PHOTO: Tami Quan
WEST KELOWNA, B.C. – The West Kelowna Warriors used a 24-save shutout effort from Rorke Applebee and timely goal scoring to come away with a 3-0 pre-season victory over the Vernon Vipers on Friday night at Royal LePage Place.
Following a game-opening penalty kill and a big save from Warriors goaltender Rorke Applebee on Vipers forward Owen Kim on a breakaway just 40 seconds into the game, the Warriors rewarded their netminder for one of his 11 saves on the night with the game’s opening goal from a familiar source in Michael Salandra.
West Kelowna moved the puck through the neutral zone where Johannes Løkkeberg centered a pass from the right wing and spotted Salandra down the left side in the face-off circle where he kicked the puck from his left skate to his stick and beat Vipers goaltender Dylan Adams on the glove side at the 11:04 mark for a 1-0 advantage.
Applebee stood tall with 11 saves in the opening 20 minutes of action while Adams turned aside 6 of the 7 shots thrown his way in the opening frame before the two goalies were on display in the 2nd period once again as the team’s couldn’t find the back of the middle in the middle stanza.
The Warriors goaltending was once again solid with the 20-year-old Applebee stopping all 10 shots he faced in the 2nd period while Adams made 15 saves on 16 shots in his outing before handing the net over to Colin Reay in the Vernon goal who stopped each of the 4 shots he faced just after the media timeout and goaltending switch to see the Warriors carry a 1-0 lead into the 3rd period.
Third period action saw Vernon register just four shots on Applebee and the briskly played frame had West Kelowna bury two goals in the final half of the period to secure a preseason win, both coming courtesy of the power play.
Felix Caron was in the right place at the right time for his marker that came at the 12:59 mark of the frame. Viggo Nordstrom walked down the left side and had his shot blocked with the puck bouncing to the right side where Caron snapped a quick shot past the glove of Reay with one second remaining on a power play to give the Warriors a 2-0 edge.
Caden Kemkaran-Humble completed the scoring with another late power play goal with just 20 seconds remaining in the contest, whacking in a shot from the left face-off circle that Jack Pridham whipped on net to push the Warriors ahead by a 3-0 margin with just 19 seconds left in the game.
Rorke Applebee made four 3rd period stops to secure the shutout win, turning aside each of the 24 attempts that hit him while Dylan Adams made 15 saves on 16 shots in his 31:35 of play in the Vipers net before Colin Reay took the loss, allowing two goals on 15 shots in 28:25 of ice time.
FINAL SCORE: 3-0 Warriors
SHOTS ON GOAL: 31-24 Warriors
WARRIORS PP: 2/6
WARRIORS PK: 5/5
The Warriors will conclude their exhibition schedule with a matchup in the North Okanagan against the same Vernon Vipers on Saturday night at Kal Tire Place. Puck drop is slated for 6:00 PM with the game being broadcasted live on the Warriors Mixlr channel as well as streamed online on FloHockey.
West Kelowna will get set for the opening of their 2023/24 regular season when they take on the Penticton Vees on Friday, September 22nd at Royal LePage Place. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM from RLP with tickets now available for purchase on the Warriors website as well as at the Warriors Office.