Viper d-man Bo Pellah quickly clears the puck as Grizzlie forward Brayden Gelsinger bears down on him in BCHL play Sunday afternoon in Victoria.

Vipers salvage road trip with win

It’s back to the future for the Vipers as they practise at Civic Arena in preparation for two home games after a mediocre road trip.

Morning Star Staff

It’s back to the future for the Vernon Vipers as they practise at Civic Arena in preparation for a pair of home games after a mediocre B.C. Hockey League road trip.

The Vipers, who stopped the last-place Victoria Grizzlies 4-1 Sunday at the Q Centre, will call Civic home until Friday due to an oldtimers tournament at Kal Tire Place.

Head coach Mark Ferner’s practice plan at the smaller confines of Civic will be more of the same: work on the finer details of the game.

“The game (in Victoria) was up in the air and could have went either way, but at least we salvaged something out of the road trip,” said Ferner, nursing a man cold. “We need to be better. We need to be harder to play against.”

Leading scorer Nick Guiney put the Grizzlies up 1-0 at the 3:21 of the second period, taking a faceoff win from Brayden Gelsinger and sneaking it past Vernon goaltender Andrew Shortridge.

Shortridge made 30 saves and earned first star  before 925 fans.

The Vipers equalized at 19:20 of the second, Odeen Tufto winning the draw back to d-man Mac Ferner who buried the shot behind Matthew Galajda for his first snipe of the season.

The Vipers extend the lead to 2-1 at 8:16 of the third when Riley Brandt was sent in all alone and beat Galajda with a pretty move for his fifth of the year. Jagger Williamson and d-man Bo Pellah drew assists.

Nine minutes later, the Vipers caught the Grizzlies pinching and Liam Finlay tapped in a pass from Tufto on a 3-on-1. Linemate Steven Jandric earned the secondary assist on Finlay’s fourth.

Pellah added a shorthanded empty-netter with 25 seconds remaining, his first goal of the campaign.

Vernon  improved to 4-5-0-1 and fourth in the Interior Division, a point back of West Kelowna  Warriors and one up on the Merritt Centennials. The Grizzlies, who were without three regular blueliners in Brett Sterling, Jake Stevens and Grayson Pears, dipped to 1-6-0-1.

The Vipers, who lost 3-0 Friday night in Powell River, shifted to the Island Saturday night where they lost 5-2 to the Nanaimo Clippers before 1,050 fans at Frank Crane Arena.

Mike Vandekamp’s Clippers got five points from their big line of Sheldon Rempal, Devin Brosseau and Matthew Hoover.

“They have the top three scorers in the league and they load it up and they were good and they got a few lucky breaks on goals,” said Ferner, who was ejected for arguing a non-call on Brosseau with 5:33 left to play.

“Our kids were getting frustrated and once in a while, you have to stick up for your team. He came by our bench, shortened his stick and got one of our guys in the face. I think it may have been Jags. They only gave him a double minor so that was frustrating to our kids and me because there was intent there and we thought it should have been a major.”

Brandt stepped in and fought Brosseau after the incident.

Rempal, a 20-year-old Calgary product headed to the NCAA Clarkson Golden Knights next year,  pocketed two assists and first-star honours. He leads the league with 7-11-18.

Brosseau, who has 2-16-18, collected four helpers against the Vipers. The 20-year-old from Saint Lambert, Que. also has a scholarship to Clarkson.

Hoover scored once on the powerplay Saturday and is third in BCHL points with 9-7-16. The 19-year-old Brantford, Ont. native was named the Player of the Week after ringing up seven points. He has a schollie to Canisius College Griffins in New York.

Will Reilly and Corey Renwick, on powerplays, Lucas Finner on a penalty shot, and Chris Dodero handled the other Nanaimo offence. The 6-3 Clippers held period leads of 1-0 and 3-1.

Joe Cipollone (3rd) and Brandt countered for the Vipers, who were outshot 34-33. Shortridge went the distance.

Nanaimo is here Friday night, while the 1-6-0-1 Prince George Kings visit Saturday at 6 p.m, Ferner plans to use newly-signed goalie Brendan Barry at some point this weekend.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Spall golfers sizzle

Countback needed to determine low gross winner in first flight

Vernon Vipers add experience to roster

Western League veteran joins Snakes, who also sign player out of prep hockey

Therapeutic art for sale at Vernon show

17th annual Awakening the Spirit Art Show and Sale presented by Vernon Canadian Mental Health Assoc.

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Tech mogul looks to grow Vernon’s presence in Okanagan wine industry

The founder of online dating site Plenty of Fish is developing 900 acres in the city hillsides

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Mitchell’s Musings: Hockey’s comeback begins in earnest in August

Sports is back. Well, at least sports in a bubble is back.… Continue reading

Local state of emergency declared near Okanagan home

Slope failure cited as City of Penticton issues notice at home in 600 block of Heather Road

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Fentanyl-laced powder being sold as cocaine in Kamloops

Interior Health has released a warning about very strong fentanyl in Kamloops

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Video: Enraged man terrifies staff and customers at Shuswap restaurant

Video on Facebook shows the man hurling profanity at workers during the dinner rush on Aug. 7.

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Most Read