It was the kind of atmosphere you don’t often experience in the pre-season.
With approximately 1300 fans on hand, the Warriors faced the Vernon Vipers for the second time in the pre-season on Tuesday. After losing in overtime in Vernon 5 days previously, the Warriors were hungry to score some revenge and put on a good show for visiting schoolchildren from across Greater Kelowna.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, overtime proved to be their undoing once again, as Jarred Ten Vaanholt struck the game winner 4:02 into the extra frame to give the defending champs the 5-4 victory.
Vernon captain Pat McGillis set up the game-winner, one of his three points on the night. For Westside, Travis Blanleil joined Conor Dempsey and Dru Morrison on the top line and contributed the home squad’s second goal.
“It was definitely loud in here” said Blanleil afterwards. “They came to cheer, and they made signs and painted their faces and everything, so it was awesome.”
Blanleil said his team was happy with the offensive output, but admitted there’s still work to do in the defensive zone before the regular season gets underway on Sept. 23rd. “It’s something we have to clean up before the season starts” he said, “but we’re getting better every day.”
The Warriors wind up their pre-season schedule with road games in Prince George (Thu) and Salmon Arm (fri) later in the week. They open the regular season Sept. 23rd in Trail.