Final – 9:36 p.m.
Kevin Jebson proved to be the difference once again, stopping 38 shots against his former team as his Warriors knocked off the Burnaby Express 5-2 on Friday night.
Jebson recorded his 12th win of the year and Tyler Krause notched two goals, including a shorthanded marker midway through the third period, as the Warriors snapped a two-game losing streak in the process.
“We’ve had a pretty good record here on home ice so getting another win was big for us,” said Jebson after the game. “I wasn’t extra motivated to beat my old team. I knew they didn’t want me and that acts as motivation but I found myself more pumped when we played them last year.”
Jebson had his shutout snapped with five minutes remaining by Burnaby’s Dylan Herold and Matt Ius added a late power play tally for Burnaby to close the gap to 4-2, before Trevor Bailey finished the scoring with an empty net goal.
Warriors head coach Darren Yopyk said he was happy with how his team responded after poor performances last week.
“I thought our first period effort was perfect, we were somewhat on our heels in the second and the third was scrappy hockey, but the focus I wanted was there,” he said. “That and Jebson really stepped up for us .”
Patrick Bartoshyk, Cole Wilson and Trevor Bailey each added singles as the Warriors grab two important points as they chase Vernon, Penticton and Salmon Arm for first place in the Interior Conference.
The Warriors now travel to Burnaby where they face the Express Saturday.
Second period – 8:30 p.m.
Nothing separated the Warriors and Express in the second period, as goaltending stole the show.
Jebson of the Warriors and May of the Express stood tall all period long, keeping the game tied at two apiece.
Jebson has turned aside all 23 shots he has faced, including a tough wrap around chance late in the frame. His counterpart from Burnaby has been equal to the task, as May has stopped 20 0f 22 through two periods.
First period – 7:54 p.m.
It wasn’t pretty, but the Warriors played mistake free hockey and have a two-goal lead to show for it heading into the second period.
After the first 10 minutes of cautious hockey, both Westside and Burnaby seemed to open their styles of play, with quality chances forcing fines saves at both ends.
But it was the home team that finally shattered the scoreless tie.
Warriors forward Pat Bartoshyk was able to slip unnoticed behind the Express defence just in time to find the puck land on his stick off a big rebound from Burnaby’s Harrison May. Bartoshyk calmly shifted the puck to his right and away from a sprawling Hay, before sliding the puck into the back of the net to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead with five minutes remaining.
Seconds later, Bartoshyk almost did it again. A slumping Express defence looked rattled after the Warriors first goal and Bartoshyk just missed jamming in another rebound.
Unfortunately for Hay and the Express, the Warriors didn’t let up.
With only seconds remaining, Warriors Tyler Krause stole a puck at the centre line and rushed in on Hay all alone. Krause used a nifty move to force Hay to commit early, before he deposited his first of the game to give his Warriors a 2-0 lead.
Preview – 7 p.m.
By Pieter Uni
Maybe a meeting with the Burnaby Express is just what the doctor ordered for the battered and bruised Westside Warriors.
Following a disappointing 4-3 loss to Merritt on Wednesday, the Warriors could use a win and that’s where the hapless Express enter the equation.
Winners of only two of their last 10, the Express should be the team the Warriors beat to end their two-game slide.
Warriors head coach Darren Yopyk said while the Express are a team the Warriors should beat, his team can’t focus on anyone but themselves.
“We need to concentrate after our last performance in Merritt,” said Yopyk Thursday. “Maybe the loss with help us with that, but we need to be prepared to play. We can’t control everything that happens but we can control how we approach each game.”
Yopyk was concerned with the Warriors level of effort following a late period letdown in Wednesday’s game against the Centennials and said it was something that should’t happen again.
“Individuals must look inside themselves and I have to do a better job in preparing the team to be successful. I’m not talking about wins and losses. I am talking about my team being prepared to compete from the opening whistle.”
Yopyk will turn to Kevin Jebson in net for both games over the weekend, hoping Jebson will be motivated to beat his former team. Jebson was the MVP for the Express in the 2007/08 season.
“There is always a concern that Jebson may be too pumped up because that is the kind of guy he is,” said Yopyk. “He has a fiery personality and we love that part of him. All season we have been working with him to make sure that fire continues to burn but to keep it under control. We have told him he has been our most improved player this year because he has been able to do that.”
Yopyk will need Jebson and the rest of his Warriors players to be at their best as the injury bug that has infected the lineup continues to linger. Defencman Michael Quinn and Izaak Berglund are all out with injuries. Yopyk will dress affiliates Brayden Sherbinin and Gus Correale in their place, while forward Trevor Bailey has returns to action after being cleared by Yopyk to play.