Sunday, 6 December 2015

Merritt 8 - Warriors 6

West Kelowna got out-scored, out-bounced, and beat on Saturday night against the Merritt Centennials, who has become the biggest nemesis to the success of the Warriors. 5 games this season against one another in the first 31 games, and Merritt has taken 4 of the 5, and scored 30 goals in the process. West Kelowna just cannot find a way to win in Merritt.

The Warriors had a good start to the hockey game, and took a 4-2 lead into the intermission. The two goals allowed come off bad bounces, as one redirects off a skate, and the other was off the end wall and maybe a bit over-played by Keelan Williams, but in the end Zach Zorn had a tap-in.

On the offensive side of the 1st period, Jonathan Desbiens beat Cole Kehler with a great wrist shot, Rylan Yaremko's wrister from the point was off a Merritt stick, before Brett Mennear scored a perfect goal with another good shot off the rush. Garrett Forster scored on the power play to make it 4-2 as his seeing eye shot went through traffic and in.

Merritt tied the game in mere moments to start the 2nd, scoring twice in 1:37 to tie the game. Gavin Gould wrapped one around on Williams to make it 4-3, before a pass through the penalty kill box was buried by Nick Jermain.

Lane Gilliss had his 1st BCHL goal as his quick release off a Reed Gunville shot/rebound gave Kehler no chance. There's now only 2 Warriors who haven't scored in the BCHL, as Bryan Nelson and Tyler Anderson are without goals.

Merritt tied the game again off a face-off, as a quick shot right off the drop beat Williams, and ended his night as Brett Clark made his Warriors debut.

The Centennials went up 6-5 on the hat-trick goal from Jermain on a deflection in tight. The Warriors would tie the game up at 6 when Liam Blackburn scored on the power play. The game winner came with 3:54 to go in the 3rd, as Ryan Coghlan's slap shot went past Clark. An empty-netter sealed the deal, as the Warriors ended up out-shooting Merritt 44-38.

Game Thoughts:

  • The Warriors had a great first period, and yes they gave up two goals but they were both tough bounces that ended up in the net. A 4-goal first was what the Warriors needed to get the confidence level up in the building that they've struggled in. A couple of great shots and more pucks on goal gave the Warriors the 4-2 lead, as they looked to be in a great position.
  • The 2nd period has been so good for West Kelowna this season, but the start of the 2nd Saturday wasn't. A wrap around goal that Williams didn't get to, then the Warriors take a penalty right after, and get beat by the Merritt power play. West Kelowna has allowed 6 power-play goals to the Centennials this season. 5-5 was the score after 2 but the Warriors saw a pair of leads evaporate.
  • In the 3rd, the game had a feeling of last goal wins, and that was definitely true as the Centennials went up 7-6 with 3:54 remaining. West Kelowna pressed but again, stymied by Kehler who really turned his game on down the stretch.
  • Streaks were continued as a bright spot after a loss, as Kylar Hope, Liam Blackburn, and Jonathan Desbiens each had a point in the hockey game.
The Warriors will be on the road next weekend as they visit Vancouver Island for games against Alberni Valley, Nanaimo, and Victoria. 

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