Kjell Kjemhus of the Vernon Vipers tries to snipe one past goalle Cole Demers of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in BCHL action Saturday night at Kal Tire Place. (Lisa Mazurek/Morning Star)

Vernon Vipers deal for Sanderson

Son of former NHLer will make debut Friday night

Goal-starved and overfilled with defencemen, the Vernon Vipers shipped out Tylor Ludwar and added forward Ben Sanderson in B.C. Hockey League moves this afternoon.

Ludwar, 19, played 53 games for the Western League Kamloops Blazers last year. He was dealt to the Alberta League Okotoks Oilers in exchange for the rights to Sanderson, 18, of Calgary.

Sanderson, the son of former NHLer Geoff Sanderson, played two games with the USHL Dubuque Fighting Saints this season after posting 20 goals and 26 points in 50 games with Okotoks last year.

“He scored 20 goals as a rookie and he didn’t get a ton of ice time,” said Vipers head coach/GM Mark Ferner. “He’s committed to Colorado College (Tigers) and was ranked 190th by Central Scouting and he can really skate.”

Sanderson, a 6-foot, 180-pounder, will play Friday night when the Vipers visit the 9-6 Powell River Kings. Vernon is in Port Alberni Saturday night.

Ludwar got in two games with the Vipers, who due to injuries, have been using two blueliners up front.

“We may have to move another D-man,” said Ferner, who expects forwards Sebastian Streu and Josh Latta back from concussion protocol and towering D Brandon Fuller from suspension Friday. F Logan Cash (lacerated foot) is sidelined for two months.

The Vipers have the worst goals for record (42) in the crazy Interior Conference, where they sit tied for last place at 6-5-4 with the Wenatchee Wild. Four teams are a point ahead with the Merritt Centennials first at 11-7.

Vernon may be without alternate captain and leading goal scorer Jesse Lansdell, who was assessed a blow to the head penalty at 7:53 of the first period in Vernon’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks Sunday afternoon at the Shaw Centre before 1,015 fans. Lansdell just came off a four-game suspension for a similar penalty.

The Silverbacks have asked the league for a supplemental review of the penalty so a suspension may occur.

“Jesse finished his check and the kid bailed,” said Ferner. “Geez, he’s not Hannibal Lecter.”

Silverback goalie Ethan Langenegger stopped Alex Swetlikoff on a breakaway in overtime with the Silverbacks skating back the other way and Hudson Schandor finishing a 2-on-1 at 2:57. Olson Werenka and Adams drew helpers on Schandor’s sixth snipe of the season.

“We had enough chances to score six goals in Salmon Arm,” said Ferner. “It’s not from a lack of chances.”

D-man Jack Judson is Vernon’s top point-getter with 3+9 followed by Lansdell (six) and Swetlikoff (five) and Latta with four. The rest of the Viper forwards account for just 21 snipes.

The Vipers scored first Sunday as Swetlikoff tipped in a slap pass from Ben Helgeson, who started the rush from the left wing before finishing the play in the right-wing corner.

Vernon went up 2-0 on a power play as Connor Marritt finished a spin move at the side of the net to convert his fourth of the season.

Trevor Adams of the Silverbacks buried his seventh past Aidan Porter in front with 1:34 left in the first period.

The Vipers moved in front 3-1 as Coleton Bilodeau set up Ben Helgeson in the high slot for his second of the season six minutes into the middle stanza. Nick Unruh connected with his fifth of the year on a Silverbacks’ 5-on-3 powerplay with 2:15 to play in the period.

The Vipers enjoyed multiple scoring chances but couldn’t beat Ethan Langenegger in the third. Porter was just as stellar until Unruh levelled the score on a power play with 4:32 remaining.

Max Palaga recorded 21 saves for his second straight win as the Vipers bounced the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 5-1 Saturday night before 1,989 fans at Kal Tire Place.

Vernon went 3-for-10 on the power play with Conor Marritt deftly deflecting a Judson howitzer from the right point high and over ex-Viper goalie Cole Demers at 16:46 of the first period. Captain Jagger Williamson earned the secondary assist. Judson pointed to Marritt right away so the officials were aware he got a stick on the shot which came 14 seconds into the man advantage with Jackson Doucet off for slashing. Marritt has three goals on the season.

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Doucet equalized on a 5-on-3 eight minutes into the middle period, going back door with assists going to Ryan Miotto and former Viper d-man Darren Rizzolo. The Dawgs went on the 5-on-3 after Jesse Lansdell was assessed a kneeing penalty on Marcus Walters before Mitch Andres went to the box for roughing. It was Doucet’s second snipe of the season.

Bilodeau enjoyed a short breakaway chance shortly after but was held by defenceman Grayson Valente. Rizzolo then took a high sticking minor after catching Marritt in the face. Marritt was named the Fortis Energy Player of the Game.

Lansdell, who took second star, collected his sixth of the year by scooping puck past Demers from his knees on the power play after a shot by Andres from the left hashmark. The goal came 18 seconds into the man advantage.

Vernon converted 17 seconds later, even strength when centre Swetlikoff scored his fourth of the season from the left side on Port Alberni’s doorstep. Helgeson, who took the first shot, and Elan Bar Lev-Wise drew assists on the odd-man rush.

The Dawgs lost Miotto with a blow to the head penalty and game ejection with 108 seconds to play.

Williamson took a feed from Swetlikoff and hit the empty net for Vernon’s final goal with 64 seconds left for his third of the year. Lansdell earned the secondary assist. Williamson, who had 1+2, was chosen first star.

The Vipers struck again with the man advantage with Bilodeau connecting from the high slot for his first goal of the season with 17 seconds left. Googins was given a double minor for spearing to put Vernon on the power play. Teddy Wooding and D Michael Young posted assists.

Viper d-man Carver Watson made a stellar defensive play by lifting Evan Googins’ stick as he faced an open net on the power play midway through the second period.

The injury-riddled Vipers played D-men Andres and Brendan Kim up front with Nick Cherkowski on their fourth line.


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