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Vipers' big lead enough to hold off Spruce Kings' comeback try

Vernon returns to Kopar Memorial Arena for BCHL rematch on Saturday
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They made a game of it, but the hole they dug for themselves proved too deep for the Prince George Spruce Kings.

They lost 5-3 to the Vernon Vipers in front of a crowd of 1,480 at Kopar Memorial Arena.

Down 4-1 after two periods, the Spruce Kings climbed back within striking distance late in the third period.

Goals from JR Perdion at even strength and Kilian McGregor Bennett, on a Prince George power play with 2:21 left on the clock, made it a 4-3 count. But Vipers Julian Facchinelli ended it with an empty-netter in the final minute.

The win improved the Vipers fourth-place B.C. Hockey League Interior Conference record to 26-16-1-0. The Spruce Kings (13-27-3-0) remain eighth in the Interior.

Ethan David stopped 29 of 32 Spruce Kings shots to record his 19th win in 31 games this season.

Charlie Zolin took the loss in net for Prince George after facing 42 shots.

Luke Bibby opened the scoring with the only goal of the first period, and Anthony Cliche, Shea Busch, and Ewan McPherson added second-period goals.

Alexis Cournoyer got the Kings on the scoreboard 16:45 into the second with a power-play goal.Cournoyer also assisted on Perdion's goal.

The teams meet again for the rematch Saturday at 6 p.m.