West Kelowna Warriors 3-game winning streak has come to an end

Warriors crash hard

The West Kelowna Warriors looked like anything but the team that won three straight just a week ago.

They were slow, lethargic and sloppy Friday in a 7-3 defeat at the hands of the visiting Surrey Eagles.

"I think a lot of it came down to a little bit of overconfidence from the week before probably, and some immaturity, and learning how to compete night to night," said head coach Simon Ferguson.

"I think we thought we were going to come out and all of a sudden we're really good and we're going to cake walk. And, that's not what happened."

The Warrior also didn't have an answer for the Eagles top trio of Cristophe Tellier, Gabe Schovanek and Hudson Schandor. The three had a hand in six of the seven goals, and accumulated a combined 14 points.

Tellier led the scoring parade with a goal and five assists, Schovanek had a goal and four helpers while Schandor accumulated a goal and two assists..

Brandon Santa Juana, Kenny Riddett, Owen Nolan and Wyatt Schlaht also scored for the Eagles.

Drew Vieten, Nick Ardenaz and Tyler Cristall replied for the Warriors.

Surrey got on the board three minutes in when Santa Juana converted a backdoor one-timer near the end of a two-man advantage.

Vieten got that one back just after the Warriors returned to even strength, but goals less than two-minutes apart midway through the first gave the Eagles a two-goal lead - one they would never be in danger of relinquishing.

They blew the game open with two goals early in the second.

The Warriors threatened to make a game of it when Ardanaz scored a power play goal in the final minute, and they were handed a power play early in the third.

However, they were unable to capitalize, and the Eagles kept the lead at three or four the rest of the way.

Johnny Derrick let in the first six before being replaced by newcomer Riley Morgan with 13 minutes left.

Morgan made three sparkling saves before allowing the final tally of the night.

The Warriors had trouble all night neutralizing the Eagles speed, especially as they transitioned through the neutral zone.

It's a part of the Warriors game Ferguson says he's been trying to correct.

"Our neutral zone structure we worked on in practice.

"It's a trademark of a young team who wants to score some goals, but there's got to be some structure to it. I thought we lost that tonight, along with our effort."

The Warriors get a chance to redeem themselves Saturday when they entertain the Cowichan Valley Capitals.

This will be their stiffest test to date, as the Capitals lead the Island Division with 63 points.

Prior to the game, the Warriors announced their new leadership group for the balance of the season.

First-year players Ryan Novakosky, Carter Wilkie and John Evans were named assistant captains following the departure of their three previous assistants.

“We are very excited to announce these young men as our leadership group for the remainder of the season,” said Ferguson. 

“Carter, Ryan and John have shown great leadership on and off the ice. I have no doubt they continue to be impact players and lead the way.”

All three are eligible to return next season.

Jake Harrison remains the captain, despite missing all but the first period and a half of the season.

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