Coquitlam Express make their fourth visit of the season (Regular Season & Playoffs) to Kal Tire place tonight are coming off a 6-4 come from behind victory in Game 1 last night.  The Express have won three straight picked up their first win in Vernon since before the 2003-04 regular season.  Due to the stats only going back to the 2003-04 regular season, I dont know when exactlly the last Coquitlam win in Vernon was.  Games 3 & 4 go Monday-Tuesday in Coquitlam. 

For more on the Coquitlam Express please visit Eddie Gregory's Coquitlam Expressions blog,

http://expressvoice.blogspot.ca/

Ryan Rosenthal (12-6-18) leads the Express in goals during the playoffs with twelve and in points during the playoffs with eighteen.

Coquitlam Express 2014 Playoff Stats:

Games Played: 16
Wins: 11
Losses: 5
Overtime Losses: 1
Home Record: 6-1
Road Record: 5-4
Overtime Record: 0-1
Goals For: 52
Goals Against: 47
Streak: Three game winning streak

Coquitlam Express's Returning Players:

Adam Rockwood (95)
Joey Santucci (94)
Marc Biega (94)
Zach Hodder (93)
Jace Henning (95)
Cameron Marks (95)

Coquitlam Express's Departing & traded players from last years team:

Justin Georgeson (93)
Bradley Ryan (92)
Zachary Pryzbek (94)
Brandon Morley (94)
Ben Israel (94)
Adam Rossingnol (93)
Travis Stephens (93)
Lars Hepso (92)
Garrett Forster (95)
Will Cook (94)
Cal Hofford (94)
Malcolm McKinney (92)
Mitchell Fyffe (94)
Michael Macaig (92)
Sam Majka (93)
Cole Huggins (92)
Daniel Urbani (95)

Coquitlam's Home record vs. Vernon this season (Regular Season & Playoffs)

1-0-0-0

Coquitlam's Road record vs. Vernon this season (Regular Season & Playoffs)

1-2-0-0

Coquitlam's scoring leaders vs. Vernon this season (Regular Season & Playoffs)

Bo Pieper (5-1-7)
Canon Pieper (1-3-4)
Corey Mackin (2-2-4)
Zach Hodder (0-4-4)
Marc Biega (1-1-2)
Jace Hennig (1-1-2)
Ryan Rosenthal (1-1-2)
Mark Whiteley (0-2-2)
Adam Rockwood (0-2-2)
Ben Israel (1-0-1)
Joey Santucci (0-1-1)
Brendan Lamont (0-1-1)
Daniell Lange (0-1-1)

Pierce Dushenko (0-1 Record)
Gordie Defiel (2-1 Record)

Key’s and Notes to tonight’s game:

-Coquitlam has the BCHL's 10th best powerplay

-The Express have the league's 2nd best penalty kill

Here's a look at both teams rosters:

Vernon Vipers:

http://www.bchl.ca/leagues/stats_1team.cfm?leagueID=2393&clientID=1413&teamid=224096

Coquitlam Express:

http://www.bchl.ca/leagues/stats_1team.cfm?leagueID=2393&clientID=1413&teamid=267274

Friday, April 11, 2014

BCHL Fred Page Cup Finals: Game 1: Coquitlam 6 Vernon 4

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 Game 1 of the BCHL Fred Page Cup Finals as Coquitlam defeated Vernon 6-4 in front of 1,917 fans at Kal Tire Place.

