I was at tonight's Vipers-Warriors game as West Kelowna defeated Vernon 3-2 in overtime in front of 966 fans at Royal LePage Place.
Vernon: Ty Taylor
West Kelowna: Shane Farkas
1st Period: A bit of a slow start for both teams as neither team could get much flow going with several tops and starts within the first few minutes. The Vipers took early control of the game off the opening faceoff and carried most of the play through out the opening period. Even with all the early stopages in the opening minutes the Vipers still managed to carry the play. Vernon getting pucks to the net early, testing Warriors starting goaltender Shane Farkas. The Vipers didn't get a lot of great opportunities, were throwing pucks to the net, looking for second chances. Vernon outshooting West Kelowna 4-0 early as the Warriors needed six and a half minutes to record their first shot on goal. Vernon outshooting WK at this point 7-1. The Vipers skating well, moving the puck carried the better of the play, were by far the better team in the first half. The Vipers would open the scoring on an odd man rush. Christian Cakebread setup Brett Stapley cutting through the blueline before beating Shane Farkas in the slot giving Vernon the 1-0 lead at 11:10 Cakebread & Cooper Watson with the helpers. West Kelowna come right back and would get their first bit of pressure-zone time with a hard working shift. The Warriors with a good solid few minutes worked hard before getting the games first powerplay. Late in the powerplay former Kamloops Blazers forward Matthew Campese alone in front was stoned by Ty Taylor who made a huge pad save off Campese in front keeping this a one goal game. Vernon with a good PK would kill off the minor. The Vipers would get their first look with the man advantage just as the minor expired. Brett Stapley with a nice feed out front spotted Steven Jandric who beat Farkas giving Vernon a 2-0 lead at 16:23 Stapley and Hunter Zandee with the assists. With 2:20 remaining the Warriors would get an odd man rush, Jared Marino somehow missed the wide open cage on a missed opportunity. It was 2-0 Vernon after 20 minutes of play. It was all Vipers from start to finish as Vernon was the better of the two teams. The Vipers carried most of the play, were skating hard, moving the puck, getting pucks to the net, looked very good in the first twenty minutes. The Warriors playing their first game in eight days looked rusty and it showed. West Kelowna looked sluggish, weren't skating, had troubles getting control of the puck, getting pucks to the net, were outplayed the 1st period. The Tribe with very little zone time played a lot of time in the neutral zone-their own zone. Vernon outshot West Kelowna 14-5.
2nd Period: After a few hard shifts from the Vipers early the Warriors got their game going and took control of the middle frame. It was all West Kelowna for most of the 2nd period. The Warriors skating hard, had the Vipers back on their heels at times. WK throwing pucks to the net, were going hard to the goal, creating/generating chances early and often. Veteran forward Quin Foreman through the puck to the front of the net on an odd man rush couldn't connect with the other forward as the puck hit a Vernon defenceman in front breaking up the Warriors attack. A few minor scrums took place after the whistle as both teams got into pushing matches. This giving the Tribe their second look with the PP. The Warriors with several good looks-chances couldn't convert with the man advantage. Former Vipers forward Chase Stevenson would be denied in front before Quin Foreman missed on the second opportunity from the slot on two back to back quality chances by WK. With just seconds remaining on the powerplay, Chase Dubois come down the left wing before snapping a quick low from the circle beat Vipers starting goaltender Ty Taylor shot shortside cutting the Vernon lead to 2-1 at 10:32 Jared Marino with the lone helper. The Warriors kept coming as the Vipers had all kinds of troubles getting the offence going. Taylor had to be solid with WK buzzing. With just over six minutes remaining Chase Stevenson alone in front fired high and just over the top corner missing on a great opportunity. With just over two minutes to go, West Kelowna would get another look with the man advantage. Ty Taylor was forced to make a big stop off the point with bodies in front, made two real big saves on the PK as Vernon was able to get some good goaltending and get out of the period with just a handful of seconds left on the penalty. It was 2-1 Vernon after 40 minutes of play. The Tribe really stepped up their play and turned the game around after a poorly 1st period. The Warriors come out with a strong effort and played very well in the 2nd period. WK were by far the better team and outplayed the Vipers most of the period. Had some real good looks-chances, missed on a few good chances in close. The Vipers looked like a totally different team after a great opening period. Whats with the Vipers 2nd periods lately? They seem to lay an egg almost every second period as of late. Vernon looked slow and sluggish, weren't skating, were being outworked and outskated. Very few to little if any scoring chances, played most of the period in their own end. Ty Taylor was solid in the 2nd period.
