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Europeans make early impact as West Kelowna Warriors open season with 2 wins

Warriors forward Johannes Løkkeberg is second in BCHL scoring with four points in two games
The West Kelowna are 2-0 to start the 2023-24 season after beating Penticton 5-3 and Trail 5-4 over the weekend. (Tami Quan Photography/@bchlwarriors - Twitter)

What a way to start the season for the West Kelowna Warriors.

The team opened the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) season with two wins, beating the Penticton Vees 5-3 and the Trail Smoke Eaters 5-4 in overtime this past weekend.

In a back-and-forth game against the defending BCHL champion Vees, it was the Warriors new European players that took the spotlight. Forwards Norway’s Johannes Løkkeberg and Sweden’s Viggo Nördstrom combined for five points in the win.

Callum Hughes also collected a goal and an assist.

Friday night’s win against Penticton was played in front of 1,268 fans at Royal LePage Place in West Kelowna.

On Saturday night in Trail, it was much the same as the previous night as both teams battled back and forth.

As it was 2-2 going into the third period, the Warriors and Smoke Eaters alternated goals twice as the game was gridlocked 4-4 going to overtime.

At the 4:01 mark of overtime, Hughes found the back of the net to score his second goal of the season to give the Warriors a two-win weekend.

Against Trail, Løkkeberg scored to give himself three goals in two games while Jack Pridham collected a goal and an assist in the win.

With four points over the two games, Løkkeberg is tied for second in BCHL scoring.

Goaltender Rorke Applebee earned the win in both games. In the two games combined, he totalled 50 saves on 55 shots.

The Warriors are one of four teams to start the season 2-0, including the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, Nanaimo Clippers, and Surrey Eagles. They will look to continue their early season success when they welcome the Cranbrook Bucks and Trail to West Kelowna this week. Cranbrook will be in town on Friday, Sept. 29 and Trail on Saturday, Sept. 30.

Both games are at Royal LePage Place with the puck drop at 7 p.m.

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Jordy Cunningham

About the Author: Jordy Cunningham

Hailing from Ladner, B.C., I have been passionate about sports, especially baseball, since I was young. In 2018, I graduated from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops with a Bachelor of Journalism degree
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