It was an eventful night inside Cominco to say the least on Wednesday night, as the Smoke Eaters and Warriors facedoff for the first time this season.
Simon Ferguson, head coach of the Warriors said pre game that his team was focused on their start. Well just 45 secconds into the game, Warriors captain Elan Bar-Lev-Wise scored to give the road team their 1-0 advantage. Leads, for the most part, were short lived all night as the Smoke Eaters would respond with few positive shift and score and equalizer as Coalson Wolford and Zach Michaelis combined. Michaelis has now scored in all three games for the Smoke Eaters to start the year as he put home the 2-0 chance for the Smoke Eaters
The Warriors answer came minutes later through John Evens who added his first of two in the night to restore the West Kelowna lead. That was also short lived as the Smoke Eaters power play, which could have gone 9/9 tonight given the opportunities they created added their first of two as Quinn Disher set up Teddy Lagerback for his first goal in front of the Cominco crowd to level the game at 2.
In the second the power plays added up for the Smoke Eaters, and looking back they’ll see that as a missed opportunity to take the lead and then extend on it. But they did take advantage of a crucial 5-on-3 just past the halfway mark of the period as Lagerback returned the favour to Disher who opened his 2021 goal account.
The Warriors answered back seconds later as Evans beat Fradette with a sneak shot through the legs of Moger to tie the game at 3. Then a defensive breakdown burned the Smoke Eaters again late in the period as Alexi Van Houtte-Cachero was gifted the opportunity to restore the Warriors lead and made no mistake. Warriors took a 4-3 lead to the third.
The third started just as disastrously as the first did as Felix Trudeau would keep the puck on a 2-on-1 and beat Fradette for what would be the eventual game winner just 55 seconds into the period. The Smoke Eaters answered with a quick one of their own as Connor Michaud scored his first of the year 16 seconds later.
That would be as close as the Smoke Eaters would get despite a late push in the final minutes of the game.
The Smoke Eaters will now regroup and prepare for Friday’s nights game in Penticton against the Vees. Puck drop is 7pm from the South Okanagan Event