When the West Kelowna Warriors take the ice on Thursday afternoon against the Melfort Mustangs, the math is simple: Win, and you play the Brooks Bandits for the Western Canada Cup on Saturday night. Lose, and you'll be the road team on Saturday afternoon against the Mustangs once again.
With tonight's 9-3 loss to the Bandits, the Portage Terriers are hovering between 2nd and 3rd place in the five-team round robin, and will be watching Thursday's afternoon game closely to see which game they'll play in on Saturday. Brooks is locked in first place with 9 points and one game to come against winless Estevan on Thursday night.
West Kelowna sits at 2-1 in the tournament and 5 points on the 3-points/game system after an overtime win on Tuesday against the Portage Terriers. Jonathan Desbiens played the hero in overtime, after Bryan Basilico scored a pair on the power play in the first period. Keelan Williams earned the game MVP after making some huge saves throughout the game including a big toe save with just a second remaining. Williams started after Matthew Greenfield was injured in the game Sunday vs. Brooks. He's listed as Day-to-Day.
Looking at the Mustangs (1-2), they are lead by the top line of Travis Mayan, Tristan Frei, and Juston Boyer, who combined to total of 104 goals and 134 assists in the regular season, and another 26 goals and 36 points in the SJHL playoffs. It would be an understatement to say that the Mustangs rely on their top line, as they accounted for 45.8% of the teams goals int he regular season, and 41.3% in the post-season. Shutting down those three will be the number one key to the Warriors game on Thursday.
In goal, its Richard Palmer who will more than likely get the start, and he's been solid as well. Palmer went 29-9 in the regular season with a 2.92 GAA and a .904 SV%, but only played in 3 postseason games due to injury. He went 3-0, allowing just four goals in those games, and has allowed just 6 goals in three tournament games.
The Melfort Mustangs have had decent Special Teams in the WCC and on the season, as the Mustangs have the second best WCC PP (2 for 11), and the third best PK (15 for 16). The Warriors sit third in PP (3 for 18) and second in PK (19 for 20).
Puck drops at 2:00 PM local time so tune in at 12:40 in BC for the pregame show at www.mixlr.com/bchlwarriors or head on down to Kelly O'Bryan's to catch all the action. The playoff picture will be set once the game ends, so you don't want to miss this one!