photo: Tami Quan Photography

West Kelowna Warriors edged out by Wild

The Warriors were defeated by the Wenatchee Wild

The Wenatchee Wild spoil the Warriors quick start and win game one of their BCHL Interior Division Quarterfinal best of seven series by a score of 5-4.

The Warriors started off game one exactly how their last two meetings went earlier this season with a quick goal off the bat. It was a harmless back hand shot by Mike Hardman which would go between the legs of Wild goaltender Austin Park and in to make it 1-0. The Wild would have a couple opportunities to tie it up but Warriors goaltender Connor Hopkins was quick to make the saves he needed to keep it a one goal lead heading into the dressing room.

The Wild came out flying in the second period looking for the equalizer goal and they got it on the power play. It was a pass from Murphy Stratton intended for Lucas Sowder which would go off a Warriors defender and in to tie the game up at one. Only a minute later another shot from the Wild would go off another Warriors defender and past Connor Hopkins to make it 2-1.

RELATED: West Kelowna Warriors draws Wenatchee in first playoff round

Then with only seven minutes to go in the second period the Wild would extend the lead to 3-1 after a highlight reel goal from Matt Dorsey who put the puck between his legs skated around the Warriors defender and put it past Hopkins. The Warriors would register their first shot on goal of the second with six minutes remaining in the frame. Shots on goal in the second period alone, 18-2 in favor of the Wild.

The Warriors needed a strong push in the third similar to their third period last week in Trail where they were able to score a pair of goals to send it to overtime, but it was the Wild with the fast start.

RELATED: West Kelowna Warriors player wins BCHL’s Most Sportsmanlike award

Only a minute and a half in Blake Barger would score his second of the game making it 4-1 Wild. Then something clicked for the Warriors, and the tide would turn. First with 12 minutes remaining Parm Dhaliwal would receive a pass from Chase Dubois scoring his first career BCHL playoff goal to cut the lead to two.

The Warriors top line would go back on the attack seven minutes later with Lucas Cullen tipping a Chase Dubois shot and in to cut the lead to one with less than five minutes to go. The Warriors would continue to pressure the Wild but with three minutes to go Mike Hardman would be called for a penalty putting the Wild back on the power play. After a failed clearing out of the Warriors zone, the Wild would throw the puck towards the net to a wide open Murphy Stratton who scores his second of the hockey game out of reach. The Warriors would manage to get a power play of their own with only two minutes remaining in the game and capitalizing with Mike Hardman’s second of the game but it wasn’t enough with the Wild hanging on to win 5-4.

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