November 15, 2013, Kelowna (ISN) – The West Kelowna Warriors lost their fourth in a row Friday and fifth straight on home ice, falling 6-3 to the Penticton Vees before more than 1,200 rowdy fans at Royal LePage Place.
After starting the season 5-0 on home ice and leading the BCHL’s Interior Division for much of the first two months of the season, the Warriors have fallen on hard times of late – losing all four games in November while giving up at least five goals in each of those losses.
“Those stats don’t lie and that’s not good,” says a frustrated Warriors head coach Rylan Ferster.
“You can’t give up five and expect to score six against a team like Penticton.”
The Warriors were arguably the better team on the night except between the pipes, where Penticton netminder Hunter Miska made at least half a dozen spectacular saves to give his team a chance to build a large lead after 40 minutes.
The Vees led 1-0 after the first and increased the margin to three before Reid Simmonds finally got the Warriors on the board 7:11 into the second.
Down 4-1 late in the period Carl Hesler brought the crowd to its feet with a spectacular shorthanded goal. Hesler broke in all alone from centre ice and beat Miska with a nifty deke going from his forehand to his backhand before putting the puck over the outstretched pad.
Ryan Ivey pulled the Warriors to within one early in the third but Miska shut the door from there.
Miska made several outstanding saves, especially through the first 40 minutes robbing Kyler Hope, Simmonds and Hesler on first period breakaways and denying Jason Cotton twice and Hesler again from in close in the second.
While Miska was solid the Warriors were unable to get the big save when they needed it from starter Andy Desautels who allowed four goals on 22 shots before being relieved by Cody Porter to start the third.
“We gave up four goals on not a lot of shots so at that point you think you’ll just try something else” says Ferster of the goalie switch.
Ferster says he liked the team’s effort on the offensive side of the puck all night.
“I thought we created some chances and their goalie made some good saves but when you get a three-on-one and don’t get a shot in the third period when it’s 4-3 you would like to maybe get one there,” added Ferster.
“We had another opportunity to get a shot and we didn’t but I thought we played pretty hard. I can’t fault our guys on our effort at all.”
The four game skid has dropped the Warriors from first to fifth in the Interior Division, three points out of the final playoff spot held by Salmon Arm and four behind both Vernon and Merritt.
The Warriors get a chance to salvage the weekend Saturday when they host the Cowichan Capitals.
West Kelowna beat the Capitals 6-1 in their only other meeting of the season last month in Duncan.
That game was closer than the score indicated as the Warriors scored five goals in a span of 5:42 early in the second to blow open a tight 1-1 game.
The Warriors continue a busy November Tuesday in Salmon Arm before returning home to host Chilliwack next Friday.
Get deeper into the game at The General’s Report.