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West Kelowna Warriors survived a furious comeback in a 3-2 win over the Vernon Vipers

Warriors take down Vipers

West Kelowna Warriors assistant coach Ayrton Nikkel has a new memento for his trophy case.

Nikkel has handed the game puck Friday night after earning his first win running a junior bench, a thrilling 3-2 victory over the Vernon Vipers.

The second year assistant was pressed into head coaching duties after head coach Simon Ferguson was given an automatic three-game suspension after captain Elan Bar Lev Wise instigated a fight after the final whistle last Monday.

The Warriors rode a hot offence in the opening period, and a hot Johnny Derrick between the pipes over the last 25 minutes to hang on for the win.

Damon Jugnaugh, who entered the game with just one career BCHL assist, got the Warriors on the board 39 seconds in, banging home his first career goal off a feed from linemate Porter Dawson.

Jugnauth and brother Tyson combined to set up Riley Sharun 10 minutes later as he doubled the lead, before Tyler Cristal on a power play a little more than two minutes later, upped the advantage to 3-0.

Porter also drew an assist on what proved to be the game winner.

The Warriors cruised through much of the second until a five-minute cross checking major assessed to Ben Woodhouse shifted the momentum in the Vipers favour.

Nicholas Kent and Tyler Carpendale scored took advantage of the extended power play, scoring 37 seconds apart to draw the Vipers to within a goal.

They were all over the Warriors for the balance of the second and throughout the third, but Johnny Derrick, who turned away 42 shots, shut the door, preserving the one goal victory.

"We played hard...everyone played their roles," said Derrick after the game on the Warriors post game show.

Derrick wasn't supposed to play Friday, but found out at lunch time he would be pressed into action after Zach Bennett was scratched due to illness.

The Vipers not only peppered Derrick with 44 shots, they also outchanced them 39-15 and held a wide edge in shot attempts, 87-51.

The win was the Warriors third straight against the Vipers, improving their pod record to 4-3-1-0.

The Vipers and Salmon Arm meet Saturday night before the Warriors face the the same Silverbacks Sunday. West Kelowna close out another busy weekend Monday against the Vipers.



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