Saturday, July 23, 2016

Memories Of The ’99 Vipers:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Memories Of The ’99 Vipers

July 22, 2016

by Vernon Vipers

Vernon Vipers owner Dr. Duncan Wray and former Viper bench boss Troy Mick sat down to talk about their memories of the 1999 Royal Bank Cup champion Vernon Vipers. The team is being inducted into the BC Hockey Hall Of Fame along with alumnus Murray Baron who played for the Lakers between 1984 and 1986. Wray, who was inducted into the BCHHOF in 2011, says all of the teams that have won a national title have a special place in his memories but the 1999 team’s accomplishments cannot be overlooked.

The ’99 squad only lost six games in the regular season posting a team record 106 points.  However the team also had some struggles en route to its second RBC cup and 4th National Championship. Not only did the team lose the first ever game to the RMJHL Kimberley Dynamiters (no BCHL team had lost a game during the Mowat Cup) but the team also had to beat the Calgary Canucks led by future NHL star Dany Heatley.

Even in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, the team narrowly avoided being eliminated in the RBC Cup’s round robin portion after losing their first three games of the tournament. The Vipers however would come back to beat Charlottetown 9-3 to win their 4th National Championship.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAPGqP3B6K0

Friday, July 22, 2016

1999 Vipers Enter Hall Of Fame:

This is posted on the Kiss FM website:

Vipers Team Enters Hall of Fame

Posted on 7/22/2016  

by  Pete McIntyre
 
The Vernon Vipers RBC Cup winning team from 1999 will be inducted in the BC Hockey Hall of Fame tonight.

The team, which was coached by Troy Mick and included the likes of Lennie Rampone (captain), Ryan Bayda and Lanny Gare, is considered to be one of the greatest teams in BCHL history.

It had a regular season record of 52-6-2, and won the franchise's fourth national title in 10 years.

Team owner Duncan Wray will be on hand for the ceremony tonight in Penticton at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Wray remembers the team being 0-3 going into their final game of the RBC round robin.

"We had to win to move on, and we did. It was just so exciting. No one could figure out why we were 0-3 when we had a team that won 52 games in the regular season. It was a little nerve rattling, but it was fun," Wray tells Kiss FM.

Wray calls it a tremendous honour, for what he says was a special group of players that year.

"They asked me a couple years ago which of the teams I was involved with should be considered, and
I suggested the '99 team, simply because of their record. It was a special group. They were like brothers."

Wray says the Lanny Gare-Ryan Bayda-Tyler Knight line was one of the highlights that year.

"They were just tremendous all the way through the season. Defensively, we had Lenny Rampone (team captain), and Derek Gustafson in goal. It was just a really special team."

Here is a look at the 1998-1999 Vernon Viper Roster:
  
4      Bradley, John
5      Bussoli, Mike
6      Gilchrist, Spence
7      Williams, Danny
8      Reed, Josh
9      Knight, Tyler
10    Davison, Kori (Asst. Capt.)
11    Filewich, Jeff
12    Bayda, Ryan
14    Sickavish, Kelly (Asst. Capt.)
15    Magowan, Kenny
16    Chytka, Petr
17    Digel, Jace
18    Gare, Lanny
19    Duggan, John
20    Bresciani, Joel (Asst. Capt.)
21    Krahn, Scott
22    Kamel, Tito
24    Ringstad, Nick
25    Lacasse, Domenic
28    Rampone, Lennie (Capt.)
96    Gustafson, Derek
97    King, Chris
    
Owner/President:  Duncan Wray
Head Coach:  Troy Mick
Assistant Coach Joe Oliver

Former NHL'er and Vernon Lakers defenceman Murray Baron is also being inducted, along with BCHL commissioner John Grisdale, and Merritt Centennials owner Brian Barrett.

Ex Viper Festerling Becomes Free Agent:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Garrett Festerling has become a free agent
after the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) Hamburg Freezers folded due to financial reasons.

The Freezers are a member of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga hockey league (DEL) that play their games in Hamburg, Germany.

After three seasons in the Western Hockey League with Portland & Regina Festerling has spent the past nine seasons playing in Germany with three different teams (EV Fussen, Hannover & Hamburg) Festerling has spent the past six years with Hamburg.

Festerling played parts of two seasons in Vernon (2002-2003). Festerling played with the 2002-03 Vipers before leaving the team during his second season in Vernon, in December 2003 for the WHL Portland Winterhawks. In 77 regular season games with the Vipers Festerling collected (12-goals-25-assists-37-points).

Garrett Festerling's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=11628

This was posted on Gregg Drinnan's Blog:

May 25th 2016

The Hamburg Freezers (Germany, DEL) have folded for financial reasons and DEL all players under contract are free agents. That includes brothers Garrett (Portland, Regina, 2003-07) and Brett Festerling (Tri-City, Vancouver, 2001-07), each of whom had two years remaining on their contracts with Hamburg. Brett, a defenceman, had one assist in 18 games this season, while Garrett, a forward, had seven goals and 16 assists in 30 games.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Former Vernon Viper Coughlin Attends Blackhawks Development Camp:

Former Vernon Viper forward Liam Coughlin attended the Chicago Blackhawks Development from July 10th-July 15th.

Coughlin finished his first season at the University of Vermont last season, played two seasons in Vernon (2013-2015) playing in 107 games with the Vipers picking up (38-goals-67-assists-105-points). Coughlin was drafted 130th overall by the Edmonton Oilers in Round 5 at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. The Oilers traded Coughlin to the Chicago Blackhawks on July 6th 2015 for Anders Nilsson.

Liam Coughlin's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=248303

This is posted on the Blackhawks website:

Blackhawks to host 2016 Prospect Camp from July 10-15

Thursday, 07.7.2016

By Chicago Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks will conduct their 2016 Prospect Camp at Johnny’s IceHouse West in Chicago (2550 W. Madison St.) from Sunday, July 10, to Friday, July 15.

The camp roster of 66 invites is highlighted by eight of Chicago’s 2016 National Hockey League Draft selections, as well as former first-round selections Nick Schmaltz (2014) and Ryan Hartman (2013). Illinois natives include Roy Radke (2015 NHL Draft, 164th overall), Anthony Louis (2013 NHL Draft, 181st overall) and Vincent Hinostroza (2012 NHL Draft, 169th overall). A complete camp roster and schedule can be found here.

http://blackhawks.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=113540

On-ice sessions will begin on Sunday, July 10, and will run from approximately 10:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at Johnny’s IceHouse West. Practices and scrimmages will be conducted Monday-Wednesday, with position practice on Thursday. The group will hold one scrimmage on Friday beginning at approximately 10:00 a.m.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Pedersen & The Junior Canucks Capture Brick Invitational Championship:

Vernon Vipers Head Scout & Assistant Coach Kevin Pedersen helped guide the BC Junior Canucks  to the 2016 27th Annual Brick Invitational championship July 11th in Edmonton Alberta.  Pedersen also helped guide the U15 Penguins to the 2016 Male U15 Provincial Tournament with a victory over the Wild in the championship game May 8th 2016 in Richmond, BC.

The Brick Invitational hockey Tournament website:

http://www.brickhockey.pointstreaksites.com/view/brickinvitational/home-page-784

This is posted on the Hockey Now website:

BC Junior Canucks Win 2016 Brick Invitational Tournament

By Mike Beasley on July 15, 2016

Being persistent is always a good thing as this summer’s edition of the BC Junior Canucks will be quick to point out.

After eight unsuccessful attempts trying to be crowned the top team at The Brick Invitational Hockey Tournament, it all came together in 2016 for this group of nine- and 10-year-olds.

British Columbia’s last Brick championship was back in 2007, but now the drought is over.

