Morning Star Staff
Power winger Steven Jandric is having an all-star sophomore season with the Vernon Vipers.
The 19-year-old Prince George product compiled 2+1 as the Vipers dispatched the Langley Rivermen 4-1 before 615 B.C. Hockey League fans Sunday afternoon at George Preston Arena.
Jandric leads the Snakes with 15 goals and 23 points in 29 games. The Alaska-Fairbanks Nanook commit supplied seven goals and 22 points as a rookie last season.
Jandric was chosen second star behind Viper goalie Ty Taylor (32 saves) and Langley net detective Chad Cromar (31 stops).
Jandric put Vernon up 3-1 at 12:08 of the second period, the assist going to linemate Jimmy Lambert. Jandric added an empty-netter with 91 seconds to play.
The Vipers looked to their skyscraper defencemen for early second-period offence, getting goals from Cameron Trott and Cooper Watson 44 seconds apart. Trott scored his fourth of the year 36 seconds into the frame with fellow newbie Luke Gringas drawing the assist.
Jandric and Brett Stapley set up Watson for his first BCHL goal.
Ryan Barrow replied for the Rivermen 75 seconds into the third period.
Viper rookie d-man Sol Seibel took on 6-foot-6, 245-pound forward Michael McLaren in the game’s only scrap, with 20 seconds remaining.
Vernon improved to 14-12-3, good for second place in the Interior Division. The Penticton Vees, 3-2 overtime winners over the visiting Chilliwack Chiefs before 2,815 fans Saturday night, are first at 23-4.
Langley dipped to 10-13-3-2, alone in fourth place in the Mainland Division.
The Vipers shut down the injury-riddled Coquitlam Express 6-0 in front of 614 fans Saturday night at the Poirier Sports & Leisure Centre.
Newcomer Darion Hanson recorded 18 saves for his first BCHL shutout. He stopped all 14 shots he faced in the third period of the Vipers’ 4-1 loss Friday night in Wenatchee, in his Viper debut.
Hanson, who has already committed to NCAA Union Dutchmen for next year, spent last season in the North American Hockey League, playing in 34 games with the Aston (suburb of Philadelphia) Rebels, where he was named an East Division All-Star and a member of the First Rookie Team. A native of East Bethel, Minn., Hanson is 6-foot-3, 181 pounds.
Michael Ufberg opened the scoring on his fourth, with a slap shot from the left point with six players parked in front that found its way through goalie Reid Cooper, at 8:55. Lambert earned the helper.
Stapley added his fourth tafter a nice pass from Jandric three minutes later. Gingras finished a 2-on-1 just 34 seconds later, unassisted.
D-man Shane Kelly got into the action with a point shot to make it 4-0 with seven minutes gone in the second period. Gingras converted in the final minute of the stanza, from Christian Cakebread and Lambert.
Jandric connected on a sweet 3-on 2 rush to complete the offence at six minutes of the final period, assisted by Gingras and Austin Adamson.
Gingras, 18, of Langley, amassed six goals and 13 points in 109 WHL games with the Saskatoon Blades before being released. He rang up 22 goals and 43 points in just 44 games with the Valley West Hawks of the B.C. Major Midget League.
The Viper penalty kill was tested as the Express had three straight powerplays but the PK and Hanson were marvellous.
Vernon hosts the West Kelowna Warriors Friday at Kal Tire Place on Teddy Bear Toss Night. The Warriors were ambushed 11-2 by Wenatchee Saturday night.