The West Kelowna Warriors completed the sweep of their BCHL Showcase schedule with a 5-3 win over the Coquitlam Express on Thursday afternoon.
Photos courtesy of the BCHL’s Garrett James:
1) A VETERAN PRESENCE
The Warriors vets were crucial over the two-game Showcase schedule, especially for today’s game against Coquitlam. After a huge win on Wednesday night against the Chiefs and a total of 18 hours between games, I thought the Warriors vets really calmed the younger players and led the way, especially offensively. Quin Foreman had a Showcase to remember; scoring 5 times over the 2 games and sits atop BCHL goal scoring with 7. Connor Sodergren added two assists while Reed Gunville and Mitch Barker had a big Showcase, each scoring once today.
On the back end, it was the usual suspects doing what they do best with Nick Rutigliano, Tyler Anderson, Jake Harrison and Stephen Kleysen leading the charge, both offensively and defensively, especially against a run-and-gun style of offence displayed by the Express. The Warriors did a very good job of keeping most of the play to the outsides especially against the line of William Lawrence-Luca Leone-Owen Stout. That line played what seemed like 30 minutes today and the Warriors allowed the one goal from Leone and that was all, an impressive defensive stand against two very good offensive teams, going back to Wednesday night against Chilliwack.
2) PLAY 3 2ND PERIODS
That title may be strange but let me explain, the Warriors scored 7 of the 10 goals they had at the Showcase in the 2nd period alone. That’s crazy. I refer to this as being carnivores because the 2nd period is the middle of the game, kind of like the meat in a sandwich, making the Warriors carnivores. No? Okay, a big swing and a miss. But the Warriors have played well in the 2nd periods of games this year, scoring at least once in the middle stanza in each of their first 5 games of the young season.
On a related scoring note, West Kelowna has scored first in each of their first 5 games this season, which is a very good sign. The Warriors, despite not always scoring in the early going, have had very good starts to games thus far and that relates to the veterans being able to settle the play down for the younger guys. But it all culminates in the 2nd period when the Warriors seem to find their scoring touch.
3) QUICK TURNAROUND, NO PROBLEM
The Warriors handled the quick turnaround with ease into today’s game, even with a bit of sluggish start to the hockey game. The Warriors were able to grind down the Express and their trading chances style of offence to slow down some of their speedy forwards. The Warriors stuck to their game plan and head home with 4 points because of that, a nice way to overcome a pedestrian schedule at the BCHL Showcase. This group has a lot to be proud of after the two games in Chilliwack.
The Warriors (4-1-0-0) will have the weekend off before being back in action on Tuesday, September 27th against the Merritt Centennials at Royal LePage Place. It’s the start of a 5 game home stand for the Warriors with puck drop at 7:00 PM, pre game at 6:50 PM on FASTHockey pay-per-view and the Warriors Internet Network.