The Westside Warriors will get another crack at the defending BCHL champs when the teams face off Wednesday night in Vernon.
The Vipers took down the Warriors 5-2 last Friday night in Westside’s home opener at Royal LePage Place.
It was the only loss in five starts for the Warriors who pushed their season mark to 4-1 Saturday night with a 5-4 overtime victory over the hometown Merritt Centennials.
Max French converted a breakaway with 1:23 remaining in 3-on-3 overtime to settle the issue.
Trailing 2-0 midway through the first, Westside struck four straight goals to seemingly put the game out of reach.
But a pair of goals in the final five minutes allowed the host Centennials to force overtime.
Scoreless in the first extra frame, the Cents had a great chance to win it with a penalty shot midway through the second OT stanza. But goaltender Steve Racine held his ground against Merritt Jakob Reichert, and the game continued.
A minute later, French was sent in all alone and beat Merritt’s Tyler Steel to give the Warriors the victory.
Michael King was credited with two assists on the night, and logged a ton of ice time on Westside’s back end. “It was a long one,” said King of the heated contest. “Everyone worked really hard and it was good to get the win.”
King also took on added responsibility on Saturday in the absence of Captain Izaak Berglund, who missed the matchup with a concussion suffered the night before against Vernon.
Connor Dempsey, Tyler Krause, Seb Lloyd, and Shawn Hochhausen scored in regulation time for the Warriors.
Steve Racine made 39 stops in the victory, and had a bounce-back performance after being pulled the night before against Vernon.