Friday, 30 October 2015

Oct 30th @ Salmon Arm PREVIEW

The West Kelowna Warriors and Salmon Arm Silverbacks will play back to back nights in a Halloween Weekend home and home starting with tonight's game in Salmon Arm.

The Warriors were busy this week on the trade front, making a pair of deals. First, they acquired goaltender Keelan Williams from Camrose for forward Paul Lovsin.

Williams played last season in Kootenay of the WHL, before being released this year. The 19-year-old had good numbers for Sherwood Park as a 17-year-old in the AJHL.

I'd like to wish Paul Lovsin the best of luck in Camrose. With a winning pedigree from Spruce Grove the past 2 seasons, Lovsin was exciting to watch on the ice this year playing alongside Liam Blackburn. Trades are part of hockey, and it is always the hope that deals work out in favour of both teams.

With the Warriors having 3 goaltenders in the mix, Rylan Ferster ended up moving Forbes Ploszaj to Surrey for Future Considerations. Once again, I wish Forbes the best of luck with the Eagles, as he looks to get some substantial playing time with Justin Laforest on the Injured Reserve.

The Warriors will have just 21 players on the roster for now, with the possibility still looming of Luke Harrison becoming a member of West Kelowna's lineup in the near future. Harrison's CHL-BCHL Listing Rights were acquired in the off-season in a 3-way deal that sent Mac Ferner to Vernon, and Mitch Meek to PG. Harrison is currently with the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL, however Spokane got Adam Helewka back from the AHL, so they must be down to three 20-year-olds within the next two weeks. We'll see what happens

As for the game tonight, the Warriors will be looking to snap the Silverbacks 5 game win streak that started with the 4-3 victory over West Kelowna on October 16th. In that game, the 'Backs had a 3-0 lead, before the Warriors out-shot Salmon Arm 30-3 in the final 32:34 of the game, but could not get the win, as Angus Redmond was strong in the final 10 minutes to shut the door.

Salmon Arm sits 4 points up on the Warriors so this series has the potential for a big swing. You talk about "4-point games" and what they mean, but consider this an "8-point weekend."  The Warriors could find themselves anywhere from tied for 2nd in the Interior to 8 points back of the Silverbacks. Safe to say that nothing less than a split is desirable. Should be a good weekend set.

Stats Pack:
Salmon Arm – 11-3-2-0

HOME – 6-2-2-0
ROAD – 5-1-0-0

Top Scorers
Nick Hutchison (8 G, 13 A)
Taro Hirose (2 G, 18 A)
Josh Blanchard (7 G, 12 A)

GF – 72
GA – 43

PP – 4th – 18 for 85 (21.2%)
PK – 4th – 83 for 97 (85.6%)
West Kelowna – 9-5-0-2

HOME – 7-2-0-1
ROAD – 2-3-0-1

Top Scorers
Liam Blackburn (10 G, 11 A)
Jonathan Desbiens (9 G, 8 A)
Garrett Forster (7 G, 9 A)

GF – 55
GA – 50

PP – 2nd – 17 for 65 (26.2%)
PK – 6th – 66 for 79 (83.5%)

Next Game – Saturday October 31st
Vs. Salmon Arm – 7 PM RLP
Head-to-Head Lifetime – West Kelowna is 30-21-1-8 vs Salmon Arm
Warriors are 13-11-0-6 at the Shaw Centre

2014/2015 Head to Head – West Kelowna went 4-3 vs Salmon Arm in 2014/2015. They were 2-2 at the Shaw Centre last season.

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