The West Kelowna Warriors dropped the back half their home and home to open the season with the Trail Smoke Eaters by an 8-5 score at Cominco Arena on Saturday night.
Picture courtesy of Trail Smoke Eaters photographer Randy Emery
1) GIVE IT TO THE COMPETITION
The Trail Smoke Eaters may not have started the game the way they wanted to, being down 2-1 after 20 minutes, but they were certainly a much better and determined team after the first intermission, it’s almost like they were awoken out of a slumber. A four goal 2nd and three goal 3rd period put this game on ice for the Smokies. The Warriors did not have their best game by any means but Trail stepped their game up, in a big way.
Kale Howarth was noticeably the best player on the ice tonight with two goals and seemed to have a burr under his saddle. He blew through the Warrior defense on the power play for his first marker and placed a perfect wrister for his 2nd goal, which was shorthanded. He played excellent tonight. The trio of Armour-Brown-Maloski-Laframboise were also good tonight and young Andre Ghantous had a solid game for Trail tonight to which the Warriors didn’t have much of an answer.
2) GOALS ON GOALS
Coming one night after four goals combined were scored on Friday in West Kelowna, you knew it would be a different story heading to the comfy confines at Cominco Arena. Lively end wall careems and perplexing stanchion bounces and clear in attempts are just some of the wacky things that go on inside that building. The puck seemed to skip a fair bit tonight, catching the Warriors a bit off guard at times but changed nothing on the scoreboard as 15 goals were inputted.
Without forwards Parm Dhaliwal and Mitch Martan, the Warriors lacked depth on the night bit found some scoring. Jared Marino led the way with two goals and Marshall Wilton potted his first BCHL along with three points. Despite only hitting the score sheet once, I thought Peter Tomaras had a fantastic game and could’ve had two goals with a couple of grade “A” chances spoiled by Zach Dyment.
3) JUST ONE OF THOSE NIGHTS
It’s one of those nights that happen in junior hockey, only the Warriors hope it doesn’t happen much more. Sometimes momentum is too much in favour of the other squad to get back and I believe that is what happened tonight. It’s challenging for any team to rebound after allowed four goals in a period and unfortunately on this night, it buried the Warriors, who looked like they might’ve seized that momentum in the 2nd period when Marino scored just nine seconds after Trail made it 2-2 but it was not meant to be.
West Kelowna is back in action next Saturday, at home to the Vernon Vipers for the first time this season before West-K heads to Chilliwack to play in the Bauer BCHL Showcase. Puck drop on Saturday is at 7:00 pm.