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PREVIEW: Warriors Look For First Win Of Series In Merritt

The West Kelowna Warriors trail their first-round best-of-7 series against the Merritt Centennials 2-0 and will be needing a road victory in Game #3 to get back into the series on Monday night at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena.

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Regular Season Series:

Tuesday, September 27th @ Royal LePage Place (5-1 Centennials) (BOXSCORE)

Friday, December 9th @ Royal LePage Place (3-2 Warriors/OT) (BOXSCORE)

Saturday, December 10th @ Nicola Valley Memorial Arena (4-2 Warriors) (BOXSCORE)

Friday, January 6th @ Royal LePage Place (4-1 Warriors) (BOXSCORE)

Saturday, January 7th @ Nicola Valley Memorial Arena (4-1 Warriors) (BOXSCORE)

Friday, February 3rd @ Nicola Valley Memorial Arena (6-2 Centennials) (BOXSCORE)

Friday, February 24th @ Nicola Valley Memorial Arena (8-3 Centennials) (BOXSCORE)

 

Playoff Series:

Game #1: Friday, March 3rd @ Royal LePage Place (6-5 Centennials) (BOXSCORE)

Game #2: Saturday, March 4th @ Royal LePage Place (5-4 Centennials/3OT) (BOXSCORE)

Game #3: Monday, March 6th @ Nicola Valley Memorial Arena (7:00 PM)

Game #4: Tuesday, March 7th @ Nicola Valley Memorial Arena (7:00 PM)

*Game #5: Thursday, March 9th @ Royal LePage Place (7:00 PM)

*Game #6: Friday, March 10th @ Nicola Valley Memorial Arena (7:00 PM)

*Game #7: Saturday, March 11th @ Royal LePage Place (7:00 PM)

 

Regular Season Leading Scorers (West Kelowna):

Quin Foreman           27-42—69

Connor Sodergren    24-35—59

Logan Mostat             18-24—42

Chase Dubois             18-15—33

Braiden Epp              16-17—33

 

Regular Season Leading Scorers (Merritt):

Zach Risteau              26-24—50

Cade Gleekel              16-29—45

Brett Jewell                15-21—36

Michael Regush         14-22—36

Zach Court                 11-23—34

 

Playoff Leading Scorers (West Kelowna):

Quin Foreman           3-3-6

Jake Harrison            2-2-4

Chase Stevenson       1-3-4

Stephen Kleysen       0-3-3

Michael Ryan             1-1-2

 

Playoff Leading Scorers (Merritt)

Tyler Ward                 4-2-6

Michael Regush         1-3-4

Zach Risteau              2-1-3

Brett Jewell                2-1-3

Michael Faulkner      1-2-3

The Warriors did the unthinkable in Game #2 as they came from behind after a 4-0 deficit in the third period to tie the game. Parm Dhaliwal, Quin Foreman, Jake Harrison and Chase Dubois all scored in the third period to erase the four-goal deficit and get the game to overtime. Not even two overtimes could break the 4-4 deadlock but 3:07 into the 3rd overtime period, Stephan Seeger scored his first goal of the series and give Merritt a 5-4 victory and a 2-0 series lead heading back to the Nicola Valley. Cole Demers started for the Warriors and made 41 saves on 46 shots in his 2nd loss of the series after playing 103:07.

The triple overtime defeat to the Centennials was the second longest game in Warriors franchise history. West Kelowna lost by a 3-2 score in that triple overtime affair on March 5th, 2015 at Royal LePage Place against the Penticton Vees in their first-round series. Mitch Newsome, currently playing for the Coquitlam Express, scored the goal that ended the night just before the midnight hour.

Quin Foreman has been dominant for the Warriors over the first two games of the series as he paces the offense with three goals and six points thus far. The Warriors will be looking to get better starts to their games, however, as they have trailed in each of the last two first periods by at least a 2-0 score.

West Kelowna has come from behind in a series that they trailed 2-0, most recently doing so last season in the Interior Division Finals versus the Vees as the Warriors dropped the first two games of that series but were able to rattle off four straight victories en route to their first Interior Division crown. Six players from last year’s squad remain on this year’s version of the Warriors and will be looking to have the same fate as a season ago.

The Centennials sit in a perfect position after winning their first two games of the series, both on the road, and will be set for returning to Merritt in front of what will be a raved fan base. Tyler Ward has been a thorn in the Warriors side in the series with four goals and six points thus far through just over eight periods of play. Cents netminder Jacob Berger made a season-high 63 saves on the 67 shots he faced in the triple overtime victory for the Centennials.

The Warriors and Cents drop the puck in Merritt at 7:00 PM with the pre-game show starting at 6:45 PM with free audio available on the Warriors Internet Network and live video at www.hockeytv.com. Game #4 of the best-of-7 series goes on Tuesday night at 7:00 PM while, if necessary, Game #5 will be played at Royal LePage Place on Thursday night.

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