The West Kelowna Warriors take their first trip to the Nicola Valley on Saturday night when they head up the Coquihalla to face-off against the Merritt Centennials for the 2nd straight night.
Tuesday, September 27th @ Royal LePage Place (5-1 Centennials) (BOXSCORE)
Friday, December 9th @ Royal LePage Place (3-2 Warriors) (OT) (BOXSCORE)
Saturday, December 10th @ Nicola Valley Memorial Arena (7:00 PM)
Friday, January 6th @ Royal LePage Place (7:00 PM)
Saturday, January 7th @ Nicola Valley Memorial Arena (8:00 PM)
Friday, February 3rd @ Nicola Valley Memorial Arena (7:00 PM)
Friday, February 24th @ Nicola Valley Memorial Arena (7:30 PM)
The Warriors come into Saturday night’s action after a big come-from-behind win against the Cents on home ice just one night ago with a big 3-2 overtime victory. Merritt scored twice in the game’s opening two minutes but the Warriors bounced back with two 2nd period goals as Logan Mostat potted his first as a Warrior and Quin Foreman sniped home his 17th goal of the season to tie the game. The 3rd period saw no scoring and off to overtime these two teams went with the Warriors capitalizing 3:23 into the extra frame as Braiden Epp ended the game with his 9th goal of the season. Nik Amundrud started the game for the Warriors but was relieved after allowing the game’s first two shots by. Shane Farkas stepped in and made 35 saves on 35 shots for his 8th win of the season.
The Warriors and Cents have met twice this season with this being the third matchup of the year and the first to be held in Merritt at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena. The Warriors dropped a 5-1 decision to the Centennials on September 27th before last night’s 3-2 overtime win. Zach Risteau and Cade Gleekel scored the goals for Merritt in Friday night’s overtime loss, the 2nd of 7 meetings between the two teams and the 2nd of three held at Royal LePage Place.
Braiden Epp is starting to catch a bit of an offensive hot streak for the Warriors over the past few games with goals in each of his last three contests. The 20-year-old sits just one goal shy of 50 for his career and has three points over his last three games with all of those being goals. Epp is also catching another career milestone as he is fastly approaching 200 regular season games played in the BCHL, sitting just 15 away at the moment with 185.
Shane Farkas came on in relief of Nik Amundrud in Friday night’s contest and dazzled with 35 saves and slammed the door shut for the Warriors as they mounted their comeback. The 17-year-old has had some good results when coming on in relief as he has done so four times this season and has a 3.14 GAA and an impressive .922 SV% when doing so. The Penticton, BC native has made 83 stops on 90 shots faced in relief in just over 134 minutes played.
The Warriors are becoming quite an impressive team once the game gets past sixty minutes as Friday night’s overtime victory was their 4th OT win of the season with victories over Chilliwack, Alberni Valley, Vernon and now Merritt in extra time. The four overtime victories is good for being tied for 3rd in the BCHL in OT wins sitting behind just Penticton (6) and Powell River (5) in that category. The Warriors also with the win sit just two points behind Merritt in the Interior Division standings with 29 to Merritt’s 31 and just one point behind Salmon Arm for 5th place in the division.
The Centennials enter Saturday night’s action with a 12-12-1-6 record, that being a league high six overtime defeats, as they will look to continue their recent run of success on home ice as they have won three of their last four games at the NVMA and own a record of 6-6-0-2 over 14 games played there this season.
Zach Risteau continued his hot stretch of play, scoring in Friday night’s overtime loss and pushing his point streak to five games while scoring in each of those games (six goals to be exact over that time). The 18-year-old has the longest scoring streak right now in the BCHL.
The puck drop is slated for 7:00 PM with the pre-game beginning at 6:50 PM on the Warriors Internet Network and hockeytv.com with the voice of the Warriors Trevor Miller. West Kelowna returns home on Friday, December 16th when they host the Powell River Kings on Teddy Bear Toss Night.