Warriors fall 2-1 to Vipers

Image Credit: Contributed/West Kelowna Warriors

The West Kelowna Warriors pushed but could not find the equalizer as they ultimately fell by a 2-1 score to the Vernon Vipers on Friday night at Royal LePage Place.

The Warriors and Vipers played to a scoreless opening period with both sides trading chances in a well-paced first 20 minutes. Vipers netminder Darion Hanson made a nice breakaway save on Parm Dhaliwal for one of his ten opening period stops while Warriors goaltender Cole Demers was up to the task for all eight of the shots he faced against his former team.

The scoring got going early in the 2nd period as just 1:50 into the frame, the Vipers Brett Stapley fired in a shot from the right face-off circle on the power play that gave Vernon a 1-0 lead early in the middle stanza.

The remainder of the period was played scoreless until the Vipers got another power play at the 16:09 mark of the frame and the Vipers cashed in yet again. Jimmy Lambert’s shot from the slot was deflected in on the blocker side of Cole Demers to extend the Vernon lead to 2-0.

The Warriors got on the score board in the final minute of play at the 19:22 mark of the 2nd period as Quin Foreman knocked down a pass and headed the other way for a partial breakaway. Foreman sped away from the back-checking Vernon forward and beat goaltender Darion Hanson over the glove side for his 21st goal of the season and cut the deficit to one as the Vipers led by a 2-1 score after two periods of play.

The Warriors had a few chances in the final period of play including a four-minute power play that they could not capitalize on. West Kelowna pushed until the final buzzer but fell short of time as they couldn’t find the equalizer in a tight checking affair and dropped a 2-1 score to the Vernon Vipers.

Cole Demers picked up the loss in goal for the Warriors, his 10th of the season as he made 35 saves on 37 shots in the defeat while Vipers goaltender, Darion Hanson, was outstanding for Vernon tonight with 32 saves on 34 shots for his 9th victory as a member of the Vipers.

FINAL SCORE: 2-1 Vipers

SHOTS ON GOAL: 37-34 Vipers

PP: Warriors (0/5) Vipers (2/3)

3 STARS:

1) Brett Stapley (2-0-2)

2) Quin Foreman (1-0-1)

3) Cole Demers (35 saves on 37 shots)

ATTENDANCE: 1313

The Warriors (22-19-0-1) begin a stretch of six straight games away from Royal LePage Place as they head to the South Okanagan Events Centre to take on the Penticton Vees (31-9-0-1) for a 6:00 PM face-off. The pre-game show goes at 5:50 PM for free audio on the Warriors Internet Network or watch live on pay-per-view on hockeytv.com. The Warriors return to RLP on Saturday, February 4th against the Coquitlam Express.


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