Jason Williamson called it the toughest decision he has had to make since becoming head coach/GM of the Vernon Vipers.
Williamson released returning netminder Danny Todosychuk earlier this week, electing to go with the tandem of Austin Smith, who played last season with the Western Hockey League’s Swift Current Broncos, and Joe Young, a highly touted prospect from the Boston area.
Simply put, Williamson said Young outperformed Todosychuk, a Vernon product, for the second spot.
“You wish him all the best, but that’s part of the business,” he said.
“Our job is to give our team the best chance to win and I think we’ve done that.”
Williamson has been trying to help Todosychuk find a new Junior A team to play with. There is a chance some teams might want to reinforce their goaltending following the B.C. Hockey League’s inaugural Save-On Foods Showcase this weekend in Chilliwack.
The Vipers faced the Penticton Vees Saturday night at Prospera Centre, and they will take on the Powell River Kings at 10:30 a.m. this morning.
As for the rest of the roster, the Vipers will carry a spare forward into the regular season. Winger Braeden Russell injured his hand in Vernon’s first exhibition game against the Wenatchee Wild and has been placed on the 30-day injured reserve.
The Vipers’ opening day roster includes: Forwards TJ Dumonceaux, Pearce Eviston, Aaron Hadley, Riley Hunt, Craig Martin, Mitch McAllister, Logan Mick, Michael Roberts, Landon Robin, Russell, Jedd Soleway, Colton Sparrow, Adam Tambellini and Mitch Van Teeling; defencemen Brett Corkey, Geoff Crisfield, Bryce Eviston, Kevin Guiltinan, Marc Hetnik, Ryan Renz and Michael Statchuk; and goalies Smith and Young.