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GAME PREVIEW: Warriors Host Vipers To Conclude Season Series

PHOTO: Julie Pringle/Snap Photography

The West Kelowna Warriors aim for back-to-back victories as they continue their four-game home stand with the final regular season matchup against the Vernon Vipers on Friday night at Royal LePage Place.




Warriors vs. Vipers 2017/18 Schedule:

Saturday, October 28th @ Kal Tire Place (5-2 Vipers) (BOXSCORE)

Saturday, November 4th @ Kal Tire Place (5-3 Vipers) (BOXSCORE)

Wednesday, November 15th @ Kal Tire Place (3-2 Vipers/OT) (BOXSCORE)

Saturday, November 25th @ Royal LePage Place (4-2 Vipers) (BOXSCORE)

Tuesday, January 16th @ Royal LePage Place (5-0 Vipers) (BOXSCORE)

Friday, January 26th @ Royal LePage Place (7:00 PM)

The Warriors and Vipers meet for the sixth and final time in their season series with Vernon having won all five previous meetings including a 5-0 victory that took place in West Kelowna just one week ago on Tuesday, January 16th. The shutout was the second consecutive for the Warriors at the time and the 7th on the season for Vipers netminder Ty Taylor, who leads the BCHL in that regard.

West Kelowna comes into Friday night’s game holding a 23-21-1-1 record and sits 5th in the Interior Division after a 5-0 shutout victory of their own against the Coquitlam Express on Tuesday night at Royal LePage Place. Ryan Steele registered his first career BCHL hat trick with a goal in the 1st period and two in the 2nd frame while Chase Dubois and Michael Lombardi adding singles in the win. Nik Amundrud turned aside all of the 21 shots he faced in the game for his first career BCHL shutout and his 12th win of the season in between the pipes.

Warriors Leading Scorers:

Jared Marino (19-30-49)

Chase Dubois (16-23-39)

Michael Ryan (5-30-35)

Ryan Steele (11-23-34)

RJ Murphy (13-17-30)

The hat trick on Tuesday night for Ryan Steele was his first in the BC Hockey League and the second of the season for a Warriors player after Matt Kowalski scored three times in the opening game of the season in Trail on September 8th. The three goals (plus an assist) has bumped Steele’s numbers up to four goals and six points in the six games he has played In West Kelowna and now sits on 34 points on the season.

The power play found success on Tuesday night against the Express, going 3/6 while not surrendering a goal against on the penalty kill for the second straight contest. The Warriors come into Friday night’s game against the Vipers with the 5th ranked power play in the BCHL at 20.5% on the season and has gone 4/22 on the man advantage against Vernon this season.

Nik Amundrud gets his third start in the last four games and looks to continue his play from his previous two starts after collecting his first career BCHL shutout on Tuesday against Coquitlam. The win for Amundrud pushed him to 12 on the season and has stopped 50 of the last 51 shots he has faced in the last two games.

The Vernon Vipers enter Friday night with a 29-12-4-1 record and sit 2nd in the BCHL’s Interior Division after a 2-1 loss on Sunday afternoon to the Coquitlam Express at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Complex. Jesse Lansdell scored 1:06 into the game but would be all the scoring for the Vipers as they couldn’t muster any more offense in the defeat. Anthony Yamnitsky stopped 25 of the 27 shots he faced in the game in his 9th loss of the season.

Vipers Leading Scorers:

Jimmy Lambert (15-32-47)

Jagger Williamson (17-27-44)

Brett Stapley (18-24-42)

Michael Ufberg (5-35-40)

Jesse Lansdell (12-27-39)

The Vipers are looking to get back in the win column after a pair of losses up north in Prince George against the Spruce Kings before dropping the game on Sunday to the Express. Tonight’s game kicks off a difficult stretch on the weekend for Vernon that sees them play at home on Saturday night at Kal Tire Place to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs before heading to Trail on Sunday afternoon against the Smoke Eaters.

There have been a few players on the Vernon roster to have success against West Kelowna this season with Vipers captain Jagger Williamson leading that charge with a pair of goals and eight points in the five games against the Warriors this season. Josh Prokop (5-2-7), Jimmy Lambert (2-5-7) and Brett Stapley (4-2-6) have also had big impacts in the season series. The Vipers have outscored the Warriors by a 22-9 margin in the five games against one another this season.

Ty Taylor continues to dazzle in between the pipes for the Vipers as he holds the BCHL lead in both goals against average (1.76) and save percentage (.934) and shutouts (7) while sitting 3rd in the league in wins with 18. The Richmond, BC native has shutouts in 4 of his last 7 games and has played very well against the Warriors this season in four games with a 4-0 record to go along with a 1.46 GAA and a .953 SV% in that span. Taylor comes into Friday night just one shutout away from breaking the BCHL record, which was set in 2005/06 when Brad Thiessen had 7 with the Merritt Centennials and Prince George Spruce Kings while Michael Garteig tied the record with 7 in 2010/11 with the Powell River Kings.

The Warriors and Vipers drop the puck on the final game of their season series at 7:00 PM with tickets available for purchase online at, at the Warriors office, by calling (250) 769-7051 or at the box office one hour prior to the opening face-off.

The Warriors conclude their four-game home stand on Sunday afternoon when they host the Alberni Valley Bulldogs for a 2:30 PM face-off. It’s West Kelowna Minor Hockey Day and the final Skate with the Warriors of the season immediately following the final buzzer.