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Warriors make moves

Coming off the most successful season in West Kelowna history, the Warriors have finalized a trade with the Prince George Spruce Kings.

West Kelowna native and Warriors assistant captain, Brett Mennear, will be heading to Prince George, to join up with former Warrior Tanner Campbell.

The Warriors acquired Bryan Basilico and Jake LeBrun from Prince George in January, for Tanner Campbell and "future considerations."

Mennear is that future consideration, and his move north now completes the trade.

In the 2015/16 season, Mennear netted 18 goals and 24 points in the regular season, while grabbing 7 goals and 14 assists in playoff play.

"Brett was a vital part of our program the last three years and a big part of our RBC team," Rylan Ferster, Warriors Head Coach and General Manager said. "To get something you have to give up something and that's the reality of our business. We would like to thank Brett for his contributions to the program and wish him continued success with the Spruce Kings."

Mennear has committed to play NCAA Division 1 hockey at Bentley University for the 2017/18 season.


More hardware for Warriors

The accolades keep coming for members of the West Kelowna Warriors.

Fresh off their RBC Cup championship Sunday in Lloydminster, Sask., two members of the club have been singled out for their achievements during the regular and post season.

Kyler Hope was named Thursday co-winner of the FortisBC regular season Engery Player of the Year.

Hope, and Kelowna native Linden Hora of the Chilliwack Chiefs, each received 12 Energy Player of the Game nods during the regular season.

Warriors captain Kyle Marino was named the Energy Player of the playoffs, accumulating four such post-game selections.

At the conclusion of each game, a player is recognized just after the three stars are announced who demonstrated exceptional hustle and drive during that night’s contest.

The results are tracked through the regular season and playoffs and the players with the most Energy Player nominations take the title for the year.

Hope, a native of Lashburn, Sask., finished the season 10th in BCHL scoring with 28 goals and 46 assists for 74 points to go along with 62 penalty minutes. He played all 58 games for the Warriors this season.

Marino, from Niagara Falls, Ont., posted seven goals and four assists with 46 penalty minutes while playing all 24 Warriors’ playoff games. The captain led the Warriors to the Fred Page Cup, Crescent Point Energy Western Canada Cup and the RBC Cup national title.

He’ll remain teammates with Hope as both are committed to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks for next season.

More accolades for Jost

Another honour has been bestowed on Penticton Vees forward Tyson Jost.

The St. Albert native was named Hockey Canada’s RBC Canadian Junior Hockey League national player of the year.

A week ago, Jost was named the CJHL's top forward and MVP.

Jost amassed 42 goals and 104 points in just 48 regular season games, and another six goals and 14 points in 11 playoff games.

At the World Under-18 Hockey Championship in April, Jost set a new Canadian scoring record with 15 points in seven games, breaking Connor McDavid’s record set in 2013.

He also won a gold medal at the 2015 World Junior ‘A’ Challenge in Ontario.

Jost is the first BCHL player to win the award since Kyle Turris in 2007 with the Burnaby Express. He’s just the second player in Penticton history to have that honour bestowed upon him, as Paul Kariya won it in 1992.

Vees haul in awards

Two members of the Penticton Vees walked away with the lion's share of Canadian Junior Hockey League awards.

Tyson Jost and Dante Fabbro were named recipients of three of the five awards announced by the CJHL Thursday.

Jost was named both the top forward and most valuable player.

Fabbro was tabbed as best defenceman in the nation.

Both are ranked as potential first round selections in the upcoming June NHL entry draft.

Jost, a Kelowna native, had 42 goals and 104 points in 48 games with the Vees this season. He also led the BCHL in assists, with 62.

This despite playing in only 48 games as he was away in December to captain Team Canada West to a gold medal at the World Junior A Challenge.

Jost’s 2.17 points per game was tops in the BCHL – his best stretch being a 19-game point streak where he picked up 17 goals and 42 points. Jost is committed to the University of North Dakota for next season.

Fabbro had 14 goals and 67 points in 45 games to lead all defencemen this season. He also took part in the World Junior A Challenge in December.

Fabbro was assessed just 30 minutes in penalties. The Coquitlam product is committed to Boston University for next season.

Alberta Junior Hockey League products captured the other two awards.

Matthew Murray of the Spruce Grove Saints was named top goaltender. In his second year with the Saints, Murray compiled a record of 23-4-0, with three shutouts, a 2.59 goals against average and .910 save percentage. 

Cale Makar of the Brooks Bandits was named the nation's top rookie. In his first season with the Bandits, Maker amassed 10 goals and 55 points in 54 games.

Warriors in cup final

The West Kelowna Warriors have checked off two of three boxes in their quest for a berth in the RBC Cup.

Earn a place in the top four after round robin play at the Western Canada Cup in Estevan, Sask. Check!

Finish in the top two in order to play in the championship game with a spot in the RBC Cup going to the winner. Check!

Win the one-two championship game. Unfinished business.

Already assured a berth in one of the two playoff games Saturday, the Warriors assured themselves a berth in the championship game Thursday afternoon with a 4-1 win over Saskatchewan champion Melfort Mustangs.

Brett Mennear, who leads all scorers at the Western Canada Cup with six points, picked up a goal and two assists, all in the first period Thursday.

Jonathan Desbiens, the player of the game for the Warriors, had a goal and an assist, while Kyler Hope and Bryan Basillico, with his third of the tournament, also scored.

Tyler Anderson chipped in with two assists.

"He's probably been our best player and most consistent player over the course of the tournament," said Warriors head coach Rylan Ferster of Mennear.

"He was good again. Obviously he's one of our best penalty killers, and he's a gritty 200 foot guy. J.D. (Desbiens) and Hope get a lot of ink for thing they do, but that (centre) for them is pretty special. He makes life a lot easier for those guys."

Mennear opened the scoring just past the midway point of the first when he cut across the slot from the left wing and beat Melfort goaltender Even Plotnik high from a sharp angle.

A little more than two minutes later, Mennear won a faceoff directly to Desbiens, who stepped into the slot and sent a quick wrist shot past Plotnik.

Hope made it 3-0 in the final minute when he made a deke to the backhand on a partial break after a nifty feed from Mennear.

Basillico ended the Warriors scoring 14 minutes into the second when he deflected home a pass from

Travis Mayan spoiled Keelan Williams' shutout bid eight minutes into the third.

Williams was again called into action to replace Matthew Greenfield, who remains out with a concussion suffered late in Sunday's 4-2 loss to Brooks. He remains day-to-day.

"We're in a results driven world and that young man has had results for us."

Williams has won his last 11 starts, including three in the post-season.

He made 20 saves as the Warriors outshot Melfort 43-21.

Despite some good looks, the power-play came up dry Thursday on eight opportunities. The Warriors are now 3-26 with the man advantage.

"We had some good looks, the puck just didn't go in," said Ferster.

"I don't think the guys are frustrated. We're certainly not as a staff."

On the flip side, the Warriors penalty kill over the first four games has been nearly flawless, killing off 24 of 25 opportunities against them, a tournament best 96 per cent.

Next up for the Warriors, a date with the Brooks Bandits, the only team to beat the Warriors in Estevan.

Saturday's game goes at 6 p.m. local time.

The winner advances to the RBC Cup as the number one seed from the west, while the loser will meet the winner of Saturday's other game between Melfort and Portage, for the second berth.

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