The team, made up of players from Nanaimo to Victoria and Greater Vancouver through to West Kelowna, traveled to Edmonton, Alta. earlier this month to compete in what has become a summer tradition for many of the best Canadian and American players in this age group.

The 27th annual tournament was held at the world famous West Edmonton Mall from July 4 to 10, with fourteen squads from all over North America making the summer pilgrimage to compete in the prestigious event.

The list of Brick alumni that are currently playing in the NHL is incredible. The list starts with Washington Capitals D Karl Alzner, who played with Vancouver in the tournament, and runs through almost the entire alphabet before coming to a stop at Minnesota Wild F Jason Zucker, who attended the event as a member of Team California.

At this year’s event, the BC Junior Canucks blasted through their competition in the Wigston Conference, going undefeated in six games against Team Brick Alberta, Saskatchewan Jr. Pats, Toronto Bulldogs, Chicago Jr. Blackhawks, Team Pennsylvania and Detroit Red Wings.

The Styles Conference was made up of Team Minnesota, Boston Junior Bruins, Toronto Pro Hockey, Winnipeg Junior Jets, Montreal Ice Storm, Connecticut Junior Rangers and Team California.

With a an impressive 6-0 record, British Columbia was the only undefeated team in the opening round of the tournament, outshooting their opponents 31-6 to earn a berth in the semifinals.

From there, the Junior Canucks had to wait until the winner of a quarterfinal matchup between the Boston Junior Bruins (5-1) and Saskatchewan Jr. Pats (3-2) was determined. Boston came out on top with a 4-3 overtime victory to set up a semifinal showdown against British Columbia.

Junior Canucks forward Tomas Mrsic proved to be too much for the Junior Bruins, leading his team to a 5-2 win with a four-goal, five-point performance and a spot in the championship final. British Columbia G Jesse Sanche had a quiet but effective game, stopping nine of 11 Boston shots.

In the other semifinal game, Team Minnesota (5-1) locked horns with the Toronto Bulldogs (4-2). The Bulldogs advanced to the semifinals after winning an all-Toronto quarterfinal game with a 6-0 shutout over Pro Hockey. Team Minnesota went on to win 3-1 against the Bulldogs to set up the final two combatants in a classic Canada (British Columbia) versus United States (Minnesota) showdown.

So the stage was set with the Junior Canucks and Team Minnesota facing off for all the marbles on Sunday, July 10 on the ice at the West Edmonton Mall.

With an announced crowd of 500 cheering parents, siblings, friends, relatives and hockey fans encouraging the teams on, the Junior Canucks emerged as the victors with a convincing 5-2 win.

British Columbia’s Tomas Mrsic was named the game’s first star with a three-goal performance. He scored the game-winning goal, an insurance marker, along with the team’s first empty-net goal. Carson Wetsch and Macklin Celebrini had the other Junior Canucks markers.

After finishing the six-game round-robin with 1-7-8 points, Mrsic really turned up his offensive output in the playoffs with 7-1-8 points in just two contests. Teammate Jordan Gavin followed Mrsic in playoff scoring with one goal and four points. In the round robin, Gavin led the Junior Canucks with 5-4-9 points. Wetsch chipped in with 4-4-8 points in his six preliminary round games.

Goalie Massimo Urbani was solid between the Junior Canucks pipes, stopping 21 of 22 Minnesota shots. The Junior Canucks goaltending tandem of Urbani and Sanche combined for a perfect 8-0 record during the tournament.

The 2016 win marks the fourth time British Columbia has won the Brick tournament. They also won in 2007, 2000 and 1997.

With the win, the Junior Canucks put an end to a six-year championship run by a Toronto team. The Toronto Bulldogs were crowned champion in 2015, 2013, 2012 and 2011. In 2014 and 2010, Toronto Pro Hockey took home the hardware.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Beast Add Former Vernon Viper Marino To Teams Protected List:

The East Coast Hockey League announced their Protected Lists as submitted by each of its member teams.  The Brampton Beast have thirty five players listed on their protected list one is former Vernon Vipers forward Brandon Marino.

Brampton Beast Protected List:


Andrew D'Agostini, Eric Brassard, Jordan Ruby, Kenny Reiter, Trevor Cann, Bryan Pitton, Travis Armstrong, Steven Kaunisto, Mike Vernace, Zach McCullough, Jordan Henry, Matt Chiarantano, Tim Billingsley, Justin Baker, Brayden Rose, Taylor MacDougall, Austin McKay, Mike Hammond, David Ling, Daniel Vernace, Joey West, Jesse Stoughton, Mitch Zion, Nick McParland, Luc-Olivier Blain, Jamie Wise, Luke Pither, Joe Zarbo, Scott Jacklin, Stephon Thorne, Steve Mele, Jeff Brown, Brandon Marino, Calin Wild, Justin Donati


Marino started last season with the Beast, picked up (13-goals-28-assists-41-points) in 40 games before signing a Professional Tryout Contract (PTO) with the American Hockey League (AHL) Uitca Comets January 12th 2016. Marino was released February 10th 2016 after scoring once in eight games with Utica before signing with the Comets for a second time February 26 2016. In 30 games with the Comets Marino collected (4-goals-0-assists-4-points). Marino recently signed with the HC Mikron Nové Zámky or known as in English (HC New Locks) on May 22nd 2016.  HC New Locks is a Slovak ice hockey club in New Zámky , that plays in the Tipsport League.

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


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


Brandon Marino's Player Profile:


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

This is posted on the ECHL website:

ECHL announces Protected Lists

June 2, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Protected lists may exceed 20 players.

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

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


Monday, July 18, 2016

BCHL News & Trades:

I found these press releases off team websites, twitter accounts, blogs or online. All Vipers news-trades are posted on this blog as soon as released-announced.

BCHL News & Trades:

Wild Name Lenerville Director Of Sales & Marketing:

The Wenatchee Wild have been busy this offseason with a restructuring of the front office, and the organization is pleased to welcome their latest addition, Katie Lenerville who will serve as the Director of Sales and Marketing. Lenerville spent the last three seasons working with the Rapid City Rush of the ECHL. It was there that she encountered Tim Hill, who joined the Wild this offseason as GM of Business Operations. “When Tim approached me in regards to moving to Washington I knew right away that’s where I wanted to be. Not only do I have friends and family there but this is my chance to help a team at the junior level.” For Hill, bringing Katie to the Valley was a priority. “We are very excited to have Katie join the Wild family”, Hill stated. “Her energetic personality, customer service commitment, and impressive experience made her a key component when putting our new front office staff together.” He added, “We are extremely lucky to have her!” After graduating high school in her hometown of Dickinson, ND, Lenerville attended Association Free Lutheran Bible School in Plymouth, MN where she played on the varsity basketball team for two seasons, winning an NCCA National Championship. She later attended UC Irvine to pursue a science degree before moving to Rapid City in 2013. “Hockey has always been part of my life”, Lenerville explains. “My Dad attended UND (University of North Dakota) so when I moved to Minnesota, we would always give each other a hard time about which school had better hockey.” Ironically, it was in Southern California that her love for the game caught fire. “I met (Anaheim Ducks star) Teemu Selanne and he gave me tickets to a Ducks game and that’s when I first really starting following hockey.” Lenerville joins Hill, along with new Office Manager Nadine Lemons and Director of Media Relations and broadcaster Arch Ecker in a new-look Wild front office committed to continuing to grow the game and the Wild franchise here in central Washington. She’s expected to arrive in Wenatchee in mid-July. The Wenatchee Wild organization is excited for the growth and positive changes on the horizon this season.

Viegas Returning As Silverbacks Trainer:

“Jade is one of the best in the business and we could not be any happier that she is returning to the Backs” stated Troy Mick. She is an amazing talent on and off the ice and an integral part of our team. “We are extremely excited Jade will be returning for another season. Jade is a true professional and we are lucky to have her here in Salmon Arm. Our players health and wellness is in good hands for another season”stated Silverbacks Head Coach Brandon West. Backs main camp opens Aug 22 and stay tuned for the release of the 2016-2017 schedule this week.

