They raised the Fred Page Cup banner to the rafters Friday night at South Surrey Arena.
The Vernon Vipers, perhaps unfazed by the B.C. Hockey League celebration since their rink houses several such pennants, spoiled the joyous mood by smothering the Surrey Eagles 4-1 before 900 fans.
It was the second straight win for the Vipers, who entertained the Eagles Saturday night at Kal Tire Place. Vernon, still with 20-year-olds Ryan Renz, Josh Bryan and Colton Sparrow, moved to 3-2-1-2 and a share of third place in the Interior Division with the Trail Smoke Eaters (4-3-0-1).
Associate coach Kris Mallette called it a greasy road win which while hardly glamourous, kept the Vipers’ sudden swagger going forward.
“The guys are feeding off the fact that we’re getting things done,” said Mallette. “It starts with the staff and (head coach/GM Williamson) Jason has a jump in his step and he’s been feeling it (pressure after a poor start to the season) the most.”
The Vipers skated well on the Olympic-size ice in a game with few bodychecks and another goal from rookie defenceman Mark Hamilton.
“Mark didn’t have any goals last year (high school hockey in Boston) and he’s got a hot stick right now. His shots are getting through. His shot last night hit their guy and trickled through. It’s never a bad play to put the puck on net.”
Hamilton, a 6-foot-3, 220-pounder, has three goals on the season. He gave Vernon the lead 93 seconds into the first period.
Dexter Dancs, who has also found a scoring groove, netted his fifth, on the powerplay, on a back-door play with 4:07 left in the second period. D-man Jason Bird and centre Michael McNicholas pocketed assists on the 2-0 goal.
Former Eagle Mason Blacklock added two late goals, giving him a team-high seven.
Please see Sunday’s sports section for further coverage.