Snakes stuff TrailPublished: November 06, 2011 1:00 AM
Mike Zalewski turned in his second straight first-star performance as the Vernon Vipers doubled the host Trail Smoke Eaters 4-2 in B.C. Hockey League action Friday night at Cominco Arena.
The power forward opened the scoring with his 12th goal of the season less than two minutes into the game as he cut across the middle and beat James D’Andrea with a hard backhander.
Zalewski then set up the first of two powerplay goals to give Vernon a comfortable 3-0 lead after 20 minutes. He worked the puck to John Knisley, who fired on net and Darren Nowick (12th goal) was there to convert the rebound.
“Our guys came out pretty strong and they capitalized on a couple powerplays,” said Vipers’ head coach Jason Williamson.
“Anytime they’re (Zalewski, Knisley and Nowick) out there they usually create something in a positive way and they control the tempo.”
Jedd Soleway, parking his 6-foot-2, 208-pound frame in front of the net, earned the other powerplay marker for his second goal of the season at 16:04.
Vernon went 2-for-6 with the man advantage while Trail (2-10-1-2) went scoreless in seven attempts.
The Vipers, second in the Interior Conference at 11-4, fell asleep a bit in the second period, allowing goals by second star Garrett McMullen and Marley Keca, who scored with eight seconds on the clock after a turnover at Vernon’s blueline. It was the first goal of the year for both players.
While disappointed with the lapse, Williamson credited the Vipers for keeping their composure to ride out the win.
“We played pretty well after that. We just went to the dressing room and got back to basics,” he said.
“You don’t want to have a team hanging around like that. You don’t want to give them a chance to get back in it.”
Adam Tambellini, with his 10th goal, sealed the win midway through the third period, burying a quick shot five-hole on Reed Vogt after a hard forecheck by linemates Colton Sparrow and Marcus Basara.
Vogt (18 saves) replaced D’Andrea (12 saves) to start the second period.
Kirby Halcrow recorded 31 stops in earning his eighth win with Vernon.
Vernon entertained the Chilliwack Chiefs (7-6-0-1) Saturday night at Wesbild Centre. They host the Westside Warriors (7-7-0-1) in a rare Tuesday-night tilt at Wesbild.
In other Interior Conference action Friday night, the Chiefs shaded the Prince George Spruce Kings 4-3 in overtime, the Penticton Vees doubled the Warriors 4-2 and the Merritt Centennials iced the Salmon Arm SilverBacks 3-2.
SNAKE BITES: With defencemen Luke Juha and Brett Corkey and forward Aaron Hadley away at the World Junior A Challenge, which starts Wednesday in Langley, the Vipers called up forward Ryan Edwards (Beaver Valley Nitehawks) and defenceman Bryce Eviston (Castlegar Rebels) for Friday’s game...Viper grad Steven Weinstein, has been named the Atlantic Hockey conference’s Rookie of the Week. The Los Angeles defenceman bagged four assists in the Bentley Falcons’ 7-3 win over the Sacred Heart Pioneers in the team’s Atlantic Hockey opener. The popular Viper blueliner played 153 career games in Vernon, compiling 10 goals, 49 assists and just 12 penalty minutes in that time.