The hot hand stayed hot for the West Kelowna Warriors on Wednesday night, as John Evans netted a hat trick on the way to a 5-2 B.C. Hockey League win against the Vernon Vipers.
Chase Defoe got the scoring started for the Warriors at the 7:01 mark of the first period, snapping Vernon’s mark of 143 minutes and 22 seconds without allowing a goal.
Evans also scored in the period, giving West Kelowna a 2-0 lead after one.
Vernon made it a 2-1 game when Jack Glen scored on the powerplay halfway through the second period. Evans would find the net again before the end of the second, making it 3-1.
Evans would complete the hat trick at the 7:00 mark of the third period. Nicholas Kent scored for Vernon to cut the lead in half, but Marcus Joughlin added a powerplay goal to secure the 5-2 win for the Warriors.
Nicolas Ardanaz and Riley Shuran both collected multi-point nights as well.
Coming off being named the BCHL’s first star of the week on Monday, Evans now has ten points (six goals, four assists) in his last four games. His goals were his 14th through 16th of the season. He now has 42 points in 40 games.
Warriors goalie Johnny Derrick reached the 20-win mark with a 25-save performance. Roan Clarke made 24 saves for the Vipers.
With the win, the Warriors have won three games in a row and five of their last six. They now sit third in the Interior standings, leapfrogging Prince George.
They own a 30-16-1-0 record with seven games left in the regular season.
Vernon falls to 23-18-4-3 on the season (sixth in the division). They travel to Prince George Friday night and entertain the Cranbrook Bucks Sunday at 2 p.m. at Kal Tire Place. The Vipers trail fifth-place Cranbrook by one point. Each team has seven games remaining.
West Kelowna and Vernon will meet again one more time this season, on Mar. 20, in West Kelowna.
The Warriors will be back on the ice on Friday when they welcome the Wenatchee Wild for the first annual “Feed the Valley Night”. Fans are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items or cash donations for the Central Okanagan Food Bank, and will be entered in a draw for a chance to win a gift basket when they bring in a food item or donation.
Puck drop will at be 7 p.m. at the Royal LePage Arena in West Kelowna.
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