Cardiac Warriors salvage improbable tie
The West Kelowna Warriors should replace their logo with a heart monitor machine.
The 'Cardiac Kids' got another improbably point Sunday in a 7-7 overtime tie in Chilliwack concluding a three game road trip in which they earned five of a possible six points - all in come-from-behind fashion.
In Chilliwack the Warriors looked like they might win in a romp. They built up a 5-2 lead just 2:26 into the second period, however, the Chiefs, losers of seven in a row didn't fold their tent.
Chilliwack scored five unanswered goals, the last coming with two-and-a-half minutes left in regulation, giving the Chiefs what looked like an insurmountable lead.
Cue the comeback. David Pope scored his second of the night on a power-play with 55 seconds left and Cody Porter on the bench.
Then, with eight seconds left, Pope completed the hat trick and the comeback when he banged home a centering pass from Carl Hesler.
Pope had a chance to win it when he was selected to take a penalty shot in the second overtime period, however, his backhand deke was stopped by Josh Halpenny.
Carl Hesler, Reid Simmonds, Matt Anholt and Jason Cotton also scored for the Warriors. Pope had an assist to go along with his goal while Cotton picked up three helpers. Hesler and Liam Blackburn also chipped in with a pair of assists.
"It was a crazy game," understated Warriors associate coach Brent Gough on the team's post game show.
"With the team we have you would think we could have locked that one down. But credit to them - they worked hard. At 5-2 they could have packed it in but they didn't, they kept coming at us."
Gough says at 5-2 the team just just their foot off the gas.
"I don't think we gave Cody (Porter) a lot of help either."
And, as for the final minute.
"We don't have any set plays. We just tell the guys to get pucks to the net."
The Warriors had several chances to win it in overtime. Pope was stopped on the penalty shot while Halpenny made three stops on Seb Lloyd in close and Pope again in the dying seconds.
Ben Tegtmeyer thought he had scored the winner on a breakaway in OT, however, the referee ruled the puck had not crossed the line.
Porter was forced to make a key save off Mathieu Tibbet late in the second overtime.
The tie increased the Warriors unbeaten streak to an even dozen games (10-0-2-0).
In five of those games they trailed at one point by two goals and in one other (Friday in Victoria), they trailed by three.
On three occasions, they scored twice in the final 90 seconds to tie the game and force overtime. Ironically, Pope has scored five of those six goals and assisted on the sixth.
The Warriors get some well deserved time off before a pair of key Interior Conference tilts.
West Kelowna play in Merritt Friday and host the Vernon Vipers in a four-pointer Saturday.
The Warriors are enter the week firmly entrenched in second spot in the interior. They are three points back of division leading Penticton and six up on second place Vernon.
West Kelowna have a game in hand on Penticton and two in hand on the Vipers.
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