Conor Dempsey and the Westside Warriors will battle the defending BCHL champ Vernon Vipers on Friday Royal LePage Place.

Warriors host defending champs in home opener

Westside carries 3-0 record in against Vipers

After going a perfect 3-for-3 on the road to open the 2011-12 BCHL season, the Westside Warriors will find out if they possess the same magic on home ice.

On Friday night at Royal LePage Place, the Warriors play their home opener against the  the defending national champion Vernon Vipers. Face off is 7 p.m.

Prior to the game, a tailgate party gets under way outside the arena at 5:30 p.m., along with a barbecue, live music and an engine from the West Kelowna Fire Department.

Inside LePage, Warriors’ forward Brett McKinnon expects an exciting atmosphere.

“It’s going to be awesome,” said McKinnon. “There should be tons of fans there, and it should be a good environment. Hopefully we can get another win.”

It was McKinnon’s heroics that helped the Warriors extend their winning streak to three with a 3-2 win over the Salmon Arm SilverBacks on Wednesday night.

The 18-year-old Kelowna product notched the decisive goal with just 30 seconds remaining   in the third period.

Trailing 2-1 after 40 minutes of play, the Warriors tied the game up when Connor Dempsey converted a 5-on-3 advantage.

Richard Vanderhoek also scored for Westside, the star forward’s first tally of the season. Sean Flanigan and Kyle Oleniuk responded for Salmon Arm.

The Warriors outshot their hosts 20-5 in the third period and 48-27 overall, with Silverbacks netminder Kurt Williams named the game’s first star.

On Saturday, the Warriors will visit Merritt.


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