Vernon Vipers forward Tyler Ho is hounded by the checking of Penticton Vees defenceman Jonathan Smart during the Vees’ 8-2 romp in B.C. Hockey League action Saturday in Vernon. (Katherine Peters/Black Press)

Penticton Vees punish Vernon Vipers

Visitors score 8-2 win at Kal Tire Place to salvage split of weekend BCHL home-and-home series

One was an overtime thriller, one was a blowout.

And it was road victories for the Vernon Vipers and Penticton Vees in a B.C. Hockey League home-and-home series.

The Vees salvaged the split in the back end Saturday at Kal Tire Place, erupting for five second-period goals in an 8-2 win over the Snakes in front of 2,017 fans.

With the game tied 1-1 early in the middle frame, Penticton scored four times in a 4:07 span to make it 5-1 and chase Vernon starting goalie Bradley Cooper. The Vees led 1-0 and 6-1 by periods.

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Carson Kosobud and Evan McIntyre each scored twice for the Vees while singles went to Ty Pochipinski, Jack Lagerstrom, David Silye and Cassidy Bowes. Jack LaFontaine made 33 saves for the win in goal. Cooper and Aidan Porter combined to make 27 saves for Vernon.

Teddy Wooding and Jack Judson replied for the Vipers, who used a third-period comeback plus overtime to earn two points Friday at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Trailing 2-0 after 40 minutes, Judson got the Vipers within a goal at 4:30 of the third, and Lane Zablocki forced overtime with a goal at 19:42.

Zablocki got the winner on a setup from captain Jagger Williamson, playing his first game since December following an upper body injury, at 3:56, walking in alone and beating LaFontaine.

Eric Linell, in the first, and Mason Snell in the second, had given the Vees the lead. LaFontaine and Porter each had 33 saves Friday.

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Heading into play Sunday, the Vees (34-14-2-2, 72 points) held a three-point lead atop the Interior Division over the Merritt Centennials (31-14-4-3, 69 pts) with each team having six games left.

The Vipers (23-20-7-3, 56 pts) were in fifth place, one point behind Salmon Arm (25-21-4-1, 57 pts) with the Silverbacks holding a game in hand, and three ahead of the West Kelowna Warriors (26-24-0-1, 53 pts), who have two games in hand on Vernon.

The Vees visit the seventh-place Trail Smoke Eaters (20-23-7-3, 50 pts) Wednesday. Next game for the Vipers is a home date with the Nanaimo Clippers Friday at 7 p.m.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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