Starting Goaltenders:

Vernon: Austin Smith
Coquitlam: Gordie Defiel

1st Period:  The Vipers didnt need long to open the scoring after Josh Bryan sent Brendan Persley in alone for the breakaway beat Gordie Defiel giving Vernon the 1-0 lead at :40 Bryan & Jared Wilson collected the helpers.  The Express come right back with a great opportunity after the following faceoff, Mark Whiteley with a quick low shot from the circle was stopped by Austin Smith who made a big pad save.  The Vipers with a ton of pressure early and often were really flying, buzzing in and around the Coquitlam net.  Colton Sparrow setup Brett Mulcahy who was alone in front went high giving the Vipers a 2-0 lead at 3:05 Sparrow and Brendan Persley with the assists.  Vernon with two shots had two goals.  Less then two minutes later the Vipers would get the games first powerplay.  Dexter Dancs down the left wing was stopped by Defiel who made a quick save before the Vipers with traffic in front beat Gordie Defiel fivehole before an Express defender was able to quickly clear the puck from the blue paint as the Vipers were close to jumping out to a 3-0 lead.  The Vipers with a few good scoring opportunities moved the puck around well setup a wide open Demico Hannoun at the side of the net who couldnt connect on the pass missed with a wide open cage on a missed opportunity.  The Vipers with a good powerplay couldnt capitalize as Coquitlam was able to kill off the penalty.  Vernon was all over Coquitlam most of the period were outshooting the Express 6-2 eight minutes into the contest.  Austin Smith stoned Corey Makin making a quick glove save keeping the Express off the board.  Just before the halfway mark a hard working shift by the 4th line almost paid off.  Matty Saharchuk stayed with the play after being hit, setup Logan Mick who's quick low shot was just about redirected in by Saharchuk going to the net on a close play.  Just past the midway mark Colton Sparrow setup Brendan Persley on an odd man rush, couldnt beat Express starting goaltener Gordie Defiel who made a quick save off the Vipers assistant captain.  Coquitlam would get their first powerplay of the night just past the ten minute mark after the Vipers were caught with too many men but a very good penalty kill by Vernon was able to kill off the minor as the Express didnt record a single shot with the man advantage.  Just as the penalty expired Dexter Dancs with a spin o rama move at the neutral zone was able to hold onto and keep the puck setup Demico Hannoun for the breakaway put a nice move in close beat Defiel giving Vernon a 3-0 lead at 15:40 Dancs and Michael McNicholas picked up the assists.  In the final minute of play Cody Boyd was exchanging words with Michael Statchuk, the two went up ice in each others faces before the two dropped the gloves in more of a wrestling match then a scrap.  The Vipers were up 3-0 after 20 minutes of play.  Vernon with a quick start opened the scoring just fourty seconds into the game looked very strong in the opening twenty minutes.  The Vipers who were very physical, carried most of the play, were first to the puck, won most of the battles along the boards and were winning the races.  Coquitlam was having all kinds of troubles with the Vipers speed and forecheck down low.  The Express were outplayed most of the 1st, had some good looks at Austin Smith and the Vernon goal but really didnt generate much offensive chances.  Vernon outshot Coquitlam 12-8.

