With more than 40 man-games already lost due to injury and other commitments, the West Kelowna Warriors have dealt with their share of adversity early in the 2012-13 BCHL season.
And with a respectable 9-5-1-5 record to date, head coach and GM Rylan Ferster doesn’t have too many complaints with the way his hockey club has responded to the challenges.
“I think we’ve had one game all year where we had our whole team playing,” said Ferster.
“I’ve never seen this much happen this fast but, you know, every team goes through this kind of stuff. I think we’ve weathered the storm reasonably well, and all things considered I’m not disappointed with where we are.”
The Warriors will get some reinforcements back this weekend for a pair of home games—Friday against Merritt and Saturday against the Prince George Spruce Kings.
Forward Ambrose Firkus is back after playing with Canada’s team at the ISF world junior men’s fastball championship in Argentina, while forward Seb Lloyd returns after an appearance at the World Junior A Challenge in Nova Scotia.
Still sidelined with injuries are captain Max French, defenceman Josh Monk and goaltender Tyler Briggs as the Warriors slowly work their way back to full strength.
“We’ve had a lot of key pieces out at once, but we’re getting there,” Ferster added.
After going winless in five straight games, the Warriors rebounded last weekend earning three of a possible four points.
Heading into this weekend, the Warriors are third in the Interior Division, two points back of the Centennials.
“(Friday’s game) is basically for second place, so it’s a big one for us, one of those four-point games,” said Ferster. “We haven’t seen (Merritt) in a while, but they’re a very good team. We need to start off the weekend with a good effort against them.”
Game time both Friday and Saturday at LePage is 7 p.m.