Tuesday, 16 December 2014

December 16th - Warriors vs. Trail

Trail - 12-16-0-2

6th in Interior Division (26 Pts)

HOME - 8-8-0-1
AWAY - 4-8-0-1

Top Scorer
Jake Lucchini (15 G, 23 A)

GF - 106
GA - 116

PP - 3rd - 24.4 % (30 for 123)
PK - 6th - 79.8 % (99 for 124)

West Kelowna – 17-10-0-5

3rd in Interior Division (39 Pts)

HOME – 7-6-0-1
ROAD – 10-4-0-4

Top Scorer
Liam Blackburn (14 G, 35 A)

GF – 117
GA – 110

PP – 12th- 20.1 % (32 for 159)
PK – 5th - 80.2 % (101 for 126)

Next Game – Dec 19th @ Penticton
7:00 PM at SOEC
Head-to-Head Lifetime – West Kelowna is 39-13-0-5 vs. Trail All-time
2013/2014 Head to Head – West Kelowna went 6-1 vs. Trail

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Warriors @ Silverbacks - December 6th

One night removed from falling 3-0 to Salmon Arm on Royal Lepage Place ice, the West Kelowna Warriors have an opportunity to bounce back in the win column at the Shaw Center on Saturday night.

Angus Redmond made key saves for the Silverbacks all night Friday, posting the shutout as he gave the Warriors shooters fits. Mixed among the few big stops were very solid technical stops from the SA keeper.

For the Warriors to get back into things tonight, they will need to simplify their game, and as Brent Gough mentioned in his post-game comments, the big players for the Warriors need to play big and carry the team on their back to get back on track.

The Warriors will play on back to back nights for the 8th time tonight (not including the 3-game island trip), as they hold a 5-2 record in the back half of those sets. They are 1-4-0-2 in the first game of a back to back.

Another key for the Warriors tonight will be their power-play, which went 8-53 (15.1%) in November, and sits in 11th in the BCHL. The good news is the West Kelowna power-play is 3rd best on the road.

Listen to all the action on 95.1 FM WDCR by tuning in online at www.wdcr.ca or watch on Fast Hockey starting with the pre-game show at 6:45.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Warriors vs Vees Recap

West Kelowna had only created 9 shots through 40 minutes and found themselves down 2-0 after 40 minutes on Saturday.

There was no worry obviously in the Warriors room, who has won the most games in the BCHL when trailing after 2 periods.

An early PP goal from Greydon Robinson and a beauty of a backhander in tight from Kylar Hope tied it up early in the 3rd.

The Warriors kept coming in that 3rd and took advantage of a Vees turnover to come back on a 2 on 1 and Jonathan Desbiens have West Kelowna a 3-2 lead. 

Similar to the first time these teams met this season, the Vees would tie it up at 3 with 1:40 to go, and Warriors fans may have been thinking "oh no not again"

Then came the controversy, I guess if you're a Vees player or fan it's more of a big deal than it ended up being for the Warriors.

Rylan Yaremko's point shot was deflected by Brayden Gelsinger with a stick that was not below his waist. As the referee hesitated and waved it off, I immediately figured that there was no way the goal would count.

The referees got together with the linesmen and talked about it for over two minutes, and as the coachin staff said after, you know someone thinks it's a good goal when they talk for that long.

In the end, one of the officials (the one at Center ice), or maybe even one or both of the linesmen convinced the crew that the puck was contacted below the crossbar and the goal counted with 36.2 seconds remaining.

This was the Warriors 7th win this season (of 14) when trailin after two periods, so comebacks are becoming a bit of a calling card for this bunch.

The Warriors will not play a mid-week game this week for the first time in a month, and will face the Silverbacks in a home and home next weekend, with Friday's game at Royal Lepage Place.

Enjoy your Grey Cup Sunday Warriors fans, and by the way, I've got Hamilton winning it just like '99 in Vancouver.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

November 29th @ Penticton

The Warriors head out for their 3rd straight road game tonight to the SOEC in Penticton. The Warriors skated away with a 3-2 win on November 5th in this building, ending the Vees 13 game winning streak

Game Notes:

-Warriors have lost their last 2 games in regulation, while the Vees have 6 straight wins since losing to Cowichan on November 9th.

