The Vernon Vipers’ annual spring camp opens Friday at 4 p.m. with a Black vs Blue scrimmage at Priest Valley Arena.
The Vipers, who lost Game 7 in the B.C. Hockey League Interior Conference final to the Penticton Vees, will watch approximately 90 prospects through Sunday afternoon.
“We have six teams and they are coming in from all over B.C., Minnesota, Boston and Washington State,” said Viper head coach/GM Mark Ferner. “There will be some really good prospects and we still have lots of room on our roster.”
Scrimmages also go Friday at 6 p.m. with White battling green and 8 p.m. with Red meeting Gold. Scrimmages go Saturday from 8 a.m. until 1:45 p.m. and again from 4-9:45 p.m. The Sunday games are at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and noon.
The Vipers just lost key 6-foot-2, 205-pound defenceman Cameron Trott, who signed a scholarship offer with the University of Anchorage Seawolves.
Trott, who turned 20 last month, pocketed three goals and 20 points in 32 games with Vernon last season after being obtained in a trade with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. The Port Moody product racked up six points in 19 games with the Silverbacks.
The core group, including Brett Stapley, Jagger Williamson, Steven and Chris Jandric, Michael Ufberg, Shane Kelly, Jesse Lansdell and Niko Karamanis, is returning to the Viper den. Ferner said sniper Jimmy Lambert has yet to make a decision on joining the NCAA Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks this fall or in 2018.
League scheduling meetings are June 9-11 in Vancouver.
Meanwhile, Penticton Vees lost 3-1 to the Terrebonne Cobras of Montreal Thursday at the Royal Bank championships in Cobourg, Ont.
The Vees, host Cobourg Cougars and Terrebonne were all tied with six points. The Cougars faced the undefeated Alberta champion Brooks Bandits to finish the round-robin Thursday night and decide who meets who in Saturday’s semifinals. The final goes Sunday at 2 p.m. (Pacific) on TSN.
The Vees shut down the Trenton Golden Hawks 4-0 Wednesday.
Pierre-Anthony Martineau, Gabriel Paquin and Benjamin Bohemier scored for the Cobras, while Owen Sillinger responded for the Vees. Penticton outshot Terrebonne 40-34.
Penticton head coach/GM Fred Harbinson is upset with the tight officiating. Through nine games, 99 powerplays had been given.
“The way the games have been called, it hasn’t been a very entertaining type of hockey,” he said. “I’m pretty disappointed the way that the games are being called. It makes for horrible hockey. I think our leagues need to really look at if this is the way it is going to be, if we should really partake in it. All these teams could have left half their team at home and just brought their power play and penalty kill guys. I’m not very happy about that.”