Warriors, Vees open pre-season with tie
Aug 26, 2013 / 7:00 am
Pre-season, regular season or playoffs - the Penticton Vees seem to find a way to ruin the West Kelowna Warriors party.
In the pre-season opener for both teams veteran Cam Amantea scored with just 37.3 seconds left on the clock to lift the Vees to a 3-3 with the Warriors before more than 500 fans at Royal LePage Place.
Amantea was one of a handful of veterans dressed by both teams in a game which featured many players who will be returning to midget or junior B teams within the next few days.
"It's a tough time of year but it's something that has to happen, so we'll make a pretty good round or re-assignments tonight" says Warriors coach Rylan Ferster..
"They've played a game and they've got a taste of what it's like hopefully to be a Warrior and see what the BCHL is like and to see another very good team and a good rivalry. I'm glad a lot of these guys got a chance to play against Penticton."
Ferster says there will be some further cuts after Monday's return engagement in Penticton.
He says he hopes to be down close to his final squad when the Warriors close out the pre-season schedule with back-to-back games with the Vernon Vipers next Friday in Vernon and Saturday at Royal LePage Place.
In Sunday's opener, the Warriors held a 2-0 lead with just four-and-a-half minutes left on goals from newly appointed captain Matt Anholt and Nick Gnazdowsky.
The Vees got goals two minutes apart from Liam Finlay and Max Coatta to tie it.
Speedster Carl Hesler banged home a long rebound at 18:52 for what appeared to be the game winner until Amantea notched the equalizer.
Prized off-season recruit Liam Blackburn, who finished second in scoring the the BC Major Midget League a season ago, assisted on all three Warriors goals.
"Liam is an unbelievable player. He sees the ice awesome. If you want the puck and you call for it he's going to give it to you," says Anholt who had an assist to go along with his goal.
"He's got unbelievable hands and he makes great plays. It's fun to play with him.
Both teams used both goaltenders in Sunday's game.
Steven Myland blocked all 17 shots he faced over the first 30 minutes before he was relieved by Cody Porter who allowed all three Vees goals while facing 23 shots.
Vees starter Hunter Miska allowed two goals on 15 shots over the first half of the game before he was relieved by Brendan Barry who gave up one goal on 10 shots.
Prior to Sunday's game the Warriors announced the acquisition of 19-year-old netminder Andy Desautels from the Saskatchewan Junior League's Flin Flon Bombers for future considerations.
Desautels played last season with the Western Hockey League's Prince Albert Raiders.
He was returned to the CJHL after the Raiders made a deal for Kamloops Blazers netminder Cole Cheveldave.
“He’s a veteran goalie with a great reputation” says Ferster of the move.
Ferster says he’s spoken to Desautels, and expects the Saskatchewan product to arrive in the Okanagan within a day or two.
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