EDITORIAL: Vipers already a dynasty

So, this was supposed to  be another of those rebuilding years for the Vernon Vipers.

Actually, doesn’t every year in Vernon seem like a rebuilding year, what with the amount of talent that comes to the North Okanagan to play for, arguably, the B.C. Hockey League’s most storied franchise, and then leave after one, maybe two seasons?

Well, guess what? The Vipers, the two-time defending BCHL, Doyle Cup (B.C.-Alberta) and Royal Bank Cup Canadian champions rebuilt themselves into a third straight national championship tournament, starting this Saturday in Camrose, Alta.

The Vipers, led by head coach Mark Ferner and assistant Jason Williamson, did what no other junior hockey franchise in B.C. or Alberta has done, win a third straight Doyle Cup Sunday in Spruce Grove, Alta., defeating the hometown Saints, the nationally ranked no. 1 team, 4-2 in game seven. It’s the second straight year the Vipers knocked off the Saints in seven games for the right to go to the Royal Bank Cup tournament, a tournament Vernon franchises have fared quite well at.

This will be the ninth appearance in the national final tournament for a Vernon team, whose overall record is 6-2 including gold medals in the last four appearances. No reason to think that, under Ferner’s guidance, they can’t make it lucky seven.

Clearly, the Vipers are a junior A hockey dynasty. Since 1999, they’ve been in nine BCHL finals, winning five times. If they don’t win in Camrose, there’s no shame. After all, they weren’t supposed to get out of their own division in B.C. this year, what with that rebuilding going on and everything.

– Vernon Morning Star