Westside Warriors' forward Travis Blanleil tries to jam the pack past Vernon Vipers' netminder Kirry Halcrow in B.C. Hockey League action Saturday evening at Wesbild Centre.

Warriors play Vipers tough

The Westside Warriors may have lost the season series to the Vernon Vipers but the B.C. Hockey League club likely isn’t too worried about it.

Three of the last four times the Warriors have played the Vipers the games have gone to overtime including a 4-3 win by Westside on Friday night at Royal LePage Place.

“I thought we played very well,” said Warriors coach Darren Yopyk after his team split a weekend home and home series with Vernon. “I thought we competed pretty hard and I think we’re right in the mix with some pretty good teams in our division.”

A night after Kyle Singleton scored in overtime at Royal LePage Place to give Westside the win, the Warriors surrendered five goals in the first period to trail Vernon 5-0 after one. The Warriors then scored four second period goals to get back into the game but dropped a 6-4 decision.

The season series between Westside and Vernon ended with the Vipers winning four times, the Warriors winning once and one game ending in a rare BCHL tie.

“We dug a pretty big hole in the second game falling behind by five but I thought we did a good job battling back,” said Yopyk.

The Warriors played Saturday minus its top two centres as Alex Grieve dressed but didn’t see any action and Max French also missed the game. Both players are expected back in the lineup this weekend after nursing minor injuries.

The Warriors will host Salmon Arm on Friday night before traveling to Merritt to play the Centennials on Saturday night.

At 23-15-2-3 the Warriors are currently fourth in the BCHL Interior Conference, three points behind the Silverbacks and just two ahead of Trail.

“It’s really tight, if you start going on a losing steak you can fall down the standings quickly,” said Yopyk. “These are pretty big games but I don’t worry too much about the standings. I worry about playing well and for the most part I think we’ve been doing that lately.”

The Warriors have 17 games remaining in the BCHL regular season, eight of them at home and nine on the road.

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