West Kelowna Warriors fell 4-2 in Vernon Saturday

Vipers take bite of Warriors

The West Kelowna Warriors are almost assured of facing the Penticton Vees in the first round of the BCHL playoffs.

The Warriors fate was all but sealed Saturday when they fell 4-2 in Vernon while their nearest rival, the Prince George Spruce Kings were 5-1 winners in Langley.

That puts the Warriors five behind PG with just three games remaining.

The math is simple, win all three while the Spruce Kings lose their remaining game in regulation time, or finish the regular season as the lowest seed in the Interior Division.

The Warriors got off to a good start Saturday when John Evans scored his league-leading fifth shorthanded goal of the season.

Evans stole the puck at the point, then skated the length of the ice all alone, and beat Keegan Karki to get the Warriors the lead.

The lead lasted until 7:21 of the second when a failed clearing attempt eventually made its way to Dawson Holt, whose backhand beat netminder Johnny Derrick.

Logan Cash broke the tie early in the third, then Christian Felton increased the lead to two just past the midway point of the period.

Carter Wilkie got one back in the waning moments with another shorthanded goal with Derrick on the bench for an extra attacked.

But, Holt found the empty net off the ensuing faceoff to give the Vipers their margin of victory.

The Vipers scored twice with the man advantage while the Warriors were unable to hit paydirt on their five opportunities.

The Warriors are back in action Monday afternoon when they entertain the Trail Smoke Eaters at 2:30.

All youngsters 18 and under will be admitted free with a paying adult.

And, following the game, fans are invited to join the Warriors on the ice for a Family Day skate.

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