Thursday, 31 December 2015

Warriors 4 - Trail 1

The West Kelowna Warriors ended 2015 with a complete team effort despite being down two regular forwards as they won a physical and emotionally-charged affair on Wednesday night in Trail by a 4-1 score.

Quin Foreman got the Warriors on the board first in the opening period, after Jared Marino and Reed Gunville battled to get him the puck. A quick release by Foreman snapped it off a defenseman's stick and past Bailey MacBurnie who had been solid early as the Warriors peppered the Trail goal.

West Kelowna took 3 straight penalties in the 1st period, but their special teams luck changed in the 2nd as Trail took 5 straight, including 1 with just 4 seconds to go in the 1st period. The Warriors would make the Smoke Eaters pay twice in the final 5:30 of the 2nd, as Liam Blackburn one-timed a shot off a loose puck to make it 2-0, before Jonathan Desbiens beat MacBurnie from the circle for a 3-0 lead with just over a minute left.

A power-play goal from Trail was the lone puck to beat Matthew Greenfield, who has allowed just 4 goals in 3 games so far for West Kelowna since being acquired in mid-December.

It was Blackburn who scored the empty net goal for West Kelowna in the final minute, as he out-battled a Trail defender and fell once as well before he potted it into the yawning cage.

 Game Thoughts:

  • The effort tonight was exactly what the Warriors were looking for as they played a highly entertaining style of hockey, blasting a ton of pucks towards Bailey MacBurnie throughout the night, taking advantage twice of the power plays they were given, and once again getting great goaltending from Matthew Greenfield.
  • The Warriors were dominated last year in the first game after Christmas in a 7-3 loss to Trail, but the veterans on this team made sure that wasn't going to happen. I wouldn't say the Warriors controlled the game throughout, but they were good for long stretches.
  • West Kelowna gave up more than 30 shots on the night for just the 7th time this season, as Matthew Greenfield shut the door with 34 saves on the night. He's allowed just 4 goals in 3 games, while sporting a .962 SV%.
  • With both Brett Mennear and Tanner Campbell out of the lineup (status/returns unknown), Rylan Ferster and Shae Naka decided to stack up one line with Liam Blackburn, Kylar Hope, and Jonathan Desbiens. While they were responsible for a pair of power-play goals, it was the line of Jared Marino, Reed Gunville, and Quin Foreman that impressed throughout the night. They were responsible for the opening goal, and worked hard throughout the night to create opportunities. I thought Gunville had one of his best games this season as he was both a pest, and an offensive threat on numerous occasions.
  • Speaking of pests, that's what the Trail Smoke Eaters tried to be throughout the night. While the penalty minutes ended up almost even (28 Trail, 24 WK) it was the Smoke Eaters who tried to get the Warriors off their game. There were numerous scrums in the 3rd period, including Rylan Yaremko getting a cross-check to the face trying to find a loose puck, and a number of attempts to run over Greenfield in the Warriors goal. Harlan Orr finally got to him, going head first into Greenfield's chest on an attempted net-drive. 

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Dec 30th @ Trail PREVIEW

The West Kelowna Warriors return from the Christmas break tonight as the board the bus to take on the Trail Smoke Eaters at Cominco Arena.

The Warriors are coming off a split against the Penticton Vees, while the Smoke Eaters have been hot lately, going 6-4 in their last 10, while moving within 1 point of a playoff spot (with 3 games in hand on the Vernon Vipers)

In what is becoming a holiday tradition, this will be the 3rd consecutive year that the Warriors have visited Trail coming off the Christmas break.  West Kelowna is 1-1 in those games, winning 4-3 in 2013/2014 and losing 7-3 last season.

