West Kelowna Warriors dumped visiting Salmon Arm 4-1 in their pre season opener

Warriors earn opening win

The West Kelowna Warriors kicked off the pre season schedule on the right foot.

Felix Trudeau scored twice and the penalty kill was perfect in leading the Warriors to a 4-1 victory over the visiting Salmon Arm Silverbacks Friday night.

The game marked the first step toward what should be a normal season complete with fans for the first time in more than 18 months.

Newcomer Nick Roukounakis and overage Elan Bar Lev Wise also scored for the Warriors in a game more spirited and intense than a typical pre season opener.

"We're used to playing Salmon Arm...we played them a bunch last year. We have a lot of returning guys that hold some animosity, but overall I thought we played pretty well," said head coach Simon Ferguson who admitted he wasn't looking for a lot in the first game our of the gate.

"I just wanted to compete. I knew there would be some mistakes and rustiness, but I just wanted to compete at all times," he said following the game.

Special teams, as is usually the case in pre season, got a lot of work. While the power play went 0-5, the penalty kill was flawless.

It needed to be after giving the Silverbacks 10 opportunities with the man advantage.

"I thought we were way too undisciplined. We made some real dumb hockey plays that are going to hurt us if we do that moving forward. But, I liked the intensity of it. We just have to control it a little better."

Bar Lev Wise opened the scoring nearly nine minutes in when he deflected home Felix Trudeau's centering pass on what was a four-on-one break.

The Silverbacks got that one back just after a time out when Nathan Morin banged home a juicy rebound past Johnny Derrick. It was all they could get past the Warriors veteran goaltender.

The Warriors blew the game open with three unanswered goals in the second.

Roukounakis scored what proved to be the winner eight minutes in. He took the puck on the half wall, powered his way behind the net and, instead of going out the far side, stopped short, cut to the side of the net and jammed the puck into the short side past Liam Vanderkooi.

Trudeau made it 3-1 just after a power play ended, beating Vanderkooi with a quick wrist shot to the top corner from the bottom of the right circle.

He netted his second minutes later, tipping home Bar Lev Wise's centering pass from the end boards.

The Warriors outshot the visitors 41-31 on the evening.

The two teams meet again Saturday in Salmon Arm.

The Warriors host Prince George Tuesday before closing out the pre season with back-to-back games with Vernon next Friday and Saturday.

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