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Guenther named Viper captain

Riley Guenther of Calgary is the new captain of the B.C. Hockey League Vernon Vipers. - Morning Star file photo
Riley Guenther of Calgary is the new captain of the B.C. Hockey League Vernon Vipers.
— image credit: Morning Star file photo

Dependable, dedicated, dynamic and determined on defence.

Just a few adjectives which best describe Riley Guenther, the new captain of the B.C. Hockey League Vernon Vipers.

Forward TJ Dumonceaux and d-man Kenny Citron will serve as the alternate captains.

“Our team is in great shape with this core group of leaders,” said Viper head coach/GM Jason Williamson. “They all play the game at a very high level and compete each and every day at an even higher level. I am extremely excited to be able to lean on these three throughout the season.”

Guenther, contacted by The Morning Star Wednesday night as he headed out to golf at McCall Lake, is stoked about the new role.

“Jason talked to me quite a while ago about being part of the leadership group, but he never said I would be captain; I’m pretty excited. I’ve been an assistant captain or captain on most teams growing up.

“We’re going to have pretty much an entire new team and we’re going to have a lot of young guys so I will be showing them the ropes and what it takes to win. It’s not just a sometimes job, it’s an all-the-time job. It will be our role to making the transition from Midget or Junior B easier for them.”

Guenther, who turns 20 in September, joined the Vipers after playing 67 games for the Western League Prince Albert Raiders. He rang up six goals and 23 points, along with 44 penalty minutes for the Snakes. He shared the team’s Top Defenceman award with Josh Bryan.

Guenther, a strong skater, also played lacrosse, hoops and volleyball growing up. The Oiler fan enjoys strumming the guitar, listening to Kenny Chesney and challenging teammates to ping pong.

“I’ve always admired Dustin Brown (of Stanley Cup champion Kings). I don’t think he’s that vocal, but he wears his heart on his sleeve every shift and goes balls to the walls.”

Guenther said he became more vocal as the Viper season progressed. He says Dumonceaux and Citron are worthy alternates.

“They are both hard-working guys in practices and games, guys who give it their all. Kenny is very serious and focused and determined all the time. TJ is a little more laid back and a guy everybody likes.”

Dumonceaux, a speedy member of the big bicep brotherhood, is blessed with a canon shot and skates until he drops. The 20-year-old Kelowna product compiled seven goals, 20 points and 66 PIM last season.

Citron, a 19-year-old New Yorker with a scholarship to the Colgate Raiders for 2015, is a tough stay-at-home blueliner who racked up one goal, seven points and 61 PIM.

“They are both hard-working guys in practices and games, guys who give it their all. Kenny is very serious and focused and determined all the time. TJ is a little more laid back and a guy everybody likes.”

Dumonceaux, a speedy member of the big bicep brotherhood, is blessed with a canon shot and skates until he drops. The 20-year-old Kelowna product compiled seven goals, 20 points and 66 PIM last season.

Citron, a 19-year-old New Yorker with a scholarship to the Colgate Raiders for 2015, is a tough stay-at-home blueliner who racked up one goal, seven points and 61 PIM.

Guenther is working four days a week at the Country Hills Golf Club and will return to Vernon a week or so before camp opens Aug. 29.

Vernon plays a home and home with the Salmon Arm SilverBacks Sept. 5-6 with the first game at the Shaw Centre.

The Vipers have acquired the CJHL playing rights to goalie Jarrod Schamerhorn ( ‘95) from the Merritt Centennials in exchange for future considerations

Meanwhile, former Viper d-man Jason Bird will skate for the Lake Superior State Lakers NCAA Division I program for the 2014-15 season.

A Toronto product, Bird was acquired near the 2013-14 trade deadline by the Cents, after previously playing for Vernon and Coquitlam Express in the BCHL, and Vaughn Vipers of the OJHL.

Bird garnered eight goals and 29 points in 49 games for Vernon and compiled 10 points in 20 games with the Cents.

“In the short time Jason spent with our organization he made a significant impact with his maturity and leadership,” said Cents’ head coach Luke Pierce, a Vernon Viper grad. “His skating and ability to run an offence from the back end make him a very unique talent and I have all the confidence that he will have success at the Division I level.“

Said Bird, who is headed to Williamson’s alma-mater:  “Being from Toronto; it (LSSU) is a school that is close by and that a few past teammates of mine have gone to over the years. I am very thankful for the opportunity that they are giving me and I can’t wait to get down there in a couple months and get started.”

 

 

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