The South Okanagan Events Centre welcomes another clash between the Penticton Vees and Vernon Vipers at 6 p.m.
Fourteen points separate the teams and the Vees have no intention of being too good of hosts and look to improve on their 3-1-0 record against their Interior Division rivals. The also look to avoid losing two straight, which the Vees have done just once this season.
In the four games against the Vipers, the Vees have a 12-7 edge in goals.
The most dangerous Vees in this season series have been Taylor Ward with three goals and six points and Grant Cruikshank, who has lit the lamp four times. Mat Robson has played every game and has made 104 saves on 111 shots against the Vipers.
The Vipers lineup is expected to feature up to four affiliate players as Jimmy Lambert has strepthroat and is 50-50 for playing. He has 13 goals and 29 points in 32 games and has developed into a super star. Leading up to the game, Vipers coach-GM Mark Ferner had been working the phone to fill his roster as he will be without Luke Gingras, Riley Brandt and Christian Cakebread, who left after accepting a scholarship to Niagara University in New York effective immediately. Brandt is out six weeks with a broken thumb and Gingras is sidelined with a broken thumb and four-game suspension.
Right wing Steven Jandric leads the Vipers with 18 goals and 31 points in 38 games. In his last six games, he has sniped seven goals and 10 points. The Vipers have also received strong goaltending from Darion Hanson, who joined the Vipers from the North American Hockey League. The East Bethel, Minn., product and Union Dutchmen commit is 7-1-0-1 with a 1.91 goals against average and .943 save percentage.
-Written with files from the Vernon Morning Star.