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GAME RECAP: Warriors Drop Series Opener In Overtime To Smoke Eaters

PHOTO: Randy Emery/Trail Smoke Eaters 


MARCH 2nd, 2018

TRAIL, B.C. – The West Kelowna Warriors scored four goals on the power play but it was not enough as Kale Howarth ended the game in overtime as the Trail Smoke Eaters picked up a 6-5 overtime victory on Friday night at Cominco Arena.

The game started on a good note for the Warriors as the power play had a strong night, in particular in the first period, with the captain getting the Warriors on the board. Chase Dubois centered a pass from the corner for Parm Dhaliwal who touched it along for Jared Marino at the glove side of Smoke Eaters goaltender Adam Marcoux just after the power play had expired as Marino gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead at the 9:26 mark.

West Kelowna got ahead by a 2-0 score courtesy of a power play goal at the 11:22 mark coming from Chase Dubois, the first of his two on the night. Dubois was fed in the left-wing face-off circle by Dhaliwal and let go of a snap shot past the glove side of Marcoux for the two-goal Warrior advantage.

The Smoke Eaters quickly countered and got on the scoreboard for the first time just 33 seconds later as Blaine Caton finished off a tic-tac-toe passing play. Caton tipped in a puck at the blocker side on a pass from Andre Ghantous and beat Warriors netminder Nik Amundrud for a 2-1 score in favour of West Kelowna at the 11:55 mark.

Dubois added his second goal of the game at the 18:48 mark with another power play tally from the top of the left face-off circle. Michael Ryan had his first shot stopped by the right pad of Marcoux with the rebound being kicked out for Dubois, who fired a slap shot past the blocker side of the Trail goaltender to send the Warriors to the dressing room with a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes.

Then came the Trail comeback started with a goal just 39 seconds into the 2nd period with Jeremy Lucchini beating Amundrud on the blocker side on the power play as he wheeled into the left circle and fired past the Warriors goaltender to make it a 3-2 Warriors lead.

Andre Ghantous tied the game at the 2:07 mark of the 2nd period as he found a loose puck in the high slot and worked his way toward the goal before letting go of a shot over the blocker side and got the game to 3-3.

The scoring kept coming for the Smoke Eaters at the 4:14 mark of the middle frame as Kale Howarth struck with his first goal of the night. A pass from the blocker side by Braeden Tuck to the front of the goal spotted Howarth closing in on the goal as he tapped the puck through the legs of Amundrud for Trail’s first lead of the game at 4-3.

Just 12 seconds after the Howarth marker, Tyler Ghirardosi picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and beat a Warriors defender on the right side before cutting to the goal and sliding the puck past the blocker side of Amundrud to push the Smoke Eaters lead to 5-3.

A five-minute blow to the head major penalty to Carter Jones changed the game as the Warriors struck twice on the man advantage with Ryan Steele tipping in a puck in the slot. Dubois fed Steele in the slot with his redirection getting through the legs of Marcoux at the 14:25 mark of the 2nd period to cut the Trail lead to 5-4.

Steele collected his second of the game just moments later, on the same power play, as he one-timed a pass from the right side off a Wyatt Head pass from the right point at the 15:38 mark of the middle period to cap off a penalty filled 2nd period and saw the game tied 5-5 after 40 minutes.

No scoring came about in the final regulation period as the Smoke Eaters outshot the Warriors by a 24-3 margin, with a lot of those shots coming from the outside, as the game was forced into overtime.

It didn’t take too long for the game to end as Kale Howarth moved into the zone on the right-wing side and let go of a wicked wrist shot from the top of the right circle, post and in on the blocker side of Amundrud at the 5:39 mark of the first overtime and gave Trail a 6-5 victory.

Nik Amundrud stopped 49 of the 55 shots he faced in the game in his 1st loss of the season while Adam Marcoux turned aside 23 of the 28 shots he faced in the game for his 1st postseason win.

FINAL SCORE: 6-5 Smoke Eaters (OT)

FINAL SHOTS ON GOAL: 55-28 Smoke Eaters

Warriors PP: 4/8

Warriors PK: 5/6

3 Stars:

1) Chase Dubois (2-3-5)

2) Ryan Steele (2-1-3)

3) Tyler Ghirardosi (1-0-1)

Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Kale Howarth (2-0-2)


The Warriors look to even the series and earn a split with Game #2 between West Kelowna and Trail from Cominco Arena. The pre-game show airing at 6:45 PM on the Warriors Internet Network and HockeyTV.com with the Voice of the Warriors, Trevor Miller.

The series shifts to Royal LePage Place for Games #3 and 4 beginning on Monday, March 5th for a 7:00 PM face-off. Children 16 and under get free admission with tickets available online at wkw.goticketpro.com, at the Warriors office, by calling (250) 769-7051 or at the box office ahead of the opening puck drop.