The West Kelowna Warriors experienced a bit of deja vu on Saturday night as they fell by a 7-2 score against the Powell River Kings at Hap Parker Arena, the same score they lost by on Friday night in Victoria.
Game photo provided by Alicia Baas who works with the Kings as their photographer. Here’s her website for MORE:
1) DEJA VU
The score line looks the same on Saturday as it did on Friday with the Warriors falling by 7-2 scores on each night. Though I don’t think the score is any indication of how the game’s had gone, being down five regulars has hurt this team, as it would with any team. Having the captain and one of the better puck moving defensmen on the team out of the lineup has hurt the Warriors, who have faced two of the top three teams in the BCHL and the road doesn’t get any easier on Sunday with a visit to Chilliwack to face-off against the Chiefs. Jonny Evans had a great night with four goals and six points and gave the Warriors fits inside their own zone. Him along with Cam Donaldson provided a speedy offence that challenged the Warriors throughout the night. But again, tough to critique a team that will have a completely different look with all their players in the lineup and currently rolling five AP’s through the lineup. But I don’t think the Warriors necessarily are playing bad hockey as their first period was very good with 20 shots on goal before fatigue set in and the minutes started to get larger for some guys that don’t usually see that much time.
2) HANDLING THE SPEED
The Kings, on the other hand of the Warriors, had their full lineup in and man, are they ever a fast team, especially on home ice. Last time these two teams met was in December before the Christmas break and the Kings were without Kyle Betts and Carter Turnbull with both drawing in tonight and making an impact on the top line for the Kings with Tristan Mullin. Although Mullin’s 10-game point streak came to an end, that line was effective along with Evans, Donaldson and a mixture of others as the Kings had a couple of injuries to deal with in Ben Berard, who was lost after his first shift of the game and Gavin Rauser. I hope Rauser is okay and wish him a speedy recovery after an inadvertent high stick caught him in the face leading to a puddle of blood in the corner. But the Kings are speedy and their strong defensively, as all Kent Lewis teams have been in the past. They have a good team, especially on home ice, and gave the Warriors all they could handle on this night. But again, not much the Warriors could do when taking out their top defensemen and adding in a 16 and 17-year-old makes a big difference when looking at how to assess these games on the weekend.
My takeaways from the Warriors 7-2 loss to the Powell River Kings on Saturday night is that this weekend has been a tough one for the Warriors but they haven’t played poorly in any way. But when done so many men, it makes a 60-minute effort very difficult but you can’t fault the effort from the 20 players out there tonight. The Warriors will be in tough on Sunday as well as they head to Chilliwack to take on the Chiefs at Prospera Centre for a 5:00 PM face-off. The pre game goes at 4:50 PM on the Warriors Internet Network and hockeytv.com to finish out the road trip.