Saturday, October 10th11.7°C
BC Hockey League News

OT stings Warriors again

For the second straight game, the West Kelowna Warriors skated away with a single point in a game they could have had two.

The Penticton Vees scored the tying goal in the opening minute of the third and the game winner in the opening seconds of overtime to skate away with a 4-3 victory at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Tyson Jost scored all three goals in regulation time then set up Scott Conway for the game winner just 3 seconds into the extra period.

Conway also had a pair of assists.

Garrett Forster, Liam Blackburn and Kyler Hope replied for the Warriors.

The Warriors trailed 2-1 late in the second when Blackburn on a power-play and Hope at even strength put the Warriors up by one with goals 36 seconds apart.

The Warriors got on the board first when Forster hammered a rebound past Zach Driscoll at 14:49 of the first.

Jost got that one back with a redirection off his skate at 17:37, as the teams remained tied heading to the break.

The Vees opened up a 2-1 lead halfway through period two, when Jost's second of the night was put past Forbes Ploszaj on a cross crease pass.

The Warriors responded with a Liam Blackburn power-play goal at 16:52, before Kylar Hope went shelf on a breakaway just 36 seconds later.

Jost got his hat-trick goal just 26 seconds into the third, as he beat Ploszaj again through a screen.

The Warriors killed off a 4-minute penalty to Blackburn in the latter stages of the 3rd period, and sent the game to overtime.

Penticton outshot the Warriors 13-4 in the third and 33-28 overall.

The Warriors have now collected points in five of their last six going 3-1-0-2. The Vees have won nine in a row after dropping their opening game of the season to Salmon Arm.

The Vees will travel to Chilliwack Saturday while the Warriors try to bounce back when they host the Powell River Kings.

Vees d-man on big stage

A member of the Penticton Vees will represent Canada at an international hockey event later this year.

Griffin Mendel, 16, has been named to one of the three Canadian teams for the upcoming World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Hockey Canada made the announcement Friday.

The World Under-17 Challenge runs from November 1 to 8th in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John. The WU-17 features three Canadian teams (Red, White & Black) and teams from the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden and the United States.

Hockey Canada will announce the rosters at a later date.

Mendel has had a good start to his rookie season, as he developed into one of the Vees best penalty-killers and shutdown defenders.

The Kelowna product has an assist in nine games thus far.

Prior to joining the Vees, Mendel won a Canadian Sports School Hockey League (CSSHL) championship last year, with the Okanagan Hockey Academy’s Prep White team. The 6’2 rear-guard had four goals and 14 points in 17 games with OHA a year ago.

He was a 2014 first round Western Hockey League draft pick of the Kootenay Ice.

Mendel is the only BC Hockey League player among the 66 named to take part in the tournament.

This is the second straight season the Vees will have at least one player participating in the World Under-17 Challenge. Last year Tyson Jost and Dante Fabbro played in the 2016 tournament in Sarnia, Ontario

Arena not Cup-worthy

It appears just two franchises will be submitting bids to host the 2017 Junior A Western Canada Cup after the West Kelowna Warriors announced this week they would not be bidding.

The B.C. Hockey League will host the week-long, five-team tournament  in 2017.

It brings together the B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba league champions, along with a host team. The top two advance to the RBC Cup.

Warriors owner Mark Cheyne said there were a few factors that prevented the team from putting in a bid.

"Once the budgets came out for the last three years of it, we took a long, hard look at it, and it was way more money than we thought it was going to be on the expense side of it. And, we would have to do quite a bit to the arena," said Cheyne.

"It's about $800,000 to put that week on. The reality is, you need about $500,000 to $600,000 in sponsorship, and that would be tough in our community."

Cheyne talked with the City of West Kelowna concerning improvements to Royal LePage Place. They were willing to forgo some of the rental costs, but that was all, said Cheyne.

"That's all they can do, and I understand that. Saying that, we have to do something with the arena to put in another media booth and more availability for TV."

This is the second time the Warriors have backed away from bidding on a major event, partly due to shortcomings inside the building.

A proposal to host the 2010 World Junior A Challenge at Royal LePage Place was shot down by the council of the day. Penticton ended up as the event host.

"We tried to do the World Junior A, and I said the same thing that time. We need something to have the ability to have cameras in here or else we won't be able to host events in here," said Cheyne.

Moving forward, the Warriors owner hopes the city could find a way to put some money away each year and make the upgrades in stages.

"I understand where everyone is coming from," said Cheyne. "Money needs to go to a lot of other places before it comes to this arena. That's the reality, and I totally get that."

Royal LePage Place officially opened in August 2007.

With the Warriors' announcement, it's believed the decision will now be down to Penticton or Alberni Valley.

Official bids must be submitted to the league office by Oct. 23. 

The 2016 Western Canada Cup will be held in Estevan, Sask.


Warriors salvage a point

Twenty minutes of good hockey was good enough for just a single point.

The West Kelowna Warriors held a 2-1 lead after a dominating second period but were unable to bring it home, falling 3-2 in overtime to the visiting Coquitlam Express Tuesday at Royal LePage Place.

Charlie Barrow scored his second of the night just 35 seconds into the first overtime period to give the Express the victory. Barrow took a pass from behind the net and roofed a wrist shot high to the short side from the right circle.

