Mitch Gillam made 48 saves as Chilliwack hung on to beat West Kelowna 2-1 on Friday night as the Warriors opened up a three game Coastal Divison road trip.
Winners of their previous four games, the Warriors were just one victory away from qualifying for the post-season.
However, despite a strong road game, West Kelowna’s celebrations will have to wait for at least one more night.
Shay Laurent opened the scoring on a Chiefs powerplay goal late in the first. Cooper Rush would make it 2-0 Chilliwack early in the second period on a wrister that beat Tyler Briggs from the high slot.
David Pope would get the Warriors on the board midway through the second, when he cranked a one-timer past Mitch Gillam after a Mitch Nardi face-off win.
But despite forcing the issue for the remainder of the game (including a 19-shot barrage in the third period), the Warriors couldn’t find the equalizer.
“Credit to Gillam” West Kelowna forward Seb Lloyd shrugged after the game. “He played unreal and probably won them that game.”
Lloyd was one of several Warriors to get robbed by Gillam in the game, with the Warriors outshooting their hosts 49-35 overall.
“They played a good game, and they capitalized on some chances” Lloyd admits. Still, the forward feels his team may have deserved better.
“In the third period, and even towards the end of the second, we really took control of that game and I’d say he kept them in it, for sure.
However, despite the defeat, the Warriors remain one of the hottest teams in the BCHL.
Lloyd insists that the momentum that’s been building isn’t lost because of one defeat. “We’ve still got a lot of confidence and we’re still playing real well. Even tonight, with the loss, I don’t think anyone on our team would say we played a bad game.”
The Warriors continue their road trip in Powell River on Saturday, before a trip to Alberni Valley on Sunday.