3rd Period: The Vipers were able to kill off the remaining few seconds off the penalty kill wich was carried over from the 2nd period. Cooper Watson with a quick shot from the point forced Shane Farkas into making a quick glove save just three minutes into the 3rd. On the play the Vipers would jump to an early powerplay. Vernon moving the puck around quickly forced Shane Farkas into making several big stops on the penalty kill. Michael Ufberg with a best look was stoned in the high slot. Shorthanded Ty Taylor come way out of his crease, fired the puck up ice was just about picked off by Quin Foreman who had a good look at a wide open cage. The Vipers with a good powerplay, had their chances, couldn't capitalize as West Kelowna killed off the minor. Shortly after Ty Taylor was forced into making a glove save off Jared Marino from the circle. Both teams then went back and fourth with lots of good chances at either ends of the rink. The Warriors would then get the final powerplay of the evening. WK with a ton of pressure on the man advantage couldn't beat Ty Taylor. A goal mouth scramble had Taylor flopping all over the blue paint but the Tribe couldn't find the back of the net on a close call as Vernon was able to excape and kill off the minor. The Vipers stormed right back had two good looks in front couldn't bang home the puck before back come the Warriors. Michael Ryan's point shot found it's way through a maze of players in front beat wich looked like a screened Ty Taylor to tie the game 2-2 at 10:40 sending Royal LePage Place into a frenzy. Quin Foreman with the lone assist. Once again both teams didn't quit and both clubs come right back as the play went back and fourth with good looks & opportunities at both ends of the rink. Both goaltenders were very good in the 3rd period. Niko Karamanis with a great opportunity with about four minutes to go couldn't beat Shane Farkas in close. It was tied 2-2 after 60 minutes of play. Lots of great chances at both ends of the rink, as both teams were very evenly matched. Both teams had several good quality chances couldn't beat the other teams goaltender. A very quick pace 3rd period. The Warriors would get the big game tying goal, the only goal of the third wich forced overtime. Both goaltenders were very solid in the 3rd making some big stops. West Kelowna outshot Vernon 17-13.
Overtime: Off the opening puck drop the Vipers won the draw. Brett Stapley lead the attack with the odd man rush, setup Niko Karamanis in front who couldn't beat Shane Farkas who come up with the huge save before back come the Tribe. Quin Foreman lead the rush for WK through the puck in front that went in and off Connor Sodergren giving the defending National champions the 3-2 overtime victory at 0:29 as the Warriors bench flooded the ice to pile onto Connor Sodergren. As the Vipers were making their way off the ice-bench and West Kelowna still on the ice celebrating, the two referee's huddled around each other were talking for a minute or so in the corner before again gathering together this time with the linesmen in front of the penalty box. By this time the Warriors were just getting off the ice. That's when the referee's made their way off the ice. Vernon outshot West Kelowna 3-2.
Top Player's: (Vernon)
Michael Ufberg I thought played a real strong game on the Viper backend. Carried the puck a lot, moved the puck up ice well and in a hurry. Was getting that quick release-one time off in a hurry and had some good looks-opportunities on the powerplay. A very good smooth skater, moves the puck well. Really sees-reads the ice well.
Brett Stapley (1 goal & 1 assist) Had a strong game in the loss. Picking up two points was very strong in the offensive zone, made several heads up plays to create-generate chances, was good on the draw, always moving his feet, worked-competed hard.
Jesse Lansdell For a second straight game played very well. Was also skating hard, carried the puck often, looked good through out the night.
Ty Taylor (36 saves) Made his fourth straight start, played a very solid game between the pipes. Didn't see much for rubber in that opening frame, was very strong come the 2nd and 3rd periods. Was big on the penalty kill and when the Warriors were on the attack.
