After two games from the Royal LePage Place in West Kelowna, the BCHL first round playoff series between the West Kelowna Warriors and Vernon Vipers is all even, with Vernon nabbing a victory in game two, 5-4.
After game one, where West Kelowna eked out a 4-3 win, Vernon was looking for revenge in game two.
Thomas Tien would draw first blood five minutes in to give Vernon the lead. Then, in what was the theme of the night, a power play goal by Connor Welsh would double the Vipers lead.
Tien would score his second of the night to lift the visitors to a 3-0 lead with just minutes before the intermission. However, after a late checking from behind major by Anthony Cliche that would put the Warriors on an extended power play, Brennan Nelson’s second of the playoffs would slice into Vernon’s lead, 3-1.
More penalties would befall both squads in the middle frame, with Lee Parks taking advantage of a Noah Laframboise cross-checking call to put the Vipers up 4-1.
Seiya Tanaka-Campbell and Walker Erickson each went to the box for minors in the middle of the period, and the Warriors would strike on both power play opportunities, with Christopher Duclair and Isaiah Norlin each potting one to lift the Warriors to within one heading into the third.
Lee Parks’ second of the game and third of the postseason would give the Vipers breathing room four minutes into the third. Despite a Jaiden Moriello goal five minutes later, Vernon would hold on for the victory.
Ethan David stopped 24 shots on the night to pick up his first playoff win of the year. Cayden Hamming also saved 24, but in his first loss of the postseason.
Riley Sharun and Christopher Duclair were the high point men on the Warriors, each with three. Vernon got two goals from Tien, Parks, while also grabbing two helpers from Julian Facchinelli and Connor Elliott.
The Warriors were 2/7 on the power play, while the Vipers were 3/5.
The series now shifts to Kal Tire Place in Vernon for games three and four. Those will be played Tuesday and Wednesday, with a puck drop scheduled for 7 p.m.
In other playoff news around the league, the seventh place Wenatchee Wild drubbed the Cranbrook Bucks, 5-0 to even up their series.
For more information on all the postseason games, visit bchl.ca.