(ISN) – The West Kelowna Warriors squandered one Friday in a 6-3 loss in Vernon
and again Saturday before rallying for a 6-4 win over the visiting
Powell River Kings at Royal LePage Place.
Powell River erased a 2-0 deficit with three goals in a three minute and
32 second span early in the second to erase the deficit and squeeze in
front by a goal.
The lead last all of 12 seconds as Liam Blackburn fired a one-timer from
the left circle past Stefan Woring to tie it 3-3.
Blackburn set-up linemate Andrew Johnson six minutes later then scored
the eventual game winner on a power-play 12 seconds into the third to
power the Warriors to the win.
The key to the game was the all important shift after a goal which
turned out to be Blackburn’s tying marker.
“All the momentum was towards Powell River and when they get momentum
we’ve struggled this year with breaking down and letting teams take
advantage over a short period of time,” says Blackburn.
“That was a huge shift for us.”
Not only were the Warriors able to stem the tide but they got the game
tying goal as well.
“It was off the rush and I tried to keep my feet moving. AJ (Andrew
Johnson) put a good shot to the net and I was trying to do the little
things right and get to the net an look for a rebound.
Luckily it popped right out to me and I banged it in.”
Blackburn had an assist to go with his two goals while Johnson also
chipped in with a pair of helpers.
Tyler Kunz with his first in a Warriors’ uniform, Kristian Blumenschein
and Jonathan Desbiens with the insurance marker also scored for the
Jarid Lukosevicius, Kurt Keats, Hunter Findlater and JJ Coleshaw replied
for Powell River.
“Tonight to give up three was tough but we got some timely bounces and
our power-play clicked pretty good and we got some good looks,” says
head coach Rylan Ferster.
“We’ll take it. At this time of year the wins are tough. We just want to
stay in one of those top four spots and hopefully make the playoffs.”
Ferster, who had a front row seat for Friday’s collapse says there was a
bit of a feeling of deja vu Saturday.
“A little bit. It happened so quick it’s like wow, is this really going
to happen to us here again.
But, credit to our guys Liam got that one back quick then we kind of got
our feet back under us again.”
If the Blackburn goal was the key to getting momentum back then an 88
second stretch early in the third was surely the final turning point.
The Warriors, who had not been penalized at all over the first 40
minutes, found themselves two men short for a minute and 28 seconds
after Blumenschein and Kunz were assessed back-to-back holding penalties.
The Kings got one shot on goal while the Warriors defenders blocked
three or four shots and kept their sticks active in keeping Powell River
off the board.
Powell River did get a power-play marker in the dying second when the
game was already out of reach.
Powell River was 1-3 on the power-play while the Warriors finished the
West Kelowna outshot the visitors 39-27 including 31-13 over the first
The win keeps the Warriors a point up on Merritt and five clear of
Salmon Arm in the race for third, fourth and fifth in the tight Interior
Merritt holds three games in hand while Salmon Arm has played two fewer
The Warriors try to make it two in a row when they entertain the
Interior Division leading Penticton Vees Tuesday.