Vipers Coach Likes the Finals Matchup
Posted By: admin
Sunday, March 25, 2012

Story Courtesy of Journal Pioneer
The Kensington Moase Plumbing and Heating Vipers will host the Arsenault's Fish Mart Western Red Wings in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series at Community Gardens on Sunday. The puck will drop at 1 p.m. Game 2 is at the Evangeline Recreation Centre on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
"We're really looking forward to it," said Vipers head coach Wade Waddell on Friday morning. "There's a lot to like about this series.
"It's a dream matchup for the league, two teams from Prince County, there's a good rivalry and it's going to be good exposure for the league. Generally, when we played each other during the regular season, our crowds were up 50 to 60 per cent.
"I think both teams are looking for a large following. . . If the games in the regular season are any indication, they should have a little bit of everything - hard hitting, lots of good opportunities, solid goaltending."
The Vipers, defending Don Johnson Cup Atlantic champions, will be going for their third straight and seventh IJHL title in nine years. This is the Vipers' 10th straight appearance in the league showcase.
The Vipers defeated the Red Wings, who were based in Crapaud at the time, in the 2007 final in five games.
The Red Wings, who have also been based in Summerside and Tyne Valley in recent years, have always had a strong rivalry with the Vipers.
"This year, with them taking a big step forward in terms of their on-ice product, it seems to have gotten a lot more bitter," said Waddell. "We've had some games where there's been a lot of fights, and some games where there�s been a little animosity in the stands, which nobody wants to see. It's been old school.
Discipline a factor
However, Waddell said a key in the series will be discipline.
"There's a line there that both teams have to be careful not to cross because there is so much on the line," he said.
Waddell sees the two teams matching up pretty even.
"There are definitely parts of their game that we think we can exploit, and I'm sure that over on their side there's a few things they're looking at," he went on to say. "They have two strong scoring lines, and we have the same. They have a strong goaltender in (Alex) Micalef.
"As far as defence goes, Jackie Ray Bernard has always played forward as long as I can recall, and they moved him back and forth. . . To me he's (Bernard) as good as anybody in the league on the back end. He's somebody who has dominated for them. I think as he goes their team goes."
Willis starting
Waddell said Vipers goaltender Travis Willis, who played in all five games against Charlottetown in the semifinals, will start the opener.
Waddell added goaltender Logan Reid has returned from a bout with mononucleosis, and is ready to go.
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