Steele & King Commit To Alberni Valley Bulldogs:

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are please to announce the signing of two new forwards for the 2016-17 season. Ryan Steele, a 6’2, 185lb, centerman from Stratford, PEI comes to the Bulldogs from The Holderness School, which is located in New Hampshire. This past season Steele scored 46 points (23 goals and 23 assists) in 29 games. Steele is a very strong skater and someone who can play a strong 200-foot game while adding size and depth to Bulldogs offensive core. “I’m very excited to be a part of a great organization like Alberni Valley,” says Steele. “I look forward to working with my new coaches and teammates. I know it is a place where we will find lots of individual and team success.” The Bulldogs would also like to welcome George King, a native of Calgary, AB to the team. King ended last season with the Cochrane Generals in the Heritage Junior Hockey League. King scored 14 points (5 goals and 9 assists) in 7 regular season games. After a long playoff run, the Generals eventually bowed out in the HJHL finals. King who stands at 6feet, 175 lbs, is a gritty and speedy winger who has also spent time in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (38 games). “I am excited to join a great organization and great community,” says King. “Alberni has made a tradition of being a good team on and off the ice and I am looking forward to the opportunity to contribute in any way possible.” Both Steele and King will join the Bulldogs for their Main Camp, which opens August 22nd at the Alberni Valley Multiplex.

Langley-Prince George Trade:


The Langley Rivermen have acquired Nic Ponak from the Prince George Spruce Kings for future considerations.

Kings Name Beauchemin New Broadcaster:

The Powell River Kings are very pleased to announce, Craig Beauchemin will join the Powell River Kings as Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations for the 2016/2017 Season. Craig will begin his journey with us when he arrives in the late summer. Although we are sad to see Alex Rawnsley leave us, we are excited to welcome Craig to the Kings Family. Craig comes to the Kings with more than 4 years of experience, having recently done the play-by-play for the Battleford North Starts in the SJHL. He completed his Radio Broadcasting program in 2012 and then completed his Post-graduate Sports Journalism program in 2013. Craig has some big shoes to fill here with the Kings and is up for the challenge. “I am excited to come out to the Coast and work in the best junior league in the country,” says Craig who can’t wait to get started. Craig will be making media posts throughout the summer to keep everyone up-to-date with any announcements. Join us to celebrate Craig’s arrival at our Ice Breaker Event in September and to meet our 2016/2017 Team.

Vilio Commits To Surrey Eagles:


The Surrey Eagles have added to their defensive unit by announcing that Elijah Vilio has committed to the team for the upcoming 2016-17 BCHL season. The 19-year-old Vilio played last season with the Aldergrove Kodiaks of the PJHL, where he recorded 14 points in 36 games. Vilio is a puck-moving and playmaking defenceman, who is also very sound defensively. One of his best attributes is his skating ability, which should be very useful on the Olympic-sized ice surface at the South Surrey Arena. His 6-foot, 175 pound frame means that he also does not shy away from the physical side of the game. He hasn’t always been a defenceman, either – switching to the new position just last year. It’s safe to say that it was a positive transition, and he has found a new home on the back end. Although he is a native of Aldergrove, BC, he does have a connection to the Surrey area. “I really wanted to play in Surrey because of the larger ice surface,” Vilio said, when reached for a comment. “My dad was born and raised in Surrey, and my grandparents and many of my relatives currently live there. I’m very familiar with the area, and it should be a great place to play hockey.” Jumping from the PJHL to the BCHL will be a challenge, but it’s one that he looks forward to at this point in his career. He’ll be working all offseason to prepare himself for the physicality of the league. “The players are going to be bigger and faster,” Vilio commented. “I have to be ready to use my skating and playmaking ability to my advantage.” Vilio is also an accomplished roller hockey player. He won a bronze medal with Team Fraser Valley at the 2012 BC Summer Games, which was held in Surrey. He will also be playing for Team Canada’s U18 team at the AAU Junior Olympics in Hawaii later this summer. “I want nothing more than to win with the Eagles,” Vilio asserted. “I’m going to work extremely hard in the offseason to make sure I can contribute.”

Prince George-Kindersley Trade:


19 year old forward Jordan Funk was traded to The Kindersley Klippers of The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) in exchange for future considerations.

City Of Chilliwack To Host 2018 Royal Bank Cup:


With great anticipation, representatives of the Chilliwack 2018 bid committee announced that Hockey Canada has verbally confirmed Chilliwack will host the 2018 RBC Cup National Junior A Championship. Though contracts are yet to be signed, the local committee wanted to share the community’s ‘win’ and expressed its great appreciation to dedicated Chiefs hockey fans and Chilliwack businesses for their ongoing support. Brian Minter, Board Chair of Tourism Chilliwack, said, “Our most sincere thank you to the entire RBC Cup bid committee for its creative and thoughtful presentation to the final decision makers of this important event. From a tourism perspective, we very much appreciate being part of this committee and the bidding process. Not only will this event bring a significant degree of prestige to our community, but the economic benefits will also be immense. We look forward to hosting this event with a high level of professionalism and community participation. It is a proud moment for Chilliwack.” The RBC Cup is an annual ice hockey competition that determines the Canadian Junior A champion. It is played under the supervision of Hockey Canada and the Canadian Junior Hockey League. Royal Bank of Canada is the title sponsor of both the tournament and the RBC Cup championship trophy. The bidding process to host the 2018 RBC Cup opened in October 2015. Representatives of Tourism Chilliwack, City of Chilliwack, Ts’elxweyeqw Tribe Management, Chilliwack Chiefs Hockey Club, and other local businesses, worked tirelessly to engage the Chilliwack community in preparation for the bid. In an overwhelming show of support, Chilliwack residents took to social media to share with Hockey Canada that Chilliwack was ready to host the RBC Cup. Like-minded business owners and community leaders wrote letters of support for inclusion in the bid package. “This is a momentous occasion for both the Chilliwack community and the First Nations community,” said Squiala Chief David Jimmie, President of the Ts’elxweyeqw Tribe and Stó:lō Nation. “In a spirit of unity and passion, residents, businesses, and community members came together for this bid and will continue to work together to produce an outstanding sports and cultural event.” Following the successful bid, Chilliwack 2018 committee members credit the significant support from community leaders and local businesses and organizations for the success of the bid. “We are grateful to Hockey Canada for the opportunity to host this world-class event and share with the rest of Canada the community our Chiefs have called home for over two decades,” Glen Ringdal, President of Chilliwack Chiefs Hockey Club and Prospera Centre, said. “I am excited by the partnerships we are developing in our community that, like in the success of our bid, will contribute to a successful and memorable Hockey Canada event.” In studies of previous RBC Cup events, the estimated economic impact was $2.8 million in Prince Edward Island with $1.9 million occurring in Summerside, the host city in 2013; and $3.1 million in economic activity in Manitoba with $2.2 million having occurred in the City of Dauphin in 2010. Accommodations are one way this economic activity is generated. For example, Dauphin’s 2010 event resulted in 2,250 overnight stays. The City of Chilliwack eagerly anticipates similar results. Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz said, “I want to thank the leaders of our City’s bid committee for their efforts and congratulate the people of Chilliwack on their part in securing this exciting event for our community. Hosting the 2018 RBC Cup presents an incredible opportunity for each of us to be involved in creating the economic and social benefits this championship will bring.” Now, once the contracts are signed, the Chilliwack 2018 host committee will work to recruit volunteers to lead and support the coordination of ticket sales, travel and accommodations, team services and experiences, marketing and promotions, and of course the execution of the eight-day tournament. Sports enthusiasts and community-minded individuals are encouraged to purchase game tickets, sponsorship packages, or to volunteer at the upcoming event. The framework for each of these processes will be released shortly. The RBC Cup National Junior A Championship is scheduled to be held at Prospera Centre in Chilliwack, May 12-20, 2018.

