In a fight for their playoff lives, the Vernon Vipers had a little more bite than the Prince George Spruce Kings.
In a Friday night B.C. Hockey League game at the Coliseum, the Vipers downed the Kings 5-4 in double overtime. Vernon, which needs to put together a season-ending winning streak to have any chance of making the playoffs, got the winner from Brendan Persley at 4:23 of the second extra session. Playing three-on-three hockey, Persley converted on an odd-man rush moments after Bryant Christian of the Kings had been foiled at the other end of the rink.
The Vipers, last in the six-team Interior Division, improved to 18-25-1-9 and stayed alive in their quest to catch the Trail Smoke Eaters and Salmon Arm Silverbacks for the last post-season berth. The Spruce Kings, meanwhile, picked up a single point and now have a 24-20-1-8 record. They are already in a playoff position in the Mainland Division.
The Vipers led 2-1 after the first period and the teams were tied 4-4 after the second.
In the first, Andrew Tegeler opened the scoring for the Vipers when he roofed a backhander after the Kings suffered a defensive breakdown in their own zone. The home side answered back with a power-play goal by Jake LeBrun but Vernon retook the lead when Mason Blacklock scored off a centering pass by ex-King Liam Board. A turnover behind the Prince George net led to the goal.
In a wild second period, Shayne Morrissey -- on a three-on-two break -- Lyndon Martell and Jace Hennig struck for the Kings, while Persley and Blacklock replied for the Vipers.
The Kings outshot the Vipers 37-33 but went only 1-for-5 on the power play. The Vipers failed to score on their only man-advantage opportunity.
Austin Smith picked up the win for Vernon and Kirk Thompson took the loss.
The Spruce Kings will be back in action tonight (7 p.m.) and Sunday (3 p.m.) when they host the Langley Rivermen. The Kings will finish the regular season next Saturday when they take on the Silverbacks at the Coliseum.