The West Kelowna Warriors will head into the Christmas break strong with their fourth straight win after a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the Island Division’s Nanaimo Clippers on Saturday night at Royal LePage Place.
The Warriors got the scoring going early in the game at the 3:24 mark of the 1st period and came courtesy of ‘The Kid Line”. Chase Dubois chipped the puck out of his zone through center ice and was skated onto by Chase Stevenson, who turned and fired a pass cross ice to the right circle for a Parm Dhaliwal snap shot past the Nanaimo netminder Evan DeBrouwer. The goal marked the 3rd of the season for Dhaliwal and the Warriors took a 1-0 lead early in the opening frame.
The remainder of the period was played scoreless with both goaltenders shutting the door. DeBrouwer made eight saves on nine first period shots while Warriors goaltender Shane Farkas stopped all seven shots thrown his direction to get the Warriors out of the 1st period with a 1-0 advantage.
The 2nd period was played scoreless as well as both goaltenders were strong in the period, each making 12 saves and giving way to a 1-0 Warriors lead through 40 minutes of play.
The third period opened with a flurry of Nanaimo chances, aided by power plays, but it was the Warriors scoring the game’s 2nd goal of the night. Stephen Kleysen centered from the left corner with Logan Mostat loose in front to chip the puck in over the glove side for his 14th goal of the season and a 2-0 West Kelowna lead at the 12:48 mark.
The Clippers got to within a goal but not without controversy as late in the game at the 18:46 mark of the 3rd period as a jam play on the blocker side resulted in the puck getting by Farkas with Matt Creamer getting credit for the marker despite a possible kicking motion for the puck to go over the goal line. The referees conferred and upheld the call of a good goal and Nanaimo cut the deficit to 2-1. That would be as close as the Clippers would come as West Kelowna picked up their 4th straight win with a 2-1 victory.
Naniamo threw 22 shots on goal in the final period of play but Shane Farkas stood tall, making 21 saves in the 3rd period and 40 overall on 41 shots for his 11th win of the season and his fourth in a row. Evan DeBrouwer made 24 saves on 26 shots in the losing cause for the Clippers.
FINAL SCORE: 2-1 Warriors
SHOTS ON GOAL: 41-26 Clippers
PP: Warriors (0/3) Clippers (1/6)
3 STARS: 1) Shane Farkas (40 saves on 41 shots)
2) Evan DeBrouwer (24 saves on 26 shots)
3) Parm Dhaliwal (1-0-1)
The Warriors (17-16-0-1) have 12 days off in between games as they return to action with a home-and-home set against the Trail Smoke Eaters (16-17-0-3) starting at Royal LePage Place on Thursday, December 29th for a 7:00 PM face-off. The two teams wrap up their regular season series in Trail the next night at Cominco Arena.