-Warriors are 1-2 vs Penticton this season, losing 4-3 and 4-0.

-Both Penticton's goaltenders have sub-2.00 GAA, while Brendan Barry is 8-0 on the season.

-There are 8 of the 25 BCHL players invited to the WJAC Selection Camp in tonight's game. (Blackburn, Blumenschein, and Desbiens for West Kelowna, Fabbro, Bast, Gendron, Hannoun, and Jost for the Vees)

-Including last night vs Trail, West Kelowna plays 6 straight games against the Interior, and 8 the last 10 before Christmas (including last week)

Listen Live tonight at www.wdcr.ca or watch at FastHockey.com, pre-game at 5:45.

Friday, 28 November 2014

November 28th @ Trail

The West Kelowna Warriors continue a busy November with their first match up with the Trail Smoke Eaters in the Kootenays on Friday night.

The Warriors, who fell 7-4 to Prince George on Tuesday up north, are tied for 2nd in the Interior Division, 2 points ahead of Merritt and now tied with the Vernon Vipers for the spot.

The effort in Prince George wasn't a poor one, as the Warriors came out flying early on in that hockey game and controlled play for long stretches of that game.

The difference in the hockey game was the fact that the Spruce Kings were able to capitalize on their opportunities mostly in period 2, as they opened up the 5-0 lead.

The Warriors made it 5-4 but could not find the equalizer and Prince George potted a pair of empty netters to win it.

The fireworks in the final minute with Nick Rutigliano and Kyle Marino fighting Cooper Leitch and Valik Chichkin on the same stoppage (although 2 minutes apart) have lead to Marino getting a 1-game suspension, which he will serve tonight. The instigator penalty to Rutigliano was rescinded by the officials following the game.

As for the matchup tonight, West Kelowna and Trail will meet for the first time this season. Cominco Arena is historic and a lot of fun to play in.

Here are the stats you need to know for tonight's game.

Trail - 11-11-0-1

T-5th in Interior Division (23 Pts)

HOME - 7-5-0-0
AWAY - 4-6-0-1

Top Scorer
Charlie Zuccharini (16 G, 14 A)

GF - 85
GA - 82

PP - 2nd - 26.3% (25 for 95)
PK - 3rd - 82.5 % (85 for 103)

West Kelowna – 11-5-0-3

2nd in Interior Division (25 Pts)

HOME – 4-4-0-0
ROAD – 7-1-0-3

Top Scorer
Liam Blackburn (10 G, 25 A)

GF – 76
GA – 69

PP – 11th - 20.6% (27 for 131)
PK – 8th - 78.9 % (82 for 104)

Next Game – Nov 29th @ Penticton
6:00 PM at SOEC
Head-to-Head Lifetime – West Kelowna is 38-12-0-5 vs. Trail All-time
2013/2014 Head to Head – West Kelowna went 6-1 vs. Trail

Other Stat - West Kelowna is 18-8-0-1 at Cominco Arena since 2006, and are 10-2-0-1 in the last 4 seasons in Trail.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Interior Dominance

A lot has been made early on in this BCHL season about how good and how close the Interior Division is. The Penticton Vees won 13 straight games earlier this year, and just 9 points separates 2nd place from 6th in the division.

The Trail Smoke Eaters, who went 10-42-2-4 last season are vastly improved as well, and sit at 10-10, and sit 6 points back of a playoff spot with 1 game in hand.

Ever since the Bauer Showcase at the beginning of the season, when the Interior went 10-1-0-1 against the other 2 divisions, I have been tracking the records of all teams against the other divisions.

Heading into the November 21st weekend slate of games, here are the highlights:

  • Interior Division is 18-8-1-2 vs. Mainland Division, and 21-3-0-3 against the Island Division
  • Island Division is 14-5-1-2 vs. Mainland Division
  • The Mainland Division does not have a winning record against either division
For the Interior Division, this means that teams are 39-11-1-5 vs. the rest of the BCHL, gathering 75% of the possible points in those games.

