By Jon Zacks
February 10, 2013, West Kelowna, BC (ISN) – For the first time in more than three years, the Warriors have posted a win in Vernon.
Still missing three key skaters due to suspension, West Kelowna hung onto its third lead of the game for a 5-3 triumph over the Vipers on Friday.
Tied 2-2 heading to the third period, the Warriors pulled ahead on goals from Brennan Clark and Max French. Logan Mick would claw the Vipers back within one with three minutes remaining, but the Warriors would hold the fort for the rest of the way. Max French’s second of the game into an empty net then sealed the win in the final second.
Danny Gayle scored the opening goal of the game when he wristed home his first BCHL goal with 27 seconds remaining in the first period.
“I’ve always been looked upon to provide offence, and up until the trade deadline I was doing that” Gayle chuckled after the game. “It was kind of getting on me getting with a new team and not being able to find the back of the net.”
Gayle agrees his line (with Mitch Nardi and David Pope) his line has been clicking, but still admits it’s a relief to score his first as a Warrior. “I knew it was going to come eventually, but I’m glad it finally did.”
Josh Monk would round-out the Warriors attack with a second period powerplay goal. Mason Blacklock, Marc Hetnik, and Logan Mick responded for Vernon.
Each team would strike twice on the powerplay, with the Warriors clicking at 2/3 in the game and the Vipers ending at 2/6.
Tyler Briggs was named the second star for the second straight night. Briggs made 45 saves to lead the Warriors to their third consecutive victory.
“We didn’t have the best first two periods, but we’re a good team and good teams win games that are close going into the third” Gayle says of the result. “We just stuck to what the coaches were telling us to do and it worked out.”
The Warriors have a busy week ahead, with a home date against Trail on Tuesday before a three-game coastal road trip.
The players will also be on hand at Kelly O’Bryan’s for ‘Fan Appreciation Day.’ Road hockey and other events get underway at 1 p.m.