The Vernon Vipers will play their first three B.C. Hockey League games of 2019-20 on the road.
The league released its schedule Tuesday. Opening night will be Friday, Sept. 6, and the Vipers will begin the year in West Kelowna with a date against the Warriors.
The following weekend, Vernon will play a doubleheader in Wenatchee against the Wild, a rematch of last season’s Interior Conference championship, won by the Vipers in five games.
Vernon’s home opener will be Friday, Sept. 20, against the reigning Island Division champion Victoria Grizzlies, at Kal Tire Place. The Vipers will entertain the Powell River Kings the next night.
Home games will start at 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday evenings, 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 2 p.m. for four Sunday home games.
There will be one Wednesday afternoon game, Jan. 1, against the Penticton Vees, and one Monday afternoon affair, Feb. 17, Family Day weekend, against the Merritt Centennials. Both games will start at 2 p.m.
Vernon’s two biggest rivals, the Vees and Salmon Arm Silverbacks, each make three appearances at Kal Tire Place.
The Prince George Spruce Kings, who beat the Vipers in four straight games in the 2019 Fred Page Cup final, make their only appearance in Vernon on Friday, Jan. 31.
The Vipers will be away from home for nearly a month from Oct. 25 to Nov. 16 as they will play 11 straight road games, including a Wednesday, Nov. 13 date in Prince George.
The league’s annual Bauer BCHL Showcase Festival will run Oct. 2 to 5 in Chilliwack, though the schedule for it is still being finalized.
The regular season wraps Feb. 23.