Being around the rink for the first two practices post-break, the mood is light and it will be interesting to see how the focus comes back heading into the match-up against the Smoke Eaters. It's about to be a busy stretch for West Kelowna, as the Warriors will play 13 games in 33 days (including the Exhibition January 18th against Red Bull Salzburg)

Stats Pack:
Trail – 17-19-0-0

HOME – 10-7-0-0
ROAD – 7-12-0-0

Top Scorers
Nick Halloran (16 G, 16 A)
Ross Armour (9 G, 19 A)
Jake Kauppila (9 G, 15 A)

GF – 111
GA – 143

PP – 8th – 30 for 153 (19.6%)
PK – 6th – 137 for 164 (83.5%)

West Kelowna – 20-14-0-2

HOME – 12-6-0-1
ROAD – 8-8-0-1

Top Scorers
Liam Blackburn (18 G, 26 A)
Kylar Hope (18 G, 21 A)
Jonathan Desbiens (21 G, 18 A)

GF – 136
GA – 128

PP – 3rd – 39 for 166 (23.5%)
PK – 8th – 148 for 183 (80.9%)

Next Game – Saturday January 2nd
@ Merritt – 7:30 PM
Head-to-Head Lifetime – West Kelowna is 45-14-0-6 vs. Trail All-Time
The Warriors are 20-10-0-1 vs. Smoke Eaters at Cominco Arena

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Dec 19th @ Penticton PREVIEW

The West Kelowna Warriors visit Penticton for their final game before Christmas in the back half of a home and home set, after winning at home on Friday night by a 2-0 margin.

Jonathan Desbiens played the hero late in the hockey game, sending the Teddy Bears flying with a goal with just 2:05 to go in the 3rd period. Off a broken up pass, Connor Sodergren got the puck back out front to the trailer Desbiens, as he potted the marker and the bears flew from the stands. After the delay to pick up the stuff toys, Scott Allan sealed the deal from his own blueline with his 2nd of the year.

Matthew Greenfield was most of the story throughout the hockey game, as he turned away 41 shots for his first BCHL Shutout in his first BCHL game. It wasn't a flashy performance, but a sound, technical and "crisp" effort in between the pipes. Warriors fans were buzzing throughout the game, as Greenfield stole a victory for the Warriors, a first this season in the eyes of Rylan Ferster.

The re-match tonight will not be easy, and it will be intriguing to see if Zach Driscoll gets the start for the Vees again. He was pretty good last night throughout, making a couple of big saves on Warriors power plays. You can't blame him at all for the lone goal he allowed, so it wouldn't surprise me one bit to see him get the nod. Anthony Brodeur has been no slouch this season either, so the Vees are in a strong position with whomever they decide to start.

Tonight's game should be another physical affair as the intensity and physicality picked up throughout the night. There was constant conversations post-whistle, as Kyle Marino and Kylar Hope were consistently in discussions with Vees like Luke Voltin and Easton Brodzinski. With Demico Hannoun out of the Vees lineup, it was Voltin who played the agitating role throughout the night.

The Warriors will not play for 10 days after tonight, so it's a chance to empty the tank. After what was considered to be "not the best effort" being out-shot 41-26 in the game last night, the Warriors skaters will be hungry to get back to their 30-shots or less against mentality.

Stats Pack:
Penticton – 30-4-1-0

HOME – 17-0-1-0
ROAD – 13-4-0-0

Top Scorers
Scott Conway (30 G, 38 A)
Tyson Jost (24 G, 37 A)
Easton Brodzinski (21 G, 19 A)

GF – 147
GA – 74

PP – 1st – 45 for 155 (29.0%)
PK – 2nd – 112 for 129 (86.8%)

West Kelowna – 20-13-0-2

HOME – 12-6-0-1
ROAD – 8-7-0-1

Top Scorers
Liam Blackburn (17 G, 25 A)
Kylar Hope (18 G, 22 A)
Jonathan Desbiens (20 G, 17 A)

GF – 135
GA – 125

PP – 3rd – 28 for 155 (24.5%)
PK – 9th – 137 for 172 (79.7%)

Next Game – Wednesday December 30th @ Trail - 7:30 PM
Head-to-Head Lifetime – West Kelowna is 19-47-0-8 All-Time vs Penticton.

The Warriors are 9-24-0-3 vs. Vees in Penticton

Dec 18th vs Penticton RECAP

Fans were sitting with their Teddy Bears for almost the entire hockey game Friday night, but the raucous crowd of 1300 plus used their "WE ARE, WARRIORS" chant perfectly to cheer on the late 3rd period goal that sent the bears flying. We'll have more on that goal below, but let's talk about the game up until a puck finally crossed the line. This game wasn't necessarily a defensive struggle, as the Penticton Vees controlled the shot clock throughout the night, going hard at the Warriors in transition and creating numerous opportunities to score.