2nd Period:  Coquitlam with a great start to the middle frame got on the board early after Vipers starting goaltender Austin Smith stopped Daniell Lange Bo Pieper jumped on the rebound getting the Express on the scoreboard at 2:58 Lange and Zach Hodder picked up the helpers.  Coquitlam would get their second man advantage of the night about a minute and a half later, moving the puck around the Express with a few quick low shots from in close just missed the net or didnt get some puck luck coming very close to getting within a goal.  The Vipers penalty kill come up big with atleast two or three big blocks were able to hold off a good Coquitlam powerplay killing off the early minor.  Vernon who quit hitting, wasnt skating-moving their feet wasnt the same team that Viper fans saw in the opening period as a much more quicker, faster skating Express team looked good and was the better of the two teams in the first half.  The Vipers would get their second powerplay just before the ten minute mark.  Moving the puck around, getting too fancy the Vipers missed some great opportunities after not being able to capitalize on atleast two open nets.  Coquitlam was caught running around in their own end on the penalty kill was able to kill off the penalty.  Just two minutes later the Express would get their third powerplay and capitalize.  Bo Pieper from the slot beat Smith at 13:44 as Vernon's three goal lead was now down to just a goal.  Jace Hennig & Zach Hodder picked up the helpers.  Less then two minutes later the parade to the penalty box continuted as Vernon would get back to back powerplays to finish the 2nd period.  On the first man advantage again the Vipers didnt look that good but missed on atleast one maybe two open nets making one too many passes as Coquitlam with a fairly easy penalty kill. On the second powerplay the Vipers looked bad making some poor passes, throwing the puck around loosely were very lucky they almost coughed the puck up at the blueline on several plays.  Coquitlam would eventually tie the game shorthanded after a Vernon pass went back to the point bounced over Jared Wilson's stick, Wilson went back casually for the puck in the mean time was being chased down by Corey Mackin who stole the puck from Wilson going in for the shorthanded breakaway beat Austin Smith tying the game at 18:57 on an unassisted play.  The Vipers with two poor powerplays blew a three goal lead.  The game was tied 3-3 after 40 minutes of play.  The Express with a quick start, scored early got on the scoresheet got some momentum and life really come out flying.  Coquitlam with a much better period were really flying, put pressure on the Viper defence, forcing the Vipers into several turnovers even got under the skin of the Vipers through out the period.  The Express got their legs moving, are quick, really move the puck and dangerous in and around the goal.  The Vipers on the other hand come out very relaxed, maybe too over confident?  Took their foot off the gas?  I dont know but didnt have a very good period giving up three goals and missed on some good opportunities.  Vernon quit skating, quit hitting, were a different team then the one that was up 3-0 after the opening period.  Coquitlam outshot Vernon 16-11.

3rd Period:  Vernon come out strong to start the third, were really flying early.  With some good pressure Colton Sparrow setup Brett Mulcahy in the slot looked to given the Vipers a 4-3 lead but somehow Gordie Defiel made a huge save in the opening minute keeping this game tied.  The Vipers with all kinds of pressure looked good in the opening few minutes before grabbing an early lead.  Demico Hannoun spotted Mason Blacklock who went in alone for the breakaway put Vernon up 4-3 at 3:04 Blacklock with the lone helper.  Just seconds later the Vipers with an early man advantage looked to jump ahead by two after Colton Sparrow was robbed at the side of the net after Defiel slid across the crease stacking the pads just got a peice of Sparrow's shot with his glove as Coquitlam with a huge penalty kill were only down by a goal with lots of time remaining.  Just over a minute later Vipers captain Ryan Renz with a turnover just inside the neutral zone gave up a two on one, Bo Pieper with a quick snap shot tied the game 4-4 at 6:40 with his third goal of the game.  Canon Pieper with the assist.  Just over a minute later Dexter Dancs setup Liam Coughlin on a Vernon odd man rush, but Coughlin was robbed by Gordie Defiel who come across the blue paint to make a huge pad save keeping this game tied, back come the Express on the same play would grab their first lead of the night.  Bo Pieper with his fourth goal of the night beat Smith from in close giving Coquitlam a 5-4 lead at 8:03 Mark Whiteley and Canon Pieper collected the assists.  Two quick back to back goals by the Express totally changed the momentum of the hockey game, giving the Express a ton of momentum and life as well as confidence and took the wind out of the sails of the Vernon Vipers.  These two quick goals seemed to deflate the Vipers as Coquitlam with all the momentum slowly started to carry the play and take over the game.  The Express come very close to grabbing a two goal lead after a diving Josh Bryan tried to block a shot had the puck go off himself and just go past the far corner of the wide open cage almost going into the back of his own net.  The Express with a very hard working forecheck and strong cycle down low were carrying the better of the play took a two goal lead after Corey Mackin beat Austin Smith in close giving Coquitlam a 6-4 lead at 11:42 Zach Hodder & Ryan Rosenthal with the assists.  Frustration then took over as the Vipers got into penalty trouble.  Coquitlam seemed to be getting under the skin of several Viper plays and it seemed to work as the Express with a late five on three man advantage.  Vernon was able to kill off the first powerplay before Corey Mackin beat Austin Smith but hit the crossbar in the dying seconds of the man advantage.  The Vipers with a good penalty kill would excape killing off the two man advantage.  With just over three minutes to go the Vipers tried pulling out the stops.  Austin Smith would head to the Vernon bench with two minutes remaining for the extra attacker.  Josh Bryan was able to get a quick hard shot through traffic but couldnt beat Gordie Defiel who looked a little shaky in the opening period really settled down and come up huge in the third making several game savers.  Defiel made atleast three big saves in the final two minutes before the Vipers would call a late timeout.  Vernon just couldnt get any sustained pressure late before Riley Guenther playing goal made a big save off Ryan Rosenthal in the final minute blocking a shot from in close keeping this a two goal game.  The Express would keep Vernon to the outside before the final buzzer would go as Coquitlam with a huge come from behind road win walks away with a 6-4 victory and a 1-0 series lead.  The Vipers with a good start come out with a ton of pressure, had some good scoring chances grabbed an early lead before giving up two quick back to back goals.  I thought Vernon was the better team in the first five minutes couldnt recover after the Express capitalized on some turnovers scored two quick back to back goals scored one more for insurance.  Vernon outshot Coquitlam 12-11.

