The West Kelowna Warriors hold their annual Teddy Bear Toss and begin their final stretch before the Christmas break when they host the Island Division’s Powell River Kings Friday night at Royal LePage Place.
Friday, December 16th @ Royal LePage Place (7:00 PM)
Saturday, January 28th @ Hap Parker Arena (7:15 PM)
The Warriors enter their final weekend before the Christmas break riding a bit of a high with two big wins against the Merritt Centennials last week in a home-and-home series. The Warriors won 3-2 in overtime on Friday night at RLP before scoring three goals in the 3rd period to come out with a big 4-2-road victory in Merritt on Saturday. Jon Russell, Stephen Kleysen, Michael Ryan and Braiden Epp provided the offense on the night while Shane Farkas made 36 saves on 38 shots for his 9th win of the season.
The Warriors and Kings have yet to play against one another in the 2016/17 regular season but the two matched up for a pair of games last season. The Warriors earned a 3-0 win in an early October game last year at Royal LePage Place and swept the season series with a late January matchup in Powell River as the Warriors came away with a 6-5 double overtime victory.
West Kelowna had a fantastic weekend in the crease over their two wins against the Centennials and it showed in the likes of an honorable mention for the BCHL’s Player of the Week award. Shane Farkas was outstanding allowing just two goals against in about 121 minutes played and stopped 71 of 73 shots over the two games, which equals out to an impressive .973 SV%. The Penticton, BC native will man the net for the Warriors for the foreseeable future as netminder Nik Amundrud has retired from hockey.
The offense was a big key for the Warriors over the three games last week, including their loss on Tuesday night to Salmon Arm and have a couple of players entering the weekend on point streaks. Braiden Epp has scored in four straight games, one of those being the game-winning goal on Friday night in overtime. Connor Sodergren has a four game point streak with a goal and eight assists for nine points over the stretch, including each of the four games being multi-point games and Quin Foreman is riding a three-point streak with a goal and six points over that span.
The Warriors will be down a defenseman for tonight’s affair as Jake Harrison remains out of the lineup after being a late scratch on Saturday night in Merritt. Drawing into the Warriors lineup for the fourth time this season will be defensemen Wyatt Head from the Okanagan Rockets of the BC Major Midget League. The 17-year-old has had a fantastic first season with the Rockets, amassing 8 goals and 21 points over 20 games played this season.
Tonight marks a special night for the Warriors as it is their annual Teddy Bear Toss as fans are encouraged to bring a new or gently used stuffed animal to the game and all stuffies will be thrown on the ice after the Warriors first goal of the game. The Kelowna Santa’s are a proud partner of this year’s Teddy Bear Toss and will distribute the stuffed animals out throughout the communities of West Kelowna and Kelowna.
The Powell River Kings enter tonight’s game looking to get back on track in what has been a bit of rocky December thus far as they have played the month to a 2-4-0-0 record and coming off of a 4-3 loss in Surrey on Thursday night to start their three-game road trip. The Kings got down 4-0 after 40 minutes but responded well with a valiant comeback effort in the 3rd period with two goals from Tristan Mullin and a single from Cam Donaldson but ultimately fell by a 4-3 score. Mitch Adamyk stopped 32 saves on 36 shots in the losing cause for the Kings, his 6th loss of his rookie season.
The Kings are led in scoring by rookie forward Cam Donaldson, who has 23 goals and 44 points in just 35 games played this season. The McKinney, Texas native spearheads an offensive heavy attack for the Kings with veteran forwards Tristan Mullin (20-23-43) and Jonny Evans (18-23-41) round out the top three in Kings team scoring as the club sits tied for 2nd in the BCHL with 132 goals for, tied with Chilliwack and behind only Wenatchee (172) for the most goals in the league.
Powell River is a veteran laden group with 11 returnees from last year’s Island Division finalists including captain Jake Kohlhauser. The Kings also are very strong in age with 10 players at 19 or 20 years old and have a lot of production coming from their 1998-born players with Donaldson leading the team in points and Carter Turnbull, currently away with Canada West at the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge with teammate Kyle Betts as both will miss tonight’s game.
The puck drops at 7:00 PM with tickets available for purchase at the Warriors box office or by calling Kim at (250) 769-7051 and remember to bring your teddy bears to throw out for our Teddy Bear Toss. The Warriors play their final game before the Christmas break on Saturday when they host the Island Division’s Nanaimo Clippers.