Speedy forward Liam Finlay supplied 1+3 as the Vernon Vipers bounced the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 4-1 in front of 1,774 B.C. Hockey League fans Saturday night at Kal Tire Place.
Vernon defenceman Luke Shiplo buried his fourth of the season 4:43 into the fast, physical tilt, assists going to captain Riley Guenther and Finlay.
The Bulldogs equalized 20 seconds later when Josh Adkins converted from Everett Putz and Brett Stewart. It was Adkins’ ninth of the year. Coughlin netted the eventual winner at 7:46 of the first on a nifty power play goal, from Finlay and Thomas Aldworth.
Finlay fired his 15th of the season, from Shiplo and Coughlin, making it 3-1 just 74 seconds into the third period on a power play. T.J. Dumonceaux connected on a power play 1:06 later, from Coughlin and Finlay, for further insurance. Dumonceaux has 18 goals on the year.
Things got testy in the third period with five fighting majors and several roughing minors dished out. Anthony Latina of Vernon tangled with ex-Viper Tyler Povelofskie late in the game, drawing the instigator penalty.
Shots were 29-29 with Jarrod Schamerhorn stellar for this 17th win. Billy Christopoulos took the loss, his 13th.
The Vipers improved to 25-11-1-2, third overall in the 16-team league. The Bulldogs dipped to 18-15-1-3. Vernon faces a 4 p.m. tilt Sunday in Surrey against the Eagles (7-30-0-3).
Vernon was without head coach Mark Ferner, who was in Vancouver for his brother Darrell’s funeral. The Dawgs were without superstar d-man Kurt Gosselin (12 goals, 43 points), who flew to Michigan for his grandfather’s funeral.
See Wednesday’s Morning Star for further Viper coverage.