After securing a point on the road on Friday in Coquitlam, the West Kelowna Warriors appeared poised to follow that up with a solid home ice effort on Saturday in the back half of the team’s home and home series with Coquitlam.
But after opening the Saturday night game with a solid shift at home, the Warriors fell into penalty trouble, taking five of the game’s first six penalties and falling behind 3-0 in the first period, eventually succumbing 4-2 to Coquitlam to drop both games of the weekend set.
“In Coquitlam we lost in double-overtime but you’re on the road and you’ll take that point,” said Warriros head coach Rylan Ferster. “It was unfortunate on Saturday. I don’t know what happened. We had a good first shift but then you get five out of the first six penalties and we never got an opportunity to get rolling. We have to find a way to respond and have a push back but it was tough.”
The Warriors played both games without injured veterans Max French (week to week) and Brett Mckinnon (day-to-day) while starting goalie Tyler Briggs returned from injury on Saturday to face 51 Coquitlam shots.
The losses dropped the Warriors to 10-7-1-6 in the BCHL Interior, where the standings show just five points separating second place Merritt and sixth place Trail with the Warriors sitting in third place.
West Kelowna will now play its next three games against Vernon, starting this weekend as the teams will meet at Royal LePage Place on Friday and in Vernon on Saturday as well as back at RLP on Dec. 7.
The Vipers sit three points back of West Kelowna
“I’m excited for these games,” said Ferster. “Any time you play Vernon you get excited. They are arguably one of the best franchises in Canada. It’s like a little series so I think that should be fun as player and as a coach.”
With the BCHL schedule nearing its halfway point and the logjam in the standings, Ferster says it’s important the Warriors bounce back from the pair of losses this weekend.
“We have to play well against them, you certainly don’t want to go 0-and-3,” he said. “Hopefully we will get some guys back from injury. We need some points and we have to start establishing a litle more a presence rather than going one win and one loss.”