The West Kelowna Warriors continue to search for offence as they fell by a 5-1 score to the Merritt Centennials on Sunday afternoon at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena.
The Centennials got off to an early start with a power play and led in the shots on goal department by a 9-3 margin at the middle point of the period and opened the scoring moments later at the 13:09 mark.
Nicholas Wicks and Zach Court did a good job at hemming the Warriors inside their own zone as Court passed from behind his goal to an open Michael Van Unen at the high slot as he fired a shot through traffic and beat Warriors goaltender Cole Demers to the glove side to give the Cents a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of action.
The 2nd period started off with a quick Centennials goal just 47 seconds into the frame as Brendan Schneider jumped on a loose rebound off of a centering feed from the right-wing corner by Zach Zorn that pushed the Centennials ahead by a 2-0 score on the power play.
The Warriors got three power play opportunities to try and get themselves within a goal but could not convert on any of those chances before the Centennials added to their lead at the 15:59 mark of the 2nd period on a shorthanded goal.
Willie Reim had his shot from the left-wing face-off circle go up and over the glove side of Centennials netminder Jacob Berger with the puck wrapping around the boards and out to centre for a 2-on-1 shorthanded rush. Rylan Van Unen held the pick and wired a wrist shot past Demers glove side for a 3-0 Merritt lead after 40 minutes.
The 3rd period saw the Warriors get on the board for the first and only time on the night with Garrett Ewert tallying his first BCHL goal. Ewert received a pass from Tyler Jutting at the mid-point and had his left point blast get through Berger and cut the Merritt lead to 3-1.
The Centennials added a pair of late goals to seal the victory with a power play goal at the 15:59 mark of the 3rd period on an individual effort from Bradley Cocca, dragging the puck through the Warriors defense and beating Demers up high on the power play for a 4-1 Merritt lead.
The Centennials rounded out the scoring in the 3rd period at the 17:03 mark of the final frame with Schneider scoring his second goal of the game after a failed clearing attempt to ice a 5-1 victory for the Centennials.
Cole Demers was busy in the Warriors crease, stopping 47 of the 52 shots he faced in the game for his first loss of the season while Jacob Berger had a strong night in the Merritt net, turning aside 35 of the 36 shots he faced for his 5th win of the year.