Jones hat trick leads Vipers to Doyle Cup victory

Connor Jones and the Vernon Vipers put an exclamation point on their quest to earn a spot in the RBC Cup, defeating the Grand Prairie Storm by a 5-2 score to sweep their Doyle Cup series with the Alberta Junior Hockey League champs.

Jones struck twice in the first period to spot the Vipers and two-goal lead, first tallying his second shorthanded goal in as many nights before potting an even strength marker at 12:37. Kellen Jones assisted on both goals.

The Storm briefly tied the game midway through the second period after Doug Reid and Morgan MacLean scored 5:36 apart, but Vipers forward Braden Pimm put the ball back in Vernon's court at the 11:00 mark.

That score held until late in the third period, when Sahir Gill tallied on the power-play. Connor Jones capped the scoring with his hat trick goal into an empty net moments later.

Vipers netminder Andrew Hammond turned aside 29 of 31 shots in the victory.

With the win, the Vipers assured themselves the Pacific berth in the 2009 RBC Cup, which begins May 2nd. Vernon will join BCHL counterparts Victoria, the tournament hosts, at the event.