The West Kelowna Warriors are now winless in four straight games after a 6-4 loss on Saturday night to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks at Royal LePage Place.
Photo from tonight’s game courtesy of Ken Reid of Greystoke Photography:
1) FALLING JUST SHORT…AGAIN
For the 4th straight game, the Warriors come away without a win despite another valiant effort. This team is definitely deserving of coming away with at the very least one win over their four game winless schneid but the hockey gods haven’t quite been on the Warriors side. Another night of firing 40+ shots on goal (which they have done in each of the last four games) and another night of scoring four times but again coming up empty handed. The tides have turned from a team not being able to find the back of the net to now not being able to keep the puck out of the goal as the Warriors have found their scoring touch a bit with four goals in each of the last two games this weekend.
I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record but again, the effort was there and the Warriors played well enough to win, but credit to an opportunistic Silverback club that took advantage of the chances they got and beat Shane Farkas five times tonight, including twice on the power play and once on a delayed penalty which was a 5-on-4 that Salmon Arm tallied their first goal on. It’s a matter of time before the Warriors get a victory if they continue to play the way that they do, which I haven’t seen many teams continuously fire 40+ shots on goal and not get rewarded with a win. The W’s are coming.
2) OPPOSITE END OF THE SPECIAL TEAMS BATTLE
Just when you thought the Warriors PP had figured things out, they were halted by the league’s worst penalty kill on Saturday as West Kelowna went 0/6 on the man advantage. The biggest opportunity was late in the game, with 1:21 remaining, ‘Backs netminder Trevin Kozlowski paddled the puck up and out of play for a delay of game penalty and a Warrior PP. Stemming after a late goal by Quin Foreman that made it 5-4, this PP chance was a big one and the Warriors pulled Farkas to make it a 6-on-4 opportunity but again, couldn’t find the back of the net despite a pair of chances in tight before Ryley Booth iced the game away on an empty netter from centre ice. The power play had come in with goals in each of it’s last three games but couldn’t find the back of the net on Saturday.
The penalty kill continues to struggle as the PK officially went 5/7 on Saturday night. Haydn Hopkins and Carson Bolduc had PP goals for Salmon Arm while, as mentioned, the first goal by Ryley Booth came on a delayed penalty, which was a 5-on-4. Last Friday, the ‘Backs tallied 3 PPG’s against the Warriors while West-K gave up the game winner on the penalty kill in Salmon Arm on Friday night (can’t blame the PK for that however). But something that is a recurring theme is that during the four game winless stretch, the Warriors have surrendered a PPG in each of those four games while their last win, 1-0 over Chilliwack on Tuesday, October 4th, they kept the Chiefs PP at bay.
My takeaways from Saturday night were again that is was a strong effort put forth by the Warriors but again, coming away without victory hurts. The Warriors, for the first time in a very long time (and if ever), sit in last place in the Interior Division. You can’t go many games with 40+ shots on goal and get saddled with losses all the time. The wins for this team will come and with the way they are playing, they are just on the horizon but as for Saturday night, a PP that could’ve used a goal and a bit more finish would’ve served the Warriors well on Saturday.
The Warriors hit the road on Wednesday night when they take on the Coquitlam Express at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre. Puck drop is 7:00 PM with pre game starting at 6:50 PM on the Warriors Internet Network and hockeytv.com.