Viper winger Brendan Persley goes five-hole on Merritt goalie Devon Kero Friday night at Nicola Valley Arena.

Vernon Vipers shade Cents in OT

D-man Riley Guenther scored 88 seconds into overtime as the Vernon Vipers shaded the Merritt Centennials 4-3 Friday night.

Morning Star Staff

They got just 14 goals from their entire defensive core last B.C. Hockey League season.

The Vernon Vipers already have 17 from their back end this year, the biggest coming Friday night when former Prince Albert Raider Riley Guenther scored in overtime as the Vipers clipped the Merritt Centennials 4-3.

“We need those guys to chip in back there,” said Vernon head coach Jason Williamson. “It was a nice wrister, low, blocker side.”

Dexter Dancs, who won a puck battle in the Cents’ zone, fed Michael McNicholas, who in turn found Guenther in the slot for his second snipe of the season, 88 seconds into four-on-four overtime. D-man Josh Bryan was also on the ice.

“It was a very even game,” added Williamson. “We were the better team in the first period, they were better in the second and we gritted it out in the third. It was the first time playing in Merritt for a lot of guys. Things happen in a hurry there and you have to be on your toes and we were for the most part.”

The Vipers, who entertain the Cowichan Valley Capitals (11-13-0-1) today at 2 p.m., went up 2-1 after 20 minutes before 800 fans at Nicola Valley Arena. Liam Coughlin registered his ninth of the season seven minutes in after d-man Ryan Renz chipped the puck deep. Renz fired a shot off the side of the net and Couglin buried the rebound.

D-man ilea Scott Patterson pulled the Cents (14-9-1-1) even  just 54 seconds later on a high tip in the mid slot. It was Patterson’s team-high 15th. Sebastien Pare and Shane Poulsen drew assists.

Matty Saharchuk put the Vipers in front under four minutes later with his second of the season. Dancs and d-man Michael Statchuk had helpers.

The Cents dialed up powerplay goals by Jeff Wight nine minutes apart to go ahead 3-2 in the second period. Wight, who has eight goals, went back door for one and used a high wrister past Austin Smith, glove side, for the other.

Brendan Persley levelled the score midway through the third after taking a breakaway pass from McNicholas. Persley went forehand, backhand, five-hole to beat Devon Kero. Bryan started the play with a sweet breakout pass on a powerplay.

Merritt outshot Vernon 32-29 and went 2-for-3 on the powerplay. The Vipers were 1-for-6 with the man advantage.

Vernon moved to 12-6-2-4, good for a share of second place with the Cents in the highly competitive Interior Division.

The Penticton Vees got 34 saves from NHL_rated Hunter Miska of Minnesota as they brushed back the West Kelowna Warriors 6-3 before 1,220 fans at Royal LePage Place. Anthony Conti bagged a deuce for the Vees, who at 14-4-1-2, are one point ahead of Vernon and Merritt.

The Salmon Arm SilverBacks iced Cowichan Valley 5-3 at the Shaw Centre to stay a single point behind the Vipers and Cents. Vernon product Alex Jewell netted his fifth of the year for the SilverBacks (13-8-1-2) in front of 950 fans.

The last-place Trail Smoke Eaters surprised the Nanaimo Clippers 3-2 in front of 850 fans at Cominco Arena.

The Smokies made three trades earlier in the week, grabbing Vernon products Dylan Bowen and Michael Roberts.

Bowen, who played Friday night on the back end, went to Trail  from Merritt in exchange for D Curtis Toneff. Roberts, who didn’t play against the Clippers, landed in Trail from the Surrey Eagles for F Luke Sandler.

The Smokies also sent F Brandon Lamont to Penticton for future considerations.








Just Posted

Vernon seeks additional fetal alcohol syndrome support B.C.-wide

“We are making a difference but we could make even more of a difference”

Highlander dancer off to Canadians

Canadians take place July 3-7

Fulton alumnus’ son shines

Jeffery Dawson received the Governor General’s Silver Medal for being the top student in the Faculty of Science at UBC

Public invited to the UV Disinfection Facility official opening

Tours take place Tuesday, June 25 from 10:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Compassion conference comes to Vernon

The Venerable Guan Cheng will be presenting at the Schubert Center on Monday, June 17

VIDEO: Horseback riding helps North Okanagan residents with special needs

North Okanagan Therapeutic Riding Association needs more volunteers to continue offering sessions

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Gambler 500 hits Okanagan back roads

Hundreds of off road enthusiasts are rallying in the South Okanagan this… Continue reading

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Jury finds Kelowna man guilty of second-degree murder

A Kelowna jury found Steven Randy Pirko guilty of the second-degree murder

Most Read