West Kelowna Warriors will face-off against the Penticton Vees in week 2 of the Okanagan Cup. (Photo - Cherie Morgan)

Okanagan Cup Preview: Warriors look to up Vees in weekend doubleheader

Both the West Kelowna Warriors and the Penticton Vees are undefeated after week 1

The West Kelowna Warriors resume action this weekend when they take on the Penticton Vees in a home and home as part of the Okanagan Cup.

Last weekend the Warriors played excellent, defeating the Vernon Vipers in back-to-back games. Thanks to some top-notch goaltending by Johnny Derrick and Zach Bennet, the Warriors only surrendered one goal in each game, winning 4-1 and 2-1.

While the Warriors are happy with their start, assistant coach Aytron Nikkel said that his team could be a little better defensively, especially after narrowingly escaping with a 2-1 victory on Saturday night.

“There’s no excuse for the sloppy puck management in the offensive zone and some missed assignments, but in the end it’s preseason and the guys came around late in each game.”

The great news coming out of last weekend is the Warriors’ ability to produce upfront. Felix Trudeau scored a pair of goals in the opening game and returning forward Deegan Mofford netted a goal in each game to finish the weekend leading the Warriors with two goals each. John Evans continued where he left off last season with a pair of assists.

Tonight, the Warriors will have some more new faces in the lineup. One is Colorado Avalanche prospect Matthew Stienburg, who joined the Warriors after the suspension of Ivy League NCAA play brought him to West Kelowna. Then, there’s Boston College committed forward Connor Joyce and blue liner Pat Lawn who were highly sought after by the Warriors scouting staff. It would be no surprise to see Stienburg start Friday’s game on a line with longtime friend Wyllum Deveaux. The two grew up playing against each other in Nova Scotia and will surely have some chemistry.

READ MORE: West Kelowna Warriors complete sweep of Vernon Vipers

The new faces for the Warriors will have their hands full against a Vees team that dominated in their opening two games. The Vees dominated the Salmon Arm Silverbacks winning 7-0 and 8-2. The Vees are led by some returning players but all the talk is about their depth. The Vees have four lines that can attack on the rush. A couple names to look for are Matteo Costantini and Quinn Hutson. Costantini recently committed to the University of North Dakota and is expected to go in the 3rd-4th round in next weekend’s NHL entry draft. Hutson is committed to Boston University and currently leads the BCHL in scoring with 5 points.

The Warriors need to be at their best if they wish to beat Vees this weekend. Although with new faces and chemistry still needing to gel, the Warriors focus right now is to get their team in sync in all areas of the ice. The powerplay is one of them. The Warriors have had a total of 10 opportunities on the man advantage last weekend and were unable to cash in on any of them. However, it looks as if their penalty kill has been solid with the Warriors allowing just a single goal in 12 attempts by the Vernon Vipers last weekend.

This evening’s game will be broadcast on both HockeyTV and the Warriors Mixlr Network. Puck drop at 6 p.m. from the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton. Saturday’s game will be a 7 p.m. puck drop from Royal LePage Place in West Kelowna.

READ MORE: Kelowna Rockets alumni Luke Schenn wins Stanley Cup


Daniel Taylor
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com
Follow me on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Efforts to replace the aging Rutland Middle School have been put off by another year by the ministry of education. (File photo)
Education ministry won’t replace Rutland Middle School anytime soon

New Westside Secondary top priority for ministry of education

West Kelowna Warriors goaltender Roman Basran stood tall in a 4-3 shootout victory over the Vernon Vipers Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. (Lisa Mazurek Photography)
Vernon Vipers fall to West Kelowna Warriors in shootout

Kelowna Rockets goalie Roman Basran helped the warriors to a 4-3 SO win Friday night.

Thanks to efforts by a Kelowna shelter and Elections BC, anyone who wishes to can vote in the 2020 BC Provincial Election, even if they don’t have a fixed address. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Kelowna group ensures people experiencing homelessness can vote

Shelter supervisor says voting ‘a fundamental right’ even for those without a fixed address

City Park, Oct. 23. Image: Lynn Morran
Snow forces tunnel closure under W.R. Bennett Bridge

Branches from trees are breaking and falling across City Park

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Cole Collingwood casts his mock ballot at Vernon’s Mission Hill Elementary School ahead of the provincial election Oct. 24, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Okanagan students cast mock election ballots

At Mission Hill Elementary, the election is a chance to learn about the democratic process

BC Liberals Leader Andrew Wilkinson, BC Greens Sonia Furstenau, BC NDP John Horgan (The Canadian Press photos)
British Columbians vote in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

At dissolution, the NDP and Liberals were tied with 41 seats in the legislature, while the Greens held two seats

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The deer were allegedly shot within Princeton town limits, late at night. Black Press File Photo.
Armed man, in full camouflage, allegedly shoots deer in downtown Princeton

‘The list of charges goes on and on,’ said RCMP Sgt. Rob Hughes

Andrew Allen performed for two intimate crowds of 50 at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Oct. 17. (Camillia Courts Photography)
Live events continue on North Okanagan stage

First Andrew Allen plays two sold-out shows, next up have a laugh with comedian Mike Delamont

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Most Read