In game two of a back-to-back in Saturday’s BC Hockey League’s matchup between the Wenatchee Wild and Vernon Vipers, the Vipers were vanquished by an impressive offensive performance by the Wild in a 4-1 loss.
In the first, Vernon puttered out of the gate, mustering up just five shots and giving up a shorthanded marker to Wenatchee’s leading scorer Ean Somoza seven minutes into the game. The Wild would ratchet up the offence throughout the opening frame, firing 20 shots on Vipers goalie Roan Clarke.
Somoza would grab his second of the period to put the home team up by two 11 minutes in, off feeds from Garrett Szydlowski and Mario Gasparini.
In the second, Vernon quickly grabbed one back, off the stick of Jonathan Horn, who potted his 12th of the season, set up by Walker Erickson and Anson McMaster. The Vipers would then kill off a Reagan Milburn penalty to head into the third down just one.
In the final frame, Somoza would score his third of the night, 14th of the year, just 1:43 after the ice was cleaned to restore the Wild’s two goal lead. Michael Valdez would later ice the game with an empty netter.
Wild’s Owen Millward made 22 stops for his ninth win of the year while Clarke’s valiant 35 save effort dropped his record to 10-9-0-1.
With the calendar switching to February, just 16 games remain in the regular season for the Vipers as they look to improve their playoff position. With the loss, Vernon sits sixth in the Interior division with 38 points (17-17-0-4), just one point up on the Wild.
Next up for the Vipers is a trip to Cominco Arena to take on the Trail Smoke Eaters on Friday, Feb. 3. That game gets going at 7 p.m. and is the first of a back-to-back on the weekend, with a visit to Cranbrook in the cards for the following night.
The next home game is set for Saturday, Feb. 11 when the rival West Kelowna Warriors visit Kal Tire Place.
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