The Vees could not beat the brick wall that was Matthew Greenfield on this night, as Greenfield used "the force" (come on, it's Star Wars EVERYWHERE at the moment), to keep the puck out of the net. The Lakeland, FL product was calm throughout the hockey game and kept steering the pucks aside waiting for his teammates to produce a goal to unleash the arms and bears from the fans.

Post-Whistle Conversations were the Norm on Friday night
The two teams renewed acquaintances through some physical play throughout the hockey game, and there were numerous post-whistle conversations. At the centre of most pushing and shoving seemed to be Luke Voltin and Easton Brodzinski of the Vees, while Kyle Marino and Kylar Hope always seemed to be in the mix for the Warriors. Voltin was throwing his weight around all night, and always seemed to find himself in the Warriors crease as Greenfield froze the puck on numerous occasions.
Liam Blackburn swarmed by the Vees
 The Warriors only managed 15 shots on goal through 40 minutes on Friday, and give the Vees credit, as with only 4 regular defensemen seemed to frustrate West Kelowna with what was maybe a different style of play than what the Warriors watched on film. Give the Vees a ton of credit for their effort as Rylan Ferster did post-game, but realize the goaltending battle that occurred and both those young men deserve the recognition as well.
Garrett Forster misses just WIDE 
 The third period was the most balanced period as the Warriors simplified their defensive zone game, trying to just chip pucks out and not get fancy with it. It seemed to work, as Garrett Forster had a brilliant chance from the circle (see above) but put it just 3 inches wide of the far post. The Warriors were trying to get a lucky break throughout the frame, and it would finally happen with just over two minutes to play.

After a non-whistle after the puck hit the netting to the left of the Warriors goal, Nick Rutigliano knocked down a loose puck and sent it ahead off the wall to Connor Sodergren, who went in on a 2 on 1. A great play by a sprawling Vees defenseman knocked the pass down, but Sodergren's 2nd effort sent the puck in front as Desbiens was able to bury the marker, touching off his celebrations and the bears flying from the Warriors faithful (see below)
Jonathan Desbiens buries the Teddy Bear Toss goal and celebrates!

Atom Rep helps with pick up!

Orchard Ford helps with the collection
Scott Allan would seal the deal for West Kelowna with a long-range empty netter from just inside his own blueline to make it 2-0 with 1:05 to go. He would make a nice little move and put the puck right in the dead centre of the Vees net at the far end of the ice. After that, some solid boards play got the Warriors a big two points, heading into a rematch showdown on Saturday at 6 PM.
Warriors pick up the BIG 2 points!
Thoughts from the (Press)Box:

  • The most lopsided shot total against the Warriors this season is put in the rearview mirror when the two points are picked up in a game like that. It had the feel of overtime from the moment the 3rd period started, and the Warriors fans felt that vibe too, picking up chants and making noise with every chance and save. It was an atmosphere to remember for sure, almost along the lines of that during 3 OT in Game 3 last season. The Warriors found a way to win this one, and the fans enjoyed every single moment.
  • Neither power play clicked in the hockey game and the Warriors really didn't seem to have a good look all night. They were given 4 opportunities, and i'm unsure as to the shot total, but I believe it was under 4. West Kelowna will need to find a way on Saturday to cash in, as not scoring on the man advantage can haunt teams more often than not.
  • Matthew Greenfield's debut wasn't a spectacular display of highlight-reel saves, it was a solid and "crisp" (Chad Carder's description) performance for a 41-save shutout. He had "great rebound control, found the puck through traffic, and knew where it was going after the save was made." - Warriors goaltender coach Chad Carder.
  • Numerous Interior Division goaltenders have "stolen" games this season, and Matthew did that tonight for the Warriors, although it wasn't flashy. It was one of those games where you knew the Warriors skaters wanted badly to pick up the win for their netminder. 

