West Kelowna Warriors host Firefighter Appreciation Night

Warriors thank firefighters

The West Kelowna Warriors home opener honour firefighters across the region.

The game will take place on a Saturday October 9th when the Warriors kick off the regular season against the Prince George Spruce Kings.

Members of West Kelowna Fire Rescue will be in attendance.

“We all recall the frightening August evening when the Mount Law Wildfire threatened our community. It was our first responders, led by West Kelowna Fire Rescue and BC Wildfire Service, who courageously defended our neighborhoods for several weeks.” said Warriors President Chris Laurie.

“We want to dedicate our home opener to the Firefighters and invite our residents to show their appreciation. It will be a special evening.”

Season Tickets and Single Game Tickets are now available online or direct from the Warriors office.

The Warriors next preseason game is this Tuesday when the Warriors host the Prince George Spruce Kings. Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m. at Royal LePage Place.

West Kelowna Warriors dumped visiting Salmon Arm 4-1 in their pre season opener

Warriors earn opening win

The West Kelowna Warriors kicked off the pre season schedule on the right foot.

Felix Trudeau scored twice and the penalty kill was perfect in leading the Warriors to a 4-1 victory over the visiting Salmon Arm Silverbacks Friday night.

The game marked the first step toward what should be a normal season complete with fans for the first time in more than 18 months.

Newcomer Nick Roukounakis and overage Elan Bar Lev Wise also scored for the Warriors in a game more spirited and intense than a typical pre season opener.

"We're used to playing Salmon Arm...we played them a bunch last year. We have a lot of returning guys that hold some animosity, but overall I thought we played pretty well," said head coach Simon Ferguson who admitted he wasn't looking for a lot in the first game our of the gate.

"I just wanted to compete. I knew there would be some mistakes and rustiness, but I just wanted to compete at all times," he said following the game.

Special teams, as is usually the case in pre season, got a lot of work. While the power play went 0-5, the penalty kill was flawless.

It needed to be after giving the Silverbacks 10 opportunities with the man advantage.

"I thought we were way too undisciplined. We made some real dumb hockey plays that are going to hurt us if we do that moving forward. But, I liked the intensity of it. We just have to control it a little better."

Bar Lev Wise opened the scoring nearly nine minutes in when he deflected home Felix Trudeau's centering pass on what was a four-on-one break.

The Silverbacks got that one back just after a time out when Nathan Morin banged home a juicy rebound past Johnny Derrick. It was all they could get past the Warriors veteran goaltender.

The Warriors blew the game open with three unanswered goals in the second.

Roukounakis scored what proved to be the winner eight minutes in. He took the puck on the half wall, powered his way behind the net and, instead of going out the far side, stopped short, cut to the side of the net and jammed the puck into the short side past Liam Vanderkooi.

Trudeau made it 3-1 just after a power play ended, beating Vanderkooi with a quick wrist shot to the top corner from the bottom of the right circle.

He netted his second minutes later, tipping home Bar Lev Wise's centering pass from the end boards.

The Warriors outshot the visitors 41-31 on the evening.

The two teams meet again Saturday in Salmon Arm.

The Warriors host Prince George Tuesday before closing out the pre season with back-to-back games with Vernon next Friday and Saturday.

West Kelowna Warriors open up their five-game pre-season schedule Friday against Salmon Arm

Warriors kick off pre-season

Fans can expect to see some familiar faces back in a West Kelowna uniform when the Warriors kick off their pre season schedule against Salmon Arm tonight at Royal LePage Place.

Forwards John Evans, Tyler Cristall and defenceman Charles-Alexis Legeault and Pat Lawn have all returned after spending part, or all of last season playing elsewhere during the pandemic-shortened season.

Forward Felix Trudeau, who suited up last fall before leaving for greener pastures, is also back in the fold.

All four are expected to be key contributors to a veteran-laden team looking to compete at the top of the Interior Division.

This year's roster includes 16 players returning from the shortened season.

The Warriors went 15-14-1-2 during two stretches last fall and again in the spring.

They went 7-4-0-1 during the Okanagan Cup, then finished 8-10-1-1 during the pod season featuring 10 games against both Vernon and Salmon Arm.

Along with the returning veterans, the Warriors also added former Trail captain Chase Dafoe through trade.

Two familiar names will also suit up this season on what should be a stout blueline. Zach Reim (brother of former Warrior Willie) and Isaiah Norlin (brother of ex-Warrior Bennett) have committed to the team this season.

