Merritt, BC: Owen Kim had a three assist night, Erik Pastro scored a goal and an assist and Linden Burrett tallied his first BCHL goal, which stood up as the game winner as the Vipers won their 13th game of the season, 4-2 over the Merritt Centennials.
The game followed a theme that these two teams have followed through four meetings. They are highly contested games with a lot of chances. The Vipers for the fourth time needed four goals to defeat Merritt.
Unlike the last time the Vipers were in the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena, they heavily outshot the Cents in victory.
"That's a really tough game to win on the road," says Assistant Coach of the Vipers Colton Sparrow. "This group found a way to get it done. We made our share of mistakes and were far from perfect. But their was a lot of courage, some big performances and our penalty kill was excellent."
During a four minute double minor penalty, Owen Kim would set up Luke Bibby for his 5th goal of the season. It was the second shorthanded goal of the year for Vernon.
Connor Elliott had a big goal in the last minute of the second period which sent the game to the intermission tied.
Linden Burrett scored the game winner midway through the third period after a face off win by Owen Kim.
"It's great to get that first one," says Burrett. "It was a great screen by Mikan in front. What makes it even better was getting the win."
Erik Pastro hit the empty net to seal the victory.
Ethan David has 19 saves on 21 shots for his 10th win of the season.
Dylan Lariviere had a pair of goals for Merritt. Andrew Ballantyne had 36 saves on 39 shots.
The Vipers won the special teams battle despite going 0 for 4 on the powerplay. Their PK was 3 for 3.
It's a quick turn around for Vernon who will head to Salmon Arm to finish off their 3-game road trip tomorrow night at the Shaw Centre at 6pm.