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BCHL  

Warriors eke out win

he West Kelowna Warriors got goals 25 seconds apart early in the third period, and held on for a 3-2 victory over the lowly Cowichan Capitals Saturday at Royal LePage Place.

It was the Warriors third win in a row and seventh in their last eight.

The Capitals, who came in sporting a meager 1-10-2-0 record, took a 2-1 lead into the final period before the Warriors finally caught a break.

A point shot from Jake Harrison just after a Cowichan penalty expired, hit a skate in front of the net and slid into the net past a surprised Adam Marcoux.

Seconds later, Chase Stevenson got to a puck behind the net and threw it in front to Chase Dubois who tucked it into the open side with Marcoux looking the wrong way.

The goal was Dubois' sixth of the season and third in two games.

The Warriors controlled all the play in the opening period but only managed to come away deadlocked at a goal apiece.

Bennett Norlin opened the scoring when he banged home a rebound for his fourth of the season, but the Capitals replied on their only good chance late in the period to salvage a 1-1 tie after 20 minutes.

Dery did not come out for the second period. He was involved in a collision with Willie Reim in the opening period which may have caused him to be replaced by Marcoux. Dery did not return to the bench.

The Capital took their only lead on the game six minutes into the second on a wrist shot from Azzaro Tinling off a faceoff just six seconds into a power play.

The lead stood up until early in the third.

The Warriors had several opportunities to build on the lead in the third but neither missed the net or forced Marcoux to come up with key saves to keep them in it.

Cole Demers also came up big down the stretch, his best save a left pad stop off Ty Pochipinski with less than two minutes to go.

The Warriors peppered the Cowichan net with 42 shots, and seemingly missed on the target on almost as many as they controlled much of the play in the Cowichan end.

But, a lack of finish almost cost them against the cellar-dwelling Capitals.

"It was kind of a scrappy performance by our team. Overall, I thought we played well, we just struggled to generate some offence in spots and struggled to score on a couple of real good opportunities. Unfortunately, we made a couple of mistakes that resulted in goals," said assistant coach Shae Naka.

"They played a hard, physical game and made it hard on our forward group to generate a whole lot. I thought when we got pucks to the net and generated traffic there were lots of chances. Our first goal was a shot and a rebound. We got away from that in the second period. We didn't get enough pucks there and enough bodies."

Newly acquired forward Michael Lombardi made his Warriors debut Saturday on a fourth line with Jordan Todd and Peter Tomaras.

He was dangerous almost every time the line stepped onto the ice, nearly scoring with a power move to the net in the second period.

"He definitely has a high skill set, and he's a good skater.

"He's able to feed off the energy maybe from Pete and Jordan on that line. They always play with so much energy."

Saturday marked the final game of the Warriors four game home stand. They now hit the road for three in a row, beginning Sunday afternoon in Salmon Arm.

The Warriors will play in Vernon next Saturday and Merritt Sunday before returning home to host Penticton Friday, Nov. 3.

Saturday's win, couples with losses by both Vernon and Penticton, pushed the Warriors again into top spot in the Interior Division and the BCHL.

The Warriors moved a point up on idle Trail in the Interior and two better than the Vipers.

Penticton and Wenatchee are three back with the Vees holding three games in hand.



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