Liam Blackburn (right) and the West Kelowna Warriors opened the RBC Cup with a win on Saturday.

Warriors off and running at RBC CUP

West Kelowna wins opener over host Lloydminster at national junior A championship

JASON LA ROSE

LLOYDMINSTER, Alta./Sask. – Jonathan Desbiens and Jake LeBrun had two goals each, and the West Kelowna Warriors scored four times on special teams to beat the host Lloydminster Bobcats 5-2 in the opening game for both Saturday at the 2016 RBC Cup.

West Kelowna converted on its first three power-play opportunities and scored a shorthanded goal for good measure to earn the victory in its debut at Canada’s National Junior A Championship.

Liam Blackburn had the other goal for the Warriors and added three assists to take the very early tournament scoring lead, helping West Kelowna become the first Western Canada Cup champion to win its RBC Cup opener since the Surrey Eagles in 2013.

Austin O’Rourke and Brett Smythe were the goal-scorers for Lloydminster, which fell into a 5-0 hole in the second period and couldn’t recover in its first game in five weeks.

The West Kelowna power play struck twice in the first 13 minutes to give the Warriors an early advantage; Desbiens parked himself in front of the Lloydminster net and redirected a Quin Foreman shot past Bobcats goaltender Alex Leclerc to make it 1-0 at 7:11, and LeBrun picked up a loose puck in the slot and rifled it past Leclerc just over five minutes later to send the Warriors to the dressing room up 2-0.

Both teams ratcheted up the offence in the second period, with the Bobcats holding a 19-15 advantage in shots on goal in the middle frame, but it was West Kelowna that added to its lead.

Desbiens picked up his second of the game – and the lone West Kelowna marker scored at even strength – just 95 seconds into the middle frame, finding room through Leclerc’s five-hole for the eventual game-winner.

LeBrun ripped a one-timer past Leclerc for his second at 12:58, and Blackburn watched his shorthanded shot trickle over the goal-line for the 5-0 goal not even two minutes after that, giving the Warriors all the offence they would need.

O’Rourke finally gave the home crowd at the Centennial Civic Centre something to cheer about late in the second period, burying a rebound behind West Kelowna goaltender Keelan Williams to make it a 5-1 game after 40 minutes.

The Bobcats continued to press in the third period, but only Smythe could find the back of the net, scoring on the power play with 7:35 to go to round out the scoring.

Williams finished with 33 saves to record his fifth playoff win in place of injured starter Matthew Greenfield.

The Warriors are right back to action Sunday, meeting the Brooks Bandits in a rematch of the Western Canada Cup final (7:30 p.m. MT), while the Bobcats see the ice next in the lone game Monday, taking on the Carleton Place Canadians (7:30 p.m. MT).

 

 

Just Posted

City of West Kelowna releases survey for cannabis store restrictions

October 17 non-medical cannabis sales will be permitted

City of Kelowna hires new consultant

Bill McKinnon fills the void left by the passing of Rob Mayne

Strong smell of ammonia downtown Kelowna

Fire crews attended the Memorial Arena for a strong smell of ammonia

Hedge goes up in smoke in Lake Country

A Lake Country resident burning weeds had flames spread to a nearby hedge

New summer market hits Kelowna

Craft Culture and Manteo Resort will host a summer market this weekend

VIDEO: Visual recap of Vancouver Island MusicFest

Walk Off The Earth, Passenger, Arlo Guthrie among highlights

Emerica tears up Penticton Youth Park

Pro skateboarders make summer afternoon even hotter

‘Virtual drugstore’ dealer sentenced in the South Okanagan

A Penticton woman was using the casino as a hub to sell drugs and launder money

Trudeau’s youth council divided over Trans Mountain pipeline purchase

A letter signed by 16 past and present members was made public today, asking the federal government to reverse course

UPDATE: Wildfire near Lake Country grows to seven hectares

The BC Wildfire Service is responding to a blaze at Dee Lake

Hulk Hogan reinstated into wrestling Hall of Fame

Hogan had used racial slurs caught on video when talking about his daughter sleeping with a black man

UPDATE: BC crews respond to two new wildfires

Blazes near Allison and Osoyoos Lakes

Motorcycle driver dies in a head-on collision near Oliver

RCMP said the three vehicle collision, near Road 18, happened around 2:45 p.m. on July 14

‘Lava bomb’ through roof of tour boat injures 22 in Hawaii

“An explosion occurred near the shoreline hurling hot lava rocks towards the boat and injuring several passengers”

Most Read