Photo: #20 Matt Stienburg looks to slot back into the lineup Friday night when the Warriors begin their two game set with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
Photo Credit: Tami Quan Photography
October 9th, 2020
WEST KELOWNA B.C. – The West Kelowna Warriors(2-1-0-1) look to get back on track in week three of the Okanagan Cup versus the Salmon Arm Silverbacks(0-2).
Last week the Warriors pushed the star studded Penticton Vees to the brink, only to come out with a single point in the two game set. Great effort and great goaltending still wasn’t enough with the Vees coming up with a 3-2 victory Friday night and a 3-2 shootout victory Saturday night. Warriors Assistant Coach Ayrton Nikkel commented that his team played pretty good without veterans Wyllum Deveaux and Matt Stienburg last Saturday night. “The guys scratched and clawed and Bennett kept us in there giving us a chance to win. I think our team showed a lot of resilience and I’m happy with that.”
Some positive news coming out of the weekend was Warriors forward John Evans was able to get a couple goals including the Warriors first power play goal of the Okanagan Cup Tournament snapping what was a lengthy drought.
Tonight the Warriors will faceoff against a very well rested Salmon Arm Silverbacks. The Silverbacks are coming off a very tough opening weekend of the Okanagan Cup surrendering a total of 15 goals in only two games played. The coaching staff of the Silverbacks publicly came out after those two games and said their team simply wasn’t ready for competitive play. With a weekend off the Silverbacks have had a lengthy break to adjust and watch a lot of game film from the Warriors including their most recent weekend against the Penticton Vees.
Issue for the Silverbacks is, which Warriors team will come out this weekend? Warriors Head Coach Simon Ferguson has made it clear he wants everyone on his roster to get playing time and each game has seen a different roster with different lines. Ferguson still wants to shuffle the lineup a bit more and be very conscious of his players health and fatigue with some members getting limited ice time before the opening weekend of the Okanagan Cup. Silverbacks coaching staff will need to be mindful to focus on their own game rather than follow what Simon Ferguson and his Warriors team end up doing. Another interesting night will be Saturday’s game in Salmon Arm. The Warriors haven’t been able to win a game inside the Shaw Centre since the 2016-17 season. Warriors players in previous seasons have complained about arena lighting being poor and it being one of the toughest rinks to play in the BCHL.
This evening’s game will be broadcast on both HockeyTV and the Warriors Mixlr Network. Puck drop at 7:00pm from Royal LePage Place in West Kelowna. Saturday’s game will be a 6:30pm puck drop from the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm. Saturday’s game will also be broadcast on the Shaw Spotlight channel. A reminder that no fans will be allowed in either building. HockeyTV has a sale that ends this evening where you get $80 off a subscription. Use coupon code BCHLWARRIORS20 at hockeytv.com/subscriptions.