Vernon Vipers returnees Brendan Kim (front) and Landon Fuller battle for the puck during a scrimmage as the Snakes opened their B.C. Hockey League training camp Monday at Kal Tire Place. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photography)

Vernon Vipers open BCHL training camp

Defending Interior Conference champs open pre-season slate Friday at home vs Grande Prairie (AJHL)

Training camp is underway for the B.C. Hockey League’s Vernon Vipers.

New head coach and general manager Jason McKee has broken down the returning players and rookie hopefuls into three inter-squad teams, playing a series of scrimmages through Wednesday.

There’s one more game Tuesday, at 2 p.m. at Kal Tire Place, with Team Red taking on Team Gold.

The scrimmages wrap up Wednesday with one game, the training camp all-star game, Team White taking on Team Blue at 6 p.m.

READ MORE: Vernon Vipers name new head coach

Vernon will play four pre-season games including three at home. The Vipers entertain the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Grande Prairie Storm Friday at 7 p.m. at Kal Tire Place.

That’s followed by a home-and-home series with local rivals the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. The two teams play Wednesday, Aug. 28, at the Shaw Centre with the return match in Vernon Friday, Aug. 30 (7 p.m., KTP).

Vernon wraps up the exhibition season with a home date against the defending Canadian Junior A Hockey champion Brooks Bandits of Alberta on Sunday, Sept. 1, at 2 p.m.

The BCHL regular season kicks off Friday, Sept. 6, with the Vipers heading down Highway 97 to face the Warriors in West Kelowna.

Vernon’s regular season home opener is Friday, Sept. 20, against the Victoria Grizzlies.

READ MORE: Prince George sweeps Vernon Vipers in BCHL final

The Vipers are the reigning Interior Conference playoff champions, losing the Fred Page Cup final to the Prince George Spruce Kings in four straight games.

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