Vernon Vipers

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Vernon Vipers
Vernon Vipers logo.svg
City Vernon, British Columbia, Canada
League British Columbia Hockey League
Conference Interior
Founded 1961 (1961)–62
Home arena Kal Tire Place
Colours Blue, White
         
Owner(s) Canada Duncan Wray
General manager Canada Jason Williamson
Head coach Canada Jason Williamson

Website
www.vipers.bc.ca/
Franchise history
1961-62 Vernon Jr. Canadians
1962-67 Vernon Blades
1967-73 Vernon Essos
1973-79 Vernon Vikings
1980-83 Vernon Lakers
1983-84 Vernon Rockets
1984-95 Vernon Lakers
1995–Present Vernon Vipers

The Vernon Vipers are a Junior "A" ice hockey team based in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada. They are members of the Interior Conference of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). They play their home games at Kal Tire Place.

History[edit]

The Vernon Jr. Canadians, Penticton Jr. Vees, Kelowna Buckaroos and Kamloops Rockets, four junior "B" teams, formed the Okanagan-Mainline Junior Hockey League in 1961 on the advice and determination of Canadians owner Bill Brown.

After their inaugural season the Canadians changed their name to "Vernon Blades" and kept that name till the start of the 1967-68 season.

In the playoffs of 1970 the "Vernon Essos", as they were called, captured the league championship and Mowat Cup (BC). They also automatically advanced to the Abbott Cup (Western Canada) because the AJHL champions did not want to contest for the BC/Alta Championship (now called the Doyle Cup). In the Abbott Cup of 1970, the Weyburn Red Wings of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League defeated Vernon 4 games to none.

The Essos repeated as league champions and Mowat Cup winners in 1972, only to lose to the Red Deer Rustlers for the BC/Alta Championship, 4 games to 2.

For the start of the 1973-74 season the "Vernon Essos" became the "Vernon Vikings". The name remained until the end of the 1979 playoffs, which saw the team take a leave-of-absence for the 1979-80 season.

The 1980–81 season is one the new "Vernon Lakers" would like to forget, as they only won 8 games, playing 56. They didn't fare much better the next season, which saw them win only 10 of 47. It wasn't until the 1982-83 season that Vernon began its slow and meticulous climb to the top of the Junior "A" Hockey World. Even a name change, for one season in 1983-84, "Vernon Rockets", did not deter the team from their ultimate goal. Each season that went by brought with it an improvement. When the playoffs of 1988 saw them go all the way to the Doyle Cup, it was the beginning of things to come for the Lakers. In 1989, the Lakers started the first of four consecutive trips to the National Championships, a string which saw the them accumulate two Centennial Cups(1990 and 1991), three Abbott Cups, 3 Doyle Cups, four Mowat Cups, 4 League Championships, and 5 Conference Championships.

In the 1990 Centennial Cup final Vernon (as host) faced the heavily favored New Westminster Royals, who had previously defeated Vernon in the league finals. It would be the first televised Centennial Cup Final and some[who?] say the best game ever, period. The game saw New Westminster take the lead into the 3rd period, 5-3. Cam Sylven would tie the game for the Lakers, 5-5, in the third period to force overtime. He scored once again in OT, on a breakaway, for the 6-5 win and the first of two Centennial Cups for the Lakers.

The Lakers repeated as Centennial Cup winners in 1991 defeating the Sudbury Cubs of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League, 8-4. They showed up, to contest for the National Finals, again in 1992 but fell short in the semis to the Winkler Flyers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League,5-2.

The Vernon franchise would not return to the National Final Tournament for another 4 years. That year was 1996, the team was the "Vernon Vipers" and the trophy was the inaugural Royal Bank Cup. It was one of Vernon's best seasons as they finished the regular portion winning 43 games, losing 13 and tying 4. The Vipers defeated the Langley Thunder for the League title, 4 games to 1. Went on to defeat Prince George Spruce Kings (Rocky Mountain JHL) for the Mowat Cup, 3 games to 0. Then faced a tough Saint Albert Saints (Alberta Junior Hockey League) team but came out ahead winning 4 games to 3, to claim the Doyle Cup.

The Abbott Cup, which was now awarded during the Royal Bank Cup round-robin play, was given to Melfort Mustangs (Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League) as they defeated Vipers, 5-1. The Vipers had an even round-robin, winning 2 games and losing 2. The Newmarket 87's of the Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League were the Vipers next opponent, in the semi-finals, which they won, 7-4. Onto the final it was, meeting the host Melfort Mustangs, avenging their lose in the semis, winning by a score of 2-0.

