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GAME PREVIEW: Warriors Host Wild In Battle Of The Border

The West Kelowna Warriors return home and look to snap a three-game losing stretch as they host the Wenatchee Wild for the third game of a six-game season series on Saturday night at Royal LePage Place.

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Warriors vs. Wild 2017/18 Schedule:

Friday, October 13th @ Royal LePage Place (4-2 Wild) (BOXSCORE)

Friday, November 10th @ Town Toyota Center (9-2 Wild) (BOXSCORE)

Saturday, December 2nd @ Royal LePage Place (7:00 PM)

Friday, January 12th @ Town Toyota Center (7:05 PM)

Saturday, January 13th @ Town Toyota Center (7:05 PM)

Tuesday, February 21st @ Royal LePage Place (7:00 PM)

The Warriors and Wild have met just twice so far this season with Wenatchee coming away with both of the victories with the latest being a 9-2 win on home ice over West Kelowna. Chase Dubois and Jake Harrison scored in the game for the Warriors to get them within a goal after allowing the first three against but Wenatchee scored six unanswered goals after that to come away with the win. Cole Demers turned aside 13 of the 16 shots he faced in a period and 5 minutes in the game before being relieved by Cody Porter who stopped 21 of the 27 shots he faced in his action in the defeat.

West Kelowna comes into Saturday night’s action against the Wild having lost their last three games with the most recent setback coming on Friday night in a 7-4 loss to the Merritt Centennials at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena. Stephen Kleysen, Chase Dubois, Chase Stevenson and Max Bulawka provided the offence for the Warriors on the night while Cole Demers made 26 saves on 32 shots in his 4th loss of the season.

Warriors Leading Scorers:
Jared Marino (10-16-26)

Chase Dubois (11-12-23)

Michael Ryan (3-18-21)

Parm Dhaliwal (6-13-19)

Chase Stevenson (7-11-18)

Chase Dubois will look to keep his scoring going as the Warriors sophomore forward leads the team in goals with 11 after his tally on Friday night in Merritt. The Williams Lake, BC native has points in four of his last five games with two goals and four assists for six points in that span, including goals in two of his last three games. Warriors forward and captain Jared Marino also has points in four of his last five contests with an equal of two goals and six points in that time.

It’s been a team effort when it comes to scoring against the Wild this season for West Kelowna as each of the 4 goals against Wenatchee have been scored by a different player in the likes of Jake Harrison, Chase Dubois, RJ Murphy and Willie Reim. Harrison lead the bunch with a goal and an assist this season against the Wild while Stephen Kleysen also has two points against Wenatchee this season in two games with a pair of assists.

In lineup news, the Warriors will be without four of their forwards as Chase Stevenson heads off to Team Canada West selection camp in Calgary, Alberta to compete for a spot on the team for the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge held in Truro, Nova Scotia. Bennett Norlin, Matt Kowalski and Parm Dhaliwal remain sidelined for the Warriors with injuries as the Warriors will be playing very shorthanded with just 9 forwards and 7 defensemen.

The Wenatchee Wild come into Saturday night’s game in West Kelowna on the end of a stretch of three games in four nights. Wenatchee won in Vernon against the Vipers on Wednesday night by a 2-1 score while they picked up a 4-1 win on Friday night against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks at the Shaw Centre. Slava Demin scored twice in the game for the Wild while August Von Ungern and Sam Morton added singles in Wenatchee’s 19th win of the season. Seth Eisele got the call in goal for the Wild where he picked up his 6th win of the season while making 23 saves on 24 shots.

Wild Leading Scorers:

Jasper Weatherby (21-20-41)

Lucas Sowder (10-19-29)

Cooper Zech (6-23-29)

Sam Morton (15-12-27)

AJ Vanderbeck (13-11-24)

Wenatchee is tied for 2nd in the BCHL with 113 goals for this season and have gotten 21 of those from forward Jasper Weatherby, who leads the team in goals and points and is recently coming off of a commitment to the University of North Dakota. The Lummi Island, Washington native ranks 2nd in the BCHL in goals with his 21, just two behind the Surrey Eagles John Wesley for top spot, and is tied for the league lead in points with 41 as he shares that spot with the Trail Smoke Eaters Ross Armour. To add to that success, Weatherby has enjoyed playing the Warriors as he has scored four goals and six points in just two head-to-head matchups against West Kelowna.

The Wild have been playing some very good hockey over the last 10 games as they boast an 8-1-0-1 record in those contests. Wenatchee has outscored their opponents by a 35-17 margin during that stretch of games which has included some strong play in the special teams department. Wenatchee has scored a power play goal in each of their last three games while not having allowed a power play goal against in their last three games and 16 penalty killing attempts.

Wenatchee will go with Austin Park in the crease for tonight’s matchup against the Warriors after Seth Eisele got the nod in goal last night against the Silverbacks. The Highlands Ranch, Colorado native has been a welcomed addition for the Wild and has won 6 of his last 7 starts and sits in 6th in the BCHL in GAA at 2.42 and is familiar to the Warriors, having stopped 27 of the 29 shots he faced on October 13th in a 4-2 Wild win at RLP.

The Warriors and Wild drop the puck at 7:00 PM from Royal LePage Place on the third of their six-game season series. Tickets are available for purchase online at wkw.goticketpro.com, at the Warriors office, by calling (250) 769-7051 or at the box office ahead of the opening face-off.

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