Barrow also knotted the equalizer midway through the third when his slap shot from nearly the same spot found its way into the far corner past Stephen Heslop.

"We have a 2-1 lead lead and have a really good second period and don't have a very good first period and don't have a good third period," said Warriors head coach Rylan Ferster.

"I don't know if we expect we are going play 20 minutes and win a hockey game. Not good, not good."

Coquitlam opened the scoring with the only goal of the opening period before the Warriors got untracked in the second.

They outshot the Express 19-5 in the middle frame and scored the only two goals of the period.

Garrett Forster evened the score at 1-1 with his third of the season. Forster dangled inside the Express zone and, without warning, sent a wrist shot high to the short side from the left dot.

Quin Foreman's first in the BCHL on a West Kelowna power-play six minutes later put the Warriors up a goal.Foreman grabbed a rebound and ticked the puck into a wide open net.

Earlier in the period Paul Lovsin had a glorious chance to hit the scoreboard. He took a pass in close on a nifty give-and-go, but somehow Tyger Howat was able to slide his left pad over to stop the shot on the goal line.

Howat didn't finish the game, leaving seconds after Foreman's go-ahead goal with what appeared to be a left leg injury.

Lawson Fenton went the rest of the way, stopping all 17 shots he faced, giving his team a chance to win.

"I didn't think our puck management was very good in the third period. We were on the wrong side of pucks or we wanted to make fancy plays," said Ferster.

"Our division is so good that you just can't afford to have these nights. If you play 60 minutes tonight and lose 3-2 in overtime, you're OK."

The Warriors went the final period with just four defencemen after Jake Harrison was knocked out of the game after taking a high elbow to the head from Express forward Jack Surowiec.

Fellow defenceman Rylan Yaremko came to his defence and received 27 minutes in penalties including a pair of misconducts. Surowiec also was sent to the showers following the hit and fight.

Harrison got up after the hit but looked shaky heading to the  bench.

Ferster said he hadn't checked on Harrison immediately after the game, knowing only he would not finish the game.

His status for weekend games in Penticton Friday and at home to Powell River Saturday is not known.

The single point gives the Warriors points in four of their last five games to sit a point in back of second place Salmon Arm in the Interior Division.

Warriors take 'Wild' affair

The West Kelowna Warriors scored twice in a span of 19 seconds early in the third period en route to a well-deserved 4-2 win over the visiting Wenatchee Wild Saturday at Royal LePage Place.

It was the first loss of the season for the Wild, who came into Saturday's game with a 5-0-1-0 record.

Kyler Hope, the game's first star, knotted the game at 2-2 when he came off the side wall, cut the the left circle and fired a shot that beat Garrett Nieto short side.

While that goal was being announced, Jonathan Desbiens and Garrett Forster broke in two-on-one.

Debsiens fed a perfect centering pass to Forster, who tapped home his third of the season to give the Warriors a 3-2 lead.

Liam Blackburn closed out the scoring with his fourth when he broke in all alone shorthanded and beat Nieto five-hole.

Kyle Marino scored the other goal as he opened the scoring in the final minute of the opening frame.

Hope and Marino each had an assist to go along with their goals.

The win came just three days after the Warriors suffered their worst defeat in franchise history, a 9-1 setback in Merritt.

"We want to put that one as far behind us as possible," said Hope of the game in Merritt.

"Obviously, this is a team that hadn't lost a game, and we knew we had to play a hard game to beat them, and I think we did that."

Down a goal in the second, Wenatchee took advantage of six Warriors penalties in the second period to score twice on the power-play and grab a 2-1 lead.

It was a period that had both the Warriors bench – and their fans – a little testy.

At one point, the Warriors took a bench minor after Hope appeared to be clipped around the mouth with a stick without a penalty being called.

In all, the Warriors were shorthanded 11 times during the contest, but were able to kill off nine of those and net a shorthanded tally.

The Warriors had just four chances on the power-play, three of those coming in the final period.

"I thought both teams played hard and didn't give up a lot but, we were shorthanded most of the night, which was unfortunate," said Warriors head coach Rylan Ferster.

"I feel sorry for the fans who came here and had to see us shorthanded like that. I don't think they got to see the best of two teams being able to go at it."

The Warriors were far and away the better team five-on-five and completely shut down the Wild in the third period, allowing just one shot, a high, desperation slapper with 0.6 seconds remaining on the clock. Even that shot appeared to be heading over the net.

The Warriors defence did a superb job, especially during the third of getting in front of getting bodies in front of pucks and sticks into passing lanes.

Newly signed netminder Stephen Heslop turned aside 16 shots to record his first win of the season.

Heslop, 20, was signed out of Princeton in the KIJHL after the club traded away 20-year-old Danial Mannella.

The Warriors have now won three of their last four and move into third spot in the Interior Division, two points in back of Salmon Arm.

They'll look to make it two for two in October when they entertain the Coquitlam Express Tuesday night.

Read more BCHL articles


Recent Trending


Cover your team's games! Write up a story and email us [email protected] for publication here.


RSS this page.
(Click for RSS instructions.)

Member of BC Press Council