Jon Zacks, Play-by-play, Director of Media Relations

December 8, 2013, Salmon Arm (ISN) – Andy Desautels was 1:16 away from his first BCHL shutout as the Warriors beat a key division rival in Salmon Arm on Sunday.

Scoreless after a tight-checking first period, West Kelowna jumped in front when things opened-up in the second.

Adam Osczevski drew first blood when he converted a well-earned Kylar Hope feed 3:30 into the middle frame. After a strong response gave Salmon Arm the chance to tie the game up, a Warriors counter-attack led to a David Pope strike, and what would hold up as the eventual game-winner.

Seb Lloyd would add a third Warriors goal on a powerplay later in the second period, while Jason Cotton put the game out of reach early in the third.

The Warriors went into lock-down mode, trying to earn their first shutout victory of the year. However, the bid was ruined when Alex Gillies notched a powerplay goal with time winding down, leading to a 4-1 final score.

“It’s obviously a bit disappointing getting that close to the end of the game” Andy Desautels smiled afterwards. “The biggest thing for me was just getting the two points” he nodded, adding “I couldn’t be happier.”

West Kelowna’s goalie sees that his teammates were “doing their best for me” as they aimed to shut down the Silverbacks on the road. But shutout or not, the 19 year-old knows his team can be proud of holding some of the BCHL’s top scorers at bay.

Salmon Arm’s top line of Landon Smith, Evan Anderson, and Alex Gillies (who sit 1st, 6th, and 7th respectively in league scoring) was unable to generate many offensive chances in the contest, continuing a trend that’s seen the Warriors win five of six matchups against the ‘Backs this year.

“It’s been great” Desautels agrees. “Our team has done excellent at shutting those guys down every single time we play them” he says, adding “they have to work for everything they get.”

Next up is a home date against Merritt on Friday.