Spruce Kings Acquire Huber:

The Prince George Spruce Kings are pleased to announce the acquisition of 19 year old forward Jamie Huber from The Listowel Cyclones of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL). The 5’10” 180 pound Huber is from Goderich Ontario. Last season with Listowel, Huber scored 33 goals and had 47 assists for 80 points to go along with 36 penalty minutes in 49 games played. “We are excited to add Jamie to our organization. He is a great young man and a very talented player. He will be a very big part of our group next season. His offensive numbers speak for themselves, but he is a complete player who will be able to play in all situations for us” said Spruce Kings General Manager Mike Hawes. “We are very excited that Jamie chose to become a Spruce King.  He is a very skilled player with a high compete level. He is very determined and is willing to put in the hard work necessary to further his development. We are looking forward to him joining our team in August for our Main Camp” said Spruce Kings Head Coach Chad van Diemen. “I’m really excited to be joining the Spruce Kings. I think the organization is running a great program. I feel like it’s a great opportunity for me and that I can help the team as an offensive presence. I connected with coach Chad very well and like the hard working philosophy they have in Prince George” said newly acquired Spruce Kings forward Jamie Huber. Jamie Huber will join the rest of his Spruce Kings team mates just prior to the start of the team’s main training camp on August 25th.

Warriors Name Rutigliano Captain:

The West Kelowna Warriors are pleased to officially announce that Nicholas Rutigliano will be named Team Captain for the 2016/2017 season. The 20-year-old defenceman from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts was clearly overjoyed after hearing the news. “I’m extremely excited, and it’s a tremendous honour to be selected Captain of the West Kelowna Warriors. I would like to thank the coaching staff and our owner for giving me the opportunity to wear the C. I’ve learned so much from previous players and teammates on what it takes to lead a team, most notably our captain last year Kyle Marino. After winning a National Championship the team is excited for another successful and great season!” said Rutigliano. Head Coach Rylan Ferster also believes he definitely has the right man for the job. “Nick has all the qualities to be a great leader. He carries himself like a pro on and off the ice.” The 6 foot 1 American D-man had 24 points in 58 regular season games in 2015/2016. The West Kelowna Warriors will begin the quest to defend their National Title with Rutigliano as their leader in early September. Schedule/banner raising announcements to come soon!

Smoke Eaters Announce Game Time Changes:

The Trail Smoke Eaters are leaning toward earlier start times for home games and announce the following changes for this season:

•All mid-week and Saturday night games will now start at 7:00 PM
 •Sunday games will remain at 3:00 PM
 •Friday night games will remain at 7:30 PM

The Smoke Eaters are hoping that the earlier start times will encourage younger families to attend the games.

Sinclair & Bunz Commit To Chiefs:


Chilliwack Chiefs Head Coach and General Manager Jason Tatarnic today announced the addition of goaltender Mark Sinclair (1996) and defenseman Davis Bunz (1998). Sinclair was acquired from the Caledonia Corvairs of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League in exchange for future considerations.  Last season with the Corvairs, Sinclair finished the regular season with a goals against average of 1.78 and a save percentage of 92.4 in forty games. In 19 playoff games he posted a save percentage of 92.3 and a goals against average of 1.86 as the Corvairs captured their third consecutive league championship. Bunz joins the Chiefs from Middleton High School in Wisconsin. Bunz, whose father Garry was a member of three BCHL teams during the early 1980’s finished last season with 23 goals and 18 assists in 24 games. On joining the Chiefs: “I’m really looking forward to being a part of this great organization and getting the season going. I know the BCHL is a very competitive league and the Chiefs are regarded as one of the top franchises to play for. I'm grateful for the opportunity.” Tatarnic on Sinclair: “Mark has been a proven winner for Caledonia and we feel he can do the same for us. All he has done the last two seasons is win and we are happy to give him the chance to do the same for us. Mark is a twenty year old and we felt we needed an older goaltender to complement our younger defence core this season.  I watched him play live last season and I was impressed with him and I feel he will do a great job for us.” Tatarnic on Bunz: “Davis is an excellent skater and he will provide mobility on our backend.  We feel Davis has all the makings to be a quality college player down the road.  We’re happy to have him in Chilliwack as we build for the 2018 RBC Cup.” 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Cyclones Trade Ex Vipers Defenceman Weinstein To South Carolina:

The East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Cincinnati Cyclones have traded former Vernon Vipers defenceman Steve Weinstein to the South Carolina Stingrays.

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

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

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

Steve Weinstein's Player Profile:

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

This is posted on the Cyclones website:

CYCLONES SEND WEINSTEIN TO SOUTH CAROLINA

For Immediate Release: June 3, 2016

Move Completes Trade from February

Cincinnati, OH- The Cincinnati Cyclones have sent defenseman Steve Weinstein to the South Carolina Stingrays. The move satisfies the “Future Considerations” portion of the trade for forward Colin Mulvey from February 12.

A native of Los Angeles, CA, Weinstein had a solid rookie campaign in 2015-16, accounting for three goals and 19 assists in 52 games played. Weinstein also tallied a goal in two playoff games for the Cyclones.

Mulvey made a strong impact in Cyclones red and black, totaling 20 points (8g, 12a) in 25 games with Cincinnati. He had six multi-point efforts for the Cyclones, including a pair of three-assist games, and a two-goal performance in the 3-2 shootout loss to the Indy Fuel on February 27. The Worcester, MA native also dished out a pair of assists in seven playoff games for the 'Clones.

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

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Billets Needed For Upcoming Vipers Season:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Billets Needed For 2016-17

by Vernon Vipers

June 17, 2016

Recent News

BILLET FAMILIES NEEDED

For many of us, our choice to move away from the family home was a decision made when we were in our late teens, or even twenties. If you think back, you will remember a lot of the anxiety that went along with this move. For a Junior A hockey player who leaves their family home to follow their dreams, they are not just leaving family and friends behind to go to a new city or town, but they are still expected to perform both on and off the ice in their new community. Without caring billet families to ease this transition, our young athletes, and future stars might never make the decisions they do to pursue their dreams.

The Billet Family experience in most cases becomes a lasting relationship between the player, the players family and the billet family. Our hockey players in the past have served as great role models not only in their community, but for younger family members who can learn from these players dedication and sacrifices to obtain their goals. Often the billet family through this experience have gained a ‘new family member’ who’s career they can monitor, be it at the college, semi pro or even professional level.

If you are interested in becoming a billet for a Vipers hockey player, please contact Kevin Kraus at the Vernon Vipers office (250-542-6022) or email Kevin@vipers.bc.ca

The importance of billet families to the Vernon Vipers Hockey Club is immeasurable. Simply put, without the billet families we could not put a team on the ice.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Jokerit Sign Ex Vernon Viper Genoway:

The Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) Jokerit ice hockey team has signed forme Vernon Vipers defenceman Chay Genoway.

Jokerit (English: Jokers or Jesters) is a professional ice hockey team based in Helsinki, Finland. Jokerit are members of the Bobrov Division of the Western Conference of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).

After four years at the University of North Dakota, Genoway spent the next three seasons with the American Hockey League (AHL) Houston Areos and Hershey Bears.  The Minnesota Wild signed Genoway to an entry-level contract on April, 12th 2011. Genoway made his NHL debut with the Minnesota Wild on April, 7th 2012 collecting 1 assist and being named 2nd star vs the Pheonix Coyotes. Genoway spent parts of two seasons with the Wild farm club in Houston before the Wild traded Genoway to the Washington Capitals on March 14th 2013.  Genoway never played a single game with the Capitals, played a half season with the Caps farm club in Hershey. This will be Genoway's third season in the KHL after playing the past two years with the KHL Dynamo Riga (a professional ice hockey team based in Riga, Latvia) & HC Spartak Moscow (a professional ice hockey team based in Moscow, Russia). 

