By Fraser Rodgers
Both teams have now enjoyed comforts of home, as the West Kelowna Warriors held serve on home ice, shutting out the Penticton Vees 3-0 in Game Four of Interior Division Final.
With a pair of wins at home, the Warriors has tied the best-of-seven series at two games apiece, with Game Five back in Penticton on Good Friday.
Jonathan Desbiens, pointless in the first two games of the series, scored a pair of power-play goals in the second period for the Warriors and Kylar Hope sealed the win with a wraparound late in the third. Desbiens now has three goals and four points in the last two games.
Matt Greenfield stymied the Vees, kicking out 28-shots for his first shutout of the post-season and now has stopped 50 of 51 shots in the last two games.
Zach Driscoll was stellar in goal for the Vees, despite the loss, kicking-out 33 of 36 shots and was named the game’s third star. Driscoll was at his best in the first period, when he made 17-saves in a period dominated by the Warriors.
Penticton was on their heels early, as the Warriors came out of the gate running, pressuring the Vees in their end but Driscoll stood tall. He made several key saves early, including two each on Desbiens and Quinn Foreman to keep the game scoreless. One of Driscoll’s best saves of the first was getting a pad on a redirect by Foreman and then reaching back with his arm to cover the rebound in the crease.
The Warriors finally broke through on the man-advantage midway through the second and got some puck luck too. Penticton blocked the point-shot but the rebound sat out front for Desbiens to grab and roof over a prone Driscoll at 9:41.
Penticton ran into more penalty trouble inside the final minute of the middle frame, after a scramble ensued in front of their net. During a flurry of action in and around the Vees goal, David Eccles was handed an unsportsmanlike penalty after pushing the net off its moorings.
On the ensuing power-play, Desbiens was at it again, firing a shot from the right-wing that was blocked, but the rebound bounced right back to him and with his second attempt he fired it over the far pad of Driscoll at 19:40.
When the game was still 1-0 West Kelowna in the second, one of the Vees best chances to tie came off a Mitch Brooks rush but he rifled his shot off the fat part of the cross-bar; the Vees went to the third period down a pair.
Penticton had a chance to cut into the deficit early in the third on a power-play but nothing materialized on their third man-advantage of the game.