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GAME PREVIEW: Warriors Host Smokies On Pastor Don’s Christmas Hamper Night

PHOTO: Julie Pringle/Snap Photography

The West Kelowna Warriors return back home for the 7th annual Pastor Don’s Christmas Hamper night as they host the Trail Smoke Eaters on Saturday night at Royal LePage Place.

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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 (7:00 PM)

Friday, December 29th @ Royal LePage Place (7:00 PM)

Saturday, December 30th @ Cominco Arena (7:00 PM)

Friday, January 19th @ Cominco Arena (7:00 PM)

The Warriors and Smoke Eaters haven’t met each other since the beginning of the regular season when each team won on the road with West Kelowna earning a 4-3 victory on the road at Cominco Arena before the Smokies extracted some revenge on the road just a night later with a 4-0 shutout victory over the Warriors. The Warriors and Smoke Eaters will see a lot of each other over the next few weeks as they play three times head-to-head against each other.

West Kelowna comes into Saturday night’s affair with a 17-14-0-1 record and sit in 5th place in the Interior Division, just five points behind the Smoke Eaters for the fourth spot in the division. The Warriors most recently dropped a 5-2 score line to the Penticton Vees on Friday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Jared Marino and Chase Dubois provided the offence for the Warriors while Nik Amundrud turned aside 27 of the 31 shots he faced in the game for his 9th loss of the season.

Warriors Leading Scorers:

Jared Marino (11-18-29)

Chase Dubois (12-14-26)

Michael Ryan (3-19-22)

Parm Dhaliwal (6-13-19)

RJ Murphy (9-9-18)

West Kelowna returns to the comfy confines of Royal LePage Place and will look to continue their strong play on home ice. The Warriors own a 12-4-0-0 record on home ice and have collected 24 points in their 16 home games this season and are 2nd in the BCHL in home victories behind only Penticton, who have 13. West Kelowna have one of the better goal differentials on home ice this season, sitting at +14 with 58 goals for and 44 goals against.

The shuffling in and out of the lineup continues as Parm Dhaliwal will be out for tonight’s game with an upper body injury, leaving the Warriors with 9 regular forwards and 7 defensemen as he joins Matt Kowalski, Chase Stevenson and Bennett Norlin in the injury department. West Kelowna will be adding AP forward Mitchell Gove from the Okanagan Rockets of the BC Major Midget League for the second consecutive night. The Summerland, BC native has had a very strong year so far with 12 goals and 21 points in just 20 games this season with the Rockets.

The Warriors are proud to be hosting the 7th annual Pastor Don’s Christmas Hamper Night at Royal LePage Place tonight. The night has been a big success since it’s inception in 2010 as the cash donations during the game will be used to purchase groceries and deliver the goods to needy families in West Kelowna to provide an opportunity to have a holiday meal. Fans are encouraged to bring cash donations to the game as well as a dollar from every game ticket being donated to Pastor Don’s Christmas Hamper program.

The Trail Smoke Eaters come into Saturday night with a 19-10-0-2 record and sit in 4th place in the BCHL’s Interior Division. The Smokies have dropped their last six games with the most recent being a 7-4 loss to the Wenatchee Wild south of the border on Wednesday night. Levi Glasman scored twice in the game while Tyler Ghirardosi and Ryan Murphy added singles in the defeat. Tanner Marshall got the start in goal and dropped his 3rd game of the season as he made 51 saves on the 57 shots he faced.

Smoke Eaters Leading Scorers:
Ross Armour (16-26-42)

Kale Howarth (15-25-40)

Levi Glasman (15-18-33)

Jeremy Lucchini (3-24-27)

Carter Jones (7-18-25)

Despite the recent stretch of losses for the Smoke Eaters, they have been having a strong season and in particular while playing away from Cominco Arena. The Smokies are 10-4-0-1 playing on the road this season and have scored 66 goals while giving up 53 away from home. The Smoke Eaters rank 2nd overall in the BCHL in the goals for category with 120 scored in their 31 games played this season.

Trail boasts a strong lineup that is anchored by 3rd-year forwards Ross Armour and Kale Howarth. Armour sits 3rd in the league in scoring with 16 goals and 42 points on the season while Howarth is 6th in the BCHL in scoring with 15 goals and 40 points on the year but both Armour and Howarth, along with defenseman Seth Barton, will not be in the Smoke Eaters lineup on Saturday night and leave a void to fill offensively for the Smokies with 26% of Trail’s goals stemming from either Armour or Howarth.

The Smoke Eaters will have a new look in goal as Adam Marcoux will make his first start with Trail after being acquired from the Cowichan Valley Capitals on December 1st. The Calgary, Alberta native posted a 2-19-2 record with the Caps this season to go along with a 4.58 GAA and a .888 SV% with the 19-year-old getting in his first action with his new club tonight against the Warriors.

The Warriors and Smoke Eaters drop the puck at 7:00 PM as fans are encouraged to bring cash donations as well as a dollar from every game ticket being donated towards Pastor Don’s Christmas Hamper program. 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.