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BCHL  

Warriors come up just short

Friday's BCHL pre-season game at Royal LePage Place was nearly a carbon copy of a game two nights earlier, albeit in reverse.

Wednesday, the West Kelowna Warriors dominated the Penticton Vees with an older rookie lineup.

Friday against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, it was the visitors who were the dominant team, dressing a lineup loaded with players who will start the season with the club, while the Warriors again dressed a rookie lineup with only a few players expected to break camp with the BCHL club.

The result, a 2-1 Salmon Arm victory.

Despite holding a wide edge in offensive zone time and puck possession, the Silverbacks were not able to generate many quality chances and, when they did, the goaltending duo of Jayden Shull and Johnny Derrick came up big.

But, as with most early pre-season games, it was about seeing what the young players could do.

"They play really well, but I thought our guys battled really well," said head coach Brandon West.

"We had some young guys learning what this league is all about. We gave these guys another opportunity, especially the way they played Wednesday night, but I think the fatigue is setting in."

He said a lot of the young players learned what it takes physically to play at this level.

"A lot of those young guys are starting to learn how to get their strength and conditioning up to par, and I think tonight we got pushed around a little bit, but it wasn't for a lack of want.

"Those young guys just didn't have enough...but it was a good effort."

West had planned to trim a few players from the training camp roster Thursday, but decided to give everyone another look after the effort they gave Wednesday.

That could change Saturday, as a number of veterans are expected to finally make their pre-season debut when the Warriors and Silverbacks meet again in Salmon Arm.

The Warriors will play in Penticton Wednesday and Trail next Friday before dropping the curtain on the pre-season Saturday, Aug. 31 against the Smoke Eaters.



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