Top Players: (Vernon)

Josh Bryan (1 assist)  Had a strong game on Vernon's blueline.  Bryan who has been one of if not the Vipers best d-man these playoffs was very good at both ends of the rink.  Was very good defensively as well as offensively with the puck.  Come up with several big blocked shots logged alot of minutes.

Michael Statchuk I thought played very well on the backend, was smart, didnt panic, made a few heads up plays through out the game, even dropped the gloves in the 1st period.

Mason Blacklock (1 goal) Who has been in and out of the Vipers lineup with two different injuries this regular season, hasnt been the same player from the start of the season.  Blacklock has really been struggling the past few months I thought looked good tonight, I dont think he stood out and had a bunch of scoring chances, but for the first time in several months looked to be skating hard, battling and competing and was in hard for the puck.  Seemed to have alot more energy tonight and more grit in his game.

The line of Colton Sparrow (1 assist), Brett Mulcahy (1 goal) & Brendan Persley (1 goal & 1 assist) once again was the Vipers top unit.  This line has really caught fire these playoffs and been the Vipers best line-players all playoffs.  I thought Sparrow was by far the Vipers best player tonight, played and showed alot of determination with his hard work and compete level.  Was very strong with the puck along the boards, hard to knock off the puck tonight, really read and saw the ice well.  Persley with two points played with alot of energy like always worked and battled hard all game. 

Dylan Chanter was also very good on the blueline.  Was physical, good with and without the puck has really come along way since joining the Vipers in January.  Seems to be playing with alot more confidence.

Game Thought's: (Vernon)

After a very strong 1st period the Vipers were out to a 3-0 lead and looked to be running away with Game 1.  Vernon with two quick first period goals was all over the Express most of the opening frame.  The Vipers playing physical, won most of the races and battles for the pucks were very hard to contain until the 2nd period when the wheels fell off.  Coquitlam with a quick early goal got on the scoresheet and back into the game in a hurry.  The Vipers quit skating-moving the puck, also stayed away from the hitting allowed the Express to get their legs going, gained some confidence used their speed and quickness down low crept back into the hockey game before tying the game late in the 2nd shorthanded.  The Vipers with several missed opportunities didnt look very good with the man advantage, got too fancy with their passing, also coughed up the puck way too many times.  The Vipers looked very sloppy and disorganised with the powerplay were pretty bad in the second period.  I thought Vernon responded with a great start to the 3rd re-gained the lead before giving up two quick back to back goals never recovered.  The Vipers with again turnovers and some sloppy play in their own end, quit hitting and skating at times and it cost them.  When was the last time the Vipers-Austin Smith gave up six goals in a game?  When was the last time the Vipers blew a 3-0 lead? Vernon with two weeks off prior to tonight's game needs to be much better tomorrow night.  The Vipers were in full control of the game after the 1st period looked to be running away with the game, this team cant sit back on any kind of lead, they just arnt good enough and need to keep their foot on the gas pedal all game.  Vernon needs to be better, sharper and play a full sixty minutes tomorrow night.  Pretty disapointing with the small crowd and the final result.  I really like the look of Kal Tire Place now that they have added several RBC Cup signs-banners to the rink, making it look and feel more like the home for the 2014 RBC Cup. 

