The West Kelowna Warriors are back on home ice tonight for the first time since hoisting the Fred Page Cup 131 days ago.
Tonight is a rematch of the Interior Division Semi Finals as the Warriors take on the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, a series that went six games before the Warriors ousted the ‘Backs.
Both teams are coming off of games on Wednesday night with the Warriors losing 2-0 in Penticton on a pair of 2nd period goals and the ‘Backs tying the Centennials in Merritt with a 5-5 scoreline.
A couple of familiar faces will be in the lineup for the Warriors tonight including captain Nick Rutigliano and forward Reed Gunville. The Warriors also have some recruits in their lineup tonight that will look to make a good impression on the Warriors staff. Jon Russell, an 18 year old forward who spent last season with the Odessa Jackalopes of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) could play a big part for West K up front. The Traverse City, Michigan native is also committed to Harvard.
Other players of note to be in tonight’s game are 17 year old defensemen (about to be 18 in two days) Matthew Monk, brother of former Warrior Josh Monk. Matt played in 47 games in the KIJHL last season with the Summerland Steam and Princeton Posse, earning 21 points in 47 contests.
Shane Farkas, Warriors AP goaltender for much of the playoffs last season, will be in between the pipes tonight. Farkas played in 23 games with the OHA Red Prep team last year in the CSSHL, collecting a 2.56 GAA and a .922 SV%.
A bit more of a veteran lineup is expected as we move through pre season and closer to the September 9th home opener against the Trail Smoke Eaters, with tonight being no different.
It’s the first broadcast of the year for Sheldon Bank and I as we take to FASTHockey and the Warriors Internet Network. Pre game starts at 6:55 pm with a bit of a set up for the 7:00 pm puck drop. Links for both the pay-per-view FASTHockey feed and the Warriors Internet Network will be below.