The West Kelowna Warriors out-scored the Vernon Vipers 6-4 on the road Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. (Katherine Peters - Morning Star) The West Kelowna Warriors out-scored the Vernon Vipers 6-4 on the road Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. (Katherine Peters - Morning Star)

West Kelowna Warriors edge Vernon Vipers 6-4

The teams meet again on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. for the final game of regular season

The Vernon Vipers scored two shorthanded goals, but it wasn’t enough to get past John Evans and the West Kelowna Warriors Friday night.

The teams played in front of a crowd of more than 2,500 for the first of a home-and-home to end the regular season. The Warriors took Friday’s meeting by a score of 6-4, thanks in large part to a hat trick from Evans, the Warriors’ leader in goals (22) and points (50).

The Vipers jumped out to an early lead as Ben Helgeson was sprung free for a shorthanded breakaway. Helgeson deked out Warriors goalie Johnny Derrick for his 10th goal of the season.

The Warriors tied things up when the puck took a fortunate bounce from behind the Vipers net onto the stick of Ryan Upson who made it 1-1. Ryan Shostack restored the Vipers’ lead roughly six minutes later, scoring his eighth of the season.

The home team managed 14 shots in the second period, but it was the Warriors’ Evans who added to the score sheet a pair of goals less than three minutes apart – the second on the powerplay with 35 seconds left in the period.

With the score 3-2 for the Warriors heading into the third, the Vipers wasted no time drawing even once again. Max Bulawka grabbed a loose puck and tucked it home 36 seconds into the final frame.

Past the halfway mark of the period the Warriors offence came up big. Goals from Levi Stauber and Elan Bar Lev Wise put the visitors up 5-3.

Dawson Holt got the Vipers within a goal with just over two minutes of game time left, but Evans sealed the deal with an empty netter to complete his hat trick. With that, the Warriors scored three goals on just four shots in the third period.

The two teams are back at it Saturday at 6 p.m., this time at Royal LePage Place in Kelowna to finish off the regular season. The Vipers can clinch home ice advantage in the first round of the BCHL playoffs with a victory.

The Warriors ended a six-game skid with the win and are already set to face the Interior-leading Penticton Vees in the playoffs.

PHOTOS: 2020 BC Winter Games kick off in Fort St. John

READ MORE: Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

hockeyVernon VipersWest Kelowna Warriors

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon women spending quarantine making masks

Group at Predator Ridge, and a colleague in Vernon, keeping busy making surgical masks for others

Second million-dollar lotto ticket sold in Vernon

Same thing happened on March 7; somebody won Guaranteed Match Number prize

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

WATCH: Coldstream producer treats neighbours to live music from safe distance

Neighbours practiced social distancing as Jeff Johnson played songs from his front steps

Sparkling Hill Resort donates produce to Vernon food bank, gloves to hospital

Operating manager says layoffs resulted in spare materials that are much needed amid COVID-19

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

World COVID-19 update: U.S. expects 100,000 deaths; Oregon declares disaster

Comprehensive update of world news for Sunday, March 19.

No hesitation; two bystanders assist in South Okanagan house fire rescue

“I’d do it for anybody,” says Penticton man after assisting in house fire rescue

Summerland churches go online during COVID-19 pandemic

Livestream services, online support provided to congregations and community

Fur Brigade Trail was transportation route in Okanagan Valley

Transportation corridor passed through Nicola Prairie, now Summerland

RCMP, firefighters rally in support for health care workers in Kelowna

Pandosy Street was packed with supporters Saturday night

Most Read