The West Kelowna Warriors suffered a tough loss on Tuesday night, dropping a 5-1 decision to the Merritt Centennials at Royal LePage Place.
Picture from tonight courtesy of Wayne Moore with Castanet.
1) SPECIAL TEAMS BATTLE
The Warriors came up on the wrong side of the special teams coin on Tuesday night, killing off just 2 penalties (going 2/6 on the PK) which basically sealed it up for the Cents. Merritt was opportunistic with their chances, especially with a 5-on-3 early in the 2nd period when they got goals from Tyler Ward and Cade Gleekel just 22 seconds apart. Merritt started the night in 15th in goal scoring in the BCHL but didn’t look like it on Tuesday, especially up a man.
I thought the Warrior power play looked good at times, striking early on a gorgeous feed from the bottom of the face-off circle from Parm Dhaliwal to spot an open Connor Sodergren on the glove side of Jake Berger. The power play had some other pretty good looks but just couldn’t find the back of the net while the Cents PP was able to convert on their chances. The bounces didn’t favour the Warriors Tuesday it seemed as mostly every rebound in a high quality scoring area was taken away by a Centennial defender. After such a promising Showcase with the PP rolling and the PK going 6/6 in Chilliwack, it’s back to the drawing board for the Warriors.
2) SOMETHING ABOUT THOSE CENTS
It seems as though in every sport there is just one of those teams that has your number, that is what West Kelowna is experiencing with the Merritt Centennials. The Warriors have just 4 wins in their last 15 games against the Cents, a stat that is very perplexing since their record against the rest of the league and the division is very good. It’s one of those head scratchers to say the least, and I’m sure the Warriors are happy to not have to with their foes from Merritt again until December 9th.
3) NO TIME TO WASTE
The one good thing about this mid week game is that there is only three days until the Warriors can shrug this loss off and try to get back into the win column. I’m sure special teams will be key in practice over the next few days because, in my opinion, the Warriors had the upper hand tonight when it came to playing even strength hockey. They will need that same jump they had 5-on-5 for their game on Friday night against a tough Penticton Vees team. I think there were some positives to take out of this performance tonight but at least there is only a short time to go for the Warriors to forget about this one and start fresh again on Friday night.
That’s when we are back on the mic is Friday night as the Warriors (4-2-0-0) welcome the Penticton Vees (5-1-0-0) to town for the first of seven games head-to-head this season. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 PM, 6:50 PM pre game show on the Warriors Internet Network and FASTHockey.com.