Genoway played one season in Vernon (2005-2006). In 56 regular season games with the Vipers Genoway collected (17-goals-32-assists-49-points).

Chay Genoway's Player Profile:

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=92084

This is posted on the Jokerit website:

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Former Vipers Defenceman Juha Invited To Islanders Mini Camp:

Former Vernon Vipers defenceman Luke Juha has been invited to the New York Islanders Mini Camp.

Juha just finished his fourth and final year at Penn State University, was up for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award last year, also one of nine Canadian Junior Hockey League alumni who were selected out of the twenty candidates for the 2015-16 Senior CLASS Award in collegiate hockey. The American Hockey League (AHL) Bridgeport Sound Tigers signed Juha to an Amateur Tryout contract on March 24th 2016.

Juha played one season in Vernon (2011-12). Juha played in just ten games picking up two assists, missed most of the season due to two long term injuries. The Vipers acquired Juha from the OJHL Burlington Cougars on June 27th 2011 for future considerations.

Luke Juha's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=75054

This is posted on the Islanders website:

Islanders Open 2016 Mini Camp

Top prospects come to Long Island for summer workouts with Islanders coaches

Tuesday, 06.28.2016

By Cory Wright

The New York Islanders opened up their 2016 Mini Camp on Tuesday, with over 50 prospects and invitees hitting the ice at Northwell Health Ice Center for a week of on-ice and off-ice work.

It’s a week for Islanders coaches to evaluate players and their game, a midsummer check-in to help guide training and preparation for training camp in September.

“This camp is just preparation for [training camp],” said Michael Dal Colle, the Islanders 2014 first-rounder. “It’s my third camp now, so I know what it’s all about now. It’s my first year pro this year… and it’s just preparation for main camp.”

Getting bigger, faster and stronger is the goal for almost every prospect at mini camp, though for the 2016 draft class, it’s also about getting to know the coaches, other prospects and the area itself.

ISLANDERS MINI CAMP ROSTER

“On a scale of 1-10 I put it at a 10,” Kieffer Bellows, the Islanders 2016 first-rounder, said of the first day. “It was pretty exciting, going out there and wearing Islanders gear and having that Islanders crest across your sweater was pretty cool. Just getting to skate around with the guys was pretty cool; it’s a great facility, I’m very happy to be here.”

Four of the Islanders’ six draft picks are in attendance. Nick Pastujov is recovering from a shoulder injury, while Anatoli Golyshev is in Russia, the tight turnaround not providing enough time to secure a visa.

In total, five first-round picks (Mathew Barzal, Anthony Beauvillier, Joshua Ho-Sang, Bellows and Dal Colle) are at camp. Ilya Sorokin – the reigning KHL goaltender of the year – is also at camp, as he makes his first visit to the Islanders organization and the United States. Andong Song, the first Chinese-born NHL draft pick – is also at camp this week.

SOROKIN ARRIVES AT ISLANDERS CAMP

The prospects will play in the annual Blue and White Scrimmage on Wednesday, June 29th at 7 p.m. at Northwell and again in a second scrimmage on Friday July 1, the last day of camp.

The Blue and White Scrimmage will have a different look this camp, becoming a three-team tournament. Rosters will become available on Wednesday.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Mavericks Trade Viper Alumni Jones To Greenville:

The East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Missouri Mavericks have
traded former Vernon Vipers forward Kellen Jones to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits.

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

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

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

This is posted on the Swamp Rabbits website:

Swamp Rabbits Acquire Skilled Forward to Complete March Trade

Monday, June 13, 2016

Greenville, SC – The Greenville Swamp Rabbits, proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, today announced the team has acquired the rights to scoring threat Kellen Jones from the Missouri Mavericks to complete the trade for Darian Dziurzynski from March 3.

“Kellen is a highly productive, high character forward who has good hands and quick feet,” Head Coach Brian Gratz said. “He’s played nearly 90 games in the American Hockey League and we are excited to acquire his rights.”

Jones, 25, collected more than a point-per-game with the Mavericks last season, helping Missouri to the ECHL’s best regular-season record (52-15-5) and the 2016 Brabham Cup title. He notched 25 points (6g, 19a) and a +9 rating in 23 regular-season games and also made 33 appearances in the AHL with Bakersfield and Utica.

A third-year pro, Jones produced 15 points (5g, 10a) and 10 penalty minutes with the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons during the 2014-15 campaign and added 25 points (7g, 18a) in 27 contests with ECHL Bakersfield. The Montrose, British Columbia native began his career with Oklahoma City in 2013-14 following a four-year career at the prestigious Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut.

In 157 games at Quinnipiac, Jones recorded 127 points (53g, 74a) and 123 penalty minutes. He played all four years alongside his twin brother, Connor, who spent last season with the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Kellen, a 5’10, 185-pound forward, was originally drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the seventh round (#202 overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Former Vernon Viper Williamson vs Former Penticton Panther Prpich:

Former Vernon Vipers forward-captain Jason Williamson #39 takes on Penticton Panthers forward Mike Prpich #20 during a Vipers-Panthers game at the Vernon Multi-Plex during the 2001-02 season.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_w3aXk_bBQ

Williamson played three years in Vernon (1999-2002) before going to Niagara University.

Williamson returned to the Vipers in 2008 spending three years as an Assistant Coach (2008-2011) before being named Head Coach-GM in 2011. Williamson was Head Coach-GM for three seasons (2011-2014) before stepping down-resigning as Head Coach-GM after two exhibition games into the 2014-15 season. Williamson is fifth on the Vipers all-time wins list as Head Coach (81-Wins 70-Losses 6-Ties).

Williamson spent the 2015-16 season as Head Coach of the Okanagan Rockets before leaving the Rockets in April. Williamson has also been working with the Nanaimo Clippers the past two seasons as Director of Scouting and Recruitment, will be entering his third season with the Clippers this coming year.

Jason Williamson's Player-Coaches Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=81172

Monday, July 11, 2016

BCHL News & Trades:

I found these press releases off team websites, twitter accounts, blogs or online. All Vipers news-trades are posted on this blog as soon as released-announced.

BCHL News & Trades:

Chilliwack Chiefs Set To Retire #9


The Chilliwack Chiefs announced today that they will retire number nine as a tribute to Gordie Howe who passed away last week at the age of 88. Howe, known to everyone as “Mr. Hockey” played 26 seasons in the National Hockey League and six seasons in the World Hockey Association. He retired after the 1979-80 season at the age of 52. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972 and into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1975. In 1998 The Hockey News named Howe the third best player of all time, behind only Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr. Both Gretzky and Orr have said it was Howe who deserved the number one spot. “Gordie Howe symbolized class,” said Chiefs President Glen Ringdal. “We are proud to permanently recognize and honor his life and accomplishments by retiring the number 9 from our team.” Returning forward Jesse Lansdell, who wore number nine last season has no problem moving to a different number. “It was an honor being able to wear his number. It’s great to see Mr. Howe get the respect he deserves.” Number nine is the first to be retired by the Chiefs and Head Coach Jason Tatarnic says the decision was an easy one to make. “Gordie Howe will always be remembered as Mr. Hockey and we want our fans and players to remember and honor the greatest ambassador of our game on and off the ice. Our goal as an organization is to develop good people. We preach to our players all the time that they will be a person longer than they will be a hockey player and with that in mind it’s important to become a good person and we feel there is no better example of this than Gordie Howe. We are honored and privileged to retire number 9.”

