Vernon Vipers' Marcus Basara (right) and Adam Tambellini surround a Chilliwack Chief defender in BCHL play Friday night.

Snakes suffer first loss of season against host Chiefs

Chilliwack Chiefs hand Vernon Vipers first loss of B.C. Hockey League season.

The Chilliwack Chiefs didn’t have to look far for motivation when they hosted the league-leading Vernon Vipers Friday night at Prospera Place.

With a B.C. Hockey League loss to the Snakes the week before still fresh in their minds, the Chiefs returned the favour with a 4-1 win in front of nearly 1,800 fans.

With the game deadlocked after 40 minutes, the Vipers got on the board early in the third period as Darren Nowick collected a loose puck on a broken play in the neutral zone and drove wide before ripping a shot past Mitch Gillam for his sixth goal of the season. Defenceman Marc Hetnik drew an assist.

After that, it was all Chilliwack as they scored four unanswered goals to hand the 7-1 Vipers their first loss.

Kit Sitterley, who leads the 4-1 Chiefs with 3-4-7, equalized less than two minutes after Nowick’s marker. Tyler Miller recorded the winner on the powerplay at 7:03.

David Bondra, the son of former NHL sniper Peter Bondra, and Jaret Babych, the son of long-time Vancouver Canuck d-man Dave Babych, completed the Chilliwack attack, each with their first goals of the season.

“We stood around a lot,” said an unimpressed Vipers’ head coach Jason Williamson. “We didn’t win a lot of races or many puck battles. We scored one goal and then shut ‘er down.”

Friday night was the first game Vernon failed to convert at least once on the powerplay. They went 0-for-6, while the Chiefs capitalized once on three tries.

Gillam ended with 24 saves, while Kirby Halcrow recorded 30 stops in the loss.

Williamson suggested the Vipers may have been guilty of looking past Chilliwack to Saturday night’s tilt with the host Penticton Vees, who are a point behind Vernon at 6-1-0-1.

“They might have been looking ahead a little to that game, but no excuses. They (Chiefs) competed and wanted it more than us,” he said.

In other Interior Conference action Friday night, the host Merritt Centennials doubled the Salmon Arm SilverBacks 4-2 at Nicola Valley Arena; the host Prince George Spruce Kings thumped the Trail Smoke Eaters 8-0 at the Coliseum; and the red-hot Vees hammered the host Westside Warriors 8-3 at Royal LePage Place.


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

Just Posted

Food support continues for Vernon students despite school closures

Kids aren’t going hungry thanks to Kal Rotary and Starfish Backpack program

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

WATCH: Enderby seniors stay fit in self-isolation

Residents have taken to their balconies to follow along in exercise class

North Okanagan district discourages campfires amid COVID-19

Campfire ban in effect for RDCO but not for neighbour district in the north

Vernon man’s appeal of murder conviction postponed by COVID-19

William Victor Schneider was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Natsumi Kogawa in 2016

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

Mitchell’s Musings: Pandemics and parking meters don’t add up

Despite COVID-19 crisis, City of Vernon insists on paid parking downtown

KGH Foundation establishes COVID-19 response fund to support frontline workers

Doctors, nurses and staff have been challenged to pivot operations to prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

Emergency services respond to numerous incidents on Highway 1

Today there were multiple semi truck crashes on Highway 1 and a collision by the hospital

Large item collection events cancelled in Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen

Concerns about spread of COVID-19 led to decision to cancel collection events

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Most Read