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todosychuk shines in viper win

todosychuk shines in viper win

by don klepp | Added 2011-09-09

Mike Zalewski scored the overtime winner.

Danny Todosychuk stole the show in his Viper debut as his team beat the Westside Warriors 2-1 in overtime in the Vipers' first exhibition game of the 2011-12 season.

The 17-year-old goaltender, who hails from Vernon, made several sensational saves after coming in at the game's midway point. He stopped all 22 shots thrown his way by a hustling, aggressive Westside squad.

His best stop came late in the third period, with the score 1-1. Brennan Clark was left alone in front and his rising shot seemed destined for the top of the net, but Todosychuk snagged the puck with his catcher.

About two minutes earlier, Westside's Dustin Nikkel had robbed Jedd Soleway at the goal crease after Soleway had been set up beautifully by Mike Zalewski while short handed.

Zalewski got the winner 42 seconds into overtime, with a series of feints that corkscrewed Dustin Nikkel into the ice, followed by a shot to the top corner. The second-year Viper was set up by Darren Nowick, who combined with Zalewski on a fierce forecheck.

The Vipers had opened the scoring just 1.49 into the game when Connor Hartley went hard to the net and caught the attention of two Westside defenders. Jedd Soleway, whose centering pass went off a Westside player, received credit for the goal. Hartley and Marcus Basara drew assists.

Westside equalized late in the opening period. Physical play by Travis Blanleil and Reid Simmons created a turnover and Tyson Witala stepped into a slap shot from the high slot that gave Kirby Halcrow no chance.

The Warriors dominated much of the second half of the first period, nearly all of the second period, and much of the third period as well. Veterans such as Max French, Michael King, Peter Macintosh, and Dustin Cave led the assault. Clearly, Westside Coach Rylan Ferster is preaching an aggressive style of play.

The most physical Vipers were Aaron Hadley, Geoff Crisfield, and the diminutive Riley Hunt.

Next action for the Vipers will be tomorrow evening in Merritt and Tuesday in Westside. Next Friday, September 16, the Vipers will host the Trail Smoke Eaters.

Six Vipers will leave camp from September 11 through 15 to try out for the Canada West team that will compete in the World Jr. A Challenge in mid-November. Ryan Renz, Brett Corkey, and Geoff Crisfield will compete for defenceman spots, while Marcus Basara, Aaron Hadley, and Adam Tambellini will try to earn places on the forward lines.

Luke Juha, who played for Team Canada East last year, has been mentioned as a likely blueliner for Canada West this year, but his current injury prevents him from going to next week's tryouts in Canmore, Alberta.