Friday, 1 April 2016

Warriors 1 - Clippers 4 (Round 3, Game 2 RECAP)

The West Kelowna Warriors fell 4-1 to the Nanaimo Clippers in the second game of the BCHL 3rd round on Thursday night, as a pair of empty netters dotted the final minutes.

Connor Sodergren scored the first goal for the Warriors late in the opening period, firing a shot from the slot that bounced off the goaltender Evan Johnson, up in the air and dropped over the line for the 1-0 edge.

The Clippers would respond though before the period was out, as a nifty deflection by Nanaimo’s leading scorer Sheldon Rempal tied the game at one.

There was no scoring in the second period, and none until halfway through the third when Matthew Hoover had all the time in the world to go to his backhand and beat Matthew Greenfield to take the lead.

West Kelowna could not find the equalizer on a fury with around five minutes to go, and Rempal and Hoover each deposited their empty netters to make it 4-1.

Game Thoughts:
  • A very feisty start to the hockey game saw multiple (3) instances of coincidental minors, plus a pair of misconducts handed out in the first eight minutes of the game. The Warriors spent time in the first period protecting their goaltender as well, as Matthew Greenfield was dumped once, poked twice and had his helmet pulled off his head in the opening frame. Definitely a stark contrast to Tuesday's action, but a very similar style to what the first round looked like against Salmon Arm.
  • Sheldon Rempal showed why Nanaimo's leading scorer had 59 goals in the regular season. His deflection of a slap pass past Greenfield was pretty impressive, as he picked the inside of the post from the top of the circle on a crisp pass. Great skill there, and something he practices i'm sure. Remember it was Rempal who scored the lacrosse style goal while the Warriors were in Nanaimo earlier this season.
  • West Kelowna went 0/2 (plus 23 seconds on a third) on the man advantage tonight, but had some great chances early in the 3rd, but couldn't score. Back in the second, the Warriors had amazing chances while playing four on four but Evan Johnson stood on his head.
  • Johnson was the story. His 36 saves included two amazing stops on Liam Blackburn with the glove, and somehow kept out attempts from Quin Foreman and Garrett Forster as well. He got a little help from his iron friends, as the Warriors hit three of four posts on the night as well. You've got to be lucky to be good, and Evan Johnson was.
  • The Warriors now have six days off before hosting the Chilliwack Chiefs next Wednesday, April 6th at Royal LePage Place. It may or may not be a weekend (Saturday/Monday) of scoreboard watching, but the game vs the Chiefs will go ahead as scheduled. It's just a matter of whether or not the Nanaimo Clippers have advanced at that point. Interesting part to this format.

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