West Kelowna, BC: The Vipers had a goal from Trey Taylor and a shorthanded marker from Connor Sleeth, but couldn’t draw even as they fell 3-2 against the West Kelowna Warriors.
The Vipers would essentially start the hockey game on a powerplay as just 30 seconds in Drew Vieten was assessed a minor penalty. The Vipers had a number of good looks at the net as the philosophy seemed to be to funnel pucks at the net. There were some rebounds to be had, but no Viper could find the back of the net. The Warriors were next to get a powerplay and the Viper PK was strong killing it off. The play then slowed down as both teams played a solid defensive sequence. The Warriors took the lead on a powerplay as a rebound found its way to Levi Stauber who snapped home the loose puck to make it 1-0. A Viper turnover and another Warrior goal as Carter Wilkie made it 2-0 just a minute later.
The Vipers came out buzzing in the second period and jumped out to a 6-0 shot advantage, but didn’t get any puck luck as rebounds off of Johnny Derrick. The Warriors increased their lead after a powerplay expired. The Vipers had trouble clearing the zone after killing it off and Jacob Brockman let loose a slap shot from the left point through traffic made it 3-0. While the game was 4 on 4 Trey Taylor converted on a great individual effort as he was stopped on the first chance but spun and fired in his rebound to make it 3-1.
The Vipers turned on the tempo in the third period, but found themselves shorthanded 4 minutes into the period. Ben Helgeson would win a puck battle and center a pass on to the tape of Connor Sleeth who snapped home his 4th of the season to cut the deficit to 3-2. From there, the Vipers would kill the remainder of the penalty and push even strength. The Vipers had their chances as the third period continued. A powerplay generated time of possession but no offense. On the other end Keegan Karki was tested a few times and was razor sharp to keep the game within one. The Vipers would be awarded a late powerplay and with the goalie pulled had two good looks, but couldn’t find the back of the net as their comeback fell a goal short in a 3-2 loss.
The Vipers will be in action tomorrow night at home as they and the Warriors finish up a home and home set at Kal Tire Place.