Vernon, BC: Bradley Cooper stopped 27 shots and Teddy Wooding scored a shorthanded goal as the very undermanned Vernon Vipers squad pushed the Warriors to the limit in a 2-1 loss.
It was a very balanced first period that featured 3 or 4 good quality story chances but Connor Hopkins made some big saves. Not to be outdone, Bradley Cooper stood tall on 8 West Kelowna shots. It was a strange period, that featured a lot of movement, but no goals and oddly, no penalties.
In the second, the Warriors started out strong with a few consecutive shifts in the Vipers zone. Their pressure paid off as the Vipers had some issues with a bouncing puck in front of the goal and Lucas Cullen snapped home the first goal of the game. The Vipers rebounded nicely after that and continued to defend extremely well, despite the pressure and despite the adversity to keep it 1-0 midway thru the period. Bradley Cooper continued to make timely saves as the Vipers continued to hang around. While shorthanded, the Vipers finally got a break as Matt Kowalski’s rebound found Teddy Wooding and he wrapped around his 9th of the year to tie the game up late in the 2nd.
In the third, just like a game prior, the Vipers were tied heading into the third against a strong offensive team. The Vipers continued to bend, but not break and when given opportunities generated chances at the Warrior goal. Both goalies were stellar, but the pendulum swung in West K’s favour after a Tyler Ho shot hit a goal post and the Warriors flung a puck out to center, where Lucas Cullen found a step and snapped home his 2nd of the night which would stand up as the game winner. The Vipers put a flurry of action in front of the Warrior goal in the last 5 minutes, but couldn’t find the equalizer as the buzzer sounded in a 2-1 loss.
Here’s the Scoring Summary:
WK – Lucas Cullen (15) – unassisted – 3:21
VER – Teddy Wooding (9) – Matt Kowalski (15) – 17:26 (SH)
WK – Lucas Cullen (16) – Chase Dubois (20) – 14:49
The Vipers will be hitting the road for a Wednesday night date in Trail with the Smoke Eaters.