The West Kelowna Warriors pushed their home winning streak to six games with a 5-2 win over the Surrey Eagles on Friday night at RLP.
Game photos tonight provided by Ken Reid of Greystoke Photography. Visit his WEBSITE:
1) GETTING THE JOB DONE
At times in this game, it wasn’t pretty but the Warriors got the job done with a 5-2 victory over their counterparts from the Mainland in the Surrey Eagles, sweeping the season series with the birds and outscoring them by a 11-5 margin over the two games. On Friday night, the Warriors scored three goals in the opening 10 minutes (and change) of play that proved to be the difference in the win. West Kelowna came out of the gate hard, getting the goal from Braiden Epp before just two minutes later having Connor Sodergren end a 0 for 20 drought on the PP for the Warriors, who actually scored twice on the night when up a man and pushed Sodergren’s goal scoring streak to four games. Stephen Kleysen scored just as a PP expired to push the lead to 3-0 in just over 10 minutes against a Surrey team that has now lost 5 games in a row and had a goaltender in Daniel Davidson that had not started a game since the 23rd of November. The first period was a good one for the Warriors and got even better with newcomer Gabriel Morency making a huge stop on a Dario Piva penalty shot that kept the game 3-0 and maybe was the biggest difference on the night to not give the Eagles any momentum.
After the opening 20 minutes, the game lost all of it’s flow with an offside/icing filled 2nd period that was a bit sloppy and not very appealing hockey to watch. But give credit to the Warriors for their bounce back late in the period after an unfortunate goal goes in from a sharp angle for Surrey, a great play by former Eagle Logan Mostat to protect the puck down low, with no stick, and have Parm Dhaliwal strip an Eagle defender of the puck and find Chase Dubois for the goal just 1:01 after the Eagles tally. Hard work paid off in spades for the Warriors on that goal and left to the dressing room with a 4-1 lead. The 3rd period again saw the Eagles score to cut the deficit to two goals before the Eagles took a late penalty and pulled their goaltender when Quin Foreman scored on the empty net. After that, Surrey lost all interest in playing hockey and just were looking to take out some frustration and made the game a bit messy at the end, which the boxscore details.
2) HOME COOKING & 3rd PLACE
Make it six games in a row with a victory on home ice for the Warriors after Friday’s win over the Eagles. The Warriors now sit at 14-9-0-0 at RLP this season and are a clear 5 games over .500 in West Kelowna. It took a while for the youngsters to adapt on home ice but they have found their groove now and in good timing too as these games are crucial heading down the stretch, especially on home ice. West Kelowna now sits in 3rd in the Interior Division with Trail’s 5-3 loss at home to the Langley Rivermen which puts the Warriors a point up on 3rd place in the division heading into Saturday night’s play. Of course, the jostling in the standings will continue as the season goes along but the Warriors can sleep comfortably knowing that at least for the night, they sit in third place, seven points behind the Vernon Vipers who tied on Friday with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. The Warriors, along with the Merritt Centennials, were the only team to pick up two points on the night as the Cents defeated the Penticton Vees by a 3-2 score in Merritt. The Warriors opponent on Sunday afternoon, the Cowichan Valley Capitals, may be in a grumpy mood when they head to RLP on Sunday as they lost to the last place Coquitlam Express on Friday by a 6-3 score and head to Wenatchee on Saturday to face-off south of the border against the Wild.
My takeaways from the Warriors 5-2 win over the Surrey Eagles on Friday night from RLP are that despite the sloppy hockey at points in this one, the Warriors got the job done and picked up a big two points in the standings. It may have not been the most entertaining game but there were plenty of things to like from the Warriors win. The line of Jared Marino-Peter Tomaras-Braiden Epp looked good tonight with Marino having 4 or 5 quality looks and just couldn’t find the back of the net. Logan Mostat along with Parm Dhaliwal and Chase Dubois was another effective line for the Warriors with Mostat, against his former team, putting in a solid night of work and Dhaliwal finishing with two assists to put him at 6 points in 2 games against his hometown Surrey Eagles.
The Warriors have Saturday night off before their final Sunday home game of the season when they host the Cowichan Valley Capitals at RLP for a 2:30 PM face-off. We’ll be on the air at 2:20 PM with the pre-game show on the Warriors Internet Network and hockeytv,com. If you make it out to the game, make sure to bring the kids out and stick around afterwards with a post game skate with the Warriors following the final buzzer on Sunday afternoon.