Morning Star Staff
First, the Vernon Vipers got robbed while they were out for a pre-game run Friday night in Duncan.
Things got worse from there as the Vipers blew a 2-0 lead and lost 5-2 to the Cowichan Valley Capitals in B.C. Hockey League action before 656 fans at the Island Savings Centre.
Vernon played the Victoria Grizzlies Saturday night at the Q Centre and finish a three-game road trek today (4 p.m.) in Surrey versus the Eagles.
Viper head coach/GM Mark Ferner confronted a teen in the team’s dressing room just before warm-up.
“I asked who he was and what he was doing in there,” said Ferner. “He ran and I chased him. The guys were out for a run and they jumped on him and got their cash and jewellry back. He was 16 and the police know him.”
The Snakes shook off the crime and grabbed a 1-0 first-period lead on a goal by Christian Cakebread (fourth of the year). They went up 2-0 midway through the second period when defenceman Chris Jandric converted off the rush with Jagger Williamson giving him a nice drop pass. It was Jandric’s first BCHL snipe.
Ben Verrall replied for the 11-7-2-0 Caps two minutes later with his 11th of the season.
It was all Cowichan in the final 20 minutes with former Viper Ayden MacDonald (8th), Nii Noi Tetteh (2nd) and Ty Pochipinski (3rd) handling the offence.
The Vipers (9-8-2) outshot the Caps 37-36 with Lane Michasiw improving to 8-4-1. Ty Taylor dropped to 6-4.
“It was another disappointing third period,” said Ferner. “We had some great chances to get to three, four and five (nothing) and then it was an implosion; we were stupid and lazy in the third period. We weren’t getting in the right spots and spending too much time on the perimeter.”
Ferner said a few turnovers off some selfish outnumbered offensive plays cost the Vipers in the third.
“All the guys have to do is make simple decisions, not try and beat a guy one-on-three and turn the puck over.”
Ferner is encountering some issues with players unhappy with their ice time.
“Some guys think they belong on the powerplay. I told them to earn their ice time and I will play the players I trust. I told them this team will play a certain way with or without you.”
F Hunter Zandee fought the Caps’ Justin Perron to a draw midway through the third period.
In other Friday night play, the Penticton Vees grounded the Salmon Arm Silverbacks 4-1 before 900 fans at the Shaw Centre. The Vees are 11 points ahead of the second-place Trail Smoke Eaters. Vernon is one digit back of the Smokies.
The Powell River Kings clipped the Merritt Centennials 3-2 in overtime before 1,031 fans at Hap Parker Arena.
Carter Turnbull buried his 11th of the year at 1:13 of the second overtime session. Vernon product Brett Jewell netted his fifth of the season for the Cents and was ejected early in the third period after a fight with Liam Lawson.
Charle Combs reached the 22-goal mark with a hat trick as the Wenatchee Wild zapped the Coquitlam Express 10-2 in front of 2,280 fans at the Town Toyota Centre.
Ex-Vipers Linden Hora and Derek Osik both scored as the visiting Chilliwack Chiefs upended the Nanaimo Clippers 6-1 before 1,570 fans at Frank Crane Arena.