The West Kelowna Warriors got another two third period effort from Connor Sodergren to defeat the Merritt Centennials by a 4-1 score at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena in Merritt on Saturday night.
The Centennials opened the game on the score board as 3:06 into the opening period, Zach Risteau pounced on a rebound on the blocker side of Warrior netminder Cole Demers to make the game 1-0 for the Cents.
The Warriors came back at the 6:05 mark and tied the game courtesy of Chase Stevenson as the young forward earned his 2nd goal in as many games. Parm Dhaliwal passed across the crease to find Stevenson on the blocker side of Cents goaltender Colten Lancaster for his 2nd goal of the season and made the game a 1-1 tie.
West Kelowna took their first lead of the game at the 12:17 mark of the 1st period stemming from a nice passing play. Dhaliwal tapped the puck at centre for Chase Dubois, who skated into the Merritt zone and found a streaking Jake Harrison, making no mistake on the backhand though the legs of Lancaster for his 4th goal of the season and giving the Warriors a 2-1 lead to round out the first period.
The 2nd period didn’t see much action as the Centennials fired eight shots at the Warriors goal but Cole Demers was up to the task for each one of them, stopping 20 shots on 21 attempts through 40 minutes. His counterpart, Colten Lancaster, made saves on all 7 shots he faced in the 2nd frame and had 17 saves on 19 shots after two periods with the Warriors ahead by a 2-1 score after the middle stanza.
The Warriors picked up a two-goal advantage at the 1:41 mark of the 3rd period as a shorthanded goal. West Kelowna cleared the puck into the Merritt zone with Connor Sodergren chasing the puck down, whipping to the glove side and from a sharp angle buried it under the crossbar for his 15th goal of the season and a 3-1 Warriors lead.
West Kelowna sealed the deal at the 19:18 mark of the final frame as Sodergren chipped home his 2nd goal of the night and his fourth of the home-and-home set against the Cents to salt away their 20th win of the season with a 4-1 victory in Merritt on Saturday night.
Cole Demers was again very good in the Warriors crease, making 34 saves on 35 shots for his 5th win of the season and his 2nd as a member of the Warriors while Colten Lancaster stopped 21 of 24 shots thrown his way en route to his 12th loss of the season.
FINAL SCORE: 4-1 Warriors
SHOTS ON GOAL: 35-25 Centennials
PP: Warriors (0/3) Centennials (0/3)
3 STARS: 1) Quin Foreman (0-1-1)
2) Cole Demers (34 saves on 35 shots)
3) Chase Bell (0-0-0)
The Warriors (20-17-0-1) will start a three-game week with their first trip to the South Okanagan Events Centre to face-off against the Penticton Vees (29-8-0-1) on Wednesday night. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 PM