Jake LeBrun deflected a Garrett Forster shot with 3:32 left in the first overtime as the West Kelowna Warriors took a 3-1 series lead over the Chilliwack Chiefs in the Fred Page Cup Finals on Tuesday night at Royal LePage Place.
The Warriors had a much better first period on Tuesday than they did on Monday, scoring on the power play as Rylan Yaremko's move to the backhand found the back of the net past Aidan Pelino. Liam Blackburn and Kylar Hope picked up assists as Blackburn used his bare hand to knock the puck down and get it to Yaremko.
Chilliwack tied it up in the second as Zach Giuttari was able to snap one home from the right circle as Jordan Kawaguchi found him from the corner. The shift featured a couple chances for the Warriors to clear the zone but they failed to do so.
The power play would strike back for the second time in the hockey game at 10:43 as Kyle Marino buried the rebound from the side of the goal, similar to the one he scored in Game 1 in Chilliwack.
Darien Craighead made the game feel like overtime from the early part of period three when he beat Matthew Greenfield with a quick shot up high to tie the game at two. It was another confusion sequence on the Warriors back end, but more so the quick shifty Chiefs forwards that created the opportunity.
The Warriors and Chiefs traded chances throughout the overtime, with a couple of scrambles in front of each goal that could have gone either way. Greenfield found himself down and out in a couple scenarios, but his defenders helped knock the puck away from danger.
With LeBrun at the end of a shift, and Forster skating around the offensive zone with the puck, he would fire one on goal that appeared wide, but LeBrun reached behind him and deflected it right between Pelino's legs to set off pandemonium at RLP.
- The Warriors responded in the opening period with an effort that left their fans much more pleased and boisterous than they were on Monday night. A big hit by Kylar Hope (though it was called Charging correctly) fired up the 1200+ early, and the penalty kill created some more energy. Firing 13 shots on goal in the first definitely helped, as the Warriors spent 38 minutes on Monday trying to reach that number.
- The Warriors PP has been really good in this series, and proving why they are ranked up top in that category in the post-season. West Kelowna is 5/14 (35.7%) in the series, as Jonathan Desbiens and Kyle Marino have each scored twice, with Rylan Yaremko adding a man advantage goal. On the flip side, the Warriors PK has been dominant as well, going 13/14 for a 92.3% success rate. The Chiefs rank at the bottom on the penalty kill, with a % under 70.
- Jake LeBrun. I talked with Rylan Ferster pre-game and he mentioned LeBrun as a guy who was going to get more opportunity in Game 4 than he had all series long, and probably since the Penticton series as Quin Foreman was out of the lineup. LeBrun made some smart plays with the puck in the game, and was a strong player in some puck battles as well. On the game winner, he was at the end of his shift, and reached behind him to deflect Garrett Forster's shot, which i'm told was going at least two feet wide. Great hand-eye coordination and a surprised Aidan Pelino couldn't react.
- This road isn't over, and it's not even close. I'm talking about this series. The Warriors veteran room understands that the fourth one is the hardest to win. West Kelowna has done it twice in the playoffs, finishing series on both the road, and at home, and will need a big effort on Friday night if they wish to win the Fred Page Cup.
- Game 5 is Friday night at the Prospera Centre in Chilliwack. Tickets are available online for that game at https://chilliwackchiefs.showare.com/ordertickets.asp?p=193. Puck drops at 7 PM. Look for tickets in Section R or S, in behind the Warriors bench.