West Kelowna Warriors head coach Rylan Ferster is optimistic the return of key defencemen will turn the team’s three-game losing streak around.
The 2-2-0-1 Warriors will get 5-foot-11, 186-pound defenceman Josh Monk back in the lineup for Friday’s home game against the Trail Smoke Eaters.
“That will be a huge boost,” said Ferster.
“He’s one of the best defencemen in our league…his puck touches are so good, which just makes the game so much easier not only for our other defencemen, but our forwards too.”
Monk, who plays upwards of 25 minutes per game, was suspended for three games after an incident in a preseason contest against the Wenatchee Wild.
Rookie defenceman Adam Plant will also suit up for the Warriors Friday; he suffered a concussion last week in the second period against Trail.
“Both (Adam) and Josh are key elements to our powerplay—having them both back in the lineup will be good for us.”
The Warriors’ next three games are against Trail, starting with a 7 p.m. home tilt Friday at Royal LePage Place.
Last Friday, the Warriors fell 3-1 to the Smoke Eaters at Cominco Arena in Trail.
Ferster said the loss taught his team the importance of playing a full 60 minutes.
West Kelowna’s two wins this season have been blowouts with the Warriors beating the opposition by at least five goals on each occasion. Their three losses on the other hand have been close battles where only one or two goals separated the teams.
According to Ferster, the Warriors need to find a way to win the nail-biters.
“Great teams find a way to win those games.”
The Warriors bench boss commended the work of his goaltenders, Tyler Briggs and Garrett Rockafellow.
“I think goaltending has given us a chance every night we’ve played so far.
“We’re a .500 hockey team right now…we’d certainly like to be better than that, but I don’t think we’re pushing any panic buttons either. It’s a long season.”