Connor Sodergren (left) and the West Kelowna Warriors will face the Merritt Centennials tonight to open the BCHL playoffs. - Image credit: Ken Reid/Greystoke Photography

Warriors and Centennials launch playoffs

West Kelowna takes on Interior rivals in best-of-seven BCHL opening round

With the club’s future expected to be revealed Friday night at Royal LePage Place, players for the West Kelowna Warriors will have something more immediate to focus on—the B.C. Hockey League playoffs.

At 7 p.m., the Warriors will open the best-of-seven Interior Division semifinal series against the Merritt Centennials.

The Cents won four of seven meetings during the regular season, while the teams finished in a tie for fourth spot in the division with 56 points apiece.

Warriors head coach Rylan Ferster says those numbers pretty much sum up how the teams stack up against one another.

“I’d say we’re pretty evenly matched,” said Ferster, the Warriors head coach and GM. “They’re a very good team, they have a good forward group with size and skill. They play hard and we’re going have to do the same.”

The Warriors will be missing a key piece of their defensive corps as captain Nicholas Rutligliano continues to be sidelined with concussion symptoms.

Both goaltenders, Cole Demers and Gabriel Morency, have been nursing injuries, so Josh Boulding has been called up from Sicamous of the KIJHL to provide some insurance.

As for one of the keys to the series, Ferster points to the club’s returning veterans who were part of last year’s RBC Cup championship team—Quin Foreman, Connor Sodergren, Scott Allan and Jake Harrison among them.

“We have guys in that dressing room who won a national championship, our veterans and leaders who steer the ship so to speak,” Ferster said. “It’s maybe even more prevalent in the playoffs when they need to step out. At this time of year, it’s a lot about staying calm regardless of the situation and those guys are familiar with that.”

Meanwhile, an announcement regarding the future of the Warriors’ organization is expected to be made on Friday. Owner Mark Cheyne has been looking to sell the team after having lost money every year since taking over the Warriors in 2009. A deal to move the team to North Delta fell apart earlier this week.

Ferster said playing the game remains his team’s No. 1 task.

“It hasn’t been fun but we have no control over that,” he said. “We have a game to play and business to take care of on the ice. That’s my job so that’s what I’m concerned about.”

A look at the series schedule:

Friday, March 3 @ West Kelowna 7 p.m.

Saturday, March 4 @ West Kelowna 7 p.m.

Monday, March 6 @ Merritt 7 p.m.

Tuesday, March 7 @ Merritt 7 p.m.

Thursday, March 9 @ West Kelowna 7 p.m. *

Friday, March 10 @ Merritt 7 p.m. *

Saturday, March 11 @ West Kelowna 7 p.m. *

Just Posted

Plane crashes in Okanagan Lake

RCMP say wheels left down caused landing plane to overturn on lake

Mellalieu running for Greens again in Central-Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

Robert Mellalieu ran for federal Green Party in 2015 election and provincial Greens in 2017

Where is your water before you drink it?

A new water facility official opens in Lake Country

Lake Country celebrates clean water project completion

New raw water reservoir site means safe drinking water for residents

Multiple crashes slow traffic on Coquihalla south of Kamloops

Drivers are expected to be stuck for up to 90 minutes

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

Man accused of assault at South Okanagan beach gets bail

Thomas Brayden Kruger-Allen was granted bail at the Penticton provincial courthouse on Monday

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Most Read