Powell River Kings’ netminder Jonah Imoo smothers a loose puck with Vernon Vipers’ forward Tyler Povelofskie on his doorstep in B.C. Hockey League action Saturday night at Kal Tire Place. The Kings overcame a two-goal deficit to win 7-2.

Powell River Kings’ netminder Jonah Imoo smothers a loose puck with Vernon Vipers’ forward Tyler Povelofskie on his doorstep in B.C. Hockey League action Saturday night at Kal Tire Place. The Kings overcame a two-goal deficit to win 7-2.

Kings storm back to smother Vipers

The Powell River Kings grounded the Vernon Vipers 7-2 Saturday night at Kal Tire Place.

Morning Star Staff

Jordan Burns had to look back to his Pee Wee days in Greater Vernon minor hockey to find a team as talent-laden as the Powell River Kings.

The 2007-08 Watkin Motors Mustangs featured current junior stars Curtis Lazar, Colton Thibault, Dylan Bowen, Alex Gillies and Cole Sanford.

The Kings’ lineup seems to be equally blessed with depth, and it showed Saturday night at Kal Tire Place as they upended the Vernon Vipers 7-2 in front of 1,700 B.C. Hockey League fans.

“We have incredible depth on forward,” said Burns, an 18-year-old defenceman committed to the NCAA Division 1 Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks.

“Any one of our top three lines could be a first line on another team. Any of our dee can play top four and both our goalies are really good.

“It’s a treat to be on the team for sure.”

The Kings (24-8-2-2), one point behind Victoria for first overall, overcame an early two-goal deficit, exploding for seven unanswered goals, including three on the powerplay to brush back the Snakes.

Burns capped a four-goal second period with his first of the season, a one-timer knuckle puck from the point that fooled Vernon netminder Austin Smith.

The 20-year-old tender was pulled after that. He allowed five goals on 18 shots, and gave way to Danny Todosychuk, who gave up a pair on a dozen shots.

“It was long awaited,” smiled Burns, of his goal. He also has 12 assists in 34 games. “Took a little longer than I hoped.”

Powell River head coach Kent Lewis said Burns is still a work in progress, but added there is plenty of untapped potential.

“He does some good things, he’s a good kid, he’s good with the biscuit.

“He’s picked the school that’s right for him. He’ll play another year to ready himself for the college level. He’s still just a young kid and he’s growing. He’s got good poise and a good knack for the puck.”

Vernon, second in the Interior Division at 20-10-3-4, got off to a terrific start, racing out to a 2-0 lead on snipes three minutes apart by Liam Coughlin (12th) and Ryan Renz (2nd) in the first period.

Jared Wilson fed Colton Sparrow a pass out wide, and Coughlin went hard to the net to bury the rebound off Sparrow’s shot at 6:57.

Renz, who has lost 22 games to injury this season, wristed a point shot through traffic after Mason Blacklock won an offensive zone faceoff at 9:55.

“We started really well and took the game to them,” said Vernon head coach Jason Williamson. “The game got away from us and they were opportunistic. From our goaltenders out, we weren’t that good.”

Stephen Hiff (5th goal) responded with Powell River’s first powerplay goal with 1:03 to play in the period. Singles by JJ Colshaw (7th), Luke Nogard (13th), Kurt Keats (9th) and Burns gave the Kings a hefty 5-2 lead after 40 minutes.

Keats (10th) and Jarryd Leung (15th) capped the scoring in front of Jonah Imoo (21 saves) in the final frame.

Williamson said Vernon’s discipline played a major factor in the outcome. Sparrow helped Keats pick up the Gordie Howe hat trick by instigating a scrap late in the first period.

Brendan Persley and Kyle Chatham, a 20-year-old in his first BCHL fight, dropped the mitts in period two.

“It was just a perfect storm,” said Williamson. “We just came unravelled. They were antagonizing and they pushed our guys’ buttons that night.”

Burns agreed: “We got them off their game. He (Lewis) makes sure we’re disciplined as we can be and when other team start getting out of hand we like to take advantage.”

The Kings wrapped up their pre-holiday schedule with a 5-0 matinee loss to the Salmon Arm SilverBacks Sunday at the Shaw Centre.

First star Adam Clark registered 44 saves for the shutout, while Michael Roberts, another member of the Pee Wee Mustangs crew, recorded a deuce for second star.

Landon Smith and Gillies each added a goal and assist, while Jeff Kennedy supplied a single.

Vernon opens the New Year against the host Trail Smoke Eaters on Friday, Jan. 3 at Cominco Arena.

Aside from last year when they finished fourth in the Island loop, Powell River has been a perennial contender, finishing either first or second in each of the past four seasons.

The Vipers and Kings had some epic battles in the Fred Page Cup final for three straight seasons (2009-11), with Vernon shading Lewis’ crew each time to advance to the Doyle Cup B.C-Alberta regional playdown.

Lewis would love to buck that trend this year, and he believes the Kings have the firepower to make it happen.

Powell River has just two players in the BCHL top-20 scorers (Jarid Lukosevicius and Ryan Scarfo are 19th and 20th respectively), but they have six players with 10 goals or more each. They are also the only team with a sub-2.00 goals-against average (1.92).

“I’m tired of playing teams in the league finals and not finishing. We need finish and I think we’ve addressed that. Look at our scoring spread out over three lines. It’s never easy to get there, but when you get there, score.

“It’s a pretty good group. We’re trying to get some continuity and get healthy. We haven’t had some good pieces for a long time which allows for other guys to play up.”

 

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

Just Posted

The five graduating members of the Vernon-based Thompson Okanagan Lakers U18AAA girls hockey team – Jessica Engelbrecht (from left), Makenna Howe, Cheree Peters, Jayden Perpelitz, and Alexis Bishop – have all committed to collegiate hockey programs in Canada and the U.S. (Photo submitted)
Vernon-based hockey squad sends 5 to college ranks

Thompson Okanagan U18AAA Lakers players heading to Canadian and U.S. programs

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Police report outlines latest efforts to fight North Okanagan sex crimes

The local RCMP sex crimes unit has been involved in a number of investigations so far in 2021

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Overall, B.C. is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Members of the Vernon Kalamalka Chorus sing in their cars, tuned into the radio, under the direction of Debbie Parmenter. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Vernon choir steers around COVID with ‘carbershop’ twist

Singers find a unique way to practice during pandemic restrictions

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

Notes of hope, encouragement and camaraderie were left on the message board inside the kitchen of TacoTime. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Adiós, Taco Tuesday: Kelowna residents flock to TacoTime on restaurant’s final day

‘We don’t need another Starbucks. We need tacos on Tuesday, with extra hot sauce’

RCMP. (Black Press File)
Major Crimes called in after two bodies discovered near Penticton

A manhunt involving a police helicopter took place on May 10

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief councillor Moses Martin, who was also Chantel Moore’s grandfather, speaks to media in Port Alberni on Aug. 16, 2020, during a visit from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh following the police shooting of Chantel Moore. (Elena Rardon photo)
Mother of 2 shot by police in critical condition, says B.C. First Nation chief

Community ‘devastated’ by third member of 1,150-person Vancouver Island nation shot in less than a year

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham promotes the government’s BuyBC food program in 2019. (B.C. government)
Money running out for fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in B.C. schools

‘Looking at ways to support this type of program,’ minister says

Most Read