Vernon, BC: The Vernon Vipers will look to build upon two very strong efforts last week when they entertain the Alberni Valley Bulldogs for their only visit of the season.
The Vipers (21-17-1-1) come in after a big 7-3 win over the Wenatchee Wild on Sunday. What was most impressive in that win was they way the team went about their business. A night prior they put up a season high 53 shots and loss by a goal, the next day (less than 24 hours later) they had contributions from 7 different goal scorers. The other key piece to the victory was their ability to increase the lead to a point where Wenatchee just couldn’t recover. It was the 2nd highest offensive output of the season for the Vipers who put up 8 twice against Merritt. The Vipers made two deals at the trade deadline acquiring Max Bulawka from West Kelowna for Elan Bar-lev-Wise and acquiring the playing rights of goaltender Keegan Karki from the Cowichan Valley Capitals.
The Bulldogs (21-15-1-2) come into the game following a 3-2 overtime loss a night ago in Salmon Arm. The Dawgs sit 3 points up on Powell River for 3rd place in the Island Division and are 11 points behind the 2nd place Nanaimo Clippers. Alberni is 6-3-1-0 in their last 10 games. Three of those wins came on their last 3 in 3 swing through Wenatchee, Langley and Surrey. They have a two headed monster in terms of scoring with Ryan Doolin leading the team with 14 goals and 22 assists for 36 points, right behind him is Mitch Deelstra who has 18 goals and 17 assists for 35 points. In goal its been a full platoon in goal with 18 year olds Jackson Glassford and Luke Pearson separated by 1 game played. Glassford has the slight edge in save percentage and goals against average, while Pearson has 2 shutouts.
The last time these two teams played the Vipers topped the Dawgs 4-3 in a shootout. What was remarkable about that night was the Vipers had an AP goaltender in and ended a 7 game unbeaten streak at the Alberni Multiplex.
Click here to buy your tickets for tonight’s game. If you can’t make it we’ll have the game for you on 107.5 Beach Radio, Vernon Matters and HockeyTV starting at 5:45.