Vancouver Vipers open training camp today

Junior hockey team will hold tryout to fill out its roster

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

Published:

 

Vancouver's junior hockey team begins preparation for the 2013-14 Northern Pacific Hockey League season with training camp today and Saturday at Mountain View Ice Arena.

The Fort Vancouver Vipers are looking for a few more players, ages 16 to 20, to fill out their roster, according to general manager Chuck Cheshire. Training camp registration starts at 12:45 p.m. Friday, with the first on-ice session at 2 p.m.

In addition to all players who have signed with the Vipers, the camp is open to those who want to try out for the team. The cost to participate in the training camp is $100 and players must be registered with USA Hockey.

In addition to three on-ice sessions, the training camp will include gym workouts and team meetings. The Vipers will begin regular weekday practices on Monday. The regular season will likely begin in early October.

The recent addition of a team in Everett gives the NPHL six teams for the 2013-14 season.

In addition to Vancouver, teams in Bellingham, Bremerton, Kennewick and Eugene return from last season. Everett replaces the Glacier Nationals of Montana as the league's sixth team.

The league hopes to finalize its schedule by mid-September, Cheshire said.

In another change from previous seasons, the NPHL is limiting teams to four 20-year-olds.

Unlike last season, when the Vancouver team changed owners and didn't commit to the league until September, the Vipers expect to have a full roster this season.

Mike Dickerman is the new head coach for the Vipers. Cheshire and player personnel director Keith Bemis will assist with coaching.

Most of the Vipers players come from outside the area and live with host families. Anyone interested in hosting a player should contact Kelly Chavez at 360-601-8345, or by sending e-mail to vipers.billet@aol.com

More informetion is available online at www.fortvancouvervipers.com

Winterhawks open preseason -- The Portland Winterhawks will play the three of their five preseason games during the weekend at Comcast Arena in Everett.

On Friday, the Winterhawks will play Spokane at 3 p.m.

At 11 a.m. Saturday the Winterhawks take on the Tri-City Americans, and at 7 p.m. Sunday they play host Everett.

The final two preseason games are Sept. 6-7 in Kennewick. The defending Western Hockey League champions open the regular season on Sept. 20 in the Moda Center against Prince George.