The West Kelowna Warriors fall to the Wenatchee Wild in what was the first of a two game set.
The Warriors have struggled to score first this season but not tonight. Five minutes into the first period Chase Dubois was able to connect off a Eric Olson pass to give the Warriors an early 1-0 lead. The Wild would answer back with pressure in the West Kelowna end allowing for Matt Dorsey to put the puck past Connor Hopkins tying the game up. The Wenatchee Wild would continue to pressure the Warriors into their own zone in the first but Connor Hopkins was there to shut the door with a couple key stops. With only 3 minutes to go Warriors forward Max Bulawka would win an offensive zone faceoff clean giving Willie Reim time to find an open spot past Wild goaltender Austin Park making it 2-1 Warriors. Less than two minutes later the Warriors would extend the lead with Wyatt Head throwing the puck to the net giving Chase Dubois the opportunity to tip the puck past Austin Park making it 3-1.
The second started with a goaltending change for the Wenatchee Wild. Cal Sandquist came in for relief of Austin Park who allowed 3 goals off only 9 shots. Sandquist was able to make an immediate impact between the pipes making a couple key saves while the Warriors were on the penalty kill and that gave the Wild the momentum to get back into the hockey game. With just over 16 minutes left in the 2nd Penticton native Josh Arnold was able to feed AJ Hodges on a two on one who had a wide open net cutting the Warriors lead to one. Only a minute and a half later the Wild would continue to pressure the Warriors in their own end with PJ Fletcher left all alone scoring off a wrist shot and just like that the Wenatchee Wild tied it up at 3. Shots on goal after two periods 23-18 in favor of the Wild.
The Warriors started the third period with two power plays in the span of 4 minutes but couldn’t cash in. Play was going either way for the both teams with clutch saves made by Cal Sandquist and Connor Hopkins. The go ahead goal didn’t come until late when the Wild were pressing in the Warriors zone and after the puck was loose in the crease Connor Hopkins was shoved from behind with no call made for goaltender interference, this gave the Wild the opportunity they needed with Matt Dorsey wide open on the other side of the net giving the Wild a 4-3 lead. The Warriors got a late powerplay in the third so Geoff Grimwood elected to pull Connor Hopkins in for the extra attacker. Wyatt Head went for a wrist shot from the point which was stopped by the blocker of Cal Sandquist which went immediately to Wild forward Matt Gosiewski who finished the game up scoring on the empty net. The Wild would add another empty net goal making it 6-3.
Shots on goal: 30-24 in favor of the Wenatchee Wild.
WEN F Matt Dorsey (2G)
WEN F Lucas Sowder (2A)
WEN G Cal Sandquist (15 Saves)