It may only be November, but with just three points separating first and fifth place, each game between BCHL Interior Division opponents takes on a sense of added urgency.
Such will be the case this Friday night at Royal LePage Place as the West Kelowna Warriors play host to the rival Penticton Vees.
Penticton and Merritt currently share the division lead with 29 points apiece, with the Warriors (12-7-0-2) just three back in fifth spot.
On Saturday, the Warriors will host Cowichan Valley.
West Kelowna is looking to rebound from a three-game losing streak after dropping a 5-3 decision to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks Tuesday night at LePage.
After a solid October (6-2-0-2), the Warriors have slipped into what head coach Rylan Ferster hopes is just a momentary funk.
“We’re making those one, two, three mistakes a game and they’re ending up in our net,” said Ferster.
“We made a poor pinch on a goal and a real poor back-check on another one. The division is tight and every game is like a playoff game and you make a couple of mistakes and they end up in your net.”
With the scored knotted up in the third, Thomas Plese tallied the game winner for the Silverbacks, lifting a rebound over Warriors’ netminder Andy Desautels with less than four minutes to play in the third.
Tyson Dallman, Carl Hesler, and Jason Cotton scored the goals for the Warriors who went 1-for-7 on the power play.
Prior to Tuesday’s game, the Warriors honoured defenceman Adam Plant and Salmon Arm forward Alex Gilies who just returned from helping Team Canada West to a bronze medal at the World Jr. A Challenge.