The West Kelowna Warriors are enjoying the view from a vantage point they haven’t seen much of since moving to the Okanagan in 2006.
With five straight victories, Rylan Ferster’s squad is, at least for the time being, perched atop the BCHL’s Interior Division.
Still, as solid a start as his club is experiencing, the head coach and GM is cautious about putting too much stock into the Warriors’ early fortunes.
“Obviously we’re happy to have had some success early, the guys are playing well,” said Ferster, in his third season at the helm of the Warriors. “But it’s important to remember we’re only in September. If we’re still in this position in March, then I’ll be happy. This is a good league and a good division, so we’re going to be tested lots. As every coach will tell you, it’s a marathon not a sprint.”
The Warriors are coming off a home-and-home weekend sweep of Salmon Arm. On Friday, newly-acquired forward Jason Cotton scored twice in a 5-3 victory over the SilverBacks at Royal LePage. The Warriors acquired the 6-foot-3 Cotton from the U.S. Hockey League’s Tri-City Storm.
“We watched him this summer, so we had a pretty good idea what we would be getting,” Ferster said of Cotton, who is from Plano, Texas. “He had a pretty good first night with us, so hopefully we’ll see more of that.”
On Saturday, West Kelowna secured the sweep with a 4-2 win in Salmon Arm, as Matt Anholt and Ben Tegtmeyer each had a goal and an assist, while goalie Andy Desautels won his fifth straight decision.
Ferster credits much of his club’s early success to playing “60 minutes, for the most part.”
Still, Ferster said staying healthy continues to be challenge for his club, as two key forwards, David Pope and Brennan Clark, missed last weekend’s games. Both are listed as day-to-day with upper body injuries.
The Warriors, who will play their next four games on the road, return to action this Saturday when they visit the Trail Smoke Eaters.
(Photo provided by Greystoke Photography)