Friday, November 25, 2011

Warriors 4 Smoke Eaters 1

Richard Vanderhoek scored twice, while Reid Simmonds' early third-period tally proved to be the game-winner as the Westside Warriors defeated the Smokies 4-1 at Royal Lepage Place tonight.

After Clayton Chessa put Trail ahead early in the middle-frame off a centring feed from Erik Cooper, Vanderhoek capitalized on a loose puck in front of the Smoke Eater net in the final minute of the frame.

Westside maintained the play through much of the first period, at one point outshooting Trail 8-1, but the second period was a mirror opposite until Vanderhoek's equalizer, which came on a Warrior power play.

Simmonds snapped a wrister over the left shoulder of goaltender Lyndon Stanwood, who was making his Smokies debut, then 66 seconds later Vanderhoek scored a similar tally from the opposite side.

Westside put the game out of reach midway through the third when a Klay Kachur point shot deflected off a Trail forward past Stanwood.

Newcomer Dwayne Rodrigue made 23 saves in goal for Westside to collect his second victory in as many starts in the BCHL.

Even more impressive, from my point of view, was Westside's pursuit of the puck in the defensive zone. The likes of Izaak Berglund, Peter MacIntosh and Michael King each recorded several blocked or re-directed shots, and aside from a few chances gave Trail little room in the offensive zone. At the other end, Stanwood made several ten-beller saves including a diving effort from left to right across his crease early in the second period, and a right pad save off a Brett McKinnon breakaway in the first.

It was also nice to see Kyle Horsman back in action tonight. The big winger missed the last 20 games with an injury suffered on opening weekend (against the Warriors no less).

Up Next: The same two teams go at it again tomorrow at the Cominco Arena. Tickets are only $5 and I can only imagine what a full barn might do for this club's confidence. Hope to see you there!

Local Hockey Tonight: The Grand Forks Border Bruins put their first win of the season in the books tonight. Overage defenseman Brendan Jackson scored the winner in a 5-4 victory at Columbia Valley. Tyler Robinson counted the winner in a 3-2 Castlegar Rebels OT victory at Osoyoos, while Dallas Calvin scored twice in a 7-2 Beaver Valley victory at Golden. Nelson outgunned Spokane 8-6 in Washington state. Castlegar's Eric Walker recorded an assist in his WHL debut, but his Vancouver Giants lost 4-3 in OT at Prince Albert (Castlegar's Jesse Knowler recorded 2 PIMs on the Raiders side).

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