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GAME PREVIEW: Warriors Battle Kings In Powell River

PHOTO: Julie Pringle/Snap Photography

The West Kelowna Warriors continue their three-game road trip as they make their lone trip to Hap Parker Arena for a matchup against the Powell River Kings on Saturday night.

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Warriors vs. Kings 2017/18 schedule:

Sunday, December 17th @ Royal LePage Place (6-6 Tie) (BOXSCORE)

Saturday, February 10th @ Hap Parker Arena (7:15 PM)

The Warriors and Kings will wrap up their season series with tonight’s game in Powell River with both teams tying in the last game before the Christmas break in the middle of December at RLP. Willie Reim, Jake Harrison, Max Bulawka, Chase Dubois, Michael Lombardi and Jared Marino all scored singles in the game while Cole Demers made 25 saves on 31 shots for the tie.

West Kelowna comes into Saturday night after a 3-1 victory over the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Friday night to kick-off their three-game weekend road trip. Matt Kowalski scored the game’s opening goal 1:30 into the contest before Ryan Steele scored the game winner with 56 seconds remaining in the 3rd period with Cavin Tilsley adding an empty net goal to secure the win. Nik Amundrud stopped 31 of the 32 shots he faced in the game for his 15th win of the season.

Warriors Leading Scorers:

Jared Marino (19-32-51)

Chase Dubois (18-31-49)

Ryan Steele (16-28-44)

RJ Murphy (19-21-40)

Michael Ryan (5-34-39)

Chase Dubois, Ryan Steele and Parm Dhaliwal all kept their point streaks intact in the low scoring affair on Friday night against the Capitals. Steele has collected 8 goals and 14 points during his current seven-game point streak, including goals in three straight games, while Dhaliwal has scored 4 goals along with10 points during a stretch of six straight games with a point and Dubois has earned 2 goals and 10 points during his five-game points streak.

The Warriors continued their strong play against the Island Division with Friday night’s win as they improved to 7-1-1-0 against their foes from Vancouver Island this season. West Kelowna is a combined 16-2-1-0 in games outside of the Interior Division this season with captain Jared Marino and defender Michael Ryan having success against the Kings this season with each scoring a three-point game just before the Xmas break.

West Kelowna will look to find a way to get the power play on a roll, currently sitting 7th in the BCHL at 19.7% but has gone one for its last 16, a span of four games. The Warriors scored a pair of power play goals against Powell River back in December and will be going up against the 14th ranked penalty kill in the league at the Kings sit at 79.8% while shorthanded.

The Powell River Kings come into Saturday night’s affair with a 25-16-4-6 record, sitting one point behind the Victoria Grizzlies for top spot in the division. The Kings are coming off of a 7-4 victory over the Merritt Centennials on Friday night with Ethan Kimball and Ben Berard each scoring a pair of goals while Neal Samanski, Hunter Findlater and Nick Abbott each added singles in the victory. Affiliate goaltender Alex Rolfe got the start in net, making 27 saves on 31 shots for his 2nd win of the season.

Kings Leading Scorers:

Ben Berard (24-36-60)

Jonny Evans (17-33-50)

Carter Turnbull (25-19-44)

Kevin Obssuth (16-20-36)

Gavin Rauser (10-21-31)

Ben Berard is leading the Kings in scoring and sits tied for 4th amongst the best in the league when it comes to point totals. The Duncan, BC native sits one goal behind teammate Carter Turnbull for the team lead in goals while he leads the team with 36 assists and 60 points while recently earning a commitment to the University of Cornell. Berard enjoyed playing the Warriors the last time these two teams met as he collected a goal and a game-high four points.

A pair of veteran Kings forwards have been getting hot at the right time as Carter Turnbull and Gavin Rauser each own three-game point streaks. Turnbull has a pair of goals and three points, including leading the league in power play goals at 11, while Rauser has a goal and four points. Ethan Kimball has also been very good as of late with goals in his last three games, including his pair of goals on Friday against Merritt.

The Kings have made Hap Parker Arena another tough venue to play in as the Warriors hold a 3-0-1-0 record against the Warriors in the last five years of play. Powell River is 14-6-2-3 on home ice this season and have scored 94 times at “The Hap” this season compared to 68 goals against, good for the 5th best goal differential at home in the league.

The Warriors and Kings drop the puck at 7:15 PM with the pre-game show coming at 6:45 PM on the Warriors Internet Network and HockeyTV.com with the Voice of the Warriors, Trevor Miller.

West Kelowna is back on home ice on Saturday, February 17th when the Warriors host the Victoria Grizzlies on Pastor Don Richmond’s 9th annual Faith Night. With plenty of local churches filling the seats and great raffle prizes to be won, it’s one of the most exciting nights of the season. The Warriors will also be hosting their annual team awards immediately after the final buzzer. Tickets are available online at wkw.goticketpro.com, at the Warriors office, by calling (250) 769-7051 or at the box office one hour prior to the opening face-off.

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