Vernon, BC: The Vipers had goals from three different players and Aidan Porter was solid making 27 saves as the Vernon defeated Merritt 3-2.
Both teams a goal of getting off to a good start in the first period and the Cents did a nice job in the first 10 minutes, outshooting the Vipers 5-1 in the early going. Both teams hit goal posts and killed off early powerplay chances. The Vipers PK was been solid the last few games and came up clutch midway thru the period and just after a penalty expired, Teddy Wooding sprung Connor Marritt away on a breakaway and he snapped a hard low shot to the blocker side of Austin Roden to give the Vipers a 1-0 lead. That score would hold up as the Vipers outshot the Cents 7-1 the rest of the frame.
The Vipers powerplay had struggled coming into the night, but were able to execute off the rush as Jesse Lansdell set up Matt Kowalski to give the Vipers a crucial 2-0 lead. The Cents powerplay cut the deficit to 1 as a point shot from Mike Van Unen was deflected by Christian Sabin in front and it was 2-1 midway through the period. Both goaltenders stood tall through the remainder of the period and the Vipers carried the 1 goal lead into the dressing room after 40 minutes.
In the third the Vipers faced a big challenge as they were shorthanded 5 on 3 for 50 seconds. The PK killed both sequences off and that seemed to spark the team. They had a good chance on a powerplay of their own and moved the puck around with vigor, but Roden made a couple of big saves to keep it 2-1. Alex Swetlikoff increased the lead back to 2 as he made a strong move down the right wing and slipped it under Roden to make it 3-1. That 2 goal lead was shortlived as Brady Ziemers shot from the boards made its way through traffic to make it 3-2. The Cents would pull their goalie in an attempt to draw even, but the Vipers outlasted the Cents as things got chippy at the buzzer.
Here’s the Scoring Summary:
VER – Connor Marritt (6) – Teddy Wooding (12) – 11:43
VER – Matt Kowalski (8) – Jesse Lansdell (8), Jagger Williamson (13) – 6:43 (PP)
MER – Christian Sabin (7) – Mike Van Unen (13), Nick Wicks (23) – 9:50 (PP)
VER – Alex Swetlikoff (7) – Elan Bar Lev Wise (12) – 13:29
MER – Brady Ziemer (2) – Frazer Dodd (7) – 15:07
The Vipers welcome the Wenatchee Wild to Kal Tire Place Saturday night for Teddy Bear Toss Night.