Brendan Persley’s return to the lineup yielded instant dividends for the Vernon Vipers Saturday night at Wesbild Centre.
Persley, who left Viper main camp to audition with the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League, pocketed a goal and two helpers to earn third star in his return as the Snakes thumped the Trail Smoke Eaters 7-2 in front of nearly 1,400 fans.
Vipers’ head coach Jason Williamson had dealt the rugged forward’s Junior A rights dealt to Manitoba’s Virden Oil Capitals in exchange for forward Mitch Van Teeling, but made a second deal with the Caps, this one for future considerations, to get him back.
Also having big nights for the Vipers were first star Jedd Soleway and second star Colton Sparrow, each with 2+1.
Austin Smith recorded 20 saves for the win, while the acrobatic Lyndon Standwood made 34 stops for the Smokies.
Special teams played a big role in the outcome as Vernon converted three times on seven attempts, while Trail went scoreless on four powerplays.
Check out Wednesday’s sports section of the Morning Star for a full recap on the game.