Vipers forward Cam MacDonald eyes up a shot on Warriors goaltender Zach Bennett Friday, April 30, 2021. (Tami Quan Photography)

Vipers forward Cam MacDonald eyes up a shot on Warriors goaltender Zach Bennett Friday, April 30, 2021. (Tami Quan Photography)

Vernon Vipers complete comeback over West Kelowna Warriors

Two goals in quick succession helped the Vipers storm back to a 3-2 win Friday night

Two goals in 15 seconds helped spark a come-from-behind victory for the Vernon Vipers over the West Kelowna Warriors on Friday night April 30.

The Warriors opened the scoring early in a 4-on-4 play as Carter Wilkie teed up a drop pass for Tyler Cristall, who beat Vipers goaltender Roan Clarke with the one-timer.

The Warriors lead grew in the middle frame after a skilled play by Porter Dawson, who stepped around a defender before firing a wrist shot inside the far post to give his team a 2-0 lead.

The game shifted in 15 seconds in the middle of the second period. Desmond Johnson buried a rebound for his first BC Hockey League goal. Just 15 seconds later, a slap shot off the stick of Nick Kent found its way through traffic, and the Vipers suddenly found themselves in a 2-2 hockey game.

The Warriors penalty killers buckled down to kill five shorthanded minutes after Bryden Sinclair was assessed a kneeing major.

But the Snakes appeared to like the extra open ice on 4-on-4 scenarios; with both teams with a man in the box in the third period, Trey Taylor set up Cam MacDonald for his fifth of the season and a 3-2 Vipers lead.

That would be the final score thanks to Clarke, who made a huge save in the dying seconds to help his team preserve the come-from-behind victory.

The Vipers improved to 10-4-1-1 so far in the shortened season, and now have a five-point lead on Salmon Arm for first in the Vernon Pod.

The Vipers take on the Salmon Arm Silverbacks tonight (May 1) at 6 p.m. The Warriors return to action Sunday with a 4 p.m. match-up with the ‘Backs.

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Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
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