The Trail Smoke Eaters changed their fortunes from last year in one visit to Kal Tire Place.
The Smokies – who didn’t win a B.C. Hockey League game in Vernon last season – spoiled the Vipers’ home opener Friday, scoring a 5-3 decision in front of 1,835 fans.
The two teams meet again Saturday at Trail’s Cominco Arena.
Vernon native Harlan Orr scored the winning goal with the teams playing four-on-four at 9:31 of the third period, connecting on a sweet feed from Kurt Black.
First star Rhett Wilcox had two goals for Trail before leaving the game in the third period after taking a hit to the head from Vipers defenceman Mac Ferner, who received a five-minute major penalty and game misconduct on the play.
Nick Halloran and Kienan Scott, into an empty net, had the other goal for the Smokies.
Hunter Zandee, Steve Jandric and Liam Finlay scored for Vernon, who were outshot 40-39 in the loosely played contest.
Jarrod Schamerhorn, for the Snakes, and Bailey MacBurnie for Trail were solid in their respective goals.
Neither team enjoyed more than a one-goal lead.
See Sunday’s Morning Star for full game details.