Three years after winning the inaugural Royal Bank Cup did Vernon once again claim a National Title in 1999.

The Vipers did this by capping a season of 52 wins and 6 loses 2 ties, breaking just about every record in league history, with a win over the Chilliwack Chiefs for the league title, Fred Page Cup. The Mowat Cup was a mixed blessing as Vernon won but, not without controversy. The Kimberley Dynamiters (Rocky Mountain JHL) won one game of the 4 played. It was the first time a team from the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League defeated a team from the BCHL. It should be noted however, that Vernon played with a Junior "B" backup goaltender in the loss, (7-6) due to injury of their regular goaltenders. Kimberley was only able to muster 13 shots in that game. The Doyle Cup was easily won by Vernon, 4 games to 1, over the Calgary Canucks (AJHL). The Vipers did it all the hard-way in the Royal Bank Cup Tournament winning only once during round-robin play. That one win was enough though, to claim the Abbott Cup by defeating the Estevan Bruins (SJHL), 3-2. After that dismal showing in the round-robin Vernon still managed to advance to the semi-finals. In that semi, the Bramalea Blues (OPJHL) went down to defeat by a score of 3-2. The Royal Bank Cup was an absolute blow-out as the Vipers hammered the Charlottetown Abbies (Maritime Junior A Hockey League), 9-3, claiming the franchises 4th National Championship in 10 years. The 1999 Viper team is considered by many the greatest team in BCHL history.

The 2000-01 season turned out to be an extreme disappointment for the franchise as the Vernon Vipers failed to make the playoffs, the first time since 1982.

Maintaining a competitive level in the league for the next few years, the Vipers would eventually set a Canadian Record. In 2009 the Vipers swept through the league playoffs defeating the Penticton Vees four games to one, the Salmon Arm Silverbacks four games to two and the Powell River Kings four games to two. The Vernon Vipers would then literally breeze though the regional and national series with ten straight wins and no losses. They defeated the Grande Prairie Storm for the Doyle Cup, and in the Royal Bank Cup Tournament they defeated all teams in the round-robin, the Kingston Voyageurs, 6-3, in the semi-final and the Humboldt Broncos, 2-0, in the final, winning the franchises fifth national title and third Royal Bank Cup. The Canadian Record ?, with five National Titles, Vernon is the only Jr. A Franchise in Canada to have that distinction !

Once again, in 2010, the Vernon Vipers win the Royal Bank Cup. Only the third time a team has won back-to-back National Championships, the previous two being in 1981 & 1982 Prince Albert Raiders, 1990 & 1991 Vernon Lakers. The Vipers were League and Divisional Pennant winners with 105 points, second all-time for the Franchise, finishing with a League record of 51 W-6 L-0T-3OL. Having avoided the Elimination Round, the Vipers met up with the 5th place Quesnel Millionaires in the Quarter Finals defeating them 4 games to 2. The Penticton Vees were the Vipers' next victim in the Semi Finals winning also by a result of 4 games to 2. In the BCHL Finals the Vernon Vipers would once again take on the Powell River Kings. Looking for revenge from their loss in 2009, to the Vipers, the Kings took Vernon to a game seven. The Vipers won that game by a score of 3-1, advancing them to the Doyle Cup. The Doyle Cup series also went to seven games, against the Spruce Grove Saints, with Vernon winning 7-3.

The 2010 National Jr. A Tournament was held in Dauphin, Manitoba. The Vernon Vipers record in the Round Robin, 3 W-1 L, Dauphin Kings 5-6 L ot, La Ronge Ice Wolves 4-2 W, Oakville Blades 5-3 W and Brockville Braves 4-2 W. In the Semi Final Vernon once again took on the Brockville Braves earning a shut-out winning 2-0. The Final was a blow-out for the Vernon Vipers. Taking on the Host, Dauphin Kings, the Vipers annihilated Dauphin for an 8-1 win, giving the Vernon Vipers their 6th Royal Bank Cup.

The Vernon Vipers 4th National Title ties them with the Prince Albert Raiders, although it is the 6th for the Franchise which is a new Canadian Record set last year by the same Vipers.

2011 The Vernon Vipers once again reached the National Championship Tournament setting a Canadian Record of 9 appearances.

With 9 national championship tournament appearances, 4 Royal Bank Cups, 2 Centennial Cups, 4 Abbott Cups (2-second places), 9 Doyle Cups (3-second places), 12 Mowat Cups, 12 League Titles,16 Conference titles, 7 League Pennants (most points) and 13 Conference pennants (most points) proves that the Vernon Franchise continues to be among the best-of-the-best in junior " A" hockey.

