November 2, 2012, West Kelowna, BC – It’s not the way the West Kelowna Warriors wanted to start perhaps their most important 14 game stretch of the season. The Warriors opened up a string of 12 of 14 on home ice falling to the Interior Division cellar-dwelling Salmon Arm Silverbacks 4-2 Friday before nearly 1,100 fans at Royal LePage Place.
The win was the Silverbacks sixth of the season but just their second in regulation time.
Salmon Arm snapped a 1-1 tie with two unanswered goals in the middle frame.
Sean Flanagan grabbed a loose puck at the corner of the crease after a wild scramble and beat Tyler Briggs high to give the Silverbacks their first lead of the night.
Harlan Orr made it 3-1 in the final minute on a Silverbacks power-play.
Former Warrior Brayden Sherbinin had a goal and an assist, while Brandon Mistal was awarded a goal in the final minute when he was hauled down on a partial breakaway with Briggs on the bench for an extra attacker.
David Pope had a goal and an assist for the Warriors while Marcus Basara scored his 12th late in the third to cut the deficit to one and give the Warriors some late life.
Josh Monk had the best chance for the equalizer but his shot from the point on a late power-play caught the post and caromed harmlessly into the corner.
After a strong opening period the Warriors sagged a bit in the second, allowing the Silverbacks to bring the play to them.
“I’m not sure what happened. It was kind of the way the game went, there were a few penalty calls that slowed the game down and we started to get away from our game,” says Warriors assistant coach Shea Naka.
“We just need to make sure we don’t let those things affect us in the future.”
The Warriors played without Seb Lloyd, Ambrose Firkus and Captain Max French and may have to get by without defenceman Dustin Cave when they host Nanaimo Sunday.
Cave left the game in the second period with an upper body injury.
“When you miss guys like French and Firkus you are missing your skilled guys but there is no excuse there,” says Naka.
“There are more ways to score goals than just with your skilled guys. We need to start going to the net and making it happen. We need to get to the greasy areas and make things happen.”
The Silverbacks played Friday with eight regulars out of the line-up.
The Warriors outshot Salmon Arm 36-18 but the difference came down to special teams where the Silverbacks went 2-4 on the power-play while the Warriors went 1-6 with the man advantage.
West Kelowna host Nanaimo Sunday afternoon at 2:30 before welcoming Victoria and Salmon Arm to RLP next weekend.
Visit The General’s Report for ongoing analysis of the West Kelowna Warriors.