Liam Blackburn and the West Kelowna Warriors needed six games to defeat Cameron Trott and the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in the opening round of the BCHL playoffs.

Warriors eliminate ‘Backs, Vees on deck

West Kelowna downs Salmon Arm in six games in BCHL Interior Division semifinal, will play Penticton in second round.

Based on the quality of their first-round opponent, West Kelowna Warriors’ head coach and GM Rylan Ferster is thrilled to be moving on in the BCHL playoffs.

In an intense and physical matchup of longtime division rivals, the Warriors outlasted the rival Salmon Arm Silverbacks to win the BCHL Interior semifinal four games to two.

West Kelowna secured a second-round berth and a meeting with the division champion Penticton Vees with a 4-2 win over the ‘Backs Saturday night at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm.

“It took all hands on deck,” Ferster said of his team’s effort. “That’s really good team we beat, so we’re very happy to advance in the playoffs.

“I don’t think the average fan knows just how tough it is to win, especially against a team like Salmon Arm. The teams are so close, I don’t even know if you could say there is a difference between them. Our guys played hard and found a way to win.”

The Warriors will face the Vees in the best-of-seven division final beginning Friday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Ferster said his club will have its hands full with the Vees, who topped the BCHL with 50 victories and 101 points during the regular season.

“Obviously we’re going from one great team to another, so it doesn’t get any easier. We’re well aware of who they are and what they’re capable of. It’s no secret how good they are, their record speaks for itself.

“We’re going to be preparing this week the best we can to be ready for them.”

Game 2 will go Saturday in Penticton, with the third and fourth games set for Monday and Tuesday at Royal LePage Place.

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