Friday, 18 December 2015

December 18th vs Penticton PREVIEW

The West Kelowna Warriors wrap up their pre-Christmas schedule with a pair of games against the Penticton Vees this weekend. The Warriors find themselves sitting in 3rd place in the Interior division with a 19-13-0-2 record, while the Vees have a 30-3-1-0 record sitting atop the League.

Penticton will enter hungry tonight, having lost their #1 ranking in the CJHL after splitting last weekend with Salmon Arm, and will look to keep their perfect record against the Warriors intact. The Vees have not entirely missed a beat with some top end players out of their lineup, winning 2 of 3 without the likes of Tyson Jost, Dante Fabbro, and Demico Hannoun.

West Kelowna is confident and ecstatic heading into this epic weekend set where the Teddy Bears will fly after the first Warriors goal tonight, in what has been such a great event already this season for teams. While tonight may not match the Calgary Hitmen (see below), it's always such a fun thing to be a part of.

Kylar Hope will be honoured before the game for his Warrior of the Month honours, coming off such a fantastic month of November. He's stayed hot in December as well, now having doubled his point total in 24 less games than last year. He has also played in 102 consecutive games for the Warriors over the past 2+ seasons.

The Warriors will dress a new goaltender tonight as well, as Matthew Greenfield joined the team this week from the USHL's Tri-City Storm. He will wear #1 and we'll hear from him during the 1st intermission on the broadcast this evening.

It's the Warriors and the Vees, it's BCHL action and it's going to be a dandy! DON'T MISS IT!

Stats Pack:
Penticton – 30-3-1-0

HOME – 17-0-1-0
ROAD – 13-3-0-0

Top Scorers
Scott Conway (30 G, 38 A)
Tyson Jost (24 G, 37 A)
Easton Brodzinski (21 G, 19 A)

GF – 147
GA – 72

PP – 1st – 45 for 150 (30.0%)
PK – 3rd – 108 for 125 (86.4%)

West Kelowna – 19-13-0-2

HOME – 11-6-0-1
ROAD – 8-7-0-1

Top Scorers
Liam Blackburn (17 G, 25 A)
Kylar Hope (18 G, 22 A)
Jonathan Desbiens (19 G, 17 A)

GF – 133
GA – 125

PP – 3rd – 28 for 151 (25.2%)
PK – 9th – 132 for 167 (79.0%)

Next Game – Saturday December 19th @ Penticton – 6 PM SOEC
Head-to-Head Lifetime – West Kelowna is 18-47-0-8 All-Time vs Penticton
The Warriors are 9-23-0-5 vs. Vees at Home.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Dec 12/13 RECAP

The West Kelowna Warriors won their last two games on the island swing after dropping the opener to Alberni Valley. 

Looking at those games, the reverse happened in each of them, as Saturday the Warriors erased a 3-1 deficit, and Sunday they got up 3-1 and never looked back.

In Nanaimo, a pair of 1st period goals from Sheldon Rempal had the Clippers up, but the Warriors responded in the 2nd period. After Rylan Yaremko scored on the power-play, Reed Gunville scored his 2nd of the season on a nice slap shot from the circle.

The Warriors went on a streak of 5 straight goals as they finished with a 7-4 victory. Yaremko had a pair of goals in the game, while Liam Blackburn, Tanner Campbell, Jonathan Desbiens, and Kylar Hope added singles. Keelan Williams picked up the win.

Game Thoughts:
-The Warriors were in tough after twenty minutes but they found a way to get a key goal in the 2nd and another to tie it up. By the coaching staffs admission, the next goal against could have broken the spirit of the Warriors, but Yaremko saved that notion, and the belief was there for the 3rd.
-The Warriors discipline was probably called into question after the first 20 on Saturday, as Scott Allan took a double minor (2 rough, 2 unsportsmanlike) and the Warriors went short. They cleaned that up in the 2nd, and although the power plays were even at the end of it all, Nanaimo couldn't get West Kelowna off their game, and were frustrated And took a couple penalties for high hits and misconducts.
-Keelan Williams stopped a penalty shot in the 1st period, and made some key saves once down 3-1 to give the Warriors a shot. With Matthew Greenfield coming in to Kelowna this week, we'll see how the 3-goalie unit will work out heading into a weekend set against Penticton.

