In the second game of a back-to-back set against Prince George, the Vernon Vipers rebounded from Friday’s loss to shutout the Spruce Kings, 3-0 in BCHL action on Saturday night.
Vernon would get on the score sheet in the first period, with Luke Pakulak slotting home his 12th of the year on the power play, with helpers from leading assist man Regan Milburn and Connor Welsh.
The Vipers would double their lead in the second, as Thomas Tien would score his sixth of the season.
Milburn would score his 15th of the season in the third period, to put the game away for the Vipers, as his unassisted goal was on the power play.
Vernon would go two-for-two with the man advantage in the game, as a victory was had despite being outshot 27-21.
Goaltender Ethan David stopped all 27 shots he faced for his third shutout of the season, and sixth of his career.
It was Vernon’s (22-20-2-4) second victory over the Spruce Kings (24-19-4-1) this season and keeps the Vipers in seventh position in the Interior Division with 50 points. The Wenatchee Wild are just a point up, while Prince George is in fifth, with 53 points.
The Vipers have now a 10 point cushion on the eighth and final playoff spot, held by the Trail Smoke Eaters. It is looking more and more likely, with just six games left, that Vernon will be matching up against the Cranbrook Bucks in the first round of the playoffs, as the Bucks are second in the Conference, 10 points behind the Penticton Vees for first and 10 ahead of the West Kelowna Warriors in third.
The Vipers now have their final four home games of the season, beginning this week with a bout against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on Friday, March. 10. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m., and you can purchase tickets at: tickets.vernonvipers.com.
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