The defending champion Surrey Eagles stopped the Vernon Vipers 7-4 in B.C. Hockey League play before 1,650 fans Saturday night at Kal Tire Place.
Both teams had reason to show signs of weariness after playing less than 24 hours before in Surrey (4-1 Viper win), but instead put on a highly entertaining offensive show with loads of scoring chances.
Defenceman Ryan Fraser Lee sparked the Mainland Division-leading Eagles (5-3) with 2+2, while Jonah Renouf and Nic Pierog also scored twice and Mitchell Fyffe once. Fyffe and Pierog bagged empty-netters 45 seconds apart as the Vipers pulled goalie Austin Smith in favour of a sixth attacker on a late powerplay.
Michael McNicholas (2), Mason Blacklock and Demico Hannoun responded for the Vipers (3-3-1-2), who outshot the Eagles 37-30.
McNicholas opened the scoring with a top-shelf beauty from the mid slot 2:09 into the game, while Blacklock made it 2-0 four minutes laterr when he batted a pass out of mid-air past Victor Adamo, who recorded several dazzling saves on the night.
Surrey countered 99 seconds later when Renouf converted a wrister. The Eagles equalized two minutes later when Pierog beat Smith with a high wrister, on another powerplay. Fraser-Lee put Surrey ahead on a soft point offering past a screened Smith three minutes after the deadlock goal.
McNicholas tied it off a face-off win, but the shifty Renouf sent the Eagles ahead from in tight for the final second-period snipe.
Vernon tied things 85 seconds into the third period when Jason Bird`s bomb from the point bounced off the end boards to Hannoun,who quickly hammered it home. Fraser-Lee netted the eventual winner with 8:40 remaining.
Please see Wednesday`s Morning Star for further Viper coverage.