COQUITLAM, B.C. – The West Kelowna Warriors battled back after losing a late lead and Bennett Norlin’s first BCHL goal served as the overtime winner in a 5-4 overtime victory over the Coquitlam Express on Wednesday night at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre.
Despite being shorthanded three times in the first period, the Warriors penalty kill stood tall and allowed them to open the scoring later on in the frame. At the 15:17 mark of the 1st, Jared Marino chipped the puck in deep with Bennett Norlin chasing down low. His speed got to the puck before any defender and backhanded a backdoor feed to Cavin Tilsley, who made no mistake scoring his 3rd goal of the season and putting the Warriors ahead by a 1-0 score.
Nik Amundrud had a strong opening frame for the Warriors, making a few good stops in tight on Coquitlam forwards including in the game’s opening minute, stoning Christian Bosa with a pair of right pad saves and a total of 11 saves in the opening period. Reid Cooper made 9 saves on the 10 shots he faced in the opening stanza for the Express.
RJ Murphy followed up a disallowed goal with one that counted as he buried a rebound in the right circle after a Garrett Ewert shot at the 10:06 mark of the 2nd period to put the Warriors ahead by a 2-0 score with Murphy’s 2nd goal of the season.
The two-goal advantage didn’t last long as Alex Ambrosio also capitalized on a rebound off a point shot that got through traffic to cut the deficit to 2-1 at the 12:06 mark of the 2nd frame.
The Warriors jumped ahead by a pair of goals once more in the 3rd period at the 7:30 mark as Parm Dhaliwal did a great job of holding the puck in and getting it down low to Chase Dubois, who outwaited the Express netminder for his 2nd goal of the season and a 3-1 lead.
Coquitlam again cut into the lead at the 13:25 mark as a scramble on the glove side of Amundrud off a rebound resulted in Joshua Wildauer chopped the puck over the glove side and in for the 3-2 Warriors lead.
West Kelowna yet again got up by a pair of goals in the final moments of regulation as with 1:14 left, Jared Marino found the puck off a Coquitlam turnover and came in on a 2-on-1, with his first shot being stopped but the rebound finding the back of the net for his 3rd goal of the season and a 4-2 lead.
Coquitlam never quit and chipped away at the lead again, scoring twice in a span of 27 seconds to tie the game. Jordan Schulting’s point shot got through traffic and beat Amundrud on the glove side for a 4-3 Warriors lead at the 19:04 mark of the 3rd period.
Eric Linell tied the game just 27 seconds later at the 19:31 mark after a huge scramble in front of the Warriors crease that resulted in all five Warriors in the blue paint but Linell found a way through to tie the game.
Overtime saw the Warriors control most of the action and ended the game with 45 seconds left in the first overtime period as Tilsley’s slot shot missed the net but Bennett Norlin banked in the rebound for his first BCHL goal and gave the Warriors a 5-4 lead.
Nik Amundrud had a strong night for the Warriors, turning aside 31 of the 35 shots he faced in the game for his 3rd win of the season while Reid Cooper was also good in the crease for the Express with 41 saves on 46 shots for his 5th loss on the season.
FINAL SCORE: 5-4 (OT) Warriors
FINAL SHOTS ON GOAL: 46-35 Warriors
Warriors PP: 0/1
Warriors PK: 7/7
1) Jared Marino (1-1-2)
2) Eric Linell (1-0-1)
3) Bennett Norlin (1-1-2)