Courtesy Jon Zacks
The Warriors climbed out of another hole, salvaging a single point in Prince George, Saturday in a 3-2 double overtime loss to the Spruce Kings.
Trailing 2-0 after a sluggish opening period, the Warriors surged in the second half of the game, fighting back to tie the game before Jeremiah Luedtke delivered the winner in extra time.
Christian Weidauer opened the scoring seven minutes into the game when he blasted a tipped puck through Cody Porter’s legs on Prince George’s first power-play of the game.
The Spruce Kings doubled their lead soon after when Jake LeBrun jumped on a lively carom and fired a quick release over Porter’s shoulder.
“It was just a slow start for us” West Kelowna defenceman Adam Plant says of his team’s sleepy first period. “Call it travel or a massive meal before – we don’t want to get into excuses – we just need to come to the game ready to go every time.”
Midway through the second, the Warriors began their ascent.
The turnaround seemed to begin when Adam Plant fought Justin Rai. Plant says the encounter was just the product of a “bang-bang play,” however it seemed to spark his club.
A Seb Lloyd net drive soon led to a Sean Landrey tripping minor, with Plant converting an ensuing goal-mouth scramble to get West K. on the board.
The Warriors kept pressing in the third, finally earning the equalizer when Plant set up Jason Cotton in the high slot.
“We were just getting pucks deep, getting shots on net, and getting our rebounds” Plant thinks, adding “we were hungrier around the net.”
With five minutes still remaining in regulation, the Warriors had momentum and generated a few chances to earn the win.
Regulation time concluded with the score still tied 2-2, however, and the Spruce Kings took over in overtime.
Prince George outshot West Kelowna 9-3 in overtime, and earned the extra point when Luedtke fired through traffic two minutes into 3-on-3 double OT.
Disappointed by the defeat, Plant still knows his team can be proud of earning five of a possible six points in three road games this week.
“We would like to get all the points, of course” Plant concedes, also suggesting “every point is precious, so if we can come back and sneak a point out its good for us.”
With Penticton’s 3-0 victory in Surrey, West Kelowna trails Penticton by three points in the race for first in the Interior Division, with one game in hand.
The Warriors also need just two more wins (with eight games remaining) to clinch a playoff spot.