Eight straight defeats to the Prince George Spruce Kings was enough for the Vernon Vipers.
The Snakes, who were swept by the Spruce Kings in the 2019 B.C. Hockey League Fred Page Cup best-of-seven championship series and who lost the past four regular-season meetings, stopped the skid up north Wednesday with a 2-1 shootout victory.
Matt Kowalski had Vernon’s lone goal in regulation time, Cameron MacDonald scored the only goal of the shootout and goalie Reilly Herbst was stellar, stopping 39 of 40 shots – including six in overtime – along with stoning all three Spruce Kings attempts in the shootout.
Kowalski’s goal came in the second period. The Spruce Kings tied the contest less than two minutes into the final frame.
Jett Alexander made 27 saves for the Spruce Kings.
The win moves Vernon to 13-9-1-0 overall, good for fourth place in the Interior Division, three points up on the Wenatchee Wild and eight points behind the third-place Trail Smoke Eaters.
The Vipers are now 5-3-0-1 on their season-long 11-game road trip, which wraps this weekend with games in Langley Friday and Coquitlam Saturday. Vernon returns home Friday, Nov. 22, to face the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on First Responders Night at Kal Tire Place.
The Gorillas moved into a first-place tie with Penticton in the Interior Division Wednesday, edging the Vees 4-3 at the Shaw Centre. Both teams have identical 18-5-1-0 records.