The West Kelowna Warriors are moving on to the second round of the BCHL playoffs after defeating the Vernon Vipers 7-2 in game five of their first round series.
In front of a full-capacity crowd at Royal LePage Arena, the Warriors executed when the opportunites arose and took advantage of Vernon’s mistakes to end the Vipers’ season.
After a scoreless first period, Warriors forward John Evans got the scoring started just 1:43 into the second. Despite a relentless attack from Vernon all period, it was the Warriors that came out of the second with a 3-0 lead. They also got goals from Brennan Nelson and Charles Alexis-Legault. Nelson’s was his team-high fourth of the postseason.
Ryan Shostak got the Vipers on the board early in the third period with a powerplay goal to make it 3-1. But the Warriors offense was too much for the Vipers to handle as West Kelowna got goals 27 seconds apart from Felix Trudeau and Marcus Joughin to make it 5-1.
Zack Tonelli scored his second of the postseason for the Vipers to make it 5-2.
Evans scored his second of the game into the empty net to make it 6-2. Zach Reim also scored late in the game to make it 7-2 and finish the Vipers season.
All but three Warriors players collected at least a point in the game.
Johnny Derrick was great in net for West Kelowna again making 34 saves in the win. Vipers goaltender Ethan David made 28 saves in the loss.
The Warriors will face either the Prince George Spruce Kings or the Cranbrook Bucks in the second round. Prince George leads their first round series over Cranbrook 3-2.
It is yet to be announced when the Warriors second round series will begin. They will have home-ice advantage with games one and two starting at Royal LePage Place.