Sunday, 31 January 2016

Warriors 6 - Kings 5 (2OT)

Kylar Hope scored the game winning goal 1:14 into double overtime as the Warriors won a wacky 6-5 game over the Powell River Kings that left 710 fans in the rink and numerous fans watching on Fast Hockey checking their eye-sight.

West Kelowna found themselves down in a 3-0 hole in the opening period, as Jeff Smith was solid in the Powell River net, while the Kings capitalized on their chances in the Warriors end. Tristan Mullin got the home team on the board, before Kyle Betts (PP) and Carter Turnbull both beat Matthew Greenfield to put the home side ahead.
Head Coach Rylan Ferster made a goaltender change to start the second period, as Keelan Williams entered the Warriors net, and made a solid 16 saves in the middle period.
The change sparked the Warriors as well, as their offense came alive to help out. Garrett Forster went to his backhand on a breakaway to get West Kelowna on the board, followed six minutes later by a Jonathan Desbiens snipe.
Bryan Basilico scored once again for the Warriors, tying the game at three with a minuscule deflection that slipped through Smith’s legs.
It was poor discipline that lead to West Kelowna taking the lead, as the Warriors scored twice in 1:04 on separate man-advantages, with Desbiens marking his second goal from the bottom of the circle, and Rylan Yaremko converting on a one-timer in the slot. Desbiens had a point on each of the Warriors five goals in the frame.
Powell River came back in the third period to tie the game at five, scoring two quick ones on Williams to knot it up. Like a reliever that worked a good stretch of a baseball game, Ferster decided to make another change, bring Greenfield back into the game, as he stopped the last 12 shots he faced.
With Powell River buzzing late, the Warriors got the game to overtime, setting up a couple of solid chances during 4 on 4, but couldn’t convert.
The Warriors Brett Mennear tracked down a loose puck at centre ice and found Hope with it, as he unleashed a wrister from inside the line to fool Smith over the right pad.
Greenfield finished with a win in goal, stopping 25 of 28. Williams made 17 saves in 23:24 of action.
Desbiens 5-point night moved him ahead of Liam Blackburn in team scoring, while moving up to 8th in the BCHL for points. His 34 goals are 4th in the BCHL.
  • Not exactly the start the Warriors wanted on Saturday night, finding themselves down 3-0 after the first period, in what was a steady parade to the penalty box. Add in the fact West Kelowna was shorthanded for four minutes to start the second period, had the Warriors staff wondering what was in store.
  • The first turning point was that opening of the second period, with Keelan Williams now in net, the Warriors came alive. More on that, Jonathan Desbiens had a point on all five goals in the period, helping lead the Warriors up by two.
  • West Kelowna seemed to find their discipline in the middle frame, and it was back to back penalties by the Kings that lead to the Warriors 5-3 lead. A hit on Tyler Anderson by Nick Halagian was the scariest of them all, as Anderson was hit in the numbers and drilled into the boards from the danger zone three feet away. Luckily Anderson was okay and able to continue in the game, and the Warriors made the Kings pay on the man advantage. 
  • It was tough to see Keelan Williams get pulled in the third period after solid play in the middle frame, but Rylan Ferster's gut instinct ended up working out. It will be interesting to see who gets the start on Sunday in Chilliwack.
  • While its not there yet, the Warriors will have a little "x" beside their team name on the Standings after tonight's victory. The Warriors have clinched a playoff spot, but still a couple of key milestones to reach. First would be setting the first round match-up with Salmon Arm officially, then the battle for Home-Ice Advantage. Tonight's 29th win is the 6th most in the 10-year history of West Kelowna, with the franchise record of 40 wins out of reach, the Warriors have a chance with 10 remaining, to reach 36 victories, which would be the second-most.

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