Nicholas Rasovic netted the winner 5:34 into the third period as the Vernon Vipers outgunned the visiting Prince George Spruce Kings 5-3 in B.C. Hockey League play Friday night at Kal Tire Place.
Rasovic and linemates Colton McCarthy and second star Riley Brandt were in the Spruce Kings’ faces all night, delivering hard hits and combining for four points.
McCarthy, who assisted on Rasovic’s snipe, his third of the season, gave Vernon its first lead early in the second after the teams were deadlocked 1-1 after 20 minutes.
The Kings, third in the Mainland Division at 18-16-0-4, got on the board first as Marco Ballarin picked the top corner on Danny Todosychuk after barreling up the right wing at 6:08.
Liam Coughlin responded for the 24-11-1-2 Snakes on a powerplay just over a minute later when he buried his own rebound behind netminder Jesse Jenks, assisted by Liam Finlay and Luke Shiplo.
After McCarthy’s snipe, the Sprucies made it 2-2 when Michael Buonincontri tucked a rebound past Todosychuk after the Vernon tender had made a strong first save on a 2-on-1.
TJ Dumonceaux, named first star, capped a gorgeous three-way passing play with Johnny Coughlin and Liam Coughlin to restore the Vipers’ lead heading into period three.
Prince George d-man Victor Dombrovskiy equalized for the visitors yet again by rifling a point shot off the post, and if off Todosychuk during an early third-period powerplay.
The Snakes stormed ahead on Rasovic’s goal, then sealed the win when Liam Finlay redirected Anthony Latina’s centring shot past Jenks at 13:39.
Todosychuk, who gutted out a strong performance after he appeared to tweak a muscle in the second period, finished with 24 saves. Jenks came up with some stellar stops in recording 34 saves.
Vernon entertains the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (18-14-1-3) Saturday at Kal Tire Place before visiting the Surrey Eagles (7-30-0-3) in a matinee game Sunday.
For a full recap of Friday’s action, check out Sunday’s sports section in The Morning Star.