Welsh & Lentz Commit To Bulldogs:

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are please to announce the signing of two new defensemen for the 2016-17 season. Connor Welsh, a 5’8, 160lb, defenseman from Halifax, NS is coming off an excellent final season with Stanstead College where he scored 43 points (5 goals and 38 assists) in 68 games. Welsh is a very intelligent, mobile defenseman who possesses a lot of skill with the puck. “I’m excited to be a Bulldog and play in the BCHL,” says Welsh. “I look forward to meeting my new teammates along with playing in front of the best fans in the BCHL.” The Bulldogs would also like to welcome Tyler Lentz, a native of Calgary, AB to the team. Lentz played last season for the Calgary Northstars Midget AAA program where he scored 21 points (5 goals and 16 assists) in 32 regular season games and added 10 points (2 goals and 8 assists) in 7 playoff games. Lentz who stands at 6-feet, 185lbs, is another strong skating defenseman who has the ability to join the rush and move the puck to his teammates. “I am looking forward to moving on to the next level in my hockey career as well as becoming a part of the Port Alberni community,” says Lentz. “I am excited to work with the coaching staff every day and improve both on and off the ice.” Both athletes are bright students and will have many doors open in their NCAA future. The Bulldogs are very excited to welcome Connor and Tyler to the Bulldogs family. The Bulldogs continue to prepare for their Main Camp, which opens August 22nd at the Alberni Valley Multiplex.

Coquitlam-Penticton Trade:


The Penticton Vees Jr. ‘A’ Hockey Club has sent defenceman Domenic Masellis to the Coquitlam Express for future considerations the team announced Thursday. Masellis was acquired by the Vees from the Langley Rivermen in November of last season and played in 30 regular season games for Penticton, picking up a goal and four points; between Langley and the Vees he had eight points in 47 games. The stay-at-home defenceman has played three seasons in the BCHL and nearly 150 regular season games between Surrey, Langley and Penticton. He also has another 20 games of post-season experience under his belt, eight of which were with the Vees last spring. The Vees thank Domenic for his contributions to the team and wish him all the best in his future with the Express organization.

Smoke Eaters Name Keith New Head Coach:


Assistant coach, Cam Keith, of the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL has accepted the role of head coach of the Trail Smoke Eaters.  Along with the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL the Cyclones are a minor league affiliate of the NHL’s Nashville Predators.  The ECHL is a tier  below the AHL and both leagues are the only minor leagues recognized by the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and the NHL Players Association. Cam is a native of Nelson, BC and made his coaching debut with Cincinnati after completing a 10-year playing career, spanning three leagues as well as overseas.  In 146 games in the AHL with Hartford, St. John’s and Peoria he amassed 36 points, (14 goals, 22 assists).  In 213 regular season games in the ECHL he scored 54 goals along with 98 assists for a total of 152 points.  In the ECHL he played for the Pensecola Ice Pilots and the Alaska Aces winning the Kelly Cup with the Aces in 2006.  The Partrick J. Kelly Cup is awarded annually to the playoff champions of the ECHL. In that playoff year he finished 7th overall on the Aces with 12 points (6 goals and 6 assists) in 17 games and was instrumental in helping his team capture the cup.  In post season contests, playing for the Kelly Cup, Cam was nearly a point-per-game player stockpiling 43 points (13 goals, 30 assists) in 49 games. During his tenure in collegiate hockey, playing for University of Alaska-Fairbanks. he accrued 100 points with 41 goals and 59 assists in 144 games.  He finished in the Nanooks top six in scoring during each of his four seasons. During his BCHL career Cam played for the Victoria Salsa in 1997/98 and 1998/99 seasons.  He played for the Trail Smoke Eaters during the 1999/2000 season and in 54 games had 28 goals and 30 assists for 58 points. Cam also played in the CHL, Italy Serie A, a European Elite hockey league and Del-2 (Germany), the second highest level in Germany. On bringing Cam on board with Cincinnati, Matt Macdonald, head coach, said he was confident Cam would bring a high level of professionalism, work ethic and knowledge to the team.  The Smoke Eaters are also confident that Cam will bring those same attributes to our organization. “My past experience in Trail and my roots in the Kootenays have drawn me back to Trail hockey and the BCHL,” quoted Cam.  “My history with the Trail community gives me the confidence  and pride to recruit the character players that best exemplifies Trail Smoke Eater Hockey.”  “I am deeply honored to be selected as the Head Coach for the Trail Smoke Eaters and look forward to giving back to a community that gave me so much.” The Smoke Eaters welcome Cam and his family to Trail and wish him the best of luck for the coming season.

Nanaimo-Montreal Trade:

The Nanaimo Clippers have acquired forward Vincent Millette from the Montreal-Est Rangers of the QJAAAHL in exchange for future considerations.   The 1998 born forward had recently been acquired by the Rangers from the Arctic de Saint-Leonard.  During the 2015-2016 season with the Arctic, the 5’10”, 180lb, Blainville, Quebec native tallied 27 goals and 19 assists for 46 points in 48 games played.

Vees Prepping For Western Canada Cup:

Fred Harbinson is encouraging fans to take advantage of early-bird ticket prices and secure their tickets now for the 2017 Crescent Point Western Canada Cup Junior-A hockey championship. The Penticton Vees president, GM and head coach said the club is at around 30 per cent of their ticket sales target for the tournament, which the city will host for the first time ever April 29 to May 7, 2017. The price for the 13-game package is just $129 until July 1, then it goes to $149 until April, and then up to $179 for the final month leading up to the five-team competition. “Things have been pretty steady but we’re just hoping to keep the momentum going and avoid the lull in July,” explained Harbinson. “Why spend the extra money if you don’t have to?” Harbinson said the Vees are continuing to make it more affordable for everyone to enjoy watching games at the South Okanagan Events Centre – be it the league, playoffs or an event such as the WCC. He said fans can book their WCC tickets with a minimum $25 deposit and can pay the balance of the $129 through an installment plan. “We recognize every dollar is important to families,” said Harbinson. He said it will cost around $700,000 to stage the tournament, which features the host Vees and the champions from the B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba Junior-A leagues. The top two teams advance to the RBC Cup national championship later in May. “When I took over as president (before 2013-14), we had our eyes on hosting one of those two big competitions and the timing of the WCC made most sense for us,” said Harbinson. “People have been asking for us to host, we put together the bid and now here we are … and we need people on board, especially with the early-bird promotion we have going now.” Harbinson noted the WCC ticket packages were much more expensive the past two years — $250 this past year in Estevan and $275 in 2014-15 when the Vees won the WCC in Fort McMurray, Alta. “We have the nicest arena in Junior-A hockey and we’ve had consistently the best on-ice product over the last several years,” said Harbinson. “We’re really excited with what we’ve created here.” Harbinson said with hosting the WCC, the Vees have asked sponsors to give a little bit extra this season. “The response has been positive,” said Harbinson. “We’ve emphasized their importance and how they’re a big part of the team and what we do here.” Thanks to a partnership with Penticton-based Peter Bros. Construction, fans age 18 and under have been admitted to Vees games free of charge the last two years. That initiative continues again this season and also includes the WCC games, Harbinson said. “We’re really excited to be able to offer that to our younger fans,” said Harbinson. The partnership with Peter Bros. has helped boost the Vees average attendance, though it had been trending in that direction after the Vees dropped their season’s ticket prices dramatically when Harbinson became president. “We upset a lot of other teams in the league because they felt we were undervaluing our product,” said Harbinson. “But we wanted to make it more affordable, and with our corporate involvement on promotions like the ‘Wicked Wednesdays’, coupled with a top-notch on-ice product, we’ve now got an outstanding atmosphere for every home game.” The Vees averaged 1,786 fans in 2012-13, down significantly after the Vees magnificent 2011-12 national-championship winning season when they averaged 2,108 in the regular season and 2,762 overall. This year, the Vees averaged 2,560 overall including playoffs. In the last two seasons, they have only had four crowds under 2,000 fans. Harbinson has also been busy with his GM’s duties in the past few months, building a team capable of again contending for a national championship. “We’re going to have a real solid team again … a bit older with real good size,” said Harbinson. “We’re going to be exciting to watch again.”

