The West Kelowna Warriors play their fifth of what has seemed like a marathon long pre season schedule that has spanned two weeks as they host the Merritt Centennials tonight in West-K.
The Warriors are coming off of a 2-2 tie on Wednesday night at home against the Penticton Vees (highlights here). The Warriors paced much of the play through 40 minutes, holding a 2-0 lead on the strength of goals from newcomer Jon Russell and veteran Quin Foreman. The Vees came back in third with two Grant Cruikshank goals, including the game tying goal with 1:53 to play on a 5-on-3 power play. West Kelowna was 6/7 on the PK and will need a more disciplined effort tonight against the Cents.
West Kelowna will have each of their seven returnees in the lineup tonight in the likes of Jared Marino, Connor Sodergren, Quin Foreman, Reed Gunville, Nick Rutigliano, Jake Harrison and Tyler Anderson as well as off season acquisition Mitch Barker. Matt Vernon, who has had a terrific pre season, will get the start in between the pipes for the Warriors and we will see if they switch halfway through, as that has been the drill for the first four pre season games.
As for the Centennials, they come into action tonight undefeated with a 2-0-1 record. Merritt tied the Salmon Arm Silverbacks last Wednesday at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena with a 5-5 score before recording back-to-back wins against the Vernon Vipers last Friday and Saturday. Merritt hasn’t had any pre season action since their victory last Saturday against the Vipers.
In our broadcast tonight we have Warriors Director of Business Operations Alex Draper on in the 1st intermission to talk about the Warriors home opener on September 9th against the Trail Smoke Eaters, make sure to tune in!
The pre season (finally) wraps up tomorrow night in Merritt when the Warriors and Cents will do battle for the 2nd time in two nights. Face-off is at 7:00 PM.