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Vernon Vipers edge Salmon Arm in BCHL home opener

Teams split weekend home-and-home series
Vernon Vipers forward Luke Buss (10) fights off a check from Salmon Arm defender Owen Desilets to beat Silverbacks goalie Owen Say for the game’s opening goal during Vernon’s 4-3 BCHL overtime win Saturday, Oct. 16, at Kal Tire Place. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photography)

It took a little extra time for the Vernon Vipers to pick up their first B.C. Hockey League win of the new season.

Exactly 22 seconds of extra time.

Cameron MacDonald fired in the game-winner on a set-up from captain Jojo Tanaka-Campbell at 22 seconds of overtime as the Vipers won their home opener Saturday, Oct. 16, 4-3, over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in front of 1,500 fans at Kal Tire Place.

The win gave Vernon (1-2) a split of the weekend home-and-home series with the Gorillas, who won their home opener Friday at the Shaw Centre, 4-2. Salmon Arm is 2-0-1.

The Vipers jumped out to a 2-0 lead Saturday on goals from Luke Buss at 5:34 of the first period, and Ryan Shostak at 8:34 of the second on a powerplay.

The Silverbacks would tie the contest before the end of the middle frame on goals from Noah Serdachny and Lucas Matta, then take the lead at 12:58 of the third period on Simon Tassy’s fifth goal of the young season.

Reagan Milburn forced overtime for Vernon less than two minutes later.

Roan Clarke made 29 saves to earn the victory in goal for the Vipers while Owen Say stopped 20 shots for Salmon Arm.

Three of Tassy’s five goals came in the Friday night win in front of 750 at the Shaw Centre while Brandon Santa Juana had the other for Salmon Arm.

Tanaka-Campbell and Buss scored for Vernon, who were outshot 31-22 by the Silverbacks. Say picked up the win, Clarke was tagged with the loss.

Both teams will take part in the BCHL Showcase event this coming week in Chilliwack.

The Silverbacks will face the Coquitlam Express Wednesday, Oct. 20, and take on the Nanaimo Clippers Thursday, Oct. 21. Both games start at 4 p.m.

Vernon will meet the host Chilliwack Chiefs Saturday, Oct. 23, at 7:30 p.m., then play the Alberni Valley Bulldogs Sunday, Oct. 24, at 11 a.m.

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