The West Kelowna Warriors let one slip away at Royal LePage Place Wednesday night, earning a 2-2 tie with the Penticton Vees in their fourth pre season game.
Some great photos from Wednesday night courtesy of Warriors photographer Ken Reid:
1) PENALTY KILL ON FIRE
It’s one of those things that you don’t want to be used a lot but rely upon it heavily when the time comes, and the Warriors did that tonight. West Kelowna was 6/7 on the PK tonight, which came up in big parts of the game. Unfortunately, the Warrior PK was out there for the final goal against, a 5-on-3 for the Vees which they made no mistake on. No chance that Gunnar Neilsen can be blamed for either goal he allowed tonight and the Warriors PK cannot be blamed for their terrific outing, just felt like the Warriors deserved to come away with an outright victory tonight.
So far at Royal LePage Place, the Warrior PK has come up big, going 9/10 in it’s two home games so far. Certainly the Warriors will wish to not rely on the PK as much as they have over the course of two games, but some things that were called against the home side tonight weren’t exactly seen on the other side, as West Kelowna had just three power plays in the game to the Vees seven.
2) DEFENSIVE STANDSTILL
Both teams played a strong defensive game tonight, with only 34 shots registering on goal. 20 of those came from the Warriors and 14 from the visiting Vees, making for a strong defensive game from the Warriors backend. I really liked Tyler Anderson tonight, I thought he was the best Warrior on the blue line, not afraid to jump in the play offensively but also so reliable in his own end. The Newcomer Stephen Kleysen was also very good tonight, moving pucks quick and efficiently out of his own end.
Jake Harrison looks like he hasn’t missed a beat, playing a very well rounded game in his first pre season action. Matt Monk, Daly Hamilton and Michael Ryan rounded out a solid effort from the Warriors back end. And that’s without the services of Nicholas Rutigliano, who was a scratch from tonight’s game but I imagine will draw into the lineup for the final two games against the Cents this weekend.
3) VETS COMING UP LARGE AGAIN
It’s been a theme, and a good one, for the Warriors that their veterans are coming up with great efforts in every pre season game thus far. Tonight was no different, as Quin Foreman looked like the Warriors best player tonight. He was all over pucks, doing great work on the PK and made a terrific read on his goal, stealing the puck from Hildebrand to tuck in the wrap around to put the home side up by a deuce, at the time. He was strong on pucks and skated extremely well in just his second action of the pre season thus far.
Connor Sodergren was also very effective tonight, doing the things that makes him hard to play against like getting under the skin of the Vees and causing mischief. Jared Marino, Jon Russell, Reed Gunville and Parm Dhaliwal were just some of the other forwards I thought that had a particularly strong game tonight.
The Warriors are back in action on Friday night when they host the Merritt Centennials. Puck drop at 7:00 PM and tickets are just $5. If you can’t make it to the rink, Sheldon Bank and I will have the call starting at 6:55 PM on FASTHockey.com. The Warriors wrap up their pre season schedule on Saturday as they head to Merritt to face-off against the Cents for another 7:00 PM puck drop.