This was compiled and distributed by Brent Mutis, Communications Director with the BCHL.
It has been a while since we've had a game to talk about and for those of you dying to scratch that Junior A hockey itch, the puck drops for the Doyle Cup tonight at 7 pm from the Wesbild Centre in Vernon. If you can't be at the rink you can catch all of the action on the Doyle Cup Pay-Per-View feed ... CLICK HERE to sign up and prepare to enjoy the games in this inter-league cross-border provincial rivalry to crown the Pacific Region representative for the 2011 RBC Royal Bank Cup.
The 2011 edition of the Doyle Cup pits the same two opponents as last year against each other. Both the Vernon Vipers and Spruce Grove Saints rely on depth with no one player being the entire key to either team.
Spruce Grove Saints - Names to Know:
Felix-Antoine Poulin - Anytime a defenceman is the leading scorer on a team, you're sure to take note. That's the case with Poulin who came to the Saints after spending most of the season with the Drayton Valley Thunder. Poulin wound up with 27 goals and 34 assists this season from the back end and at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, has the size to take care of business in his own end.
Josh Koper - Like the Vipers, the Saints have one 30-goal scorer from the regular season and it's Koper who tallied exactly 30 goals to go with 27 assists. Koper is not big at 5-foot-8, 165 pounds but is a constant threat. He played parts of four seasons in the WHL with the Medicine Hat Tigers and Edmonton Oil Kings.
Scott Allen - A four-year Saints vet, Allen has good size at 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds. He leads Spruce Grove in playoff goals with seven and is tied for first with 10 points. Allen is committed to attend the University of Alaska-Anchorage in the fall.
Vincenzo Marozzi - To say this netminder is accustomed to winning is an understatement. Over the past three regular seasons, the 6-foot, 175-pound Edmonton native has gone 83-9-10. That is not a misprint. Oh, and in the playoffs, he's 23-2, including a 12-1 mark this postseason. He currently sports a 1.46 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage.
Nicholas Bourgeois - Bourgeois joined the Saints from the Olds Grizzlys midway through the season and totalled 19 goals and 26 assists on the campaign. He has three goals and three assists in the playoffs but merits mention as he's chalked up 56 penalty minutes in 13 games in the postseason, a number almost twice as high as Vernon's leader in the category Ryan Renz, who has 30.
Vernon Vipers - Names to Know:
Dylan Walchuk - The Vipers leading scorer in the regular season has carried the offence over into the playoffs too. His 10 playoff goals are twice the total of the next-highest goalscorers on the roster. The 5-foot-9, 170-pounder scored four goals in the Vipers' series-clinching win over Salmon Arm in the Interior Conference finals.
Malcolm Lyles - A 20-year-old defenceman from Miami Gardens, Florida, Lyles played two seasons with the Boston College Eagles before joining the Vipers. Though not physically imposing at 5-foot-10, 180 pounds, Lyles strength on the puck and skating ability make him an efficient defender and constant threat to join the attack.
Michael Zalewski - The 1st Star of the Vipers' Game 4 win to sweep the Powell River Kings has three of his five playoff goals in the last four games. The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder is the current BCHL Player of the Week after he potted the overtime winner to put the Vipers into the Doyle Cup.
David Robinson - The homegrown captain of the Vipers is third on the team in playoff scoring and led the Snakes with 32 regular-season goals. Robinson spent a season-and-a-half with the WHL's Chilliwack Bruins before rejoining the Vipers midway through the 2009-10 season.
Ryan Renz - Listed recently by NHL Central Scouting as one of the top-10 Junior A prospects in Canada, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Renz leads the Vipers in playoff penalty minutes with 30 while chipping in three assists. The Vipers acquired Renz at the trade deadline and his size is a welcome addition to the Snakes blueline.
A big thanks to Brent Mutis of the BCHL for doing the research and compiling this list. Here's to an exciting Doyle Cup Championship between the BCHL Vernon Vipers and the AJHL Spruce Grove Saints. Remember, if you can't make it to the games, you can still watch all of the action with the Doyle Cup Pay-Per-View broadcasts ... register now.