The West Kelowna Warriors will return to Royal LePage Place with a 2-0 lead in the Fred Page Cup Finals after a 6-3 win over the Chilliwack Chiefs on Saturday night.
Chilliwack opened the scoring in the first period on an early power play, as Jordan Kawaguchi snapped one over the glove of Matthew Greenfield to open the scoring.
There weren’t many more opportunities in the period, as the shot clock finished 5-2 for the Warriors, and hits were aplenty in the first 20.
West Kelowna would tie the game up in the second, as Nick Rutigliano’s shot fooled Aidan Pelino right after a double minor penalty to Connor Sodergren. It was Sodergren coming out of the box that laid the check to get the puck into the zone, as Rutigliano finished the play off.
The Warriors would go ahead 2-1 on the power play when Jonathan Desbiens banked one off of Pelino from the goal line.
Aaron O’Neill tied the game back up at two on a delayed penalty, which upon video review during the intermission by Warriors staff; was actually offside at the line. With no video review like the NHL, the goal stood and the Chiefs had the game tied.
It would continue to go back and forth with the Warriors scoring the next goal, as Jake LeBrun capitalized on a one-timer chance in the slot with 6:21 remaining in the middle frame.
The Chiefs scored another somewhat controversial goal in the final minute, as the play in front of the goal happened so fast that a puck off the skate of Ryan Forbes was deemed a good goal by the officials, without much complaint from the Warriors bench.
In third, it was another man advantage that put the Warriors up 4-3 in the third, as Desbien’s second goal of the night was buried past Pelino.
The Chiefs had a couple of chances in the middle parts of the frame, and pulled the netminder with 2:33 to go, but allowed Brett Mennear and Kyle Marino to score into the empty net to make it 6-3.
The final moments of the big victory were marred by Liam Blackburn taking a hit to the head with less than five seconds remaining in the game. Linden Hora was given a five minute major for checking to the head and a game misconduct.
West Kelowna finished 3 for 6 on the power play. Kylar Hope was named 2nd Star with 3 assists, and Desbiens 1st star with 2+1.
The Warriors will now return home to Royal LePage Place for Games 3 and 4 on Monday and Tuesday. Puck drops at 7 PM
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