by Kyle Anderson
(ISN) – The West Kelowna Warriors knew they couldn’t give up 8 goals again. So they did the opposite.
West Kelowna allowed a single shorthanded goal early in the 2nd period, but responded in a big way in a 4-1 win over the Nanaimo Clippers on Sunday afternoon at Royal Lepage Place.
The first period saw the home team control the action, but were unable to beat Jonathan Arseneau, who made his first BCHL start since being signed by the Clippers. Shots were 17-11 for West Kelowna.
Early on in the middle frame, the Clippers would break the ice while down a man, when Brett Roulston stole a puck and walked in, snapping a shot past Stephen Heslop to make it 1-0.
That lead didn’t last for the Island Division leaders, as Jason Cotton scored his 25th goal of the season to tie the game up.
2 minutes and 3 seconds later, it would be Tanner Campbell who beat Arseneau, although the puck may have hit Josh Bly after bouncing off the netminders blocker.
Less than 2 minutes after they went up 2-1, the Warriors got an insurance marker from Jonathan Desbiens, as he worked a 2 on 1 with Andrew Johnson, and Desbiens fired the perfect shot for his 23rd on the campaign.
West Kelowna would hold that lead throughout the 3rd period until Liam Blackburn found the empty net with 1:29 to play.
The Warriors became the only BCHL team that the Clippers did not get a point off of this season, beating them for the 3rd time Sunday.
The final shots on goal read 48-21 for the Warriors.
After the game, Associate Head Coach Brent Gough said “it was definitely a complete effort. We knew we couldn’t give up as many chances as we did Friday, and through 40 minutes we had given up 4 opportunities. When we did give up chances, Hes (Warriors AP goalie Stephen Heslop) bailed our guys out.”
The road to the playoffs will continue to go down to the wire, as the Warriors take on Chilliwack on Friday at RLP, and then head to Trail Saturday to play the Smoke Eaters.
The final 2 games will be Tuesday February 24th vs. Trail, and Saturday February 28th against Surrey, both in West Kelowna.