Vipers prairie-bound with 2-0 lead in Doyle Cup

With a maximum of three — and quite possibly just two — home games on tap in their Doyle Cup series against the Grand Prairie Storm, the Vernon Vipers knew that it was important to make hay while the sun shone on the Civic Arena last weekend. And the Vipers did just that, winning back-to-back games to send the series east with a commanding 2-0 lead.

On Friday, Vernon outshot the Storm by a wide margin (38-15) but squeeked out a 2-1 victory on a Connor Jones tally early in the third period. Grand Prairie held the lead briefly in Game 1, with ex-Prince George Spruce King and Surrey Eagle Morgan MacLean finding the back of the net at the 15:50 mark of the first. A Braden Pimm marker early in the second evened the score, setting up Jones' winner.

A night later, the Storm once again hit the scoreboard first if only briefly. After Bobby Tyson put his team ahead 5:09 into the first, the Vipers replied with a trio of goals from Sahir Gill and Kellen Jones (both on the power play) and Cameron Brodie before the end of the period. Vernon went on to take a 5-1 lead on tallies by Bryce Kakoske and Chris Crowell before Rob Short put the finish on a 6-2 win with an empty net goal. Shots and opportunities told the story again on Saturday, with the Vipers outshooting the Storm 40-23.

With the Vipers sweeping Games 1 and 2, the series shifts to Grand Prairie for a crucial Game 3 on Tuesday. The schedule for the remainder of the Doyle Cup appears below:

Game 3 — Tuesday, April 21st — 7:30 PM, Canada Games Arena
Game 4 — Wednesday, April 22nd — 7:30 PM, Canada Games Arena
Game 5 — Friday, April 24th — 7:30 PM, Canada Games Arena **
Game 6 — Saturday, April 25th — 7:30 PM, Canada Games Arena **
Game 7 — Sunday, April 26th — 7:30 PM, Canada Games Arena **
** if neccesary