Vernon Vipers

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Vernon Vipers
Vernon Vipers logo.svg
CityVernon, British Columbia, Canada
LeagueBritish Columbia Hockey League
ConferenceInterior
Founded1961 (1961)–62
Home arenaKal Tire Place
ColoursRed, navy, gold, white
                   
Owner(s)John Glen
Tom Glen
Head coachMark Ferner
Websitewww.vipers.bc.ca/
Franchise history
1961–1962Vernon Jr. Canadians
1962–1967Vernon Blades
1967–1973Vernon Essos
1973–1979Vernon Vikings
1980–1983Vernon Lakers
1983–1984Vernon Rockets
1984–1995Vernon Lakers
1995–presentVernon 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 1970 Abbott Cup, 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, as the Vernon Lakers, they only won eight games out of the 56 played. They next season, they only won 10 of 47. It was not until the 1982–83 season that Vernon began improve. For one season in 1983–84, they played as the Vernon Rockets. In the 1988 playoffs, the team made it to the Doyle Cup. In 1989, the Lakers started the first of four consecutive trips to the National Championships, which saw them win two Centennial Cups (1990 and 1991), three Abbott Cups, three Doyle Cups, four Mowat Cups, four league championships, and five 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 was the first televised Centennial Cup Final. The game had New Westminster take the lead into the third period, 5–3 before Cam Sylven tied the game for the Lakers, 5–5, in the third period to force overtime. He scored once again in overtime 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 also contested for the national finals in 1992, but lost in the semifinals to the Winkler Flyers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, 5–2.

The Vernon franchise would not return to the national tournament for another four years. In 1996, the team had rebranded as 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 season with a 43–13–4 record. The Vipers defeated the Langley Thunder for the league title, four games to one, before defeating the Prince George Spruce Kings (Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League) for the Mowat Cup, three games to none. They then faced the Saint Albert Saints (Alberta Junior Hockey League) team winning four games to three 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 two games and losing two. The Newmarket 87's of the Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League were the Vipers' next opponent in the semifinals, which they won, 7–4. In the final, the met the host Melfort Mustangs, avenging their lose in the semifinals, winning by a score of 2–0.

Three years after winning the inaugural Royal Bank Cup, Vernon won another in 1999. The Vipers finished the season with a 52–6–2 record, then went on to defeat the Chilliwack Chiefs for the league title, the Fred Page Cup. They won the Mowat Cup over the Kimberley Dynamiters (RMJHL) four games to one, but it was the first time a team from the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League defeated a team from the BCHL. The Doyle Cup was also won by Vernon, four games to one, over the Calgary Canucks (AJHL). The Vipers struggled in the Royal Bank Cup tournament, winning only once during round-robin play, but was enough to claim the Abbott Cup by defeating the Estevan Bruins (SJHL), 3–2. Vernon still managed to advance to the semifinals based on the one win and in that semifinals, the Bramalea Blues (OPJHL) were defeated by a score of 3–2. The Vipers then defeated the Charlottetown Abbies (Maritime Junior A Hockey League), 9–3, claiming the franchise's fourth national championship in ten years. The 1999 Viper team was inducted in the British Columbia Hockey Hall of Fame in 2016.

In the 2000–01 season, the Vernon Vipers failed to make the playoffs, the first time since 1982.

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 then swept 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 semifinal and the Humboldt Broncos, 2–0, in the final, winning the franchise's fifth national title and third Royal Bank Cup. With five national titles, Vernon is the only junior A franchise to have that distinction.[1]

