November 13, 2013, Kelowna (ISN) – November has not been a month to remember for the West Kelowna Warriors – at least not yet. The Warriors, who entered the month 1st in the BCHL’s Interior Division, slipped to fifth in the division Tuesday in a 5-3 defeat at the hands of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
It was their third loss in a row, after rolling through a tough October schedule 6-2-0-2.
Warriors coach Rylan Ferster agreed the team may have lost its way a bit.
“We’re making those one, two, three mistakes a game and they’re ending up in our net,” says Ferster.
‘We made a poor pinch on a goal and a real poor back-check on another one. The division is tight and ever game is like a playoff game and you make a couple of mistakes and they end up in your net.”
Thomas Plese provided Salmon Arm’s game winner when he found the puck on a wild scramble in front of the Warriors net and deposited it high over Andy Desautels with four minutes left in regulation time.
Alex Gillies sealed it with an empty-netter in the final minute.
Salmon Arm never trailed in the game, building one-goal leads on four separate occasions, however the Warriors were able to answer back until Plese’s late marker.
Tyson Dallman, who finished a spectacular play from Matt Anholt, Carl Hesler, and Jason Cotton scored the goals for the Warriors.
Cotton’s goal nearly 14 minutes into the third briefly tied the game at 3-3. After strong pressure from the Warriors down-low, Cotton took a feed from Seb Lloyd and fired into the far corner off the post behind Adam Clark in the Silverbacks net.
Plese’s 7th goal of the season would hold up as his first game-winner, not quite three minutes after the Cotton tally.
Again Tuesday, as has been the case much of the season, the Warriors were unable to capitalize when they had the man advantage.
The Warriors went 1-7 on the power-play, but missed on advantages at key junctures of the game.
“I thought we had a couple of good looks (on the power-play)” says Coach Ferster. “But we got one so we’ll take that as a positive because our special teams haven’t been great”.
The penalty kill which has also struggled at different times in the year gave up a goal on four opportunities.
Earlier in the season when the Warriors were going well they were finding ways to win the close games.
Over the past few games it’s gone the other way.
Despite their recent woes, the Warriors remain just three points out of first in the ultra-tight Interior Division.
They will have a chance to gain ground on the leaders this weekend when they host the first place Penticton Vees Friday and the Cowichan Valley Capitals Saturday.
Prior to Tuesday’s game, the Warriors honoured defenceman Adam Plant and Salmon Arm forward Alex Gilies who just returned from helping Team Canada West to a bronze medal at the World Jr. ‘A’ Challenge.
Both received a gift from Shutout Sports Collectibles.