The Vernon Vipers edged the hometown Salmon Arm Silverbacks 5-4 in overtime in B.C. Hockey League exhibition action Wednesday in the Shuswap. The two teams meet again Friday at 7 p.m. at Kal Tire Place. (Black Press - file photo)

Vernon Vipers score OT pre-season win

The Vernon Vipers improved their B.C. Hockey League pre-season record to 1-1 Wednesday with a 5-4 overtime win in Salmon Arm over the Silverbacks.

The two teams meet again Friday at 7 p.m. at Kal Tire Place (tickets are just $5).

Connor Sleeth got the winner 19 seconds into overtime as the Vipers led a 4-1 second-period lead slip away.

After Drew Bennett opened the scoring four-on-four in the opening period for the home side, the Vipers rattled off the next four goals.

Trey Taylor – named one of three alternate captains for this year’s squad by head coach Jason McKee – tied the game on a five-on-three powerplay, and Curtis Hammond gave the Snakes a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.

Goals 29 seconds apart by Colby Feist and Nick Cherkowski made it 4-1 Vernon less than three minutes into the middle frame. Sam Schofield got one back for Salmon Arm and it was 4-2 Vipers heading into the third period.

Antonio Andreozzi cut the lead to one goal four minutes into the frame while Trevor Adams scored at 14 minutes to force overtime.

“The game had its up and downs as expected, but it was a good challenge for our group as we continue in the next step of the process,” said McKee on the team’s website. “We were probably guilty of trying to do too much individually at times. That’s an area that needs to be cleaned up before Friday.”

READ MORE: Vernon Vipers announce new head coach

Max Balaga and Dawson Pelletier split the goaltending duties for the Vipers, who will close out the exhibition slate Sunday at 2 p.m. against the defending national Junior A champion Brooks (Albert) Bandits. Vernon fell 3-2 to the Alberta Junior League’s Grande Prairie Storm in their pre-season opener at Kal Tire Place. Ryan Shostack and Ryan Maclean scored for Vernon.

* Joining captain Connor Marritt on the Vipers’ leadership group are Taylor, Landon Fuller and Ben Sanderson.

Fuller, a 20-year-old Williams Lake native, is entering his fifth season of Junior hockey.

“With Landon he has such a commanding presence,” said McKee. “It resonates on the ice and in our dressing room.”

Taylor, 17, from Richmond, is a calming presence in the dressing room and the experience he gained as a 16-year-old last season, as the team made its run to the Fred Page Cup final, will continue to serve the club well.

READ MORE: Prince George sweeps Vernon Vipers in BCHL final

“Age is just a number and he’s a very mature young man,” said McKee.

Sanderson, 19, from Calgary, joined the Vipers in late October last season and made an immediate impact before injury shortened his season. He returned for the post-season, collecting 10 points.

“Ben is a lead by example type of player,” said McKee. “He never takes a shift off and works hard in every regard of the game whether it’s on or off the ice.”


@VernonNews
roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Entangled gopher snake freed from netting in Coldstream

Local wildlife expert offers a reminder to homeowners following the snake’s rescue

Spallumcheen road blocked following truck collision

Both sides of Salmon River Road have been closed

Two Buddha statues stolen from Vernon yards

One owner said her statue had been left undisturbed for more than 10 years

Water levels starting to recede in Shuswap River

Though a positive trend, City of Enderby high-water restrictions are still in effect

Vernon woman seeks replica of treasured children’s toy

Monique Lee hopes someone has a replica of the Winnie the Pooh toy they’d be willing to part with

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read