Warriors fall 2-1 to Cranbrook on Community Heroes Night

Warriors drop heartbreaker

On a night when the West Kelowna Warriors recognized heroic effort made by firefighters and other community organizations, it was Cranbrook Bucks goaltender who was on fire.

The Bucks netminder was the difference Friday night in a 2-1 victory before nearly 1,100 disappointed fans at Royal LePage Place.

Some nights you're the better team and deserve a better fate but the goaltender at the other end of the rink is just that much better.

That was the case Friday.

"I think for the most part we played a simple, hard, offensive game but it's just some night the goalie over had a stellar performance. We hit a couple of posts and just lost the game on two plays," said assistant coach Ayrton Nikkel.

The Warriors had numerous opportunities to get on the board early, especially on the penalty kill.

Felix Caron fired high on a shorthanded breakaway then a pair of two-on-ones in short succession failed to click, including a post off the stick of Jack Pridham with Capton clearly beaten.

Cal Hughes, who scored clutch goals in the two opening weekend wins was stoned on a one-timer from in close 90 seconds into the third with the game knotted at a goal apiece.

Noah Urness opened the scoring for the Bucks against the run of the play. After another Warriors opportunity went array, the Bucks turned the play the other way.

Urness stepped around a defender in the left circle and beat Rorke Applebee to the far corner.

The goal looked like it might stand as the only goal of the night.

But, the Warriors finally solved Capton late in the middle frame when captain Brennan Nelson tipped home a shot from the point for his first of the season on the power play with just 40 seconds left in the period.

The game remained tie until, again against the run of play what seemed like a harmless shot deflected off a skate and off Applebee's pad. The rebound dropped right at Oskar Cederqvist's stick who deposited the fortuitous bounce into a wide open net.

A string of penalties late in the third prevented the Warriors from mounting any sort of late flourish.

"For the most part I thought we controlled the pace of play," said Nikkel.

"They had to react to what we were doing. We carried the game for the majority of it but just a couple break downs don't go our way and yea, I thought we deserved a better fate."

The Warriors outshot the Bucks 29-26.

The Warriors, 2-1 on the season, will look to get back into the win column Saturday when they entertain the Trail Smoke Eaters.

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