Vernon, BC: Matt Kowalski had quite a night with a 5 point performance that included a hat trick and a highlight reel goal as the Vipers rolled by the Bulldogs by a 7-3 score.
The Bulldogs would open the scoring moments after a powerplay expired as Dawson Tritt ripped home a shot from the right circle on their second shot of the game. The Vipers would go on to out shoot the Dawgs 7-1 over the next few minutes, but Luke Pearson was strong as the game hit the media timeout. The ensuing faceoff in the Bulldogs zone saw the Vipers dig a puck free from the wall and Matt Kowalski ripping home his 21st of the season to tie the game up at 1. A few minutes later, Landon Fuller would knock a shoot in down at his own blue line before springing Kowalski on a partial breakaway, he’d snap a low shot to the glove side of Pearson to make it 2-1. Against the flow of momentum the Bulldogs had a good shift along the wall as a centering pass was snapped home by Caige Sterzer to get the game equalized at 2. Moments after the tying goal a Trey Taylor point shot was tipped home by Max Bulawka for his first as a Viper and 16th of the season to make it 3-2 after 1 period.
The Vipers increased their lead early in period two as JoJo Tanaka-Campbell walked off the left wall and ripped a shot by the right arm of Luke Pearson to make it 4-2. The Vipers then found themselves in penalty trouble as they took 3 consecutive minor penalties that ate up just over 7 minutes. The PK unit was spectacular starting with Herbst and working all the way out. The Viper netminder made a number of strong saves, but none larger than a blocker save on the near side of the ice. The Vipers led 4-2 after 2.
It was on the 7th powerplay for Alberni Valley where they finally got through as Mitch Deelstra jumped on a rebound early in the period to make it 4-3. The Vipers powerplay was given an opportunity. At the 8 minute mark Landon Fuller tallied his 7th of the season as he jammed a puck off the back of the goaltender making it 5-3 and restoring the 2 goal lead. Moments after that, the Vipers added another as Jack Glen slung a hard pass to the front of the net and it was tapped in by Ben Sanderson to make it 6-3. The Vipers would add another in fantastic fashion as Matt Kowalski pulled off the “lacrosse”, “Michigan” style goal while on a powerplay to make it 7-3 and thats the way it would end.
The Vipers are in action Sunday afternoon as they make the short trip to Salmon Arm to take on the Silverbacks.