Morning Star Staff
Last chance for rookies to make an impression on the Vernon Vipers coaching staff was supposed to come tonight at Kal Tire Place.
A water main break just before 8 a.m. Saturday flooded the lower part of Kal Tire place and forced the Vipers to cancel their final exhibition game against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
The Snakes, who have seven returnees on injured reserve, lost 1-0 to the Silverbacks Friday night at the Shaw Centre with rookie 17-year-old goalies Cole Demers and Ty Taylor making strong bids to make the Vipers.
Salmon Arm blanked the Vipers 1-0 Friday night at the Shaw Centre with rookie 17-year-old goalies Cole Demers and Ty Taylor making strong bids to make the Vipers.
“They scored off a giveaway midway through the second period,” said Viper head coach/GM Mark Ferner. “They went backdoor, tap-in and it was Cole Demers’ first shot; poor kid. He competes real hard and played well.”
Taylor shut down the Gorillas, who outshot the Vipers 33-28 with a much older and experienced roster. Vernon’s Ryley Booth, a veteran d-man, did not play for the Slverbacks.
“He (Taylor) was good,” said Ferner. He’s a big body and he kind of reminds me of Devan Dubnyk (NHL net detective).”
Ferner can’t remember the last time he coached in a 1-0 game.
“We used to have them,” he laughed. We hit a crossbar and a post and so did they. It was a typical Vernon-Salmon Arm game with tight checking. They had us on our heels the first 10 minutes and the shots were 7-0 mainly due to a powerplay. Then we started looking after the puck, playing physical and got some chances.”
Christian Cakebread, Jagger Williamson and Jimmy Lambert suffered injuries and will sit out until the Vipers open the regular season Friday night in the Shuswap.
“We’re going right down to the wire and will hold exit meetings Sunday morning,” said Ferner. “Some of these young kids are trying very hard to make our hockey club.”
Two kids are especially making the Viper coaching staff take notice. Josh Prokop rang up 50 points in 28 games in Edmonton Midget last year, while Ethan Scardina pocketed 32 poijnts in 34 games with the Delta Academy. Both carry 2000 passports.
Ferner was stoked about the line of newcomer Austin Adamson. prize recruit Niko Karamanis and returnee Steven Jandric. Adamson, a 20-year-old who played the wing in the WHL with Red Deer and Saskatoon, was in the middle.
Young d-man John Ludvig (2000-born), the son of former NHLer Jan Ludvig, made a stellar debut after hurting his back in training camp.
The Vipers have mainly played their rookies while going 0-5 in the preseason.
Veterans Hunter Zandee, Brett Stapley and Nick Rasovic are sidelined and will miss the season opener. Ferner, who can carry six imports, will follow closely the USHL cuts. Those teams must trim their rosters from 30 to 23 by Sept. 19.
SNAKE BITES: Former Viper Michael Roberts will play for the Grant MacEwan Griffins of the Alberta Colleges league. Roberts, a 21-year-old Vernon product, played parts of five BCHL seasons with five teams, scoring 15 times. He joins sophomore G Danny Todosychuk, a Viper and Vernon minor hockey grad. The Griffins also signed Lloydminster Bobcats captain Taylor Mulder, a 6-4, 225-pounder, and Camrose Kodiaks captain Cam Gotaas – the son of former NHLer Steve Gotaas.