The West Kelowna Warriors saw a 2-1 lead in the third period evaporate in two minutes and 52 seconds as the hard charging Chilliwack Chiefs changed the games landscape and advanced to the Fred Page Cup Final on Sunday evening at the Prospera Centre in the lower mainland.
Kylar Hope got the Warriors on the board in the first period, after the Chiefs came hard to open the hockey game, firing the first six shots on Matthew Greenfield. Hope’s goal came against the flow of play as Jonathan Desbiens got the first good look for the Warriors and snapped a shot that hit both posts and sat in the crease for Hope to deposit.
Liam Blackburn followed up that effort with a similar goal, as he put one over the line after it hit a Chiefs defender in front before the opening frame expired, giving West Kelowna a 2-0 lead after one.
The Chiefs scored the lone goal in the second period, as Kohen Olischefski snapped one past Greenfield off a scrambled faceoff play to make it 2-1, while shots sat at a pedestrian 17-16 Chilliwack after 40 minutes.
Chilliwack was flying early in the third period, scoring a pair just 13 seconds apart to take the lead. First it was Rylan Bechtel on a one-timer from the left circle, then an odd goal bounced off Greenfield and over the line. Jordan Kawaguchi put the Chiefs up 4-2 after he found the puck off a body and had a wide open net to finish it into.
Desbiens got the Warriors within a goal with a perfectly placed wrist shot, as West Kelowna looked to mount a comeback.
With the goaltender pulled and under 10 seconds remaining, Desbiens had the puck on his stick in the slot and could not get it to go, as Aidan Pelino deflected it away with his glove. A second opportunity bounced off a stick and out of play at the buzzer.
With the win, the Chiefs now have home ice advantage in the BCHL Fred Page Cup finals that start on Friday night at the Prospera Centre.
The Warriors will host the Nanaimo Clippers on Tuesday night at Royal LePage Place, with the winner of that game also advancing to the finals. The loser is out.
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