VERNON, B.C. – The West Kelowna Warriors couldn’t contain a high-powered offence in dropping a 5-2 decision to the Vernon Vipers on Saturday night at Kal Tire Place.
Willie Reim scored a pair of power play goals in the 2nd period to erase a 2-0 Viper lead but it wasn’t enough as Brett Stapley scored twice himself, including the game winning goal late in the 2nd period to give the Vipers their league leading 12th victory of the season.
The Vipers opened the scoring at the 6:23 mark of the opening period after the line of Brett Stapley, Jimmy Lambert and Jordan Sandhu went to work in the Warriors zone. Lambert spotted Stapley at the top of the right face-off circle with the Vernon forward sniping a shot on the glove side of Warriors netminder Nik Amundrud for a 1-0 Viper advantage.
The 2nd period saw much more scoring and all came via the power play for each side, starting with a Jimmy Lambert marker on a 5-on-3 man advantage at the 5:18 mark of the 2nd period. Lambert received a pass from Chris Jandric at the midpoint and beat a fallen Amundrud to the blocker side as he tripped getting over to his right and Vernon jumped ahead by a 2-0 score.
West Kelowna chipped away at the lead as Willie Reim scored his first of two on the night. Reim walked in from the right side and rifled a shot up and past the glove side of Vipers goaltender Ty Taylor for his 4th goal of the season and the power play marker got the Warriors to within one at 2-1.
Just under three minutes later, on a 5-on-3 power play, the North Oaks, Minnesota native tallied his 2nd goal of the period and tied the game for the Warriors. After a scramble on the glove side of Taylor, the puck worked its way behind the Vernon goal where Chase Stevenson centered for an open Reim who scored his 5th goal of the season to tie the game at two at the 11:19 point of the 2nd period.
The Vipers took the lead back at the 13:48 mark on another power play goal with Stapley scoring his second of the game off a rebound of a Sandhu shot from the high slot to give Vernon a 3-2 advantage to close out the 2nd frame of play.
Vernon scored a pair of goals in the 3rd period to put the game out of reach starting at the 4:44 mark of the final frame as Jagger Williamson took a drop pass from Jesse Lansdell and placed a perfect shot in between the blocker and chest of Amundrud for a 4-2 lead.
The scoring was closed out at the 12:58 mark of the 3rd period with a 2-on-1 between Williamson and Connor Marritt with Marritt finishing on the blocker side and giving the Vipers a 5-2 lead, which was the eventual final score.
Nik Amundrud got the start in the Warriors crease and made 34 saves on 39 shots in his 6th loss of the season while Ty Taylor picked up his 7th victory of the season while making 29 saves on 31 shots in the Vipers goal.