An injury-laden West Kelowna Warriors’ squad will host the Penticton Vees Tuesday night in a battle for top spot at the BCHL’s Interior Division.
The Warriors (31-14-3-5) and Vees (32-15-2-4) are currently tied for first, with five games remaining for each team.
Face off at Royal LePage is 7 p.m.
With five regulars out of the lineup and two more injured during the game, the Warriors dropped a 3-2 double overtime decision to the hometown Vernon Vipers on Saturday.
With just 10 forwards and five defencemen to start the evening, the Warriors earned a 2-0 lead after a dominant opening period.
Braden Pears opened the scoring with a power play marker seven minutes in, then Seb Lloyd doubled the lead when he converted a David Pope rebound.
Vernon cut the lead in half with a second-period goal, then in the third, with the Warriors down to three regular defenceman, Dexter Dancs converted a goal-mouth scramble on a late power play to time the game and force OT.
Dancs then set up a Riley Guenther one-timer 3:34 into 3-on-3 double overtime to give the Vipers a 3-2 win.
“You’ve gotta give credit to both teams,” Warriors goalie Andy Desautels said. “It was a tough-played game”
Returning from a lower-body injury that had kept him out of the past five games, Desautels praised the valour shown by his teammates.
“I think we’re stepping back here and realizing what kind of an effort we put forth,” Desautels says. “I don’t think we can be anything but proud.
“Looking around the room you can tell that we put it all on the line and just came up a little bit short.”