The West Kelowna Warriors continue on their four-game home stand as they host the Coquitlam Express to close out their season series on Tuesday night at Royal LePage Place.
Warriors vs. Express 2017/18 Schedule:
Wednesday, September 20th @ Prospera Centre (7-2 Warriors) (BOXSCORE)
Wednesday, October 4th @ Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre (5-4 Warriors/OT) (BOXSCORE)
Tuesday, January 23rd @ Royal LePage Place (7:00 PM)
The Warriors and Express have met twice this season with West Kelowna coming away with a pair of victories with a 7-2 win at the Bauer BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack before a 5-4 overtime victory in Coquitlam in early October. Cavin Tilsley, RJ Murphy, Chase Dubois and Jared Marino all scored in regulation before Bennett Norlin’s first career BCHL goal gave the Warriors the victory in extra time. Nik Amundrud stopped 32 of the 36 shots he faced in the game for the victory in between the pipes.
West Kelowna comes into Tuesday night’s game after a tough 3-2 loss to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on Saturday night on home ice. The ‘Backs scored a goal in the first period followed by two markers in the second frame before goals from Parm Dhaliwal and Jared Marino cut the lead to one but the Warriors could not complete the come-from-behind effort. Cole Demers dropped his 6th game of the season but was excellent in the Warriors crease with 35 saves on 38 shots.
Warriors Leading Scorers:
Jared Marino (19-27-46)
Chase Dubois (15-20-35)
Michael Ryan (5-29-34)
RJ Murphy (13-17-30)
Ryan Steele (8-22-30)
Warriors forward Parm Dhaliwal has made an immediate impact in his return to the Warriors lineup after missing 10 games with an injury. The 6’0”, 180-pound forward has scored in each of his last two games, including twice in Trail against the Smoke Eaters on Friday before potting the Warriors first goal on Saturday night. Dhaliwal has already surpassed his goal total from one season ago with 9 compared to 6 and is only six points off of his point total from the entire 2016/17 season.
Another Warrior forward that has seen success over the last pair of games is captain Jared Marino with a goal and an assist in each of the last two games. The Niagara Falls, Ontario native leads the Warriors in goals (19) and points (46) and sits tied for 11th in the BCHL in scoring. Marino has enjoyed playing the Express in limited viewings this season as the Warriors captain leads the team in points against Coquitlam in their two-game season set with a pair of goals and assists.
The Warriors have had plenty of success playing out of their division this season as they hold a 12-2-1-0 record when playing teams from the Mainland or Island Divisions on the year, including a pair of wins over the Express. West Kelowna has been very good when playing Coquitlam over the past 5 years as they have a 10-1-0-1 record in that span along with a 4-0-0-1 record when playing the Express at Royal LePage Place in their last five visits.
The Coquitlam Express come into Tuesday night’s affair with a 13-28-3-1 record and sit in 5th place in the Mainland Division with a win against the Vernon Vipers on Sunday afternoon by a 2-1 score being their latest action. William Lawrence and Troy Robillard each scored 1st period power play goals while Brock Hamm turned aside 30 of the 31 shots he faced for his 8th victory of the season.
Express Leading Scorers:
Eric Linell (24-16-40)
Joshua Wildauer (7-18-25)
Troy Robillard (5-20-25)
Sam Kozlowski (7-17-24)
Christian Sanda (7-13-20)
In late November, the Express made a coaching change as new bench boss Jason Fortier relieved Barry Wolff of his coaching duties and the switch has resulted in a strong push back in Fortier’s time behind the bench. Coquitlam holds a 10-7-2-0 record since Fortier’s first game behind the bench on November 29th against the Langley Rivermen, improving from the 3-21-1-1 record they had to start the season.
One of the Express players who has seemed to have a spark since the coaching change has been forward Eric Linell, who is taking the BCHL by storm with finding the back of the net. The Great Neck, New York native has scored 14 of his 24 goals in the last 20 games, including goals in three of his last four games. The 19-year-old forward also secured a commitment to the University of Connecticut for the 2018/19 season.
Along with a new coach in November, the Express bolstered their goaltending by adding former Western Hockey Leaguer Brock Hamm. The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan native has been excellent since arriving in Coquitlam with a 2.67 GAA and a .920 SV% in 17 games thus far. Since Fortier’s takeover in late November, Hamm has responded with an 8-1-2 record to go along with a 1.67 GAA and a .943 SV% in that 11-game span.
The Warriors and Express drop the puck at 7:00 PM with half price beer and 25 cent chicken wings along with a Frisbee Toss that has reached a total of $1400! Tickets are available online at wkw.goticketpro.com, at the Warriors office, by calling (250) 769-7051 or at the box office one hour prior to the opening face-off.