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Vernon Vipers goalie stands tall in 6-4 win over Victoria

Ethan David made 46 saves on 50 shots Friday night
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The Vipers earned a 6-4 road victory against the Victoria Grizzlies Friday night, Feb. 9, 2024. (Kyle Robinson Photography)

Being out-shot by a two-to-one margin does not usually foretell a victory in the B.C. Hockey League, but on Friday night on the road against the Victoria Grizzlies, Vernon Vipers goaltender Ethan David allowed his team to be the exception.

David stopped 46 of 50 shots the Grizzlies threw at him while the Vipers scored six goals on 23 shots to win 6-4 at the Q Centre.

The first period opened with Grizzlies winger Jacksenn Hungle scoring less than two minutes in. The teams then traded goals in a four-minute span, with Eric Pastro of the Vipers scoring his 14th goal of the season, answered by the Grizzlies’ Oliver Genest a minute later before Vipers rookie Carson McGinley scored a minute after that. Luke Pakulak added another goal at the 12:08 mark to give the Vipers a 3-2 lead.

The second period’s lone goal came off the stick of Owen Kim, stretching the Vipers’ lead to 4-2.

In the third, the Vipers again added to their lead with Shea Busch scoring his seventh of the season. The Grizzlies made it interesting with late goals from Julian Cull and Reegan Hiscock, but with an empty netter from Hank Cleaves, the Vipers sealed the game.

“I thought we took advantage of our opportunities off the rush and dominated certain parts of the game,” said McGinley, who tied up the game not long after Victoria had taken a 2-1 lead. “Although we got the win, we just need to clean up a couple of things and be ready for tomorrow (against the Cowichan Valley Capitals).”

Vipers assistant coach Colton Sparrow praised his goaltender who had to earn his 17th win of the season.

“Our offence was firing tonight, which was nice to see,” said Sparrow. “We had a few lapses in the D-zone, but overall it was a pretty good road effort from our group. Ethan David was great again.”

The Vipers sit in fourth place in the Interior Conference with 47 points. The Grizzlies could have moved into fourth in the Coastal division with a win Friday night, but remain one point back of the Nanaimo Clippers with 43 points.

The Vipers play another road game tonight (Feb. 10) against the Cowichan Valley Capitals at 6 p.m.

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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

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