The Vernon Vipers brushed back the Penticton Vees 3-1 in B.C. Hockey League play Wednesday night at Kal Tire Place.
Brendan Persley, with his first of the season, defenceman Mark Hamilton (his second) and ex-Vee Dexter Dancs, with his fourth of the year, and the goal of the night, handled the offence as Vernon won their first game on home ice. The Vipers (2-2-1-2) climbed out of the Interior Conference cellar into a share of third place with the Trail Smoke Eaters (3-3-0-1), one point behind the 4-2 Vees.
Max Coatta wired a wrister from the high slot, roof daddy on Viper goalie Austin Smith, to make it 1-1 wth 35 seconds left in the second period. Coatta, a Minnesota rookie, leads Penticton with six goals.
Persley converted a two-on-one with newbie defenceman Riley Guenther (Prince Albert Raiders, WHL) late in the first period after some tight checking at both ends.
Hamilton’s wrist shot from the left point deflected off a Vee and past goalie Hunter Miska for the winner midway through the third period. Demico Hannoun and Mason Blacklock drew assists.
Dancs took a drop pass from Hannoun just inside the Penticton blueline, skated to the outside, cut around a d-man and patiently waited for Miska to make a move before hitting the empty net, with five minutes remaining.
Logan Mick and Hannoun tossed the heaviest Viper checks on the night with Hannoun rocking rookie d-man Jarod Hilderman in the left corner with 2:18 to play.
The Vipers begin a home and home series with the defending BCHL champion Surrey Eagles starting Friday night in Surrey. The Eagles visit Kal Tire Place Saturday night.