Vikes Communications

Needing a win to guarantee themselves a spot in the Canada West playoffs, the UBC Okanagan Heat left it until the very last minute but were able to pull out a 3-2 victory over the UVic Vikes on October 22.

“We have kind of made a habit of it this year, we’ve won a few games late and it’s a testament to our players, their commitment and their desire to keep on fighting,” said Heat head coach Dante Zanatta.

The game was the last one in the storied careers of graduating Vikes, Adam RavenhillSam Prette and Noah Pawlowski.

“It’s been an honour and I’ve met a lot of great guys. The competition has been really high in the league and this has been a huge addition to my time at UVic. It’s been a fantastic privilege,” said Pawlowski on his time with the Vikes.

Isaac Koch and Jyotish Khanna scored the Vikes goals while Luke Warkentin, Nikhil Reddy and Wyatt Gilbert answered for the Heat.

The all-important goal from Gilbert came in the 91st minute of play. Reddy controlled a loose ball before playing a perfect pass across the face of goal to the waiting Gilbert who blasted the ball into the top corner.

“We got a bit lucky, but sometimes karma works for you,” said Zanatta.

“B.C. is so tough, UVic is normally a power in the conference and we were fortunate today for sure.”

UVic got on the board first early in the game. Jack Hill played a perfectly weighted through ball into the path of the speedy Koch who tucked the ball past Mitch McCaw in the Heat net.

The goal was the fourth of the weekend for Koch, who ends the season with six goals in just eight games played.

UBCO tied the contest back up with in the first half after Warkentin was the first man to get a foot onto a ball bouncing around the UVic 18-yard box.

Khanna scored his first goal of the season in spectacular fashion to restore the Vikes lead. A ball crossed in looked to have too much pace for the first-year Vike to get a piece of, but Khanna flung himself forward and powered the ball into the net with a diving header.

Reddy tied the game back up for UBCO before turning provider for the dramatic game winner.

“The game was calling for Nikhil because he has that silkiness to him and an ability to distribute,” said Zanatta.

The loss ends a turbulent season for the Vikes who finish with a record of 5-10-1.

A tough opening weekend that saw them lose twice had UVic struggling to catch up right from the beginning of the season. With multiple players missing time due to injury the Vikes were forced to constantly rotate their line up.

“We’ve had a challenging season this year especially with losing some key team members to injury,” said Pawlowski

Finishing the year with two wins and one extremely close loss from their final three games is a sure sign that Vikes head coach Bruce Wilson has his squad pointing in the right direction as they look forward to next year.

“The key has been remembering that we are here to do our best and give it an honest effort each game. It can be easy to get down because everyone is passionate and we all want to win, but a lot of emphasis has been put on staying positive,” said Pawlowski.
SCORING                          1     2     FINAL

Victoria (5-10-1)                  1     1     2

UBCO (6-8-2)                     1     2     3

GAME MVPS

UVIC: Isaac Koch

UBCO: Hamish Walde