Warriors, Vees set for 1st place battle
Oct 17, 2013 / 7:52 pm
First place in the tight Interior Division will be on the line Friday in Penticton when the West Kelowna Warriors and Penticton Vees do battle in the first of seven meetings between the two clubs.
The Warriors and Vees both enter the showdown with identical 9-3-0-1 records.
Penticton is coming off a 3-2 overtime loss at home to Merritt Wednesday while the Warriors were 3-2 losers on home ice to Prince George last Saturday.
That loss snapped a string of 10 straight (9-0-0-1) games without a regulation time loss for the Warriors. The Vees had been riding a three game winning streak prior to Wednesday's OT loss to Merritt.
No discussion of a Penticton West Kelowna game can begin without first taking a look back.
Over the past three seasons, the ice has been tilted decidedly in Penticton's favour.
In 23 meetings, the Vees hold a 20-3 edge in the win column. Four of those wins came in overtime. Last season the Vees were 6-1 in head-to-head meetings with two of those six victories coming in extra time.
"We don't live in the past. I have a saying, 'don't look back because you're not going that way'," says Warriors head coach Rylan Ferster when asked about the past three seasons.
"If we are going to focus on everything that's happened in the past what chance do we have in the future. Whatever has happened in the past is just that - the past."
Ferster says the Warriors will be going into Penticton knowing they will be facing a good hockey team but says it's still too early in the season for this game to be anything more than a first place game
"We're approaching it the way we approach every other game. We'll try to prepare our guys, watch video and do what we need to do to try and prepare," says Ferster.
"Obviously we have a ton of respect for Penticton. We're well aware of who we're playing."
The Warriors head into Penticton banged up offensively.
The league's number four offence will likely be without Ambrose Firkus, Brennan Clark, Liam Blackburn, David Pope and Adam Osczevski.
Jordon Masters, fourth in rookie scoring in the league, is expected to return after missing both games last weekend.
Following Friday's game in Penticton the Warriors will return home for a Sunday afternoon matinee with the visiting Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
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