Vernon, BC: Matt Kowalski had a pair of goals and Reilly Herbst turned aside 16 of 17 as the Vernon Vipers capped off a successful weekend with a 4-1 win over the Chilliwack Chiefs.
The Vipers looked to build off some momentum built from the night before when they defeated the Merritt Centennials 5-2. The Vipers opened the scoring after Keigo Hachisuka caused a turnover at the Chilliwack blue line. Elan Barlevwise centered a puck that bounced to Ben Helgeson and following a nice deke, the Minnesota native had his 3rd of the season and the Vipers led 1-0. The Chiefs responded late in the period on a powerplay when a cross ice pass from Joey Larson was slowed up by Tanaka-Campbell, but still snapped home by Peter Reynolds, post and in and it was tied 1-1. It was just the third time all year, the Vipers penalty kill had surrendered a goal.
The Vipers looked really good in the second period. They gave up just 4 shots against in the period. 1 or 2 where of decent quality. The Vipers had a couple of powerplay opportunities in the period, but couldn't find the back of the net. It did however generate them momentum. Late in the period, Logan Cash used a stretch pass to send in Ryan Shostak who found Matt Kowalski heading to the front of the net and as he was falling poked it under Kolby Thornton to make it 2-1 after 2 periods.
In the third, the Vipers tightened up even more as they allowed just 3 shots against. The much maligned powerplay got a boost in a big way as Matt Kowalski with 5 minutes left was sprung on the left wing and let loose a perfect backhand shot that fooled Thornton and went right under the bar to make it 3-1. Connor Marritt would had his second empty netter of the season to give the Vipers the 4-1 win.
The Vipers will now hit the road on Wednesday when they travel to Merritt to take on the Centennials.