On Sunday, the Warriors got an early goal out of Quin Foreman as he buried a rebound just 37 seconds in. Kylar Hope hammered one off the post at 5:12 to put the Warriors up a pair, then after the lead was cut in half, Lane Gilliss deflected one past Mitchel Benson to make it 3-1.

Liam Blackburn scored Shorthanded in the 2nd, breaking away after blocking a point shot and going upstairs on the Victoria netminder. 

A point shot from the Grizzlies made it 4-2, but Gunville reinstated the 3-goal lead on a nice power play move in front. Just moments before that goal, Gunville had Benson going the wrong way but an unbelievable stop kept it out, as Benson's body crossed the line but the glove never did.

On the Gunville goal, Nick Rutigliano lofted a nice little pass in, and although it looked like a whiffed shot attempt, "Tiggs" swears it was planned all the way, just as I predicted right after it happened.

The Grizzlies were the only team to score in the 3rd period, which lacked emotion and intensity.

Game Thoughts:
-I'd say "never in doubt" but it's the BCHL and anything can happen. The Warriors were up 3-1 and comfortable after 1, but it was Liam Blackburn that really broke the spirit of the Grizzlies with his short-handed marker.
-Reed Gunville had goals in back to back games and after getting absolutely robbed was able to find a way to get the 5th goal of the night right away.
-5 different Warriors scored in today's game, and overall on the weekend, the Warriors saw 9 different goal scorers put the 14 on the board.

Weekend Thoughts:
-Special teams was a positive for West Kelowna this weekend, as they killed off 11/13 penalties, and scored a pair shorthanded. The power play went 4/14, which is above their season average. The lone downside was a pair of Shorthanded goals against on Friday that helped the Bulldogs take the win.
-Both Kylar Hope and Nick Rutigliano deserve recognition and perhaps nomination for the BCHL Player of the Week after this weekend. Hope had 3 goals, 2 assists and a 1st star, while Rutigliano finished with 4 assists. He deserves the recognition for his defensive play as well, outside of a turnover Friday. He responded with great defense on Saturday and Sunday, and chipped in offensively too.
-there's a big weekend next weekend as the Warriors play Penticton in a home and home to wrap up the pre-Christmas schedule. The positive heading into the week is that the Warriors remained healthy on the trip, and should get Kristian Blumenschein back in the lineup as well. West Kelowna will catch a small break with no Tyson Jost or Dante Fabbro in the Vees lineup on the weekend, but Penticton is first for a reason, and will pose a pair of very tough tests

Dec 13th @ Victoria PREVIEW

The West Kelowna Warriors enter the 3rd game of their road trip on Sunday afternoon looking to win the trip and come away with 4 points, taking on the Victoria Grizzlies at the Q Center.

West Kelowna erased a 3-1 deficit against the Nanaimo Clippers last night, scoring 5 straight goals, then finishing a 7-4 win with an empty netter. Kylar Hope lead the way on offense with a goal and 2 assists, extending his point streak to 12 games. Hope has been the Warriors best player in the last 2 months, and it is showing up on the stat sheet. During the 12 game point streak, Kylar has amassed 9 goals and 11 assists, and now trails Liam Blackburn by 2 points for the team lead.

Victoria is coming off a shutout loss to the Wenatchee Wild on the Grizzlies Teddy Bear Toss night, so they'll be hungry to prove to their fans that they can score goals. It should be another great test for the Warriors at the end of a road trip.