Head coach and GM Simon Ferguson described Norlin as a player who skates well, sees the ice well and defends well, while Reim is a good first pass defenceman who has the ability to add some offence from the back end.

The Warriors play in Salmon Arm Saturday before hosting Prince George Tuesday.

They conclude the pre season with back-to-back games with Vernon next weekend.

As per provincial health regulations, the Warriors will welcome back fans at half capacity at least through the pre season.

Everyone entering Royal LePage Place will be required to show proof of full vaccination.

West Kelowna Warriors made a few roster moves ahead of Friday's pre season opener

Warriors ink new goalie

The West Kelowna Warriors have made a couple of roster moves ahead of their first pre season game Friday night.

Seventeen-year-old goaltender Justin Katz has committed to the team after two seasons of USHS Prep hockey in Deerfield, Mass.

Warriors head coach and GM Simon Ferguson calls Katz a "technically sound" goaltender who never gives up on loose pucks and always competes.

"We watched him a lot throughout the season and was one of the best 04 goalies in US Prep. We had an opportunity to bring him to camp and he has continued to impress us on and off the ice,”said Ferguson.

Katz, who said he wasn't able to play many games due to COVID, says fans can expect to see a player who will do whatever it takes to win.

"I’m a very competitive person, so I’m excited to get going this season and I’m looking forward to competing with the guys ," he said.

In a corresponding move, the Warriors dealt defenceman Corey McCann to the Blackfalds Bulldogs of the Alberta Junior League for future considerations.

McCann was one of nine defencemen still on the pre season roster fighting for ice time at the time of the trade.

“We believe Corey is going to get the opportunity to play the key minutes he needs in order to attract opportunities to earn a scholarship," said Ferguson.

The Warriors have 23 players on their roster heading into Friday's pre season opener, including 13 forwards, eight defencemen and two goaltenders.

They kick off a home-and-home with Salmon Arm Friday night at Royal LePage Place.

Fans will be allowed back in Royal LePage Place at 50 per cent capacity to start. Everyone entering the building, including fans, will be required to show proof of full vaccination.

Vees play their annual Peaches Cup intrasquad game

Vees spar in Peaches Cup

The Penticton Vees faced off against one another in their annual Peaches Cup intrasquad game on Friday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre with Team Blue topping Team White by a score of 6-3.

The Vees play their Peaches Cup game a week before the exhibition season kicks off, featuring both rostered and affiliate players for the 2021/22 season.

For some players, this was the first game-like action in over a year and a half.

Thomas Pichette was first to kick off the scoring, snapping a shot past the glove side of Team White goaltender Colin Purcell just under nine minutes into the game to give Team Blue a 1-0 lead.

Ryan Hopkins followed with a goal in the backend for Team White to even the score heading into the second period.

The second period was dominated by Team Blue as they scored twice to take a two-goal lead with Casey McDonald snapping up a puck inside the right face-off circle and to get a shot past the blocker side of Purcell for a 2-1 lead.

Josh Nadeau added to the scoring to give Team Blue a two-goal advantage late in the period on a play that included Pichette and veteran Luc Wilson, sliding a shot past the blocker side of Purcell.

In the third period, Tij Iginla added his name to the score sheet for Team Blue with the first of two goals in the final period, with a pass from Smyth Rebman in the left face-off circle across the ice to bury a shot through Purcell.

Team White gathered a comeback when Jackson Nieuwendyk wrapped the puck around the glove side of Lane for a 4-2 game.

Another goal came for Team White when Beanie Richter scored a backhand shot up and over the glove side of Lane to cut the lead to 4-3.

Iginla struck again with his second goal of the game with a shot over the glove side of Purcel, giving Team Blue’s a 5-3 lead.

The last goal of the game was snagged by Ethan Mann, firing one into an empty net in the final minute to solidify the score in favour of Team Blue at 6-3 fashion.

The Vees will make their exhibition debut battling the Vernon Vipers on Friday, Sept. 24 at the South Okanagan Events Centre at 7:00 PM. Single game tickets are now on sale and available at the SOEC Box Office and online at valleyfirsttix.com

Penticton will officially start their 2021/22 season on Friday, Oct. 8 in renewing a historic rivalry against the Vernon Vipers at the SOEC. Season tickets for the upcoming campaign are now available to purchase with ticket packages available for as low as $9 per game. Contact Director of Ticketing and Merchandise Laura Carleton by phone at (250) 493-8337 ext. 4 as well as email at [email protected] for more information.

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