In 2010, the Vipers were league and divisional winners with 105 points, second all-time for the franchise, finishing with a league record of 51–6–0–3. Having avoided the elimination round, the Vipers met up with the fifth place Quesnel Millionaires in the quarterfinals, defeating them four games to two. The Penticton Vees were the Vipers' next opponent in the semifinals, also defeated by a result of four games to two. In the BCHL finals, the Vipers once again took on the Powell River Kings. The Kings took Vernon to a game seven, which the Vipers won by a score of 3–1, advancing 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 Junior A Tournament was held in Dauphin, Manitoba. The Vernon Vipers record in the round-robin was 3–1 and advanced to the semifinal against the Brockville Braves, winning 2–0. In the final against the host team, the Dauphin Kings, the Vipers won 8–1, giving the Vernon Vipers their fourth Royal Bank Cup and sixth national championship for Vernon. The Vipers were the third team that had won back-to-back national championships, the previous two being in 1981 and 1982 Prince Albert Raiders and the 1990 and 1991 Vernon Lakers.

The Vernon Vipers fourth national title tied them with the Prince Albert Raiders, although it is the sixth for the franchise, a new Canadian record.[2] In 2014, the Vipers were once again in the national tournament, as hosts, setting a record of ten appearances.[3]

Season-by-season history[edit]

