The West Kelowna Warriors battle but cannot win the war with the Trail Smoke Eaters after losing both games in the home and home this weekend.
The first period was back and forth hockey with chances on both ends, but midway through the first frame Kent Johnson was able to show off his hands with a nifty backhand goal making it 1-0 Smoke Eaters. Late in the period Warriors forward Brandon Dent went for a hit on Mike Colella forcing Smoke Eaters veteran Corey Clifton to get involved and drop the gloves with Dent, which was a short tilt. Both Dent and Clifton would be ejected for fighting leaving Warriors Head Coach and General Manager Brandon West to make adjustments with 11 forwards now on his bench.
The second period seemed to be controlled by the Smoke Eaters on paper but the Warriors were the ones with quality scoring chances. First a deflection got directed towards Warriors forward Drew Vieten who had an open net, but Smoke Eaters defender Powell Conner was able to get a stick on it to keep the Logan Terness shutout in tact. Late in the period Ryan Novecosky would hit Smoke Eaters forward Kent Johnson from behind leading to a Novecosky ejection and a powerplay goal from Owen Ozar to make it 2-0. Kent Johnson left the game but would later return to start the third period.
Frustration started to set in for the Warriors in the third period. Smoke Eaters defenders wouldn’t let the Warriors forwards create any quality scoring opportunities leading to some extracurricular activity after the whistle. Numerous roughing penalties after the Warriors would be forced to pull the goalie late and they finally managed to get on the board with under two minutes to go after Ryan Upson was able to put one past Logan Terness to cut the lead to one. The Warriors would try pulling Brock Baier a second time but would be unsuccessful after Kent Johnson stole the puck after the neutral zone faceoff and place the puck into the empty net to finish things off. Final score 3-1 Smoke Eaters. Shots on goal 37-21 in favor of the Smoke Eaters.
The Warriors next game is their home opener and regular season opener Friday September 6th versus the Vernon Vipers