In their final meeting in the round-robin of the Okanagan Cup the West Kelowna Warriors were victorious over the Vernon Vipers, winning a nail biter in Overtime by a score of 4-3.
The win meant more than points in the standings. The Warriors came into Saturday’s fundraiser with a goal of $3000 in mind for the BC Cancer Foundation. They were able to slash it because of John Evans’ heroics in overtime giving the Warriors the victory. With the win, Total Restoration Kelowna matched the $2500 the Warriors raised to mark a grand total of $5000.
West Kelowna Warriors president Chris Laurie was beyond excited about the outcome of the game and the money raised.
“What a fantastic event,” he said. “We raised $5,000 for the BC Cancer Foundation and win a heck of a hockey game. Thank you to all the Warriors fans for supporting the cause.”
Continuing his hot pac eof play since joining the Vipers, Will Arquiett opened the scoring. Gaining speed from the defensive zone, Arquiett gained speed into the offensive zone and lifted a backhander over the shoulder of Cole Schwebius. The Warriors would fire back almost immediately. Matthew Steinburg, who has also seen recent scoring success, would find the back of the net to even the score 1-1 within the three-minute mark of the first period. However, the tie was short-lived as the Vipers would regain the lead. Max Bulawka tucked one five-hole to restore the Vipers lead to 2-1. Vernon would continue their attack and eventually be rewarded. Reagan Milburn would score his first. His marker would put the Vipers ahead 3-1, a lead they would carry to the first intermission.
The second period saw the Warriors push back. Just after their man advantage expired, John Evans sniped home his third of the preseason from the top of the faceoff circle. The game would then take a physical turn. Matthew Steinburg received a hit from behind from Vipers defenceman Hunter Donohoe. Steinburg would take exception to the hit dropping the gloves with Donohoe. Both players would receive fighting majors and game misconducts. The fight would spark the Warriors bench. Elan Bar-Lev Wise would score against his former team to bring the score to a 3-3 tie.
In a similar fashion to the night before, the teams would skate through a scoreless third period. The Warriors were able to kill off a late penalty and ride the momentum from the kill into the overtime period.
In the extra frame, it was Evans cashing in on his 2nd of the night, propelling the Warriors to a 4-3 Overtime win. He would break into the Vipers zone and fire a shot over the glove of goaltender Kobe Grant. The win gives the Warriors a clean sweep of the Vipers in the round-robin of the Okanagan Cup.
The Warriors will now enjoy the Halloween weekend off before wrapping up the round-robin with a weekend set against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, beginning Nov. 6 at 7 p.m.