Impressive opening weekend for BCHL’s Warriors

West Kelowna scores a dozen in winning two games in Chilliwack

Two games, 12 goals for and just one goal against.

The math alone tells you what kind of start the West Kelowna Warriors had to the BCHL’s 2012-13 regular season.

The Warriors came firing out of the gates during the league’s showcase weekend in Chilliwack, winning both games in impressive fashion.

On Saturday, captain Max French greeted the new campaign with a hat-trick, while linemate Brett McKinnon added a goal and two assists in a 6-0 win over Salmon Arm.

Tyler Briggs stopped 23 saves for the shutout.

Then on Sunday, McKinnon duplicated his efforts with a goal and two assists as the Warriors took down the Surrey Eagles 6-1.

McKinnon leads the BCHL scoring race with six points (2 goals, 4 assists)

Shawn Hochhausen added a goal and an assist in the club’s second victory in as many starts, while Briggs was again steady between the pipes blocking 29 of 30 shots.

Warriors head coach and GM Rylan Ferster couldn’t have asked for much better start from his club.

“Anytime you come out of a weekend with two wins like that, you have to be happy,” said Ferster. “It’s good for the morale of our team, because we have a few unknowns to start the year.

“I thought that our work ethic was great, that’s the cornerstone of our team. We had good veteran leadership and some hard-work goals.”

Timely scoring, or rather lack of it, was an issue for the Warriors last season.

Ferster hopes the club’s offensive flair early in the new campaign is a sign of things to come.

“Over the course of 60 games last year, we out-chanced the other team more often than not, but we couldn’t find a way to score when we needed to, losing games 3-2 and 4-2 that we probably should have won.

“We’re only six games in (exhibition and regular season), but we seem to be getting a lucky bounce or two we wouldn’t have last year.”

The Warriors will play their home opener Friday night against the defending Canadian junior A champion Penticton Vees. Face off at Royal LePage Place is 7 p.m.


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