by Wayne Moore
October 20. 2013, Kelowna B.C. (ISN) – With six forwards on the shelf nursing various injuries the West Kelowna Warriors could have been excused if they didn’t bring their best offensive effort Sunday against the visiting Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
Instead, a revamped set of forward lines scraped and clawed their way to a convincing 4-1 victory over the Silverbacks before more than 900 fans at Royal LePage Place.
Carl Hesler scored twice including the game winner in the first 4:17 of the game to pace the Warriors offence.
Kyler Hope and newly acquired defenceman Ryan Ivey added their first BC Hockey League goals in the win.
Mitchell Ferguson ruined Andy Desautels’ bid for his first BCHL shutout with a seeing-eye wrist shot from the left point early in the final period.
Sunday’s win snapped the Warriors two game losing streak.
“After the Penticton loss we all got together. Obviously we are down a lot of guys and we just needed to come out and play hard,” says Hesler.
“We couldn’t let Pentcton’s loss get in our head. We just played hard today and deserved the win.”
Hesler, a native of Dallas Texas, lined up with countrymen Jordan Masters and Jason Cotton to form what he jokingly called Line USA.
The line clicked quickly giving the Warriors the fast start they were looking for.
“You have to give credit to my linemates.. They worked hard,” says Hesler.
“On the first one Cotton got in and caused havoc then Masters set up the second one. I haven’t been scoring a lot so it was nice they went in.”
The Warriors led 2-0 after 20 minutes then built the lead to 3-0 midway through the second after Desautels made several key saves to keep the Silverbacks at bay.
Ivey put the game out of reach seven minutes into the third with a wrist shot from the right point after the Silverbacks had cut the lead to two.
Warriors coach Rylan Ferster says the win was a big bounce-back win for the team.
“I thought we played real hard today. Full marks to the guys in the room right now,” says Ferster who added with so many players out with injury the plan was to keep the game simple.
“We talked before the game that we just wanted to keep it simple. They are a team that has played three games in three days so we just wanted to keep it simple. Make them work – make them have to play defence.”
Things won’t get easier for the Warriors who will lose two more healthy bodies next weekend when forwards Seb Lloyd and David Pope and defenceman Adam Plant head to Calgary for the Canada West selection camp.
The camp will determine the Canada West roster for the World Jr. A Challenge Nov 4 to 10 in Yarmouth, NS.
The Warriors will be without those three for a road trip that winds its way through Coquitlam, Langley and Surrey.