The Westside Warriors launch a six-game BCHL home stand with two contests this weekend at Royal LePage Place.
On Friday night, the Merritt Centennials will pay a visit to West Kelowna, followed by the Chilliwack Chiefs on Saturday. Face off both nights is 7 p.m.
The Warriors (4-2-0-0) are coming off their first shutout loss of the season on Wednesday night, as they dropped a 2-0 decision in Vernon.
Facing a Vipers team known for stingy defence, Westside fired 25 shots on goal but was unable to beat netminder Danny Todosychuk, who was named the top star.
Westside netminder Steve Racine also had a strong showing, allowing just one goal on 29 shots against.
The Vipers struck for their game-winning goal midway through the second period, when Darren Nowick neatly deflected a Ryan Renz slap-pass into the top corner of the net during a Vipers 5-on-3 advantage. The Warriors tried vainly for the rest of the game to find an equalizer, until Vernon captain Pat McGillis sealed the victory with an empty-netter with 24 seconds remaining.
“They just keep us to the outside” said Warriors forward Dru Morrison of the Vipers’ team defence, adding “they don’t let us penetrate towards the net—and we can’t force our way in there.”
With the win, the Vipers retain a perfect 5-0 record, and jump into sole possession of first place in the BCHL Interior Conference.
The Warriors have dealt 18-year-old forward Tyson Witala to the Prince George Spruce Kings for future considerations.
Witala, a Prince George native, played in three games with Westsisde this season, scoring a goal and adding an assist.
He played in eight games with the Spruce Kings as an affiliate player last season.