Royal Bank Cup Abbott Cup Doyle Cup Mowat Cup Division Champions
Season Division Regular season[a] Playoffs[b]
Finish GP W L T[c] OTL[d] Pts GF GA GP W L GF GA Result
1961–62 4th 29 7 21 1 15 95 182 5 2 3 Lost Semifinals, 2–3 (Buckaroos)
1962–63 3rd 31 9 22 0 18 114 145 5 1 4 Lost Semifinals, 1–4 (Buckaroos)
1963–64 3rd 34 7 27 0 14 124 219 7 2 5 Third place round robin
1964–65 4th 30 10 16 4 24 99 132 5 1 4 Lost Semifinals, 1–4 (Buckaroos)
1965–66 4th 30 4 25 1 9 100 212 4 0 4 Lost Semifinals, 0–4 (Kraft Kings)
1966–67 3rd 40 15 25 0 30 5 1 4 Lost Semifinals, 1–4 (Broncos)
1967–68 3rd 40 19 17 4 42 213 218 4 0 4 Lost Semifinals, 0–4 (Broncos)
1968–69 3rd 40 19 15 6 44 177 191 4 0 4 Lost Semifinals, 0–4 (Cougars)
1969–70 1st 48 32 12 4 68 245 151 15 8 7 Won Semifinals, 4–1 (Centennials)
Won Final, 4–2 (Cougars)
Lost Abbott Cup, 0–4 (Red Wings)
1970–71 Interior 2nd 60 34 20 6 74 285 248 5 1 4 Lost in Div. Semifinals, 1–4 (Rockets)
1971–72 1st 60 42 17 1 85 18 10 8 Won Semifinals, 4–1 (Bruins)
Won Final, 4–3 (Broncos)
Lost Pacific Centennial Cup Championship, 2–4 (Rustlers)
1972–73 Interior 4th 61 27 33 1 55 292 287 5 1 4 Lost Div. Semifinals, 1–4 (Rockets)
1973–74 Interior 3rd 64 37 26 1 75 340 302 4 0 4 Lost Div. Semifinals, 0–4 (Broncos)
1974–75 Interior 3rd 66 31 33 2 64 327 343 10 4 6 Won Div. Semifinals, 4–2 (Broncos)
Lost Div. Final, 0–4 (Buckaroos)
1975–76 1st 66 47 18 1 95 390 247 10 4 5 Won Quarterfinals, 8–2 (Bruins)
Lost Semifinals, 1–9 (Vees)
1976–77 Interior 3rd 68 29 37 2 60 259 321 6 2 4 Lost Div. 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 Div. 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 Div. Semifinals, 3–4 (Knights)
1983–84 Interior 2nd 60 45 15 0 90 452 276 6 2 4 Lost Div. Semifinals, 2–4 (Buckaroos)
1984–85 Interior 2nd 51 28 21 2 58 261 262 7 3 4 Lost Div. Semifinals, 3–4 (Centennials)
1985–86 Interior 3rd 52 28 21 3 59 338 281 7 3 4 33 26 Lost Div. Semifinals, 3–4 (Packers)
1986–87 Interior 2nd 52 33 17 2 68 381 257 10 6 4 45 47 Won Div. Semifinals, 4–0 (Knights)
Lost Div. Final, 2–4 (Packers)
1987–88 Interior 1st 52 42 10 0 84 381 216 19 14 5 120 75 Won Div. Semifinals, 4–0 (Centennials)
Won Div. Final, 4–0 (Knights)
Won BCJHL Final, 4–1 (Sockeyes)
Won Mowat Cup, 2–0 (North Stars)
Lost Doyle Cup, 0–4 (Canucks)
1988–89 Interior 1st 60 40 19 1 81 376 256 31 22 9 146 112 Won Div. Semifinals, 4–1 (Packers)
Won Div. Final, 4–0 (Centennials)
Won BCJHL Final, 4–1 (Royals)
Won Mowat Cup, 2–0 (Mustangs)
Won Doyle Cup, 4–2 (Rustlers)
Won Abbott Cup, 4–2 (Broncos)
4th place Centennial Cup round robin
1989–90 Interior 1st 58 33 20 5 71 330 229 19 12 7 92 73 1st place Interior round robin
Lost BCJHL Final, 2–4 (Royals)
Second place Centennial Cup round robin
Won Centennial Cup Semifinals, 11–5 (Hawks)
Won Centennial Cup Final, 6–5 (OT) (Royals)
1990–91 Interior 3rd 60 37 20 3 77 359 266 28 23 5 170 126 Won Div. Semifinals, 4–0 (Spartans)
Won Div. Final, 4–2 (Chiefs)
Won .BCJHL Final, 4–0 (Paper Kings)
Won Mowat Cup, 3–0 (Spruce Kings)
Won Doyle Cup, 4–1 (Royals)
Won Abbott Cup, 5–4 (OT) (Terriers)
4th place Centennial Cup round robin
Won Centennial Cup Semifinals, 7–5 (Terriers)
Won Centennial Cup Final, 8–4 (Cubs)
1991–92 Interior 4th 60 34 23 3 71 348 286 30 22 8 168 116 Won Div. Semifinals, 4–2 (Spartans)
Won Div. Final, 4–2 (Chiefs)
Won BCJHL Final, 4–0 (Ice Hawks)
Won Mowat Cup, 3–0 (Spruce Kings)
Won Doyle Cup, 4–2 (Grizzlys)
Won Abbott Cup, 5–3 (Flyers)
1st place Centennial Cup round robin
Lost Centennial Cup Semifinals, 2–5 (Flyers)
