Austin Adamson scored twice as the Vernon Vipers shut out the Nanaimo Clippers 3-0 before 1,800 B.C. Hockey League fans Saturday night at Kal Tire Place.
Adamson, a former Western Leaguer, broke a scoreless tie at 2:06 of the third period on a backhander past Evan DeBrouwer from close range.
Niko Karamanis completed a gorgeous passing play with Jagger Williamson and Connor Clouston five minutes later for his 16th snipe of the season.
Adamson added further insurance with 5:37 to play on another bang-bang play to the left side of DeBrouwer. Ryan Brushett drew the assist on Adamson’s 12th goal of the year.
Things were tight checking for 40 minutes with Nanaimo forward Jamie Collins getting stoned by Viper goalie Darion Hanson on a shorthanded breakaway chance in the first period. Hanson went to 11-2.
The game’s only scrap occurred late in the third period after Clipper d-man Sean Buchanan rocked Viper forward Jesse Lansdell into the end boards behind DeBrouwer. Viper monster blueliner Shane Kelly – wearing a full face shield after requiring stitches in his mouth from an errant puck two games ago – tossed his helmet and gloves aside as he raced towards Buchanan from the point. Kelly landed a few bombs and headed straight to the dressing room.
Arena staff took about 10 minutes to repair a hole in the Total Restoration signage which was damaged by Buchanan’s check on Lansdell.
The Clippers outshot the Snakes 39-30. Vernon improved to 25-15-4-4, while Nanaimo dipped to 18-24-5-1. The Vipers moved to within eight points of the Interior Division-leading Penticton Vees, 6-3 losers to the host Trail Smoke Eaters. Nanaimo captain Spencer Hewson, a Vernon minor hockey grad, watched in civvies due to a separated shoulder. Vernon’s Matt Kowalski saw spot duty on the Clippers’ fourth line.
Vernon takes on the Prince George Spruce Kings, while Nanaimo visits the Surrey Eagles in Sunday afternoon tilts. The Salmon Arm Silverbacks upended the Spruce Kings 3-1 Saturday night at the Shaw Centre.