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A three-game winning streak has Warriors in playoff spot

Warriors streak at right time

A three-game winning streak is not usually cause for celebration.

But, when your seaso  included just seven wins and long losing streaks of eight and 10 games, victories, moral or otherwise, are reason to celebrate.

That's the case with the West Kelowna Warriors who, based on three games last weekend, may have turned a corner.

Under new head coach Simon Ferguson, the Warriors put up 16 goals in those three weekend wins, more than double their average of 2.39 goals per game over the previous 39 games.

The 2.6 goals they have allowed per game since Ferguson took over is well below their average of 4.0 they allowed prior to the new year.

It's a small sample size, just three games, but it's the way the Warriors won that gives the impression something is different.

They scored first in all three games and, in the case of back-to-back wins on home ice, they broke open tight games with strong third periods.

Before Christmas, those teams would more often than not, have found ways to lose.

Their forecheck has been more tenacious, passes crisper and players are regularly showing off their open-ice skill in beating defenders one-on-one.

It's a game they didn't play as much of earlier in the season.

They are also doing this with the youngest roster in the league.

Their only 20-year-old, captain Jake Harrison, has played all of a period-and-a-half this season. They have just six 19-year-old listed on the roster.

The rest are 18 (10) and 17 (4). It's been those younger players who have led the charge.

Ferguson is reluctant to take any credit for the recent turnaround, saying he doesn't know what system the team was playing before he took over prior to the new year.

All this has moved the Warriors into a playoff spot, three points better than Merritt.

The Warriors have a chance to extend their streak this weekend. They'll host Surrey Friday night and Island Division-leading Cowichan Valley Saturday.



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