Blazing Warriors grill Smokies

The West Kelowna Warriors are rolling at just the right time.

The Warriors equalled a season high with their fourth win in a row Tuesday doubling the visiting Trail Smoke Eaters 4-2 at Royal LePage Place.

Seb Lloyd, Marcus Basara, Max French and Brennan Clark into an empty net all scored for the Warriors.

With the game tied 2-2 early in the third and the Warriors buzzing all around the Smoke Eaters net French found a loose puck and fired it past Adam Todd.

The goal would stand up as the game winner.

While French's timely marker helped the Warriors extend their winning streak it was Basara's deft deflection of Josh Monk's point shot on a Warriors power-play that really got the Warriors rolling.

"Any time you get a power-play goal it can be a momentum booster and I thought it was at such a good time when we needed one," says Warriors head coach Rylan Ferster.

"It was kind of a greasy goal but we needed that one for sure."

Trail led 1-0 after one but, despite the deficit, the Warriors still had a look of a confident team with and without the puck.

That confidence has been building since the turn of the new year as the club has gone 10-1-1-1 since the calender turned to 2013.

Ferster pointed to a healthier roster and deadline deals that have brought crafty forwards Danny Gayle and Mitch Nardi to the fold.

The Warriors coach also pointed to timely saves from Tyler Briggs who was named the second star for the third game in a row.

"I think that's what goaltending is all about is making the timely save and he's done it again and again," says Ferster.

"Tonight in the third it's 3-2 and he makes that one coming across. We'd probably be in overtime without it. He's been good for us but we expect that from him."

Briggs turned aside 30 shots including two spectacular saves on the sequence Ferster referenced.

The Warriors finished the night 2-1 with the man advantage while holding the Smoke Eaters to just one goal on their five opportunities.

Tuesday's win moved the Warriors nine points up on fourth place Salmon Arm and within two of second place Merritt.

They are also just one win away from clinching a playoff spot.

The Warriors will be tested as they hit the road this weekend for games in Chilliwack (Friday), Powell River (Saturday) and Port Alberni (Sunday afternoon).

They don't return home again until February 26 when the Vernon Vipers invade Royal LePage Place.

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