The West Kelowna Warriors scored three first period goals and extended their winning streak to six games on home ice as they went on to a 5-2 victory over the Surrey Eagles on Friday night at Royal LePage Place.
The Warriors opened the scoring just 1:14 into the hockey game as Peter Tomaras slid the puck to the slot for Jared Marino with his shot being deflected in on the glove side of Eagles netminder Daniel Davidson by Braiden Epp for his 12th goal of the season and a 1-0 Warriors lead early in the opening frame.
The lead was extended to two goals at the 3:34 mark, 1:20 after West Kelowna’s opening goal, as Connor Sodergren received a nice pass from below the goal line from Chase Stevenson for his 18th goal of the season to put the Warriors ahead by a 2-0 score. The power play marker ends a stretch of 20 attempts without a goal on the man advantage.
The Warriors jumped ahead by a 3-0 score at the 10:11 mark of the 1st period as Stephen Kleysen backhanded from the right face-off circle just as a Warrior power play had expired for his 5th goal of the season and gave the Warriors a three-goal advantage heading into the first intermission.
New coming goaltender Gabriel Morency made seven first period saves, including a big penalty shot save while shorthanded. Dario Piva was hooked up going to the goal and was given the penalty shot where he was denied on his blocker side shot by Morency.
The 2nd period was scoreless for the majority of the period before two late goals, one from each team, were tallied. First it was the Eagles that hit the scoresheet in the 2nd period at the 16:12 mark as Nick Fea turned and fired a right corner shot along the goal line and past an unexpected Morency to make it a 3-1 score in favour of West Kelowna.
The Warriors answered back with a quick strike just 1:01 after the Fea goal as a hard working shift from Logan Mostat had Parm Dhaliwal force a turnover in tight and pass across to Chase Dubois, burying the feed past Davidson’s glove side for his 11th goal of the season at the 17:13 mark of the 2nd period and a 4-1 Warrior lead heading into the dressing room after 40 minutes.
The Eagles were first to get on the board in the 3rd period at the 6:35 mark as Paul McAvoy’s left circle wrister couldn’t be caught by Morency, hitting his glove and finding it’s way to the back of the net to cut the deficit to two goals yet again and make the score 4-2 West Kelowna.
As the game was coming to an end, the Warriors got on a late power play and cashed in on an empty net at the 17:49 mark as Logan Mostat broke the puck out of the defensive zone to find Braiden Epp at centre and he fed Quin Foreman in front for the empty net tally and his 19th goal of the season made the final score 5-2 in favour of the Warriors, their sixth straight win at Royal LePage Place.
Gabriel Morency made his Warrior and BCHL debut on the night, making 24 saves on 26 shots for his first victory while Daniel Davidson made his first start since November 24th for the Eagles and turned aside 25 shots on 29 attempts at goal.
FINAL SCORE: 5-2 Warriors
SHOTS ON GOAL: 30-26 Warriors
PP: Warriors (2/5) Eagles (0/4)
1) Braiden Epp (1-2-3)
2) Chase Dubois (1-0-1)
3) Paul McAvoy (1-0-1)
The Warriors (21-18-0-1) are back in action on Sunday afternoon with a matinee at Royal LePage Place against the Cowichan Valley Capitals (20-17-2-2) to finish out their regular season series. The puck drops at 2:30 PM with a Skate With The Warriors happening right after the game.