Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Vipers Take Series Lead:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers take series lead

Published: March 14, 2011

Patrick McGillis scored twice as the Vernon Vipers grounded the visiting Westside Warriors 7-1 Monday night, grabbing a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven BCHL Interior Conference semifinal series.

Game 6 in the series goes Tuesday night at Royal LePage Place in West Kelowna. A seventh game, if necessary, would be played back at Wesbild Centre in Vernon.

The Vipers, whose often popgun powerplay clicked at 3-for-8, converted some gorgeous goals in their biggest offensive output of the series. McGillis took a cross-ice pass from Dylan Walchuk and buried a shot to the left of goalie Kevin Boyle, making it 3-0 midway through the second period. Boyle left the game with an apparent hamstring injury, giving way to Cole Holowenko.

McGillis put Vernon up 5-0 on a sweet breakaway 1:53 into the third, going forehand, backhand and sliding the puck five-hole on Holowenko, much to the delight of 1,469 fans at a surprisingly noisy Wesbild Centre, the Viper fans doing their best to drown out the Warrior supporters.

Captain David Robinson, with his first goal of the series, opened the scoring at 8:30 of the second period on a backhander to the right side of Boyle.

Mike Zalewski, on a New York dangle in front after a great feed by Darren Nowick, pushed Vernon's lead to 2-0 five minutes later. Defenceman Max Mowat had chipped a skyscraper pass into the Westside zone, where John Knisley retrieved the puck and found Nowick in the high slot.

Nowick, from Mowat, d-man Adam Thompson, on a powerplay point shot, and Walchuk, who went roof daddy after a slick pass from d-man Malcolm Lyles, completed the Vipers' offence.

Vernon goalie Kirby Halcrow made several all-planet saves one night after his 20th birthday to frustrate the Warriors. Halcrow lost his shutout bid with 58 seconds left when Tyler French batted in a powerplay marker, with Viper blueliner Ryan Renz off for a kneeing major on Tyler Krause.

Renz was challenged by monster d-man Michael King after the knee on Krause at the Westside blueline, and held his own in a quick scrap.

The series winner will meet the Salmon Arm SilverBacks, who iced the Penticton Vees 4-2 to take that semifinal series in five games.

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