West Kelowna blow a pair of two goal leads in overtime loss to Trail

Warriors squander 2 points

When you let a team hang around long enough, one break, one bad bounce can be the difference between winning and losing.

The West Kelowna Warriors found themselves on the wrong end of that one bad bounce.

The Warriors squandered a pair of two goal leads Friday before surrendering an ugly goal in overtime in a 6-5 loss to the visiting Trail Smoke Eaters before a sold out crowd of 1,507 on Faith Night at Royal LePage Place.

It seems the faith was with the visitors on this night.

Kelowna native Ridge Dawson was credited with the game winner 1:54 into three-on-three sudden death overtime.

His shot from the slot missed the net, hit the end boards, took a fortuitous bounce back toward the front of the net, hit goaltender Rorke Applebee and fell aimlessly into the net.

Applebee laid sprawled out facedown in his crease while the Smoke Eaters celebrated around him.

Good start, ugly end

It was an ugly end to a game that Warriors head coach Simon Ferguson agreed never should have gone to overtime.

It was a game in which the Warriors built leads of 3-1 by the eight minute mark of the first and 5-3 after 40 minutes.

On both occasions the Smoke Eaters battled back to even the score.

"I don't think it's a matter of (Trail) wanting it it's us wanting to play a certain game or not," said Ferguson.

"We got the lead by playing a certain way then we went back again. It's getting really frustrating."

Felix Caron had a goal and two assists to improve his team-leading point total to 59. Cal Hughes had a goal and a helper.

Jack Pridham, Isaiah Norlin and Trey Ausmus with his first career BCHL goal also scored for the Warriors.

Defenceman Ethan Warrener scored three for the visitors, two on the power play.

Goals from Caron, Ausmus and Norlin in a span of 3:30 gave the Warriors a 3-1 lead during a wild opening period in which the teams combined for seven goals including five in just over five minutes.

Leading 4-3 and against the run of play, Pridham converted on a two-on-one to put the Warriors up a pair.

They held that lead thanks to some spectacular stops by Applebee especially during an early power play.

Power play gets Trail going

The Smokies went two for six with the man advantage but it may have been a power play they didn't convert that sparked the comeback.

Trail failed to score while enjoying a two-man advantage for 46 seconds but took over the run of play after that.

Warrener on a another power play 11 minutes in on a shot that appeared to his something at the side of the net then Jason Stefanek less than two minutes later on another bouncing puck off the backboards tied it.

"We had a two goal lead. Our leaders need to lead," said a frustrated Ferguson.

As concerning has to be the Warriors inability to win when the game goes to three-on-three overtime.

The streak has grown to a laughable seven straight losses in overtime.

The single point leaves the Warriors six better than third place Salmon Arm but eight in back of Interior Division leading Penticton.

The Warriors look to return to the win column Saturday in Vernon.

West Kelowna erase 2-0 deficit in come-from-behind win in Surrey Friday

Warriors blow by top dogs

Courtesy of Trevor Miller

The West Kelowna Warriors fought back from a two-goal 1st period deficit and knocked off the top ranked team in the BC Hockey League, picking up a 5-3 victory over the Surrey Eagles on Friday night at the South Surrey Arena.

Despite the better of the opportunities in the opening period, including a good look from Michael Salandra at the front of the net where he just lost the puck going from his forehand to his backhand, the Eagles worked against the flow of play to take the lead on a scramble play the front of the Warriors goal.

Caden Cranston threw a puck from the slot that Trent Wilson made a save on in the crease before the scramble led to Aaron Schwartz gathering the puck in the right face-off circle and he sent a backhand past a down and out Rorke Applebee in the Warriors net to give Surrey a 1-0 lead at the 13:12 mark of the 1st period.

Schwartz added his second of the period at the 17:59 mark of the opening period, taking a terrific pass from the right wing corner from Micah Berger at the front of the net in transition as he went to his backhand and beat Applebee in tight on the blocker side for a 2-0 advantage with Eagles netminder Ajeet Gundarah doing excellent work in the Surrey net, turning aside each of the 12 shots he faced in the opening 20 minutes.

