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BCHL  

Warriors steal a point

The hockey Gods owed the West Kelowna Warriors a break. The Warriors cashed in Sunday afternoon.

After getting nothing for some good efforts of late, the Warriors stole a single point in a game they probably didn't deserve one.

The Warriors snatched the point from the visiting Powell River Kings, scoring three times in the final seven-and-a-half minutes to gain a 6-6 overtime tie.

"When you are down 6-3 you probably don't deserve to come back, and I think the way we played we probably didn't deserve to come back," said head coach Rylan Ferster.

"But, I don't want to throw stones at our kids because today was a tough day...you could tell right from the start it was going to be one of those tough days. It's funny how the hockey Gods work themselves out...today it worked out where we got one."

The Warriors trailed 6-3 when Chase Dubois circled inside the Kings end, worked his way to the top of the slot and sent a wrist shot past Matteo Paler-Chow.

The Warriors dominated the rest of the period, peppering Paler-Chow with shot after shot. Seconds after he made two spectacular saves, the Warriors were finally rewarded when Michael Lombardi grabbed a loose puck near the edge of the crease and buried his 10th.

90 seconds later, Jared Martino tapped home Michael Ryan's centering pass with 1:02 left in regulation time to force overtime.

As they did against Penticton two nights earlier, the Warriors had the better of the play during the first four-on-four overtime period. Both Willie Reim and Marino had glorious chances to end it from in close but were unable to find the game winner.

Cole Demers came up big in the second three-on-three overtime period as the Kings buzzed around the Warriors net for nearly two straight minutes. His best save, a blocker stop off Hunter Findlater from in close.

Powell River never trailed in the game. The game was deadlocked at 2-2 after 20 before the Kings scored twice in the first five minutes to assume a two goal lead.

They grew the lead to three with a pair of unanswered goals in the first half of the third.

Reim, Jake Harrison and Max Bulawka also scored for the Warriors. Harrison also added a pair of assists and a spectacular hip check that sent Kevin Obssuth tumbling head-over-heals.

Harrison and Michael Ryan didn't seem to leave the ice over the final six or seven minutes and much of the first overtime period.

The Warriors, already down four forwards, and playing one under the 20 man limit Sunday, lost two more players to injury.

Both forward Lucas Cullen and defenceman Stephen Kleyson left with injuries in the first periods.

Ferster says Kleyson went for x-rays which came back negative.

He hopes both can return to the line-up when the Warriors come back from their 12-day Christmas break.

The Warriors hit the break with an 18-15-1-1 record, fifth in the Interior Division.

They find themselves four points in back of the fourth place Trail Smoke Eaters and five up on sixth place Merritt.

The Warriors will return to the ice Friday, Dec. 29 when the Smoke Eaters come to town for the first half of a weekend home-and-home.



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