By Wayne Moore, WK
December 10, 2012 (ISN) – The Warriors squandered a 3-0 first period lead then survived what appeared to be a sure goal against in overtime to gain a 3-3 tie with the visiting Alberni Valley Bulldogs.


A 70 minute deadlock actually flattered the West Kelowna Warriors.

Bulldogs forward Matthew Hansen was awarded a penalty shot 3:32 into the second five-minute overtime after Ambrose Firkus was fingered for high sticking.

Hansen’s rising shot appeared to beat Tyler Briggs high glove side, however, referee Jim Maniago ruled the puck did not cross the goal line.

Replays clearly showed the puck hit the back bar and quickly came out, landing under Brigg’s pad.

The call negated the Bulldogs a second point in the standings.

That call never should have come into play – the game never should have gone that far.

The Warriors jumped all over a Bulldogs team playing its third game in two-and-a-half days with three goals on 26 shots in a dominating first
20 minutes.

West Kelowna directed 12 shots at starting goaltender Brad Rebagliati before the game was five minutes old, many dangerous from close in.

Jetlan Houcher opened the scoring with his 3rd of the campaign. Linemate Reid Simmonds did all the work along the boards, stealing the puck, squeezing past two defenders and centering a pass to Houcher whose one-timer beat Rebagliati far side.

Seb Lloyd’s weak wrist shot from the slot alluded Rebagliati for his 14th while newcomer Ben Tegtmeyer scored his first with a seeing eye wrist shot from the right circle.

It went downhill from there.

“We’re really disappointed right now,” understated Warriors head coach Rylan Ferster of team’s collapse.

“It’s a little bit disappointing when we have guys on their own agenda and kind of want to stay out that long for shifts that are too long. We’re disappointed.”

Ferster says it wasn’t the goals so much as the lackluster effort over the final 40 minutes that he was most disappointed in.

“I’m disappointed in the, we’re just going to play good enough now that it is 3-0 as opposed to having the killer instinct you have to have at home.”

Hansen and Marlon Sabo cut the deficit to one in the second period before Mitch Makin tied it early in the third.

The Bulldogs were unlucky not to win it in regulation time.

Ryan Lough hit the goal post from in close with under six minutes to go in regulation time before Briggs made a spectacular game-saving stop inside the last 90 seconds.

The Warriors outshot the Bulldogs 52-32 over the 70 minutes thanks in large part to that 23-6 edge in the opening period.

Both teams did manage one goal on the power-play, the Warriors going 1-7 including a chance in the first overtime while the Bulldogs went 1-4.

The single point moved the Warriors into a second place tie with the Merritt Centennials. Merritt does hold a game in hand.

West Kelowna return to action Friday night when they host the Trail Smoke Eaters.

Unravel the tie at The General’s Report.