(ISN) – The West Kelowna Warriors earned a much needed two points in the tight
Interior Division standings while handing a loser point to a division rival.
Liam Blackburn scored in double overtime Friday as the Warriors edged
rival Vernon Vipers 6-5 in a thriller at Royal LePage Place.
Blackburn grabbed a loose puck deep in his own zone and broke away down
the right side on a two-on-one during the three-on-three second overtime
Using his teammate as a decoy, Blackburn snapped home a wrist shot from
the right circle past Danny Todosychuk for the game winner.
The Warriors played arguably their best 40 minutes on home ice in
building leads of 2-0 and 4-1 but a series of penalties in the third
period allowed the Vipers struggling power-play a chance to get them
back in the game and they did.
Trailing 4-2 after 40 minutes Luke Voltin appeared to deflect a point
shot past Scott Patton early in the third to cut the deficit to one.
Jason Cotton restored the two goal lead with his second power-play goal
of the game midway through the third but the Warriors were unable to
close it out.
A tripping penalty to Jordan Masters and an bench minor gave the Vipers
a five-on-three advantage. Less than a minute into the two man advantage
Thomas Aldworth scored to bring the Vipers to within one.
Two minutes after that, after Brett Mennear was hauled down behind his
own net, a penalty that went undetected, the puck slid in front where
Liam Finlay banged home the loose puck to tie it and force overtime.
The Vipers had a chance to end it when Masters again took a penalty late
in regulation but the Vipers were unable to get the winner.
Vernon dominated the first overtime with the Warriors turning the tables
in the second overtime.
Josh Bly and Brayden Gelsinger gave the Warriors a 2-0 lead during a
dominating opening 20 minutes.
Cotton and Jonathan Desbiens upped the lead to 4-1 before the midway
mark of the second chasing Vipers starter Jarrod Schamerhorn who allowed
four goals on just 15 shots.
Warriors starter Andy Desautels was injured partway through the second
during a scramble in front of his net. He finished the period but gave
way to Patton who played the third and overtime.
Warriors head coach Rylan Ferster didn’t disclose the nature of the injury.
Ferster, noticeably upset after the win, says the game was a lot closer
than it needed to be.
He did agree his team played extremely well during the opening 40 minutes.
“They’re a good team and they’re going to have some good push back and I
thought they had some good push back in the second period,” says Ferster
who earned his 100th win behind the Warriors bench Friday.
“And in the third period we really didn’t get a chance to get going and
that’s unfortunate. I feel sorry for our guys.”
Ferster was referring to a parade of penalties to the Warriors in the
final 20 minutes.
Friday’s win moved the second place Warriors two points up on Merritt
and four better than fourth place Vernon.