Jagger’s golden goal gets big media pop

Sportsnet. TSN. CTV. YouTube. Facebook. You name the media network and Jagger Williamson’s golden goal has been viewed over and over.




Sportsnet
. TSN. CTV. YouTube. Facebook. You name the media network and Jagger Williamson’s golden goal has been viewed over and over.

Williamson, an alternate captain with the Vipers who turns 18 Monday, supplied perhaps the unassisted shorthanded goal of the decade to pull the Vipers even at 3-3 with 6:18 gone in the third period Saturday night against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

The third-year buzzsaw winger went to his knees and performed some kind of spin-o-rama to move past Silverback d-man Ryley Booth before beating goalie Michael Botiz and getting the fans going bonkers. The Vipers won the B.C. Hockey League home opener 5-3 before 1,631 fans.

“I couldn’t even believe it when I saw it,” laughed Vernon captain Riley Brandt, on Williamson’s sick snipe. “He must have blacked out though and probably didn’t know what he was doing. It was a great goal that tied the game up for us.”

Turns out Brandt was right.

“I honestly didn’t remember what happened when I got back to the bench,” laughed Williamson. “I just had a feeling it was going to sneak through the goalie’s arm. It was by far my biggest goal ever.”

Viper head coach Mark Ferner, an original Mighty Duck of Anaheim with 18 years of pro hockey experience and several seasons of coaching Junior hockey, was impressed with the tally.

“I haven’t seen a goal like that in a long time or ever,” said Ferner, 51. “That was just perseverance and some urgency and those are some of the things we talk about. People will talk about that goal, but what I talked about was the two blocks at the end of the (third) period. Those are things that don’t show up on the scoresheet and are so important to me and maybe saved us a game. It’s frustrating for other teams and you have to have it.”

Brandt and rookie sensation Niko Karamanis each pocketed two goals as the Vipers iced the Silverbacks for the second straight night. Vernon entertains the 1-1 Coquitlam Express Friday at 7 p.m. The Silverbacks led 3-1 after 40 minutes Saturday.

Karamanis converted on a power play 32 seconds into the third frame to jumpstart the Viper comeback, assists going to line mate Steven Jandric and rookie d-man Carter Stephenson.

Brandt opened the scoring 6:47 after the national anthem, shorthanded, after gloving a gorgeous pass from Stephenson at the Silverback blueline. Brandt patiently outwaited Botiz before finishing.

Former WHL defenceman Carter Cochrane levelled things with a low laser from the point, 22 seconds into a tripping penalty on Viper freshman winger Tyler Maser.

Grayson Constable pushed the Gorillas ahead with 3:18 left in the opening 20 on a deflection in front.

Salmon Arm product and ex-WHLer Carson Bolduc made it 3-1 Silverbacks midway through the middle stanza, 57 seconds into a power play with rookie d-man Shane Kelly off for crosschecking. Jared Turcotte controlled the puck in the high slot and found Bolduc back door for a beauty. Cameron Trott earned the secondary assist.

Salmon Arm product and ex-WHLer Carson Bolduc made it 3-1 Silverbacks midway through the middle stanza, 57 seconds into a power play with rookie d-man Shane Kelly off for crosschecking. Jared Turcotte controlled the puck in the high slot and found Bolduc back door for a beauty. Cameron Trott earned the secondary assist.

The Vipers pressured hard in the third and Brandt, who was chosen first star, bagged the winner on a sweet wrister from the slot, seconds after he struck the post. Brandt grabbed a rebound after Botiz delivered a fabulous save off three-year WHLer Austin Adamson. Hunter Zandee also drew an assist after a stellar shift by the trio.

Karamanis added an empty netter with 60 seconds remaining after Jandric stole the puck at the Viper blueline.

Turcotte was whistled for tripping with 97 seconds to play and Botiz on the bench for a sixth attacker. Salmon Arm went hard to the net after the empty netter, but couldn’t beat Taylor or else had shots bravely blocked by Zandee and d-man Michal Ufberg.

“We just had positive talk in the dressing room,” said Brandt, when asked about the comeback. “We knew we were going to win that hockey game. We had a good feeling about it and came out flying and got two quick goals.”

Viper head coach Mark Ferner wasn’t totally sure what to make of the rally.

“We don’t know what kind of team we have yet,” said Ferner. “Before the third, I just said this period will reveal our character and getting that early goal was big obviously and the kids just kept working and found a way to win.”

Silverback head coach Brandon West was pleased with his club’s play the opening 40 minutes in both losses. The Saturday night breakdown will cost a few players some sleep.

“That one hurts and that one stings our group,” said West. “We’re gonna learn from that and we’ll be better or it and if we’re not better for it, we’re in big trouble. We played real good in our own end both nights and then in the third period, we went on our own page and did things that aren’t acceptable.”

SNAKE BITES: Brandt tossed two of the heavier checks on the night…Adamson was the Fortis Energy Player of the Game…The Gorillas missed injured captain Mitch Skapski..Alberni Valley Bulldog F Tristan Bukovec is Player of the Week after scoring four times in a 4-1 win over Nanaimo. He had six goals last year.