Warriors get back in win column with 5-3 win over Trail

Warriors singe Smokies

The West Kelowna Warriors found their way back into the win column Saturday night.

The Warriors got goals from five different players in a 5-3 nailbiter over the visiting Trail Smoke Eaters.

As was the case the night before, the Warriors were by far the better team but were unable to finish some Grade A chances.

Felix Caron fanned on a perfectly executed backdoor play from the edge of the crease and Michael Salandra was robbed by Teagan Kendrick who threw down his arm and stopped the Warriors veteran who made a slick forehand deke but was unable to put the puck past the netminder from in tight.

It's been that way for much of the season but as head coach Simon Ferguson points out those chances will eventually turn into goals.

"Always. We had a couple of wide open nets that we missed and hit a couple of posts, so those are all good things," he said.

"For me, I'm always watching the D-side of it and what we're doing there and let them be a little more creative on the O-side."

Caron, Jack Pridham, Jackson Kyrkostas and Caden Kemkaran-Humble with their first BCHL goals and Salandra into the empty net scored the goals for the Warriors.

Trailing 1-0 against the run of play, Caron finally got the monkey off his back when he snapped a shot past Kendrick off the rush moments after the Smokies had opened the scoring.

Goals 38 seconds apart early in the second from Kyrkostas on a power play and Kemkaran-Humble at the end of a pretty three-way passing play opened up a two-goal lead and seemed to be enough to send the Warriors on their way.

But, the opportunistic Smoke Eaters wouldn't go away. Adam Marshall tipped home a point shot to pull Trail to within a goal.

The teams traded goals in the first half of the third before Salandra iced it into an empty net.

Matthew DellaRusso, making his first BCHL start Saturday, wasn't as busy but, came up with a game-saving stop with the game on the line late in the third.

With the Warriors killing a late penalty DellaRusso made a spectacular glove save off a Josh Schenk one-timer labeled for the top corner.

"The game was on the line and he made the save, but I go back to the three plays before that ended up in that scenario and wonder why we made those decisions.

"That's something we'll work on and continue to work on."

One area the Warriors have worked on almost to perfection is their penalty kill. Since giving up a goal to Penticton on their first penalty kill of the season the Warriors have been perfect, killing off 14 straight penalties.

The Warriors were 1-4 with the man advantage.

West Kelowna outshot Trail 39-21 over the course of the evening.

The Warriors were without the services of forward Johannes Løkkeberg who began serving a two-game suspension for a hit to the head penalty he was assessed during Friday's 2-1 loss to Cranbrook.

The Warriors and Salmon Arm share the Interior Division lead with identical 3-1 record.

The two teams will go head-to-head for the first time next weekend. They meet Friday in Salmon Arm before a return engagement the next night at Riyal LePage Place.

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