BCHL  

Warriors, Vees eliminated

The BC Hockey League season has come to an abrupt end for both the West Kelowna Warriors and the Penticton Vees.

In Wenatchee, it was yet another disastrous second period that was the Warriors Achilles heel.

The Warriors saw a 2-0 lead quickly evaporate in the middle period in a 6-3 defeat in game seven of their best-of-seven first round BCHL playoff series.

The Warriors were outscored 11-3 collectively during the second period over the seven games.

West Kelowna had two chances to close out the series, having takes a 3-2 lead following their victory Friday night at Royal LePage Place.

But, a 3-1 loss Sunday forced Monday's seventh and deciding game.

Lucas Cullen deflected Wyatt Head's point shot on a power play giving the Warriors a 1-0 lead. Then, just 53 seconds later, Willie Rein notched his first of the series to put the Warriors up 2-0.

But, as they did in game three, the Wild exploded during the second period.

Wenatchee captain Lucas Sowder picked up the natural hat trick, scoring consecutive goals at 1:56, 4:47 and 11:04 shorthanded, to give the Wild a 3-2 lead - one they would not relinquish.

PJ Fletcher added one more before the period was over to put the Wild up by two heading into the final 20 minutes.

Cullen cut the deficit to one on a breakaway with more than 11 minutes left in the third.

However, with the Warriors putting on pressure, the Wild broke out two-on-one. Fletcher converted the odd-man rush for his second of the night.

Wenatchee closed out the scoring into an empty net.

Connor Hopkins turned away 33 shots in taking the loss.

The Wild will face the Cowichan Valley Capitals in the Interior Division semi-final, after the Caps fashioned one of the biggest upsets in recent memory.

Cowichan, the final team to gain entry into the playoffs, knocked off Interior Division regular season champion Penticton in six games.

They dumped the Vees 3-1 in Duncan Monday night for a 4-2 series victory.

David Melaragni opened the scoring for the Capitals on a first period power play.

After a scoreless second, Dan McIntyre doubled the lead midway through the third. Kolton Cousins iced it into an empty net with three minutes to go.

Lukas Sillinger ruined Pierce Diamond's shutout bid in the final minute.

The other Interior semi-final will feature the Trail Smoke Eaters and Vernon Vipers.



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