The West Kelowna Warriors return to Royal LePage Place for the first time in six games and look to get back into the win column as they host the Coquitlam Express for the third and final time in their season series on Saturday night.
Thursday, September 22nd @ Prospera Centre (5-3 Warriors) (BOXSCORE)
Wednesday, October 19th @ Poirier Sports & Leisure Centre (3-2 Express) (BOXSCORE)
Saturday, February 4th @ Royal LePage Place (7:00 PM)
The Warriors come into Saturday night’s contest after dropping a 6-2 score at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena on Friday night to the Merritt Centennials. Connor Sodergren tallied his 23rd goal of the season while Jon Russell scored for the 5th time this year as the Warriors yielded four third period goals to the Cents in the losing effort. Cole Demers started in goal for the Warriors and made 33 saves on 38 shots in his 13th loss of the season.
It’s been just about four months since the Warriors and Express last saw each other as each team’s roster looks dramatically different heading into their third and final meeting of the season series on Saturday night at RLP. Each team has won one game with the Express taking the latest of those games in October by a 2-1 score as Blake Hayward tallied the game-winning goal with just 16 seconds left in the game to give the Express the victory on home ice. Parm Dhaliwal earned his first BCHL goal in the game along with Braiden Epp adding a goal with Xavier Burghardt picking up the loss in net for the Warriors on that night.
It’s been a long six games for the Warriors away from RLP as the last time the Warriors were on home ice was January 20th against the Vernon Vipers. West Kelowna will welcome the change back to Royal LePage Place as they hold a 15-10-0-0 record on home ice this season and own a record of 6-1 over their past seven games at RLP. Saturday’s game at RLP marks one of just four remaining in the regular season for the Warriors.
The Warriors will look to get into the win column again with the loss to Merritt on Friday bringing the two teams into a tie for 4th place in the division yet again with 48 points. The Warriors will use their game in hand that they have on the Centennials in tonight’s game and hold a 6-4-0-1 record against teams from the Mainland Division.
The annual Five Hole for Food Challenge goes tonight at RLP sponsored by Valley First. Fans are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food donation to the game and have the chance to win a team signed Warriors jersey! The BCHL has collected over 70,000 pounds of food so far this season and is led by the Vernon Vipers who brought in a whopping 26,000 pounds.
The Coquitlam Express enter Saturday nights action sitting at 10-40-2-1 and are coming into the game off of an 8-3 loss to the Trail Smoke Eaters on Friday night at Cominco Arena. Owen Stout, Alex Ambrosio and Luca Leone all tallied in the losing effort while Lawson Fenton made 41 saves on 49 shots for his 18th loss of the season.
The Express sit 17th in the BCHL with 112 goals scored so far this season in 53 games played and are led in scoring by second year forward and captain Luca Leone. The Vancouver, BC native leads the team with 14 goals and 35 points on the season in 44 games played but is in a three-way tie for first on the club in assists as forwards Cal Babych and Blake Hayward share that honour as well.
It’s no secret that the Express are having one of their roughest seasons to date but they have been hammered by the injury bug this season. No one on the Express roster has played the full 53 games that have been recorded this season and only three have played 50 or more games this season in the likes of William Lawrence (51), Devon Mussio (50) and Noah Turanski (50).
The puck drops from RLP at 7:00 PM with tickets available for purchase at the Warriors office or by calling Kim at (250) 769-7051. The Warriors play another Mainland Division foe in the likes of the Langley Rivermen on Tuesday night when they make their one and only visit to RLP. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 PM on Tuesday night.