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BCHL  

The Vernon Vipers kept their winning streak alive

Vipers win fifth straight

It was a close one, but the Vernon Vipers defeated the Trail Smoke Eaters 3-2 in overtime.

Matt Kowalski buried two goals, including the OT winner, en route to the Vernon's fifth straight win.

Trey Taylor added the other Vipers goal, and Connor Sleeth pitched in a couple of assists.

The Vipers look to keep the streak alive when they hit the road to take on the Powell River Kings on Friday.





The Penticton Vees couldn't get a win Saturday night

Vees fall to Clippers

The Penticton Vees couldn’t muster enough offence as they fell by a 4-1 score to the Nanaimo Clippers on Saturday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

It was a bit of a feeling out process through the opening 20 minutes between two teams that only see each other twice in the regular season as Nanaimo took an early lead in the shots on goal category and opened the scoring in the game at the 11:07 mark of the 1st period.

A turnover in the offensive zone on the power play allowed Travis Walton to pick the puck up and carry into the Vees end on a shorthanded breakaway, beating Vees goaltender Yaniv Perets on through the left pad with a shot from the edge of the left face-off circle at the 11:07 mark to give the Clippers a 1-0 advantage.

Penticton began to bring more pressure in the 2nd period, similar to their game on Friday night, but couldn’t crack Clippers goaltender Jordan Naylor, who stopped all 15 shots he faced in the period as Nanaimo jumped ahead by a 2-0 score at the 8:17 mark of the middle stanza.

Scott Mahovlich started the play in the neutral zone, gaining entry into the offensive zone and passed to the middle of the ice as Liam Ryan took the feed and shot from the right face-off circle, beating Perets under his blocker to give the visitors a 2-0 advantage.

After that marker, the Vees started to press and put more pucks on net and got their best chance to score in the game on a power play. David Silye took a Lukas Sillinger pass at the front of the net from the slot and went from his forehand to his backhand before Naylor was able to get a piece of his blocker on the puck and keep the lead at two goals.

Nanaimo added to their lead at the 11:00 mark of the 3rd period as the Vees continued to force pucks on Naylor but the Nanaimo netminder stood tall. A power play generated the Clippers third goal as Ethan Scardina snapped a shot from the right face-off circle past the blocker side of Perets for the 3-0 advantage.

After an Ethan Martini fight, the Vees got some momentum and found the back of the net at the 15:05 mark of the final frame as Lukas Sillinger tallied his 5th goal of the season. David Silye chased down a puck on the right wing and centered a pass to the slot as Sillinger dragged and shot over the blocker shoulder of Naylor to get the Vees on the board and make it a 3-1 lead.

The Vees went to a power play following the goal but the Clippers would ice the game with an empty net goal coming off the stick of Walton, his second of the game from just inside the blue line solidified a 4-1 Nanaimo final score.

Yaniv Perets turned aside 15 of the 18 shots thrown his way in his 2nd loss of the season while Jordan Naylor stopped 28 of the 29 shots he faced in his 6th win of the campaign.

FINAL SCORE: 4-1 Clippers

SHOTS ON GOAL: 29-19 Vees

VEES PP: 0/4

VEES PK: 3/4

3 STARS:

1) Jordan Naylor (28 saves on 29 shots)

2) Ethan Scardina (1-0-1)
3) Lukas Sillinger (1-0-1)

Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Steve Holtz (0-0-0)

Attendance: 3,034

The Vees (11-3-1-0) cap off their three-game home stand with the first Wicked Wednesday of the season as the Trail Smoke Eaters (9-5-2-0) come to Penticton. Puck drop at the South Okanagan Events Centre is set for 6:30 p.m.



Merritt snapped a long losing streak, beating the Warriors 5-2

Warriors fall flat to Cents

The West Kelowna Warriors were unable to build on Friday's monumental effort against the Number 1 team in the BCHL.

Facing the Merritt Centennials, sporting a five-game losing streak and the worse record in the league, the Warriors were flat and lacklustre, as the visitors scored a season-high five goals in a 5-2 victory.

The win came three days after the Centennials fired their head coach, Barry Wolfe.

"We completely underestimated our opponent tonight," said Warriors head coach Brandon West.

"Full credit to them, they were good tonight. It's our job now as coaches to get our group reorganized, and it's up to them to show how bad they want to win in the league and not just on nights when they're feeling good."

The Centennials, for all intents and purposes, put the game away with a three-goal explosion in the first period.

The goals were nearly identical, as the Centennials converted on centering passes to wide-open players off odd-man rushes down the right wing.

The third goal came as defenceman Declan Douthart lost the puck after he was hauled down at his own blueline.

