Morning Star Staff
No post-game bevvies or a movie to unwind after a 5-3 loss to the Powell River Kings Friday night.
Instead, Vernon Viper head coach Mark Ferner watched hours of game video in hopes of making his B.C. Hockey League team better.
“I won’t be able to sleep; I’ll sleep on the ferry in the morning (to Port Alberni),” said a dejected Ferner, moments after the Vipers fell before 750 fans at Hap Parker Arena.
“Give them (Kings) credit, they had a better start than us, going up 3-0 and the game was over after one. We need to be better from the goalie out. All the guys know they have to be better. They gotta work to get opportunities, not just expect to get them.”
Curtis McCarrick, on a powerplay, 87 seconds after the national anthem, Cam Donaldson and Johan Steen pushed Powell River ahead after 20 minutes.
The Vipers battled back in the second period with rookie Tyler Maser’s first BCHL snipe, followed two minutes later by alternate captain Jagger Williamson’s third of the year, on a shorthanded breakaway after a shot block.
Maser, a late addition after being in the WHL Prince Albert Raiders’ camp, chipped in his own rebound past Powell River goalie Brian Wilson. Derek Osik and d-man Shane Kelly drew assists with 3:39 left in the second period.
Donaldson, with his fifth of the year, on the powerplay, and Gavin Rauser, added snipes 36 seconds apart late in the second period for Powell River.
Ryan Brushett recorded his second of the season for Vernon with seven minutes left in the third period. Christian Cakebread and d-man Michael Ufberg earned assists.
Ty Taylor played the opening period in the Viper net, giving way to Cole Demers for the final two frames. Each team had 34 shots with Brian Wilson producing the win.
Former Viper blueliner Callum Volpe made his debut with the Kings (5-4).
Vernon dropped to 4-3, good for a share of second place with the West Kelowna Warriors in the Interior Division. The Snakes visited the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (3-3-1) Saturday night and battle the Nanaimo Clippers (3-4) in a matinee today at Frank Crane Arena.
The Vipers host the Surrey Eagles Friday night at Kal Tire Place.
n The North Okanagan Knights snapped a three-game losing skid by shutting down the Kelowna Chiefs in KIJHL action Friday night at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.
Prince George rookie Dean Whitcomb supplied the winner midway through the second period on a powerplay. Gavin Lawrie and Cameron Welch drew assists.
Logan Geefs and Joey Guerra also scored for the Knights (2-3-0-1), who got a stellar 30-save showing from first star Daniel Paul. The Knights visited the Kamloops Storm Saturday night.