Chilliwack/West Kelowna – The Chilliwack Chiefs will face elimination Friday night when they host the West Kelowna Warriors in game five of the Fred Page Cup final.
Jake LeBrun scored the overtime winner Tuesday night as West Kelowna won 3-2, earning the first home-ice win from either team in this best-of-seven series.
The Warriors are one win away from a title.
The Chiefs have two days to regroup for a must-win game at Prospera Centre.
After a fracas-filled game three, the BCHL sent a notice to both of these teams Tuesday warning of a crackdown on post-whistle nonsense.
Referees Bryan Bourdon and Ward Pateman enforced it off the top with four first-period power plays.
The Chiefs misfired on both of theirs while West Kelowna’s first goal came on a power play, with Chilliwack’s Jesse Lansdell sitting for slashing.
Liam Blackburn got the assist, knocking down a Connor McCarthy clearing attempt, working the puck down the boards and putting a centering pass into the goal mouth. Rylan Yaremko finished with a slick backhand flip.
West Kelowna carried momentum into period two, but it was Chilliwack hitting the scoreboard at 6:01.
Against the run of play Jordan Kawaguchi dropped the puck to Zach Giuttari at the right point. With a quick release the D-man launched a get-it-on-net slap shot that eluded Warrior keeper Matthew Greenfield to knot things at 1-1.
But West Kelowna escaped to the third period with a well-deserved lead when captain Kyle Marino scored on another power play, burying the rebound of a Nicholas Rutigliano shot. Ex-Chief Garrett Forster also drew an assist.
Chilliwack had a near miss soon after as Kawaguchi took a two-on-one feed from Kale Kane and aimed for the top corner, only to see Greenfield fling himself across the crease and make the save.
Darien Craighead tried the same sort of shot early in period three with greater success.
Jesse Lansdell fed Craighead who roofed it over Greenfield at 1:09 to tie the game at 2-2.
The Chiefs had a glorious chance to end it in regulation time when Jonathan Desbiens was flagged for getting his stick/elbow/forearm up on Chilliwack D-man Olivier Arseneau. The Chiefs had a power play for the final 1:29, but couldn’t cash in before the buzzer.
Chilliwack netminder Aidan Pelino was called on to make three stellar stops early in OT as West Kelowna came in waves.
The teams almost made it through the first overtime period without a goal.
The game winner was a lucky bounce and came with 3:32 to go. Forster’s shot into traffic hit seldom-used forward Jake LeBrun, dipping past Pelino to give the Warriors the victory and a commanding 3-1 series lead.
Game five is Friday night in Chilliwack with a 7 p.m. start.