The West Kelowna Warriors open up a six-game stretch away from Royal LePage Place as they make the trip for their final game of the year 2017 to face-off against the Trail Smoke Eaters on Saturday night at Cominco Arena.
Warriors vs. Smoke Eaters 2017/18 Schedule:
Friday, September 8th @ Cominco Arena (4-3 Warriors) (BOXSCORE)
Saturday, September 9th @ Royal LePage Place (4-0 Smoke Eaters) (BOXSCORE)
Saturday, December 9th @ Royal LePage Place (5-3 Smoke Eaters) (BOXSCORE)
Friday, December 29th @ Royal LePage Place (7-5 Smoke Eaters) (BOXSCORE)
Saturday, December 30th @ Cominco Arena (7:00 PM)
Friday, January 19th @ Cominco Arena (7:00 PM)
The Warriors and Smoke Eaters meet for the fifth of six times on Saturday with the final meeting of the season series taking place in three weeks back at Cominco Arena. The Smokies have had a strong hold on the season series thus far with three wins in the four games played between the two squads, which, if the playoffs started today, would be a first-round playoff matchup.
West Kelowna comes into Saturday night with an 18-16-1-1 record and sit in 5th place in the Interior Division, six points behind the Smoke Eaters for 4th spot. The Warriors look to avenge a 7-5 loss they suffered just a night ago against the Smokies in their own building with the captain Jared Marino scoring twice and Jordan Todd, Jake Harrison and Michael Ryan adding singles in the defeat. Cole Demers started the game, turning aside 15 of the 19 shots he faced before Nik Amundrud suffered the loss coming on in relief with 16 saves on 18 shots.
Warriors Leading Scorers:
Jared Marino (15-20-35)
Chase Dubois (14-16-30)
Michael Ryan (4-25-29)
Jake Harrison (7-18-25)
Michael Lombardi (10-13-23)
The Warriors captain continued his current hot streak with a pair of goals and an assist on Friday, pushing Jared Marino’s point streak to seven games. The Niagara Falls, Ontario native has five goals and eleven points during this seven-game stretch and has found the back of the net in four of his last five games. Marino has also cracked the Top 20 in BCHL scoring as he sits in 18th with his 35 points on the season.
Nik Amundrud will get the start in goal for the Warriors tonight, making his first start since December 9th against the Smoke Eaters. The Melfort, Saskatchewan native has posted an 8-11 record this season to go along with a 3.06 GAA and a .909 SV% in 19 games this season and has some good memories playing in Trail as he opened the season with 27 saves on 30 shots in a Warriors 4-3 victory.
West Kelowna will head to Trail with the same number of forwards out of the lineup as Matt Kowalski, Bennett Norlin, Chase Stevenson, Parm Dhaliwal and Lucas Cullen remain out with injuries. Wyatt Head and Spencer Hora will move up front for some forward shifts as well as affiliate player Ryan Cooper, who gets into his first BCHL game tonight wearing number 24. The St. Albert, Alberta native has posted some strong numbers in the KIJHL with the Nelson Leafs as he has 13 goals and 28 points in 29 games with the Leafs this season and sits 2nd in team scoring.
The Trail Smoke Eaters come into Saturday night looking to sweep the weekend home-and-home set with the Warriors after their 7-5 victory in Royal LePage Place on Friday night. Braeden Tuck scored twice while Ross Armour, Ryan Murphy, Andre Ghantous, Levi Glasman and Kale Howarth added singles in the victory. Adam Marcoux was very good in the Trail crease as he turned aside 45 of the 50 shots he faced in the game for his 4th victory of the season.
Smoke Eaters Leading Scorers:
Ross Armour (17-26-43)
Kale Howarth (16-25-41)
Levi Glasman (16-22-38)
Jeremy Lucchini (3-28-31)
Carter Jones (10-19-29)
Braeden Tuck has seen success when playing the Warriors this season as the Calgary, Alberta native has posted five goals in the four game season series thus far, with all of his goals coming at Royal LePage Place. The 19-year-old forward has tallied five goals and an assist in the season series with five of his eleven goals coming against the Warriors this season and was named the game’s second star on Friday night with his multi-goal performance.
It’s been an odd year for the Smoke Eaters as they have performed much better on the road than they have when playing inside the confines of Cominco Arena. Trail holds a 9-8-1-0 home record and have lost their last four contests on home ice, dating back tom November 17th against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs which was a 6-4 win. During that four-game stretch, Trail has been outscored by a 22-7 margin.
The Warriors and Smoke Eaters are scheduled to drop the puck at 7:00 PM with the pre-game show getting underway at 6:45 PM on the Warriors Internet Network and HokceyTV.com with the Voice of the Warriors, Trevor Miller. West Kelowna continues their road trip as they head to Vancouver Island for a trio of games next week in Victoria, Nanaimo and Alberni Valley.