The Vernon Vipers are Canada's Junior A hockey champions for a record-setting fifth time.
The Vipers received power-play goals from Braden Pimm and Kyle Bigos and a shutout performance from netminder Andrew Hammond on Sunday in a 2-0 RBC Cup-clinching victory over the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League's Humboldt Broncos.
The game remained scoreless until the 12:33 mark of the second period, when Pimm tapped a puck out of mid-air and past Broncos goaltender Mathieu Larochelle. Cory Kane and Kevin Kraus picked up assists on the play.
It would take nearly another 20 minutes of play before the Vipers would add the insurance marker. Tournament MVP and Top Defensive Player Kyle Bigos started and finished the play on a third period man advantage, deking multiple defenders as he carried the puck from his left point position before sliding the puck past Larcochelle.
In net, Hammond was solid when called upon, turning aside 27 Broncos' shots for his 10th consecutive postseason victory. A star throughout Vernon's Fred Page and Doyle Cup runs, the Surrey, B.C. native finished the tournament with a 1.94 goals-against average an .914 save percentage.
With the win, the Vipers denied Humboldt their second consecutive National Championship. Vernon now leads the overall standings for RBC Cup wins with five. They had previously hoisted the trophy in 1990, 1991, 1996 and 1999.