Apr 2013 05

West Kelowna Warriors Eliminated

Posted in Featured, Sports

The Warriors are out of the playoffs after a 2-1 overtime loss in game five of the Interior Conference finals on Thursday.

It was another terrific game from West Kelowna, and the Warriors had a 1-0 lead heading to the third period.

However, the host Vees found the equalizer early in the third period when a centering feed bounced off ‘AP’ Josh Blanchard and in.

Penticton then finished the series when a James De Haas point shot deflected off a stick and past Tyler Briggs early in the first overtime.

“We did as much as we could” a saddened Josh Monk said after the game.  “We played hard.”

West Kelowna’s disappointment was augmented by another slim lead that got away.

Reid Simmonds provided West Kelowna with a lead when he buried a loose puck midway through the second period after some relentless pressure from the Tribe.

The Warriors had more chances to increase the lead, but couldn’t beat Chad Katunar, who earned first-star honours for keeping his team in the game.

“I thought we might have deserved a little better a fate tonight” Warriors Associate Coach Brent Gough suggested.  “Their goaltender made some big saves in the second period, and we just didn’t capitalize.

“I thought we played a really good hockey game today” Gough also stated.

The Warriors boarded the players bus and returned home, only to find a crowd of roughly 50 fans cheering their arrival back at Royal LePage Place.

“It’s pretty humbling” Josh Monk uttered after shaking hands with the fans.

The 20 year-old admits that pulling off his Warriors uniform for the last time was an emotional experience.  Heading to Providence College next season, Monk also says the reception given by the West Kelowna supporters was a touching way to cap off his years playing Junior hockey.

“I’ve never seen that before in my career, so it’s kind of a cool way to end.”

Monk also knows that he and his teammates will be able to sleep easier knowing they gave the Vees their best effort.  “We gave it our best shot, and just came up a little short.”

He also points to three straight overtime decisions as evidence the series was as close as can be.

As for the deciding game, Monk is happy with his club’s showing.  “I thought we dominated them for portions of the game today” he says. “They just got a bounce at the end.”

“We’re real proud of our guys in there” Gough also re-iterated.  “There was absolutely no quit in our team.”

Penticton will now advance to play Surrey in the Fred Page Cup finals starting Friday, April 12th.

Courtesy of Jon Zacks, Warriors Play by Play
Photo courtesy of Greystoke Photograhy

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