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BCHL  

Warriors eye end of drought

It's been three long years since the West Kelowna Warriors have won a playoff game.

They'll look to end that drought when they face off with the reigning Fred Page Cup champion Wenatchee Wild in the opening round of the BCHL playoffs.

The Warriors last playoff win was May 22, 2016, when they beat Lloydminster 4-0 in the RBC Cup championship game.

Since then, it's been two straight four-game sweeps. Merritt dispatched the Warriors in four games in 2016-2017, while Trail swept them away last season.

The Warriors will look for success despite stumbling down the stretch. They fell from fourth to sixth in the Interior Division going 2-7-1-0 over the final 10 games.

The Wild meantime won their last three and five of their final seven.

While the Warriors did split the six-game season series against Wenatchee, the Wild did win the final two meetings, both in the Washington State city.

Despite the head-to-head records, and the way the teams finished up, Warriors head coach Brandon West says that can all be thrown out the window.

Playoffs are a race to four wins," said West.

"Both teams have the ability to open the game up offensively so our decisions with and without the puck are important. Our guys are excited and prepared for this series. It should be a fun one to watch.”

The Warriors will have to tighten things up in their own end if they are going to have any success in the series.

While both teams scored at about the same clip during the regular season. the Warriors gave up the second most goals in the league.

The 220 goals they surrendered was 50 more than Wenatchee, nearly a full goal a game.

Where the Warriors do have the edge is with the man advantage.

Over the course of the regular season, they connected on 23.4 per cent of their opportunities, second best in the league. Wenatchee was 14th, scoring at an 18.2 per cent clip.

The opening two games of the series will be played in Wenatchee Saturday and Sunday before shifting to Royal LePage Place for the middle three games.

Those games are set for Tuesday, Wednesday, and if necessary, Friday.



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