The Vernon Vipers peppered Cowichan Valley Capitals goalie Lane Michasiw with 26 shots over two periods, yet had nothing to show for it.
After changing the game plan in the third, in which they continued the onslaught of shots, 15-4, cracks started developing in Michasiw’s armour, leading to a 2-0 Vipers win at Chilliwack’s Prospera Centre in the Bauer BCHL Showcase.
“I didn’t think we were getting into the dirty areas to generate Grade A scoring chances,” said Vipers interim head coach and general manager Kevin Kraus. “A lot of our shots were from the outside without traffic going to the net.”
First, Thomas Aldworth burned the Capitals power-play unit by using his speed to get by a defender before scoring on a shot along the ice. Then Riley Brandt capitalized on a turnover in the high slot and scored low blocker. The Vipers learned that Michasiw stayed up a lot and covered the top half of the net well.
“In the third we really started to click,” said Aldworth, whose winner was his first in the BCHL after coming over from the United States Hockey League. “He (Michasiw) played really well. It was hard to beat him.”
While Michasiw did his best to keep the Capitals in the game, they spent most of their time fending off the Vipers aggressive forecheck and physical game. The Capitals showed more push and pressured the Vipers late in the third as they tried to break Danny Todosychuk’s shutout. He finished with 13 saves.
“They kind of stepped it up,” added Aldworth. “They are really big and physical. They use their body well.”
What Kraus liked about his team’s effort was their compete level. He said they never gave up despite not being able to solve Michasiw for two-and-a-half periods.
“We’re still gelling, we’re still trying to get our offensive touch,” said Kraus. “There are still some D-zone things that we can work on.”
While the Capitals power-play went 0-for-4, the Vipers went scoreless on seven chances. Their final game in the Showcase went Saturday afternoon against the Victoria Grizzlies. The Interior Division swept all four games Friday night.
The Vipers home opener goes Saturday, Sept. 27 against the West Kelowna Warriors.
SNAKE BITES: Former Vipers’ GM/head coach Jason Williamson has landed his next job. Williamson stepped down Sept. 7 for personal reasons.
Williamson was hired by the Nanaimo Clippers as new director of scouting and recruitment Friday.
Former Vipers Dallas Calvin and Craig Martin opened their season with the Trail Smoke Eaters at the Showcase against the Coquitlam Express at the Prospera Centre Saturday afternoon. The Smoke Eaters face the Surrey Eagles this morning.
Logan Mick and Colton Thibault made their debut with the Salmon Arm SilverBacks as they downed the Langley Rivermen 4-2 Friday night. They battle the Surrey Eagles tonight at 5:30 p.m.
Demico Hannoun has joined the Penticton Vees who entered the preseason as the No. 2 team in the nation. The Vees lived up to their hype by clocking the Surrey Eagles 11-2. Hannoun sniped his first goal of the season. The Vees and Alberni Valley Bulldogs played Saturday afternoon.
Several other Vernon products made their BCHL debuts last night at the Showcase.
Noah Turanski, a 16-year-old defenceman, kicked off his rookie campaign with defending Fred Page Cup champion Coquitlam Express. They were brushed back by West Kelowna Warriors 6-2. The Warriors feature a pair of Vernon products in Mac Ferner and Michael Roberts. Roberts and Ferner each supplied an assist. The Warriors will play the Clippers Sunday morning.
The Powell River Kings and Jordan Burns opened their season Saturday night against host Chilliwack Chiefs.
Spencer Hewson and the Clippers played the Prince George Spruce Kings Saturday night.