Trail, BC: For the second straight night the Vernon Vipers put forward a solid 60 minutes, but for the second straight night it was the opportunistic Smoke Eaters who would come away with the win.
The Vipers started the game shorthanded and successfully killed it off. Thirty-three seconds later, a Christian Felton point shot was deflected in the slot and through the legs of Logan Terness to make it 1-0. It was a pretty even period the rest of the way as both teams were strong in their structures. Trail would even the game on a late powerplay as Philippe Lapointe tipped in a Kent Johnson shot to make it 1-1 after 1.
In the second period, it was pretty much controlled by the Vipers. If they didn’t have bad luck they’d have no luck as Logan Terness stood on his head. The Vipers were also stopped by a pair of goal posts. Terness made a highlight reel paddle save to keep the game scoreless. The Vipers were relentless with their forecheck and there were plenty of turnovers to be had. It wasn’t until the final minute where the pressure paid off as Matt Kowalski picked the pocket of Johnson, deferred to JoJo Tananka-Campbell who returned it and Kowalski buried to give his team a 2-1 lead after 2 periods.
The Smokies drew even moments after a powerplay expired as Tyler Ghirardosi converted from a pass from behind the net. Ghirardosi would add another one with a slap shot that beat James Porter Jr. to make it 3-2. The Vipers pushed for the equalizer, but couldn’t get the game tied as they fell 3-2.
The Vipers will head to Prince George to take on the Spruce Kings on Wednesday night at the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena