Warriors conjure win over Cowichan


November 17, 2013, Kelowna (ISN) – Carl Hesler scored twice and the West Kelowna Warriors snapped an 0 for November skid Saturday beating the visiting Cowichan Valley Capitals 4-3.

The win snapped the Warriors four-game losing streak and five-game home ice losing streak.

It wasn’t pretty but at this point, a win is a win.

“Absolutely” adds an excited Carl Hesler.  “It just feels good to get the monkey off our backs. No matter how you get the win in that situation it feels great.”

“Very happy, very excited.  It’s kind of a fresh start almost.  We’re ready to get back on a winning streak.”

The Warriors played catch-up for much of the first two period trailing 1-0 and 2-1 before scoring two straight in the third to grab a 4-2 lead.

Trailing 1-0 after one period, the Warriors finally got on the board early in the second when Helser threw a puck on net from a sharp angle that somehow snuck past Capitals netminder Robin Gusse.

Hesler’s second of the night and 10th of the year on a power-play in the final minute of the second knotted the game 2-2.

“’Planty’ (Adam Plant) had a great shot on net and the rebound came right out to me. It’s exactly what we needed,” says Hesler of his game tying goal.

Tyson Dallman put the Warriors up for good with his seventh when his shot off a faceoff deflected off the skate of a Capitals defenceman past Gusse.

Reid Simmonds’ tap-in from Dallman three minutes later proved to be the winner.

“To lose four in a row is never good at any point in your season but it’s just nice to get that feeling back again,” says coach Rylan Ferster.

“I thought we had some good efforts tonight – we kinda stuck with it.  Maybe it wasn’t pretty for 60 minutes but hopefully we’re starting to figure out that we’re going to have to win some games ugly here.”

The overall game may not have always been pretty but the combination of Hesler and linemate Jason Cotton certainly impressed.

Every time they stepped on the ice they seemed to have the puck on a string in the offensive end.

Cotton in particular played keep away from the Capital defenders, at times keeping the puck on his stick for 15, 20 seconds at a time skating through and around defenders.

He excited the crowd, awed his teammates, and did everything but score.

“We always say if we have the puck they can’t score so keep the puck, protect the puck then make a play. Make them take the puck away from you,” says Ferster.

“He’s so slick and he’s so skilled but we’ve kind of stressed to our guys to protect some pucks but then get them up top.”

Their usual linemate, Ambrose Firkus found himself on the bench for the final 30 minutes of the game.  He was sat down after taking a slashing minor midway through the second period.

Ferster wouldn’t elaborate.

The Warriors finished the night 1-2 on the power-play while holding the Capitals scoreless in their two opportunities.

West Kelowna gets a couple of days to enjoy the win before hitting the road for a Tuesday encounter in Salmon Arm.

They continue a busy week hosting Chilliwack Friday before playing in Vernon Saturday.

Double-up on Warriors coverage at The General’s Report.