Penticton Vees edged the West Kelowna Warriors 3-2 At RLP

Warriors 11th one-goal loss

A power play goal here, a key stop there, or a timely goal somewhere and the West Kelowna Warriors may find themselves in a better position then they do.

The Warriors dropped their 11th one-goal game Saturday, a 3-2 setback at the hands of the Interior Division-leading Penticton Vees.

Jackson Neidermeyer scored twice and Liam Malmquist banged home the winner on a scramble in front of Johnny Derrick early in the third to provide the winners with all the offence they would need.

John Evans and Tyler Cristall on a late third period power play replied for the Warriors, who fell for the second night in a row to the undermanned Vees.

Penticton played with just 16 skaters due to injury.

"I thought it was a back-and-forth game. There was a lot of character shown," said head coach Brandon West.

"It was one of those games that the bounces seemed to find their sticks in front of the net. Obviously we need to find the extra goal when we get the chances.

The Warriors did have a few good chances in close to get the equalizer, but were unable to find a way past netminder Carl Stankowski.

The two teams battled through an even, back-and-forth opening 20 minutes before the Vees took over in the second.

Neidermeyer opened the scoring 43 seconds into the second period, backhanding a rebound past Derrick.

Evans got that one back three minutes later. Cristall did a lot of work, getting the puck into the Penticton corner, before turning and throwing a pass to the front of the net. Evans tipped the pass past Stankowski for his seventh of the campaign.

Neidermeyer restored the one-goal lead with a spectacular individual effort. He powered his way around a defender, but hard toward the front of the net, crossed through the top of the crease and tucked the puck into the open side.

The Vees out shot West Kelowna 19-5 in the second, but despite the wide edge in play, were only able to get two past Derrick, who again played well enough to give his team a chance.

Down 3-1 with less than five minutes to play, Evans capped off a pretty three -way passing play, beating Stankowski with a backhand from the right circle.

The Warriors managed just 20 shots in the contest as Penticton outshot them 35-20.

Once again, the line of Brandon Pigeon, Cristall and Evans was the one bright offensive light for the Warriors, creating most of the chances over the course of the game.

"They work really hard, they all have their own little skill set and, right now, they have a lot chemistry.

"The minutes they are playing as young men are going to benefit them in the future. We feel those guys are playing important minutes right now and delivering."

The Warriors will continue to work throughout the week at working through the offensive frustration that has befallen them before another key weekend against division opponents.

They'll travel to Trail Friday before returning home to host Wenatchee on Teddy Bear toss night next Saturday.

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