Warriors slip by Snakes
To say the bounces weren’t going the Vernon Vipers’ way was an understatement Tuesday night at Royal LePage Place.
The host West Kelowna Warriors used a fluke bounce to open the scoring and hung on for a 2-1 B.C. Hockey League win over the Snakes in front of 966 fans.
On a West Kelowna dump-in early in the first period, forward Shawn Hochhausen (8th goal) flipped a puck into the attacking zone and as it bounced towards Austin Smith, it redirected at the last second to fool the Vernon netminder. It was their second shot of the game.
“Very tight game,” said Vipers’ head coach Jason Williamson. “One unbelievably bad bounce and we lose the game.
“It was evenly played after that. Another one-goal game.”
The Vipers, last in the Interior Division at 17-25-1-9, are in Prince George tonight for a date with the 24-20-1-7 Spruce Kings at the Coliseum. Tuesday’s loss leaves them all but eliminated from the playoffs.
Rylan Ferster’s Warriors have been playing solid hockey in 2013, registering just two regulation losses in 18 games in the New Year. They are third in the Interior at 26-13-3-9.
Devon Hascarl made it 2-0 with his third of the season midway through the opening frame. The Vernon native buried a cross-crease feed from Matt Anholt, the other assist going to Reid Simmons.
Vernon d-man Jason Bird (3rd) cut the lead in half in the second period. Ryan Renz started the play with a breakout pass to Liam Board, who worked the puck to the net and Bird was there to bang home a rebound.
West Kelowna backup Steven Myland recorded 34 saves for his third win. Smith had 30 stops for the Snakes.
Vernon blueliner Geoff Crisfield earned an early shower for a blow to the head major on former teammate Marcus Basara in the third period.
Basara, who turned 20 Wednesday, is seventh in BCHL scoring with 30-35-65 in 51 games.