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GAME PREVIEW: Warriors Head North On Connector For Clash Against Centennials

The West Kelowna Warriors (19-10-4-0) will make the trek to the Nicola Valley as they get set to take on the Merritt Centennials (10-21-3-1) in search of their fourth consecutive win on Saturday night at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena.

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REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE VS. MERRITT

Saturday, November 5th @ Nicola Valley Memorial Arena (8-1 Warriors) (BOXSCORE)

Saturday, January 14th @ Nicola Valley Memorial Arena (7:00 PM)

Wednesday, January 25th @ Royal LePage Place (7:00 PM)

Monday, February 20th @ Royal LePage Place (2:30 PM)

Sunday, February 26th @ Royal LePage Place (2:30 PM)

Saturday, March 4th @ Nicola Valley Memorial Arena (7:00 PM)

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

West Kelowna enters Saturday night in Merritt following their third consecutive win in a 4-3 triumph over the Prince George Spruce Kings on Friday night at Royal LePage Place. Jake Bernadet, Rylee Hlusiak, Ben MacDonald and Luke Devlin each found the back of the net as Cayden Hamming turned aside 27 of the 30 shots thrown his way in his 3rd win of the season.

The Warriors and Centennials have met just once this season with West Kelowna earning an 8-1 victory at the NVMA in early November, helped by a five-goal 3rd period. Jaiden Moriello notched a hat trick along with a two-goal performance from Michael Salandra. Chris Duclair, Kailus Green and Bobby May each scored singles in the win while Nicholas Cristiano got the win that night, making 22 saves on 23 shots.

Warriors Leading Scorers:

Jaiden Moriello (18-11-29)

Rylee Hlusiak (8-19-27)

Ben MacDonald (12-13-25)

Isaiah Norlin (3-21-24)

Luke Devlin (6-17-23)

Scoring the game-tying goal on Friday night, Ben MacDonald now has markers in each of his last two games and has points in three of his last four contests. The Seattle Kraken prospect tied the Warriors team lead with his fourth power play goal of the season on Friday, joining Jaiden Moriello, Matt Fusco and Felix Caron for the team lead in power play goals.

After missing 16 games before returning to the lineup on December 30th, Warriors blueliner Nolan Hayes has returned to the team and delivered in a big way, collecting points in each of his last four games since his return. The Northeastern University has earned an assist in each of his last four contests and has registered a point in 11 of his 17 games played throughout this season.

Another point streak carried into Saturday night’s matchup is Luke Devlin’s, who brings a three-game point streak into action. The Cornell University commit has posted goals in back-to-back games and collected 2 goals and 3 assists for 5 points during his three consecutive games with points. The Pittsburgh Penguins 6th round draft selection has picked up a point in 8 iof his last 10 games.

The Merritt Centennials enter play on Saturday following a 5-4 victory over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on Friday night at the Shaw Centre. Jaxson Murray compiled a hat trick in the game while Dylan Emerson and Jackson Krill added singles in the win. John Hicks was terrific in net for Merritt, turning aside 53 of the 57 shots he faced in his 8th win of the season.

Centennials Scoring Leaders:

Jaxson Murray (14-19-33)

Jackson Krill (14-14-28)

Christian Lowe (10-11-21)

Diego Johnson (7-5-12)

Connor Farren (5-6-11)

Jaxson Murray’s second career BCHL multi-goal game was a hat trick on Friday in Salmon Arm to help his team to their 10th win of the season. The Waterloo, Ontario native is the leading scorer on the Cents and has earned points in three consecutive games and four of his last five contests. Murray has earned 4 goals and an assist for 5 points during his three consecutive games with a point.

A big part of the Centennials success, and their win on Friday, comews in the way of goaltender John Hicks, who earned his 8th win of the season in Salmon Arm. The Kamloops, BC native turned aside 53 of the 57 shots thrown his way in the win and has posted victories in two of his last three appearances. After facing a season-high 57 shots against on Friday, Hicks is tied for 5th in the league in save percentage at .919%.

The Warriors and Centennials play the second  of their seven-game season series tonight in Merritt with puck drop slated for 7:00 PM from the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena. The game will be broadcasted live on the Warriors Broadcast Network (mixlr.com/bchlwarriors) and streamed online on BCHLTV.ca.