Top Players: (Coquitlam)

Zach Hodder (3 assists) Now leads all Express defencemen in points with eleven.  Hodder is quick, moves the puck well, can skate and really find the open lanes.

Cameron Marks also with a solid game on the backend.  I really liked the looks of this young kid.  Not the biggest kid but is quick, can skate and move the puck as well as has some moves.  Had a strong game on the blueline.

Adam Rockwood lead the Express in scoring during the regular season with 74 pts didnt pick up any tonight but was dangerous at times through out tonight's game.  Wearing a cage is very skilled and slick with the puck, really sees and reads the ice well can make things happen in a hurry.  Was hard to knock off the puck at times, played very well.

Corey Mackin (1 goal) Was also very strong up front, this kid played very well in Game 1 seemed to be up and down the ice all night.  Involved in the play, was in and around the Vernon net most of the night.

Bo Pieper (4 goals) Was Coquitlam's best player, this kid was very dangerous and obviously hard to contain.

Ryan Rosenthal (1 assist) Leads the Express in points these playoffs is another dangerous player for Coquitlam.  Picking up just one assist looked like he may have scored on the empty netter but was stopped by a big block by Vipers d-man Riley Guenther.  Rosenthal is very good with and without the puck, a good-quick skater also makes things happen in a hurry.

Gordie Defiel (31 saves) Gave up two goals on the Vipers first two goals looked a little shaky at times through out the opening period really seemed to get better and look more confident as the game went on.  I didnt think he looked all that good in the first two periods, had troubles with his rebounds and puck control as well as positioning, getting caught out of position on several occasions in the 2nd but come up large for the Express in the final period.  Making some huge game savers in the 3rd giving his club a chance to win.

Game Thought's: (Coquitlam)

After being off the last week and a few days the Express showed signs of rust and it looked like it was going to cost them Game 1 after falling behind 2-0 early in the opening period and down three goals after twenty minutes of play.  Coquitlam who was outhit, outworked and outplayed for most of the 1st period recovered and responded with a heck of a 2nd period, scoring three goals to tie the game heading into the final frame.  The Express with an early goal to start the second period, gained some momentum and life got their legs going, were quick down low and really move the puck well.  The defence likes to jump up into the play-rush and get involved.  Coquitlam outplayed and outworked Vernon in the middle frame fell behind early to start the 3rd before getting some solid goaltending early keeping them in the game.  The Express then capitalized on two Vernon turnovers scored two quick back to back goals never looked back coming away with a 6-4 win taking Game 1 of the finals.  Give this team a ton of credit for not quiting, battling back down three goals and then having to come from behind in the 3rd after giving up an early goal.  This team looked and got better as the game went on, the Express are quick, move the puck well and have some snipers that can rifle that puck in on net in a hurry.  Coquitlam just like Vernon started the first two playoff series on the road, now start the Fred Page Cup on the road took Game 1 had a fair good turnout of fans show up for tonight's game.

Scratches:

Vernon:

Mark Hamilton (Injured)
Kenny Citron (Injured)

Coquitlam:

Anthony Gardner
Joey Santucci (Suspended)

Energy player of the game:

Canon Pieper (2 assists)

Three Stars:

1st Star: Bo Pieper (4 goals)
2nd Star: Zach Hodder (3 assists)
3rd Star: Brendan Persley (1 goal & 1 assist)

For more on tonight's game visit the BCHL boxscores,

http://www.bchl.ca/leagues/hockey_boxscores.cfm?clientID=1413&leagueID=2393&gameID=1316014&link=bchl

For more on tonight's game and the Coquitlam Express visit Eddie Gregory's Express blog,

http://expressvoice.blogspot.ca/