Trail Smoke Eaters forward John Laurito (left) battles Vernon Vipers captain Colton McCarthy for the puck  in the Vipers’ B.C. Hockey League regular-season opener Friday night at Kal Tire Place. Vernon product Harlan Orr spoiled the home opener

Trail Smoke Eaters forward John Laurito (left) battles Vernon Vipers captain Colton McCarthy for the puck in the Vipers’ B.C. Hockey League regular-season opener Friday night at Kal Tire Place. Vernon product Harlan Orr spoiled the home opener

Orr spoils Vipers’ home opener

Vernon's Harlan Orr scores midway through third period to give Trail Smoke Eaters a 5-3 win over the Vernon Vipers Friday at Kal Tire Place

It was a happy homecoming for Harlan Orr.

The 20-year-old Vernon product took a sweet pass from Kurt Black, with the teams playing four-on-four, and fired a wrist shot past Jarrod Schamerhorn for the game-winning goal midway through the third period as the Trail Smoke Eaters beat the Vernon Vipers 5-3 in the B.C. Hockey League regular-season opener for both teams Friday night at Kal Tire Place.

The two teams met again Saturday at Trail’s Cominco Arena.

“I came off the bench, was fortunate to get the puck right away when I was open and luckily enough I got it over the goalie. It’s pretty exciting,” said Orr.

“The win is really big, especially for our confidence this year. We never got a win in this rink last year, so starting the season off on a good note is going to help us.”

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.

Wilcox opened the scoring at 15:19 of the opening period, the beneficiary of a beautiful pass from Kale Howarth, who stole the puck from Vipers forward Liam Finlay in the Vernon zone. Wilcox one-timed a shot past Schamerhorn who had no chance.

The first Vipers goal of the new season came with 24 seconds left in the frame. Hunter Zandee went to the net and buried a rebound of a Joe Sacco shot past Trail goalie Bailey MacBurnie.

The Smoke Eaters took a 2-1 lead at 5:26 of the second when Nick Halloran wired a wrist shot past Schamerhorn stick-side. The lead lasted all of 11 seconds.

Off the ensuing face-off, Finlay grabbed a loose puck, dangled past a Trail defender to go in alone on MacBurnie, who stopped Finlay. Vernon forward Steve Jandric crashed the net on the play and put the puck into a wide-open cage.

Exactly two minutes later, Trail took a 3-2 lead when Wilcox converted a pass from Kienan Scott on a two-on-one with Vipers defenceman Bo Pellah caught up ice.

With Orr in the penalty box, the Vipers tied the game at 17:59 when a cross-ice pass from Peter Tufto went in off of Finlay’s skate. The goal was originally called off but all four on-ice officials discussed the play and ruled it a clean goal.

Vernon had 19 shots on MacBurnie in the middle frame but managed only eight in the final 20 minutes.

“Obviously it’s a little disappointing,” said Vipers head coach Mark Ferner of the opening night defeat. “I know we had a real nervous group, which is no excuse by any means. The things we practised throughout the week, the habits started to creep in from where they played before.

“We didn’t play with a lot of structure, we didn’t move the puck like we should and you have to give Trail credit. They came in here and played a pretty good road game.”

Scott, into an empty net with two seconds left in the game, completed the scoring.

“It’s a work in progress,” said Ferner.” We’ve got some good players here that need to get their feet wet. They need to know if we’re going to have success here, they’ve got to play a certain way for 60 minutes.”

Vernon was 1-7 on the powerplay, Trail went 0-6.

Both goalies were solid as each faced a ton of rubber. Trail outshot Vernon 40-39.

“Bailey’s been a great addition to our group and it was great to see him get the win,” said Trail coach Nick Deschenes of MacBurnie’s play. “He’s an ultimate competitor. He made a couple of saves I don’t think most goalies would have,  and he probably got us that win.”

SNAKEBITES: Ferner is facing a possible suspension for his hit on Wilcox…The Vipers scratched newly acquired defenceman Darren Rizzolo and forward Brett Stapley…Cydnie Rice, 25, made her Vernon debut Friday, working the game as a linesman. Rice, from Invermere who now lives in Kelowna, began in the BCHL last season but never officiated at Kal Tire Place…The Vipers have carded forward Michael Roberts and were forced to send defenceman Reece Soukaroff back to Alberta due to a carding issue regarding 17-year-olds from Hockey B.C….The expansion Wenatchee Wild went into Prince George and pummelled the Spruce Kings 5-1 as the league’s 64th season kicked off Friday. The Wild outshot the hosts 50-18 while five different players handled the scoring, led by Las Vegas native Brandon Harris who had a goal and two helpers. Wenatchee has three Canadians – centre Matthew Baker of Midhurst, Ont., right winger Kyle Stephan of Berry, Ont., and defenceman Logan Milliken of Canmore, Alta. – on its roster. Milliken and Stephan picked up assists Friday. The Wild have one player – d-man Konsta Janke of Samammish – from Washington state…In Salmon Arm, Elijah Barriga scored twice and Angus Redmond made 33 saves as the Silverbacks doubled the defending champion Penticton Vees 4-2. Highly touted newcomer Easton Brodzinski had both goals for the Vees…West Kelowna Warriors erased a 3-0 deficit 16 minutes into the game with five unanswered goals en route to a 6-4 decision over the visiting Merritt Centennials…The Cowichan Valley Capitals edged the Victoria Grizzlies 3-2. Former Vipers defenceman Mitch Meek picked up a match penalty in a second-period incident for the Caps…Langley Rivermen doubled the Surrey Eagles 6-3.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The organizer of a Kelowna protest against COVID-19 restrictions was fined by the RCMP for the third time Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19: Organizer of Kelowna anti-restriction protest ticketed for third time

The individual’s latest ticket for $2,300 was handed out by RCMP at an anti-lockdown rally Saturday

Mount Boucherie Secondary School is one of three Kelowna schools with confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to an update from the school district Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at 3 Kelowna schools

Interior Health has confirmed exposures at Mount Boucherie, Springvalley and South Rutland schools

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

City of Vernon crews are responding to a small sinkhole on Lakeshore Road in Vernon Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (Contributed)
Sinkhole slows Vernon traffic

Lakeshore Road has been reduced to single-lane alternating traffic Saturday

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Salmon Arm and Vernon see increase in new COVID cases, curve flattening elsewhere

The rate of new cases is levelling off in Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Half of the most expensive homes are on 2080 Mackenzie Crt, which is across the street from Revelstoke Mountain Resort. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The 10 most valuable homes in Revelstoke for 2020

Combined, the properties are worth more than $35M

Lake Country native Evan-Riley Brown is in the cast for the new film Journey To Royal: A WW II Rescue Mission to be released on video on demand and streaming services on Feb. 2. (Contributed)
Okanagan actor lands role in WW II movie

Evan-Riley Brown, from Lake Country, cast in production labelled as hybrid of a feature film and documentary called Journey To Royal: a WW II Rescue Mission.

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
More than 20 days have passed since the last case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Lakeside Manor. (File photo)
Salmon Arm retirement facility reopens social areas after COVID-19

More than 20 days have passed since last confirmed case at Lakeside Manor

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Most Read