Sunday, 13 December 2015

Dec 12/13 RECAP

The West Kelowna Warriors won their last two games on the island swing after dropping the opener to Alberni Valley. 

Looking at those games, the reverse happened in each of them, as Saturday the Warriors erased a 3-1 deficit, and Sunday they got up 3-1 and never looked back.

In Nanaimo, a pair of 1st period goals from Sheldon Rempal had the Clippers up, but the Warriors responded in the 2nd period. After Rylan Yaremko scored on the power-play, Reed Gunville scored his 2nd of the season on a nice slap shot from the circle.

The Warriors went on a streak of 5 straight goals as they finished with a 7-4 victory. Yaremko had a pair of goals in the game, while Liam Blackburn, Tanner Campbell, Jonathan Desbiens, and Kylar Hope added singles. Keelan Williams picked up the win.

Game Thoughts:
-The Warriors were in tough after twenty minutes but they found a way to get a key goal in the 2nd and another to tie it up. By the coaching staffs admission, the next goal against could have broken the spirit of the Warriors, but Yaremko saved that notion, and the belief was there for the 3rd.
-The Warriors discipline was probably called into question after the first 20 on Saturday, as Scott Allan took a double minor (2 rough, 2 unsportsmanlike) and the Warriors went short. They cleaned that up in the 2nd, and although the power plays were even at the end of it all, Nanaimo couldn't get West Kelowna off their game, and were frustrated And took a couple penalties for high hits and misconducts.
-Keelan Williams stopped a penalty shot in the 1st period, and made some key saves once down 3-1 to give the Warriors a shot. With Matthew Greenfield coming in to Kelowna this week, we'll see how the 3-goalie unit will work out heading into a weekend set against Penticton.

On Sunday, the Warriors got an early goal out of Quin Foreman as he buried a rebound just 37 seconds in. Kylar Hope hammered one off the post at 5:12 to put the Warriors up a pair, then after the lead was cut in half, Lane Gilliss deflected one past Mitchel Benson to make it 3-1.

Liam Blackburn scored Shorthanded in the 2nd, breaking away after blocking a point shot and going upstairs on the Victoria netminder. 

A point shot from the Grizzlies made it 4-2, but Gunville reinstated the 3-goal lead on a nice power play move in front. Just moments before that goal, Gunville had Benson going the wrong way but an unbelievable stop kept it out, as Benson's body crossed the line but the glove never did.

On the Gunville goal, Nick Rutigliano lofted a nice little pass in, and although it looked like a whiffed shot attempt, "Tiggs" swears it was planned all the way, just as I predicted right after it happened.

The Grizzlies were the only team to score in the 3rd period, which lacked emotion and intensity.

Game Thoughts:
-I'd say "never in doubt" but it's the BCHL and anything can happen. The Warriors were up 3-1 and comfortable after 1, but it was Liam Blackburn that really broke the spirit of the Grizzlies with his short-handed marker.
-Reed Gunville had goals in back to back games and after getting absolutely robbed was able to find a way to get the 5th goal of the night right away.
-5 different Warriors scored in today's game, and overall on the weekend, the Warriors saw 9 different goal scorers put the 14 on the board.

Weekend Thoughts:
-Special teams was a positive for West Kelowna this weekend, as they killed off 11/13 penalties, and scored a pair shorthanded. The power play went 4/14, which is above their season average. The lone downside was a pair of Shorthanded goals against on Friday that helped the Bulldogs take the win.
-Both Kylar Hope and Nick Rutigliano deserve recognition and perhaps nomination for the BCHL Player of the Week after this weekend. Hope had 3 goals, 2 assists and a 1st star, while Rutigliano finished with 4 assists. He deserves the recognition for his defensive play as well, outside of a turnover Friday. He responded with great defense on Saturday and Sunday, and chipped in offensively too.
-there's a big weekend next weekend as the Warriors play Penticton in a home and home to wrap up the pre-Christmas schedule. The positive heading into the week is that the Warriors remained healthy on the trip, and should get Kristian Blumenschein back in the lineup as well. West Kelowna will catch a small break with no Tyson Jost or Dante Fabbro in the Vees lineup on the weekend, but Penticton is first for a reason, and will pose a pair of very tough tests

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