Fourth-line winger Paul DeJersey scored once and set up another as the Salmon Arm SilverBacks grounded the Vernon Vipers 5-3 in Game 1 of the BCHL best-of-seven Interior Conference final series befre 2,215 fans Friday night at the Wesbild Centre.
Bryce Gervais, Josh Manson, Mike Hammond and Lumby product Jayson Reardon, with a 200-footer into an empty net, with 35 seconds to play, completed the Salmon Arm offence in front of Kris Moore.
I’ve been getting some good passes and I’ve just been bearing down when it matters,” said DeJersey, an 18-year-old West Vancouver product, who has four goals and seven points in 10 playoff tilts. “It was a gritty road win. It’s never gonna be easy especially playing against the defending champs. We definitely showed some character and it was a good win.”
Vernon, who outshot the SilverBacks 41-30, got goals from John Knisley, Patrick McGillis and Kyle Murphy. Kirby Halcrow suffered the loss.
“I thought we played alright at times. We outshot them again, but they’re a team that is very offensively skilled and they capitalized on their chances,” said Viper captain David Robinson.
“We’ve gotta stress that we’ve gotta play a full 60 minutes or else they’ll put one in the back of the net so we gotta come better prepared tomorrow. He (head coach Mark Ferner) says the strength of our team is our team so we need every guy going so I’m sure we’ll come back with a better effort tomorrow night.”
The league, for the first time in history, used a two-referee system with Grant Tyson and Brandon Liefke handling the duties. The Vipers went 1-for-6 and the SilverBacks 1-for-3 on the powerplay.