by Kyle Anderson
(ISN) – The West Kelowna Warriors fans found out during the 2nd period Saturday night that all they needed to do was win and they would make the Interior Division Playoffs.
The players were notified by the coaches after two periods that all they needed to do was keep the 3-0 lead they had built up through 40 minutes against the Surrey Eagles and they would play Penticton in the 1st Round.
Tanner Campbell opened the scoring for the Warriors in the opening frame, as he put a shot through traffic that eluded Christian Short while on the power-play.
Scott Patton was forced to make a couple of key saves in the final five minutes of the 1st period to keep it a 1-0 score through 20 minutes.
The power-play would continue to be hot in the 2nd period, as both Brayden Gelsinger and Kristian Blumenschein scored 59 seconds apart on separate man-advantages.
The intermission speech turned into an adventure from Rylan Ferster, as Mac Ferner said he let slip that “the Vees lost” which would have ended West Kelowna’s season. He quickly corrected himself as he referred to Jack Ramsey’s Game Winning Goal in overtime against the Silverbacks.
A 4th goal by the Warriors was Gelsinger’s 2nd of the night, again with the extra skater as the power-play finished 4 for 4.
The Eagles had a solid few minutes about 5 minutes into the 3rd as they scored twice when Andy Chugg got a power-play goal, and Cole Plotnikoff scored against his former team.
Jason Cotton restored the 3-goal lead at 14:55 and Campbell got his 2nd into an empty net with 3:49 left to go.
The Warriors will now turn their attention to their 3rd straight playoff appearance under Ferster, where they have a 1-2 series record.
The series begins on Tuesday and Wednesday in Penticton, while Games 3 and 4 will be Friday and Saturday at Royal Lepage Place. Tickets will be on sale starting Monday morning at the Warriors office.