When the Westside Warriors pulled the trigger this week on a deal that brought Quebec born goaltender Dwayne Rodrique to West Kelowna, the team wasn’t sure exactly what they were getting.
But if the 20-year-old’s first night as a Warrior is any indication, the club looks to have solidified a position that has been a question mark since training camp.
Rodrique made 37 saves, including a breakaway with 90 seconds to go in a 2-2 tie, as the Warriors used double overtime to snap a nine game losing skid, beating the Merritt Centennials 3-2 Wednesday at Royal LePage Place.
Rodrique, acquired Tuesday from Grande Prairie for future considerations, made several key saves in the third period.
“That’s what you want from your number one goalie,” Warriors coach Rylan Ferster said after the game. “You want him to give you a chance to win and that’s what he did tonight. That’s what being a number one goalie is all about.”
In its nine game losing skid that dropped the Warriors down to sixth in the eight team BCHL Interior, Westside was routinely outshooting its opponents but coming up short.
On Wednesday the Centennials outshot Westside before Dru Morrison scored in double overtime to earn the win. The Warriors improved to 8-10-0-4 on the season while the Cents fell to 11-6-1-5.
Richard Vanderhoek scored twice in regulation for the Warriors while Connor Dempsey had two assists.
“It’s a big monkey off our back but it’s only one game,” said Vanderhoek.
With only the top four teams making the playoffs in each BCHL conference this season, bumping the Warriors slump before it went too long was important.
The win puts the Warriors just five points behind fourth place Prince George and Chilliwack and six points back of third place Vernon in the Interior.
The Warriors have a chance to gain ground this weekend as they play a home and home series with the last place Trail Smoke Eaters, who have won just three games this season. The team’s meet Friday at Royal LePage Place and Saturday at Cominco Arena in Trail.