Storm Phaneuf made 43 saves on the night, as the Warriors heavily out-shot the Capitals 47-25, but Keelan Williams allowed 5 goals on his first 20 shots, and finished with just 20 saves overall.
The Warriors gave up an early goal but did a great job once again of rebounding, scoring a pair to take the 2-1 lead. Jonathan Desbiens put one in after the puck bounced off the end boards, then Kylar Hope out-waited the defenders and goaltender going all the way across the front of the net with the Capitals sprawling out, before tucking it over the line from the far side.
Patrick Geary of the Capitals became the 1st period story after that, scoring a pair of goals, one of which Williams felt he was interfered on, as Kehoe was in the crease and Williams in the net as the puck went in.
The Warriors tied the game in the 2nd on Desbiens 2nd of the night, but that was short-lived as Cowichan re-took the lead moments later. Kyle Berry put a rebound in off a long shot off the chest of Williams, and those were the only 2 shots he faced in the entire frame. West Kelowna only scored 1 goal on 15 shots in the period.
Cowichan got a power-play goal from Kehoe opening the third just 3 minutes in, before adding an empty netter on an early goalie pull with 3+ remaining.
The Warriors fourth goal was a BCHL first as Jared Marino got his tally, deflecting Hope's shot from the top of the circle. This came after Rylan Ferster pulled the top line off the ice, and gave Reed Gunville, Marino, and Hope the chance with the net empty in their zone.
- A 10-minute lapse in the 1st period cost West Kelowna. When the Warriors went up 2-1 they had a 12-4 edge in shots. Cowichan Valley turned the tables after the goal, scoring twice, and out-shooting WK by a 10-1 margin over the final 7:58 of the period. Rylan Ferster thought his team was good after that, but another lapse after tying the game allowed the go-ahead goal in transition and it sunk the Warriors in the end, as the shot and rebound goal were the only 2 shots the Capitals got in the frame.
- The Warriors were out-played between the pipes tonight as Storm Phaneuf takes a huge edge in play over Keelan Williams. Looking at the goals, it's clear that Williams would like at least 3 of them back, as the shots that beat him weren't really grade A scoring chances. West Kelowna couldn't clear bodies a lot of the time in front of him either.
- The return of Kade Kehoe and Adam Osczevski went in the Capitals favour, as the two former Warriors (and linemate Patrick Geary) combined for 8 points on the night. Kehoe was a pest as usual, and ended up in a third period scrap with Tanner Campbell, who I found out after the game, was actually in his 2nd BCHL fight, as he fought Kurt Keats as a member of the Chilliwack Chiefs.
- The coaching staff made some line changes in the game last night which ended up seeing Desbiens, Hope, and Blackburn together. I liked the way they played in the game, but its clear that the lines are not set, and may never be set as Rylan Ferster tries to find some chemistry.
- Speaking of Hope, he's been phenomenal as of late and it's been fun to watch. Points in 8 straight games, and has 8 goals and 13 assists since the start of November (12 games). Hope had 20 points in 58 games last season, let that sink in.