Warriors wary of last place Smokies
Nov 2, 2013 / 5:00 am
Saturday at Royal LePage Place it's a case of David vs. Goliath when the Interior Division leading West Kelowna Warriors host the cellar dwelling Trail Smoke Eaters.
And, like the biblical version of the story, Warriors head coach Rylan Ferster says Trail can be a dangerous team.
The Smokies announced the hiring of Nick Deschenes as the team’s new head coach and general manager earlier in the week and, despite a 4-14-1-1 record, Ferster says a change in coach means a change in attitude.
"What makes them dangerous is a new coach. When a new coach comes in that's fresh starts for all guys," says Ferster.
"They are all playing for their positions. For me, that's scary when a team like this comes in."
While Ferster says he likes to prepare the team the same regardless of the opponent the message may be a bit different Saturday.
"You never want to look at the standings. Obviously the rivalry games are easy to get up for - you know we are going to be ready when we play Penticton," says Ferster,
"This is one you should be more than ready if that makes sense. Because, I know what it's like to take over in mid season. The room is now fresh."
The Warriors head into Saturday's game coming off an improbable 2-0-0-1 road trip which concluded with what Ferster says was probably the gutsiest performance he has ever been a part of.
Down nine regulars after a gruelling, physical game the night before in Langley the Warriors came back from a 3-2 deficit winning 5-3 in Surrey Sunday afternoon.
"It was 3-2 for them coming into the third and it was like we're probably going to run out of gas but we found a way in the third," says Ferster.
"I was as proud of that group at that particular time as I have ever been of any group I have ever had at one particular time."
The Warriors will still be without five regulars due to injury while defenceman Adam Plant is away with Team Canada West at the World Jr A Challenge, however, the club will have three healthy bodies back after forwards Seb Lloyd, David Pope and Ambrose Firkus all failed to make Team Canada West.
"It is good news bad news. You want those kids to make it because it's an unbelievable experience and we were pulling for them all," says Ferster.
"From our standpoint it's nice to get them back but it isn't what we wanted."
The Warriors have also lost forward Connor Bucsis to Flin Flon of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
Bucsis was sent to Flin Flon as the future considerations component of the deal that brought goaltender Andy Desautels to the Warriors.
Saturday's game with Trail is the lone game for the Warriors this weekend.
After playing just three of their last 12 on home ice, the Warriors now play 11 of their next 17 at home between now and Christmas.
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