The Vipers’ offence exploded against the Merritt Centennials for a 9-1 victory Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. (Vernon Vipers photo)

The Vipers’ offence exploded against the Merritt Centennials for a 9-1 victory Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. (Vernon Vipers photo)

Vernon Vipers rout Merritt Centennials 9-1

Eight different Vipers scored goals against the last-place team in the BCHL Friday night

Coming into Friday night’s game against the Merritt Centennials, the Vernon Vipers had scored eight goals in their last six games.

They eclipsed that number in just three periods on Jan. 14, beating the Centennials by a score of 9-1.

The Snakes went on to score nine straight goals after Merritt’s Drew Dornan opened the scoring one minute into play. Luke Lavery got the Vipers on the board at the seven minute mark of the first period, followed by Cameron MacDonald, who notched his eighth goal of the year with assists to Ryan Shostack and Luke Ashton.

The Vipers added three more in the second frame with goals from Max Borovinskiy, Zack Tonelli and Reagan Milburn.

It took Nicholas Kent 41 seconds after the third period puck-drop to extend the Vipers’ lead to 6-1. Later in the period, Anthony Cliche scored his first B.C. Hockey League goal in his first game in the league with a hard shot from the high slot.

Luke Pakulak put in a great individual effort for his fifth goal of the season, and Borovinskiy added his second of the night with a highlight-reel goal, scoring from between his legs.

With the win, the Vipers improved to an 8-14-3-3-0 record and trail the Wenatchee Wild by one point for seventh place in the Interior division.

It was the second blow-out game in a row for the Centennials, who lost 8-2 to the West Kelowna Warriors Jan. 5 and sit last in the BCHL.

The Vipers’ next game is against the Trail Smoke Eaters at home at Kal Tire Place Wednesday, Jan. 19.

SNAKE BITES: Former Vipers captain Riley Brandt is now with the British Elite Hockey League’s Cardiff Devils in Wales. Brandt was leading the MacEwan University Griffins (Edmonton) in scoring when he decided to head overseas. Former Vipers Tyson Strachan and Andrew Lord have also skated for the Devils.

This story has been updated Sunday, 12:27 p.m., Jan. 16, with news on Riley Brandt

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Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
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