The West Kelowna Warriors offence couldn’t muster much as they were shutout for the second time this season and dropped a 5-0 score on Friday night to the Penticton Vees at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
1) PLAYING CATCH UP
There’s going to have to be a point this season that the Warriors are going to have to not play catch up against a highly talented and very good defensive team in the Vees. The Warriors got behind the eight ball early tonight with two goals in the game’s first 5:11 and for a team that doesn’t score much against the best defensive team in the BCHL, that spells trouble. It seems in each of the games West Kelowna has played the Vees this year, Penticton has gotten ahead at some point and not surrendered the lead which has given the Warriors now six straight losses against the Vees this season. After a 1st period that the Vees didn’t get much toward net (only four shots on goal in the period but lead 2-0 after 20 minutes), the killer in this game was the third goal the Warriors allowed, while shorthanded, and gave the Vees a field goal of an advantage. The Warriors failed to get the puck into the Vees zone on the power play where Nic Jones spotted Duncan Campbell down the left wing and he walked in a shot the puck past Cole Demers blocker shoulder, ending the 17-year-old’s night. It’s a goal that I’m sure Demers would like to have back as it was a saveable puck that the Warriors really could’ve used to not go in and give themselves a chance but after that marker, it seemed as though the Warriors were a bit deflated as the Vees struck for two more markers in the third period to ice the game away. Mind you, the Warriors did hit a post in the 1st period on a backhand spin around attempt toward goal from Stephen Kleysen in the slot before a pair of 2nd period posts starting with a Tyler Jutting shot from the right point that beat Robson on the glove side but not the post and the second one of the frame that hit the post on the blocker side of Robson by Logan Mostat on the power play. If those had gone in, who knows what could’ve been for the Warriors tonight.
2) A SPIRITED RIVALRY
It’s quite apparent that the Warriors and Vees have a strong dislike for each other as that came to a head yet again on Friday night with the teams combining for a total of 160 penalty minutes and 9 misconducts on the night between the two sides in a spirited affair. The last game the Warriors and Vees played saw five misconducts and resulted in five players being injured for the Warriors and unable to play for an extended period of time. So yes, safe to say these two really get under one another’s skin. The sequence that really saw the blood push past the boiling point was at the 9:33 mark of period number three as things struck a boiling that began with Cavin Tilsley and Mat Robson getting involved. The puck was sent toward goal from the point that deflected off of a stick and popped up into the corner. Braiden Epp was digging for the puck in Robson’s pad as he lost sight of where it was before getting filled in from behind by Jared Nash. Tilsley and Robson got into each other’s face after Tilsley was in the crease of the Vees netminder and giving him a shove in the shoulder. Robson took a blocker arm swing at Tilsley who then grabbed Robson as the two locked horns behind the Vees net, seeing everyone on the ice grab a partner and tangle up. The scene made for a nightmare for a boxscore keeper.
My takeaways from Friday night’s 5-0 shutout loss for the Warriors to the Penticton Vees at the South Okanagan Events Centre are that the Warriors need to find a way to get ahead and stay ahead against a very good defensive team in the Vees. The Warriors offence couldn’t muster anything together in a game that didn’t see many quality scoring chances but the Warriors also need one of their goaltenders to step up and take the reigns. The Warriors have been flip flopping over the past month of who will play goal and neither one of the Warriors goaltenders has taken the opportunity. Of course it is a team game and the goaltenders aren’t all to blame but confidence is a key part to the team having trust in the goaltender to make a save and right now, the Warriors haven’t been able to find that. West-K is back in action on Saturday when they return home to face-off against the Victoria Grizzlies on the 8th annual Faith Night at RLP.