The West Kelowna Warriors are going to be honouring the firefighters from this summer’s Smith Creek fire as well as fans who were evacuated due to the blaze at its home opener on Friday night at Royal LePage Place.
All the Firefighters that helped out with the Smith Creek fire this summer have been invited to attend the game while the Warriors have teamed up with Tim Horton’s to offer evacuees a free ticket.
“It’s going to be a great atmosphere on Friday night,” said Alex Draper, director of business operations with the Warriors. “There are so many people to thank that gave countless hours fighting the fire this summer and to have the evacuees here thanks to Tim Hortons just adds to that atmosphere. We’re hoping to sell out to honour all of those people.”
Evacuees are asked to check in with ID to the Warriors office to claim their ticket.
Adding to the excitement of the home opener and the firefighters is the opponent on the night as the Vernon Vipers will roll into town for the start of a weekend double-header.
Last season, it was the Vipers who knocked the Warriors out of the playoffs in a spirited six game series.
“They’re the team that defeated us,” said Warriors head coach Rylan Ferster. “They sent us home early so hopefully we still have a bee in our bonnet, especially the guys that are left from last year. Vernon is a good team. It will be a real good test to see where our team is at.”
The Warriors are off to a hot start to open up this BCHL season, as they came away from the Bauer BCHL Showcase with a pair of wins, 6-2 over Coquitlam, and 7-6 over Nanaimo.
Ferster added he was happy with the Showcase but this weekend serves as another unofficial opening to the season.
“Now it’s like the season is really starting,” he said. “With the Showcase you’re on the road and there is lots of hoopla around the event. Now we can settle in and get into the division games.”
Tickets are available at the Warriors office each day between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and on game day at the box office starting at 6 p.m. Game time is 7 p.m. from Royal LePage Place.