West Kelowna Warriors made a few roster moves ahead of Friday's pre season opener

Warriors ink new goalie

The West Kelowna Warriors have made a couple of roster moves ahead of their first pre season game Friday night.

Seventeen-year-old goaltender Justin Katz has committed to the team after two seasons of USHS Prep hockey in Deerfield, Mass.

Warriors head coach and GM Simon Ferguson calls Katz a "technically sound" goaltender who never gives up on loose pucks and always competes.

"We watched him a lot throughout the season and was one of the best 04 goalies in US Prep. We had an opportunity to bring him to camp and he has continued to impress us on and off the ice,”said Ferguson.

Katz, who said he wasn't able to play many games due to COVID, says fans can expect to see a player who will do whatever it takes to win.

"I’m a very competitive person, so I’m excited to get going this season and I’m looking forward to competing with the guys ," he said.

In a corresponding move, the Warriors dealt defenceman Corey McCann to the Blackfalds Bulldogs of the Alberta Junior League for future considerations.

McCann was one of nine defencemen still on the pre season roster fighting for ice time at the time of the trade.

“We believe Corey is going to get the opportunity to play the key minutes he needs in order to attract opportunities to earn a scholarship," said Ferguson.

The Warriors have 23 players on their roster heading into Friday's pre season opener, including 13 forwards, eight defencemen and two goaltenders.

They kick off a home-and-home with Salmon Arm Friday night at Royal LePage Place.

Fans will be allowed back in Royal LePage Place at 50 per cent capacity to start. Everyone entering the building, including fans, will be required to show proof of full vaccination.

Vees play their annual Peaches Cup intrasquad game

Vees spar in Peaches Cup

The Penticton Vees faced off against one another in their annual Peaches Cup intrasquad game on Friday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre with Team Blue topping Team White by a score of 6-3.

The Vees play their Peaches Cup game a week before the exhibition season kicks off, featuring both rostered and affiliate players for the 2021/22 season.

For some players, this was the first game-like action in over a year and a half.

Thomas Pichette was first to kick off the scoring, snapping a shot past the glove side of Team White goaltender Colin Purcell just under nine minutes into the game to give Team Blue a 1-0 lead.

Ryan Hopkins followed with a goal in the backend for Team White to even the score heading into the second period.

The second period was dominated by Team Blue as they scored twice to take a two-goal lead with Casey McDonald snapping up a puck inside the right face-off circle and to get a shot past the blocker side of Purcell for a 2-1 lead.

Josh Nadeau added to the scoring to give Team Blue a two-goal advantage late in the period on a play that included Pichette and veteran Luc Wilson, sliding a shot past the blocker side of Purcell.

In the third period, Tij Iginla added his name to the score sheet for Team Blue with the first of two goals in the final period, with a pass from Smyth Rebman in the left face-off circle across the ice to bury a shot through Purcell.

Team White gathered a comeback when Jackson Nieuwendyk wrapped the puck around the glove side of Lane for a 4-2 game.

Another goal came for Team White when Beanie Richter scored a backhand shot up and over the glove side of Lane to cut the lead to 4-3.

Iginla struck again with his second goal of the game with a shot over the glove side of Purcel, giving Team Blue’s a 5-3 lead.

The last goal of the game was snagged by Ethan Mann, firing one into an empty net in the final minute to solidify the score in favour of Team Blue at 6-3 fashion.

The Vees will make their exhibition debut battling the Vernon Vipers on Friday, Sept. 24 at the South Okanagan Events Centre at 7:00 PM. Single game tickets are now on sale and available at the SOEC Box Office and online at valleyfirsttix.com

Penticton will officially start their 2021/22 season on Friday, Oct. 8 in renewing a historic rivalry against the Vernon Vipers at the SOEC. Season tickets for the upcoming campaign are now available to purchase with ticket packages available for as low as $9 per game. Contact Director of Ticketing and Merchandise Laura Carleton by phone at (250) 493-8337 ext. 4 as well as email at [email protected] for more information.

Vernon Vipers will require COVID passport to watch training camp and games

Passport needed for Vipers

The puck is set to drop on another Vernon Vipers season.

The BC Hockey League team will allow fans at their training camp, exhibition and regular seasons games for the 2021/22 season.

But you will need a COVID passport to get in.

Proof of full vaccination and photo ID will be required for anyone 18 or over, while ages 12 to 7 will be required to show their vaccine passports only to enter the arena.

There will be no exceptions.

Full vaccination will be needed to attend all games, beginning with the first exhibition game on Sept. 21 against their Interior Division rival the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

“The decision comes in support of the province of British Columbia’s COVID-19 proof of vaccination program announced last week by Premier John Horgan, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix,” said a press release from the Vipers.

It was also recently announced that the Vipers can only allow 50 per cent capacity in Kal Tire Place.

The following rules must also be adhered to for training camp and the exhibition schedule:

  • There will be no standing room available and no standing by the rails.
  • You must sit in your assigned seat. You can only leave your seat to go to the washroom or the concession.
  • You must wear your mask at all times while in Kal Tire Place, but patrons can lower their mask to eat or drink food

The Vernon Vipers will not tolerate any verbal or physical abuse of its staff or volunteers. You may be asked to leave if this happens.

For a full list of times, click here.

Warriors fans can cheer on team at Royal Lepage Place after 'lengthy wait', club says

Warriors welcome back fans

The West Kelowna Warriors will be welcoming back fans to Royal Lepage Place for the upcoming season.

According to a statement issued Tuesday from the BC Hockey League club, the provincial government will allow fans to attend games at 50 per cent capacity.

“After a lengthy wait, we look forward to welcoming our community back into RLP to cheer on the boys,” the club said in a statement.

The club said season ticket holders will be guaranteed entry, followed by single game tickets on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Single game tickets will go on sale Monday, Sept. 20 for the season opener, which is scheduled for Oct. 9.

“In accordance with the provincial health order, fans will require proof of vaccination to attend games,” the club said.

For fans who can’t attend in person, the club said several Warriors games will be broadcast live.

Penticton Vees reveal captains for upcoming season

Vees name captains

The Penticton Vees Hockey Club has revealed its leadership group for the upcoming season.

Fin Williams has been named Captain for the second straight season. The North Vancouver, BC native will be joined by second-year Vee and fourth-year forward Luc Wilson as well as second-year Vee Frank Djurasevic as the team’s assistant captains.

Williams, 18, is set to begin his second season with the Vees after getting into 15 games during the Penticton Pod in early 2021. The University of Michigan commit tallied five goals and 13 assists for 18 points against the Trail Smoke Eaters and Cranbrook Bucks and has amassed 16 goals and 33 assists for 49 points in 59 career regular season games.

Wilson, 20, comes into his second season with the Vees after leading the team in scoring during the pod season in Penticton, scoring 14 goals and 15 assists for 29 points in 20 games played. The Duncan, BC native has 130 career regular season games under his belt, scoring 43 goals and 62 assists for 105 points.

Djurasevic, 19, also played in all 20 games for the Vees during the 20-game Pod Season in his first year with the club, scoring 4 goals and 5 assists for 9 points during that span. The New Rochelle, New York native had an especially strong finish to the 2021/22 season, scoring two goals and two assists for four points in his last three games.

The Vees will begin their 2021/22 season on October 8 in renewing a historic rivalry against the Vernon Vipers at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Season tickets for the upcoming campaign are now available to purchase with ticket packages available for as low as $9 per game.

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