Saturday, 17 October 2015

Silverbacks 4 - Warriors 3

The West Kelowna Warriors threw everything they could at Angus Redmond in the final 30 minutes of the game Friday night, but could not erase a 3-0 deficit in a 4-3 loss.

The Silverbacks got 1 in the first period which they controlled for the most part, out-shooting the Warriors 16-10. Marcus Mitchell had the opening goal, while Stephen Heslop made a couple big saves early to keep it scoreless, before the late period tally.

Colton Thibault had a deflection goal just 1:22 into the 2nd frame, throwing his stick out and getting the puck to come back towards the goal and beat Heslop.  Michael Winnitoy's point shot at 7:26 made it 3-0 as it went through a screen and into the back of the Warriors net.

When that goal went it, a look at the shot clock at Royal Lepage Place showed that the Silverbacks had a 20-15 edge on the Warriors. That would change in the next 32:34.

The Warriors got on the board when Rylan Yaremko picked the top corner from the blueline on a shot that Redmond didn't see, then Garrett Forster made it 3-2 with a power-play goal going short side.

Salmon Arm would take a pair of penalties in the final two minutes, but the Warriors couldn't score on the brief 5 on 3 before the clock ran out. Both penalties extended to the start of the 3rd, as the shot clock read 29-21 for the Warriors. (14-1 in the final 12:34 of Period 2)

West Kelowna could not find the tying goal on the man advantage, and the Silverbacks got one of their own on a 3 on 1 which ended with a tap-in for Chase Zieky. A pinch at the blue line was miscalculated, and ended in the odd-man rush.

The Warriors had a 4-second power play in the middle of the period, as Liam Blackburn won the puck right to Jonathan Desbiens, who snapped one home to make it 4-3.

Kylar Hope would be robbed on a rebound with about 7 minutes to play, and Redmond stood tall, battling through screens as the Warriors continued to throw the puck at the net. Nobody would score again, even as the Warriors had 5 offensive zone face-offs in the final minute of play, with the 'Backs icing it 4 times trying to hit the empty net.

West Kelowna out-shot Salmon Arm 16-2 in the final frame.

Game Thoughts:

  • Not really the start the Warriors wanted, as they looked like they were on their heels for most of the opening frame. Stephen Heslop was forced to make a couple big saves, as West Kelowna struggled to put passes together on the breakout, and through the neutral zone. It was only 1-0 after 20 minutes, as the Warriors looked to regroup for the middle frame.
  • Colton Thibault's tip goal was a bit of a back breaker for the Warriors, as Jake Harrison had good position in front of the net on the inside, but Thibault's stick went to the outside, tipped the puck back towards the goal and it beat Heslop.
  • A switch flipped after it was 3-0 on Michael Winnitoy's point shot. The Warriors became a little more physical, but they also controlled the puck in the offensive zone. The shot clock reflected the turn of play, as the Warriors looked to come back.
  • From the moment the game went 3-0, the Warriors out shot the Silverbacks 30-3, and while they did score 3, Angus Redmond was as good as advertised. 42 save performance for the Langley, BC native, as he gave the 'Backs a chance to win by holding down the fort in the final 32:34.
  • There's not much that can be said when a goaltender stymies you like Redmond did. The Warriors had traffic, got shots through, and somehow Redmond was able to get a body part on the majority. His save off Kylar Hope from the slot was the best of the night hands down.
Warriors will look for a bounce back against Prince George, who is hungry for a win on their 2nd interior swing in 2 weeks. The Spruce Kings record doesn't indicate their level of play, as they have put some solid efforts in this season, and when the goaltending is on like the Warriors saw with Salmon Arm last night, there's always a chance for the win. Pre-game show at 6:40 on or you can watch on Fast Hockey. Game Preview on the way at 1:30 this afternoon.

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