Season-by-season history[edit]

Royal Bank Cup Abbott Cup Doyle Cup Mowat Cup Division Champions
Season Division Regular season[1] Playoffs[2]
Finish GP W L T[3] OT[4] Pts GF GA GP W L GF GA Result
1961–62 4th 29 7 21 1 15 95 182 5 2 3 Lost in Semifinals, 2–3 (Buckaroos)
1962–63 3rd 31 9 22 0 18 114 145 5 1 4 Lost in Semifinals, 1–4 (Buckaroos)
1963–64 3rd 34 7 27 0 14 124 219 7 2 5 Third place in playoff round robin
1964–65 4th 30 10 16 4 24 99 132 5 1 4 Lost in Semifinals, 1–4 (Buckaroos)
1965–66 4th 30 4 25 1 9 100 212 4 0 4 Lost in Semifinals, 0–4 (Kraft Kings)
1966–67 3rd 40 15 25 0 30 5 1 4 Lost in Semifinals, 1–4 (Broncos)
1967–68 3rd 40 19 17 4 42 213 218 4 0 4 Lost in Semifinals, 0–4 (Broncos)
1968–69 3rd 40 19 15 6 44 177 191 4 0 4 Lost in Semifinals, 0–4 (Cougars)
1969–70 1st 48 32 12 4 68 245 151 15 8 7 Won in Semifinals, 4–1 (Centennials)
Won in Final, 4–2 (Cougars)
Lost in Abbott Cup, 0–4 (Red Wings)
1970–71 Interior 2nd 60 34 20 6 74 285 248 5 1 4 Lost in Division Semifinals, 1–4 (Rockets)
1971–72 1st 60 42 17 1 85 18 10 8 Won in Semifinals, 4–1 (Bruins)
Won in Final, 4–3 (Broncos)
Lost in Pacific Centennial Cup Championship, 2–4 (Rustlers)
1972–73 Interior 4th 61 27 33 1 55 292 287 5 1 4 Lost in Division Semifinals, 1–4 (Rockets)
1973–74 Interior 3rd 64 37 26 1 75 340 302 4 0 4 Lost in Division Semifinals, 0–4 (Broncos)
1974–75 Interior 3rd 66 31 33 2 64 327 343 10 4 6 Won in Division Semifinals, 4–2 (Broncos)
Lost in Division Final, 0–4 (Buckaroos)
1975–76 1st 66 47 18 1 95 390 247 10 4 5 Won in Quarterfinals, 8–2 (Bruins)
Lost in Semifinals, 1–9 (Vees)
1976–77 Interior 3rd 68 29 37 2 60 259 321 6 2 4 Lost in Division Semifinals, 2–4 (Vees)
1977–78 Interior 6th 66 10 56 0 20 251 486 Did not qualify
1978–79 Interior 3rd 62 32 29 1 65 345 338 6 2 4 Lost in Division Semifinals, 2–4 (Rockets)
1979–80 Team took a leave of absence
1980–81 Interior 5th 56 8 48 0 16 205 435 Did not qualify
1981–82 Interior 5th 47 10 36 2 22 182 304 Did not qualify
1982–83 Interior 2nd 56 35 20 1 71 280 235 7 3 4 Lost in Division Semifinals, 3–4 (Knights)
1983–84 Interior 2nd 60 45 15 0 90 452 276 6 2 4 Lost in Division Semifinals, 2–4 (Buckaroos)
1984–85 Interior 2nd 51 28 21 2 58 261 262 7 3 4 Lost in Division Semifinals, 3–4 (Centennials)
1985–86 Interior 3rd 52 28 21 3 59 338 281 7 3 4 33 26 Lost in Division Semifinals, 3–4 (Packers)
1986–87 Interior 2nd 52 33 17 2 68 381 257 10 6 4 45 47 Won in Division Semifinals, 4–0 (Knights)
Lost in Division Final, 2–4 (Packers)
1987–88 Interior 1st 52 42 10 0 84 381 216 19 14 5 120 75 Won in Division Semifinals, 4–0 (Centennials)
Won in Division Final, 4–0 (Knights)
Won in BCJHL Final, 4–1 (Sockeyes)
Won in Mowat Cup, 2–0 (North Stars)
Lost in Doyle Cup, 0–4 (Canucks)
1988–89 Interior 1st 60 40 19 1 81 376 256 31 22 9 146 112 Won in Division Semifinals, 4–1 (Packers)
Won in Division Final, 4–0 (Centennials)
Won in BCJHL Final, 4–1 (Royals)
Won in Mowat Cup, 2–0 (Mustangs)
Won in Doyle Cup, 4–2 (Rustlers)
Won in Abbott Cup, 4–2 (Broncos)
Fourth place in Centennial Cup round robin
1989–90 Interior 1st 58 33 20 5 71 330 229 19 12 7 92 73 First place in Interior round robin
Lost in BCJHL Final, 2–4 (Royals)
Second place in Centennial Cup round robin
Won in Centennial Cup Semifinals, 11–5 (Hawks)
Won in Centennial Cup Final, 6–5 (OT) (Royals)
1990–91 Interior 3rd 60 37 20 3 77 359 266 28 23 5 170 126 Won in Division Semifinals, 4–0 (Spartans)
Won in Division Final, 4–2 (Chiefs)
Won in BCJHL Final, 4–0 (Paper Kings)
Won in Mowat Cup, 3–0 (Spruce Kings)
Won in Doyle Cup, 4–1 (Royals)
Won in Abbott Cup, 5–4 (OT) (Terriers)
Fourth place in Centennial Cup round robin
Won in Centennial Cup Semifinals, 7–5 (Terriers)
Won in Centennial Cup Final, 8–4 (Cubs)
1991–92 Interior 4th 60 34 23 3 71 348 286 30 22 8 168 116 Won in Division Semifinals, 4–2 (Spartans)
Won in Division Final, 4–2 (Chiefs)
Won in BCJHL Final, 4–0 (Ice Hawks)
Won in Mowat Cup, 3–0 (Spruce Kings)
Won in Doyle Cup, 4–2 (Grizzlys)
Won in Abbott Cup, 5–3 (Flyers)
