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BCHL  

Warriors finally get healthy

It's been a long time since the West Kelowna Warriors have been completely healthy up front.

That may be the case Friday when the BCHL squad opens up a two-game weekend in Salmon Arm.

Chase Stevenson, out since the beginning of December, will be back in the lineup Friday. Matt Kowalski, who has missed 36 games after suffering an injury Oct. 13, could also return in Salmon Arm.

If both are back, it would mean two healthy forwards would have to watch from the stands, a problem head coach Rylan Ferster has not had in some time.

In fact, there were games when he was only able to dress nine forwards.

"To add two guys like that now, it;s almost like deadlines deals," said Ferster.

"When guys have been out that long...you add two players like that down the stretch, it's nice. We're really excited."

Ferster expects to slot Stevenson on a checking line with team leading scorer Jared Marino and centre Cavin Tilsley.

It's a line he hopes will be able to contribute at the offensive end as well.

Ferster says he doesn't expect both players to light the world on fire out of the game, but says big picture, it's a great situation.

"You want to be firing on all cylinders come playoff time, so they're coming back at a perfect time.

"We have 10 games left, so we'll be able to figure out where guys fit in the lineup."

While the offence is about back to normal, the Warriors are nicked up on the back end. Newly acquired Cody Paivarinta remains out with an upper body injury, now, Stephen Kleyson is sidelined about 10 days with a lower body injury.

Following Friday's game in Salmon Arm, the Warriors will return home to host the Merritt Centennials Saturday.



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