The West Kelowna Warriors scored three times in the third period along with an outstanding effort from Cole Demers as the Warriors won their third straight game against the Cents with a 4-1 win at RLP on Friday night.
Game photos from tonight provided by Wayne Moore of Castanet:
1) ALL AROUND TEAM EFFORT
Friday night was a good night for the Warriors, coming away with a large two points against a team that the Warriors will be fighting with until the end of the season for a playoff position. The Cents brought their full effort, especially when it came to their 19 shots third period, but the Warriors got a great game from newcomer Cole Demers and sealed a solid 4-1 win. Demers was outstanding in this game, making many quality stops on grade ‘A’ Merritt opportunities. One save in particular in the 2nd period caught my eye as the Cents were on the power play and the puck went from the right circle in front for a tip in the slot from Chase Bell but Demers read the play well and covered the blocker side perfectly to make the save. The Warriors got key insurance goals from Sodergren and Mostat in the 3rd period before Merritt struck back with a power play goal and a bit of an unlucky break for Demers on the deflected shot to put a damper into what was otherwise a perfect night for him.
That Sodergren-Foreman-Mostat line looked great in the 3rd period, scoring the three markers and the usual suspect in scoring, Quin Foreman, was the helper tonight with three assists. And who could forget the guy that opened the scoring in Chase Stevenson and what a night it was for him. He had 3 or 4 quality looks in the game before his goal taking the puck from end-to-end for a gorgeous tally and not bad for the West-K kids first in the BCHL either:
The Warriors are starting to feel it a bit on home ice now with five straight wins at RLP, dating back to December 9th with an OT win against the Cents. It’s been some good hockey at RLP over that span, with wins against very good clubs like Merritt (twice), Powell River, Nanaimo and Trail. Just what the doctor ordered for the Warriors was some home ice success, now sitting at 13-9-0-0 on home turf and making it tough on visitors. The Warriors just need that success to translate over to the road now where the club will play it’s next two games in Merritt Saturday night and Penticton one day after the trade deadline on Wednesday, the first trip to the SOEC for the Warriors this season. But the play at home has been inspiring for West Kelowna, who were hovering around .500 on home ice for the longest time before this winning streak hit. With only 7 more home dates remaining in the season, and just two against Interior Division, home ice has never been more valuable.
My takeaways from the Warriors 4-1 Friday night victory over the Centennials is that the team came out and earned a lead and Cole Demers did his job with a massive effort for a good win and a big two points in the standings. Scoreboard watching will become a habit for most, if it hasn’t already, as this season wears on but the Warriors will need to take care of their own end of the deal before seeing how everything else shakes down and Friday night, they did just that. Connor Sodergren was great with two goals and it was nice to see “Stevie” finally rewarded with a goal while Demers dazzled in his debut with the club. Quin Foreman had an underappreciated night, in my opinion anyway, with three assists and had a couple good chances to score. Overall, a great night at RLP for the Warriors that will hopefully give the boys some confidence heading into Saturday night in Merritt. A tough building to play but they’ve won their once, so why not again? Strange start time tomorrow of 8:00 PM so adjust yourselves accordingly as we’ll be on the air for 7:50 PM from the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena in Merritt, if I don’t freeze before hand.