Warriors dispatch Express
The new acquisitions fit in smoothly as the Warriors pounded Coquitlam on Friday.
Winners of eight of their past ten, the Warriors struck three times in the opening four minutes, eventually cruising to a 7-2 victory.
Bolstered by a trio of trade-deadline acquisitions, West Kelowna got a goal from each forward line as well as a pair from the back-end.
Captain Matt Anholt kickstarted West Kelowna’s offence when his centring feed bounced off Coquitlam defender Anthony Gardner and past goalie Gordie Defiel less than two minutes into the game.
Goals from Seb Lloyd and David Pope soon gave the Warriors a 3-0 lead, digging a hole the Express seemed unlikely to dig out of.
Defencemen Ryan Fraser-Lee and Braden Pears both added their first goals as Warriors, while Adam Osczevski and a second from Pope would round out West Kelowna’s attack.
“I thought they were all pretty good” Warriors Head Coach / GM Rylan Ferster said of his new pick-ups, also paying tribute to Nathan Craft’s ‘hard’ and ‘physical’ style. “They all came as advertised.”
“I thought we played a pretty structured game tonight” Ferster surmised. “That’s a fast team you’re playing. They’ve got some huge skill over there.”
Coquitlam scored two goals (Marc Biega and Canon Pieper) on 23 shots on Andy Desautels, with Cody Porter replacing the Warriors starter in the second intermission.
Desautels left the game after 40 minutes due to an apparent upper-body injury, with Kylar Hope and Jordan Masters also knocked out with what Ferster also called upper-body injuries.
“I thought our kids did a good job” Ferster says of a lineup altered due to the injuries and trades, but still able to outplay the Express for long stretches of the night.
Acquired from Trail before the deadline, Braden Pears notched his 4th goal of the year in the second period to open his account with West Kelowna.
“I’m really happy to be here.” the Victoria native grins.
Pears played key minutes for the Warriors in his debut and says he’s excited to join the promising club. “I’m just happy to meet all the guys and be here on a really good team.”
The result, combined with a 4-3 triumph on Oct. 25th, gives the Warriors a season sweep over Coquitlam as well as temporary possession of second place in the Interior Division.
The Warriors have a one-point lead over third place Vernon with a game in hand, with the Vipers set to host Coquitlam on Saturday.
The Warriors are off until a Wednesday visit to Penticton, and trail the first-place Vees by seven points.
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