West Kelowna put up a franchise-tying 14 goals in a throttling of the Merritt Centennials

Warriors manhandle Cents

The West Kelowna Warriors are playing for home ice advantage in the playoffs - the Merritt Centennials are just playing out the string with a chance at a playoff berth a distant memory.

It showed Friday at Royal LePage Place.

Playing their final home game of the regular season before more than 1,000 raucous fans, every skater hit the scoreboard in a franchise-tying 14 goal outburst and a 14-0 dismantling of the Centennials.

The margin of victory is the largest in franchise history while the 14 goals, six goals in one period and six power play goals all tied franchise records first established during a 14-2 drubbing of the Centennials back on Oct. 16, 2009.

The Warriors came into the game tied with Vernon and Prince George for fourth in the tight Interior Conference, two points behind Salmon Arm and a single point up on Wenatchee knowing wins Friday and Saturday in Salmon Arm in regulation time would secure third and home ice advantage.

They used the motivation to jump on the Centennials early, building a 4-0 lead after one and increasing it to 10-0 after 40 minutes.

Jaiden Moriello, who took home best forward and MVP honours during the clubs award ceremony after the game, notched a career high six points, registering a goal and five assists in the contest.

"It was really important," Moriello said of the win Friday.

"We had a couple of important guys come back into our lineup and they boosted the energy in the locker room and it really helped us out. We just wanted to get the two points here, we were focused and put in a full 60 and this is what happens when we do."

Rylee Hlusiak had two goals and three assists while Jake Bernadette had a career high four-point night with two goals and two assists.

Marik Mamic, playing his seventh game as an affiliated player with captain Aiden Reeves still out of the lineup notched his first two career BCHL goals in the rout.

Ben MacDonalds, Michael Salandra, Matthew Lee, Isaiah Norlin, Riley Sharun, Brennan Nelson and Luke Devlin also scored for the Warriors.

Cayden Hamming faced just 16 shots in recording his first career BC Hockey League shutout.

Hamming had to be sharp early, stopping a first period breakaway and getting his toe on a quick shot in the dying moments to preserve the goose egg.

Friday's win, coupled with the Spruce Kings' 4-3 win in Cranbrook moves the two teams into a third place tie with idle Salmon Arm.

The Vipers lost 5-1 in Penticton while Wenatchee was upset 5-2 at home by Trail.

A regulation win Saturday in Salmon Arm will secure third in the Interior regardless of what other teams do in their final game.

A Prince George loss in Cranbrook Saturday in regulation time would also guarantee the Warriors a fourth place finish and home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Regardless of what happens the rest of the final weekend of the regular season, the Warriors can finish no lower than fifth.

They will likely play either Vernon or Prince George in the opening round of the playoffs. All that is left to be decided is where the first round will open.

Moriello meantime said following the award ceremony the MVP honour was a complete surprise.

"I give a lot of thanks to my teammates, my coaches, the owners and everyone who has helped me because, as much of an individual awards as this is, it really is a team award and I give all the credit to them."

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