The Vernon Vipers are officially the hottest team in the B.C. Hockey League.
The Snakes pushed their win streak to five games with a 2-1 win over the league co-leading Powell River Kings Friday night at Hap Parker Arena.
Mason Blacklock, with his seventh goal in four games, scored the winner on a man advantage with five minutes left in regulation as the Vipers improved to 8-4-1-2. They hold a share of second place in the Interior Division with the West Kelowna Warriors (9-4-0-1). The Kings are 10-2-0-1.
Vernon’s Dexter Dancs opened the scoring midway through the second period, converting the rebound off a Michael McNicholas shot. Ryan Scarfo replied for Powell River five minutes into the third period, taking advantage as the puck took a strange bounce from the corner, fooling second star netminder Danny Todosychuk (25 saves).
Blacklock’s goal came on a slick passing play between Demico Hannoun and Colton Sparrow, who fed Blacklock for a back-door tap-in.
The Kings poured on the pressure in the late going, pulling Jonah Imoo (15 saves) for an extra attacker with two minutes remaining. Vernon got huge shot blocks from Sparrow, Josh Bryan and several other defenders to help Todosychuk keep the Kings at bay.
Vernon visits the Nanaimo Clippers (6-7) Saturday night at Frank Crane Arena before ending the three-game road swing with a Sunday matinee with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (1-12-2-1) at Weyerhaueser Arena.