The Centennials got the opening goal of the game before Trevor Adams equalized with a quick wrist shot from the right circle that seemed to surprise starter Tanner Marshall.

The Warriors controlled the next several minutes, doing everything but grab the lead.

Against the run of the play, Brett made it 2-1, then a minute later, Rylan Van Unen made it 3-1.

"We felt we outplayed them in the first period, but we didn't outwork them," said West.

"That was the difference in the game. They scored on I think four odd-man rushes tonight, that we completely broke down on."

Down 4-1 in the third, David Ardanaz scored his first BCHL goal on a wrist shot from the left point that Marshall never saw, but they were unable to get much sustained pressure on the Centennials over the final 13 minutes.

"The effort wasn't there. I think we expected it to be a little easier tonight and, unfortunately, it was a night where it was some guys worst games instead of their best games.

"We have to learn we have to be good every night. We're scrapping for points, they're scrapping for points. It's disappointing because our group has worked real hard over the last couple of weeks."

Saturday's loss snapped a streak where the Warriors were able to pick up points in five straight, including three wins plus an overtime and shootout loss.

The Warriors now hit the road for a mid-week game in Wenatchee before returning home to host Trail Friday.

That will be their final home game in about a month, as the Warriors play seven-straight away from Royal LePage Place.



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Vernon Vipers beat Penticton Vees 2-1 in overtime

Vipers win fourth in a row

The Vernon Vipers earned an overtime win against the Penticton Vees Friday night to extend their winning streak to four.

Before wracking up the string of wins, the BC Hockey League Vipers were in a four-game losing skid.

Christian Felton scored the winning goal for Vernon in a 2-1 overtime win.

Brett Fudger also scored for Vernon while Vees' Alex DiPaolo collected the only marker for the Penticton squad.

The Vipers will host the Trail Smoke Eaters at Kal Tire Place tonight at 6 p.m.



West Kelowna Warriors earned their first win on home ice Friday

Warriors finally win at home

Without question, Friday's 2-1 victory over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks was the biggest win of the BCHL season for the club.

And, not just because it was their first win in front of the Royal LePage Place faithful, or before the second largest crowd of the season, 611.

Those are both important, but so was the fact the Warriors were able to withstand the Silverbacks third period onslaught, and secure a well-deserved two points.

They turned a tenuous 1-0 lead into two on a perfectly placed shot from the slot for third-year forward Max Bulawka early in the final period.

Then, clinging to a one-goal lead late in the game, Brock Baier made probably his best save of the season, pushing across the crease and throwing up his glove to grab a sure goal from Simon Tassy, who had most of the net to shoot at after taking a perfect feed on a Silverbacks two-on-one.

You got the feeling after that save the Silverbacks wouldn't be able to find the equalizer.

It was a gutsy win for a Warriors team that has won three of its last five, and collected eight of a possible 10 points over that span. That, after digging a massive hole by losing eight-in-a-row and 11 of its first 12.

"It feels good for everybody, our players, our fans are finally able to leave here on a game night with a smile on their face," said head coach Brandon West.

The Warriors scored the only goal during a very tight-checking opening period when defenceman Andrew Viggars, who returned to the club after being released by the WHL's Calgary Hitmen, scored on a Warriors power play.

Parked near the edge of the crease, he tapped home a perfect back-door feed from John Evans.

The Silverbacks tried to impose their physical will after the goal, laying out some heavy body checks on their smaller opponents, but, for the most part, the Warriors bounced back.

The only exception was defenceman Spencer Hora, who was inadvertently clipped in the head and didn't return.

His status moving forward, at least over the short term, is not known.

Bulawks got the all-important 2-0 goal just 62 seconds into the third. It stood up as the winner after Dom Garozzo capped a spectacular individual effort with a sharp-angle backhand that squeezed between Baier and the post.

It was the only blemish on his night's work.

"He made a couple of massive saves. He was down-and-out on one save when it just happened to hit him.

"That was a hard-working save...he just found a way to get in front of it. He was a big part of that win tonight."

West added he was proud of the way the guys were able to find a way to win against the number one team in the BCHL.

The Warriors won't get much of a chance to saviour this one before they get right back at it again Saturday when the cellar-dwelling Merritt Centennials come to Royal LePage Place.

"We watched their game on Wednesday and they had a lot of jump in their step," said West.

"Much like our guys, we're all fighting for points.

"We know we have to play better tomorrow night than we did tonight. We beat a good team, but this win doesn't mean anything if we don't get after it tomorrow night (Saturday).

The Centennials have lost five-in-a-row and seven of eight, but are playing for a new head coach in Derek-Sweet Coulter.

Coulter was named interim head coach after Barry Wolfe was fired Wednesday due to some philosophical differences.



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