Photo Credit: Jack Murray
January 11th, 2019
MERRITT B.C. – The West Kelowna Warriors snap their five game losing streak in dramatic fashion with an overtime victory in Merritt.
The Warriors got off to another fantastic start with one of their defenders getting on the score sheet. Lucas Cullen and Parm Dhaliwal drove to the Centennials net with a deflection going back to the point. That’s where the former Calgary Hitmen Andrew Viggars was able to rip a shot past Centennials goaltender Austin Roden to make it 1-0 scoring his very first BCHL goal. Viggars would take an after whistle penalty only a couple minutes later allowing the Centennials to strike on the man advantage. It would be Jackson Munro wire a puck from the point beating Connor Hopkins to tie the game at one.
Second period’s for the Warriors in 2019 have been disastrous, but not Friday night. Head Coach and General Manager Geoff Grimwood made it clear they needed a better effort in the second frame against the Centennials and he got it. The Warriors out shot the Centennials 16-7 and scored a pair of goals. First it was Max Bulawka receiving a pass from Mike Hardman on a two on one to make it 2-1. Then Cavin Tilsley made a beautiful move around a Cents defender and backhanded the puck past Austin Roden, but that goal was immediately disallowed by the official, indicating that it went off the crossbar and not the inside post. The Cents would then draw another penalty sending them on the man advantage. Jackson Munro was able to fire a slap shot from the point which went off a Warriors player and in to tie the game at 2. The push back from the Centennials didn’t phase the Warriors as they would answer back with another power play goal of their own with Lucas Cullen crashing the net to make it 3-2 heading to the dressing room.
The Warriors needed a strong defensive performance in the final frame. Goaltender Connor Hopkins made numerous stops in late including a great open net for Brett Roloson who waiting a half second too long giving Hopkins time to get in front of the puck. Andrew Viggars would take his third penalty of the game late giving the Centennials another opportunity to tie the game. A simple cross ice pass from Mathieu Gosselin to Matt Kopperud tied the game and forcing overtime. The odds were against the Warriors with the momentum on the Cents side, and the overtime experience on the Cents side. The Warriors were patient on the 3 on 3 overtime maintaining puck possession and not allowing Centennials defenders to poke the puck away allowing for Mike Hardman to unload a wrist shot top corner past Austin Roden to win the game for the West Kelowna Warriors, their first overtime victory of the season.
Shots on goal 45-39 in favor of the Warriors.
- WKW F Mike Hardman (1G-1A)
- MER D Jackson Munro (2G)
- WKW F Lucas Cullen (1G-1A)
Fortis Energy Player of the Game:
MER F Brad Cocca (1A)
The Warriors next game is Saturday night versus the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. Puck drop at 7:00pm from Royal LePage Place in West Kelowna. Catch Saturday’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.