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Vipers clinch playoff spot
After missing the playoffs the last two years, the Vernon Vipers have punched their ticket to the BCHL post-season.
Needing a single digit to make the post-season, the Vipers brushed back the Salmon Arm SilverBacks 3-2 in overtime before 1,990 fans Friday night at Kal Tire Place.
TJ Dumonceaux banged in a loose puck on a wild scramble just outside the SilverBack crease, with 1:44 left in the first overtime. D-man Kenny Citron carried the puck deep into the Salmon Arm zone, cut to the net and was denied by goalie Angus Richmond, who came out three feet to challenge for the puck. Citron and Dumonceaux whacked away at the loose puck for a good five seconds.
The Vipers moved to 29-16-4-6, a solid third spot in the Interior Division. The fifth-place SilverBacks shifted to within four points of the Merritt Centennials, with one game in hand. The Cents, who hosted the SilverBacks Saturday night, lost 5-3 to the West Kelowna Warriors Friday night.
Colton Sparrow and d-man Josh Bryan also scored for the Vipers, who fell behind 2-0 midway through the opening period. Vernon product Alex Gillies and league-leading pointgetter Landon Smith produced the SilverBack snipes.
Vernon entertained the Division-leading Penticton Vees Saturday night and visit the Trail Smoke Eaters Wednesday night. The Vees iced the Smokies 4-2 Friday night to stay two points ahead of the second-place Warriors.
Please see Sunday's Morning Star for more Viper coverage.