Vernon Vipers goalie Max Palaga recorded his first shutout of the B.C. Hockey League season Saturday, stopping 20 shots in a 3-0 win over the Powell River Kings at Kal Tire Place. (Black Press file photo)

Vernon Vipers goalie Max Palaga recorded his first shutout of the B.C. Hockey League season Saturday, stopping 20 shots in a 3-0 win over the Powell River Kings at Kal Tire Place. (Black Press file photo)

Vernon Vipers blank Powell River

Goalie Max Palaga makes 20 saves as Snakes shutout Kings 3-0 at Kal Tire Place

Max Palaga made 20 saves for his first shutout of the season and the Vernon Vipers picked up their first home-ice victory of the young B.C. Hockey League schedule, blanking the Island Division-leading Powell River Kings 3-0 Saturday at Kal Tire Place in front of 1,623 fans.

The Vipers peppered Kings goalie Matteo Paler-Chow with 37 shots.

“We played with a lot of structure tonight,” said Vipers head coach/general manager Jason McKee on the team’s website, vernonvipers.com. “We need to be comfortable playing in low-scoring, tight-checking games and I thought we did that really well tonight.”

After a scoreless first period, Vernon opened the scoring in the middle frame with two goals 91 seconds apart at 4:52 and 5:23, courtesy of Cameron MacDonald and Ben Sanderson.

MacDonald would add his second of the game, and third of the year, into an empty net at 18:58 of the third period.

The Vipers (3-2) are now off for a week before welcoming the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Saturday night at Kal Tire Place (6 p.m. start). Powell Rivers drops to 5-2.

The defending Interior Division champion Penticton Vees and Salmon Arm Silverbacks improved to 5-0 Saturday, the only teams in the league without any losses.

The Vees avenged last year’s mammoth first-round playoff upset to the cross-over, eight-seeded Capitals, blanking Cowichan Valley 6-0 in Duncan. The Silverbacks got past the visiting Victoria Grizzlies 5-3. The Grizz spoiled Vernon’s home opener 24 hours earlier with a 5-1 decision over the Vipers.

READ MORE: Vernon Vipers drop home opener to Victoria Grizzlies

Penticton and Salmon Arm are one point behind the division-leading Wenatchee Wild, who improved to 5-0-0-1 (shootout loss to Vipers) with a 4-2 win at home over the Merritt Centennials (1-4).


@VernonNews
roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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