Game Thought's: (Vernon)
The Vipers jumped on West Kelowna early and often played a very strong 1st period. Vernon looked very good through out the opening frame were up 2-0 on the road in a rink they haven't had much luck in the past few seasons took a step back come the 2nd period. For a third straight game the Vipers went to sleep-fell apart come the 2nd period, were a totally different hockey team. Quit skating, were being outworked & outskated, played most of the 2nd period in their own end. Come the 3rd the Vipers got back on track and played well. Vernon had their chances couldn't solve Shane Farkas in the 3rd when they really needed that next goal. I thought the Vipers played well in two of the three periods but need a much more consistant effort in all three periods. It seems like Vernon has had their troubles in the 2nd period as of late. Whats going on? Other then the middle frame I thought the Vipers played very well but cant be blowing 2-0 leads after dominating the opening period. This was a tough loss, especially after having a two goal lead. Vernon really needed that third goal either in the 2nd or 3rd period. The Vipers seem to lack that killer instinct and cant seem to put away teams-games when up by a few goals. With the loss the Vipers fall to 1-3 in overtime this season & 5-8-2-0 on the road. The Vipers have just four regular season wins in their last thirteen games in West Kelowna. Vernon has now lost six of their last eight road games. Looking at the standings before tonight, this was a game the Vipers needed to win! You already have troubles beating teams ahead of you in the standings, you have to take advantage and beat the teams below you in the standings. West Kelowna was in last place before tonight's game. I really like the looks of this years team-roster but they have been very inconsistent all season. This team cant seem to get on a roll and put together a nice winning streak. Its win one, lose one, win one, lose two or three. With the card deadline looming, it will be interesting to see what the Vipers do. A few Viper fans were in attendance tonight.
Top Player's: (West Kelowna)
Quin Foreman (1 assist) Was good through out the contest. Was creating/generating chances through out the night, always seems to play well against Vernon.
Chase Dubois (1 goal) I thought was one of if not the Warriors best forward tonight. Not the biggest kid, but plays with-shows a lot of hustle and determination in his game. Has some wheels, can really move, skates well, has a quick shot, moves the puck well & Isnt afraid of going to the grey area. Battles and competes hard.
Stephen Kleysen played well on the Tribes blueline.
Matthew Campese The son of former Penticton Vees Head Coach-GM Bruno Campese played very well tonight. Was acquired after being released from the Kamloops Blazers played hard, was going to the net.
Nicholas Rutigliano Was another Warriors defenceman that I thought stood out tonight. Had a strong night on the backend. Played with an edge, was in the face of the Vipers through out the game.
Jared Marino (1 assist) Had his share of chances, was driving to the net, looking for opportunities. Played well in the victory.
Shane Farkas (34 saves) Was tested early and often in the opening period, gave up two goals on fourteen shots but really settled down in the 2nd and 3rd periods. Battled and played hard between the pipes, giving his team a chance to stay in the game. Likes to come out to the top of his crease, challenge the shooters, dosnt give you a lot of room to shoot, very little second opportunities on this kid. Both goaltenders played very well tonight.
Game Thought's: (West Kelowna)
Tonight was the Warriors first game in eight days, snapping a two game losing skid after a big come from behind victory. West Kelowna looked a little rusty after that long layoff with no games, needed twenty minutes to get their game going. The Warriors fell behind two goals but really turned the game around in the 2nd with a strong second period. The Tribe skating well, moved the puck well, were creating-generating chances, had the Vipers back on their heels in that 2nd period. Lots of zone time had some good quality chances got within one heading into the 3rd. The Warriors got a big penalty kill early to start the 3rd kept battling-working hard, didn't quit before tying the game, wich forced overtime. West Kelowna didn't get off to a great start, looked & played much better and were very good in the 2nd and 3rd periods. A big two points wich moved the Warriors from 6th to fifth passing the Salmon Arm Silverbacks moving to within two points of 4th place Merritt and three points of 3rd place Vernon. I noticed a lot of new faces in the West Kelowna lineup since the last time these two teams met. The Warriors improve to 2-1 vs the Vipers this season, will be in Vernon December 2nd. A very entertaining-exciting hockey game tonight in front of a fairly decent sized crowd.
Jagger Williamson (Injured)
Riley Brandt (Suspended)
Jimmy Lambert (Injured)
Chris Jandric (Injured)
Energy Player of the Game:
1st Star: Michael Ryan (1 goal)
2nd Star: Brett Stapley (1 goal & 1 assist)
3rd Star: Nicholas Rutiliano
BCHL Boxscore-Game summary,
Trevor Miller's West Kelowna Warriors Blog,
West Kelowna Warriors Game Summary,
Trevor Miller's West Kelowna Warriors Blog,
West Kelowna Warriors Game Summary,