Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Vipers In Wild Interior Mix:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers in wild Interior mix

Kevin Mitchell

Nov. 7, 2018 

Local Sports

One minute you’re in first place. Some 20 minutes later, you’re dead last.

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So it goes in the berserk Interior Division of the B.C. Hockey League.

“I’ve never seen it so tight,” said Vernon Vipers head coach/GM Mark Ferner. “That’s the way it should be. There are no easy points.”

The Vipers went 1-for-2 on a weekend Mainland Division road trip, icing the Langley Rivermen 5-1 Saturday night after losing 4-1 to the Coquitlam Express 24 hours earlier.

Vernon is fifth in the seven-team Interior loop at 8-6-4-2, tied with the defending league champion Wenatchee Wild. The Penticton Vees are one point ahead of both Vernon and Wenatchee.

The West Kelowna Warriors, who changed coaches multiple times and survived a player walkout in training camp, top the table at 13-7-0-1, tied with the Merritt Centennials. The Salmon Arm Silverbacks are third, two points back of the co-leader.

Vernon hosts the Vees Wednesday night at Kal Tire Place before visiting the Cents Friday night.

“Give Coquitlam credit, they’re a good team,” said Ferner of the 14-6-1 Express. “We were better all around against Langley (9-10-1). We worked harder and longer. We’re still learning to work and play the game consistently for 60 minutes. Hopefully, we can build on that win.”

Teddy Wooding scored twice and Aidan Porter recorded 19 saves before 700 fans at George Preston Arena in Langley.

Wooding poked home a loose puck at the side of the net for his fifth goal of the year at 5:42 of the first period. Assists went to linemates Ben Helgeson and Connor Marritt.

The Vipers defence was rock solid, paying extra attention to Langley star Ethan Leyh, a 17-year-old University of Wisconsin Badgers commit who leads the Rivermen with 17 points. Vernon blocked several shots and allowed just four on goal.

The Vipers executed a set play midway through the second stanza as they busted in down the right wing. Ben Sanderson fed Elan Bar-Lev-Wise, whose shot was stopped by Braedon Fleming before Alex Swetlikoff knocked home the rebound for his sixth of the season.

The Rivermen cut the deficit late in the period as Daneel Lategan deflected a point shot straight down between the legs of Porter. It was Letegan’s fifth with Alec Capstick and Leyh earning helpers.

The Snakes converted on an early power play in the third period as Josh Latta finished off a rebound in front with d-man Carver Watson and captain Jagger Williamson collecting assists.

Seven minutes later, Coleton Bilodeau stepped out of the penalty box and buried his second of the year on a 2-on-1 with Latta. That snipe chased Fleming with Alex Rolfe taking over net duties.

Bilodeau accepted a scrap offer by Brian Scoville and held his own in his BCHL fight with 2:44 remaining.

Wooding, named first star ahead of Latta, completed the offence with a snap shot from the right circle with 51 seconds to play.

In Coquitlam, the Express outshot the Vipers 37-32 and got goals from Regan Kimens (7th), Christian Sanda (10th), Connor Gregga (6th) and Joshua Wildauer (9th).

Latta replied for Vernon with the Express leading 3-0 midway through the final 20 minutes. Coquitlam goalie Clay Stevenson stoned Williamson on a penalty shot midway through the second period with Williamson trying to shoot five-hole before 575 fans at the Poirier Sports & Leisure Centre.

Watson took on Wildauer in the game’s only tilt. Porter went the distance in net.

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