by Kyle Anderson
Photo by Garrett James
The West Kelowna Warriors used a four-goal outburst in the third period to edge the Nanaimo Clippers 5-2 Friday night and earned an opportunity to advance to the Fred Page Cup finals Sunday in Chilliwack.
The Warriors got on the board halfway through the first period, with Kylar Hope scoring shorthanded, walking around the net and beating Evan Johnson up over the shoulder and under the bar.
Nanaimo tied the game in the second period after they thought they had scored minutes before. The first one that went in was disallowed due to incidental contact with the goaltender Matthew Greenfield. On the goal, the Clippers Nolan Aibel fired one off a turnover and stunned Greenfield with a quick wrister.
Just 37 seconds into the final frame, Gavin Gould buried a breakaway to put the Clippers ahead 2-1 in the third period, as the 1500+ fans were going crazy at the Frank Crane Arena.
Garrett Forster ripped a shot past Johnson to tie the game up at 5:59. Just 16 seconds after that, Connor Sodergren wrapped one around the net and tucked it in, giving the Warriors their second lead of the night.
The scoring continued at 14:09, as Quin Foreman snapped a loose puck into the mesh, after it bounced hard off the end wall. Hope’s second goal of the night came just 1:04 later as he made a nice little move in tight, sending the packed house at Kelly O’s in West Kelowna out of their seats as they watched the game on Fast Hockey.
Each team went 0 for 4 on the power play, as the Warriors out-shot the Clippers 42-40. Hope was named first star while Brett Mennear picked up second star honours.
The Warriors will now face the Chilliwack Chiefs on Sunday at 5 PM in Chilliwack, with the winner advancing to the Fred Page Cup Finals and gaining home ice advantage. The loser of Sunday’s game, faces the Nanaimo Clippers for the second spot in the finals, after each team went 2-2 in the first set of games.
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