Vernon’s Vipers are spewing venom against Wenatchee.
The Snakes sank their teeth into a 3-0, Game 4 win against the Wild Wednesday before 2,190 fans at Kal Tire Place. The victory gives Vernon a three games to one lead in the best-of-seven B.C. Hockey League Interior Conference final (league semifinal).
Game 5 goes Friday at the Town Toyota Centre in Wenatchee.
If the Vipers win, they advance to the Fred Page Cup championship for the first time since 2014. If the Wild are victorious, it would force Game 6 Sunday at 7 p.m. at Kal Tire Place. The defending champion Wild are trying to get back to the league championship and a rematch with the Prince George Spruce Kings.
The Vipers were dealt a huge blow less than two hours before Game 4 when the league announced six-foot-six defenceman Landon Fuller was suspended three games for a hit on Wenatchee forward Brian Adams in Game 3.
Adams did not play Wednesday. Defenceman Will Dow-Kenny drew into the Vipers lineup for his first post-season action, replacing Fuller.
Vernon scored in each period Wednesday.
Matt Kowalski (sixth), in the first period, Connor Marritt (fourth, second period) and Josh Latta (sixth), into an empty net, scored the goals to support the stellar goaltending of Aidan Porter, who made 16 saves in his 16th consecutive game for his first BCHL playoff shutout.
The Vipers fired 24 shots at Austin Park.
After being shutout in Game 2, the Vipers’ offence erupted for seven goals back home in a 7-2 romp in Game 3 Tuesday.
With Vernon leading 2-1 in the second period on goals from Logan Cash and Ben Sanderson, Fuller scored his first goal of the year agt 13:57 to give Vernon a 3-1 lead. Tyler Ho – back in the lineup after missing six games – scored his first of the post-season 20 seconds later to put the Snakes up by three.
MIchael Young, Teddy Wooding and Latta scored in the third.
The winner of Vernon-Wenatchee will play the Spruce Kings for the Fred Page Cup.
Prince George is 12-1 in the playoffs, and have won nine in a row.