The West Kelowna Warriors took care of business on the weekend, earning a pair of road victories, solidifying
its hold on third spot in the BCHL Inerior and getting closer to clinching a playoff spot.
For the first time in more than three years, the Warriors posted a win in Vernon on Saturday after posting a victory in Salmon Arm on Friday.
Still missing three key skaters due to suspension, West Kelowna and Vernon were tied 2-2 heading to the third period on Saturday when the Warriors Brennan Clark and Max French. Logan Mick would claw the Vipers back within one with three minutes remaining, but the Warriors would hold the fort for the rest of the way. Max French’s second of the game into an empty net then sealed the win in the final second.
Danny Gayle scored the opening goal of the game when he wristed home his first BCHL goal with 27 seconds remaining in the first period after being acquired at the BCHL trade deadline.
“I’ve always been looked upon to provide offence, and up until the trade deadline I was doing that” Gayle said after the game. “It was kind of getting on me getting with a new team and not being able to find the back of the net.”“I knew it was going to come eventually, but I’m glad it finally did.”
Josh Monk would round-out the Warriors attack with a second period powerplay goal.
Tyler Briggs made 45 saves to lead the Warriors to their third consecutive victory.
“We didn’t have the best first two periods, but we’re a good team and good teams win games that are close going into the third,” Gayle said of the result. “We just stuck to what the coaches were telling us to do and it worked out.”
On Friday the Warriors beat Salmon Arm with four players out of the lineup due to suspension and two more on the shelf because of injuries.
Marcus Basara led the way with two goals, including the game-winner. Basara also had an assist on Seb Lloyd’s marker 25 seconds into the game, earning him first-star honours.
The Warriors weekend improved their record to 22-12-3-8, four points out of second place Trail and seven ahead of fourth place Salmon Arm.
The Warriors have a busy week ahead, with a home date against Trail on Tuesday before a three-game coastal road trip.
The players will also be on hand at Kelly O’Bryan’s for ‘Fan Appreciation Day.’ Road hockey and other events get underway at 1 p.m.