Riddle Commits To Surrey:

The Surrey Eagles have officially announced that Tyler Riddle, an 18-year-old forward from Springfield, Pennsylvania, has committed to the team for the 2016-17 season. Riddle spent the majority of last season with the U18 Philadelphia Jr. Flyers of the AYHL. He led his team in scoring with 15 goals and 15 assists in only 22 games. Weighing in at 5-foot-11, 170 pounds, Riddle is known to be a smart and skilled playmaker. His coach in Philadelphia, Bud Dombroski, describes him as “a consistent player that works hard, and competes every game.” He added, “Tyler is very strong with the puck and should do well in the BCHL next year.” Although he has never been to Surrey, Riddle explained in an interview with SurreyEagles.ca that the Eagles were his first choice for a variety of reasons. “I decided not long after my season ended that I wanted to play for the Eagles,” Riddle recalled. “The BCHL is known for highly skilled and fast paced powerhouse type players, and [the Surrey area] seems like one of the most beautiful places in the world.” The Eagles’ revamped offensive unit contains newcomers Jordan Robert, Jesse Nelson, and Ryan Foley, as well as the recent acquisition of 20-year-old Darius Davidson, and returning forwards Paul McAvoy and Jeff Stewart. Riddle, who models his game after St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko, feels like he will fit in nicely with the group – providing yet another scoring punch. “I want to make a positive impact in my first season by learning and adapting quickly to the Eagles system,” said Riddle. “I pride myself on my hockey IQ, and ability to quickly make the right decisions in every zone. Even though I was brought in to score goals, I plan on adding a physical element to my game.“ Riddle expects the jump to junior hockey to be a difficult, but smooth transition. The Eagles are extremely excited to be able to land another dynamic forward to their roster. “Making the jump to the BCHL won’t be easy,” explained Riddle. “You’re playing against the best junior players in North America every night, but I’m more than willing to play in the dangerous areas to set up my teammates.”

Crossley Commits To Clippers:


The Nanaimo Clippers are very pleased to announce that Austin Crossley has committed to play for the Team for the 2016-2017 season.  The 1999 born defenceman joins the Clippers after playing last season for the Kamloops Storm of the KIJHL.  During the 2015-2016 season the 6’1”, 205lb, Fort St. John native tallied 1 goal and 8 assists for 9 points and added 64 penalty minutes in 40 games played for the Storm.

Silverbacks TV:


Salmon Arm Silverback’s Head Coach Brandon West talks about the end of last season and losing to the eventual RBC Cup Champions West Kelowna Warriors. He also talk about what it’s like to compete in the BCHL’s Interior Conference which has won six national titles in the past twenty years plus talks about recruiting for the upcoming hockey season which is only about three months away.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrCwj98Mr8c

Merritt-Coquitlam Trade:


The Merritt Centennials announced Wednesday that 20-year-old defenseman Malik Kaila has been traded to the Coquitlam Express for future considerations. “This trade was a hard one for me. Malik was our captain last year and has been a great Centennials player during his career,” said Cents GM and Head Coach Joe Martin. “However, we had too many 1996-born players and now Malik gets a fresh start and can strictly focus on his final year of junior hockey to help him attain a scholarship. Malik is a true gentleman. On behalf of our entire organization, thank you to Malik and his parents who never missed a game, they will always be Centennials in our eyes.” Kaila played 54 regular season games with Merritt last year, posting eight assists and 51 penalty minutes. The Squamish native was recruited by the Centennials from the Vancouver NW Giants of the BC Major Midget League in 2013. Kaila has appeared in 131 career BCHL games in Merritt, scoring 20 points (one goal, 19 assists) along with 161 penalty minutes. He also appeared in four Fred Page Cup playoff games with the Centennials in 2014. Kaila served as Cents captain in 2015-16 and was also named the team’s Most Dedicated Player at the 2016 post-season awards.

McGeen Commits To Powell River:

The Powell River Kings are pleased to announce Windsor, Ontario native Ted McGeen will be joining the team for the 2016-17 season. The 6′ 170-pound forward played last season in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League with the Chatham Maroons, scoring 27 goals and adding 18 assists in 48 games. He then scored twice with two more helpers in 11 playoff games. “I’m really excited. It’s an opportunity for me to test myself against players who are either looking to finalize their NCAA recruitments or are already committed to the NCAA,” the 1997-born McGeen said. “I’m looking forward to being surrounded by players who have the same mindset as me. My game is pretty focused around speed, and I think I’m pretty good at making quick decisions. I know the Kings are going to be very deep upfront this year and I’m looking forward to being part of that group. I can’t wait to be surrounded by people who are serious about the game.” Kings head coach and general manager Kent Lewis thinks McGeen could be a key contributor this season. “He’s a hard working player,” Lewis said. “He has good speed and has no problems going to the gritty areas. He’s the kind of player who can compliment any line.” McGeen continues trending upwards, as over the last few seasons he has moved up a level of hockey each year. He has gone from Midget AAA to Junior ‘C’, then to Junior ‘B’ last season and now to Junior ‘A’. Kings fans will get their first look at McGeen and the rest of the 2016-17 Powell River Kings when he hits the ice for the team’s training camp in August.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Vipers Open Season Against Silverbacks:

This was in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers open season against Silverbacks

Jul 10, 2016

Morning Star Staff

The Vernon Vipers will open the 2016-17 B.C. Hockey League season Friday, Sept. 9 against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks at the Shaw Centre.

The two heated rivals meet again the next night at Kal Tire Place.

The regular season concludes on Sunday, Feb. 26. The 2017 playoffs start on Friday, March 3.

The Bauer BCHL Showcase is in Chilliwack again and runs Sept. 21-25 with Vernon facing the Nanaimo Clippers on Sept. 23 and the Wenatchee Wild the next day at Prospera Centre.

The Christmas schedule break will be from Dec. 19- 28.

The Vipers will hold their main camp starting Monday, Aug. 22 at Kal Tire Place.

Vernon will play 11 Saturday night home games with a 6 p.m. start. The Vipers will have nine Friday night tilts and three Sunday matinees.

The Snakes have a strong returning list of forwards, including captain Colton McCarthy, alternate Riley Brandt, Jagger Williamson, Christian Cakebread, Steven Jandric, Jimmy Lambert, Hunter Zandee and Brett Stapley.

Head coach/GM Mark Ferner is holding a Michigan camp, July 29-Aug. 1 at the Arctic Edge Arena in Canton.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Former Vipers Aldworth & Wilson Invited To Flames Development Camp:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Thomas Aldworth & former Vernon Vipers defenceman Jared Wilson were both invited to the Calgary Flames Development Camp Monday.

Aldworth attended the Washington Capitals Development Camp last week, will be entering his second season at Quinnipiac University this coming season, played one season in Vernon (2014-15) playing in 57 games with the Vipers, collected (37-goals-19-assists-56-points). In 32 games last year with the Bobcats Aldworth picked up (6-goals-7-assists-13-points).

Thomas Aldworth's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=196692

Jared Wilson will be entering his third season at RPI (Rensselaer Polytech. Inst.) played parts of one season In Vernon (2013-14) played in 48 games with the Vipers collecting (5-goals-23-assists-28-points) after coming over in a trade with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. On October 1st 2013 the Vipers traded Craig Martin & Future Considerations to the Bulldogs for Jared Wilson.

