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Cranbrook rode out of Royal LePage Place with a 2-1 win over Warriors

Warriors fall on home ice

Royal LePage Place has suddenly become inhospitable to the West Kelowna Warriors.

After reeling off five straight on home ice to open the season, the Warriors have suddenly lost two in a row.

The latest, a 2-1 setback at the hands of the visiting Cranbrook Bucks.

It was the second win for the franchise playing its first full season in the BCHL against the Warriors in four meetings.

After a scoreless first period, Kellen Hjartarson got the Bucks on the board early in the second. Warriors netminder Justin Katz made two stops during a wild scramble around the goal crease, but was unable to corral the rebound which Hjartarson banged home to open the scoring.

Tyson Dyck doubled the lead three minutes later with a wrist shot from the right circle just as a Warriors penalty had expired.

Alexi Van Houtte-Cachero got one back before the end of the second. Elan Bar Lev Wise powered the puck to the front of the net, and Van Houtte-Cachero eventually jammed the puck past Nathan Airey who was unable to find the loose puck.

Airey stoned the Warriors the rest of the way. His best stop was a shorthanded breakaway by Tyson Jugnauth with just 24 seconds left in regulation and Katz on the ice for an extra attacker.

Jugnauth stickhandled through the defence and tried to go five-hole, but Airey was equal to the task to preserve the victory.

The Warriors finished the game without the services of forwards Chase Dasfoe and Tyler Cristall.

Dafoe was handed a game misconduct for a blow-to-the-head penalty late in the first period while Cristall was sent off with a match penalty for kicking with just two-and-a-half minutes left in regulation.

Cristall argued the call on the ice, and assistant coach Ayrton Nikkel took up the cause post-game.

He didn't see the incident from the bench, but did get a glimpse of the video after the game.

"I watched the video on it and I didn't see anything," said Nikkel.

"Tyler says he didn't do it, and I stand with my player."

The Warriors had chances throughout the game but, on some of their better chances, either Airey came up big, or they just missed the target.

"I thought we had some good offensive shifts, but I thought their goaltender played really well.

"We had a couple of back doors that we missed and a couple of open nets that we missed. Sometimes the puck just rolls off the stick."

The Warriors were 0-2 with the man advantage while the Bucks went scoreless on their four opportunities, including the two five-minutes majors.

Both Dafoe and Cristall could face additional discipline from the league. Dafoe has already been suspended this season, a two-game suspension for a hit from behind.

During the first period intermission, long-time Warrior season ticket holder Jim Peck and Radka Malyk were married at centre ice.

The date marked the anniversary of the couple's first date and, or course, coincided with a Warriors home game.

The ceremony was presided over by Warriors chaplain, pastor Don Richmond.

The Warriors head to Vernon Wednesday before hosting Salmon Arm Friday for pastor Don's annual Christmas hamper drive.



Felix Trudeau's four-point night led the Warriors past Trail 7-3

Trudeau turns trick in Trail

The West Kelowna Warriors bounced back in a big way Friday night.

Felix Trudeau had a four-point night, including his first career hat trick leading the Warriors to a 7-3 victory over the hometown Smoke Eaters in Trail.

The Warriors, who lost 6-3 at home to Penticton Tuesday, have yet to lose back-to-back games thus far this season.

The team were tied 1-1 after a wild first period in which the goaltenders faced a combined 39 shots. The Warriors held a 20-19 edge after 20 minutes.

They trailed 2-1 early in the second, scoring six unanswered goals over a span of 33 minutes to win going away.

Former Smoke Eaters captain Chase Defoe tied it with his first of two, then Jayden Price put the Warriors up for good with his first in a Warrior uniform, deflecting home Charles-Alexis Legeault's point shot.

A minute later, Elan Bar Lev Wise closed out the second period scoring on a breakaway.

Dafoe, then Trudeau with back-to-back goals to complete the hat trick rounded out the Warriors scoring.

Trudeau added an assist as well to stretch his consecutive game point streak to 13 games.

Bar Lev Wise had two assists to go along with his goal while Tyler Rubin added three assists.

Tyler Cristall picked up an assist improving his point streak to 15 straight games, one shy of the team record of 16 set by Liam Blackburn during the 2015-2016 season.

Johnny Derrick turned away 44 shots to earn his 10th win of the season.

The Warriors will host Cranbrook Saturday at Royal LePage Place, a game which will feature a wedding during the first period intermission.



Vees acquire new defenseman after three-way trade

3-way trade for defenseman

In a three-team trade, the Penticton Vees have acquired a new defenseman from the Coquitlam Express.

The Express originally acquired Simpson from the Cowichan Valley Capitals in exchange for forward Shane LaVelle (’01) and future considerations before the Express traded Simpson to Penticton in exchange for defenseman Luke Vardy (’03).

Simpson, 18, played with the Capitals to begin this season, racking up two goals and three assists. Prior to that, he played with the Boston Jr. Bruins of the National Collegiate Development Conference, where he scored one goal and four points in 13 games.

The Vees are excited to welcome Simpson and his family to the team and to the South Okanagan. They also thank departing defenseman Vardy for his contributions.

It has been an excellent season so far for the Vees, with a 12-2-0-0 record. They return to home ice this Friday night to face the Merritt Centennials at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Puck drop is at 7 p.m. Grab tickets here, or listen/watch live on Bounce Radio 800 or BCHLTV.ca.



I went to a hockey game and a wedding broke out

I do's crash Warriors game

Here's a first...a marriage of hockey and - well, marriage.

At least a first for Royal LePage Place.

Fans attending Saturday's BCHL game between the West Kelowna Warriors and Cranbrook Bucks will be treated to a wedding as an extra bonus.

Long-time season ticket holders Jim Peck and Radka Malyk will say their I do's during a quick, seven-and-a-half minute ceremony during the first period intermission.

Warriors chaplain, pastor Don Richmond will officiate the ceremony.

The ceremony is casual, no need to dress up.

“This is a fun one! How often do you get to catch a hockey game and crash a wedding in the same night?” said Warriors president Chris Laurie.

“I’m very familiar with the couple. They are loyal Warriors fans and approached us with the idea, so we’re looking forward to having some fun with it. Don’t miss this one!”



Homophobic slur allegedly directed at West Kelowna Warrior player during Tuesday's BCHL game

BCHL investigating slur

The BC Hockey League says it is investigating allegations of a homophobic slur uttered by a member of the Penticton Vees during Tuesday's BCHL game at Royal LePage Place.

The league says its director of public safety was made aware of the allegation following the game, however, communications manager Jesse Adamson tells Castanet the on ice officials working the game did not hear the interaction.

"We take any allegation like this very seriously," said Adamson.

He says the BCHL strives to be a safe place for all players, free from verbal harassment of any kind.

Fans attending the game claim a player with the West Kelowna Warriors was called a f****t late in what was a very emotional game between the two teams.

Vees head coach and GM Fred Harbinson told Castanet he stands by the player in question.

"The comment that was made was obviously misunderstood. The comment that was made, the player was called a fraud," said Harbinson.

"I trust the player in question. We were standing in the same vicinity on the bench without a glass pane in between, and we heard what we heard.

"It's unfortunate if they thought some other word was said. It's not what we're about."

Harbinson says he wishes the incident had remained an internal matter.

The Warriors have chosen not to comment on the incident.



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