A penalty from Jovan Brar with just over 12 minutes remaining in the 2nd period changed the complexion of the middle frame as the Warriors power play gave them some momentum to get on the scoresheet courtesy of the BCHL’s leader in goals in Felix Caron.

Michael Salandra bumped the puck to the left face-off circle from the slot where Caron rocketed a one-timer past the blocker shoulder of Gundarah for his 8th power play goal of the season and 27th overall to give the Warriors their first goal of the game at the 8:52 mark.

Cal Hughes tied the game with his 19th goal of the campaign at the 14:27 mark of the middle period after a strong forecheck helped the Warriors keep the puck in the offensive zone. Sean Keohane moved in with a shot from the left point that kicked off the left pad of Gundarah with Hughes burying from the right circle to tie the game at 2-2.

The Warriors earned their first lead of the game to cap off a three-goal 2nd period as Jack Pridham snuck behind the defense and took a Brennan Nelson to cruise into the offensive end and pick his spot low to the blocker side of Gundarah for his 17th goal of the season and gave the Warriors a 3-2 lead.

Keeping the pressure on in the 3rd period, the Warriors scored their fourth unanswered goal of the game as Owen Drury tallied his 2nd goal of the season and his first since September 23rd. Drury settled a bouncing puck in the offensive zone before flipping a shot over the glove side of Gundarah to push the Warriors advantage to 4-2 at the 3:25 mark of the 3rd period.

Ryden Evers cut the deficit to a goal with his tally at 11:39 on a shot from the left face-off circle that zipped by the blocker side of Applebee as the Eagles pushed to try and get the game on even terms.

With the Surrey net empty, the Warriors put the icing on a road victory as Jackson Kyrkostas buried his 19th goal of the season into the empty cage as the Warriors knocked off the Eagles by a 5-3 score and handed them just their third loss on home ice this season.

Rorke Applebee picked up his 20th win of the season, turning aside 20 of the 23 shots thrown his way while Ajeet Gundarah pushed away 21 of the 25 shots he faced in his 5th loss of the season.

West Kelowna score four third period goals in 6-2 win over Langley

Warriors delight full house

A standing room only crowd of nearly 1,500 packed into Royal LePage Place for a Family Day holiday treat.

What they were treated to was a four-goal third period eruption and a 6-2 victory over the visiting Langley Rivermen.

Johannes Løkkeberg had a goal and three assists while defenceman Isaiah Norlin had three assists including career point number 100 in leading the Warriors to the lopsided victory.

Trent Wilson with two, Jackson Kyrkostas, Viggo Nordström and Felix Caron with his league-leading 26th also scored for the Warriors.

The Warriors jumped on the visitors right off the opening faceoff and were rewarded when Nordström beat Charlie Tritt with a one-timer from the low slot after Sean Keohane intercepted an attempted clearing pass just 21 seconds into the game.

Later in the period Norlin, who leads all BCHL defencemen with 44 points, drifted in from the right point and deked a defender before setting up Kyrkostas for his 18th of the season.

Langley had the better of the play in the second and were finally rewarded late in the period in a bizarre sequence that started with Michael Salandra appearing to put the Warriors up 3-0 only to have Tritt somehow get his stick on the wide open tap in.

Rorke Applebee stopped a breakaway as the Rivermen moved the puck out quickly but couldn't stop Aaron Reierson who was trailing the play.

The Warriors took over in the third, scoring twice in the first five minutes to put the game out of reach.

"I thought we had a good first, not very good at all second and a really solid third when we really bought into the way we needed to play and it showed on the scoreboard," said head coach Simon Ferguson.

"it's the style of play we need to play When we do it there's not many teams that can keep up with us.

"When we choose to play a different style as we have up and down a little bit we give the other team a chance to win."

The Warriors skated circles around the Rivermen early in the third. Caron was rewarded with a power play goal with a backdoor one-timer while Løkkeberg picked up the puck off a dump in and blasted a one-timer to make it 4-1.

