By Jon Zacks, WK
November 25, 2012, West Kelowna, B.C., (ISN) – Philip Zielonka beat Garrett Rockafellow 47 seconds into double overtime, Friday, to give the Coquitlam Express a 5-4 victory over West Kelowna.
The game was a see-saw affair, featuring three lead changes and goals that often came in bunches. After falling behind 2-0 early in the second period, the Warriors stormed back to take a 3-2 lead. The Express then jumped back in front, only to see Reid Simmonds score inside the final three minutes to force extra time.
Scoreless after the first period, the night really began in the second. Coquitlam would draw first blood, with Zachary Pryzbeck and John Siemer striking 1:20 apart.
The Warriors third line would soon get West Kelowna on the board, and would continue to be the visitors’ best unit all night long. Brennan Clark provided the first West K. tally seven minutes into the second, and a PPG from Brent Lashuk would soon even the game up at 2-2.
West Kelowna would forge the lead later in the frame when Ambroke Firkus beat Cole Huggins from a sharp angle. However, young star Alexander Kerfoot would quickly strike right back, sending the teams back to the dressing rooms facing a 3-3 deadlock.
The Warriors would force the issue in the third period, but it was host Coquitlam that would take a 4-3 lead when Brandon Morley converted a 2-on-1 against the flow of play.
Relentless puck pursuit would pay dividends for the guests, with Reid Simmonds notching the equalizer with 2:56 remaining.
The game would proceed to overtime, and the Warriors outshot Coquitlam 8-3 in the first OT stanza (and 40-33 overall).
But the Express stayed afloat and then claimed the extra point when Zielonka beat Rockafellow early in double OT, just after the netminder had stopped Brandon Morley on an early breakaway.
Despite a relatively strong road game, Warriors forward Reid Simmonds wasn’t sure his team played its best hockey. “We didn’t show up for the first two periods” Simmonds says, adding that he thought the Express had outworked West Kelowna overall.
“We lost a lot of battles along the wall, and it was a bit scrambly in the neutral zone” says Simmonds, vowing to get a better start in the rematch.
The two teams will return to West Kelowna for the back half of the home-and-home series on Saturday.