Wednesday, March 17, 2010

BCHL PLAYOFFS: Vipers Grab 3-2 Series Lead:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

BCHL PLAYOFFS: Vipers grab 3-2 series lead

By Kevin Mitchell - Vernon Morning Star

Published: March 16, 2010

The Vernon Vipers shut out the stubborn Quesnel Millionaires 4-0 in B.C. Hockey League Interior Conference semifinal series action before 1,615 fans Monday night at Wesbild Centre.

The Conference-champion Vipers, who finished 55 points ahead of the Mills, now lead the best-of-seven series 3-2. Game 6 goes Tuesday night in Quesnel.

First star Connor Jones opened the scoring shorthanded at 10:01 of the first period when he beat Quesnel goalie Kirby Halcrow to a loose puck behind the net and buried his third of the playoffs on an easy wrap-around.

Mike Collins converted a rebound four minutes later after Braden Pimm riverdanced around rookie defenceman Ryan Stanyer and shot from the low slot.

Second star Rob Short, who showed great hustle all night and rocked former teammate Eliot Raibl with the hardest hit of the night, struck the crossbar with 40 seconds left in the period.

Vernon went up 3-0 two minutes into the second period when Kellen Jones pounced on a rebound in the mid slot after a blast by Sahir Gill. Connor Jones drew the second assist.

Kellen Jones stripped rookie Chris Kerr of the puck deep in the Mills’ zone and just failed on a deke attempt with eight minutes remaining in the period. Five minutes later, Short just missed from the side of the net after a nifty feed by Pimm.

Cole Ikkala completed the offence with 1:36 remaining in the game, snapping a 65-footer into an empty net as Halcrow tried diving back into his cage after starting toward the bench for a sixth attacker. It was Ikkala’s third of the post-season.

There were two entertaining fights in the late going. Lightweights Dylan Walchuk of the Vipers and Branden Redschlag battled to a draw with Redschlag earning the take-down, while David Robinson of Vernon won a unanimous decision over Brandon Watson in a middleweight tilt.

Robinson was assaulted with just about every Criminal Code offence in the book as he stood his ground in the Quesnel crease all night.

The Vipers outshot the Mills 38-26 with Graeme Gordon going the distance for the win and second star honours.

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