Vernon Vipers goalie Danny Todosychuk makes a save on a shot with Penticton’s Connor Chartier looking for the loose puck during the Vees’ 3-2 win Friday.

Vernon Vipers to face Merritt in BCHL playoffs

Vipers lose regular season finale, 3-2 in Penticton Friday, in front of more than 3,300 fans

Asked if he was concerned about his team’s modest two-game losing streak heading into the B.C. Hockey League playoffs, Vernon Vipers head coach Mark Ferner offered a simple one-word answer.

“No,” said Ferner immediately following a 3-2 loss to the Penticton Vees Friday night in the team’s final regular season game, and before he knew his club would play the Merritt Centennials in the opening round of the playoffs starting Tuesday and Wednesday, 7 p.m. both nights, at Kal Tire Place.

The Vees pocketed the winning goal Friday at 13:23 of the third period, getting an accidental boost from a referee’s skate.

A Vipers’ clearing attempt in their own hit the skate of the referee, went directly to Penticton forward Steen Cooper who passed it to an open Lewis Zerter-Gossage  in front of Vernon goalie Danny Todosychuk. Zerter-Gossage, named second star on the night, made a nice move and put the puck behind Todosychuk for the winning goal.

“I’m happy with the way we competed tonight,” said Ferner. “We worked hard to come back from a two-goal deficit and the winning goal was a rather unfortunate situation, and the coverage on that goal wasn’t great. But we competed hard against a good team.”

After falling behind 2-0, Thomas Aldworth, the game’s third star, cut the lead in half at 17:39 of the second period on a Vernon powerplay, firing a rocket from the left face-off circle past first star Hunter Miska in the Vees net for his 37th goal of the year.

Anthony Latina tied the game at 8:02 of the third, capitalizing on a Vees turnover and burying his 19th of the season.

Vernon dominated the final 20 minutes, outshooting the Vees 15-6 and 41-33 on the night.

“I thought we got the puck deep, worked pretty hard down low and we killed off a few penalties,” said Latina. “It could have been a lot worse.”

The Vipers were 1-5 with the man advantage and held Penticton scoreless on five power play opportunities.

The game meant nothing to both squads as far as the standings are concerned as each had locked up a playoff spot.

The Centennials clinched third place and a date with the Vipers in the opening round of the playoffs Friday.

The Cents went into Salmon Arm and, in front of 2,125 fans at the Shaw Centre, scored five unanswered goals, including four in the second period, to dump the Silverbacks 5-1.

Merritt hosted the Trail Smoke Eaters Saturday, the Warriors entertained the Surrey Eagles and the Silverbacks visited Penticton.

Merritt clinched third as, even if all three teams ended up tied in points, they have the most wins.

If Salmon Arm and West Kelowna remained tied after Saturday, it would go to the third tie breaker – superior goal differential from games played between tied teams – to determine who finished fourth and will meet Penticton in round one.

Salmon Arm outscored West Kelowna 23-20 in the seven games between the two teams.

SNAKE BITES: Vernon and Merritt have met six times in the playoffs in their franchises’ histories, with Vernon winning every series. Both franchises were also part of a round-robin playoff format in the Interior Conference in 1989-90, won by the Vernon Lakers…Former Vipers captain and assistant coach Dave Robinson scored UBC’s only goal in a 3-1 loss Friday to Vernon’s James Dobrowolski and the Alberta Golden Bears in Game 1 of the CIS Canada West semifinal in Edmonton.

 

Just Posted

Scammer targeting elderly in Kelowna with broken-down vehicle story

A door to door scammer is in Kelowna, targeting seniors according to Kelowna RCMP

Stocking stuffers needed for Lake Country assisted-living residence

Blue Heron Villa is putting a call out for stocking stuffers

Accident north of Vernon causing minor delays

SUV and semi truck involved in crash at Highway 97 and Stickle Road

Ontario driver rolls car near Vernon

Crash in Coldstream follows reports of erratic driving

Lake Country signs a new sight in the community

The signs, located at the north and south ends of the district, will be illuminated

Weekend weather update: Crisp and sunny

This weekend will see lots of sunshine and below season temperatures for the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen.

Kal Rotary fundraiser leads to wheelchair van purchase

The $39,000 awarded by Kalamalka Rotary was instrumental in securing the $56,000 needed.

Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

The trade agreement, forged after 13 months of tense negotiations between Canada and the U.S. is scheduled for Nov. 30

US official: US intel says prince ordered Khashoggi killing

Vice-President Mike Pence told reporters that ‘the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was an atrocity.’

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

$224.5 million announced for Highway 1 bridge replacement in Sicamous

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena says bridge option will be announced next month

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

Okanagan volunteers reflect on building classrooms in Nepal

Through the charity Her International, the volunteer group built four classrooms

Most Read