The West Kelowna Warriors seem to have tamed the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in the second round of the BCHL playoffs.
It was a pair of lopsided victories in back-to-back days for the visiting squad at Salmon Arm’s Shaw Centre over the weekend, with the Warriors now needing only two more to advance to the Interior Conference final.
West Kelowna came into game one on April 15 as the third-seeded underdog against the second-seeded Salmon Arm, though they established their presence with the only goal of the first period off of the stick of John Evans.
Salmon Arm was not able to solve Warriors goaltender Johnny Derrick until just after the six-minute mark of the second period, after a pair of goals from West Kelowna’s Chase Dafoe and Brennan Nelson. Evans added another later in the period along with Marcus Joughin in what was a final score of 6-2.
Derrick was once again solid between the pipes in game two the following night, making 28 of 29 stops in a 4-1 victory to earn the game’s third star.
It was once again all West Kelowna from the start, taking a 3-0 lead into the third period thanks to Tyler Cristall, Elan Bar-Lev-Wise and Felix Trudeau finding twine.
Nick Roukounakis notched his second of the postseason late in the third period.
The teams now move to West Kelowna for game three tonight (April 18) at Royal LePage Place, with the Warriors looking to take a stranglehold on the series.
Game four will then be played on April 20, also at Royal LePage Place. If necessary, game five will return to Salmon Arm on April 22.
Tonight’s puck drop is set for 6 p.m.
On the other side of the Interior Conference semifinals, the top-seeded Penticton Vees have a 2-0 lead over the Prince George Spruce Kings.