The West Kelowna Warriors escape the snake pit in Vernon Saturday night.
It was a slow start to the game with no penalties and virtually no scoring chances with both teams not wanting to take any chances. The Vipers were short handed Saturday night because of injuries, suspensions, and players participating in the World Junior A challenge forcing Head Coach Mark Ferner to use some new faces on both forward and defense.
Goals came in the second period because of sloppy play by both clubs. First, one of the call ups for the Vipers Raj Sanha turned the puck over in his own zone to Warriors forward Lucas Cullen who beat Vipers goalie Bradley Cooper to make it 1-0. Late in the period the Vipers were able to answer back with a shorthanded goal by Teddy Wooding to tie it up heading into the dressing room.
The third period each club traded a couple scoring chances but couldn’t cash in. The Vipers best scoring chance came shorthanded with Warriors goaltender Connor Hopkins out of his net to play the puck and it ended up bouncing away from him towards the crease, luckily for the Warriors the puck trickled past the crease and Wyatt Head was able to get to the puck first. The Warriors would get the go ahead goal in the final 5 minutes thanks to a nifty pass from Chase Dubois springing Lucas Cullen loose on a breakaway allowing Cullen to score his second of the hockey game and the game winner. The Warriors would finish the game thanks to strong goaltending from Connor Hopkins. Shots on goal 34 to 29 in favor of the Vipers.
WKW F Lucas Cullen (2G)
VER F Teddy Wooding (1G)
WKW G Connor Hopkins (33 Saves)