Vernon, BC: It’s been a while, but today we can finally say, it’s time for the regular season! No sweeter words have been spoken as the Vipers head to Penticton to kick off the regular season.
The Vipers (0-0-0) are coming in after some positive results in the preseason. It was a preseason of evaluation, but also tight competition. The Vipers finished the exhibition schedule with a 1-3-2 record, but were in very tight games against strong competition from their Okanagan rivals. It’s an exciting day, for some, it’s the first time in their careers they’ve played in front of big crowds and for others it’s a chance to prove themselves coming out of a difficult season last year. The Vipers were fortunate to return 16 players from last year and 5 of those, who are three year players. In goal, the Vipers will look to two 18 year old goaltenders, Roan Clarke and Ethan David. Clarke looked good in the pod season and even better in 3 exhibition starts. David looked calm and collected in his 3 starts and gave his team a chance to win in each.
The Vees (0-0-0) went perfect in the preseason, but had some really close games against the likes of the Vipers, Spruce Kings and Silverbacks. Last year’s Penticton pod winners have had a lot of roster changes, but two key returnees will be looked to for offense and leadership, Luc Wilson and Fin Williams. Both forwards looked strong for Fred Harbinson in the preseason and will look to continue that tonight. In goal, Kaeden Lane looks to step in and provide consistent goaltending for the group. He was spectacular during the pod season and looked very good in the exhibition games.
These teams played twice during the preseason with the Vees winning 3-1 and 3-2 (in OT). The Vipers liked the way they competed in both of those games, despite only getting one point.
There are a few ways to tune in to the game tonight. Watch on HockeyTV, Listen on 107.5 Beach Radio or stream on Vernon Matters.ca. Pregame show from the SOEC starts at 6:45 where we’ll hear from Head Coach and GM of the Vipers, Jason McKee.