Leading B.C. Hockey League pointgetter Paul De Jersey and fourth-liner Sean Landrey each scored twice as the Prince George Spruce Kings grounded the Vernon Vipers 5-1 in a Sunday matinee at Wesbid Centre.
Gerry Fitzgerald, playing on a line with his triplet brothers Myles and Leo, also scored for the Spruce Kings. Captain Patrick McGillis replied for the injured-plagued Vipers, who were could barely ice three lines after winger Colton Sparrow was injured early in the second period.
Landrey opened the Spruce Kings’ offence off a scramble from the low slot, seven minutes in. De Jersey then picked off an Adam Tambellini pass in front of goalie Danny Todosychuk and buried his own rebound, shorthanded, with 45 seconds left in the first period.
The Vipers played the Spruce Kings even in the second period and got the 1,600 fans excited after newcomer Colton Cyr and defencemen Ryan Renz and Sean Robertson provided extraordinary service killing a 5-on-3 with Brendan Persley and Aaron Hadley in the penalty box.
Just two minutes after the penalty kill, McGillis took a pass from Cyr down the right wall, skated in about 10 feet and beat Kirk Thompson with a hard snap shot for his fifth goal in just 10 games this season.
Obviously out of gas in the third period, the Vipers were outshot 17-4 and outplayed badly as the Spruce Kings managed three even-strength goals. Prince George outshot Vernon 35-26.
Besides leading scorer Darren Nowick and snipers Ben Gamache (who turned 21 Sunday) and Johnny Knisley sidelined with injuries, the Vipers also missed power forward Jedd Soleway, assessed a two-game suspension after a blindside hit in Saturday night’s win over the Coquitlam Express.
Todoyschuk, getting his second straight start, was solid. Thompson made numerous stellar saves in the opening 40 minutes, also having the luxury of the Vipers shooting low and directly into his pads.
Prince George moved to 20-15-2-3 for 45 points and third place in the Interior Conference, one point in front of the Chilliwack Chiefs, who stuffed the Trail Smoke Eaters 5-2 Sunday.
Vernon, who plays the Smokies and Westside Grizzlies next week, fell to 18-18-1-2, five points of Chilliwack, who hold down the fourth and final playoff berth.
De Jersey rules the BCHL with 33 goals and 70 points.
The game marked the first time the twin Chore brothers of Kelowna played against one another. Patrick picked up an assist for the Spruce Kings, while Eric, summoned from the KIJHL North Okanagan Knights, got a regular shift up front for the Vipers.
Vernon also used affiliates Phil Bamber and John Saunders, while using d-man Turner Lawson on the wing and giving 16-year-old rookie forward Riley Hunt a regular shift.