Odeen Tufto supplied two goals and two assists as the Vernon Vipers rattled the Langley Rivermen 7-4 in B.C. Hockey League action Saturday night before 650 fans at the Langley Events Centre.
With his linemate Liam Finlay in Ontario for the World Junior A Hockey Challenge, Tuftu clicked with Jimmy Lambert (2+1) as the Vipers improved to 15-18-0-2. Langley dipped to 18-13-1.
Tufto, a Minnesota product with wheels and superb stick handling skills, scored once at even-strength to help Vernon take a 4-1 lead after 20 minutes. Tuftu, who has 14 goals, converted on a power play in the second period, assisted by d-man Bo Pellah.
Hunter Zandee, with his fourth snipe of the year, Charley Michalowski, with his first in his ninth game with Vernon, and Riley Brandt, with his 12th, into an empty net with 35 seconds, completed the Viper offence.
Torrin White (11th), Matthew Graham (17th), Zac Masson (5th) and Troy Ring (3rd) replied for the Rivermen, who have 10 players with NCAA scholarships.
Vernon outshot Langley 32-29 with Brendan Barry posting his second win in five starts. Nickolas Trenciansky of the Rivermen was pulled after Lambert made it 6-2 on a power play with 65 seconds left in the second period. Trenciansky, who fell to 9-6-1, was replaced by 16-year-old Braedon Fleming of the Yale Hockey Academy.
Langley veteran goalie Bo Didur is also with Team Canada West, who stuffed the Czech Republic 7-3 Saturday in their World Junior A Hockey Challenge opener in Couburg.
The Vipers host the Penticton Vees Tuesday night at Kal Tire Place. The Vees, who are ranked No. 1 in the nation, shaded the Salmon Arm Silverbacks 4-3 in double overtime Saturday night in Penticton. Scott Conway’s 28th goal of the season was the winner.
The Vees are without projected 2016 NHL first-round draft picks Tyson Jost and Dante Fabbro, who each earned two points for Canada West. Next action for Canada West is Tuesday night against the U.S.
Penticton leads the BCHL at 29-3-1. The Vipers are fourth in the Interior Division, two points in front of the red-hot Trail Smoke Eaters. Trail grounded the Cowichan Valley Capitals 7-3 Sunday in Duncan behind two goals from Kienan Scott. The Smokies have won four straight and entertain the Vipers Wednesday night.