WEST KELOWNA, B.C. – The West Kelowna Warriors fired 41 shots on goal but could not beat a red-hot Bo Didur as the Salmon Arm Silverbacks closed out the preseason with a 5-1 victory over West Kelowna on Saturday night at Royal LePage Place.
The Warriors came to play in the early going and were rewarded with the game’s first goal at the 6:29 mark of the first period after Cavin Tilsley did the honours. Jared Marino busted down the right wing with his shot firing off the end boards with Tilsley pouncing on the rebound and putting the loose puck behind Silverbacks netminder Bo Didur for a 1-0 Warriors lead.
The Silverbacks responded with a duo of 1st period tallies that would put them ahead before the period was out, starting with a Justin Wilson goal off a goalmouth scramble in front of Warriors goaltender Nik Amundrud to tie the game at one at the 15:07 mark of the opening period.
Salmon Arm took their first, and eventually only, lead of the game at the 18:00 mark of the first frame with an Austin Chorney shot from the right point that beat a screened Amundrud on the blocker side for a 2-1 ‘Backs advantage after 20 minutes of play.
Only one goal was tallied in the middle stanza and it belonged to the Silverbacks with Trevor Adams converting on another scramble in front of Amundrud’s crease off a failed Warrior clearing attempt and pushed the Salmon Arm lead to 3-1.
The scoring continued onto the third period for the Silverbacks with Akito Hirose hitting the scoresheet from the right face-off circle as he slid the puck along the ice past a down-and-out Amundrud, again unable to see because of bodies in front, to put the visitors ahead by a 4-1 count at the 9:55 mark.
Marcus Mitchell ended the scoring on the night with a power play goal from the bottom of the face-off circle after a bouncing puck found it’s way to his blade for the 5-1 Salmon Arm lead at the 18:42 mark of the 3rd period and give the ‘Backs a split in the home-and-home set with a 5-1 victory.
Nik Amundrud played the full 60 minutes for the Warriors and turned aside 31 of 36 shots in the losing effort while Bo Didur was excellent in the Salmon Arm crease, allowing one goal on 41 shots in the win.
West Kelowna embarks on their 58-game regular season schedule with their next action coming on Friday, September 8th when the Warriors head to Cominco Arena to face-off against the Trail Smoke Eaters to begin a season-starting home-and-home set. Puck drop in Trail is slated for 7:00 PM.