Alex Jewell of the Salmon Arm SilverBacks (No. 17) is hounded by TJ Dumonceaux of the Vernon Vipers in B.C. Hockey League action Saturday night at the Shaw Centre. Salmon Arm won 4-2.

Alex Jewell of the Salmon Arm SilverBacks (No. 17) is hounded by TJ Dumonceaux of the Vernon Vipers in B.C. Hockey League action Saturday night at the Shaw Centre. Salmon Arm won 4-2.

SilverBacks double Vernon Vipers

Vernon Vipers fall 4-2 to Salmon Arm SilverBacks in BCHL action Saturday at Shaw Centre. Snakes host West Kelowna tonight.

First place has been crossed off their wish list, but the Vernon Vipers still want to wrap up their pre-Christmas schedule in good spirits.

The Snakes, second in the B.C. Hockey League’s Interior Division at 19-9-3-4, entertain the West Kelowna Warriors (18-11-1-2) tonight at Kal Tire Place, followed by the Powell River Kings (22-7-2-2) Saturday.

Vernon will resume action Friday, Jan. 3 against the host Trail Smoke Eaters.

Rylan Ferster’s Warriors enter tonight’s contest on a high after grounding the Kings 4-1 Sunday.

“They’ve got some firepower up front with (David) Pope, (Seb) Lloyd and (Jason) Cotton and their dee corps has improved a lot,” said Vernon assistant coach Dave Robinson. “It’s going to be a tough one and every division game is important.”

Vernon will look to recover from Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the shorthanded Salmon Arm SilverBacks at the Shaw Centre.

The SilverBacks, with just 16 skaters and head coach Troy Mick away scouting, rallied from two goals down to improve to 18-11-1-5.

“They were playing short, but they came out with a lot of energy and were outworking us,” said Robinson.

The Vipers jumped out to a 2-0 first-period lead on snipes by Liam Coughlin and Demico Hannoun, both with their 11th of the season.

Josh Bryan set up Coughlin’s marker at 3:32 by driving the net on a Vernon powerplay, while Michael McNicholas fed Hannoun during a 3-on-1 with 90 seconds remaining in the period.

Landon Smith jumpstarted the Salmon Arm comeback late in the second period, and then pocketed his league-leading 30th goal on a man advantage early in the third frame.

“He works very hard and he shoots everything,” said Robinson, of Smith.

Smith (30-25-55), a 6-foot, 180-pound native of Denver, is the BCHL co-scoring leader with Penticton’s Brad McLure (28-27-55).

The SilverBacks got the winner and insurance from pair of unlikely scoring heroes in Jeff Kennedy (5th goal) and Bryden Marsh (2nd).

“It was blown coverages in the dee zone,” said Robinson. “You can’t give any player those chances.”

Kennedy’s twin brother, Brendan scrapped the Vipers’ Dexter Dancs, who ran into SilverBacks’ netminder Adam Clark as he crashed the net in the dying seconds.

Meanwhile, the league-leading Penticton Vees will retain the Interior penthouse over the holidays  after they bounced the host Victoria Grizzlies 3-2 Sunday at Bear Mountain Arena.

The SilverBacks fell 5-4 in overtime to the Merritt Centennials in a Sunday matinee at Nicola Valley Arena.

SNAKE BITES: Vernon captain Ryan Renz (upper body) is questionable for tonight’s game…Former Viper Michael Roberts drew an assist on Kennedy’s winner…McNicholas is riding an eight-game point streak. The Manhattan Beach, Calif. product has six goals and nine assists over that span, and leads Vernon with 18-30-48 in 35 games…The ‘Backs called up forward Logan Mostat from the KIJHL North Okanagan Knights for Saturday’s game.

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

Just Posted

BC Emergency Health Services Advanced Care Paramedic Practice Educator Trevor Campbell. (Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation - Contributed)
ECG machines onboard Okanagan ambulances for quickest response to heart attacks

Donations from Lake Country, Predator Ridge, Vernon and Armstrong behind purchase of 8 live-saving machines

Ranchero Deep Creek firefighters respond to a blaze involving two adjacent structures at a property off of Deep Creek Road on Sunday, Feb. 21. The buildings were believed to have been used as part of a cannabis growing operation, and RCMP are investigating. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Ranchero Deep Creek firefighters respond to a blaze involving two adjacent structures at a property off of Deep Creek Road on Sunday, Feb. 21. The buildings were believed to have been used as part of a cannabis growing operation, and RCMP are investigating. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Update: Fire at North Okanagan-Shuswap cannabis grow operation not suspicious

Ranchero-Deep Creek firefighters find two structures ablaze on property

A 50-year-old Lake Country man was arrested and cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl were seized from his vehicle after a concerned citizen called in the suspicious vehicle idling on the wrong side of Woodsdale Road Feb. 18, 2021. (Lake Country RCMP)
Drugs, cash seized from suspicious three-wheeled vehicle in Lake Country

Man, 50, arrested after police respond to concerned citizen’s call

(Phil McLachlan - Black Press file)
Enderby man prohibited from driving after colliding into Kelowna bus stop

Vehicle was towed, 35-year-old man served 24-hour driving prohibition

Numbers of new COVID-19 cases for the week of Feb. 14 to 20 appear to be trending down for all local health areas in the North Okanagan-Shuswap. (BC Centre for Disease Control map)
Colours on COVID-19 map getting lighter for North Okanagan-Shuswap

Number of new weekly cases reported by BC Centre for Disease Control drop throughout region

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Enchante the cat. AlleyCats.
Okanagan pet rescue looking for adoption hero

AlleyCats is looking for a special forever home for a young grey tabby

Kelowna Law Courts. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Accused Kelowna Canada Day killer confessed to ‘murder’ in drunk tank, court hears

Noah Vaten is charged with manslaughter related to a killing on Canada Day in 2018

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

(File photo)
Federal Court exonerates Kamloops Mountie in burger beef dispute

A Federal Court ruling has overturned punishment in case involving a cop, McDonald’s manager

Numbers of new COVID-19 cases for the week of Feb. 14 to 20 appear to be trending down for all local health areas in the North Okanagan-Shuswap. (BC Centre for Disease Control map)
Weekly COVID-19 case count continues downward trend in Central Okanagan

BC CDC data show 36 new cases in the region over Feb. 14-20

(Kevin N. Hume/Black Press file)
Penticton’s bike lane gets $1 million provincial grant

The grant must be used by the end of 2021

A 50-year-old man was stabbed in an altercation that started with a disagreement about physical distancing. (File photo)
Argument about physical distancing escalates to stabbing in Nanaimo

Victim, struck with coffee cup and then stabbed, suffers minor injuries; suspect arrested

Most Read