Vernon Vipers acquire defenceman Morse

Vernon Vipers beef up blueline with the acquisition of 18-year-old Spencer Morse from the WHL Red Deer Rebels on Friday.

When 6-foot-1, 195-pound Jason Bird is the little guy on your blueline, that’s saying something.

Already touting one of the biggest defence corps in the B.C. Hockey League, the Vernon Vipers beefed up even more with the acquisition of 18-year-old Spencer Morse from the WHL Red Deer Rebels on Friday.

Morse (6-foot-4, 200 pounds), a hard-nosed Calgary product, will make his debut tonight (7:00) as the Vipers visit the Salmon Arm SilverBacks at the Shaw Centre.

The Vipers entertain the ‘Backs in their home opener Saturday (7 p.m.) at Kal Tire Place.

“We needed to add a dee,” said Vipers’ head coach Jason Williamson. “We only had six and one of them is banged up (Josh Bryan). He became available and we jumped at it.”

Morse played with the Moose Jaw Warriors last season, racking up a goal, four assists and 90 penalty minutes in 46 games. He had 4-14-18 and 97 PIM with Okanagan Hockey Academy in 2011-12.

“He’s a stay-at-home, big, mean defenceman,” said Williamson. “And a right shot too, which we needed because we only have one (Kenny Citron).”

To clear space on their 22-man roster for Morse, the Vipers moved forward Mike Iovanna to their reserve roster.

The Boston native will remain with the team, and is eligible to play a maximum of 10 games on a call-up basis before Williamson will be forced to further shuffle his lineup.