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BC Hockey League News

Warriors, Back, pre-season tie

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks scored a power-play goal with just 78 seconds left in regulation tie earning a 3-3 pre-season tie with the West Kelowna Warriors Friday at Royal LePage Place.

With Salmon Arm on the power-play and goaltender Zach Dyment on the bench for an extra attacker, Chase Priskie was able to tap home the game tying goal behind Warriors goaltender Andy Desautels.

Desautels stopped the initial shot, however, it popped in the air behind him a lay in the crease before Priskie found it and tapped it home.

It was the second time this pre-season the Warriors have given up the game tying goal with less than 90 seconds left in regulation time.

Brett Mennear with a pair and Jordon Masters scored for the Warriors who led 2-1 after 40 minutes and held a 3-2 lead after Mennear's second of the night nearly seven minutes into the final frame.

After Salmon Arm opened the scoring early in the first Mennear tied it midway through the first when he cut cross crease and waited until Dyment went down before tucking the puck into the top corner from a sharp angle.

Masters gave the Warriors the lead with the lone goal of the middle frame as he took a nifty pass from Liam Blackburn behind the net and tucked the puck into the short side on a power-play.

The Silverbacks tied it 46 seconds into the third before Mennear wristed a shot from the right circle that handcuffed Dyment and trickled across the line.

"I thought it was an evenly matched game," says Warriors coach Rylan Ferster.

"I thought both goaltenders made some saves and I thought our power-play had some good looks when we had the opportunity. I thought our PK (penalty kill) was good until the end."

While there were a lot of things he liked, Ferster says there's still a lot of work to do to get ready for the start of the regular season in a weeks time in Chilliwack.

"I think we're still a work in progress. I think there's a lot of work we have to do here."

The Warriors went 1-2 with the man advantage while giving up just the one goal in five opportunities.

Desautels was sharp stopping 30 of 33 shots he faced.

The same two teams meet tomorrow night in Salmon Arm.

Both teams could be down a couple of bodies for the rematch after four players were tossed during a dust up in the Warriors end near the end of the first period.

Warriors rookie defenceman Kyle Marino was handed a minor penalty for a hit to the head after a high hit on a Salmon Arm forward. The Silverbacks Bryden Marsh took exception touching off a pair of scraps which resulted in fighting majors and double game misconducts to all four participants.

This season, players are automatically kicked out of the game for fighting.

The Warriors open up the regular season at the BCHL's annual Showcase Series in Chilliwack.

West Kelowna will take on Coquitlam Friday night and Nanaimo Sunday afternoon.



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Vipers search for new coach

The BC Hockey League Vernon Vipers are looking for a new head coach less than two weeks before the start of the new season.

Head coach/GM, Jason Williamson has stepped down citing personal reasons.

Williamson was set to enter his 4th year as the bench boss and 8th season overall.

Last year, Williamson guided the Vipers to a conference championship and a semi-final berth at the RBC Cup held in Vernon.

Vernon Vipers President and Owner Duncan Wray respects the decision.

“Jason has decided he needs some time away from the game to get his affairs in order and I respect that. He has been great for our hockey club and will be missed, however, we must move forward," says Wray.

The search for Williamson's replacement is now underway.

In the interim, Kevin Kraus will assume head coaching duties while Eric Godard will increase his role as an assistant coach.

The Vipers will close out their exhibition schedule this weekend against the Prince George Spruce Kings.

The teams play Friday night in Vernon before travelling north to PG for a return engagement Saturday.

The Vipers open the regular season with a pair of games in Chilliwack as part of the Showcase Series facing Cowichan Valley Friday, Sept 19 and Victoria Saturday, Sept 20.

The regular season home opener for Vernon is Saturday, Sept 27 against the West Kelowna Warriors.



Warriors drop pre-season opener

The Merritt Centennials scored the game winner midway through the second overtime period Sunday in a thrilling 6-5 victory over the West Kelowna Warriors.

It was the first pre-season game for both teams as both coaches went with rosters filled exclusively with players who have never played in the BC Hockey League.

