The West Kelowna Warriors and Chilliwack Chiefs meet at Royal LePage Place for the first time since April 23rd, which was Game #6 of the 2016 BCHL Final.
Wednesday, September 21st @ Prospera Centre (5-2 Warriors/HIGHLIGHTS)
Tuesday, October 4th @ Royal LePage Place (7:00 PM)
Sunday, January 29th @ Prospera Centre (5:00 PM)
West Kelowna and Chilliwack have battled it out once already this season, playing just 13 days ago at the Bauer BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack. The Warriors had a hat trick from Quin Foreman to go along with singles from Michael Ryan and Connor Sodergren to propel them to a 5-2 victory in the first rematch of the 2016 Fred Page Cup Final. Xavier Burghardt made his 2nd start as a member of the Warriors and stopped 31 of 33 shots for his second win with the club.
The Warriors will look to rebound after a pair of home ice losses last week with the most recent being a 3-1 defeat to the Penticton Vees. Penticton scored two goals in the first five minutes of the game and forced the Warriors to play catch up for the remainder of the game. An early third period goal by Reed Gunville looked like it could be the spark the Warriors needed to claw back in the game but the comeback was not to be had as the Vees skated away with the two-goal victory.
There will be a new face in the Warrior lineup tonight, as defensemen Tyler Jutting will make his BCHL debut, wearing number two. The 6’4, 204 pound rearguard hails from Mankato, Minnesota and comes to West Kelowna from the Lincoln Stars of the United States Hockey League (USHL). Jutting spent the previous two seasons at the prestigious Shattuck St. Mary’s program where he amassed five goals and 38 points in 93 career games with the midget prep team.
WIth that, the Warriors have strengthened an already strong d-core that, along with their goaltending, has posted just 23 goals against in 7 games thus far, good enough for 3rd least in the BCHL. West-K has needed that because the offence has dried up, posting 23 goals for, just as they have against, in their 7 games and will need to find some of the offence that made them effective 13 days ago when they faced off against the Chiefs. Quin Foreman’s 7 goals accounts for 30% of the Warriors goals with Reed Gunville and Connor Sodergren with 3 goals behind him.
The Warriors will also look to clean up their special teams, sitting in 16th in both PP and PK percentages. West-K comes into tonight with just 4 goals on the power play (12.1%) while only the Nanaimo Clippers (9.1%) sitting below them. The penalty kill looked good after allowing an early goal to Penticton on Friday but has given 9 goals against (71.0%) with only the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (62.2%) at a worse percentage.
The Chiefs come into tonight with a 5-3-0-0 record and are coming off of a split between two games against the Surrey Eagles. The Eagles, winless at the time, found their offence and potted eight goals on the Chiefs on Thursday night before Chilliwack came back and won in double overtime with just 0.8 seconds left on the clock. The winner coming courtesy of captain Jordan Kawaguchi.
Chilliwack has gone 3-1 since their game against the Warriors at the Showcase with the last two games of action very interesting. Obviously the double OT game is one but the game before that also provokes some intrigue. The Chiefs were downed 8-2 to the Eagles on Thursday for Surrey’s first win and it will be interesting to see if there is any carry over from the Chiefs allowing 12 goals in 2 games against the one of the BCHL’s lowest winning teams, and maybe it can kickstart the Warriors offence ahead of a busy week where they host Salmon Arm on Friday and Vernon on Saturday.
Puck drop tonight is 7:00 PM with pre game starting at 6:50 PM on FASTHockey (soon to be Hockey.TV) and the Warriors Internet Network. Tickets for tonight are just $5 for what promises to be another good one between the Chiefs and Warriors.