The Warriors needed the win tonight in the worst way. I detailed the implications of a regulation loss in the preview for tonight's match-up, and will not fully analyze what it means until next Thursday when there is a better understanding.
Both the Warriors and the Silverbacks will have played 52 games after Wednesday night's action, and the Interior division should have a better understanding of what the final 6 games will hold, or what teams will have to do in those 6 games.
Tonight's game featured some great opportunities early on for the Warriors as Kylar Hope had a break-away attempt stopped by Angus Redmond. Hope walked in and went to wire a slap-shot but Redmond got the arm on it.
Later in the frame the Warriors hit a pair of crossbars as well, but it remained scoreless.
I thought that the Warriors took a couple of bad penalties in the middle frame after Salmon Arm made it 2-0. They looked to me to be non-focused and frustrated penalties after giving up the goals, with a too many men call and a roughing call well after the whistle.
As for the goals, the 1st one comes on a 6 on 5 and a delayed penalty and after Stephen Heslop makes the stop, its tucked over the line. Heslop wasn't deemed to have had any possession to get the play blown dead, which could have ended the opportunity.
The 2nd goal was one that I'm sure the Warriors would like to have back. They struggled to get the puck out of their own zone, and then when they did, they couldn't get it deep enough for a change, so the same unit got stuck. Run around in your own zone a little longer, and Ross Heidt has all day to score.
The 3rd period saw the Warriors play more desperately, and if it wasn't for a beautiful tip by Taro Hirose, I thought they had a good chance of tying this one up. Hirose deflected a Chase Priskie shot from the point at about the top of the circle, and had it bounce down off the ice and over the pad of Stephen Heslop. Very tough save for the West Kelowna goaltender.
The Warriors got a power-play marker in the 3rd to make it 3-1 when Nick Rutigliano tee'd one up from the point. You can't see who it hit in front, but by the reaction of the Warriors it is most definitely Rutigliano's 1st goal in the BCHL. The boxscore online doesn't say so, but everyone else believes it, as Jonathan Desbiens (who got credited with it) was the first to grab the puck for the kid known as "Tigs"
There was a little bit of rough stuff late after a Silverbacks empty netter but nothing crazy or of concern. Warriors will be back on the bus tomorrow to Chilliwack to take on the Chiefs. Look for a game preview by Noon.