Luke Buss scored a hat trick and six players had multi-point games as the Vernon Vipers’ offence exploded for nine goals against the Merritt Centennials Friday night.
The Vipers won 9-0 with goaltender Roan Clarke making 22 saves for the shutout.
After killing off an early penalty, the Vipers struck at the seven minute mark as Tyler Chan scored his second of the season. Three minutes later, JoJo Tanaka-Campbell scored on a shorthanded breakaway to put the Snakes up 2-0.
Jack Glen scored early in the second off a quick pass from Zack Tonelli, and 70 seconds later in four-on-four action, Talon Zakall set up Buss for his first goal of the night. Cade McNelly added another Vipers goal to give his team a 5-0 lead heading into the third.
In the final frame, Griffen Barr scored on a great individual effort, cutting in on the back hand and finding the far post. Just 20 seconds later, Buss scored his second of the night, spelling the end of Cents goalie John Hicks’ night.
After a five-minute major was assessed to Ben Ward, the Vipers kept the offence rolling. Buss completed his hat trick on the powerplay and with the win already in the bag, Glen added another for good measure with six minutes to go.
The Vipers are in sixth place in the B.C. Hockey League Interior division standings with a slightly lower win percentage than the Cranbrook Bucks.
The Vipers won’t play again until Wednesday night when they host the West Kelowna Warriors for a 7 p.m. puck-drop.