The West Kelowna Warriors got two goals each from Michael Lombardi and Parm Dhaliwal to down the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 6-2 in BCHL action on Sunday afternoon at Royal LePage Place.
The Warriors got off to a strong start in the early going of the opening period and were rewarded with the game’s opening goal coming off of the right skate of Michael Lombardi. RJ Murphy busted down the right side and made a pass to the slot where the puck redirected off of the blade of Lombardi and past Bulldogs netminder John Hawthorne for his 14th goal of the season and a 1-0 Warriors lead at the 1:52 mark of the opening frame.
Despite being shorthanded twice with some strong Alberni Valley pressure, the Warriors earned a 2-0 lead at the 14:42 mark of the frame as Willie Reim converted on a nice rush from an unlikely source of offence. Garrett Ewert made a strong drive to the net down the right-wing side and finding a streaking Willie Reim to the front of the goal as Reim deposited his 10th goal of the season for a 2-0 Warriors lead.
West Kelowna capped off an impressive first period with a late goal with just 15 seconds remaining in the period as Lombardi added his second of the game. Reim spotted the Warriors forward in the slot after the puck went off a stick with Lombardi turning and firing a shot off the blocker side post and by Hawthorne for his 15th goal of the season and a 3-0 Warriors lead heading into the 2nd period.
A power play goal resulted in the Warriors fourth goal of the night coming just 2:14 into the middle stanza. Parm Dhaliwal got the puck on the goal line and moved to the front of the net, outwaiting Hawthorne as he slid to the glove side before sliding the puck past the sprawled-out goaltender for his 10th goal of the season and the power play marker gave the Warriors a 4-0 advantage.
The scoring continued at the 6:03 mark of the period and stemmed from a nice passing play between Dhaliwal and Wyatt Head to pick up the Warriors 5th goal of the afternoon. Dhaliwal passed for Head inside the offensive end before getting it back from Head in the left face-off circle and again sending a pass across for the Warriors defender who chipped it past Hawthorne for his 3rd goal of the season and ending the afternoon for John Hawthorne at a 5-0 Warriors lead.
The goaltending switch that saw Brock Lefebvre take over in between the Bulldogs crease paid immediate dividends as Alberni Valley collected their first goal of the game just 21 seconds later. Michael Saco tipped in a Spencer Hora point shot from the right side from the hash marks for the first puck past Warriors netminder Nik Amundrud of the afternoon and cut the Warriors lead to 5-1.
On another Warriors power play, it was once again Dhaliwal that struck with his second of the game at the 13:28 mark of the 2nd period. Dhaliwal started on the blocker side goal line and moved back to the front of the goal before picking the corner over the shoulder of Lefebvre for his 11th goal of the season and a 6-1 Warriors lead heading into the final period of play.
There would only be one goal in period number three as the Bulldogs found the back of the net late in the period courtesy of a redirection from Christian Simeone on a power play. Mitchell Oliver had his point shot tipped by Simeone in front of Amundrud at the 16:59 mark of the 3rd period to make the final score 6-2 in favour of the Warriors.
Nik Amundrud was terrific in between the pipes for the Warriors with 33 saves on 35 shots for his 13th victory of the season while John Hawthorne started in goal for the Bulldogs, turning aside 10 of the 15 shots he faced in the game, suffering his 19th loss of the season before being relieved by Brock Lefebvre who made 24 saves on the 25 shots he faced on the afternoon.
The Warriors (24-22-1-1) head out on the road for a game on Friday night as they face-off against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (21-23-1-3) at the Shaw Centre in a big Interior Division matchup. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 PM with the pre-game getting underway at 6:45 PM on the Warriors Internet Network and HockeyTV.com with the Voice of the Warriors, Trevor Miller.
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