RECAP: The West Kelowna Warriors dropped their 1st game of the season, as they fell 4-1 to the Vernon Vipers in front of 1,212 fans at Royal Lepage Place.
After a touching ceremony and introduction of the firefighters and 1st responders of the Smith Creek fire this summer, Vernon’s legs weren’t affected at all as Mackenzie Bauer got the Vipers on the board at 1:07. Then at 4:52, Mitchell Oliver would make it 2-0 on a shot through traffic that beat Andy Desautels in the same spot as the 1st one.
The Warriors were guilty of too many turnovers early on, and as the period progressed, they increased the pressure. At 17:24 on the Powerplay Liam Blackburn would bury his 5th of the season, jamming one past the pad of Danny Todosychuk.
First period shots were 12-12
There would be no scoring in the 2nd as the Dezzy show began on a 5 on 3 advantage for the Vipers. Desautels made many big saves, as Vernon put 7-10 shots on the Warriors netminder on that powerplay. The Vipers would end up out shooting West Kelowna 20-5 in the period.
The 3rd would start with a tripping penalty to Kristian Blumenschein, and with 1 second left on the PP, Ryley Booth would make it 3-1 as his point shot found its way through.
The Warriors established pressure throughout the 3rd but Todosychuk stood strong and made some good saves, while the Warriors hit a goalpost and missed a couple opportunities in tight.
The best part of the BCHL Schedule is that West Kelowna is right back at it Saturday in Vernon, and will get a chance at redemption right away with the Vipers.
- West Kelowna had turnover troubles early on and it cost them a goal or two. A bad bounce maybe on 1 of them lead to it, but not much care with the puck in the 1st 10 minutes.
-Physical play definitely was apparent throughout this one, including 1 fight between Rylan Yaremko and Anthony Latina. It appeared throughout the game that Latina was getting under the skin of Warriors players, this following an incident in the 1st where he headed to the bench clutching his mouth, but was okay enough to yap at the Warriors bench on the way by.
-The other issue with the fighting scenario was Liam Blackburn had a chance in tight, the whistle went and everyone paired off in the rough stuff after the whistle. This is the issue with the 1-fight and you're out rule, as there is a ton of post whistle activity. In this scenario, with the d-men at the points and West Kelowna about to make a change, was that Latina engaged Yaremko at the blue line and by the time the gloves came off there were 6 Vipers and 7 Warriors on the ice. Mac Ferner was ejected for leaving the bench to join an altercation according to the scoresheet post-game.
-Not the ending Ferner wanted to his night i'm sure, as for the first time ever, his dad was on the opposition bench coaching. I didn't get into the details too much, but not entirely sure if Mark Ferner coached Mac growing up at all with the exception of all the post-game car rides that broke down almost every shift from the game.
-Saturday night's game in Vernon should be a fun one, as the Vipers will have their ceremonies and Opener fun, and the rivalry should kick off immediately after. Make the drive to Vernon for this one if you can, it's a 6:00 pm start, a new Saturday time for the Vipers as they try to entice families.
-If you cannot make the trip, i'll have the action on Fast Hockey, also on 95.1 FM WDCR or online at WDCR.ca
-Follow our Twitter Account at @BCHLWarriors or myself at @WestKVoice. I am constantly trying to improve my tweeting/broadcasting simultaneously abilities, so we'll keep working at keeping fans up to date that cannot tune in.