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BCHL  

Warriors go streaking

Can't win on the road - refuse to lose at home.

That's life these days for the West Kelowna Warriors.

The Warriors won their sixth straight on home ice Sunday afternoon, holding off the pesky Prince George Spruce Kings.

The club has also dropped five straight away from Royal LePage Place.

Special teams were key to the Warriors win Sunday, as the power play connected on two of three chances. The Spruce Kings got a late power play goal to make it interesting, and also burned the West Kelowna power play with a short handed marker.

Despite only scoring four times and managing just 28 shots, the Warriors did a good job of keeping the puck in the Prince George end for large chunks of Sunday's game.

They dominated much of the opening 10 or 12 minutes and had the better of the play for most of the second period, but had just a 3-2 lead to show for their effort.

"They're not an easy team to play against," said Warriors coach Rylan Ferster of the Spruce Kings.

In the defensive zone, he said they do a good job of playing down low. They don't give you a lot, he said.

The pressure by the Warriors paid off early as newly acquired Lucas Cullen stole the puck in the neutral zone, chipped it off the boards and raced around a defender to create a two-on-one.

Cullen buried his third of the season on the back end of a pretty give-and-go with captain Jared Marino.

Chase Stevenson doubled the lead 13 minutes in when his one-timer from the slot off a pretty feed from Parm Dhaliwal on a power play, beat Bradley Cooper to the short side.

Moments later, the visitors found themselves short handed again, but it was the Spruce Kings who took advantage as Kyle Johnson beat newly signed Cody Porter to cut the lead in half.

Michael Lombardi restored the two-goal lead just 35 seconds into the middle frame when his quick wrap around just beat Cooper to the near post. The goal came just after Cooper robbed Cavin Tilsley on a breakaway off the opening faceoff.

The Spruce Kings got that one back late in the period to again cut the Warriors lead to just one.

Martina got one of his own two minutes into the third on another power play. Again, it was a perfect feed from Dhaliwal that allowed Marino to bang home his seventh of the campaign.

Ben Brar roofed a wrist shot high to the short side with three minutes to go on a six-on-four power play with Cooper to again get the visitors to within a single goal.

But, the Spruce Kings were unable to mount much sustained pressure on Porter with Cooper on the bench over the final few minutes.

The win was the Warriors 14th of the season, moving them a point up on Wenatchee for third in the Interior Division. They're three better than fifth place Penticton and six in back of the second place Vernon Vipers.

Prior to the game, the Warriors announced they had added the 20-year-old Porter to the roster. Porter, whom played with the Warriors four seasons ago, played two games with the St. John’s Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior League before being released.

He is playing in place of Nik Amundrud, still recovering from injury.

The Warriors also acquired 18-year-old defenceman Spencer Hora from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in exchange for future considerations.

Hora, a Kelowna native, has 10 assists in 21 games this season. He is currently serving a four-game suspension for a blow to the head major. He's eligible to return to the ice Friday when the Warriors host Penticton.

In another move, defenceman Nathan Reilly was dealt to the Whitecourt Wolverines of the Alberta Junior Hockey League for future considerations.

And, forward Bennett Norlin was placed on injured reserve, after he was hurt in Wednesday's win over Salmon Arm.

The Warriors return to the ice in Vernon Wednesday, where they will try and snap that five game road losing skid. They host Penticton Friday and play in Prince George Saturday.



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