WEST KELOWNA, B.C. – The West Kelowna Warriors special teams shined with two power play goals and a 34 save performance from Nik Amundrud to earn a 4-1 victory over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on Saturday night at Royal LePage Place.
The Warriors we’re able to kill off a pair of penalties early in the game and it was a power play that gave West Kelowna a 1-0 lead in the 1st period. RJ Murphy finished off a goal mouth scramble on the glove side of ‘Backs netminder Bo Didur for his 3rd goal of the season and a 1-0 lead at the 11:28 mark of the opening frame.
Warriors captain Jared Marino added to the lead just before the first frame was out at the 19:18 mark with a shot from the right wing just above the goal line that Didur got a piece of but not enough as the puck rolled across the goal line for the 2-0 Warrior advantage with just 42 seconds remaining in the period.
The impressive streak of Warriors penalties that had been killed off in a row came to an end in the 2nd period as Austin Chorney fired a shot through a maze of bodies in front of Warriors goaltender Nik Amundrud for a power play goal and cutting the Silverbacks deficit to one goal.
That would be all the scoring for the 2nd period as both teams locked down defensively with a few big saves including a breakaway stop by Amundrud on Rhett Kingston in tight with his blocker. The Melfort, Saskatchewan made 9 saves in the 2nd period and stopped 18 of the 19 shots he faced through 40 minutes. Bo Didur was solid in the 2nd stanza, turning aside 26 of the 27 shots he faced through a pair of periods.
The Warriors power play went back to work on a 5-on-3 opportunity in the 3rd period and regained their two-goal lead at the 4:50 mark of the 3rd period as Chase Stevenson got a pass from Parm Dhaliwal at the top of the slot and fired a shot low to the glove side for his 3rd goal of the season and a 3-1 Warriors lead.
Salmon Arm tried to get back in the game late with an empty net but a broken stick cost them as the defender tried to kick the puck behind the goal with Bennett Norlin fore-checking. Norlin took the loose puck and slipped it into the empty net for his 2nd goal of the season and gave the Warriors a 4-1 win.
Nik Amundrud was solid in the Warriors crease on the night with 34 saves on 35 shots for his 4th victory of the season while Bo Didur also had a strong night for the Silverbacks with 35 saves on 38 shots in the defeat.
FINAL SCORE: 4-1 Warriors
FINAL SHOTS ON GOAL: 39-35 Warriors
Warriors PP: 2/8
Warriors PK: 6/7
1) Nik Amundrud (34 saves on 35 shots)
2) Jared Marino (1-0-1)
3) Bo Didur (35 saves on 38 shots)