West Kelowna traveled to Merritt tonight to take on the Centennials for the 2nd time in 2 nights.
1994 - 1
1995 - 4
1996 - 8
1997 - 4
1998 - 1
1995 - 1
1996 - 7
1997 - 7
1998 - 2
1999 - 1
West Kelowna - Scott Patton (96)
Merritt - Kristian Stead (96)
A lot of good pace started the 1st peruiod at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena, as the Centennials jumped out to an 8-1 lead in shots. The Warriors took the 1st penalty of the night but killed it off without too many good opportunities against.
West Kelowna would jump on the board first as Josh Bly finished off a beautiful 3-way passing play from Hunter Zandee and Dan Eruzione at 11:22.
Merritt would control the puck over the next few shifts, getting numerous opportunities. The physical play picked up as well as players started finishing their checks, not exactly how it went in last night's hockey game.
Merritt would take 2 penalties late in the period, putting West Kelowna on a 5 on 3 for 1:15 that carries on into the 2nd period. The latter penalty was given to Malik Kaila for boarding, which was a shove from the danger zone at the goal line. Luckily for the Warriors, Kade Kehoe was alright and able to get up, but a scary hit.
Shots on goal in the 1st period ended up 13-5 for Merritt, who went 0-2 on the power play. West Kelowna is working on their first 2 power plays of the night heading into the middle frame.
After killing off the 5 on 3, Rhett Wilcox of the Cents and Rylan Yaremko of the Warriors would take off-setting minors on two different hits. The Warriors turned the puck over badly in their own zone, allowing Colin Grannary to score and tie it up at 1-1.
The buzzer would go at the 10:00 mark so that the referees could switch out. 8 officials were being evaluated tonight by BCHL Assistant Director of Refereeing Brad Lazarowich. Also Matt Mitchell would come into the game for the Warriors.
Just 11 seconds after the puck dropped for the 2nd half of period 2, Jonathon Desbiens would fire one towards the net, it would go off the pants of Josh Bly, and just like that, Bly had his 2nd of the night that gave West Kelowna a 2-1 lead.
The Warriors struggled to get out of their own zone for a good stretch after their goal, as Merritt put up a stretch of 9 straight shots and it resulted in a tying goal from Merritt, as Adam Tracey deflected a Matt Foley point shot past Mitchell. Braeden Allkins picked up the 2nd assist.
Things didn't get better for the Warriors as Dan Eruzione took 4 minutes for Spearing, and the Centennials went back on the power play, their 4th of the night. Mitchell would make 4 big saves, before a puck hit the stick of a Warriors defender and beat him glove side at 19:11.
Merritt would take a 3-2 lead to the dressing room after 2, dominating on the shot clock by a margin of 21-7. They would have an overall lead of 34-12 after 40 minutes of play.
The Warriors would get called for 2 infractions on the same play, as both Hunter Zandee and Jake Harrison went off. The Centennials controlled the play and John Schiavo would pop the water bottle off with a snipe at 3:52. Braden Fuller and Malik Kaila drew the assists.
West Kelowna would get their first "shot" in 17:29 on a dump in off the boards 7:34 into the final frame, giving up 20 shots in that time-frame. Just 30 seconds after that Scott Munro was able to get to a rebound in front of Matt Mitchell, potting it upstairs off a shot from Schiavo.
The Warriors took their 7th straight penalty at the 11:03 mark, but after a Merritt infraction, the two teams played 4 on 4 with West Kelowna holding a good edge in the play. Following that, Kaila would jump up in the rush and get a nice pass from Schiavo to make it 6-2 Merritt. The 2nd assist given to Adam Tracey.
The score would widen to 7-2 at the 18:26 mark off of some scrambled play in the West Kelowna zone. Nick McCabe would be the goal scorer as he waited at the side of the goal to put it in off a pass from Braeden Allkins.
That would end the scoring, as the Cents skated away with back to back victories over the Warriors. Final Shots on goal in this one were 49-18 for Merritt.
Merritt - Kristian Stead - 16 saves on 18 shots.
West Kelowna - Scott Patton - 18 saves on 19 shots
West Kelowna - Matt Mitchell - 24 saves on 30 shots.
The Warriors looked like a team that had played a lot lately. That is quite true for most players that dressed tonight, as they were on their 4th game in 4 days, if you include the inter squad match-ups at Camp. The team showed good flow and hustle early on, just got wore down by the older and more experienced Centennials. Taking 7 straight penalties in the 2nd/3rd period really seemed to take the wind out of their sails, and only mustering 6 shots, especially when you give up 30 isn't going to be a fun night most nights.
I would expect Rylan Ferster to cut down once more (players were released this morning) and be near his 22-man roster by the time the Penticton Vees roll into town next Saturday.
The first broadcasts of the season are next week as well, as I will have all the action on WDCR (www.wdcr.ca) or 95.1 FM if you're in West Kelowna. Also on Saturday, the game will be broadcast live on www.fasthockey.com as well as WDCR.