The West Kelowna Warriors tallied a season high seven goals in a 7-3 victory over the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Sunday afternoon at Royal LePage Place.
Game photo courtesy of Wayne Moore with Castanet:
1) COMMANDING FINAL FRAME
The Warriors came out and started the game with great urgency, wanting to get on a team that was playing their 3rd game in 2 1/2 games and also had to travel from Wenatchee to get to West Kelowna for the game. The Warriors surrendered the opening goal in the game but I thought the team responded well after giving up the opening marker and made life difficult for the Caps and netminder Lane Michasiw. Through two periods, the score was 3-2 in favour of the Warriors and quite even over the course of 40 minutes but all of a sudden, the Warriors turned it on in the 3rd frame with four goals and would make this game out of reach in the final period of hockey on the weekend. Now mind you, it is quite tough to have the road trip the Caps had this weekend with playing in Coquitlam Friday night and Wenatchee Saturday and I think we saw the dividends of that tiredness really come to fruition in the 3rd period as the Caps had emptied the tank and there wasn’t much more to give as the game rolled along in period three. The Warriors “smelt blood” and took advantage with two early third period goals that really seemed to take the life out of the Capitals. And a really great moment in the 3rd period as Jordan Todd tallied his first BCHL goal on a 5-on-3 power play for the Warriors and gave the bench an uproar for the hard-working 18-year-old forward to get his first goal in the league. “Toader”, as he is known around the locker room, is a great kid who works for every inch of ice he gets and it was terrific to watch him get that goal on Sunday to get the monkey off his back:
2) BALANCED ATTACK
The line of Quin Foreman-Connor Sodergren-Chase Stevenson was a handful and a half for the Caps this afternoon as that line had a scoring chance on seemingly every shift they had in the game. Sodergren on his own, with a goal three assists after scoring changes, was dominant with and without the puck and really exposed a fatigued Cowichan defense, who was playing without two of their top defensemen in the likes of captain Chris Harpur and Ben Verrall. Jared Marino had himself his best game of the season as he was involved with the offense with a goal and two assists while everyone chipped in with seven different goal scorers, including two from the defense in Nick Rutigliano and Michael Ryan joining the party. As much as the Sodergren line took over and dominated this game, the secondary scoring and depth lines got some well deserved playing time while the game was in it’s late stages. It was good for the Warriors to allow some time for the likes of Sodergren and Foreman some time off as I don’t believe they had a shift in the final 7 or 8 minutes of the game, which could pay off for some big rest for them as the Warriors head down the stretch.
My takeaways from the Warriors 7-3 victory over the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Sunday afternoon from RLP was that it was a terrific third period and the offense exploded for one of the few times this season, giving some players who haven’t scored many goals this season some confidence as one of the most important stretches of the season comes along for West Kelowna. Seven different goal scorers hit the score sheet for the Warriors on Sunday afternoon for the club’s seventh straight victory on home ice. The Warriors pumped 52 shots toward Michasiw with 25 of those coming in the game’s final period and a dominant third frame saw the Warriors seal the deal on a tired team and pick up their 22nd win of the season and set up a huge game on Friday night at RLP against the Vipers.
It could be 2 vs. 3 in the Interior Division on Friday night when the Vipers make their final trip to RLP this regular season to play the Warriors. 7 PM puck drop with the pre game show going on the air at 6:50 PM on the Warriors Internet Network and hockeytv.com. It will be a great game as both teams fight for the 2nd potential bye in the Interior Division as the playoffs grow nearer.