The West Kelowna Warriors are 2-1-1 in the BCHL preseason.

Warriors wrap up preseason with two vs Merritt

Defending RBC Cup champs tuning up for new BCHL regular season

  • Thu Sep 1st, 2016 6:00am
  • Sports

The defending Canadian junior A champs will close out the B.C. Hockey League preseason this weekend with a home-and-home set against the Merritt Centennials.

Rylan Ferster’s club will be home to the Cents on Friday, with a 7 p.m. face off at Royal LePage Place.

On Saturday, the teams face off again at Nicola Valley Arena in Merritt.

The Warriors, who are 2-1-1 in the preseason, are coming off a 2-2 tie Wednesday night at home to the Penticton Vees.

Jon Russell and Quin Foreman spotted West Kelowna to a 2-0 lead with goals seven minutes apart in the second period.

Grant Cruikshank scored twice for the Vees in the third period, including the equalizer on a 5-on-3 power play at the 18:07 mark.

Shane Farkas started in goal for the Warriors and stopped all five shot in 30-plus minutes, while Gunnar Neilsen went the rest of the way. West Kelowna outshot the Vees 20-14.

The Warriors have seven players returning from last year’s RBC Cup championship team, including new captain Nicholas Rutigliano, Jake Harrison, Quin Foreman and Connor Sodergren.

West Kelowna is currently carrying 26 players on the roster, with teams required to cut down to 22 for start of the regular season.

“It’s still preseason and there’s lots to learn yet,” said Ferster, the Warriors’ coach and GM. “Guys are getting used to the systems, so we’re still making evaluations.”

The Warriors will open the 2016-17 regular season with a home-and-away set against the Interior Division rival Trail Smoke Eaters. The teams will face off Friday, Sept. 9 at Royal LePage, before meeting again there following night in Trail.