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Vernon Vipers' netminder Danny Todosychuk blocks a shot by Victoria Grizzlies' Myles Powell as Vipers' Ryan Renz throws himself into the action during B.C. Hockey League play Sunday at Wesbild Centre.
Natalia Vignola/Morning Star

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Vernon Vipers hold off Victoria

The Vernon Vipers shaded the Victoria Grizzlies 3-2 in B.C. Hockey League play Sunday before 1,575 fans at Wesbild Centre.

The Grizzlies, who grounded the Salmon Arm SilverBacks 6-3 Saturday night, are tops overall in the league. They were without two-thirds of the dynamic Fitzgerald triplets – BCHL leading scorer Myles, with 26 goals and Gerry, with 23 goals – but still mustered enough offence to outshoot the Vipers 34-27.

Danny Todosychuk went the distance in the Vernon net and earned first star ahead of Viper d-man Ryan Renz and former Viper Turner Lawson, who had one goal for the Grizz. Todosychuk is 6-6. Michael Stiliadis fell to 15-13 with Victoria.

The Vipers took advantage on special teams with a pair of first-period power play snipes. Call-up Dallas Calvin, a big  and mobile18-year-old winger from Trail, converted from Jason Bird and Brett Corkey at 11:09 while on a 5-on-3. Craig Martin made it 2-0 Vipers two minutes later even strength. Mitch McAllister drew the assist. It was Martin's sixth goal in 28 games.

Colton Sparrow supplied the eventual winner, two minutes later, on a power play. Renz had the assist n Sparrow's seventh.

Lawson, who was stymied by Todoyschuk on two other solid scoring chances, buried a low wrister from 12 feet midway through the second period, his sixth of the year. Stefan Nicholishen performed some great work down low before feeding Lawson. David Mazurek earned the secondary assist.

Pearce Eviston, who was traded by the Vipers a month ago after he left the team, dangled and went low on a Victoria powerplay five minutes later. Zach Urban and DJ Jones pocketed helpers.

Calvin, who is second in KIJHL scoring with 31 goals and 73 points with the Beaver Valley Nitehawks, looked very comfortable and was named the Fortis Energy Player of the Game.

The Vipers improved to 16-23-1-7, 10 points back of the fourth-place SilverBacks, with one game in hand. The Vipers have nine games left. The top four teams in the Interior Conference make the playoffs.

Victoria is 32-11--0-6, three points ahead of the Penticton Vees, in the 16-team league.

In other Sunday games, Vernon product Tanner Burns scored once and took third star as the Chilliwack Chiefs stopped the visiting Alberni Valley Bulldogs, and the host Powell River Kings edged the Cowichan Valley Capitals 3-2.

Vernon visits the Merritt Centennials Friday night and entertain Cowichan Saturday night.

For further Viper coverage, please see Wednesday's Morning Star.





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