Photo Credit: Tami Quan Photography
March 8th, 2019
WEST KELOWNA B.C. – The West Kelowna Warriors take a commanding 3-2 best of seven series lead after a 4-2 win over the Wenatchee Wild Friday night.
The Warriors got off to a rough start taking a penalty only 13 seconds into the game. On the Wild powerplay Chad Sasaki would pass to down low to PJ Fletcher who would wrist one towards Connor Hopkins who gave up a rebound which Murphy Stratton would clean up and score to make it 1-0 Wild only a minute into the hockey game. The Warriors would start to push back in the second half of the period and get a goal from an unlikely line. With Mike Hardman out of the game with injury, Head Coach and General Manager Brandon West knew this would be a great opportunity for someone to step up. The new look fourth line of Sam Anderson, Mason Richey and Garrett Worth would go to work in the attacking zone and a simple shot from the point by Anthony Bishop would go off the stick of Worth tying the game up at one a piece heading into the first intermission.
The second period was all Wild but it was the Warriors who found the net. The Wild had numerous chances to score in the first half of the period but couldn’t solve Connor Hopkins to keep it tied. The Warriors wouldn’t be able to register their first shot on goal until the 5:39 mark of the second period where Bennett Norlin would score his first of the playoffs to take the lead 2-1. The Norlin goal would be the first shot Cal Sandquist saw and it took over 14 minutes. The Wild would have yet another power play late in the period but the Warriors didn’t allow for any quality scoring chances and any saves Connor Hopkins had to make were manageable. Wild would dominate shots on goal in the second frame 16-6.
The Warriors knew a one goal lead in the third period wasn’t safe, so the top line would go on the attack. Cycling the puck in the Wild zone Lucas Cullen would go for a back door back hand pass to the slot which went off Wild goaltender Cal Sandquist and in to make it 3-1 Warriors. That would be the end of the night for Wild goaltender Cal Sandquist who was replaced by Austin Park. The Wild would get themselves into penalty trouble in the final frame putting the Warriors on their sixth power play of the evening, and that’s where the Warriors got their insurance goal ending their power play dry spell. After some good puck movement between Wyatt Head and Chase Dubois, Dubois would cross ice it to Parm Dhaliwal who beat Austin Park to put the game out of reach 4-1. The Wild would add one late to make it interesting but the Warriors would hold on to win 4-2 and take a 3-2 lead in the best of seven series heading back to Wenatchee for game six.
Shots on goal 41-23 in favor of the Wild.
- WKW G Connor Hopkins (39 Saves)
- WKW F Lucas Cullen (1G-1A)
- WKW F Parm Dhaliwal (1G-1A)
Fortis Energy Player of the Game:
WKW F Garrett Worth (1G)
The Warriors next game is Game 6 of the BCHL Interior Division Quarterfinal Sunday night versus the Wenatchee Wild. Puck drop at 8:05pm from the Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee. Catch ’s game and every other home and away game this season on Mixlr and Hockey TV. Just head to the Warriors website and click on the “Listen Live” column to get directed to a radio feed of each game.