Special teams continue to haunt the Vernon Vipers.
The Snakes allowed three powerplay goals on seven chances in a 5-3 loss to the host Surrey Eagles Friday night before 1,000 fans at the South Surrey Arena.
Vernon, owners of the second-worst powerplay (11.76 per cent) and fourth-worst penalty kill (77.78 per cent) in the B.C. Hockey League, held a two-goal lead until late in the second period.
“We probably played 39 minutes and 30 seconds of perfect hockey, and then the wheels fell off,” said Viper head coach Jason Williamson.
Trailing 3-1, Surrey’s Brady Shaw beat Danny Todosychuk late in the second frame, and scored the equalizer early in the third to give his team new life. Both were powerplay goals. It was Todosychuk’s first start since being recalled from the KIJHL Golden Rockets.
Craig Wyszomirski netted the winner with another man-advantage goal, and Demico Hannoun added a late empty netter.
Vernon’s TJ Dumonceaux (2nd goal) opened the scoring 2:28 into the first period, wheeling up the right side and ripping a high shot past Michael Santaguida.
Brett Corkey, with his first of the season, made it 2-0 when his point shot found the net through traffic.
Colton Mackie got Surrey on the board at 3:49 of the second period. However, Landon Robin restored the two-goal lead with his first of the season, burying his own rebound.
Williamson said the kid line of Robin, Craig Martin and Michael Roberts has been one of his better units of late. He was less impressed with veteran forward Colton Sparrow, who set the Vipers back before the game even started by staying on the ice too long in warmup (bench minor).
Sparrow was later ejected for a checking from behind penalty.
The Vipers also lost forward Brendan Persley early in the second period with what was later diagnosed as a broken ankle. Williamson said he is expected to be out a minimum of four weeks.
“He’s an absolute warrior,” said Williamson. “He blocked four shots in the first period alone. He just plays the game hard.”
The Vipers visited the Langley Rivermen Saturday night. They host the Salmon Arm SilverBacks Friday night at Wesbild Centre.
SNAKE BITES: The SilverBacks have inked Vernon Harlan Orr full-time. The 17-year-old played three games as a call-up this season. He recorded 14 points in just six games with the KIJHL North Okanagan Knights. Salmon Arm also signed NAHL defenceman Blake Box, a Texas native.