Time to hit the ice

The days are getting shorter and the temperature is starting to drop and that can only mean one thing – it's time to play hockey.

The Vernon Vipers wrapped up their training camp today and new head coach Jason McKee is happy with what he saw.

“These guys have worked hard, they've showcased themselves well,” said McKee adding the hopefuls will take to the ice this evening to wrap up the training camp.

The BC Hockey League 2019-20 season starts next month and McKee said the Vipers will have some holes to fill heading in to the year.

“I think there was a pretty large core they relied on heavily last year that has graduated on so there is definitely an opportunity for returning guys to step in and play bigger roles and some of our young guys are going to have to step in and contribute right away. We have some good players here, some really good people,” said McKee who is entering his first year as the Vipers' bench boss and he coached Junior A and in the WHL before landing in the Okanagan.

Joining McKee on the bench will be Larry Draper and Eric Morrissette.

Nine years ago Draper worked with McKee in Spruce Grove where they battled the Vipers in back-to-back Doyle Cups. 

From there Draper held assistant coach and assistant GM roles with the Bonnyville Pontiacs and Drayton Valley Thunder.

Morrissette comes from a development background with more than 20 years of experience working with players from novice to the professional levels working most recently at the collegiate level as well as being the Skill Development Coach with the Spruce Grove Saints.

The Vipers will play their first exhibition game of the season Friday in Vernon.

Game time is 7 p.m.

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