It will be interesting to see how everything shakes down as the season progresses, as the Interior works through their 20 games vs. the Other Divisions, and the Mainland/Island play their 22 games vs. teams not in their division.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Remembrance Day - @ LANGLEY - Preview

The Warriors and Rivermen will meet up on a day of Remembrance at the LEC in Langley.

The Warriors, who have taken points in their last 8 games (6-0-0-2) will face a Langley squad who is 5-4-1 in their last 10. The Rivermen knocked off Surrey 6-1 on Monday night in Surrey.

Game Notes:
Langley – 9-7-1-3

3rd in Mainland Division
(21 Pts)

HOME – 5-2-1-1
ROAD – 4-5-0-2 

Top Scorer
Kevan Kilistoff – (12 G, 11 A)

GF – 60
GA – 61

PP – 11th- 20.9% (18 for 86)
PK – 1st – 84.8% (100 for 118)
West Kelowna – 11-5-0-3

2nd in Interior Division (25 Pts)

HOME – 4-4-0-0
ROAD – 7-1-0-3

Top Scorer
Liam Blackburn (10 G, 25 A)
2nd  in BCHL Points, 1st in Assists

GF – 76
GA – 69

PP – 7th – 23.8% (24 for 101)
PK – 7th – 80% (64 for 80)

Next Game –Nov 14th vs Merritt – 7:00 PM– Royal Lepage Place
Head-to-Head Lifetime – West Kelowna is 6-5-1-2 vs. Rivermen All-time
2013/2014 Head to Head – West Kelowna went 1-0-0-1 vs. Langley

Sunday, 9 November 2014

November 9th Preview


Prince George –12-6-0-2

1st in Mainland Division
(26 Pts)

HOME – 4-2-0-2
ROAD – 8-4-0-0 

Top Scorer
Justin Rai (12 G, 14 A)

GF – 64
GA – 60

PP – 6th- 24.5% (23 for 94)
PK – 1st – 84.6% (88 for 104)
West Kelowna – 10-5-0-3

2nd in Interior Division (23 Pts)

HOME – 3-4-0-0
ROAD – 7-1-0-3

Top Scorer
Liam Blackburn (10 G, 25 A)
2nd  in BCHL Points, 1st in Assists

GF – 71
GA – 69

PP – 9th – 24.2% (23 for 95)
PK – 7th – 78.7% (59 for 75)

Next Game –Nov 11th vs Langley – 4:00 PM– Langley Events Centre
Head-to-Head Lifetime – West Kelowna leads 21-10-2-5
2013/2014 Head to Head – West Kelowna went 0-1-0-1 vs. Prince George

The West Kelowna Warriors have not beaten the Spruce Kings since December 3rd, 2011, a span of 8 games.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Warriors @ MERRITT - November 7th Game Preview

The West Kelowna Warriors have won 4 straight games dating back to the Sunday of their island road trip, and have points in their last 6 games. The biggest win of that stretch came on Wednesday night, ending the Vees 13 game winning streak by beating Penticton 3-2 at the SOEC.

Great Save DESAUTELS - Andy Desautels has been strong in the Warriors net of late after not dressing during the island road trip. In the last 3 games, Dezzy as he's known around his teammates, has allowed 8 goals in the last 190:25, for a GAA of 2.52. He has a Sv % of .901 in that span as well.

Red Hot Blackburn - Liam Blackburn had his 7 game point streak snapped on Wednesday as the Vees shut him down, but he had his opportunities. Liam has only been held scoreless in 2 games this season, both by Penticton, but his 33 points still leads the BCHL.

The French Connection - Sure its not Perrault, Martin, and Robert - or the Buffalo Sabres from 1972-1979, but Jonathan Desbiens and Michael Buonincontri have been red-hot in the last 6 games. Desbiens was honored with a BCHL Player of the Week Honor after the island swing. These two, albeit on separate lines, have combined for 14 points in those 6 games, each scoring 4 times including a hat-trick. Desbiens has been the clutch player as well, with 2 GWG, and 1 GWA (Game-Winning Assist).

