Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Warriors 8 - Trail 1

Never in doubt.

The West Kelowna Warriors scored often on Tuesday night at Royal LePage Place, as they snuffed out the Trail Smoke Eaters by an 8-1 margin, including three power-play goals and seven different goal scorers.

Jake Harrison got the Warriors on the board first by burying a shot from the right wing off the rush, joining the play right from the bench. It would be a great start to the night for the 16 year old defenseman, who finished with a goal and three assists for his first four point game in the BCHL.

Jonathan Desbiens scored his 30th of the year to make it 2-0, and it definitely won't go down as highlight-reel material. Desbiens poked the puck through the pads of Bailey MacBurnie, after Kylar Hope's centring pass ended up between the netminder's legs.

The Warriors would make it 3-0 on a Brett Mennear deflection from a Harrison shot as MacBurnie helplessly watched it flutter over him and into the net.

The only real blemish on the night happened with 1:19 to go in the first, as the Warriors failed to exit the zone, and Harlan Orr buried one past the glove of Matthew Greenfield to make it 3-1.

It was Hope that had three chances to score on the power play in the second period, and ended up making it 4-1 on the third rebound.

The Warriors scored three times in 1:39 late in the second, as Mennear put one past Linden Marshall (who replaced MacBurnie to start the second) on a rush with Garrett Forster.

Then, it was Nick Rutigliano from the point to make it 6-1, right before Kyle Marino hit an empty cage off a Reed Gunville pass off the end boards.

There would be a new goaltender in the Warriors net to start the third, as 16 year old Shane Farkas made his BCHL debut for the final twenty minutes.

Bryan Basilico scored from in front of the net on a nice pass from Marino to make it 8-1, but the Warriors only mustered 6 shots in the entire period.

Farkas was peppered, but not exactly tested in the final frame, making 17 saves and preserving the 8-1 lead. Greenfield picked up the win.

Game Thoughts:

  • West Kelowna was focussed on having a great start to tonight's game, and accomplished that with a 4-goal first period. The Smoke Eaters looked like a tired bunch especially last night, but have really struggled against the Warriors at RLP this season, dropping four games by a combined score of 32-11. West Kelowna will look for a season-series sweep with back to back games in Trail February 5th and 6th.
  • Kylar Hope and Brett Mennear combined for seven points on Tuesday night, as once again they had great games playing together. Add in Jake Harrison from the back end, and that trio had an 11 point night. 
  • West Kelowna was 3/31 on the man advantage over the last six games, but bounced back in a big way against Trail, going 3/5. The Warriors saw themselves in 5th for League power play percentage heading into the game, and now are back in 4th, however have the 3rd most goals on the advantage.
  • Shane Farkas got his feet wet in BCHL action, facing 17 shots in the third period, without allowing a goal. The 16 year old from Okanagan Hockey Academy looked shaky early but once he settled in, made some solid saves. The young netminder is part of the Warriors future plans between the pipes, and it was good to see him make his debut in a situation where the pressure was pretty much off.
The Warriors embark on a 7-game,  2744 kilometre journey over the next 17 days that will see stops in 6 different arenas. This weekend, it's Cowichan, Powell River, and Chilliwack, before a mid-week date with Coquitlam, and a 2-game weekend series in Trail. The Warriors wrap up their road trip in Penticton six days after the Trail game, before returning to RLP on February 13th against Langley. West Kelowna plays 4 of their last 5 games at home.

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