Merritt Centennials sink Vernon Vipers

Merritt Centennials outlast Vernon Vipers 4-3 in BCHL action Wednesday night at Wesbild Centre.

The Merritt Centennials built a two-goal lead and hung on for a 4-3 B.C. Hockey League win over the host Vernon Vipers Wednesday night at Wesbild Centre.

Armstrong’s Dylan Chanter, a second-year blueliner with Merritt, opened the scoring when his point shot deflected off a Viper defenceman. The 6-foot-3 defender drew an assist on the Cents’ second goal, a 5-on-3 marker by Sebastien Pare.

The Vipers came alive in the second period, equalizing on goals by forwards Craig Martin and Cody Fowlie, who impressed in his Viper debut.

Tyler Martin restored Merritt’s lead with his team’s second powerplay goal, but Craig Martin pulled the hosts even yet again after linemate Landon Robin undressed a trio of Centennials before feeding him a backdoor pass late in the second period.

Richard Sabourin buried a point shot through traffic for the winner 6:32 into the third frame.

Merritt netminder Tyler Steel, a Vernon native, recorded 32 saves for the win. Austin Smith had 25 stops for the Snakes.

Vernon visits the Surrey Eagles Friday night, followed by the Langley Rivermen Saturday.

Check out Friday sports in the Morning Star for a full recap of Wednesday’s action.