Merritt – 9-8-0-0

4th in Interior Division (18 Pts)

HOME – 7-1-0-0 
ROAD – 2-7-0-0 

Top Scorer
Gavin Gould (6 G, 13 A)

GF – 57
GA – 56

PP – 12th – 20% (18 for 90)
PK – 12th – 76.7% (66 for 86)
West Kelowna – 10-5-0-2

2nd in Interior Division (22 Pts)

HOME – 3-4-0-0
ROAD – 7-1-0-2

Top Scorer
Liam Blackburn (9 G, 24 A)
Leads BCHL in Points and Assists

GF – 67
GA – 64

PP – 3rd – 25.3% (23 for 91)
PK – 7th – 79.2% (57 for 72)

Next Game –Nov 9th vs Prince George – 2:30 PM – Royal Lepage Place
Head-to-Head Lifetime – West Kelowna leads 40-12-1-2
2013/2014 Head to Head – West Kelowna wins 7-0-0-1

This Season Head to Head
October 4th – Merritt defeats West Kelowna 2-1
-      A late 2nd period goal shorthanded from Jake Clifford was the back-breaking goal against the Warriors with less than 1 second left on the clock. Anthony Pupplo stopped all 9 shots he faced in the 3rd period to hold on for the victory. Jonathan Desbiens had the lone goal for the Warriors, on the power-play in the 1st.
October 17th - Merritt defeats West Kelowna 5-4 in Overtime
-  The Warriors tied it up late in the 3rd period thanks to Michael Buonincontri's 2nd of the night, but Merritt would get a power-play in OT and would capitalize, as Shane Poulsen buried the puck past Scott Patton. Kristian Blumenschein and Hunter Zandee had the other Warrior goals

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Warriors @ Vees - PREVIEW

The West Kelowna Warriors start a busy streak of games tonight in Penticton as they take on the Vee's in their 1st of 6 games in 11 days.

The Warriors have a different look to them since the last time they played the Vee's, as they have added both Andrew Johnson and newly acquired Brayden Gelsinger to their roster. As well, Michael Buonincontri was playing his 1st game back from injury in a 4-0 loss back on October 11th.

With the addition of Gelsinger, the Warriors had to part with both Adam Osczevski and Kade Kehoe, character guys that brought a lot of hard work to this team. With Gelsinger, however, West Kelowna gets a playmaker who has some good speed, and should put up the points regardless of where he slots into the line-up.

The Warriors received an honourable mention in this weeks CJHL Top 20 rankings, but tonight's opponents have the #1 spot on those rankings thanks to their 13 game winning streak and 16-1 record.

If West Kelowna wishes to end that streak tonight, the Warriors must play a full 60 minutes and get contributions from the entire line-up. Andy Desautels, who won both of last weeks contests in overtime, is the likely candidate to get the start in goal, while Hunter Miska should be in net for the Vees.

The Vees will be without Tyson Jost and Dante Fabbro who are both currently at the World U-17 Challenge wearing the Red and White (and Black) of Canada. There are 3 teams representing Canada, made up of the top 66 U17 players in the country.

If you can make it down to the SOEC tonight to help cheer on the Warriors, we hope to see you their. It's the Vee's WACKY WEDNESDAY promotion which means $5 tickets, and also a raffle for a 70" HDTV including Surround Sound. So in my mind...it's worth the trip.

If you cannot make it, Watch live on www.bchl.fasthockey.com with a subscription, or tune in at 95.1 FM WDCR or online at www.wdcr.ca. Pre-game show is at 6:45.

Penticton – 16-1-0-0

1st in Interior Division (32 Pts)
Ranked #1 in CJHL Top 20 Rankings

HOME – 8-0-0-0
ROAD – 8-1-0-0 

Top Scorer
Lewis Zerter-Gossage (9 G, 13 A)

GF – 78
GA – 27

PP – 10th – 22.8% (18 for 79)
PK – 6th – 80% (44 for 55)
West Kelowna – 9-5-0-2

2nd in Interior Division (20 Pts)
Honourable Mention in CJHL Top 20

HOME – 3-4-0-0
ROAD – 7-1-0-2

Top Scorer
Liam Blackburn (9 G, 24 A)
1st in BCHL in Points and Assists

GF – 64
GA – 62

PP – 6th – 25
% (22 for 88)
PK – 8th – 79.4% (54 for 68)

