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BCHL  

Six different players scored as West Kelowna doubled visiting Prince George 6-3 Wednesday

Warriors earn important win

Wins in hockey are worth two points no matter when in the season they come.

But some games seem just a little more important than others.

Wednesday at Royal LePage Place may have been one of those for the West Kelowna Warriors.

The Warriors kicked off a busy four games in five nights stretch on the right foot, beating division-rival Prince George Spruce Kings 6-3.

It wasn't as much getting the win as how they did it.

Down 1-0 after a first period in which they were unable to generate much in the offensive zone, the Warriors increased the urgency a notch in the second, scoring four unanswered goals to take the lead, then scoring twice late after the Spruce Kings had climbed to within a goal.

"We just said stick with the process, stay with the plan and I thought we did that mostly through all three periods," said head coach Simon Ferguson.

"I think pucks just went in we got some bounces," he said of the difference between the first and second.

"We are still playing in the right areas, the power play finally gets two after a five or six game hiatus, so that's good to see as well."

It didn't take long for the Warriors to be rewarded in the second. Isaiah Norlin drilled his third of the year. Luke Devlin's initial shot was stopped, but a juicy rebound came right to Norlin who blasted a shot past Jordan Fairlie from the right circle.

Devlin used his 6'4" frame to his advantage to give the Warriors their first lead five minutes later.

He powered his way to the front of the net from the right wing then muscled the puck past Fairlie.

Brennan Nelson connected on the power play seconds later deflecting Ben McDonald's shot before defenceman Matt Fusco roofed a wrist shot from the left dot.

The Spruce Kings got one back near the end of the second and another midway through the third on a power play to close the deficit to one.

But, the Warriors closed it out late in the period.

Felix Caron banged home a rebound for his sixth on a power play with less than four minutes left in regulation and McDonald notched his ninth with another rebound two minutes later.

Special teams were key for the Warriors Wednesday scoring twice on six chances while allowing just a cheap one while short handed.

"I'm very happy with the PK. It's been a sore point," added Ferguson.

"Then in the last segment, the last 11 games we were about 17 per cent on the power play, and the guys know that's not good enough.

"We made a few adjustments and I thought it was much better tonight."

Also much better was Devlin, who brought the crowd to their feet with his highlight reel goal.

After a slow start to the season, Devlin is starting to show why the Warriors brought him in and why he was an NHL draft pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"It's always got to be a patient game. At the end of the day coming out of Prep or U18, wherever they came from, it's a big jump, it's a good league.

"It takes some time and tonight was a good game for him and another step in the right direction."

The Warriors hit the road Thursday morning for Cranbrook and the start of a three game weekend.

They'll play in Cranbrook Friday, Trail Saturday and Wenatchee Sunday before returning home.



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