The Vernon Vipers blanked the West Kelowna Warriors 2-0 in Pod Season action Friday, April 23, 2021. (Lisa Mazurek Photography)

The Vernon Vipers blanked the West Kelowna Warriors 2-0 in Pod Season action Friday, April 23, 2021. (Lisa Mazurek Photography)

Vipers blank West Kelowna to take lead in Vernon BCHL pod

James Porter Jr. made 22 stops for the shutout Friday night

The West Kelowna Warriors’ offence couldn’t figure out James Porter Jr. Friday night.

The Vernon Vipers netminder made 22 saves to lead his team to a 2-0 win April 23, giving the team a marginal lead in the BC Hockey League Vernon pod.

The Warriors were on the back foot for most of the first period after a parade to the penalty box led to four Vipers powerplay opportunities in the first frame alone. Warriors goaltender Johnny Derrick — who stole the show when the two teams last met on Monday, and nearly did so again Friday — stood tall to keep the game scoreless after the first.

The second period was more of the same. Hunter Donohoe rang a puck off a goal post and Cam MacDonald was stymied on a glorious opportunity. Porter Jr. also made a few timely saves at the other end of the ice to keep things knotted after period 2.

The Vipers powerplay finally made a break-through midway through the third. Tyler Carpendale scored his sixth goal of the Pod Season with just over 12 minutes to play.

That would be the only puck to beat a goalie on the night; the Vipers did well to settle the game down after taking the lead, and JoJo Tanaka-Campbell iced the game with an empty-net tally nine seconds before the final buzzer.

The Vipers now have 16 points on the season, putting them one point ahead of Salmon Arm and four points up on West K. All three teams in the Vernon pod have played 12 games so far.

The Vipers take on the Salmon Arm Silverbacks tonight at 6 p.m. The Warriors will face the ‘Backs Sunday with puck-drop also at 6 p.m.

READ MORE: Murray makes 31 saves as visiting Senators blank Canucks 3-0

READ MORE: Salmon Arm Silverbacks slip past West Kelowna


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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