Will Calverley of the Chilliwack Chiefs sneaks the puck past Kabir Gill of the West Kelowna Warriors during Sunday night's game at Prospera Centre.

Will Calverley of the Chilliwack Chiefs sneaks the puck past Kabir Gill of the West Kelowna Warriors during Sunday night's game at Prospera Centre.

Gooch caps comeback as Chilliwack Chiefs top Warriors

Down a pair midway through the final frame, Chilliwack stormed back for a 3-2 BCHL win over West Kelowna at Prospera Centre Sunday.

The Chilliwack Chiefs were almost thwarted by a hot goaltender as they faced the West Kelowna Warriors at Prospera Centre.

In a rematch of the last year’s BCHL final the home team trailed by two midway through the third period and couldn’t solve West Kelowna keeper Quentin Morency. But a furious comeback capped by a Jordan Kawaguchi snipe gave them a 3-2 win, improved their record to 33-10-5-0 and brought them to within five points of the Wenatchee Wild (36-8-4-0) for first place in the Mainland division.

The visitors got the only goal in an entertaining first period that featured plenty of chances at both ends.

In the final minute of the opening frame, after winning a faceoff in the Chilliwack end, veteran forward Connor Sodergren got loose in the blue paint as defenceman Michael Ryan threw the puck toward the net. Sodergren’s first point-blank shot was stopped by Chiefs goalie Mark Sinclair, but the veteran forward slipped the rebound inside the left post with 39 seconds on the clock.

The Warriors doubled their lead halfway through period three with a power play goal by Chase Dubois.

Connor McCarthy was banished to the bin for being tall, accidentally dropping West Kelowna’s Jared Marino to the ice with an elbow during a battle along the right-wing wall. Dubois scored his 14th of the season on a wraparound seconds later, stuffing the puck past Sinclair at 10:29.

McCarthy’s revenge came just over a minute later. First, the D-man drew a hooking call against  Jordan Robinson in a foray into the Warrior zone. Twelve seconds later the blueliner blasted a shot past Morency, scoring on the 41st Chilliwack shot of the game.

Smelling a comeback, Chiefs bench boss Jason Tatarnic called Sinclair to the bench with 97 seconds left. Warriors D-man Scott Allan almost ended the drama with a rink-length shot that missed right by about a foot. Instead, the puck came back into the West Kelowna zone for a faceoff and moments later the Chiefs were even.

McCarthy was involved again, carrying the puck down the right wing. He flipped a four foot  saucer pass left to Jake Smith and No. 14 smartly slipped the puck inside the far goal post for his 20th of the season.

Chilliwack captain Jordan Kawaguchi completed the comeback 2:49 into overtime.

Taking a beauty of a lead pass from Ben Fanjoy, Gooch flew down the right wing into the West Kelowna zone. Making a hard left into the high slot, Kawaguchi cut across the face of a Warrior defender and went against the grain with his shot, picking the top left corner over Morency’s shoulder.

Gooch scored on the 48th Chiefs shot as Chilliwack ended up with a 48-24 edge in SOG.

The three starts were McCarthy (first), Morency (second) and Kawaguchi (third).

The Fortis BC Energy Player of the Game was Justin Dixson.

Announced attendance was 2,903.

Chilliwack Progress