The West Kelowna Warriors offence was silenced on Friday night in a 4-2 loss to the Langley Rivermen at the George Preston Arena.
Game photos from Friday night’s game courtesy of Garrett James with the BCHL:
1) NOT ENOUGH GRIT
The Warriors didn’t have quite enough grit in their game on Friday night and fell flat in a few areas en route to their 4-2 loss to the Rivermen. Langley fields a big, hard-hitting club and the Warriors looked a bit out of place against them at times. But the Warriors did a great job of what they do best this season, staying in hockey games and they remained in this one until about one minute to go before Langley iced the game on an empty net goal. West Kelowna gave themselves that chance with the late goal by Foreman and gave much hope to many Warrior fans that they may make a comeback before the late Langley marker. But for the most part of Friday night’s game, it seemed as though the Warriors lacked that extra step like they had on Thursday against Surrey. The power play couldn’t quite click and breakouts from their own zone were a bit more sloppy than usual. The riggers of playing four games in five nights caught up to this team on Friday night and they will need to shake that off for their big matchup on Saturday versus Wenatchee.
2) SEARCHING FOR CONSISTENCY
I think this has been an issue all season for the Warriors that one night (like Thursday) they come out and look spirited and score on their chances while Friday it just didn’t seem the same way. Mind you, there were plenty of chances when the game was 2-1 in the third period to try and tie the game, including a post from both Scott Allan and Nick Rutigliano and had a power play with 5:58 to go to try and get within a goal. But speaking of power plays, the officiating tonight (in particular the third period) was a bit of a mess. The eventual game winning goal that John Schuldt scored for Langley shouldn’t really have been a power play, a bit of a weak call in my opinion. The other issue I had was that with 5:58 to go, Braiden Epp was hauled down in the post knocking the net off and halting play. As Epp returned to his feet with some words, defensemen Spencer Berry cross checked him right in the mouth. Epp would leave the game for a moment but eventually return to the surprise of the penalty only being two minutes. To me, if a cross check gets in the face, especially after the whistle, it should be a 5 minute major. But those are only talking points and the Warriors wouldn’t have been in that spot if they had played a bit better in the early going.
My takeaways from Friday night’s game in Langley were that the Warriors needed a bit of a better effort than they got and came a couple of posts and maybe a PPG away from this game being a different result. It’ll take a very large effort, maybe the best one of the season, on Saturday when they travel south of the border when they take on the Wenatchee Wild. But I think it’s good to get back into action quickly and not have this one linger too much in the minds of the players. It’ll only be another about 12 hours (from when this is posted) before the guys will be on the bus and heading south so it’s good to get right back at it and try to finish this road trip strong, no reason to hold anything behind with the game Saturday night. Puck drop from the Town Toyota Center is slated for 7:00 PM with the pre-game show starting at 6:50 PM on the Warriors Internet Network and hockeytv.com.