(ISN) – The West Kelowna Warriors got the start they wanted on Friday night, but it could not be sustained as the Vernon Vipers scored 5 unanswered goals for a 6-3 victory.
The Warriors got on the board halfway through the opening period when Liam Blackburn got his 15th of the season on his own rebound. Andrew Johnson and Jason Cotton drew the assists.
The Vipers came alive in the last 5 minutes of the period, but Andy Desautels stood tall to keep it a 1-0 lead heading to the middle frame.
Josh Bly scored the goal of the night with a picture-perfect deflection under the crossbar as he skated towards the net and a Kyle Marino point shot.
Vernon made it 2-1 on Thomas Aldworth’s first of the night on a 5 on 3 power-play, but the Warriors came right back with a power-play goal of their own to reinstate the 2-goal lead.
Just a minute and a half after that goal, Aldworth picked up a big rebound and buried it past Desautels to make it 3-2 in a period which saw 7 power-plays including three instances of 5 on 3 hockey.
The 3rd period turned out to be all Vipers, as Aldworth completed the hat-trick, Blaine Caton and Liam Finlay scored 39 seconds apart, and Luke Voltin hit an empty net to seal it.
The tempers flared with 8 minutes remaining after a mix up in the crease behind the play with Desautels and Nicholas Rasovic had Brett Mennear back to help out his netminder.
Riley Brandt and Marino became engaged as well and although gloves were off they were given roughing minors and misconducts to end their nights.
Final shots on goal were 37-30 Vernon.
The Warriors take on the Powell River Kings Saturday at Royal Lepage Place at 7 pm.