Next Game – Friday Nov. 7th
@ Merritt - 7:30 PM 
Nicola Valley Memorial Arena
Head-to-Head Lifetime – West Kelowna is 16-41-0-7 All-Time vs. Penticton
2013/2014 Head to Head – Penticton wins Season Series 4-3

October 10th, 2014 - Penticton defeats West Kelowna 4-3 @ SOEC
October 11th, 2014 - Penticton defeats West Kelowna 4-0 @ RLP

Saturday, 1 November 2014

31st RECAP + November 1st PREVIEW

On Halloween Night in Salmon Arm the Warriors got spooked early in the 3rd when they were nursing a 2-0 lead. The Silverbacks would score 3 times in 1:27 (not 27 seconds like the online boxscore says, that is incorrect) and forced Rylan Ferster to call his time-out.

I said on the broadcast that it didn't seem like the 1st goal was much of a back breaker for the Warriors, but they could not match the jump in intensity that the 'Backs brought on for that next minute.

After the Time-out to calm down the troops, the game settled back in to what it had been before: long stretches of back and forth action with good opportunities and few whistles.

Josh Bly had his best game as a Warrior tonight, getting his 1st BCHL goal, then his 1st BCHL Multi-Goal game with the tying goal halfway through the 3rd. He paid the price getting drilled right after he scored to tie it at 3 as well.

In overtime, the Penalty to Jason Cotton was killed effectively by the Warriors, and the long stretch of play after the penalty expired meant we got about half as much 3 on 3 as we would have liked to see.

On the Game Winner for Andrew Johnson, you have to commend Jonathan Desbiens and how he has played in the last few games, as he has been in on each of the last 3 Game Winning Goals. Both of his passes the last two games on 2 on 1's with Johnson have been perfectly on the tape, and the quick release of Johnson has enabled the Warriors to get these wins. Tonight's goal was the reverse of the Victoria goal, with Johnson on the left side this time. It didn't matter.

Michael Buonincontri had the other Warriors goal just 12 seconds into the game, as a great start from Cotton and Liam Blackburn enabled Buono to knock it in. Andy Desautels made a couple nice saves down the stretch including a big toe save in the 3rd to keep it 3-3.

Tonight's Game is the 2nd half of a home and home with the Silverbacks, so if these stats seem close to what you looked at yesterday....you're right.

Salmon Arm – 6-6-0-3

6th in Interior Division (15 Pts)

HOME – 3-3-0-2
ROAD – 3-3-0-1 

Top Scorer– Andrew Farny (6 G, 9 A)

GF – 47
GA – 48

PP – 3rd – 26.2% (16 for 61)
PK – 6th – 80.3% (49 for 61)
West Kelowna – 8-5-0-2

3rd in Interior Division (18 Pts)

HOME – 2-4-0-0
ROAD – 7-1-0-2

Top Scorer – Liam Blackburn (8G,21A)

GF – 60
GA – 59

PP – 6th – 24
.7% (20 for 81)
PK – 8th – 78.8% (52 for 66)

Next Game – Wednesday Nov. 5th
@ Penticton - 7 PM SOEC
Head-to-Head Lifetime – West Kelowna is 27-17-1-8 vs. Salmon Arm
2013/2014 Head to Head – West Kelowna wins season series 6-1

2014/2015 Head to Head - West Kelowna leads 1-0
October 31st - Michael Buonincontri scored 12 seconds in and Josh Bly got his 1st BCHL goal in Period 1. The Silverbacks scored 3 times in 1:27 early in the 3rd period before Bly tied it up. The Warriors killed off a penalty in OT and Andrew Johnson buried the game winner with 29 seconds to go in double OT.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Halloween PREVIEW - @ Salmon Arm

The West Kelowna Warriors are coming off a successful 3 game road trip to Vancouver Island taking 5 of 6 points against Nanaimo, Cowichan, and Victoria. The focus returns to the Interior Division now for the next 4 games, as the Warriors will take on Salmon Arm for 2, then Penticton and Vernon, so strap in and get ready for the action coming up in the next week.
Game Notes:
Salmon Arm – 6-6-0-2

6th in Interior Division (14 Pts)

HOME – 3-3-0-1
ROAD – 3-3-0-1 

Top Scorer– Andrew Farny (6 G, 9 A)

