Monday, 15 February 2016

February 16th vs Vernon PREVIEW

It's an early morning start, so a late night blog (or early morning depending when you're reading this) for Tuesday's preview.

The Warriors and Vipers begin a mini 3-game series over the course of the next four days, as they trade Anti-Bullying Awareness games starting at 11 AM on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

West Kelowna has been wearing their Anti-Bullying jerseys all month, and the Vipers are expected to don pink for both games this week as well.

Over 1200 school kids will be in attendance at Royal LePage Place for the game, and the atmosphere should be fantastic. The Warriors aren't new to the anti-bullying games, but they're hopeful that this will be the best one yet. Even Kyle Marino is excited for this one, as he'll give a speech between the first and second periods on Anti-Bullying.

As far as the action on the ice goes, it is an important time in the season for both teams, and it will be very interesting to see how both teams adapt to the early start. The Warriors never played an early game at the Showcase this season, which is the only time that teams in the BCHL usually play before 2:00. Knowing how routine-oriented hockey players are, it could come down to who finds their legs and adjusts first.

The Vipers sit just two points clear of the Merritt Centennials for the fourth and final playoff spot, as the Centennials push themselves to try and sneak in at the last possible moment. The Vipers do have three games in hand over the Centennials, so the next two days are crucial for the Vipers to try and drive a gap between the two teams. Vernon's magic number is 6 points.

The Warriors split their weekend with a loss to Penticton and a win against the Langley Rivermen. West Kelowna is in a chase of their own, trying to lock down home ice in the first round. Their playoff opponent, the Salmon Arm Silverbacks are five points back with one game in hand.

Stats Pack:

Vernon – 22-26-0-3

HOME – 12-12-0-2
ROAD – 10-14-0-1

Top Scorers
Odeen Tufto (21 G, 37 A)
Liam Finlay (14 G, 26 A)
Bo Pellah (2 G, 31 A)

GF – 159
GA – 174

PP – 5th – 54 for 245 (22.0%)
PK – 12th – 180 for 231 (77.9%)

West Kelowna – 34-17-1-2

HOME – 17-7-1-1
ROAD – 13-10-0-1

Top Scorers
Jonathan Desbiens (40 G, 35 A)
Liam Blackburn (25 G, 43 A)
Kylar Hope (25 G, 42 A)

GF - 221
GA – 170

PP – 3rd – 59 for 252 (23.4%)
PK – 5th – 237 for 274 (82.8%)

Next Game – Wednesday February 17th
@ Vernon – 11 AM – Kal Tire Place

Head-to-Head Lifetime – West Kelowna is 31-25-2-6 All-Time vs Vernon
Warriors 20-9-0-2 All-Time vs the Vipers at home.

West Kelowna is 3-1 this season vs. Vernon.

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