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Vernon Vipers take series opener

Reilly Herbst makes 30 saves and powerplay scores twice in 3-0 win over hometown Wenatchee Wild
Vernon Vipers goalie Reilly Herbst keeps his eye on the puck as Wenatchee’s Harrison Scott moves in during the Vipers’ 3-0 win Saturday, Feb. 29, in Game 1 of their BC Hockey League Interior Division quarterfinal in Wenatchee. (Russ Alman - Digital Media Northwest)

A goal in each period and 30 saves from Reilly Herbst lifted the Vernon Vipers to a 3-o win over the hometown Wenatchee Wild in Game 1 of their best-of-seven B.C. Hockey League Interior Conference quarterfinal Saturday in Washington state.

Game 2 goes Sunday in Wentachee before the series shifts to Vernon Tuesday and Wednesday, March 3 and 4, for Games 3 and 4 at Kal Tire Place (7 p.m. starts).

It’s the third year in a row the two teams are meeting in the post-season, each team winning a series. Vernon beat Wenatchee in five in 2019 in the Interior Conference final, and the Vipers have won three of the last four playoff games in Washington.

READ MORE: Vernon Vipers stuff Wild on Teddy Bear Toss Night

Connor Sleeth opened the scoring late in the first period for the Snakes, who then got powerplay goals from Ryan Shostak in the second and captain Connor Marritt in the third to put the game away.

Vernon killed off all three Wenatchee powerplays in the game.

Elsewhere on Saturday:

Owen Ozar scored at 6:34 of overtime to give the Trail Smoke Eaters a 2-1 win over the defending champion Prince George Spruce Kings to take a 2-0 lead in their opening-round series. The scene now shifts to PG for the next three contests.

Ethan Langenegger made 31 saves as the Salmon Arm Silverbacks blanked the Victoria Grizzlies 4-0 at the Shaw Centre. The Gorillas lead the series 2-0.

Brady Lynn scored unassisted at 13:58 of the first overtime to give the Cowichan Valley Capitals a 7-6 win over the Powell River Kings and a 2-0 lead in that Island Division semifinal.

The Nanaimo Clippers scored four unanswered goals over the game’s final 32 minutes to double the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 6-3 for a 2-0 series lead.

Mathieu Caron stopped 32 shots as the Chilliwack Chiefs blanked the Surrey Eagles 2-0 for a 2-0 Mainland Division semifinal series lead.

There are two other games Sunday.

The Penticton Vees visit the West Kelowna Warriors with Penticton ahead 2-0.

The Coquitlam Express host the Langley Rivermen for Game 2 of their series. Coquitlam won the opener Friday 5-1.

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