Vernon, BC: Matt Kowalski had a pair of goals including a highlight reel goal in the 3rd, but it wasn’t enough as the Vernon Vipers fell to the Surrey Eagles 4-3.
It was a pretty fast moving first period with both teams getting opportunities. The Vipers really had a focus of funneling pucks to the net and it was a big key in the first. The Eagles drew first blood as Jimmy Darby would spot Cristophe Tellier on the left post and he scored his 14th of the season to make it 1-0. The Vipers had a great response following the goal and pushed the pace. A bouncing puck in the Surrey slot found Matt Kowalski in front and he’d make to mistake to tie the game at one 83 seconds after the Eagles took the lead. The Vipers ended the period peppering the Surrey goal with 18 shots. Their 18th would find the back of the net as Dawson Holt ripped home a shot from the right circle with just 27 seconds remaining.
The Vipers kept up the pressure in the 2nd period and heavily out chanced the visiting team. Thomas Scarfone made a handful of big saves to keep his team in it. That proved important as the Eagles powerplay late in the period would get the game tied up as Brandon Santa Juana snapped home a centering pass from the corner to make it 2-2 after 2 periods.
Midway through the 3rd period, the Vipers pressure continued to mount, but lady luck would rear the ugly head as a shot from Brett Bliss released a point shot that pinballed off of Porter and Viper defenceman and into the goal to make it 3-2. Just 8 seconds later, Matt Kowalski struck for his 2nd of the night off a great individual effort cutting down the left wing to beat Scarfone over the blocker to make it 3-3. Another Eagles powerplay would net them their 3rd lead of the night as a puck bounced around in the slot and fell on the stick of Cristophe Tellier who scored his 2nd of the night to make it 4-3. The Vipers had a late flurry to try equalize, but Scarfone stopped Marritt on a breakaway and the Vipers would run out of time.
The Vipers will look to shake this off as they head to Salmon Arm tomorrow night for a 6pm puck drop at the Shaw Centre.