Fans threw a lot of teddy bears and were treated to a hard-fought win as the West Kelowna Warriors beat the Vernon Vipers for their annual teddy bear toss game on Friday night (Dec. 2).
Just 3:53 into the game, the Warriors fans got to throw their fluffy friends onto the ice as forward Kailus Green found the back of the net.
It hasn’t been announced how many bears were thrown onto the ice.
While Green’s goal was the only one in the first period, they weren’t hard to come by in the second as four goals were scored in the span of 3:42.
After Lee Parks scored for the Vipers to tie the game at one, the Warriors regained the lead when Ben McDonald scored his eighth of the season.
The period finished with a 3-2 Vernon lead as Seiya Tanaka-Campbell scored a powerplay goal and Jonathan Horn also found the back of the net. Horn was also denied on a penalty shot in the first period.
West Kelowna was able to force overtime as forward Jaiden Moriello scored his team-leading 13th game of the season.
After overtime solved nothing, the game went to a shootout where Moreillo played hero again, scoring the only goal in the shootout, giving the Warriors a 4-3 win.
Warriors goaltenders Justin Katz and Angelo Zol combined to make 23 saves in the win. Zol was credited with the win. Vipers goaltender Roan Clarke made 36 saves in the loss.
After the win on Friday night, the Warriors just fell short of handing the Penticton Vees their first loss of the season. They were leading 2-0 going into the third period but the Vees scored two goals to tie the game and force overtime and scored the eventually winner in the extra frame.
With the win and the overtime loss, the Warriors sit second in the Interior Conference with a 14-6-3-0 record.
The Warriors are back in action on Wednesday night when they host the Prince George Spruce Kings on Brendan Ritchie night. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. at Royal LePage Place.