Snakes don’t have wheels, but if they did, they sure fell off the Vernon Vipers Friday night at Royal LePage Place.
Vernon gave up three straight powerplay goals in the first period en route to a 7-1 B.C. Hockey League shellacking courtesy of the host West Kelowna Warriors.
“It was one of those things where everything went wrong,” said Vipers’ head coach Jason Williamson.
“They were ready to go and we prepared them, but everything we did it seemed we were on our heels and weren’t urgent enough.”
Seb Lloyd, who finished the night with three goals, one assist and first star, gave West Kelowna (11-7-1-6) the lead on the game’s first shift, beating Danny Todosychuk at 29 seconds.
Todosychuk allowed four goals on 13 shots and was pulled in favour of Austin Smith (27 saves) after one period.
Vernon, fourth in the Interior Division at 9-11-0-6, came right back on the next shift with a goal by Adam Tambellini, his team-leading 17th. Colton Sparrow blew by a defender at Vernon’s blueline and set Tambellini up for a one-timer from the slot on the resulting odd-man rush.
Williamson liked the quick push-back, and believed his team would settle down, however, penalty woes, combined with a shaky Vernon penalty kill, allowed the Warriors to run away with it.
Lloyd (10th and 11th goals) scored twice on the man advantage and Adam Plant (3rd) tallied once to give the hosts a 4-1 lead at the break. West Kelowna torched Vernon on 3-of-8 attempts, while holding the Snakes 0-for-3 on their powerplay.
“Eight powerplays is too many,” said Williamson.
“When you get a team on the kill that’s a reeling and the other team starts rolling, it can be a deadly combination.
“They’ve (penalty killers) got to get the puck 200 feet and anytime that doesn’t happen chances are it’s going to end up in the back of your net.”
Second-period goals by David Pope (7th), Shawn Hochhausen (4th) and Ambrose Firkus (5th) completed the attack in front of Tyler Biggs, who recorded 33 stops for his ninth win.
If there was any hint of a bright spot for Williamson, it was the Vipers’ third period.
“We didn’t quit and we probably won the third period,” he said.
Vernon hosted the Warriors Saturday night at Wesbild Centre.
The Trail Smoke Eaters (11-17-0-1) visit Wesbild for a rare Thursday-nighter.