Michael McNicholas registered the hat trick as the Vernon Vipers bounced the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 7-4 in a Sunday B.C. Hockey League matinee before 1,025 fans at Weyerhaeuser Arena.
McNicholas, a Manhattan Beach, Calif. product, scored twice in the second period and netted the first of two empty netters, with 30 seconds remaining. Defenceman Michael Statchuk earned his first snipe in 73 BCHL games, with an empty netter with 11 seconds to go.
Demico Hannoun, with his sixth goal of the year, TJ Dumonceaux, with his first. and Brendan Persley, with his third (the winner), completed the Vernon offence in front of newly-acquired goaltender Michael Stiliadas.
Justin Georgeson, Tryg Strand, Hunter Stewart and Scott Clark replied for the last-place Dawgs, who trailed 5-2 after 40 minutes. It was 1-1 after one period. Alberni Valley dipped to 1-13-2-1.
The Vipers (9-5-1-2) bowed 3-0 to the Nanaimo Clippers before 975 fans Saturday night at Frank Crane Arena, 24 hours after shading league-leading Powell River Kings 2-1 on the Sunshine Coast. The Clippers (7-7) stopped the Vipers’ winning streak at five games, getting goals from Bo Brauer, Eric Margo and Brendan Taylor (empty net).
Vernon product Spencer Hewson, a rookie with the Clippers, had one assist and was chosen Fortis Energy Player of the Game.
Vernon visits the Penticton Vees (10-3-1-1) Friday night before entertaining the Merritt Centennials (9-7-1-0) Saturday night.
Please see Wednesday’s Morning Star for further Viper coverage.