Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Game 3 Recap Fred Page Cup Finals

The West Kelowna Warriors were knocked off by the Chilliwack Chiefs in Game 3 on Monday night at Royal LePage Place by a 3-1 score.

The Chiefs had some good looks in the first period but Matthew Greenfield was sharp throughout the frame, finding his way around screens to make some key stops and keep it scoreless. It was the Chiefs who controlled the shot clock in the frame, as they did in Game 1 early on. Shots were 12-5 Chilliwack after the first 20 minutes of play.

Early on in the second period, a clearing attempt off the faceoff bounced off the linesman's leg and as Jordan Kawaguchi came around the net he spotted Connor McCarthy at the top of the right circle who opened the scoring with a wrist shot.

West Kelowna tied the game up off a sneaky face-off play where Connor Sodergren won the draw back with his skate. It was one of those creative plays that maybe Team USA Rugby should take a look at Sodergren for creating offense and getting the biscuit out of their scrums. Garrett Forster was the recipient of the great footwork and buried past Aidan Pelino.

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The Chiefs retook the lead later in the period after a Warriors turnover allowed the Chiefs enter the zone and create a great opportunity, as Darien Craighead finished it off from Vimal Sukumaran off the rebound of Matthew Greenfield's pad, which was a remarkable effort in itself. That's how the second period ended as the Warriors really didn't get the opportunities in the frame until the final two minutes, with only 12 total shots to that point in the frame, and finishing it with 16 shots on goal.

In the third, the Warriors got turned around on the Chiefs third goal, and allowed Kawaguchi to walk along the goal line and get around Greenfield on the backhand to go up 3-1. The Warriors just couldn't recover from that moment on, as they tried late in the third period, but credit the Chiefs for sticking to their defensive guns and blocking shots and dumping pucks into the Warriors zone late. 

As it was earlier in the series as well, the final seconds had a pair of aggressive skirmishes that featured numerous game misconducts and penalties as the frustration levels boiled over. 

Game Thoughts:
  • The Warriors got beat to the puck more often than not tonight, and it was tough to tell if it was the Chiefs reading where the puck would be faster than West Kelowna, or if their effort level was just better than the Warriors on the night. Rylan Ferster mentioned post-game that the Warriors best players weren't playing like they can on the night, and that the veteran group is likely to respond on Tuesday.
  • The aggression in this series has gone up another level, and it boiled over before the buzzer again tonight. Reed Gunville challenged Linden Hora at the end of the game and was turned down, as multiple misconducts were handed out. Hora was able to play in the game tonight after his five-minute major for a blow to the head and automatic two-game suspension was rescinded by the league ahead of Game 3. Judging by the comments from Jason Tatarnic in the interview that ran in the first intermission, he wasn't happy with the penalty in the first place, and alluded to the fact that he felt the Warriors faked their way to power plays in Game 2. Not sure there was much faking at all happening in Game 3, but nobody seems prepared to answer the bell if its about to ring.
  • The Warriors got Kristian Blumenschein back tonight but he saw very limited action in the game, although he was out there late as the Warriors tried to get within one. Quin Foreman collided hard with Jonathan Desbiens in the second period and did not return. No word on his status for Game 4.
  • Speaking of Game 4, can you say "pivotal"? With the Chiefs trying to regain home ice with a victory, and the Warriors trying to push Chilliwack to the brink of elimination, it should make for a fantastic game. The Warriors faithful weren't given enough opportunities to make noise on Monday, but if I know the group inside that Warriors dressing room, there will be enough to cheer about on Tuesday. Get your tickets, it's going to be loud.
Ticket Sales start at 9 AM Tuesday morning and go until 4 PM at the Warriors office. Call 250-769-7051 between those hours to reserve with Visa or Mastercard. The box office opens at 6 PM. 


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