The West Kelowna Warriors will get two if its most important players back into the lineup this weekend and the
reinforcements will be looking to help stop a three game losing skid for the B.C. Hockey League club.
The Warriors lost two games on the weekend without starting goalie Tyler Briggs and top blueliner Josh Monk and together with an overtime loss earlier to Penticton, the Warriors are looking for its first win since the BCHL showcase weekend to open the season.
West Kelowna is 2-2-0-1 and tied for third place in the BCHL Interior.
On Friday the Warriors led 1-0 after the first period before Trail took over and eventually won 3-1 in Trail. The Warriors returned home Saturday to face the Vees for the second time this season and again had a chance to win the game, but lost 5-3 to Penticton.
“It was just not a good weekend,” said Warriors head coach Rylan Ferster. “We went into Trail and we didn’t play a full 60 minutes. We came back in the third but we just couldn’t score. Then I thought we played pretty well against Penticton. We had an opportunity to tie the game late but we missed. We have to be able to get on the other side of those things. We have to be better and find a way to win those games.”
Briggs missed both weekend games with an injury although back-up goalie Garrett Rockafellow gave the Warriors a chance to win both games, according to Ferster. Top D-man Monk served the final games of a suspension incurred in the pre-season and should stabilize the back-end when he returns this weekend.
Despite a pair of losses, Ferster said he team can take some solace in the way it has competed against a team like Penticton, which sits in first place in the BCHL Interior at 5-1-0-0.
“When the smoke clears you have to look at some of the positives,” said Ferster. “We’ve played Penticton twice and we are right there. We feel comfortable with our team. We’ve only come out with one out of a possible four points (against Penticton) so we are still finding our way a bit.”
The Warriors have just a single game this weekend as they host Trail on Friday night at Royal LePage Place.
Ferster says it’s important the team has a good week of practice and gets back in the win column.
“We certainly want redemption and a 60 minute effort,” he said. “It’s pretty simple. We went to the BCHL Showcase and played six pretty good periods of hockey and we were rewarded (with two wins). People have to understand you can’t take a night off. We’ve taken periods off and you just can’t do that in this league. You have to play a full 60 minutes.”