Sports

Snakes start RBC Cup preparations

Goalie Austin Smith makes a stop during a Vernon Vipers practise Friday at the Civic Arena as the team begins its preparations for the RBC Cup tournament May 10-18 at Kal Tire Place. - Lisa Vander Velde/Morning Star
Goalie Austin Smith makes a stop during a Vernon Vipers practise Friday at the Civic Arena as the team begins its preparations for the RBC Cup tournament May 10-18 at Kal Tire Place.
— image credit: Lisa Vander Velde/Morning Star

Thin Lizzy’s Phillip Lynott sang it best: “The boys are back in town.”

After a forgetful Fred Page Cup loss in the B.C. Hockey League final against the Coquitlam Express, the Vernon Vipers have returned from a week of relaxation.

“It felt so good to go home again,” said Liam Coughlin, a Boston native. “I haven’t been home since Christmas.”

Head coach/GM Jason Williamson and his coaching staff elected to give the team some much needed time off to charge the batteries and enjoy the holidays before the RBC Cup, May 10-18 at Kal Tire Place.

“Today (Friday) was our second practice. I skated them pretty hard last night. Today we are going to spend some time on small area skill stuff and worry about our systems later on,” said Williamson.

Fellow American Kenny Citron spent Easter in his hometown of Hartsdale, N.Y. He got the chance to take in Game 1 of the Philadelphia Flyers-New York Rangers series.

“It was so awesome. Rangers are my team; Madison Square Garden was sweet,” said Citron, overjoyed with the Rangers’ 4-1 victory.

Michael McNicholas, a Manhattan Beach, Calif. product, didn’t get the chance to head home for Easter like most of his teammates.

“I didn’t think a week was long enough to head down there. I went to Vancouver instead, saw a lot of friends, still had a great time,” said McNicholas, who spent time with former teammates from the Nanaimo Clippers.

“I had dinner with my billets from last year and attended my girlfriend’s brother’s wedding. It was a good break.”

It wasn’t just the players who had to shake off the rust, as Williamson and assistant coach Dave Robinson were out there on the Civic Arena ice in full equipment with their players Friday.

“Today was a bit of a fun day. We will see how the legs feel tomorrow,” said Williamson.

The Vipers are practising at the Civic as Kal Tire Place is prepared for the RBC Cup tournament.

 

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