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GAME RECAP: Two-Goal Performances From Green & Nelson Push Warriors To Win Over Grizzlies

PHOTO: Kyle Robinson

VICTORIA, B.C. – The West Kelowna Warriors saw two-goal performances from Kailus Green and Brennan Nelson to help propel them to a 5-1 victory over the Victoria Grizzlies on Saturday night at The Q Centre.

In a similar story to a night prior, the Warriors were able to get ahead by a pair of goals from one source in the way of Kailus Green, who scored his first BC Hockey League goal just over 7 minutes into the opening period to give the Warriors a 1-0 edge in the game.

Nolan Hayes began the play, delivering a check to keep the puck inside the right point as Michael Salandra collected the loose puck and passed to the left side where Green teed up a one-time shot and buried it past the blocker side of Grizzlies goaltender Ansel Holt at the 7:31 mark for a 1-0 lead.

The Warriors forward was at it again off of a media timeout and a face-off in the offensive zone to give West Kelowna a 2-0 advantage. Matthew Lee found a loose puck in the left face-off circle and passed to the right dot as Green collected and outwaiting Holt, burying a shot over the Grizzlies goaltender for his second goal of the game and doubled their lead at the 13:31 mark of the period.

West Kelowna continued to get solid goaltending from Justin Katz and pushed their lead to 3-0 early in the 2nd period courtesy of Brennan Nelson. Rylee Hlusiak sent a pass to the middle of the ice and as Nelson collected and moved in on a breakaway, chipping the puck over the glove side shoulder of Holt for his 1st goal of the season and a three-goal lead 2:26 into the middle frame.

Another first BCHL goal came in the way of Jake Bernadet to give West Kelowna a 4-0 edge at the 14:19 mark of the 2nd period. Michael Salandra moved into the offensive zone on a 2-on-1 as he slid a pass to the right side where Bernadet pushed the puck over the goal line to get ahead by four goals into the 3rd period.

Nelson once again found the back of the net with a terrific move around a defender and scored his second of the game to push the Warriors lead to 5-0. Getting through a Victoria defender on the right side, Nelson pushed the puck past new goaltender Oliver Auyeung-Ashton to give the Warriors a 5-0 lead at the 7:17 mark of the final frame.

For the second straight night, the Warriors could not preserve the shutout in the final moments as Jacksenn Hungle came out of the penalty box and was sprung on a breakaway, beating Katz with a wrist shot at the 17:37 mark of the 3rd frame to conclude the scoring and make it a 5-1 game.

Justin Katz was solid once again in the Warriors net, making 21 saves on 22 shots in his second win of the season while Ansel Holt made 17 saves on 21 shots in his first loss of the season while Oliver Auyeung-Ashton made 17 saves on 18 shots he faced in the 3rd period.

FINAL SCORE: 5-1 Warriors

SHOTS ON GOAL: 39-22 Warriors

WARRIORS PP: 0/4

WARRIORS PK: 1/1

3 STARS:

1) Michael Salandra (0-4-4)

2) Justin Katz (21 saves on 22 shots)

3) Kailus Green (2-1-3)

Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Michael Adamek (0-0-0)

Attendance: 1,111

The Warriors (2-0-0-0) return to the Central Okanagan for their home opening weekend, beginning on Friday, September 30th against the Wenatchee Wild (0-0-0-1). Puck drop is slated for 7:00 PM at Royal LePage Place with tickets available for purchase HERE as well as in-person at the Warriors Office, located at 2760 Cameron Road.

In respect of Truth and Reconciliation Day, the Warriors will be wearing special “Every Child Matters” jerseys that will be auctioned off through a silent auction taking place throughout the game. Proceeds from the jersey auction will support the Residential School Survivors Society.