Vernon Vipers forward Jonathan Horn battles for the puck against West Kelowna Warriors defenceman Noah Laframboise in a game at Kal Tire Place Friday, Dec. 16, 2022. (Lisa Mazurek photo)

Vernon Vipers forward Jonathan Horn battles for the puck against West Kelowna Warriors defenceman Noah Laframboise in a game at Kal Tire Place Friday, Dec. 16, 2022. (Lisa Mazurek photo)

West Kelowna Warriors rout Vernon Vipers 5-1

Warriors goaltender Justin Katz made 23 saves in the win

The West Kelowna Warriors were too much for the Vernon Vipers Friday night.

The Warriors scored two goals in the second and another pair in the third to win 5-1 on the road at Kal Tire Place.

Five different goal scorers helped the Warriors snap a three-game losing skid, handing the Vipers their second loss in a row.

The Warriors opened the game with the first seven shots on net, and also the game’s first goal as Felix Caron buried his ninth goal of the season to give his team an early 1-0 advantage.

The Vipers would answer back with three minutes to go in the first period. Julian Facchinelli scored his fifth of the season, assisted by Griffen Barr and Dylan Compton. Compton had his right circle shot stopped by Warriors goalie Justin Katz before the puck popped into the air and Facchinelli knocked it in at the side of the net to tie the game at one goal apiece.

The Vipers out-shot the visiting team by a 12-6 margin in the second period, but it was the Warriors who potted a pair of goals to take the lead heading into the third. Matt Fusco scored in his second consecutive game with a powerplay goal.

Then, 13 seconds after exiting the penalty box, Ben MacDonald cruised through the neutral zone, went wide on a Vipers defender and fired a shot over the left shoulder of Vipers goalie Ethan David to give West Kelowna a two-goal lead.

The Warriors kept the pressure on in the third period. Jake Bernadet pushed his team’s lead to three goals with his fifth of the season after Fusco slid a pass to him in the left face-off circle and he flipped a shot over the right shoulder of David.

Midway through the third, the Vipers turned the puck over in the slot and Michael Salandra found it and went from his forehand to his backhand, lifting a shot over the blocker shoulder of David to give the Warriors a 5-1 lead, which would go on to be the final score.

With the loss, the Vipers fall to seventh in the BC Hockey League Interior division with 28 points in 28 games, one point behind the Trail Smoke Eaters in one extra game played. The Warriors sit in third in the division with 36 points in 28 games, one point behind the Cranbrook Bucks having played one more game.

The Vipers return to the ice tonight (Dec. 17) against the Wenatchee Wild at home at 6 p.m. Meanwhile the Warriors take on the powerhouse Penticton Vees at Royal LePage Place tonight at 7 p.m.

READ MORE: Vernon Vipers fight to bronze at Canmore Rumble

READ MORE: Grace, Too: Kelowna skater to dress for Team Canada


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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BCHLVernon VipersWest Kelowna Warriors

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