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PREVIEW: WARRIORS HOST VIPERS IN OK CUP SEMI FINAL

#11 Nick Ardanaz and the Warriors look to punch their ticket to the Okanagan Cup finals.

Photo Credit: Tami Quan Photography

November 7th, 2020

West Kelowna, B.C. – The West Kelowna Warriors and Vernon Vipers go head to head Friday night in the Okanagan Cup Semi Finals. 

With second place in the Okanagan Cup secured, the Warriors wanted to keep up their momentum last Saturday and they were successful after a 3-1 win and weekend sweep of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. The Warriors continued to get production out of leading scorer John Evans and both goaltenders Johnny Derrick and Zach Bennett stood tall allowing a total of 3 goals in two games combined. Bad news came after Saturday’s game for the Warriors with forward Matt Stienburg out with a lower body injury for the foreseeable future. The glass half full for the Warriors this weekend is the return of forward Tyler Cristall who is expected to take Stienburg’s spot on the top line with Jack Finley and John Evans.

Tonight, the Okanagan Cup now shifts to the semi final stage. West Kelowna will face the Vernon Vipers in a single elimination game. The winner of this game will play for the Okanagan Cup Championship on Saturday November 14th against the winner of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and Penticton Vees. The Warriors have swept the Vipers in Okanagan Cup round robin play but their last three appearances were all one goal games. Warriors ran into great goaltending and the Vipers have added some punch in every position. Starting between the pipes with Saskatoon Blades goaltender Koen MacInnes being loaned to the Vipers. The Vipers have been using the rookie tandem of Kobe Grant and Roan Clark and although they have looked solid during the Okanagan Cup round robin, MacInnes provides a little bit of confidence for the team ahead of him. Since the Warriors played the Vipers they’ve also added two forwards in Josh Prokop and Tyler Carpendale on loan from their respective WHL teams. The two were able to connect for multi point weekends against the Vees last week. Scoring was a concern for the Vipers and with some extra confidence between the pipes and some scoring flair up front, this is expected to be the toughest matchup for the Warriors and it just happens to be an elimination game.

Puck drop for the Warriors on Friday will be 7:00pm from Royal Lepage Place. Catch broadcasts on HockeyTV or tune into the Warriors MixIr radio station. Tonight’s game will also be featured on the big screen at WINGS West Kelowna.