The games don’t get much bigger than this for the West Kelowna Warriors and Merritt Centennials.
With sole possession of third spot on the line, the BCHL Interior Division rivals square off in a doubleheader this weekend, beginning Friday night in Merritt. The Warriors and Centennials meet for the rematch Saturday at Royal LePage in a 7 p.m. face off.
The teams are currently tied with 50 points, but Merritt does hold three games in hand. The Salmon Arm Silverbacks are just four points back in fifth spot. Four teams will make the post-season, meaning one of the three teams will be left out in the cold.
“With as tight as our division has been, we’ve kind of been scoreboard watching all year,” said Warriors head coach and GM Rylan Ferster. “This is a big home-and-home this weekend, I think it will almost be like a playoff mentality.
“You don’t want to look past your next shift, you can’t afford to look ahead or it can cost you. Every point is valuable right now.”
The Warriors have 11 games remaining—seven against division rivals—including seven at home.
West Kelowna didn’t help its cause in the standings last weekend by earning just one point in a three-game road trip to the coast.
Still, on a positive note, Ferster said his team played well.
“I didn’t mind our play,” Ferster said. “We didn’t get the goals when we needed them but our PK was good and we out-chanced every team. We’re doing some good things, so hopefully those good habits will pay off for us.”