Pre-game show starts at 1:40 this afternoon with puck drop at 2, when Kyle Anderson is joined by Jordan Henry in the broadcast booth for the first 2-man show of the season. You can listen at

Stats Pack:
Victoria – 13-18-0-4

HOME – 9-6-0-3
ROAD – 4-12-0-1

Top Scorers
Brayden Gelsinger (13 G, 27 A)
PJ Conlon (9 G, 16 A)
Tyler Welsh (6 G, 16 A)

GF – 133
GA – 103

PP – 17th – 21 for 145 (14.5%)
PK – 2nd – 109 for 126 (86.5%)

West Kelowna – 18-13-0-2

HOME – 11-6-0-1
ROAD – 7-7-0-1

Top Scorers
Liam Blackburn (16 G, 25 A)
Kylar Hope (17 G, 22 A)
Jonathan Desbiens (19 G, 16 A)

GF – 90
GA – 104

PP – 3rd – 37 for 146 (25.3%)
PK – 11th – 128 for 163 (78.5%)

Next Game – Friday December 18th vs. Penticton – 7 PM Royal Lepage Place
Head-to-Head Lifetime – West Kelowna is 10-6-1-0 vs Victoria All-Time
The Warriors are 4-3-1 in Victoria All-Time.

Head-to-Head This Season
October 25th – West Kelowna wins 4-2 over Victoria at Royal Lepage Place

Saturday, 12 December 2015

December 12th @ Nanaimo PREVIEW

The West Kelowna Warriors continue their 3-game island swing in Nanaimo tonight for a 6 pm start from the Frank Crane Arena.

The two teams are going opposite directions at the moment, as the Clippers are riding a hot 10-game winning streak, while West Kelowna has lost 3 in a row.

When you look at the first meeting of the season between these two on November 8th, they have gone completely opposite directions since that game. The Clippers have an 11-1 record since the 7-4 loss, while the Warriors have gone 5-7 since the victory.

Sheldon Rempal is the player to watch for the Clippers, as his 69 points is tops in the BCHL. He recently scored 5 in a game, and sits with 35 G through just 33 games. The BCHL has seen only two 50-goal scorers since 2009/2010, as Mitch McMillan (61) that season, and Corey Mackin (50) last season are the only two. Rempal is on pace for 62 (rounding up).

Keelan Williams will get the start for West Kelowna, while Sol Seibel will make his BCHL debut on defense wearing #5.

Stats Pack:
Nanaimo – 22-10-0-1

HOME – 12-4-0-0
ROAD – 10-6-0-1

Top Scorers
Sheldon Rempal (35 G, 34 A)
Devin Brosseau (14 G, 34 A)
Matthew Hoover (24 G, 22 A)

GF – 133
GA – 103

PP – 2nd – 47 for 184 (25.5%)
PK – 12th – 137 for 177 (77.4%)

West Kelowna – 17-13-0-2

HOME – 11-6-0-1
ROAD – 6-7-0-1

Top Scorers
Liam Blackburn (15 G, 25 A)
Kylar Hope (16 G, 20 A)
Jonathan Desbiens (18 G, 16 A)

GF – 121
GA – 118

PP – 3rd – 35 for 141 (24.8%)
PK – 10th – 125 for 158 (76.8%)

Next Game – Sunday December 13th - @ Victoria – 2 PM – Q Centre
Head-to-Head Lifetime – West Kelowna is 12-6-1-0 vs Nanaimo All-Time
The Warriors are 7-1 at Frank Crane Arena.

Head-to-Head This Season
November 8th – West Kelowna wins 7-4 over Nanaimo at Royal Lepage Place

Bulldogs 4 - Warriors 2

The West Kelowna Warriors fell 4-2 to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Friday night in a game that slipped away in the third period.

The two teams felt each other out at the start of the night, as there weren't too many scoring chances in the opening twenty minutes, and not many shots on goal either. The Warriors had the best chances of the first period on a pair of breakaways, but failed to convert. Jonathan Desbiens had another glorious chance too as he walked out of the corner, but Brody Claeys stood tall for the Dogs.

The games first goal came in the 2nd period, as the Bulldogs opened the scoring. Nathan Dingmann walked around the Warriors defense and snapped a shot short side to make it 1-0. The Warriors responded on the power play from Kyle Marino, as he poked one over the line after Garrett Forster sent one on goal, and Reed Gunville popped it free.

With Jake Harrison in the box right after the tying goal, Kylar Hope forechecked hard on the dump in, and forced Claeys to play the puck. Claeys played it right into Dingmann and onto the end boards, where Hope stole it and wrapped one around and into the goal for the 2-1 lead. That is where the 3rd period would begin on the scoreboard.

