WESTLOCK - The Westlock Senior Warriors overcame a three-goal, third-period deficit to earn their first point of the 2021/2022 North Central Alberta League season.
And although they came out on the wrong end of a 6-5 (2-1 in the shootout) score to the Devon Barons Nov. 20 in Devon, captain Mike Ivey heaped praise on his teammates for their never-say-die attitude in what’s been a challenging start to the year. With the shootout loss the club remains in the cellar of the NCHL with a mark of 0-3-0-1.
“Our third period was awesome and it was nice to have a comeback like that, but it would have been nice to get the win in overtime, or the shootout. We keep showing that we can beat anybody, but we have to start winning the games,” said Ivey.
“I was happy that the guys stuck with it and didn’t throw in the towel. I think it showed a lot about our character that we hung in there and kept pushing, especially after a really tough second period.”
The Warriors came out strong with a pair of powerplay goals from Gerald Desjarlais and Ivey to take a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes. As good as their start was, the club will probably want to burn the game film of the second period as the Barons struck for four-unanswered goals to take a 5-2 lead.
But a goal from Brett Kampjes at 11:25 of the third got the Warriors to within two, while a powerplay marker from Clayton Eisler only 1:24 later made it 5-4. Then with 42 seconds left on the clock Ivey netted his second powerplay goal of the night to send the game into five minutes of four-on-four overtime.
Following a scoreless OT session, only Eisler was able to find the back on the net in the shootout, while the Barons snuck two past Warriors goaltender Jordan Brand, who was stellar throughout the night turning aside 32 shots. On the scoresheet, Ivey ended with two goals and an assist, while his brother Scott had three apples and Desjarlais and Eisler finished with a goal and assist apiece.
“Jordan Brand was unreal. If he wasn’t on his game we would have been toast,” said Ivey.
The Warriors are back on the road Nov. 27 when they’ll face the 3-3-0-1 Red Deer Rustlers. It’ll be a tough test as the Rustlers always play the Warriors tough.
“Red Deer is always a good team. But we always play well against them and we’ve had close games against and beat them a couple of years ago so we’ll see what happens,” said Ivey.