Jared Wilson's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=80739

This is posted on the Flames website:

Flames development camp roster and schedule

Thursday, 06.30.2016

- CalgaryFlames.com

CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames will be hosting their annual development camp for 37 prospects (five goalies, 11 defencemen, and 21 forwards) beginning on-ice on Monday, July 4th at WinSport. The purpose of the camp is to enhance each player’s development process through direction on conditioning and familiarity with the Flames organization.

Media are welcome to attend all on-ice sessions. Players will be made available to the media by request beginning at the conclusion of their training day. All on-ice sessions are open to the public. Please note testing will be done on Monday at the Markin MacPhail Centre – beginning at 7:30 am.

In addition to the 27 players that are the property of the Calgary Flames, Calgary has invited 10 players to attend the Development Camp on try-out agreements (Thomas Aldworth, Brad Bowles, Brayden Burke, Justin Doucet, Spencer Foo, Josh Healey, Dennis Kravchenko, Sheldon Rempal, Mathieu Sevigny, Jared Wilson).

*Andrew Mangiapane (LW) & Daniel Prybil (RW) are unable to participate due to injury

ROSTERS

TEAM 1

94 Braydon Burke LW
62 Austin Carroll RW
78 Justin Doucette LW
77 Mark Jankowski C
71 Hunter Smith RW
83 Adam Fox RD
58 Oliver Kylington LD
53 Kenney Morrison RD
32 Jon Gillies G
36 David Rittich G

TEAM 2

59 Dillon Dube C
97 Tim Harrison RW
47 Matthew Phillips RW
60 Brett Pollock LW
89 Sheldon Rempal RW
54 Rasmus Andersson RD
50 Brandon Hickey LD
68 Adam Ollas-Mattson LD
72 Mason McDonald G

TEAM 3

81 Linus Lindstrom C
91 Mitchell Mattson C
19 Matthew Tkachuk LW
75 Eetu Tuulola RW
98 Riley Bruce RD
63 Ryan Culkin LD
73 Keegan Kanzig LD
70 Nick Schneider G

TEAM 4

84 Thomas Aldworth RW
86 Brad Bowles C
95 Spencer Foo RW
96 Dennis Kravchenko C
87 Mathieu Sevigny LW
85 Josh Healy LD
92 Jared Wilson LD
1 Tyler Parsons G

ON-ICE SCHEDULE

Monday, July 4, 2016

7:30 AM - 3:00 PM ALL PLAYERS Testing WinSport

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

9:00 AM TEAM 1 Power Skating WinSport
10:15 AM TEAM 1 & TEAM 2 Skill Development WinSport
11:45 AM TEAM 2 Power Skating WinSport
1:00 PM TEAM 3 & TEAM 4 Skill Development WinSport
2:30 PM TEAM 3 Power Skating WinSport

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

9:00 AM TEAM 2 Power Skating WinSport
10:15 AM TEAM 1 & TEAM 2 Skill Development WinSport
11:45 AM TEAM 1 Power Skating WinSport
1:00 PM TEAM 3 & TEAM 4 Skill Development WinSport
2:30 PM TEAM 3 Power Skating WinSport

Thursday, July 6, 2016

9:30 AM ALL PLAYERS Scrimmage WinSport
11:15 AM TEAMS 1, 2 & 3 Power Skating WinSport

Friday, July 8, 2016

Vernon Vipers 2016-17 Schedule:

The BCHL released it's 2016-17 schedule Thursday. Here is a look at this year's Vernon Vipers schedule.

Vernon Vipers 2016 Exhibition Schedule:

August:

Thursday, August 25th Penticton @ Vernon 7pm
Friday, August 26th Merritt @ Vernon 7pm
Saturday, August 27th Vernon @ Merritt 7pm
Tuesday, August 30th Vernon @ Penticton 7pm

September:

Friday, September 2nd Vernon @ Salmon Arm 7pm
Saturday, September 3rd Salmon Arm @ Vernon 6pm

Vernon Vipers 2016-17 Regular Season Schedule:

September:

Friday, September 9th Vernon @ Salmon Arm 7pm
Saturday, September 10th Salmon Arm @ Vernon 6pm
Friday, September 16th Coquitlam @ Vernon 7pm
Saturday, September 17th Vernon @ West Kelowna 7pm
Friday, September 23rd Nanaimo @ Vernon 1pm (BCHL Showcase-Played In Chilliwack)
Saturday, September 24th Vernon @ Wenatchee 7:30pm (BCHL Showcase-Played In Chilliwack)
Friday, September 30th Vernon @ Powell River 7:15pm

October:

Saturday, October 1st Vernon @ Alberni Valley 7pm
Sunday, October 2nd Vernon @ Nanaimo 2pm
Friday, October 7th Surrey @ Vernon 7pm
Saturday, October 8th Vernon @ West Kelowna 7pm
Wednesday, October 12th Vernon @ Merritt 7pm
Saturday, October 15th Vernon @ Chilliwack 7pm
Wednesday, October 19th Chilliwack @ Vernon 7pm
Friday, October 21st Trail @ Vernon 7pm
Saturday, October 22nd Vernon @ Trail 7pm
Friday, October 28th Penticton @ Vernon 7pm
Saturday, October 29th Merritt @ Vernon 6pm

November:

Friday, November 4th Vernon @ Cowichan 7pm
Saturday, November 5th Vernon @ Victoria 7pm
Sunday, November 6th Vernon @ Surrey 4pm
Friday, November 11th Vernon @ Penticton 7pm
Saturday, November 12th Penticton @ Vernon 6pm
Wednesday, November 16th Langley @ Vernon 7pm
Friday, November 18th Vernon @ West Kelowna 7pm
Sunday, November 20th Cowichan @ Vernon 2pm
Friday, November 25th Vernon @ Wenatchee 7pm
Saturday, November 26th Vernon @ Coquitlam 7pm
Sunday, November 27th Vernon @ Langley 2pm

December:

Friday, December 2nd West Kelowna @ Vernon 7pm
Wednesday, December 7th Vernon @ Penticton 7pm
Friday, December 9th Vernon @ Salmon Arm 7pm
Saturday, December 10th Trail @ Vernon 6pm
Wednesday, December 14th Salmon Arm @ Vernon 7pm
Friday, December 16th Vernon @ Merritt 7pm
Saturday, December 17th Vernon @ Trail 7pm
Thursday, December 29th Salmon Arm @ Vernon 7pm
Friday, December 30th Vernon @ Salmon Arm 7pm

January:

Saturday, January 7th Vernon @ Penticton 6pm
Wednesday, January 11th Vernon @ Prince George 7pm
Friday, January 13th Salmon Arm @ Vernon 7pm
Saturday, January 14th Merritt @ Vernon 6pm
Wednesday, January 18th Merritt @ Vernon 7pm
Friday, January 20th Vernon @ West Kelowna 7pm
Saturday, January 21st Powell River @ Vernon 6pm
Wednesday, January 25th Vernon @ Penticton 7pm
Friday, January 27th Penticton @ Vernon 7pm
Saturday, January 28th Nanaimo @ Vernon 6pm
Sunday, January 29th Prince George @ Vernon 2pm

February:

Wednesday, February 1st West Kelowna @ Vernon 7pm
Saturday, February 4th Trail @ Vernon 6pm
Tuesday, February 7th Vernon @ Merritt 7pm
Friday, February 10th Wenatchee @ Vernon 7pm
Saturday, February 11th West Kelowna @ Vernon 6pm
Friday, February 17th Victoria @ Vernon 7pm
Saturday, February 18th Alberni Valley @ Vernon 6pm
Friday, February 24th Vernon @ Trail 7:30pm
Saturday, February 25th Trail @ Vernon 6pm