After Langley cut into the lead the Warriors put it away with a pair from Trent Wilson, the first with a wrist shot off the half wall and the second on another power play in the final minute.

The Warriors finished the game with a pair of power play goals on four chances while shutting the Rivermen out on their four opportunities with the man advantage.

The Warriors picked up four of a possible six points from a busy weekend and, with Penticton's 3-2 overtime loss in Salmon Arm, crept to within six points of the Interior Division-leading Vees.

The Silverbacks remain five back in third.

The Warriors hit the road next weekend for their final Coast Division road trip of the season.

They take on the league-leading Surrey Eagles Friday night before travelling to Coquitlam Saturday.

Vernon Vipers inviting fans to spend family day at the rink

Vipers invite whole family

The Vernon Vipers are inviting fans to spend family day with them at Kal Tire Place as they go head to head with the Cranbrook Bucks.

The team will have a 2 p.m. faceoff against the Bucks to finish off the long weekend. The afternoon game follows a win by the Vipers against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on Saturday.

“It was a hard fought playoff-style game,” said Lukas Lomicky the Assistant Coach of the Vernon Vipers. “All the players did their part and chipped in for a great win in front of an unbelievable crowd.”

Luke Pakulak started the scoring 12 minutes into the game with his 10th goal of the season. Julian Facchinelli added to that lead two minutes later with a powerplay goal.

It was a back and forth affair, as both teams scored two goals a piece in both the first and second periods.

Both teams had powerplays in the final period, but neither could solve the 4-4 deadlock.

Near the end of the game, just after the Viper powerplay finished, Julian Facchinelli scored his second goal of the game with just 44 seconds on the clock to take the lead.

The Silverbacks had a late flurry, but couldn’t draw even.

“What an amazing atmosphere tonight,” said Julian Facchinelli. “We never gave up tonight and we’re happy to come away with the two points.”

The Vipers are sure to be hoping for another weekend win against the Bucks on Monday. The box office is open until 4 p.m., Sunday for people to get their family day tickets, or they can purchase them online here.

Penticton Vees score two power play goals in 4-0 shutout of West Kelowna

Special teams power Vees

Courtesy of Trevor Miller

The West Kelowna Warriors were shutout for the first time this season as they dropped a 4-0 decision to the Penticton Vees on Saturday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

The Warriors had a fantastic start to the game and did not surrender a shot to the Vees in the opening ten and a half minutes while West Kelowna could only register a pair of shots on goal in that time in a timid start between two teams who had not played against each other since December.

A penalty from the Warriors resulted in the game’s first power play and provided the Vees with their first goal of the game as Callum Arnott found a soft spot on the left side of the ice and was fed from Cade Littler at the side of the goal as Arnott chipped the pass over the glove side of Rorke Applebee to strike first.

Despite hitting a cross bar in the opening period, the Warriors found themselves down a goal into the 2nd period where they would outshoot Penticton by an 11-5 margin but again it was the Vees who were the opportunistic bunch and jumped ahead by a 2-0 score at 13:02 of the 2nd period.

Following two power plays that were not able to convert for the Warriors, Penticton came back the other way and saw a shot from Daniel Buchbinder get redirected at the front of the goal by Thomas Pichette that went through the legs of Applebee to double the Vees advantage.

The second Vees power play of the game resulted in a 3-0 lead for the home team on a second chance at the side of the net. James Fischer had his slot shot stopped at the front of the net before the puck spilled to the glove side and Ryan MacPherson finished off the play at the 17:49 mark with another power play marker and a three-goal lead into the final period.

Littler found the back of the net moments into the 3rd period to push the Vees further ahead as the Vees forward gathered the puck in front and finished past the glove side of Applebee.

The Warriors received one more power play before the game was out but were not able to push anything past Will Ingemann in the Vees net, who collected his 5th shutout of the season with a 21-save effort, good for his 18th win of the season. Rorke Applebee suffered his 6th loss of the season with 19 saves on 23 shots.

The Warriors close out a busy weekend Monday afternoon when they host the Langley Rivermen in a Family Day matinee.

Faceoff is 2:30.

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