On the second night of a Kootenays back-to-back, the Vernon Vipers were outplayed in a 4-2 defeat to the Cranbrook Bucks on Saturday night from Western Financial Place.
Coming off a crucial victory over the Trail Smoke Eaters on Friday night, the Vipers were looking to keep their momentum going against the second best team in the Interior Division.
Vernon would get on the board first, just 1:17 into the game, with Lee Parks roofing his 15th of the season. However, the Bucks would quickly respond a minute later to tie things up, as Bauer Morrisey grabbed his fifth of the season.
In the second, Luke Pfoh’s sixth of the season would give Cranbrook their first lead of the game. Later, Jarrod Smith would add to the Bucks lead with his 11th of the year, as Vernon was able to muster up just five shots in the frame.
Isaac Tremblay was able to slice into the Bucks lead six minutes into the third, but that would be as close as they would come, as Cranbrook would add an empty net Donovan Frias goal to ice the game, 4-2.
Roan Clarke was busy making 30 saves for the Vipers, while Bucks goalie Nathan Airey stopped 18 of 20 shots for his 17th win of the year.
The Bucks (27-10-1-1) have now opened up an eight point cushion on the West Kelowna Warriors for second in the division. Meanwhile, the Vipers (18-18-0-4) are seventh, three up on Trail and just one point behind the Wenatchee Wild.
Next up for Vernon is a home tilt this Saturday (Feb. 11) against Highway 97 rival West Kelowna Warriors.
Purchase tickets to the game at vernonvipers.com/ticket-prices.
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