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PREVIEW: WARRIORS BEGIN KOOTENAY ROAD TRIP IN TRAIL

#19 Chase Dafoe doesn’t have to wait too long for his awaited return to Cominco Arena in Trail. Dafoe was the Smoke Eaters team Captain last season.

Photo Credit: Tami Quan Photography

October 13th. 2021

WEST KELOWNA B.C. – The West Kelowna Warriors begin their longest road trip of the season with their first stop Wednesday evening in Trail.

The Warriors are coming off an exciting home opener where they were able to defeat the Prince George Spruce Kings by a score of 5-3. The game began with the questionable coaching decision made by Spruce Kings head coach Alex Evin starting goaltender Aaron Trotter over Jordan Fairile. Trotter, who started the night before in Merritt got back to back starts which would be exploited by the Warriors who scored 5 goals on 36 shots. Jordan Fairlie was expected to get the start, especially since he was able to stop 46 of 50 Warriors shots back in the preseason matchup. Regardless of the goaltending it was a complete team win for the Warriors which saw first goals from new comers Chase Dafoe, Nick Roukounakis and Tyler Rubin.  Assistant Coach Ayrton Nikkel was specifically pleased with veteran Chase Dafoe’s play who scored but also blocked a shot in a crucial stage of the game. “The shot block towards the end of the game is a big reason why he(Chase) has an A on his jersey, he is a voice in the room and backs it up on the ice”.

Wednesday October 13th VS Trail Smoke Eaters: 7:00pm PST

Friday October 15th VS Cranbrook Bucks: 6:00pm PST

Saturday October 16th VS Cranbrook Bucks: 6:00pm PST

Tonight the Warriors have a new test in the Trail Smoke Eaters, a club they haven’t faced since February 17th, 2020. The BCHL’s Pod season in the Spring of 2021 saw the Warriors in the North Okanagan Pod where as the Smoke Eaters spent their 20 game pod in Penticton. This Warriors team will play the Smoke Eaters Wednesday night and then will stay in the Kootenay’s on route to Cranbrook which will see a total of 4-5 days on the bus.“I like these road trips early in the season”, stated Warriors Assistant Coach Ayrton Nikkel. “They bring the guys together, they get to know each other just a little more”. Coming into this game the Warriors haven’t defeated the Smoke Eaters since February of 2019. It’s a team that’s got the best of the Warriors over the past 7 attempts. This time around the Warriors head into this season with a stronger roster and a veteran lineup that matches up well, it also helps that the Smoke Eaters no longer have the powerhouse roster anymore led by Kent Johnson who is now playing with The University of Michigan(NCAA). This doesn’t change the Warriors game plan as Cominco Arena in Trail can be one of the toughest opposing venue’s in the BCHL, in fact the Warriors last win inside Cominco was October 20th, 2018. The Smoke Eaters also are running a new generation of forwards led by Zach Michaelis. Michealis picked up a a goal in both games for the Smoke Eaters when they split their home at home against the Cranbrook Bucks. Both goals were also scored on the powerplay. Ayrton Nikkel was quite clear the path to a win versus the Smoke Eaters and overall success on this road trip is if his team can stay disciplined and stay out of the penalty box.

Puck drop for the Warriors on Wednesday will be 7:00pm versus the Smoke Eaters from Cominco Arena in Trail. All Warriors games will be broadcast on HockeyTV and the Warriors Mixlr internet radio feed. Season Tickets and Single Game Tickets are now available online or direct from the Warriors office. For more info visit the Warriors website or call (250)769-7051.