Vipers set for season

  • Sep. 21, 2016 2:05 p.m.

A new season in a new building could be just what the Red Deer Vipers need to get themselves to the top of the Heritage Junior Hockey League.

The Vipers kicked off the 2016-17 HJHL season in promising fashion last weekend as they began their first season at the Collicutt Centre with a huge 4-0 shutout victory over the Ponoka Stampeders, Saturday night.

Though a 5-3 loss to the defending champion Mountainview Colts put a bit of a damper on the team’s Collicutt Centre debut, Vipers’ Head Coach JD Morrical said he was excited about what he saw from his young squad.

“The team we have this year, we have a lot of new players, we don’t have very many returning guys which I don’t really mind. It’s not that bad. It just takes awhile to get them to play the way me and (assistant coach) Kaare (Odegard) want them to play,” Morrical said of his team’s play in the first two games of the regular season.

He added even though they didn’t get the result they wanted against the defending champs in Didsbury on Friday, he was happy that his group was able to keep pace with the Juggernaut.

“They had a lot of their guys back from last year and they looked pretty solid, but we hung in there with them.”

Saturday night’s game against Ponoka, however, was an entirely different story.

“We just played a good, solid game. We didn’t really give up much. We had excellent goaltending that night, too. Branden Bilodeau played on Saturday against Ponoka for the shutout,” Morrical said.

Although the Vipers had a slow start to the game, all it took was one goal to open up the flood gates.

Tye Munro, Tristan Zarubiak, Brett Marsollier and Justin Van Tetering all contributed goals for the Vipers on the way to the shutout win.

Morrical said the move to the Collicutt Centre is going to be a bit of an adjustment for the Vipers after the team spent more than 16 years at the Red Deer Arena.

“It’s a totally different feel for us. New ice, everything is new but it was good to get the win. We just played a really, really solid game. There was really no stress at any time and I think once we get a couple of these new guys back, as well, I think our offense will be even better.”

After playing the role of host for the Hockey Alberta Junior B provincials last season, the Vipers will be looking to win their way back into the prestigious tournament.

“We kind of talked to the team about it and they all said the goal this year is basically the same as last year – to win the league and to win provincials as well. I think we definitely have the team that can do it. Last year we were hosting provincials and there was a little added pressure there, but I think without that this year I think we can do some really good things.”

The Red Deer Vipers are in action this Friday when they travel north to take on the Airdrie Lighting.

Just Posted

Red Deer Lights the Night gets residents into the holiday spirit

Free winter festival is on Saturday, Nov. 17th from 4 to 7 p.m.

Rebels Forward Brandon Hagel signs deal with Chicago Blackhawks

Alexeyev, Anders make Player and Goalie of the Week in October and early November

Dean Brody heads to Red Deer with stripped down, acoustic show

Dirt Road Stories tour offers a kitchen party lodge-type experience

Jesse Todd hat trick leads Lacombe Generals over Innisfail

6-5 victory puts Lacombe in first place heading into Rosetown matchup

WATCH: Red Deerians gather for Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day 2018 marks the 100th year anniversary of the end of World War I.

WATCH: Remembrance Day in Lacombe fills LMC

2018 marked 100 years since the end of First World War

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Carjacking sees 76 year old woman’s vehicle stolen

Wetaskiwin RCMP with Crime Reduction Unit charge robbery suspects

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Canada Post no longer guarantees delivery times amid more rotating strikes

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers closed two major processing centres in Ontario and B.C.

McGill students vote overwhelmingly to change Redmen team nickname

Student union held a referendum after a campaign by Indigenous students

Calgarians head to the polls to declare ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ on Winter Games

The question “are you for or are you against hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games?” was to be posed to them Tuesday in a plebiscite to help determine whether the city should move ahead with a bid.

Most Read