The Vernon Vipers can continue building their BCHL dynasty tonight in Powell River if they beat the Kings for a third straight outing and capture their second straight league title. After consecutive 4-2 victories, the defending champions have a 3-2 series lead, and when they return to Vernon to cheers from their fans they hope it’s with the Fred Page Cup in hand — and not for a Game 7 showdown against the Coastal Conference champions.
Powell River had Vernon were in good position following a decisive 4-0 win at home in Game 3, but the Kings have dropped back-to-back and face elimination in Game 6 of the Fred Page Cup for a second straight postseason. The Vipers closed out the 2009 Fred Page Cup Finals in six games, hoisting the league trophy at the Wesbild Centre in front of their home fans. In 2010, a championship victory will come in enemy territory on the road, but another ticket to the Doyle Cup will mean just as much to the dominant franchise.
A big part of the club helping that cause has been the forward depth up front. Through the first three games of the series, the top line of the Connor and Kellen Jones and Sahir Gill was providing most of the offence, scoring six points combined during that stretch. But impressively, other players have stepped up in the Vipers last two wins to take control of the Fred Page Cup. The line of Cory Kane, Rob Short and David Robinson recorded two points each in the Game 5 victory at the Wesbild Centre on Thursday and have added another dimension to Vernon’s offensive attack against Powell River.
For the Kings, disappointing playoff showings by some of their key players has meant scoring only twice in each of the last two games and could mean another Fred Page Cup loss to Vernon. Top-line player Daniel Carr has just one point in the series, while Matt Garbowsky has cooled down significantly only accounting for a goal and an assist after 24 points in the first three rounds. The bright spots have been Chad Niddery, who has three goals and two assists in his last three outings, and Justin Dasilva who has pitched in four helpers in the Fred Page Cup Finals. But if they hope to extend the series on home ice tonight, Powell River’s top guns need to make an impact with their backs firmly against the wall.Vipers can taste another Fred Page Cup after two straight wins over Kings