Just 22 seconds into the 3rd, a turnover at the blueline allowed Eric Margo to snap one past Clark's pad and tie the game. Then, the Bulldogs took the lead on a strange goal. With Quinn Syrydiuk going to the net, a saucer pass missed him from Josh Adkins, yet ended up right in the Warriors goal.  As Evan Hammond put it on the Bulldogs broadcast, he just plain whiffed on it. I couldn't tell if it had hit something on the way to the goal, but watching the video and it goes right in the corner of the net on the pass from the side boards.

With the Warriors on a late power play trying to even the score, Harrison was unable to keep the puck in at the line and Adkins made it 4-2 on a short-handed breakaway goal. West Kelowna scrambled in the final 2 minutes with the net empty, but were unable to find a goal to get within 1.

Game Thoughts:

  • The Warriors have lost 3 straight games for the first time this season, including a pair to island teams. Once again the Warriors did a great job limiting the shots against, but couldn't get a save when they needed it. West Kelowna allows just 27.2 Shots/Game, while averaging over 38 on the opposition each night. In 22 of 32 games, the Warriors have allowed 30 or less shots.
  • Kylar Hope continued his point streak and moved it to 11 games. He's also on a 4-game goal scoring streak, and has moved into 27th on the Warriors All-Time Scoring list.
  • The positives of the Warriors special teams include a 100% penalty kill (+ short-handed goal) and the power-play goal. However, West Kelowna also allowed a pair of shorthanded goals that changed the game in the Bulldogs favour.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Dec 11th @ Alberni PREVIEW

The West Kelowna Warriors start a 3-game island swing tonight in Port Alberni, as they take on the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. The Bulldogs defeated the Warriors 10-5 on November 21st.

West Kelowna has had all week to get ready for the trip after a disappointing weekend saw them drop a pair of games to both Cowichan Valley and Merritt. It was a weekend of lost opportunity as the Salmon Arm Silverbacks dropped a pair as well, as the Warriors failed to gain any ground in the Interior Division standings.

The Bulldogs are returning home after 9 games on the road, and have a heavy home schedule in the latter half of this season. The Bulldogs have played just 11 of their 28 games to this point, as they play a pair on home ice this weekend.

For the Warriors, look for Brett Clark to get his first start in goal for the Warriors tonight. Clark ended up not starting last Saturday after all signs pointed to him being in the goal, but Rylan Ferster confirmed that Clark will get the nod.

Speaking of goaltenders, the Warriors added another goalie yesterday, acquiring Matthew Greenfield from Tri-City of the USHL for Futures. The 20-year-old goaltender will arrive in Kelowna on Monday, and is expected to dress next Friday night when the Warriors host the Penticton Vees. The Warriors will carry 3 goaltenders for the time being.

West Kelowna will look to bounce back off of the loss to the Bulldogs a couple weeks ago, and see if the day-early travel to the island is a benefit to the club. Pre-game show goes live at 6:40 tonight, puck drop at 7 on both FastHockey and

Stats Pack:
Alberni Valley – 11-17-2-1

HOME – 6-5-0-1
ROAD – 5-12-2-0

Top Scorers
Chris Schutz (15 G, 13 A)
Nathan Dingmann (14 G, 11 A)
Josh Adkins (10 G, 15 A)

GF – 89
GA – 119

PP – 4th – 33 for 143 (23.1%)
PK – 16th – 123 for 165 (74.6%)

West Kelowna – 17-12-0-2

HOME – 11-6-0-1
ROAD – 6-6-0-1

Top Scorers
Liam Blackburn (15 G, 25 A)
Kylar Hope (15 G, 20 A)
Jonathan Desbiens (18 G, 16 A)

GF – 119
GA – 114

PP – 3rd – 34 for 137 (24.8%)
PK – 11th – 121 for 154 (78.6%)

Next Game – Saturday December 12th
6:00 pm vs Nanaimo – Frank Crane Arena
Head-to-Head Lifetime – West Kelowna is 5-6-3-3 vs Alberni Valley All-Time
The Warriors are 2-2-2-2 in Port Alberni.

Head-to-Head This Season
November 21st – Alberni Valley wins 10-5 in West Kelowna