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Vernon Vipers edge Trail Smoke Eaters 3-2 in shootout

Vipers goalie Roan Clarke named first star with 35 saves on 37 shots
Vernon Vipers forward Copeland Fricker (left) tries to get the puck away from Trail’s Connor Michaud during the Snakes’ 2-1 BCHL shootout win over the Smoke Eaters Wednesday, Jan. 19, at Kal Tire Place. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photography)

The Vernon Vipers eked out a road victory in a shootout against the Trail Smoke Eaters Friday night.

Goaltender Roan Clarke stopped 35 of 37 shots he faced as well as five out of six shootout attempts for the win.

The Vipers came out strong and firing pucks on net. Thirteen minutes in on a three-on-two rush, Max Borovinskiy got the puck to Zack Tonelli who scored his ninth of the season.

Trail would answer back in the second period with a powerplay goal from Teddy Lagerback, assisted by Coalson Wolford and Brady Hunter.

The Smoke Eaters took the lead early in the third period as Corey Cunningham snapped a shot off the tip of Clarke’s glove. Shortly after, Cade McNelly scored his first B.C. Hockey League goal, assisted by Matthew Culling and Talon Zakall.

Trail out-shot the Vipers 7-4 in overtime, but both goalies stood tall to take the game to a shootout.

Tonelli scored to open the shootout and after Lagerback scored on Trail’s third attempt, extra shooters were needed. Borovinskiy eventually netted the game-winner on the Vipers’ sixth shootout attempt.

The Vipers are in sixth place in the Interior division, one point behind the Cranbrook Bucks. Trail is one spot behind Vernon but well back of them with 36 points in 41 games.

The Vipers are back at home at Kal Tire Place to face the Penticton Vees Sunday, Feb. 27, at 5 p.m.

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started at the Morning Star as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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