Roadrunner T.J. Dumonceaux scored twice as the Vernon Vipers held off the Coquitlam Express 5-3 in B.C. Hockey League play Saturday night before 1,800 fans at Kal Tire Place.
Edmonton Oiler draft pick Liam Coughlin, Thomas Aldworth and Liam Finlay supplied singles for the Vipers, who went 3-for-5 on the powerplay.
Towering Vernon product Noah Turanski, a rookie forward with the Express, struck iron with a wrister on a breakaway just 27 seconds into the game. The 16-year-old has two goals on the season.
Vernon went up 3-0 before the five-minute mark of the first period with Finlay converting his 18th of the year, from Anthony Latina and d-man Luke Shiplo (three assists on the night) 60 seconds after the anthem. Aldworth, with his 33rd and Coughlin, with his 17th, pocketed powerplay snipes 78 seconds apart before Brendan Lamont countered for Coquitlam eight minutes later, from linemates Corey Makin and Brett Supinski. Mackin was cranked behind the net by Viper centre Colton McCarthy just as he delivered a gorgeous feed to Lamont in front.
Vernon outshot Coquitlam 27-13 in the first period and 59-33 overall, failing numerous times to get second and third rebound attempts past net detective Braden Krogfos (4-8).
The Express, who lost captain Joey Santucci early in the opening 20 when he was levelled by Dumonceaux along the sidewall, looked to their top forward unit for more offence in the third session.
Lamont and Supinski drew helpers as Mackin rang up his league-leading 39th goal of the season on a power play 2:44 into the third. Supinski turned and fired from the high slot and fooled Viper goalie Jarrod Schamerhorn (19-10-1) with the equalizer six minutes later, helpers going to Lamont and Mackin. Supinski, like Mackin, a Pennsylvania product, has 31 goals.
Express d-man Jivan Sudhu took a minor for tripping the speedy Aldworth deep in the Coquitlam zone and Dumonceaux dialed up the winner 20 seconds into the powerplay, assisted by Shiplo and Finlay. Just 14 seconds later, Dumonceau converted nicely from Aldworth on a bang-bang play.
The Vipers, who were swept by the Express in last year’s Fred Page Cup final series, improved to 28-11-1-2, while the Express dipped to 16-23-1-4.