Warriors streak snapped at a dozen

The West Kelowna Warriors unbeaten streak was snapped at 12 but they still managed to make up ground on the division leading Penticton Vees.

Sam Johnson scored with 51 seconds left in the second overtime period Friday leading the Merritt Centennials to a thrilling 2-1 overtime win over the Warriors in Merritt.

The single point allowed the Warriors to climb to with two points of the Interior Division leading Vees who were beaten 2-1 at home by the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

Johnson's winner came on a two-on-one break as he converted a feed from Adam Tracey.

Merritt had chances to end it early in the second overtime frame.

Andy Desautels got the better of Diego Cuglietta on a breakaway in the opening seconds of the second overtime. Seconds later Cuglietta rang a shot off the post.

It was the Warriors who had a great chance to end it in the first overtime frame when Matt Anholt and Liam Blackburn skated in on a two man breakaway.

They played give-and-go, however Devin Kero denied Blackburn's attempt at a sixth game winner for the Warriors.

As has been the case through much of their unbeaten streak, the Warriors had to fight from behind to force overtime.

Scott Patterson staked the Centennials to a 1-0 lead just four minutes into the game.

The goal stood up until defenceman Taki Pantziris' blast from the point hit something and deflected past Kero to even the score 1-1.

It stayed that way through the balance of regulation time and most of overtime.

For the first time all season the Warriors did not allow the opposition to go onto the power-play.

The Centennials took just two minor penalties, both in the second period. The Warriors were unable to capitalize on either.

The Warriors return home for their first time in a couple of weeks when they host the Vernon Vipers Saturday at Royal LePage Place.

The Vipers come into the game five points behind the second place Warriors. The Warriors also hold two games in hand.

The Vees meantime make the trip north to Salmon Arm Saturday to conclude their home-and-home set.


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