The West Kelowna Warriors winless stretch hit five games in heartbreaking fashion on Wednesday night with a 3-2 loss in Coquitlam to the Express.
After both teams were held off the scoreboard in the games opening period, the Express opening the scoring just 1:21 seconds into the 2nd period on a goal courtesy of Cal Babych. A Sam Kozlowski shot was stopped by Warrior netminder Xavier Burghardt before he couldn’t handle the rebound and Babych slid the puck past him for a 1-0 Express advantage.
Coquitlam took a 2-0 lead just a bit later at the 2:19 mark of the 2nd frame as Luca Leone’s left circle shot on the power play beat Burghardt to the blocker side for the two-goal advantage,
West Kelowna got on the scoreboard as they tallied their first goal of the game at the 5:34 mark of the 2nd period as another Warrior rookie scored his first BCHL goal. Chase Dubois made a terrific back door pass on the power play to find an open Parm Dhaliwal, who made no mistake burying the puck past Coquitlam goaltender Reid Cooper to cut the deficit to one and make the score 2-1.
The Warriors came back and tied the game early in the third frame as just 1:30 into the final stanza Braiden Epp stuck with a scramble in front of the Coquitlam goal and buried his 4th goal of the season to tie the contest up at two goals a piece.
With just 16 seconds to go in the 3rd period, the Express took their final lead of the hockey game. After a confusion at the Warrior bench with a line change, Blake Heyward took the loose puck on a partial breakaway and beat Burghardt through his legs for the game winner at 19:44 of the final period and gave Coquitlam a 3-2 victory.
Xavier Burghardt went on to make 19 saves on 22 shots in the Warriors crease while the game’s first star, Reid Cooper stopped 36 of the 38 shots fired his way in the victory.
The Warriors (5-7-0-1) are back in action on Saturday night when they return home to take on the Penticton Vees (11-2-0-0) at Royal LePage Place for a 7:00 PM face-off.