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Last-minute goal propels Vernon Vipers past Cranbrook Bucks

With the 3-2 Friday night victory, the Vipers have now have points in 11 straight games
Vernon Vipers forward Zack Tonelli gets a chance near the net in a game versus the Cranbrook Bucks on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022. (Tim Matwey photo)

Some last-minute heroics led the Vernon Vipers to a 3-2 win over the Cranbrook Bucks in B.C. Hockey League (BCHL) action at Kal Tire Place Friday night.

Jojo Tanaka-Campbell scored the game winner during a Vipers powerplay that was lethal on the night, going three for six.

The Bucks got on the board early with goals from Noah Quinn and Liam Hansson in the first period. Cranbrook out-shot the Vipers 13-9 and left the opening frame with a 2-0 lead.

In the second, Tanaka-Campbell scored on the powerplay with assists from Talon Zakall and Matthew Culling. Shots were even in the second and after killing off a five-minute major penalty, the Snakes went into the third trailing 2-1.

Another powerplay came the Vipers’ way midway through the third and Culling capitalized, scoring his eighth of the season off a deflection with assists from Nicholas Kent and Griffen Barr.

With just two minutes left to play, the Vipers were awarded another powerplay. One minute later, Zakall set up Tanaka-Campbell for a deflection goal to give the Vipers the late 3-2 lead.

Goaltender Roan Clarke stopped 34 of 36 shots on the night, holding the fort in the last minutes to secure the win.

The Vipers are catching fire, securing points in each of their last 11 games. They’ve beaten the Bucks three times in the last week after they swept back-to-back games in Cranbrook Feb. 4-5.

The Vipers are now on the cusp of clinching a playoff spot, which the Bucks have already done. Vernon now has a slightly better win percentage than the Bucks but trail them by one point in the Interior division standings with one game in hand.

The Vipers again host the Bucks tonight at Kal Tire Place at 6 p.m.

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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