Warriors beat back Caps

The West Kelowna Warriors scored early, and scored often, cruising to a 7-2 victory over the road-weary Cowichan Valley Capitals Sunday afternoon at Royal LePage Place.

The Warriors skated circles around the Capitals during the early stages of the opening period, scoring five times in a span of 8:02 to take a 5-0 lead before the game was 10 minutes old.

Two of those came on the power play, two more, 23 seconds part, with the teams playing four-on-four.

"That was a pretty big start. I don't know if I've ever seen that quite to that degree," said head coach Geoff Grimwood.

"Once we were up five, we just wanted to get through the game without any injuries, and without any trouble. I thought the guys did a pretty good job of that."

Lucas Cullen opened the scoring, tapping home a centering pass from Chase Dubois just two minutes.

Parm Dhaliwal was the beneficiary of a pretty three-way passing play to double the lead on the power play two minutes later.

Dubois, who had four points in the opening period, was the beneficiary of Mike Hardman's cross-crease pass on another power play five minutes in.

Then, with the teams playing four aside, Garrett Ewert tapped in his first of the year before Willie Reim spun and fired home is 17th to grow the lead to five.

"We weren't expecting that. Cowichan's a pretty good hockey club, their record is deceptive.

"They won the first two games on this trip, and they beat us the last time we played them. Like you said, we got real hot real quick and took advantage of some penalties on their part."

Hardman tapped in his team-best 26th near the end of the period.

Max Bulawka scored the final goal midway through the third.

Brock Baier lost his shutout bid six minutes into the third.

Dubois finished the night with a goal and three assists. Hardman had a goal and two assists while newcomer Anthony Bishop picked up a pair of helpers.

As expected in a lopsided game like these, the contest got dirty and chippy in spots.

Cowichan's Brady Lynn was handed an intent to injury match penalty when he kicked at a Warriors player during a scrum in the corner.

Lynn will likely face a lengthy suspension. He was suspended six games earlier this season for a spearing match penalty.

Lucas Vanroboys, who has been suspended 12 games for multiple blow to the head penalties, also faces a suspension after receiving a gross misconduct for something he said to an official.

What appeared to be a late hit on Brandon Dent in the second period by Doug Scott prompted Eric Olson to jump in to protect his teammate.

Scott may have suffered a fractured nose during the fight.

Grimwood said things seemed to settle down after that.

Sunday's win, the Warriors fourth in a row, moved them into a second place tie with the Penticton Vees, both just a single point in back of Interior Division leading Wenatchee.

The Warriors conclude the pre-Christmas portion of their schedule with back-to-back games with Penticton on the weekend.

They play in Penticton Friday before hosting the Vees for their annual Teddy Bear Toss night Saturday.

The Warriors will then be off until the new year.

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