Slowing down, Grizz still hold first in BCHL; Royals injured players swap in, out

The Vernon Vipers bit back at the Victoria Grizzlies with a 3-2 win in Vernon on Sunday, Feb. 10.

Vernon Vipers’ Dexter Dancs slams into Victoria Grizzlies’ David Mazurek as they struggle to pursue a loose puck during BC Hockey League action Sunday at Wesbild Centre.

Vernon Vipers’ Dexter Dancs slams into Victoria Grizzlies’ David Mazurek as they struggle to pursue a loose puck during BC Hockey League action Sunday at Wesbild Centre.

The Vernon Vipers bit back at the Victoria Grizzlies with a 3-2 win in Vernon on Sunday, Feb. 10.

It was payback from the Grizzlies’ 1-0 shutout of the Vipers in Victoria last month.

It was also the Grizzlies second regulation loss in February, something that hadn’t happened in 2013 until Feb. 8, when the Grizz fell to the Langley Chiefs 6-3.

Regardless, the Grizzlies (32-11-0-6) are 3-2-1 in February and remain first in the B.C. Hockey League with 70 points. Next are the Penticton Vees with 67 points.

Scoring in the loss for the Grizz were a couple of

ex-Vipers. Turner Lawson was stymied by Vipers goalie Danny Todoyschuk on two solid scoring chances, but buried a low wrister from 12 feet midway through the second period, his sixth of the year.  Pearce Eviston, who was traded by the Vipers a month ago, dangled and went low on a Victoria powerplay five minutes later.

Lawson played 50 games as a shut-down defenceman for Vernon last year, and is enjoying a solid role on right wing with Bill Bestwick’s aggressive Grizzlies.

“At the start of the year, I was still kind of trying to figure out the finer things of forward. I think I’m kind of getting the hang of it later in the season here so hopefully I’ll be really good for playoffs,” said Lawson.

It’s a completely different hand of cards for the 19-year-old, who could just as easily be on the Vipers (16-23-1-7), a team outside the playoffs, looking in. Instead, he’s atop the league.

“I’m really surprised actually,” Lawson said. “I thought it was going to be a really big year for (the Vipers), especially hosting RBC next year.”

The Grizz host the Alberni Valley Bulldogs Saturday night, 7:15 p.m. at Bear Mountain Arena.

Royals swap injuries

Alex Gogolev is out but Logan Nelson is day-to-day and could return this weekend for the Victoria Royals. The Royals are in Red Deer tonight, Calgary on Saturday and Edmonton on Sunday.

-With files from Kevin Mitchell/Vernon Morning Starsports@vicnews.com

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