The West Kelowna Warriors extended their winning streak to three games on Wednesday night with a 4-2 victory over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in the Shuswap.
Game photos tonight provided by Chris Fowler of Pure Life Photography:
1) GRITTY EFFORT
The Warriors played undermanned but found a way to win the game on Wednesday night with their 4-2 victory in Salmon Arm against the ‘Backs. Nicholas Rutigliano took warmup but did not play which put the Warriors down to five defensemen right off the bat, and it didn’t help when Jake Harrison was knocked out of tonight’s game via this hit from Landon Fuller in the 2nd period:
But the Warriors battled through some tough conditions and got a timely goal from Quin Foreman in the third period that gave the Warriors the late lead and they defended it well over the last 4+ minutes and got an empty netter from Foreman to salt the game away. A lot of heavy lifting came from the veterans as Foreman, Connor Sodergren, Matt Campese, Scott Allan and Stephen Kleysen logged a lot of minutes for the club with everyone contributing a helping hand in the victory, the first for the Warriors over the Silverbacks this season in head-to-head matchups. Also have to give a ton a credit to veteran Trevor Martin, who for a third straight game, looked very impressive in the Warriors crease. Given the game’s 3rd star (though he really was the first) he held the fort when Salmon Arm buzzed to start the game and played extremely well down the stretch of the game, with some timely third period stops to shut the door en route to a 39 save victory.
The 2nd period in this game took about as long as it was between Chicago Cubs World Series titles (okay, maybe not that long) but the point is that the 2nd period lasted a lifetime, due in large part to four goals and this laundry list of penalties, which is easier to just show then try to explain:
The Warriors and Silverbacks have a growing rivalry and the 2nd period tonight displayed that. It all really took a turn after that hit from Fuller on Harrison, that caused the Warrior d-man to be helped off the ice and saw the Silverbacks Instagram account to post THIS after tonight’s game, a little suspect if you ask me. But the tail end of the period is when things hit the boiling point, escalating to a fight, and a rather good one, between Spencer Hora and an unsuspecting combatant in Parm Dhaliwal, who held his own well in the tussle. Braiden Epp may face a suspension after his spearing major penalty, under the Junior ‘A’ supplement while Josh Blanchard was also given a fighting major leading to short bench for each side in the game’s final period.
My takeaways from tonight’s 4-2 victory is that with solid goaltending, who knows where this team could’ve been at record wise right now, but they are relishing in their 20-year old netminder’s performances. It may not have been a picasso for the Warriors tonight, but a win in the standings is all that matters and the Warriors have three straight to look at right now. The penalty kill stood tall in a big way tonight, going 4/5 including 2/2 in the third frame when it was crunch time and when in doubt, Quin Foreman is there to help provide the late game heroics with his goal (although it may have gone in off of ‘Backs d-man Landon Fuller but it’s a goal no matter what) and the Warriors start a big week with a big win against a division rival, one that is starting to get some serious feeling between both sides.
The Warriors are back in action on Saturday when they host the Trail Smoke Eaters at RLP for another big divisional showdown. The Warriors and Smokies haven’t met since the 2nd game of the season and will see each other twice in the span of five days. Puck drop is 7:00 pm with pre-game starting at 6:50 pm on the Warriors Internet Network and hockeytv.com. It’s the first of two games on the weekend for the Warriors as they play host to the Prince George Spruce Kings at 2:30 pm at RLP on Sunday.