After hitting a few bumps early in the 2014-15 season, the West Kelowna Warriors are finding some traction in the BCHL’s Interior Division.
The Warriors have earned points in each of their last nine games (6-0-3) and have had a grasp on second spot in the division since the beginning of the month.
Beginning Friday against Merritt, the Warriors will look to build on their recent success with a four-game home stand at Royal LePage Place—a stretch of hockey head coach Rylan Ferster said presents an opportunity for his club.
“It’s important for us in that we need to start being more consistent and playing well at home,” said Ferster, whose club is a mediocre 4-5-0 this season at LePage. “For whatever reason we’ve been better on the road…at home we need to get off to good starts and keep our focus throughout.
“With the division being as tight as it is, you need to get as many points as you can,” he added. “We’ve had some good stretches of hockey in a tough division and we’d like to keep it going.”
The Warriors (11-5-0-4) are coming off a 2-1 overtime loss in Langley on Tuesday night.
In the defeat, newly-acquired forward Brayden Gelsinger had an assist and now has points in all four games—seven in total—since joining the Warriors earlier this month.
Gelsinger came to West Kelowna from Cowichan Valley in exchange for forwards Kade Kehoe and Adam Osczevski.
“He came to us with a pretty good resume and he’s been good so far,” Ferster said of Gelsinger, 19.
“These deals are always difficult to make, it was unfortunate to see those kids go but you have to what do you think will make your team better.
“Hopefully it’s a move that will work out for everybody involved.”
Due an injury to 20-year-old Andy Desautels, the Warriors netminding duties have fallen on Scott Patton over the last couple of games. Patton, from Cambridge, Ont., has posted a shutout and an overtime loss along with a 0.95 goals against average.
Desautels, out with an upper body injury, is expected back in the lineup this weekend.
Face off for the Warriors Friday against Merritt is 7 p.m. The Warriors will then host Victoria Saturday, followed by Langley on Tuesday. The four-game stint at LePage will end next Friday against the Vernon Vipers.