The West Kelowna Warriors couldn’t quite complete the comeback as they fell 6-3 to the Penticton Vees on Saturday night at Royal LePage Place on Breast Cancer Awareness Night.
Photos from tonight courtesy of Ken Reid of Greystoke Photography:
The Warriors did an excellent job Saturday night on coming from behind twice to get the game within one goal, and almost tied things early in the third, before the Vees ultimately scored twice in the game’s final period to put them ahead for good. But the battle back, against the BCHL’s top team, was an impressive one for the Warriors. Connor Sodergren was, in my opinion, the Warriors best all around player tonight, scoring twice in the middle stanza and giving RLP some much needed energy with the team down 4-1 early in the 2nd period. Quin Foreman looked good tonight as well, tallying in the first period with West-K down by three to give the team some life before the opening period ended. Braiden Epp, who made a great play to pick-pocket Vees forward Owen SIllinger of the puck on the Warriors 3rd goal, looked sharp all night long offensively and in his own end killing penalties. Just to illustrate how close the Warriors were to making it a tie game early in the third period, this is Mat Robson’s big save on both Foreman and Reed Gunville to keep it a one-goal lead for the Vees:
Now if you watch the highlights, specifically the post game comments with head coach Rylan Ferster, he brings up a point at the end about the Vees using their top unit power play at the end of a 6-3 game as things between him and Vees bench boss Fred Harbinson got a bit heated when the Warriors took a couple of penalties towards the end of the game. I agree with Ferster on this subject that even if the Vees power play hasn’t been clicking so far this season, there’s really no reason to put your top end guys out on the man advantage. Needless to say, this will make the game these two teams play in one month on November 22nd a little more interesting.
2) STICKING WITH THEM
In the first game these two teams played, the Vees scored two early goals en route to a 3-1 win and made the Warriors climb uphill the entire night and never really could get their feet under them. Saturday was a similar story in that Penticton quickly potted three goals in just 44 seconds at the midway point of the 1st period and again, the Warriors were stuck having to climb uphill for the remainder of the night. Take away those two moments in this season series and I think these two teams have been quite even in play. West Kelowna, in my opinion, wasn’t getting dominated by any stretch and held with the league’s best team, even to comeback from down 3-0 and 4-1 to get the game within one goal and almost tie it. This young team is starting to gain confidence and performances like that will only aid in that.
My takeaways from the Warriors 6-3 defeat is that this team again came close to earning two points but just can’t find a way to break through and get a timely save or a big goal. Tonight was no different. If Quin Foreman buries on that chance early in the 3rd period, who knows how things would’ve panned out and if the Warriors were scoring the way they were last year, I think that puck would’ve gone past Robson. But again it was a strong effort and didn’t fold when the game got tough when they trailed by three in the 1st and 2nd. The Warriors will get some bonding time as they head out on the road for four straight games, starting on Friday night at Frank Crane Arena as the Warriors make their first of two Island trips on the season and play the Nanaimo Clippers before heading to Duncan to face-off against the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Saturday and finishing the trip in Port Alberni against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. The games, as well as every Warriors game, can be heard for free on the Warrior Internet Network or watch it online on pay-per-view on hockeytv.com.