It was Okanagan who made the first impression however, as Garrett Gilbertson (Oceanside Generals, VIJHL) scored the first regular season goal in team history at 7:31 of the first period. Zach Gabruch (Prince George Spruce Kings, BCHL) and Tyson McLean (Surrey Eagles, BCHL) added insurance as the Lakers and head coach Kevin Bathurst cruised to their first win in team history.
The story however was netminder Daniel Paul, the UVIC transfer, making 31 saves to shutout his former team.
On Saturday, the VIU Mariners welcomed the Lakers for their home opener featuring Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson and MP Lisa Marie Barron for a ceremonial puck drop.
The Mariners offence continued to show its punch, outshooting the Lakers 35-16 and cruising to a 4-1 victory. Veterans Gavin Rauser (Powell River Kings, BCHL) and Garrett Dunlop (Nipawin Hawks, SJHL) led the way with rookies Brock Palmer (Kimberley Dynamiters, KIJHL) and Parker Bergstrom (Kerry Park Islanders, VIJHL) adding to the offence. Noah Turanski (Kindersley Klippers, SJHL) had the lone Okanagan goal on the powerplay. Mariners netminder Derek Krall, an NCAA D1 transfer from University of Alabama-Huntsville made 15 saves on the night while Lakers netminder Jaden Little (Coquitlam Express, BCHL) made 31 saves and picked up the game's second start.
The game wasn't without incident as Lakers forward Riley Smoler and assistant coach Ryan Hawes were ejected in the final minute for verbal exchanges with officials, and will serve suspensions.
The BCIHL awarded Player of the Week for October 24th to Okanagan Lakers' Daniel Paul for his 31 saves and blanking the Vikes on 5 powerplays in the opener.
The action continues on Saturday, October 30th as UVIC heads to VIU and SFU heads to the Okanagan for single game matchups. Catch the action live on www.hockeytv.com