Vernon, BC: The Vernon Vipers will hit the ice for the first time since March when they take on the West Kelowna Warriors to kick off the Okanagan Cup Tournament at Royal LePage Place.
The Vipers haven’t played a game since they wrapped up the first round of the post season against the Wenatchee Wild early in March.
The lineup will look a little different for the Snakes as they had just 8 players return. With plenty of time for evaluation, Head Coach and GM of the Vipers Jason McKee says these games are perfect for players to make an impact.
“In previous seasons these players would have a game maybe two to make an impact. With this extended exhibition tournament, you may see players loosen up a bit knowing that one mistake, big or small, won’t necessarily cost them a spot on this team.”
For the Warriors they’re looking to rebound after a season of ups and downs. The Tribe trended well late in the regular season after a coaching chance and pushed the Vees in the first round of the playoffs by pushing Penticton to 5 games and two of those going to extra time.
Head Coach of West Kelowna Simon Ferguson says they liked the foundation and the way they were playing in the postseason.
“I really liked the way we competed in the first round. Our players got valuable experience and with the players we’ve brought in, we think this will continue our growth and development as the season progresses.”
Both teams will have some returning players in the lineup with some bodies who are making their BCHL debut and some young bodies looking to secure spots come December.
You can catch all the action starting at 6:45. You can watch on HockeyTV with the West Kelowna broadcast team. You can also tune in with Graham Turnbull on 107.5 Beach Radio or Vernon Matters.com if you’re outside of the Vernon listening area.