Red Deer Vipers take pair from Wranglers on HJHL opening weekend

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The Red Deer Vipers got the unusual 2020-21 Heritage Junior B Hockey League season started on the right foot over the weekend.

The Vipers knocked off the rival Sylvan Lake Wranglers in the first two games of the four-game mini-series to kickstart the year.

Red Deer shutout Sylvan Lake 4-0 Friday and turned around with a 5-1 win Saturday night in their home opener at Servus Arena.

In the 4-0 shutout, Red Deer scored four times in the second frame and Bretton Park earned the shutout with 27 saves. Jacksyn Goodall and Eric Melnyk each had a goal and an assist in the victory, while Jace Paarup and Jarvis Gaume also added a tally in the win.

In the 5-1 win, Cole Hardman, Brandon Pelletier, Matias Letwin, Paarup and Melnyk scored for Red Deer. Goodall and Rylan Burns each added two assists. Park stopped 31 shots in the win. Kyle Gerrits had the only goal for Sylvan Lake.

The two teams finish the series this weekend, with a Friday night tilt in Sylvan Lake, followed by the series finale in Red Deer Saturday at Servus Arena.