Vipers' forward Riley Brandt (left) collides with Kings' d-man Tony DeVito in B.C. Hockey League play Saturday night at Kal Tire Place.

Life’s beachy for holidaying Vipers

Of all the Vernon Vipers heading home for the holidays, T.J. Dumonceaux probably had the most to look forward to.

Of all the Vernon Vipers heading home for the holidays, T.J. Dumonceaux probably had the most to look forward to.

The 20-year-old Kelowna forward is probably just getting over his first sunburn as he kicks back with his family somewhere on a beach in Hawaii.

But if his mind was preoccupied by sunny climates Saturday night at Kal Tire Place, it certainly didn’t show as he led the Vipers with two goals and plenty of hustle as the Snakes swarmed the Powell River Kings 5-2 in front of 1,700 B.C. Hockey League fans.

“It’s a lot more fun going into the break with a win and that’s where our heads were at,” said Dumonceaux, who fired the winner 13:56 into the second period, and added insurance four minutes into period three. He now has 16 snipes on the season.

“None of us were really thinking about after the game, we were all in the moment. It’s what you need before a break because it is tough to play a game like that right before you’re going home.”

The second-place Vipers, who improved to 22-10-1-2, enter the break six points clear of the West Kelowna Warriors (18-12-0-5), who fell 7-2 at home to the Penticton Vees Friday.

Vernon returns to action against the BCHL-leading Vees (28-5-2-1) Friday, Jan. 2, at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Vernon outshot Powell River 49-25, and had fired seven pucks at towering netminder Stefan Wornig by the three-minute mark. However, the Kings (15-12-0-7) opened the scoring with their first shot of the game at 4:23 when Jarid Lukosevicius collected the first of his two goals, beating Jarrod Schamerhorn clean from the high slot.

Thomas Aldworth (26th goal) replied later in the first on a Viper rush with Liam Coughlin, using a seamless release to beat Wornig, high gloveside.

The momentum really swung Vernon’s way  after they killed off a charging minor to Riley Brandt early in period two. On the next shift, forward Luke Voltin (9th) charged into the Kings’ zone and fired a beauty toe-drag-snapshot to give the Vipers their first lead.

Lukosevicius (16th) wired his second of the night with a slick top-shelf snipe through traffic during a powerplay midway through the third period. Less than a minute later, Liam Finlay (13th) redirected an Aldworth shot in front of Wornig to complete the scoring at 11:12.

“We just made too many stupid mistakes that cost us goals,” said Kings’ head coach Kent Lewis. “The fifth one (by Finlay) summed it up. We get within two and I think we can do it. We just didn’t throw enough pucks on the net.”

Vernon head coach Mark Ferner praised his team for a terrific rebound effort after an erratic performance in Friday’s 6-3 loss to the Merritt Centennials.

“It’s a tough time of year to motivate kids, but they came out with a real good effort against a good hockey team,” said Ferner. “We understand they were shorthanded and possibly tired, but we don’t care who we play, we care how we play.

“We didn’t make it hard on ourselves. We limited our turnovers and our dee did a good job of getting the puck into our forwards’ hands.”

Powell River completed a ridiculous three-game road schedule against Vernon, with earlier stops in Port Alberni Thursday and Langley Friday. They also had three call-up players in the lineup as they were without snipers Stephen Hiff and Kurt Keats, and defensive stalwart Carmine Buono.

A one-week break and the Kings are right back at it against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Dec. 27 (Vernon gets a 12-day hiatus).

“We’ll have a quick break and get some bodies back in the lineup and hopefully get better,” said Lewis, a hard-nosed winger with the Nanaimo Clippers and WHL Victoria Cougars in the early ‘80s.

“Most of these kids in this league get a very little break. I’d love to see a 50- or 52-game schedule like when I played in the league.”

Liam Coughlin, named third star, set up both of Dumonceaux’s goals, the first with a hard backhander to the front of the net, where Dumonceaux was able to pounce on a rebound. The Boston native stretched the Kings’ defence with a cross-ice pass to d-man Johnny Coughlin (no relation), who fired on Wornig, and again Dumonceaux was well-positioned to deposit the rebound.

Johnny Coughlin, a Rochester, N.Y. product committed to the NCAA Holy Cross Crusaders, is thrilled to be heading back east for the break.

“I’m excited to get home, but at the same time, this is what I do. I’ve been here since August and it’s important for me to play well and finish the job here.”

Asked if he has anything special planned, Johnny Coughlin replied: “It’ll just be a lot of family time; I miss them a lot. Hopefully it’s a white Christmas.”

Schamerhorn recorded 23 saves for his 15th win, while Wornig made 44 stops for the Kings.

SNAKE BITES: Brandt delivered a hit-of-the-year candidate on Curtis McCarrick in the third period, steamrolling the unsuspecting Powell River forward in front of the penalty box as he rushed the puck up ice. It also earned the mulleted Trail agitator his second charging minor on the night…The game was delayed by 35 minutes because the referees were stuck in traffic following a fatal car accident by Duck Lake on Highway 97.

 

Just Posted

New attainable homes for Enderby seniors and veterans

Habitat for Humanity and Enderby Legion team up to provide attainable housing, office space

Vernon theatre group scores with murder mystery

Powerhouse Theatre production of the Game’s Afoot takes you on many plot turns and twists

Pedestrian struck in downtown Vernon

Firefighters, ambulance and RCMP responding to incident

Vernon’s Together for Christmas group gathering donations for annual dinner

Together for Christmas has brought people together on Christmas Day for 11 years

SilverStar to host last 2019 pride event in North America

Rebellious Unicorns and SilverStar team up for Peak Pride in Vernon

B.C. politicians view supermodel’s transition journey on Transgender Day

Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite and New Democrat MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert appear in the documentary

John Mann, singer and songwriter of group Spirit of the West dead at 57

Mann died peacefully in Vancouver on Wednesday from early onset Alzheimer’s

VIDEO: B.C. high school’s turf closed indefinitely as plastic blades pollute waterway

Greater Victoria resident stumbles on plastic contamination from Oak Bay High

B.C. mayor urges premier to tweak road speeds in an ‘epidemic of road crash fatalities’

Haynes cites ICBC and provincial documents in letter to John Horgan

South Cariboo Driver hits four cows due to fog

The RCMP’s investigation is ongoing

Hergott: Day of remembrance for road traffic victims

Lawyer Paul Hergott’s latest column

Revelstoke man who sexually assaulted drunk woman sentenced to 18 months house arrest

For the first nine months he cannot leave his home between 2 p.m. and 11 a.m. except for work

Kamloops RCMP seek driver who hit teenager, then drove away

The 13-year-old boy was in a crosswalk, crossing Seymour Street at Eighth Avenue

City of Kelowna implements two new electric vehicle charging stations

EV drivers will now have four charging options across the city

Most Read