Harrison gets Warriors C

The West Kelowna Warriors didn't waste any time identifying their leaders.

On the first day of training camp Monday, head coach Brandon West named three-quarters of the team's leadership group.

Defenceman Jake Harrison, who has returned to the club after a year in the United States Hockey League, has been installed as the club's captain for the 2019-2020 season.

Harrison is the last remaining holdover from the Warriors 2016 RBC Cup championship team.

Returning veterans Parm Dhaliwal and Lucas Cullen will serve as two of three three alternates.

West says he will wait to see which of the remaining hopefuls seizes a leadership opportunity before naming a third alternate.

Meantime, 40 players hit the ice Monday morning at Royal LePage Place as the Warriors opened camp ahead of its 14th BC Hockey League season.

Much of the focus of the first three days of camp, prior to Wednesday's pre-season opener, will be spent getting to know each other, more than on specific systems.

"We want to give everybody an opportunity to settle in, and get the summer rust off," said West.

"They have been doing individual skill work all summer, so we want to put them in a team atmosphere. We want to get the guys back into hockey mode."

It's also an opportunity to teach.

"We want to introduce our concepts and the way we want to play.

"It;s basic structure. We'll introduce some forechecks and d-zone coverage.

"How we want to play with the puck, and more importantly, how we want to play without the puck."

West will get a chance to see a lot of his younger players in game situations Wednesday when  the Warriors kick-off the exhibition season against the Penticton Vees at Royal LePage Place.

A few veterans may be sprinkled in Friday when the Salmon Arm Silverbacks come to town.

The Warriors will play six pre-season games before their home opener Friday, Sept. 6 against the Vernon Vipers.


Locked inside the Peach

The man is dedicated to his team. 

Penticton Vees president, general manager and head coach Fred Harbinson is locking himself inside the Peach on Okanagan Beach Tuesday.

He will not be leaving until 30 new season ticket memberships have been sold. 

Vees players along with staff and mascot HarVee will be on hand all afternoon long at the event beginning at 12 p.m.

Harbinson will remain “Peach-tained” inside the ice cream shop until the goal is reached. 

Fans are invited to come down and meet the team and join the drive to help coach Harbinson escape.

BCHL, Chev renew deal

The BC Hockey League and B.C. Chevrolet Dealers have announced a renewed agreement for the 2019-20 season as Chevrolet will become one of the league’s founding Ssonsors and will be known as the “Official Vehicle of the BCHL.”

For the second year in a row, the Chevrolet logo will be prominently featured on the front left of every BCHL team jersey.

The B.C. Chevrolet Dealers will also be bringing back one of the most popular features from the league last year – the “BCHL in 60”.

BCHL in 60 is a minute-long highlight reel recapping the night’s action across the BCHL. It features on all BCHL social-media channels as well as the league website and runs two to three times a week during the regular season and even more frequently in the playoffs.

“We are excited to have Chevrolet back on board as one of the league’s founding sponsors,” said BCHL commissioner Chris Hebb.

“They’ve been a great partner for the BCHL since coming on board last season and we can’t wait to grow this relationship going forward.”

Chevrolet will have increased participation in game nights and on the BCHL’s website, social-media channels and newsletter. Local Chevrolet dealers will also have an opportunity for an increased presence in all 16 Canadian BCHL arenas.

“Our B.C. Chevrolet Dealers are excited to partner with the BC Hockey League for the second year in a row,” said Michelle Bovon, marketing manager of Western Canada for GM Canada.

“This partnership allows Chevrolet’s long-standing affiliation with hockey to get down to the local level where our dealers live, work and serve their communities.”

Chevrolet joins LNG Canada as founding partners of the BCHL.


Warriors want you to buy in

The BC Hockey League's West Kelowna Warriors are looking for financial partners to help get affiliated programs off the ground.

Team owner Kim Dobranski says potential investors would not be investing in the Junior A club, but in other, specific programs.

Dobranski says the Warriors have been working with other BCHL operators on a number of independent models to "ensure long term viability and sustainability of our respective franchises."

"Collectively, our goal is to anchor franchises in our communities by creating revenue streams which allow reinvestment in our Junior A programs," Dobranski said in a news release.

"This will also help us improve community support initiatives, recruiting, scouting, marketing, arena infrastructure improvements, player development, NCAA and NHL placements, and also support and improve our minor hockey programs in our regions."

He says the opportunities would be "relatively low-risk," as many are ones they are currently active in.

"We are looking for people with financial resources, a passion for hockey and community, and the time and desire to be actively involved in the top Junior A league in the country, arguable North America."

Anyone interested is asked to contact [email protected].

Warriors pre-season sked

The end of August will be a busy time for the West Kelowna Warriors as they get ready for the 2019-2020 BC Hockey League season.

The Warriors will open up training camp Aug. 19 at Royal LePage Place then, two nights later, begin a stretch of six pre-season games in 11 days.

They kick off the exhibition season at home against Penticton Wednesday, Aug. 21 then host Salmon Arm two nights later.

The Warriors will close out the pre-season at home against Trail Saturday, Aug. 31. That game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.

About 40 or so players are expected to open camp with the team before head coach Brandon West trims that number to 22 prior to the start of the regular season Sept. 6.

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