1992–93 Interior 3rd 60 35 23 2 72 336 278 5 1 4 14 22 Lost Div. Semifinals, 1–4 (Panthers)
1993–94 Interior 3rd 60 31 29 0 62 286 314 11 4 7 38 48 Won Div. Semifinals, 4–3 (Panthers)
Lost Div. Final, 0–4 (Spartans)
1994–95 Interior 3rd 60 28 28 4 60 297 284 9 5 4 41 37 Won Prelim. Round, 2–0 (Ice Hawks)
Lost Quarterfinals, 3–4 (Panthers)
1995–96 Interior 1st 60 43 13 4 90 324 219 30 23 7 156 102 Won Quarterfinals, 4–1 (Clippers)
Won Semifinals, 4–0 (Capitals)
Won BCJHL Final, 4–1 (Thunder)
Won Mowat Cup, 3–0 (Spruce Kings)
Won Doyle Cup, 4–3 (Saints)
Lost Abbott Cup, 1–5 (Mustangs)
Third place Royal Bank Cup round robin
Won Royal Bank Cup Semifinals, 7–4 (87's)
Won 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 Conf. Quarterfinals, 4–0 (Centennials)
Won Conf. Final, 4–3 (Panthers)
Lost BCHL Final, 2–4 (Chiefs)
2002–03 Interior 1st 60 47 12 0 1 95 273 150 17 10 7 52 40 Won Conf. Quarterfinals, 4–0 (Panthers)
Won Conf. Final, 4–0 (Smoke Eaters)
Won BCHL Final, 4–0 (Chiefs)
Lost Doyle Cup, 2–4 (Kodiaks)
2003–04 Interior 2nd 60 37 15 1 7 82 233 182 5 1 4 13 17 Lost Conf. Quarterfinals, 1–4 (Smoke Eaters)
2004–05 Interior 1st 60 42 9 3 6 93 232 156 14 9 5 40 41 Won Conf. Semifinals, 4–0 (Vees)
Won in Conference Final, 4–1 (Spruce Kings)
Lost BCHL Final, 1–4 (Eagles)
2005–06 Interior 3rd 60 36 18 2 4 78 205 165 10 5 5 32 29 Won Conf. Quarterfinals, 4–1 (Spruce Kings)
Lost Conf. Semifinals, 1–4 (Silverbacks)
2006–07 Interior 2nd 60 37 19 1 3 78 246 193 22 14 8 70 53 Won Conf. Quarterfinals, 4–2 (Warriors)
Won Conf. Semifinals, 4–1 (Smoke Eaters)
Won Conf. Final, 4–1 (Vees)
Lost BCHL Final, 2–4 (Clippers)
2007–08 Interior 4th 60 36 20 2 2 76 238 185 10 6 4 35 31 Won Conf. Quarterfinals, 3–0 (Smoke Eaters)
Lost Conf. Semifinals, 3–4 (Vees)
2008–09 Interior 1st 60 42 14 1 3 88 223 145 25 20 5 152 90 Won Conf. Semifinals, 4–1 (Vees)
Won Conf. Final, 4–2 (Silverbacks)
Won BCHL Final, 4–2 (Kings)
Won Doyle Cup, 4–0 (Storm)
1st place Royal Bank Cup RR
Won Royal Bank Cup Semifinals, 6–3 (Voyageurs)
Won 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 Conf. Semifinals, 4–2 (Millionaires)
Won Conf. Final, 4–2 (Vees)
Won BCHL Final, 4–3 (Kings)
Won Doyle Cup, 4–3 (Saints)
2nd place Royal Bank Cup RR
Won Royal Bank Cup Semifinals, 2–0 (Braves)
Won 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 Conf. Semifinals, 4–2 (Warriors)
Won Conf. Final, 4–2 (Silverbacks)
Won BCHL Final, 4–0 (Kings)
Won Doyle Cup, 4–3 (Saints)
1st Place Royal Bank Cup RR (4–0)
Won RBC Semifinal vs (Dukes) 4–1
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 Div. Semifinals, 4–2 (Warriors)
Won Div. Final, 4–3 (Vees)
Won Semifinal Round Robin 2–0
Lost BCHL Final, 0–4 (Express)
2014–15 Interior
BCHL
2nd
4th
58 36 18 1 3 76 218 161 11 7 4 32 31 Won Div. Semifinals, 0–4 (Centennials)
Lost Div. Final, 3–4 (Vees)
2015–16 Interior
BCHL
4th
12th
58 24 31 3 0 51 179 206 5 1 4 9 21 Lost Div. Semifinal, 1–4 (Vees)
2016–17 Interior
BCHL
2 of 6
6 of 17
58 30 19 5 4 69 181 158 12 7 5 40 27 Won Div. Semifinals, 4–1 (Smoke Eaters)
Lost Div. Finals, 3–4 (Vees)
2017–18 Interior
BCHL
2 of 7
2 of 17
58 39 14 1 4 83 205 118 10 5 5 24 19 Won Div. Quarterfinals, 4–0 (Silverbacks)
Lost Div. Semifinals, 2–4 (Wild)
  1. ^ Code explanation; GP—Games Played, W—Wins, L—Losses, T—Tied games, OTL—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

Notable alumni[edit]

Alumni who played in the National Hockey League[edit]

Other notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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