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GAME PREVIEW: Warriors Host Vees In Search Of Seven Straight Home Wins

The West Kelowna Warriors head back to Royal LePage Place and search for their seventh straight home victory as they take on the Penticton Vees for the third time this season on Friday night.

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Warriors vs. Vees 2017/18 Schedule:

Friday, September 29th @ South Okanagan Events Centre (2-1 Vees) (BOXSCORE)

Friday, November 3rd @ Royal LePage Place (4-3 Warriors) (BOXSCORE)

Friday, November 17th @ Royal LePage Place (7:00 PM)

Wednesday, November 29th @ South Okanagan Events Centre (7:00 PM)

Friday, December 8th @ South Okanagan Events Centre (7:00 PM)

Friday, December 15th @ Royal LePage Place (7:00 PM)

The Warriors and Vees have each won a game in their season series thus far with the home team coming out victorious on each occasion. The Vees picked up a 2-1 win in their home opener in late September against the Warriors while the Warriors earned a 4-3 win at RLP a few weeks ago. Lucas Cullen scored his first two goals as a Warrior while Jordan Todd and Mike Lombardi added singles with Lombardi’s marker being the game winner. Cole Demers turned aside 29 of the 32 shots he faced in the Warriors goal for the win in between the pipes.

West Kelowna comes into Friday night after a 3-2 double overtime loss on Wednesday night to the Vernon Vipers at Kal Tire Place. Michael Ryan and Stephen Kleysen scored in the 2nd period for the Warriors to give them a lead before the Vipers scored to tie the game in the middle frame and eventually head to overtime. Jimmy Lambert ended the game 1:04 into the 3-on-3 session where the Warriors earned a single point. Cody Porter had a strong night in the Warriors crease, stopping 43 of the 46 shots he faced in the game for his 1st loss of the season.

Warriors Leading Scorers:
Jared Marino (7-12-19)

Chase Dubois (9-8-17)

Parm Dhaliwal (5-12-17)

Michael Ryan (2-15-17)

Stephen Kleysen (5-10-15)

The Warriors made a roster move on Thursday ahead of tonight’s game as forward Peter Tomaras (’98) was traded to the Waywayseecappo Wolverines of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) in exchange for future considerations. Tomaras, 19, spent 61 games in the BCHL with the Warriors, collecting 5 goals and 15 points during his time in West Kelowna.

In other roster news, Spencer Hora will make his Warriors debut on the blue line wearing number five. The Kelowna, BC native is a veteran of 78 BCHL games with 1 goal and 18 points over his career with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks including 81 penalty minutes over that span as the Warriors will dress 11 forwards and 7 defensemen for tonight’s contest. Hora is playing his first game since Sunday, November 5th where he received a four-game suspension for a blow to the head penalty.

Royal LePage Place has been a strong home ice advantage for the Warriors as they aim for their seventh straight victory in West Kelowna. During their six-game winning streak at home, the Warriors have outscored their opponents 21-13 and own the best home record in the BCHL at 10-2-0-0 and are the only team in the league with double digit wins at home.

The Penticton Vees come into Friday night with a 12-5-2-1 record and sit 4th in the Interior Division after a season-high seven goals in a 7-1 victory over the Surrey Eagles on Wednesday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Grant Cruikshank scored twice in the game while Nicky Leivermann, Ryan O’Connell, Jack Barnes, Taylor Ward and Jared Nash added singles in the victory. Adam Scheel backstopped the Vees to his 7th win of the season while making 10 saves on 11 shots.

Vees Leading Scorers:

Owen Sillinger (6-13-19)

Nicky Leivermann (3-13-16)

Jonny Tychonick (5-8-13)

Grant Cruikshank (8-4-12)

Dakota Boutin (6-6-12)

The Vees will be without one of their top point getters and returning forwards as Grant Cruikshank will sit out tonight’s action. The 19-year-old Delafield, Wisconsin native received the 2nd goaltender interference penalty of the game for the Vees on Wednesday night against Surrey, which resulted in a game misconduct and an automatic one-game suspension. After going pointless in six games, Cruikshank had tallied points in three straight games with three goals and five points in that span.

Penticton’s power play has seen a recent surge after struggling to find the back of the net and will be opposed by the 6th ranked penalty kill of the Warriors. The Vees have scored 7 power play goals in their last 4 games including going 4/7 on the man advantage on Wednesday night against the Eagles with Jonny Tychonick leading the pack with 4 power play goals this season.

Two of the top five in scoring for the Vees come from the back end with Tychonick and Colorado Avalanche-drafted defenseman Nicky Leivermann, who leads all blue liners on the Vees with 16 points this season. The Eden Prairie, Minnesota native has points in four of his last five games with a goal and four assists in that span and leads the Vees in helpers with 13.

The Warriors and Vees drop the puck on Friday night from Royal LePage Place at 7:00 PM in their third meeting of the season. Tickets for the game can be purchased through the Warriors office, by calling (250) 769-7051 or at the door ahead of the opening face-off.