November 8, 2013, Vernon (ISN) – Three powerplay goals propelled the Vipers past the Warriors and into first in the BCHL’s Interior Division.
Michael McNicholas struck twice and added two assists, as the Vipers beat West Kelowna 5-3 in Friday’s key divisional matchup in Vernon.
Vipers Captain Ryan Renz opened the scoring with a powerplay goal late in the first period.
West Kelowna outshot Vernon 12-11 in the frame, and despite the Renz goal the Warriors seemed very much alive.
“I think we had a really good road period” agrees Warriors goalie Andy Desautels. “Things were looking pretty good, and I thought we were playing well.”
“We just didn’t quite carry on that effort throughout the whole game.”
Second period goals from Jordan Masters and Seb Lloyd allowed the Warriors to stick with their hosts, with the Vipers leading 3-2 after 40 minutes of play.
But Vernon had taken play over in the second period, and two more powerplay goals sealed the Vipers’ victory in the third.
“Vernon has a lot of big, strong guys” Desautels reflects. “They get the puck to the point, and put absolutely everything on net, and there’s always lots of traffic” the goalie cautions, adding “It definitely makes a goalie’s night a lot tougher.”
Michael McNicholas earned first star honours, for his four-point night for Vernon. Ryan Renz, Josh Bryan, and Liam Coughlin also struck for the Snakes. Jordan Masters, Seb Lloyd, and Carl Hesler responded for the Tribe.
The 4-point swing moves the Vipers into first place in the tumultuous Interior Division. The defeat, combined with unfavourable results from out of town, sees the Warriors drop from first to fourth.
However, the Warriors remain in control of their destiny. After a slow start to November, West Kelowna now plays six games in the next two weeks. Five of those six games will be fought at Royal LePage Place – something Desautels thinks will be fruitful.
“We get five opportunities to win games at home” Desautels smiles, adding “I think guys are going to be fired up to be playing at home as much as we are.”
Follow the Warriors more closely at The General’s Report: http://thegeneralsreport.wordpress.com/