Warriors head coach Rylan Ferster was pleased with the effort of his young hopefuls, especially along the blueline, signalling out Jake Harrison (15), Anthony Bishop (16) and Greydon Robinson (18).

Ferster was also pleased with the way the team came back in the third period to force overtime.

Trailing 4-2 early in the third, the Warriors chipped away at the lead and eventually tied it on goals from Parker Ward and Julian Uhrynuik to knot the game at 4-4.

Robinson put the Warriors up on a power-play late in the the third only to watch as Merritt equalized in the dying second with the goaltender on the bench for an extra attacker.

The Centennials led 3-1 after one and 3-2 after 40 minutes.

Harrison and Eric Theander also scored for the Warriors.

Matt Mitchell played the opening 32 minutes allowing three goals on 17 shots. Austin Piquette went the rest of the way, allowing three goals on 19 shots.

The same two teams hook up again Monday in Merritt.

Ferster says he expects to dress another all rookie line-up.

"We still have some guys we want to give some looks to, some guys sat out tonight," says Ferster.

"I don't know if any veterans will get in tomorrow night. I would probably say no."

Ferster expected to trim four or five from the roster following Sunday's game and hopes to be down close to his starting squad for the final four pre-season games.

The Warriors play a home-and-home set with Penticton next weekend before closing out the pre-season schedule the following weekend against Salmon Arm.

The regular season opens with the Showcase Series in Chilliwack.

The Warriors will face Coquitlam and Nanaimo at the Showcase before returning home for the home opener Friday, Sept 26 against the Vernon Vipers.



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Vees add ex-Viper forward

The Penticton Vees have added a veteran forward just days before training camp.

The team said Wednesday it has acquired Demico Hannoun from the Surrey Eagles.

In exchange for Hannoun, the Vees sent Surrey the CHL playing rights to 19-year-old defenceman Alex Coulombe and future considerations.

“Demico is a player who we are very familiar with, and I look forward to working with him so can he achieve his maximum potential," said Vees President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson.

Hannoun, who turns 19 in October, brings a wealth of experience to the Vees as he prepares for his fourth BCHL season.

The North Delta product has played in 182 career regular season and playoff games in the BCHL with Surrey and Vernon. He has has twice played in the RBC Cup.

Last season with the Vipers, Hannoun was nearly a point-per-game player, collecting 15 goals and 44 points in 48 regular season games. He added 12 points in 18 playoff games as the Vipers advanced to the Fred Page Cup Final against Coquitlam.

Hannoun represented Canada on the international stage last season as a member of Team Canada West at the 2013 World Junior ‘A’ Challenge in Nova Scotia.

He is committed to Michigan Tech University.

Hannoun started his BCHL career in Surrey in 2011 and won a Fred Page Cup championship with the Eagles in the spring of 2013 when they edged the Vees in six games in the league final.

Hannoun and the Eagles won the inaugural Crescent Point Energy Western Canada Cup in Nanaimo that year and advanced all the way to the RBC Cup Semi-Final in Summerside, P.E.I.

Coulombe, from Granby, Quebec, played in 54 regular-season games with the Vees last season while adding three goals and 19 points to go along with 50 penalty-minutes. Coulombe played in all 11 of the Vees playoff games, registering one assist.



Silverback off to NHL camp

Former Salmon Arm Silverback Landon Smith has landed an NHL tryout.

Smith, who graduated from the Silverbacks following this past season, has been invited to attend the Colorado Avalanche development camp in early July.

Smith, who is from Denver, was the BCHL's MVP and leading scorer this past season with 43 goals and 40 assists 

He spent one season with the Silverbacks and is joining NCAA Div. I. Quinnipiac University for the 2014/15 season.
 
"This is a proud day for Landon, his family and the Silverbacks," said Associate Head Coach Brandon West.

"Landon was a special player here in Salmon Arm and we are happy for him to get this opportunity. We have no doubt that he will have success at the next level due to his work ethic and passion for the game."

Smith is the fifth BCHLer to confirm attendance at an NHL development camp along with Brad McClure (Pittsburgh), Ryan Rosenthal (New Jersey), Luke Sandler (Detroit) and Reid Sturos (Winnipeg).



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