November 10, 2012, West Kelowna, BC – Garrett Rockafellow saved his best stops for double overtime Saturday as he helped preserve a single point for the West Kelowna Warriors. Rockafellow stopped all six shots he faced in the five minute three-on-three second overtime period, including a penalty shot, as the Warriors earned a 2-2 tie with the visiting Salmon Arm Silverbacks before nearly 1,000 fans at Royal LePage Place.
“I was just trying to stay big,” said Rockafellow of the penalty shot awarded to Jeff Kennedy 74 seconds into the second OT.
“He wasn’t coming in too fast so I had to make sure I wasn’t going too deep in my net, staying out for the shot. I just wanted to stay big and be a bigger presence in net and force the shot.”
Kennedy tried to go five-hole but Rockafellow was able to smother the puck.
Rockafellow stayed at the top of his crease which normally prompts a player to try and deke instead of shoot
“At that point of the game the ice is really bad so it is limiting their ability to make moves on the ice. It kind of worked to my advantage.”
The Warriors held a pair of one-goal advantages on goals from Brennan Clark (8th) and defenceman Braxton Bilous (3rd), but on both occasions the Silverbacks were able to claw their way back and get the equalizer.
Ryan Schwalbe notched the goal that forced overtime beating Rockafellow during a wild scramble in front of the Warriors net with just 3:40 remaining in regulation time.
Neither team scored over the duration of the 10 minute overtime session, though not for a lack of chances.
The Warriors best chance came off the stick of Shawn Hochhausen who rang one off the crossbar with 62 seconds left in the game.
West Kelowna had a 28-16 shots advantage through 40 minutes and could have had half a dozen goals if it wasn’t for the play of Adam Clark in the Silverbacks net.
Warriros coach Rylan Ferster says Clark was the difference, especially in the middle period.
“If we could have got a little puck luck there in the second period we are probably going in up one or two but credit to their goalie, I thought he was outstanding tonight,” says Ferster.
“It’s tough. It’s a game of mistakes and we made a couple there but I thought we played really hard. I don’t want to take anything away from our guys because they did play hard.”
Ferster says a turning point may have been early in the second period when the Warriors were given a four minute power-play and failed to generate many, if any, good scoring chances.
The Warriors led 1-0 at the time and, just four minutes after the long power-play ended, Salmon Arm was able to equalize.
West Kelowna finished the night 1-4 with the man advantage while not taking any minor penalties throughout the game themselves.
Ferster says he’ll take three out of four points most weekends and be happy.
Especially this weekend when the Warriors were without six key players.
The good news is most of those players, except Captain Max French, should be back next weekend when the Warriors host Merritt Friday and Prince George Saturday.
Check The General’s Report for further coverage of the West Kelowna Warriors.