Michael Ryan (left) and the West Kelowna Warriors opened the BCHL Showcase Wednesday with a big win over Coquitlam. -Image: Garrett James/BCHL

Warriors drub Express in Showcase opener

Matt Kowalski tallies three points in 7-2 win Wednedsay over Coquitlam, Warriors vs Cowichan today

The West Kelowna Warriors opened up their Bauer BCHL Showcase with an offensive outburst as they tallied seven goals in a 7-2 victory over the Coquitlam Express on Wednesday night at Prospera Centre.

The Express, despite the score line, did open the scoring in the game with Josh Wildauer left alone in front of the net and putting in a blocker side shot on Warriors netminder Nik Amundrud to put the Express ahead with their only lead of the game at 7:56 of the 1st period.

The Warriors started their seven-unanswered goal stretch with another Matt Kowalski beauty that tied the game at the 17:11 mark of the 1st period. The 18-year-old forward sped down the right wing, dangled through a defender’s legs and sniped over the glove side shoulder of Express goaltender Reid Cooper for his 5th goal of the season and tie the game at one.

West Kelowna grabbed their first lead of the game in the 2nd period at the 1:59 mark as Stephen Kleysen’s shot from the left point found it’s way through traffic and beat Cooper on the glove side for his 1st goal of the season and a 2-1 lead.

Willie Reim found the back of the net for his first BCHL goal coming at the 9:48 mark of the 2nd period as he finished off a passing play between Jordan Todd and Max Bulawka with Reim finishing off the play on the glove side to extend the Warriors advantage to 3-1.

The Warriors pushed their lead to 4-1 at the 14:36 mark of the middle stanza stemming from two terrific passes and capped off by Chase Stevenson. Parm Dhaliwal tipped the puck free to an open Kowalski who sauced the puck to the slot for a skating Stevenson to tuck in for his 2nd goal of the season and a three-goal lead for West Kelowna.

Three more goals were added in the third period for the Warriors, starting with Max Bulawka’s first BCHL tally, tipping in a Michael Ryan shot from the right wing for a 5-1 Warriors lead at the 3:12 mark of the 3rd period.

Matt Campese was another Warrior to pot his first goal of the season in this game as he banged away a loose puck off a scramble on the power play and picked up the marker at the 5:54 mark of the 3rd period to push the Warriors lead to 6-1.

Jared Marino capped off the scoring on the night for West Kelowna as right off the face-off, his shot from the edge of the left face-off circle found the back of the net for his 2nd goal of the season coming at the 10:19 mark of the 3rd frame.

Haydn Delorme scored his first career BCHL goal for Coquitlam later in the game off a Warriors turnover at the 15:24 mark of the 3rd period and made the final score 7-2 in favour of West Kelowna, picking up their 3rd victory on the season.

Nik Amundrud started the game in the crease for West Kelowna, stopping 32 of the 34 shots thrown in his direction for his 2nd win on the season while Express goaltender Reid Cooper stopped 45 of the 52 shots he faced in the contest in the losing effort.