First place in Centennial Cup round robin
Lost in Centennial Cup Semifinals, 2–5 (Flyers)
1992–93 Interior 3rd 60 35 23 2 72 336 278 5 1 4 14 22 Lost in Division Semifinals, 1–4 (Panthers)
1993–94 Interior 3rd 60 31 29 0 62 286 314 11 4 7 38 48 Won in Division Semifinals, 4–3 (Panthers)
Lost in Division Final, 0–4 (Spartans)
1994–95 Interior 3rd 60 28 28 4 60 297 284 9 5 4 41 37 Won in Preliminary Round, 2–0 (Ice Hawks)
Lost in Quarterfinals, 3–4 (Panthers)
1995–96 Interior 1st 60 43 13 4 90 324 219 30 23 7 156 102 Won in Quarterfinals, 4–1 (Clippers)
Won in Semifinals, 4–0 (Capitals)
Won in BCJHL Final, 4–1 (Thunder)
Won in Mowat Cup, 3–0 (Spruce Kings)
Won in Doyle Cup, 4–3 (Saints)
Lost in Abbott Cup, 1–5 (Mustangs)
Third place in Royal Bank Cup round robin
Won in Royal Bank Cup Semifinals, 7–4 (87's)
Won in Royal Bank Cup Final, 2–0 (Mustangs)
1996–97 Interior 1st 60 43 14 5 87 339 212 14 9 5 56 50 Won in Quarterfinals, 4–0 (Centennials)
Won in Semifinals, 4–1 (Smoke Eaters)
Lost in BCHL Final, 1–4 (Eagles)
1997–98 Interior 2nd 60 33 19 8 74 251 229 7 3 4 17 25 Lost in Quarterfinals, 3–4 (Smoke Eaters)
1998–99 Interior 1st 60 52 6 2 106 305 145 30 22 8 150 88 Won in Conference Semifinals, 4–1 (Centennials)
Won in Conference Final, 4–0 (Spruce Kings)
Won in BCHL Final, 4–1 (Chiefs)
Won in Mowat Cup, 3–1 (Dynamiters)
Won in Doyle Cup, 4–1 (Canucks)
Won in Abbott Cup, 3–2 (Mustangs)
Fourth place in Royal Bank Cup round robin
Won in Royal Bank Cup Semifinals, 3–2 (Blues)
Won in Royal Bank Cup Final, 9–3 (Abbies)
1999–00 Interior 2nd 60 35 20 5 75 242 216 18 9 9 56 64 Won in Conference Semifinals, 4–2 (Spruce Kings)
Won in Conference Final, 4–3 (Centennials)
Lost in BCHL Final, 1–4 (Chiefs)
2000–01 Interior 5th 60 24 26 10 58 203 225 Did not qualify
2001–02 Interior 1st 60 33 21 6 72 243 205 17 10 7 52 40 Won in Conference Quarterfinals, 4–0 (Centennials)
Won in Conference Final, 4–3 (Panthers)
Lost in BCHL Final, 2–4 (Chiefs)
2002–03 Interior 1st 60 47 12 0 1 95 273 150 17 10 7 52 40 Won in Conference Quarterfinals, 4–0 (Panthers)
Won in Conference Final, 4–0 (Trail Smoke Eaters)
Won in BCHL Final, 4–0 (Chiefs)
Lost in Doyle Cup, 2–4 (Kodiaks)
2003–04 Interior 2nd 60 37 15 1 7 82 233 182 5 1 4 13 17 Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 1–4 (Trail Smoke Eaters)
2004–05 Interior 1st 60 42 9 3 6 93 232 156 14 9 5 40 41 Won in Conference Semifinals, 4–0 (Vees)
Won in Conference Final, 4–1 (Spruce Kings)
Lost in BCHL Final, 1–4 (Eagles)
2005–06 Interior 3rd 60 36 18 2 4 78 205 165 10 5 5 32 29 Won in Conference Quarterfinals, 4–1 (Spruce Kings)
Lost in Conference Semifinals, 1–4 (Silverbacks)
2006–07 Interior 2nd 60 37 19 1 3 78 246 193 22 14 8 70 53 Won in Conference Quarterfinals, 4–2 (Warriors)
Won in Conference Semifinals, 4–1 (Smoke Eaters)
Won in Conference Final, 4–1 (Vees)
Lost in BCHL Final, 2–4 (Clippers)
2007–08 Interior 4th 60 36 20 2 2 76 238 185 10 6 4 35 31 Won in Conference Quarterfinals, 3–0 (Smoke Eaters)
Lost in Conference Semifinals, 3–4 (Vees)
2008–09 Interior 1st 60 42 14 1 3 88 223 145 25 20 5 152 90 Won in Conference Semifinals, 4–1 (Vees)
Won in Conference Final, 4–2 (Silverbacks)
Won in BCHL Final, 4–2 (Kings)
Won in Doyle Cup, 4–0 (Storm)
First place in Royal Bank Cup round robin
Won in Royal Bank Cup Semifinals, 6–3 (Voyageurs)
Won in Royal Bank Cup Final, 2–0 (Broncos)
2009–10 Interior 1st 60 51 6 0 3 105 298 119 32 21 11 117 77 Won in Conference Semifinals, 4–2 (Millionaires)
Won in Conference Final, 4–2 (Vees)
Won in BCHL Final, 4–3 (Kings)
Won in Doyle Cup, 4–3 (Saints)
Second place in Royal Bank Cup round robin
Won in Royal Bank Cup Semifinals, 2–0 (Braves)
Won in Royal Bank Cup Final, 8–1 (Kings)
2010-11 Interior 1st 60 36 11 4 9 85 197 141 28 21 7 93 59 Won in Conference Semifinals, 4–2 (Warriors)
Won in Conference Final, 4–2 (Silverbacks)
Won in BCHL Final, 4–0 (Kings)
Won in Doyle Cup, 4–3 (Saints)
First Place in Royal Bank Cup Round-Robin (4-0)
RBC Semifinal vs (Dukes) 4-1 Win

