Vipers’ winger Colton Sparrow controls the puck as he tries to get past Chillawack Chiefs’ defencemen Alexandre Perron-Fontaine in BCHL action Saturday night at the Wesbild Centre.

Vipers just fine after surpassing quarter pole

They have surpassed the quarter pole and while not in first place, head coach Jason Williamson is content with the Vernon Vipers.

They have surpassed the quarter pole and while not in first place, head coach Jason Williamson is content with the Vernon Vipers.

However, the Dec. 1 carding deadline has in past years been a time when Mark Ferner and Williamson discussed a wishlist, made some calls and bolstered their lineup.

Williamson will give this year’s B.C. Hockey League roster “the benefit of the doubt” for now, but said he may tweak things come the deadline.

“I think we can beat anybody when we bring our A game, but we just need that every night,” said Williamson, moments after a 5-4 loss to the Chilliwack Chiefs Saturday night before 1,600 fans at Wesbild centre.

“We can score goals, as we’ve shown. We just gotta shore up our dee zone. We’re young back there, no 20-year-olds back there. Max (Mowat) and (Ryan Renz) Renzy, are playing a lot and they’re still 18-years-old.”

The Vipers were without d-man Brent Corkey and Luke Juha, and forward Aaron Hadley, all in Langley playing for Canada West at the World Junior A Hockey Challenge. Vernon iced the Smoke Eaters Friday night in Trail and showed some bus legs early versus the Chiefs.

Chilliwack got a goal from Derek Huisman (his 10th) in the first minute and then added snipes by Trevor Hills and Mathieu Tibbet before the game was four minutes old. Starting goalie Kirby Halcrow was replaced by Danny Todosychuk after the third Chiefs’ goal.

“Bad 10 minutes of hockey and then we tried to ramp it up,” said Williamson. “Not to make excuses, but I think the guys were a little tired and ran out of gas a little bit but then they showed they didn’t wanna be beat, but it was too late. We hung our goalie out to dry for 10 minutes. You can’t fault Kirby I just had to make a change and it seemed to work, Our guys responded but you can’t play 50 minutes and expect to win.”

Mowat (1st) and Alex Hagen (4th) scored for the Vipers 68 seconds apart before the first period ended. New Jersey product Peter McMullen scored his first BCHL goal to pull the Vipers even in the second, but the Chiefs went ahead 41 seconds later on Jaret Babych’s second of the season.

Malcolm Gould made it 5-3 Chiefs early in the third with Marcus Basara replying for the Snakes with five minutes left, his fourth.

“I think we got a little jump on them,” said Chilliwack head coach Harvey Smyl, in his 22nd year in the league. “They looked tired from last night’s game. I’m guessing the travel and that maybe cost them a slow start. We got the jump and I think that might have been the difference in the game.”

The Chiefs caught a break in the second period when referee Jim Maniago ruled that Mike Zalewski of the Vipers and David Thompson of the Chiefs staged a fight, and thus gave them ejections. Zalewski is Vernon’s leading scorer, while Thompson, who clearly won the scrap, is a d-man with two goals. It was a battle of New York (Zalewski) versus Philadelphia.

The Chiefs, who have eight players from the Quesnel Millionaires of last year, improved to 8-6-0-1, good for a share of fourth place with the Prince George Spruce Kings, who they beat Friday night in Chilliwack.

Smyl is also pretty happy with what he sees at the quarter point, but will likely look to upgrade on Dec. 1.

“We’re real inconsistent, we’re up and down We’re still trying to fit everybody in the slots, still trying to figure out exactly where guys need to play and still trying to learn the character of each of these kids. In general, inconsistent, but for the most part, I like the group.”

Vernon hosted the Westside Warriors (7-7-0-2) Tuesday night. The Warriors lost 3-2 in OT to the Trail Smoke Eaters Sunday afternoon

The Vipers dropped to 11-5 for a share of second spot in the Interior Conference with the Merritt Centennials, who took advantage of the depleted Penticton Vees for a 3-2 overtime road win Saturday night. Vernon product Tyler Steel made 23 saves and earned second star for the Cents (9-5-1-3).

Canada West opened the World Junior A Challenge Tuesday night against Sweden and play the U.S. tonight.

SNAKE BITES: Adam Tambellini, a rookie centre with the Vipers, will play in the Prospects Game Sunday in Langley…The Woodstock Slammers of Ontario are ranked No. 1 in the CJAHL. Penticton is third and Vernon is 19th…Vernon’s Curtis Lazar scored once as the Edmonton Oil Kings stopped the Seattle Thunderbirds 4-1 in WHL action before 4,000 fans Saturday night at Rexall Place. Lazar, 16, has 5-7-12 in 17 games, and is a plus-eight. The Oil Kings visit the Kelowna Rockets Friday night…Vernon’s Alex Jewell got his first BCHL goal in Penticton’s Friday night win over Westside. He was one of six affiliates the Vees used with several players busy in Langley…The Vipers, who are 5-5 in their last 10 games, visit the Smokies Saturday night.

 

 

Just Posted

Power out in large part of Vernon

Power went down around 4:30 p.m. in the middle of the city

Vernon pageant participant heads stateside

Samantha Sewell will represent North America at Miss Royalty International in Milwaukee

Vernon summer mural tours start with new guides

The mural tours started on June 28 and will run until Sept. 27

PHOTOS: Armstrong MetalFest rocks Hassen

Big crowds gather for popular two-day annual heavy metal music festival

UPDATED: Lane closed after fatal collision on Highway 97 east of Falkland

A man in his 60s is dead after a single vehicle crash on July 15

VIDEO: Okanagan Valley weekday weather update

Environment Canada says it’s going to be a rainy week

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran of Abbotsford spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

UPDATE: special council meeting set for Wednesday, Basran in talks with province

Opponents of McCurdy house says she won’t ‘relinquish possession’ of more than 14,000 names

Private viewing for Elijah-lain Beauregard to be held in Penticton

Afterwards, there will be a celebration of life next to the Okanagan Lake,

Most Read