Newcomer Colton McCarthy scored the winner as the Vernon Vipers grounded the Victoria Grizzlies 5-1 in B.C. Hockey League action before 1,650 fans Sunday afternoon at Kal Tire Place.
McCarthy, who has been skating with the Vipers for two weeks since leaving the Western Hockey League Prince Albert Raiders, banged in a rebound from in tight after Victoria goalie Michael Stiliadis stopped Anthony Latina’s shot with 5:40 left in the second period.
McCarthy, an 18-year-old centre from Salmon Arm, compiled six goals and 11 points in 102 games with the WHL Moose Jaw Warriors before being traded to Prince Albert. The 6-foot, 190-pounder quit the Raiders after eight games this season.
T.J. Dumonceaux put the Vipers up 1-0 with 4:28 left in the opening period, going bar down on a rebound of a Luke Shiplo shot, with 54 seconds remaining in Cole Pickup’s minor penalty.
The Vipers (12-7-1-1), who are fourth in the Interior Division, rang up three snipes in 2:04 in the third with Trevor Fidler deflecting Latina’s shot past Stiliadis early in the frame. Shiplo took a feed from Liam Finlay and one-handed a rebound of his own shot past the Grizz goalie in close, while Finlay connected on a bang-bang play with linemate Jagger Williamson for the 5-0 goal.
Victoria, with several top-six forwards playing hurt, were playing their third road game in a row after falling 3-2 in overtime Saturday night to the West Kelowna Warriors. Wisconsin product Brett Gruber netted his team-high 10th goal of the year, on a Victoria powerplay midway through the third.
The Grizzlies dipped to 8-8-0-4, fourth in the Island Division.
See Wednesday’s Morning Star for further Viper coverage.