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Vipers Drop 6-3 Decision in Preseason Opener

Salmon Arm, BC:  The first preseason game of the year was as you'd expect with only 2 games of BCHL experience in the lineup.  It had it's share of ups and just as many downs as the Vipers fell 6-3 in Salmon Arm.

"We had some very good moments in tonight's game," says Head Coach and GM of the Vipers Jason McKee.  "Unfortunately we had a bad 10 minutes in the second period which ultimately cost us the game."

The two teams traded goals in the first period as Owen Beckner struck for the Backs and Ethan Merner responding in the final minute of the frame.  Shots finished 11-11.

Salmon Arm's offense took advantage of the long change in the second as Beckner scored his second of the night set up by Brandon Santa Juana.  Late in the period the Backs rattled off three goals in 4 minutes as Nathan Mackie, Nic Leggett and Mathieu Cobetto-Roy found the twine.

Ludovik Tardif scored his first goal of the preseason finishing off a nice play set up by Hank Cleaves.  An unfortunate bounce restored the four-goal lead for the Backs as Nathan Mackie converted on strange bounce from behind the net.  Dane Westen scored his first goal of the preseason late, but that's as close as the Vipers would come.

"There were some very good individual efforts tonight which was nice to see," says McKee.  "That being said it's very early and mistakes are going to happen.  We move forward into tomorrow and look to improve during practice."

Rookie netminder Carter Richardson made 30 saves on 33 shots, while Ethan David turned aside 32 of 38.

The Vipers exhibition schedule resumes Tuesday night as they welcome the Silverbacks for a 7pm puck drop.