Friday, March 22, 2019

Vipers Looking To Gain An Edge On Home Ice:

This is in todays Morning Star newspaper:

Vipers looking to gain an edge on home ice

Jim Bailey

Trail Times

Friday, March 22, 2019

Hoke ice advantage? What home ice advantage?

The Vernon Vipers tied up the best-of-seven B.C. Hockey League Interior Division semifinal series at two games apiece with a 3-2 victory over the Trail Smoke Eaters March 20 at Cominco Arena.

The road team has won every game in the series, with the Vipers looking to snap that trend in Game 5 March 22 at Kal Tire Place (7 p.m.) Game 6 is back in Trail March 23. Game 7, if needed, would be March 25 in Vernon.

Defenceman Jack Judson scored his third of the post-season and what proved to be the game-winner with just under six minutes to play to give the Vipers a 3-2 lead. Vernon hemmed the Smoke Eaters in their own end, Jagger Williamson found Judson in the slot, and the Arizona State commit wired a snapshot past the glove of Trail goalie Donovan Buskey with 5:53 remaining in regulation.

Trail jumped out to a 2-0 lead with Owen Ozar converting a cross-ice pass from Braeden Tuck to beat a sparwling Aidan Porter at 5:45 of the first, Carter Jones made it 2-0 just 62 seconds later on a powerplay, firing a shot from the right hash mark over the shoulder of Porter.

But Williamson tallied his third of the series on an unassisted effort, breaking past the defenceman and going forehand-backhand on Buskey to cut the lead in half with 2:43 left in the opening frame.

Vipers defenceman Trey Taylor didn't waste any time in the second period, scoring just 13 seconds into the middle frame to tie it at two. Taylor fired a slap-shot glove side on Buskey for his first career BCHL playoff goal.

Trail outshot the Vipers 20-16 through two periods but couldn't find any momentum in the final frame. The Vipers held off the Smokies attack which included a 6-on-4 man-advantage in the final 35 seconds. With Trail goalie Buskey on the bench for the extra attacker, Judson took a tripping penalty to give Trail the two-man advantage, but to no avail.

Trail and Vernon each had 26 shots on goal, with the Smokies going 1-for-6 on the power play and
Vernon 0-for-2.

In Game 3 Tuesday, Jesse Lansdell scored his second of the game (fourth of the playoffs) at 18:48 to give Vernon a 4-3 win, capping a three-goal outburst in the final frame.

In their last three games Trail, counting the regular season, Vernon has scored nine times in the final 20 minutes.

Coleton Bilodeau and Connor Marritt scored 24 seconds apart at 3:09 and 3:33 to give Vernon a 3-2 edge. Jones tied the game at 13:51, setting the stage for Lansdell's heroics.

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