Monday, 9 November 2015

Warriors 7 - Clippers 4

The West Kelowna Warriors got back in the win column on Sunday afternoon with a big 7-4 win over the Nanaimo Clippers, who finished with just 1 point on an Interior Division road trip.

Click HERE for the Game Story. Post-Game Reaction is HERE, and Game Highlights HERE

Game Thoughts:
  • There is so much to talk about with this game it's hard to know where to begin. The Warriors had taken 2 penalties just 48 seconds in, and the Clippers made them pay with an early goal. There was a feeling throughout the arena that maybe today would be another game that the Warriors would be short handed a large chunk of the time, but that reversed itself about halfway through the frame. Starting at the 6:28 mark of the 1st, the Clippers were the ones assessed 6 straight minors, with the Warriors capitalizing on a pair, one at 17:11 of the 1st, and another at 3:29 of the second. It evened out after that until the latter half of the 3rd period when the Warriors took 4 straight calls and the Clippers scored a pair
  • Special Teams got a workout on Sunday. The two teams played only 30:09 while 5 on 5 in the game. There were 7 power-play goals scored (4 WK, 3 NAN) and Nanaimo had a shorthanded goal as well. 8 of 11 goals were on special teams, as the game lacked flow for stretches, with a penalty whistle on average every 3 minutes.
  • It's hard to look at the boxscore of the game and say that these two teams played physically within the rules. It's something to struggle with, and i'm sure both coaches would agree. The stats don't look good, the Warriors have been short handed 32 times in the last 4 games, and down 5 on 3 on numerous occasions as well. Are they a dirty hockey team? It's tough to tell right now. Of the 11 times shorthanded yesterday, only 3 were for stick fouls, so maybe it is the hard physical play that's getting them in trouble. With an average height of 6'0", the bigger Warrior bodies are starting to take over games, and that may not necessarily be a good thing.
  • Stephen Heslop picked up the win in goal, and deserves a lot of credit for his 1st period play. The Warriors only gave up 7 shots in the period, but besides the goal, there were probably 4 good scoring chances that Heslop kicked away with the right pad. One stop on Sheldon Rempal stands out as Rempal went through the Warriors defense in tight with some great moves but Heslop shut the door. Equally, Jonathan Reinhart made 21 saves in the first period, and stymied the Warriors in the final minute of the frame making 4 or 5 big saves on the Warriors power play. It had the feeling of a 3-2/4-3 type game that just exploded in the middle frame with the Special Teams opportunities.
  • I was asked between the 1st and 2nd on twitter by Clippers PA Announcer Brandon Cowie if the Clippers looked tired. At the time, I didn't think so as the Warriors took advantage of multiple power plays and fired the puck all over Reinhart in the frame. As the game wore on though you could see frustration and fatigue set in on some Clippers players. Without actual tracking, I would guesstimate Yanni Kaldis played around 35 minutes yesterday, he always seemed to be on the ice defensively (plus numerous offensive chances) for the Clippers. He was one player that did look tired late.
  • Scott Allan's goal was a thing of beauty, and again lost a bit in the fact that it made the game 7-2. Allan went end to end through the Clippers and went upstairs from the bottom of the face-off circle in the 3rd period.
West Kelowna has two HUGE games this weekend, as they take on Penticton Friday at RLP, before visiting Salmon Arm on Saturday night.

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