GF – 44
GA – 44

PP – 3rd – 27.6% (16 for 58)
PK – 7th – 78.6% (44 for 56)
West Kelowna – 7-5-0-2

3rd in Interior Division (16 Pts)

HOME – 2-4-0-0
ROAD – 6-1-0-2

Top Scorer – Liam Blackburn (8 G, 20 A)

GF – 56
GA – 56

PP – 4th – 26.3% (20 for 76)
PK – 8th – 77.8% (49 for 63)

Next Game – November 1st vs. Salmon Arm – 7:00 PM – Royal Lepage Place
Head-to-Head Lifetime – West Kelowna is 26-17-1-8 vs. Salmon Arm
2013/2014 Head to Head – West Kelowna wins season series 6-1

Friday, 24 October 2014

PREVIEW: Warriors @ Nanaimo

The Warriors open up their island road trip with a game against the Island Division leading Nanaimo Clippers. The Clippers, who the Warriors beat at the BCHL Showcase, have been on a tear lately, winning their last 6 games, and 10 of their last 11. The Nanaimo team has the most goals for in the BCHL with 57, and has the 3rd best differential at +15.

The West Kelowna Warriors have fallen in their last 4 games, the 2nd longest streak in the BCHL currently. The Warriors have played well on the road, only dropping a pair of games in the first five, one in OT to Merritt and a late loss to Penticton at the SOEC. 

The Warriors top line of Jason Cotton, Liam Blackburn, and Michael Buonincontri have been coming together as a unit over the past two games, as they combined for 15 points last weekend against Merritt and Vernon. They were responsible for 6 of the last 8 goals.

Game Notes:
Nanaimo – 10-3

1st in Island Division (20 Pts)

HOME – 5-1-0-0 
ROAD – 5-2-0-0 

Top Scorer– Sheldon Rempal(9G,8A)

GF – 57
GA – 42

PP – 9th – 22% (13 for 59)
PK – 9th – 77.8% (42 for 54)
West Kelowna – 5-5-0-1

6th in Interior Division (11 Pts)

HOME – 2-4-0-0
ROAD – 3-1-0-1

Top Scorer – Liam Blackburn (8 G, 14 A)
GF – 41
GA – 42

PP – 7th – 23.8% (15 for 63)
PK – 5th – 80.7% (46 for 57)

Next Game – Oct 25th @ Cowichan – 7:00 PM – Island Savings Center
Head-to-Head Lifetime – West Kelowna leads 8-6-1
2013/2014 Head to Head – Season Series Split 1-1-1

This Season Head to Head
September 21st – West Kelowna defeats Nanaimo – 7-6
-      A back and forth affair at the BCHL Showcase saw the lead change hands 3 times and Special Teams play a huge role with 5 total Powerplay goals. The Warriors were lead on offense by Liam Blackburn (2+2), and Jason Cotton (2+1). Kade Kehoe, Kylar Hope, and Ryan Ivey also scored. For the Clippers, it was Jacob Jackson with 2 goals, as well as Kale Bennett, Brett Roulston, Corey Renwick, and Devin Brosseau with the others.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

October 18th Preview - Vernon vs. Warriors

Vernon – 5-4-0-1

T-3rd  in Interior Division (11 Pts)

HOME – 3-3-0-1 
ROAD – 2-1-0-0 

Top Scorer – Thomas Aldworth (6 G, 3 A)

GF – 25
GA – 31

PP – 16th – 2.2% (1 for 45)
PK – 13th – 77.1% (37 for 48)

West Kelowna – 5-4-0-1

T-3rd  in Interior Division (11 Pts)

HOME – 2-3-0-0
ROAD – 3-1-0-1
Top Scorer – Liam Blackburn (7 G, 13 A)

GF – 37
GA – 35

PP – 5th – 25.9% (15 for 58)
PK – 4th – 82.7% (43 for 52)

Next Game – October 24th @ Nanaimo – 7 PM
Head-to-Head Lifetime – West Kelowna leads 26-21-2-6
2013/2014 Head to Head – Vernon won season series 4-2-1

2014/2015 Head to Head
September 26th – Vernon 4, West Kelowna 1
September 27th – West Kelowna 4, Vernon 0