The West Kelowna Warriors are Finals-bound after Kylar Hope’s wraparound effort with just 57 seconds to go in the first overtime session delivered a 3-2 home victory over the Nanaimo Clippers.
After surrendering the first goal of the game to Nanaimo’s Matt Hoover, West Kelowna replied with tallies from Hope and Jonathan Desbiens to take a 2-1 lead to the first intermission.
It remained that way until late in the middle frame when Sheldon Rempal tied it at 19:37 after the Clips had dominated play in the second.
After a scoreless third, West Kelowna got a power-play opportunity in overtime and despite steady pressure, and a shot rung off the post by Garrett Forster, Nanaimo killed the man advantage.
Play was frantic for much of overtime with players fro both teams sprawling their bodies in the crease at different occasions to keep pucks out. Both goaltenders were excellent, with West Kelowna’s Matthew Greenfield making 44 saves for the win and Nanaimo’s Evan Johnson turning way 33 shots.
Hope, the current BCHL player of the week, remained red hot for the Warriors getting his second of the night – and seventh in his last four games – to put his team into the Finals.
This will be the first trip to the Finals for the Warriors. Game 1 goes Friday at 7 p.m. at Prospera Centre in Chilliwack.