West Sound proved to be the stronger team in the third period Saturday as the Warriors beat Southern Oregon 4-3 in a Western States Hockey League Northwest Division game.
The Warriors (3-1) defeated Southern Oregon (1-4) for the second night in a row at the Bremerton Ice Center. The Warriors will try for a series sweep Sunday. Game time is 2:45 p.m.
“We were definitely starting to click tonight, for sure,” said Warriors defenseman Tyson Liverance.
Hunter Best scored less than three minutes into the game off an assist from Samuel Pelech to give West Sound a 1-0 lead. But as in Friday’s contest, the Spartans answered quickly as Miroslav Smid tied the game at 1-1 five minutes later.
Liverance’s goal off an assist from Mattias Wikstrom in the second period gave West Sound a 2-1 lead. Liverance said Wikstrom saw him at the point, passed him the puck and Liverance took the quick shot and hoped for the best.
“It found it’s way through (the goalie) thankfully,” Liverance said.
Southern Oregon’s Peter Toth tied the game again, 2-2, one minute later.
Pelech put West Sound ahead for good in the second. Pelech capitalized on a weak rebound by Spartans’ goalie Austin Toussaint, who failed to clear the puck out of the crease after making an initial save. Pelech was there to flip the puck past Toussaint for a 3-2 lead. Pelech finished with a goal and an assist.
The Warriors added an insurance goal when Robert Larson scored at the 14:16 mark of the third period.
“I thought we came out really hard in the third period,” said Warriors coach Ty Smith. “We kind of seem like a third-period team. If we could come out in the first period like we do in the third period, the games would be a lot better I think.”
Smith said the combination of Best, Travis, and Pelech is clicking right now.
“They were the best line of the night,” he said. “They’re kind of the checking, energy line and they brought it tonight.”
One area Smith would like to see the Warriors clean up is in turnovers. West Sound committed 25 in the first period alone.
“That’s not a good recipe for wins,” he said.