Mike Roberts of the Vernon Vipers (left) protects the puck against Salmon Arm SilverBacks’ defenceman Sean Flanagan in B.C. Hockey League action Friday night at Wesbild Centre. The SilverBacks pulled off their third straight overtime decision against Vernon

Mike Roberts of the Vernon Vipers (left) protects the puck against Salmon Arm SilverBacks’ defenceman Sean Flanagan in B.C. Hockey League action Friday night at Wesbild Centre. The SilverBacks pulled off their third straight overtime decision against Vernon

SilverBacks slip by Snakes

Salmon Arm SilverBacks ground Vernon Vipers 2-1 in double-overtime in BCHL action Friday night at Wesbild Centre.

On the bright side, the Vernon Vipers have points in each of their four encounters with the Salmon Arm SilverBacks.

The reality is the last three have been overtime losses, including Friday night’s 2-1 decision in double-OT at Wesbild Centre.

The 3-7-0-5 Snakes have dropped a league-high five games in extra time, which has them tied with the Gorillas (5-9-0-1) for last place in the B.C. Hockey League’s Interior Division.

They hosted the 10-3-1-1 Chilliwack Chiefs Saturday night.

“Right now, unfortunately, that’s how the ball is rolling for us,” said Vipers’ assistant coach Jason Read. “It’s hard to break that cycle, but you’ve just got to stick with it, and stick together.

“It’s bound to come out, it’s a question of when.”

SilverBacks’ forward Carter Lukenda, collecting his third goal of the season, provided winner in front of 1,800 fans at 4:23. With the play wide open at 3-on-3, Lukenda buried the rebound off a goal-mouth scramble in front of third star netminder Austin Smith (31 saves).

Shortly before, Salmon Arm tender Adam Clark (second star, 37 saves) made a pair of timely stops, denying Mitch Van Teeling on a backhand, and Pearce Eviston on a wraparound.

Clark also stuffed Viper rookie Logan Mick twice on backhand attempts in regulation, and Adam Tambellini on a breakaway feed from Mick.

For a change, it wasn’t the Vipers’ special teams that let them down Friday night. The powerplay accounted for their lone goal, and their penalty kill withstood four SilverBack man advantages.

Tambellini (7th goal) snapped a quick shot from the high slot after a quick pass from Eviston at the sidewall six minutes into the first period.

The man advantage was a major, the result of a dangerous hit from behind by Salmon Arm forward Alex Gillies on Viper d-man Michael Statchuk into the sidewall at 2:44. Gillies, a Vernon product not normally known for his aggressive play, earned a two-game suspension for the incident.

Statchuk needed help off the ice, but returned to action later.

Brandon Mistal (3rd) responded for the ‘Backs in the second frame, tucking the rebound off a Shane Hanna point blast under a sprawling Smith at the nine-minute mark.

Vernon’s Harlan Orr was a call-up from the Junior B North Okanagan Knights the last time Salmon Arm grounded Vernon in OT. He was all the more excited for a win in his hometown now that he is full-time with the ‘Backs.

“It’s pretty cool,” smiled Orr, who racked up 14 points in just six games with North Okanagan. “I had some people out watching me today and obviously our team needed the win because we were on a slide there for a bit. It feels really good for the whole team.”

SilverBack head coach Scott Robinson has Orr playing in a variety of roles, including some time on the man advantage.

“I’m happy to get getting lots of time on the powerplay, and in important situations,” said Orr. “It’s good to know they have faith in me and hopefully I can start bagging some more goals.”

Added Robinson: “Harlan, right from day one, has competed for us. He’s got an offensive flair that not all kids have, and that’s going to come out later on. He’s a top-six guy in the future for us.”

Regarding the win, Robinson added: “Anybody could have won that, but our goalie made some great saves, especially in overtime.

“We did a lot of good things systems-wise, and we were a lot more committed to playing our style.”

Vernon cranked up the intensity in the final 10 minutes, but couldn’t solve Clark. Defenceman Marc Hetnik said it was a missed opportunity against another struggling team.

“Our defence did a pretty good job of letting in only one goal, but we’ve got to score more than one goal a game, especially against a team like that who isn’t doing too well.”

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

Just Posted

Karen Hudema, 71, admitted she felt left out due to her hearing loss, but now, after being awarded free hearing devices through the National Campain for Better Hearing Program from HearingLife Canada, she says her self-esteem has been restored. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
‘I have my self-esteem back’: Vernon senior awarded hearing aids

Free testing leads to life-changing improvement for local lady

The City of Vernon is sending a letter to the provincial government to request that church be deemed an essential service amid the pandemic. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon mayor scolded for revealing stance on making church essential

Coun. Scott Anderson calls Cummings’ actions ‘arrogant’

Heather Barker. (File)
Manslaughter charge laid in Vernon woman’s 2018 death

Shaun Ross Wiebe, 43, faces manslaughter and assault charges related to the death of Heather Barker

Protesting farmers and their families gather around a bonfire to mark the harvest festival, which is called Lohri, on a blocked highway in protest against new farm laws on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. Changes in India’s farm laws could potentially open up one of the world’s most populous markets and are being closely watched by Canada’s agricultural and economic sectors, say experts. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Altaf Qadri
UBCO students asking for support in raising funds for Indian farmers

UBCO’s Bhangra Club and Punjabi Student Association are raising funds for Khalsa Aid

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin makes preparations at Toronto’s mass vaccination clinic, Jan. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
3 deaths, 234 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

One death connected to outbreak at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital, where 20 patients and 28 staff have tested positive

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran in his Creston home. Hanging on the wall behind him is a logo of Kachin’s Manaw festival. Photo: Aaron Hemens
From Myanmar to Creston: The story of a refugee

In October 2007, Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran and his friends encountered a woman being sexually assaulted by two Myanmar soldiers.

Kamloops This Week.
48 COVID-19 cases and one death associated with outbreak at Kamloops hospital

One of the 20 patients infected has died, meanwhile 28 staff with COVID-19 are isolating at home

The scene of a serious crash on Highway 33 in Kelowna that killed one and severely injured two others on June 20, 2018. (File)
Driver found guilty of causing death, injury in 2018 Kelowna crash

Travis Ryan Hennessy will face sentencing at a later date

(Michael Rodriguez - Capital News staff)
Downtown stairwell fire suspicious, Kelowna RCMP say

Crews were called to Gotham Nightclub for a report of a stairwell fire

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Head Brewer Kody Rosentreter, owner Wes Greve and taproom manager Lisa Deleo celebrated North Basin Brewing’s grand opening Jan. 22 and 23, 2020. (Contributed)
Osoyoos’ first microbrewery celebrates grand opening

The brewery hopes to show that the Okanagan is more than just wine country

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran addresses media from the front steps of council chambers on March 23. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna, West Kelowna still looking to opt-out of speculation tax

Mayors say spec tax has missed the mark, revenue largely coming out of Canadians’ pockets

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Most Read