Hockey is back in Vernon.
The Vernon Vipers kicked off their season at home with a preseason tilt on Sunday, Sept. 3, taking on the Trail Smoke Eaters.
Both teams fielded a mainly rookie-laden roster as the opener to the preseason in the BCHL began.
Vernon’s Bronson Ross got the scoring started seven minutes in, off of assists from Georgios Stavrianeas and Linden Burrett.
Trail bit back three minutes later, with a goal from Jack DesRuisseaux. Rhett Hamilton promptly doubled the lead for the visitors minutes later, before Owen King’s snipe for the home team drew things level once again.
Late in the frame, DesRuisseaux pocketed his second of the evening to give Trail a 3-2 lead heading into the break.
Winnipeg product Ross scored his second of the night in the second period, the lone goal of the frame, to knot things up at three.
In the third, after a DesRuisseaux high-sticking call, Jiri Duda would give the Vipers the lead on the power play. Then, with less than two minutes to go, Michael Risteau would tie the game up to send it to overtime.
In the extra frame, Adam Csabi made a brilliant play to finish off the game, slipping the puck past Smoke Eaters goalie Ryan Parker to claim the victory.
“It was a good game,” said Csabi. “I think we played well. We made some mistakes, but that’s hockey and we need to keep getting better and better. It was a special moment to get the overtime winner and I really loved the atmosphere.”
The line of Ross, Stavrianeas and Erik Pastro contributed seven points on the night for the Vipers while Dylan Adams and Colin Reay split the goaltending duties.
“I thought the boys had a good showing today,” said Vipers assistant coach Colton Sparrow. “They showed good team speed and worked hard. Lots to work on but a lot to be excited about with this group.
The next bout for the Vipers is Friday, Sept. 8 in Salmon Arm to battle the Silverbacks. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.
Regular season games are not scheduled to begin until Friday, Sept. 22.
For ticket information on the team, visit vernonvipers.com/ticket-prices.