The West Kelowna Warriors return home to Royal LePage Place for the first time since October 22nd as they host the Trail Smoke Eaters looking for their fourth straight victory.
Friday, September 9th @ Royal LePage Place (3-1 Warriors)
Saturday, September 10th @ Cominco Arena (8-5 Smoke Eaters)
Saturday, November 5th @ Royal LePage Place (7:00 PM)
Thursday, November 10th @ Cominco Arena (7:00 PM)
Thursday, December 29th @ Royal LePage Place (7:00 PM)
Friday, December 30th @ Cominco Arena (7:30 PM)
The Warriors come into action tonight riding a three-game win streak with victories over the Cowichan Valley Capitals, Alberni Valley Bulldogs and the latest win coming against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. Braiden Epp and Connor Sodergren scored 2nd period goals before Quin Foreman tallied twice in the 3rd period to push the Warriors to a 4-2 victory over the ‘Backs. Trevor Martin made 39 saves en route to his 2nd win as a member of the Warriors.
The Warriors and Smokies have played twice this season, this matchup the first one since the first weekend of the BCHL’s regular season. The Warriors won the icebreaker between the two on opening night by a 3-1 score in the Warriors banner raising night at RLP. The teams then headed to Trail the next night which saw the Smokies offence come alive with eight goals en route to an 8-5 victory.
West Kelowna will play this weekend a bit undermanned as the BCHL announced a pair of suspensions from Wednesday night’s melee at the end of the 2nd period in Salmon Arm. Braiden Epp has been suspended for 6 games while Parm Dhaliwal will sit for two, putting the Warriors down two forwards for the weekend. Defensemen Jake Harrison took a late, high hit from Silverback d-man Landon Fuller and did not return to Wednesday night’s game and is unlikely to be in the lineup for the weekend set against Trail and Prince George.
With the absence of of those three players, the Warriors look to affiliate players to play a helping hand for tonight. West Kelowna has called up forwards Jordan Robinson and Junare Naude along with defensemen Wyatt Head. Robinson and Head both play for the BC Major Midget League’s Okanagan Rockets while Naude spends his time with the Pursuit of Excellence Prep team in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League.
During the course of their three game winning streak, the Warriors have shut the door defensively and gotten very good goaltending along the way. The Warriors have not allowed more than two goals during the three games and have been solid in the blue paint courtesy of Trevor Martin and Shane Farkas. West Kelowna has also received timely goal scoring, something that eluded them in the seven-game losing skid as Matthew Campese’s OT winner prevailed the club last Sunday while Quin Foreman hit double digits with his 10th and 11th goals of the season at the right time in the third period of Wednesday night’s game.
The Trail Smoke Eaters enter tonight with an identical three-game winning streak as the Warriors have with victories over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and Victoria Grizzlies last weekend before a 5-4 win on home ice against the Prince George Spruce Kings. Ryan Moon, Ross Armour, Blaine Caton, newcomer and former Warrior Mitchell Barker and Luke Santerno provided the Smokies with goals on Friday night for the club’s 10th win of the season.
Rookie head coach Cam Keith has his Smoke Eaters playing the right way and are led in scoring by former Cowichan Valley Capital Luke Santerno, whose 26 points (10-16-26) leads the team while former ‘Back Josh Laframboise (11-8-19) leads the team in goals with eleven. Goaltending has been a big key to the Smokies success this season as 20-year old netminder Zach Dyment, despite a losing record of 6-7, has been sensational with a 3.15 GAA and a .913 SV%. Backup and 18-year old Linden Marshall has held his own this season as well, posting a 4-2 record along with a 3.21 GAA and a .906 SV%.
The Warriors complete their weekend with a visit from former Warriors in Brett Mennear, Tyler Anderson and Tanner Campbell as the Prince George Spruce Kings come to town for a Sunday matinee. Puck drop is slated for 2:30 PM with tickets available at the Warriors office or by calling Kim at (250) 769-7051.