The Vees held Vernon to just one shot in the opening period, a sign of things to come. The Vees started the second period with 44 seconds of five-on-three power play time, but it took just 12 seconds to take advantage.
Ryan Sandelin took a drop feed from David Silye as the Vees entered the zone and skated down the slot before firing a wrist shot that beat Palaga on the blocker side for his fifth of the year. The Vees shot advantage read 26-4 through 40 minutes as the Vipers had a hard time getting any sustained pressure.
Early in the third Drew Elser was the recipient of a heavy hit behind the Vees goal. Landon Fuller was given two minutes for charging and while Elser left the ice under his own power, he wouldn’t return.
Fuller was a focal point of another huge collision as Barnes was skating through centre down the left side. He and Fuller came together and Barnes went face first into the stanchion on the Vernon bench. Play continued for a few seconds before finally being blown down.
Barnes needed assistance leaving the ice while Fuller was the target of a chorus of boo’s at the SOEC.
In the late stages of the game, James Miller put the final nail into the Vipers coffin with a slap shot that beat Palaga clean with 4:45 to go. The Vipers would put nine shots on LaFontaine in the third, for a three-period total of 13, but LaFontaine turned them all aside to record his second straight shutout.
The two teams don’t have long to cool off as they play at 6:00 tomorrow in Vernon.