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GAME PREVIEW: Warriors Head To Merritt For Sunday Matinee

PHOTO: Julie Pringle/Snap Photography

The West Kelowna Warriors conclude their three-game stretch away from home as they head to the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena for the first time this season to face-off against the Merritt Centennials.



Warriors vs. Centennials 2017/18 Schedule:

Saturday, September 16th @ Royal LePage Place (3-1 Warriors) (BOXSCORE)

Sunday, October 29th @ Nicola Valley Memorial Arena (2:00 PM)

Friday, November 24th @ Royal LePage Place (7:00 PM)

Friday, December 1st @ Nicola Valley Memorial Arena (7:00 PM)

Saturday, February 3rd @ Royal LePage Place (7:00 PM)

Friday, February 23rd @ Nicola Valley Memorial Arena (7:00 PM)

The Warriors come into Sunday afternoon’s matinee after a 5-2 loss to the Vernon Vipers on Saturday night at Kal Tire Place. Willie Reim scored a pair of power play goals in the 2nd period for the Warriors, who erased a two-goal deficit to tie the game at the middle point of the frame before Vernon scored three unanswered goals to pull away with the win. Nik Amundrud turned aside 34 of the 39 shots he faced in the defeat.

The Warriors and Centennials have met once so far in the 2017/18 season with West Kelowna coming away with a victory on home ice against Merritt in the third game of the season for each team.  Matt Kowalski, Jared Marino and Chase Stevenson scored in the game for West Kelowna with Jack Vincent getting the lone Merritt tally. The late goal from Vincent wrecked a shutout bid for Cole Demers on that night, who still made 32 saves on 33 shots in the win for West Kelowna.

Warriors Leading Scorers:

Jared Marino (6-9-15)

Cavin Tilsley (3-9-12)

Michael Ryan (1-11-12)

RJ Murphy (5-6-11)

Chase Dubois (6-4-10)

West Kelowna will turn to Cole Demers to get the start in the game today against the Centennials in Merritt, over a month after the Cents denied him of his first career shutout. Demers sits with a 5-0 record on the season and owns the league’s best goals against average (1.38) and save percentage (.954) ahead of Vernon’s Anthony Yamnitsky.

Willie Reim scored both of the Warriors goals in the loss to Vernon on Saturday night and picked up his 4th and 5th goals of the season, putting the North Oaks, Minnesota native in a tie for 2nd on the team in goals. Reim’s goal also came on the power play and helped snap an 0/18 drought when up a man for the Warriors.

The injury bug has hit the Warriors as goaltender Nik Amundrud and forward Cavin Tilsley will not play for the Warriors this afternoon. The good news for the Warriors is that forward Peter Tomaras will return to the lineup after missing Saturday night’s action with an illness. AP goaltender Aris Anagnostopolous will back up Demers today in Merritt coming over from the Kelowna Chiefs of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL).

The Merritt Centennials enter play on Sunday after a day off with a 5-4 loss to the Trail Smoke Eaters coming on Friday night at Nicola Valley Memorial Arena. The Centennial captain Tyrell Buckley scored twice in the game while Zach Court and Ashton Stockie added singles in the defeat. Jacob Berger made 36 saves on 40 shots in his 11th loss of the season.

Centennials Leading Scorers:
Nicholas Wicks (5-10-15)

Zach Zorn (5-6-11)

Tyrell Buckley (4-7-11)

Henry Cleghorn (4-6-10)

Zach Court (3-7-10)

Speaking of Berger, he has seen the most action in the BCHL as the 20-year-old netminder has spent 869 minutes in between the pipes. Taking out the 4-11 record, Berger has had a great season to start with a 3.31 GAA and a .909 SV% and has faced north of 30 shots in 10 of the 15 games he has played so far this season.

Centennials leading scorer Nick Wicks would be a name to keep an eye on for this matchup as he has points in three of his last four games and leads the club with 10 assists. 4th year defenseman and captain Tyrell Buckley is another name to have high on the radar after scoring two goals against the Smoke Eaters on Friday night and has back-to-back multi-point nights.

The Warriors and Centennials drop the puck at 2:00 PM with the pre-game getting underway at 1:45 PM on the Warriors Internet Network and HockeyTV.com with the voice of the Warriors, Trevor Miller. West Kelowna returns to Royal LePage Place on Friday, November 3rd against the Penticton Vees for a 7:00 PM face-off. Tickets are available at the Warriors office or by calling (250) 769-7051.

The Warriors have introduced a new Fan’tatstic Five ticket package that gives fans a chance to experience five of the most highly anticipated games of the season for just $55.55 with games against the Wenatchee Wild, Penticton Vees, Salmon Arm Silverbacks, Vernon Vipers and Victoria Grizzlies. For more information on these packs and all ticket info, visit the Warriors office or call (250) 769-7051.

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