Jesse Lansdell of the Vernon Vipers (centre) gives Lach Hadley of the Cowichan Valley Capitals a rough ride during the Caps’ 4-1 B.C. Hockey League victory Saturday in Duncan. (Kevin Rothbauer/Black Press)

Vernon Vipers earn four points on Island

BCHL: Vernon beats Victoria, Nanaimo; falls to Cowichan Valley

Three games, two wins, same result each game.

The Vernon Vipers took two of three B.C. Hockey League games on Vancouver Island, finishing the weekend with a 4-1 win Sunday in Victoria over the Island Division-leading Grizzlies (29-16-0-2).

Vernon began the weekend in Nanaimo Friday with a 4-1 win over the third-place Clippers then fell 4-1 Saturday in Duncan to the Cowichan Valley Capitals.

The Caps (14-30-4-1) are fifth in the division, two points behind the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (16-29-3-0, 35 points). The fifth place team in the Island or Mainland Division will cross over into the Interior Division and become the eighth seed.

The Surrey Eagles (10-33-2-2, 24 points) are fifth in the Mainland and can’t catch the fourth-place Langley Rivermen. Surrey is nine points back of Cowichan for the final playoff spot with 11 games left in the regular season.

The weekend results left the Vipers (20-18-7-3) in fifth place in the Interior with 50 points, one point behind the West Kelowna Warriors and one ahead of the sixth-lace Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

The Vipers conclude a five-game road swing this weekend with games in Trail Friday and Wenatchee Saturday. Next home game for the Vipers is Wednesday, Feb. 6, against the Chilliwack Chiefs.

VERNON 4 VICTORIA 1

The Vipers scored four unanswered goals after the Grizzlies’ Ryan Nolan opened the scoring at 13:11 of the first period. The lead lasted 48 seconds as former Victoria Royals Western Hockey League sniper Lane Zablocki scored the first of his two goals.

After a scoreless middle frame, Zablocki got the winner at 8:56 of the third. Seventeen seconds later, Brendan Kim added insurance and Logan Cash scored into an empty net. Bradley Cooper picked up the win in goal, making 39 saves. The Vipers fired 44 shots at Victoria netminder Zachary Rose.

COWICHAN VALLEY 4 VERNON 1

The Capitals jumped out to a 2-0 lead midway through the first period with goals 46 seconds apart on Aidan Porter. The hosts extended the lead to 3-0 with the only goal of the second period.

Brendan Kim got the Vipers on the board 1:14 into the final frame, but Cole Broadhurst salted the game away for the Caps at 10:43.

Porter finished with 25 saves while Pierce Diamond made 28 stops for the Capitals.

VERNON 4 NANAIMO 1

Former Clipper Matt Kowalski got the winner against his old team with 56 seconds left in the second period, snapping a 1-1 tie. Hunor Torzsak gave Nanaimo a 1-0 lead with a powerplay goal at 7:09 of the second period. Ben Sanderson tied the game at 18:44.

Jesse Lansdell and Josh Latta scored empty net goals in the final 90 seconds to get the weekend started with a win.

Porter made 22 saves for Vernon. Jordan Naylor made 23 stops in taking the loss.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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