After four consecutive losses to the Highway 97 rival West Kelowna Warriors, the Vipers finally emerged victorious on Saturday night.
In what was a back and forth affair in BCHL action at Kal Tire Place, Vernon would get the scoring going early, with Walker Erickson’s 13th finding the back of the net just two minutes in.
Reagan Milburn would double the lead five minutes later, slotting home his 13th of the season, as Vernon peppered Warriors goalie Justin Katz with 14 shots in the frame.
Aiden Reeves got one back for West Kelowna with a blocker side shot through Vipers’ Roan Clarke five minutes into the second.
Then, just a minute and a half later, Hank Cleaves would restore the Vipers two goal lead with his eighth of the year.
Late in the second, Jonathan Horn’s high hit on Nic Porchetta led to a five minute power play for the Warriors, where they took advantage, with Riley Sharun lifting a backhand shot past Clarke.
Early in the third, Rylee Hlusiak’s tip deflection tied the game up at three.
Vipers would kill off a Griffen Barr penalty to keep things even, before, in the dying seconds of the game, Seiya Tananka-Campbell would collect his own rebound in front of the net and bury his 11th of the year with just 1.1 seconds on the clock.
Clarke made 17 saves on the night, while Katz was busy on the other end, stopping 35 Viper shots.
The victory for the Vipers was the first in five meetings against the Warriors and improved their record to 19-18-0-4, now five points up the Trail Smoke Eaters.
The Warriors fall to 22-15-4, in a tie with the Prince George Spruce Kings for fourth in the conference.
Next up for Vernon is a weekend set on the Island, where they battle the Powell River Kings on Friday and the Nanaimo Clippers on Saturday. Both games puck drop is slated for 7 p.m.
For more information on the team, visit vernonvipers.com