Sep 10, 2012 / 8:51 am
The Warriors made it two for two at the BCHL Showcase with a 6-1 victory over the Surrey Eagles on Sunday.
The triumph wasn’t nearly as comfortable as the 6-0 win over Salmon Arm had been the night before.
In fact, for the first 10 minutes or so the Eagles were the better team, and had the Warriors hemmed in their own zone for extended periods.
However, the Warriors gradually pulled away, thanks largely to the overpowering line of Max French, Brett McKinnon and Reid Simmonds.
French and McKinnon both found the back of the net on Sunday, and after two games for every BCHL team the duo sits atop the league scoring table.
McKinnon, who had two assists to go with his goal Sunday has six points through two games while French leads in goals with four..
West Kelowna’s other goals came from Jetlan Houcher (his first BCHL goal), Seb Lloyd, Shawn Hochhausen, and Mathew Berry-Lamontagna.
Former Warrior Brett Mulcahy provided the lone Surrey marker on a power-play midway through the first period.
Tyler Briggs earned his second win of the weekend in the West Kelowna net, stopping 29 of the 30 shots sent his way, while Edward Dyson suffered the loss for Surrey.
“We’re here to win” is the simple message Tyler Briggs hopes his team’s performance sends to the league.
With the gap widening in the third period, the Eagles began to let their frustrations boil over, leading to some penalty trouble.
And, after finishing with the worst power-play in the BCHL last season, the Warriors moved the puck effectively on the man advantage on Sunday, converting twice.
Berry scored the second power-play marker and the sixth and final goal on the night and admits that finding success was vital.
“Even when the lead was increased we wanted to keep pushing. You never want to take your foot off the gas” he says, adding “any time you can pot a power-play goal it’s good for your confidence.”
The Warriors now return to Royal LePage Place for their home opener on Sept. 14th vs. Penticton. The defending champ Vees also won both of their games at the showcase, meaning Friday’s match-up will be an early battle for the Interior conference lead.
It will also be the first match-up of the season between two clubs poised to battle for the conference title this season. “That’s a first-place game” says Berry, “so we’re going to be expecting big things and we’re going to come out hard.”
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