Lost RBC Final vs (Kings) 2-0

2011–12 Interior 5th 60 30 27 1 2 63 208 193 Did not qualify
2012–13 Interior 6th 56 21 25 1 9 52 139 170 Did not qualify
2013–14 Interior 3rd 58 30 18 4 6 70 187 175 19 10 9 66 58 Won in Conference Semifinals, 4–2 (Warriors)
Won in Conference Final, 4–3 (Vees)
Won Semi-Final Round Robin 2-0
Lost in BCHL Final, 0–4 (Express)

Notable alumni[edit]

Alumni who played in the National Hockey League[edit]

Other notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Code explanation; GP—Games Played, W—Wins, L—Losses, T—Tied games, OT—Overtime/Shootout losses, GF—Goals For, GA—Goals Against, Pts—Points
  2. ^ The result of the playoff series shows the Flames' result first regardless of the outcome, followed by opposite team in parenthesis.
  3. ^ Beginning in 2005, all games have a winner. Ties were eliminated
  4. ^ Beginning in 1999, overtime (and later shootout) losses are worth one point

External links[edit]


Preceded by
Thunder Bay Flyers
Centennial Cup Champions
1990 and 1991
Succeeded by
Thunder Bay Flyers
Preceded by
Calgary Canucks
Royal Bank Cup Champions
1996
Succeeded by
Summerside Western Capitals
Preceded by
South Surrey Eagles
Royal Bank Cup Champions
1999
Succeeded by
Fort McMurray Oil Barons
Preceded by
Humboldt Broncos
Royal Bank Cup Champions
2009 and 2010
Succeeded by
Pembroke Lumber Kings