The West Kelowna Warriors were looking for turkeys, but have found gorillas as they take on the Salmon Arm Silverbacks for the first time this season to kick off a pair of games before Thanksgiving.
Friday, October 7th @ Royal LePage Place (7:00 PM)
Friday, October 14th @ Shaw Centre (7:00 PM)
Saturday, October 15th @ Royal LePage Place (7:00 PM)
Wednesday, November 2nd @ Shaw Centre (7:00 PM)
Tuesday, December 6th @ Royal LePage Place (7:00 PM)
Wednesday, February 15th @ Shaw Centre (7:00 PM)
Saturday, February 25th @ Shaw Centre (7:00 PM)
The Warriors come into tonight after a 1-0 overtime victory over the Chilliwack Chiefs on Tuesday night at Royal LePage Place. Shane Farkas dazzled as he made 42 saves in the shutout win, which was the first shutout of his BCHL career and third win of the season. Reed Gunville provided the late game heroics with a nice deflection off a Jake Harrison shot coming just 1:09 into the first overtime period.
More on Farkas, he was outstanding on Tuesday and I imagine, but I could be wrong, will be the starter tonight against the ‘Backs. I mentioned it on my 3 Thoughts blog against Chilliwack but he has now stopped, going back to the game against Penticton, 69 of the last 70 shots he’s faced. Impressive stuff. Farkas has also dropped his goals against to 2.62 after the shutout and sits with a .916 SV% on on the year in four games played.
The Warriors went 4-2 against the Silverbacks over the course of the regular season last year (8-4 if you include their 4-2 series win in the opening round of the BCHL playoffs) with all but one of the games decided by two goals or fewer. These two teams have always matched up well and I wouldn’t look at Salmon Arm’s 2-6-0-0 record as any indication of the way they play. This will be a hard fought game by both sides and it won’t be easy to come away with two points for either side.
This is the first of seven meetings between the two clubs and the first since the Warriors knocked the ‘Backs out of the BCHL playoffs in the Interior Division semi finals last season, a series that went six games. The Warriors and Silverbacks will see quite a bit of each other over the next two weeks as three of West Kelowna’s next four games are against their neighbours from the Shuswap.
The Warriors and Silverbacks did meet in the pre season twice with the Warriors getting the upper hand on the ‘Backs, winning both games that were held early in the pre season. West Kelowna picked up a 2-1 victory in Royal LePage Place on August 27th before heading to Salmon Arm the next night and defeating the Silverbacks on home ice by a 4-3 score on August 28th.
The Silverbacks, as mentioned, come into tonight 2-6-0-0 but don’t let that record fool you, this will be a tough team to play against. Salmon Arm enters tonight with a pair of losses last weekend, Friday night at home to the Merritt Centennials by a 5-2 score (Merritt scored four goals in the opening period) followed by a tough 9-0 loss south of the border in Wenatchee on Saturday night. It’s been a really rough stretch of hockey for Brandon West’s club.
The Silverbacks are returning nine players from last year’s squad that includes captain Mitch Skapski, Josh Blanchard, Jared Turcotte, leading scorer Elijiah Barriga, Carson Bolduc, Marcus Mitchell, Cameron Trott, Ryley Booth and recently re-added goaltender Brandon Kegler. Kegler was just returned to the ‘Backs after a stint with the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the WHL and started both of the game last weekend, stopping 26 of 30 shots on Friday night against Merritt before getting pulled on Saturday in Wenatchee after allowing 3 goals on 9 shots. Salmon Arm is 2nd worst in the BCHL for goals against with 40 allowed and is one ahead of Prince George (41) for last in the league.
As for lineup news, as mentioned, I’d imagine Shane Farkas will start against Brandon Kegler, but that’s just a broadcaster’s opinion. West Kelowna will likely be without forward Matthew Campese along with goaltender Keelan Williams, who’s on long term IR plus a couple of other scratches that will be known closer to gametime. Salmon Arm will likely scratch defensemen Carter Cochrane (INJ) and possibly Cameron Trott (INJ) although those scratches will also be confirmed closer to gametime.
Puck drop tonight is at 7:00 PM with pre game starting at 6:50 PM on the Warriors Internet Network and HockeyTV.com (previously known as FASTHockey).