November 3, 2013, West Kelowna (ISN) – West Kelowna Warriors coach Rylan Ferster had reason to be wary of the last-place Trail Smoke Eaters entering Saturday’s game at Royal LePage Place.
The visiting Smokies erased a 1-0 deficit with five unanswered goals in posting a 5-1 victory over the Interior Division leading Warriors.
Jesse Knowler scored twice, including a back-breaking shorthanded effort late in the second to lead the Smoke Eaters comeback.
Nathan Browne, Bryce Knapp and Riley Brant also scored for Trail while Reid Simmonds scored his third goal in four games since rejoining the Warriors 10 days ago.
“Full marks to them. I thought they capitalized on all their chances and we gave them a few,” says Ferster.
“Obviously our special teams are not very good and the whole league knows it but full marks to them. They came in, they have a new coach and I thought they played real hard.”
Nick Deschenes took over as head coach of a Smoke Eaters team that started the season 4-14-1-1
Since he stepped behind the bench earlier this week the Smokies have a win and a tie in two games.
Ferster says the Trail came in Saturday and wanted it more.
“I don’t know if we played terrible but they played harder than we did and I think they wanted to win the game more than we did,” says Ferster.
“You get in those situations and guys try to do too much. They try to start being individuals and it’s not necessarily that they are being selfish they are just waning to do a little more and sometimes less is more.”
Once again the special teams hurt the Warriors.
The Warriors went 0-5 with the man advantage including just over a minute of five-on-three time when the score was knotted 1-1.
The power-play also surrendered a shorthanded goal while the penalty killers allowed two goals in three opportunities.
“I thought we had a couple of looks on our first unit and I thought their goalie made a good save. Then we turn one over and it goes in our net,” says Ferster.
“For the skill set we have our power-play should be better and our special teams in general. It’s something we’ll have to continue to work on.”
The Warriors, without six key players due to injury, lost another body early when rookie forward Brett Mennear went down with what appeared to be a serious leg injury when he was hit hard into the boards just inside the Warriors blue line.
Ferster says he will get x-rays but the injury doesn’t appear to be as bad as it first looked.
He says he’s never encountered this many injuries all at once.
“I never have but since I’ve been here it seems like it’s been like that. I’ve never been involved with a team where we’ve had this many injuries,” says Ferster.
The Warriors get a week to lick their wounds before travelling to Vernon to face the Vipers next Friday.
They step back onto home ice again November 12 when the Salmon Arm Silverbacks come to town.
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