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West Kelowna Warriors made it a perfect 3-for-3 weekend

Warriors perfect weekend

Make it three straight and counting for the West Kelowna Warriors.

The Warriors broke open a tight game with three unanswered goals in the third, beating the visiting Alberni Valley Bulldogs 6-2 Sunday afternoon.

Carter Wilkie and Colby Elmer each scored twice while Johnny Derrick capped off his perfect weekend making 46 saves, including 24 during a hectic second period when the Bulldogs did everything but run the Warriors out of their own building.

The Warriors took advantage, dominating the third period, and preventing the Bulldogs from making a comeback. They held the visitors to just six shots over the final 20 minutes, most of those during the final three minutes.

Interim head coach Simon Ferguson said the message going into the third period was clear, manage the puck.

"We've got some guys who can skate - we've got some horses. We just want to play to our strengths," said Ferguson.

"As long as we're taking care of the puck and managing it properly, hopefully it works out.

"We want to manage the areas of the game that can cost us, and I thought we did that well, beyond one too many penalties."

The Warriors got the start they wanted. Off the opening draw, the Warriors controlled the puck and entered the Alberni end with numbers. Nick Ardenaz got the puck to Holden Kodak, whose shot was stopped, however, Colby Elmer was on the doorstep to backhand home the rebound just 21 seconds in.

The goal snapped a 27 game goalless drought for Elmer.

He wouldn't have to wait 27 games for his next.

After the Bulldogs tied it, Kodak intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and sent Elmer away. He skated down the right wing, cut toward the slot, and sent a backhand from a sharp angle just under the bar and through the only slight opening he had.

"He's a confidence guy," said Ferguson. "You could tell he was squeezing his stick. He was still trying to do a little too much at the end, but sometimes you have to let those guys run a little."

Drew Vieten added to the lead late in the second, converting Deegan Mofford's pass on a two-on-one.

The Bulldogs took over the game in the second, thanks in part to four power plays. They connected on one to make it 3-2, then had to more chances with the man advantage in the dying minutes of the period, but Derrick came up big, making three or four spectacular saves off point blank chances.

Wilkie with a pair and Mofford with a power play goal, his four goals in three games sealed it for the Warriors in the third.

The Warriors have now won three in a row for the first time since they won four straight in early December, 2018.

They'll try to make it four straight and stretch their lead over Merritt Friday when they entertain the Surrey Eagles. Cowichan Valley will be in West Kelowna Saturday night.



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