It was a tough first two points of the B.C. Hockey League season for the Vernon Vipers.
The Snakes defeated the hometown Prince George Spruce Kings 5-1 Saturday, Oct. 1, in the back end of a weekend doubleheader in B.C.’s northern capital (PG won 4-2 Friday), but it came at the cost of two players.
Centre Will Blackburn sustained an injury along the boards late in the contest. Paramedics and medical staff helped support Blackburn, who was taken to a Prince George hospital after waiting an hour for an ambulance according to a Tweet by the Spruce Kings. He was cleared to return home with the team.
A decision was made to end the game with just under three minutes remaining. It was Prince George’s first loss of the year (3-1).
Earlier in the period, Colton Cameron of the Spruce Kings was assessed a five-minute major for a blow to the head penalty, and a game misconduct, after a hit on Vipers’ forward Julian Facchinelli, who left the game and did not return. Vernon was leading 4-0 at the time.
Facchinelli scored twice before leaving the game. Centre Hank Cleaves scored his first BCHL goal, Dylan Compton and Seiya Tanaka-Campbell also scored for Vernon.
John Herrington spoiled Roan Clarke’s shutout bid at 10:18 of the third period.
Clarke finished with 25 saves while Aidan Feddema made 19 stops for the Spruce Kings.
Vernon (1-3) returns home for a weekend doubleheader, starting with a game Friday, Oct. 7, against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (7 p.m., Kal Tire Place), and a date 24 hours later with the Victoria Grizzlies ( 6 p.m., KTP).