The West Kelowna Warriors rough start leads to a 6-2 Merritt Centennials victory Friday night.
Not the start the Warriors wanted with Centennials forward Rylan Van Unen firing a puck off the skate of Johnny Derrick and in only 29 seconds into the game to give the Centennials an early 1-0 lead. The Warriors would tie it 3 minutes later when Carter Wilkie accepted a pass from Holden Kodak to even things up. The Centennials would then score a quick pair from Ben Ward and Wyatt Marlow to give them a 3-1 lead. That would be the end of the night for Johnny Derrick who allowed 3 goals off 6 shots. As the Warriors proved last Tuesday the two goal leads were not safe. During a quick power play John Evans would throw the puck on net giving Spencer Hora an open net cashing in on the rebound to cut the lead. The Warriors would spend the remainder of the period pressuring the Centennials in their own zone but Cents goaltender Ryan Winter made easily 4 goal saving stops to keep the one goal lead intact heading into the dressing room.
The Warriors would continue to pressure the Centennials in their zone in the second period but Centennials goaltender Ryan Winter continued to make some great stops to keep it 3-2. The Centennials would find a way to score a clutch power play goal with only 28 seconds remaining to restore their two goal lead heading into the third.
With a 4-2 Centennials lead to start the final frame, the Warriors would need their best third period of the season to come back. There was a great opportunity for the Warriors on the powerplay early on but Tyler Cristall once again was robbed by Ryan Winter. From there the Cents took the game over and added a pair of goals including a Christian Buono capitalizing on the empty net goal giving him the natural hat trick making it 6-2.
Final shots on goal: 40-34 in favor of the Warriors.
- MER G Ryan Winter (38 Saves)
- WKW F Carter Wilkie (1G)
- MER F Christian Buono (3G)