Newcomers impress in Warriors debut


Mitch Nardi and Daniel Gayle both had impressive outings in their debut wearing a West Kelowna Warrior jersey Friday.

Acquired at the trade deadline earlier in the week, Nardi scored twice while Gayle chipped in with an assist as the Warriors dumped the visiting Powell River Kings 6-2

Acquired on the January 10th BCHL trading deadline, Nardi and fellow newcomer Danny Gayle both made their West Kelowna debuts, playing on a line together and leading the Warriors to a 6-2 victory.

“I don’t think so” Nardi grinned, when asked after the game if he could have drawn-up a better way to begin his tenure in the Okanagan.  “I don’t have too many goals this year, but two goals in my debut?  I’ll take it”.

Nardi entered the game with five goals and 20 assists during his time with the Coquitlam Express.

West Kelowna also got a goal from affiliate Branden Wagner, who was called up from the BCMML’s Okanagan Rockets for the second time this year.  Max French, Reid Simmonds, and Marcus Basara also all scored for the hosts, with Drew Dorantes and Matt Scartch providing the lone goals for Powell River. 

The Warriors led the game 2-0 after the opening period, but could have been up by a wider margin if not for some strong saves by Kings netminder Jonah Imoo.  Shots counted 18-5 after the first period, and finished 34-32 in favour of West Kelowna.

After a slow start to the game, the defending Coastal Conference Champions surged late in the game, as they seemed desperate to avoid starting an Interior road-trip with a defeat.

More than 1,000 fans were on hand, as the Warriors celebrated Westbank First Nation Night at Royal LePage Place. 

The sizeable crowd was lively throughout the contest, and continued to cheer when Nardi (1) and Gayle (3) were both included in the game’s three stars. 

West Kelowna now has a three-point lead over fourth-place Salmon Arm, with the Warriors set to visit fifth-place Trail on Saturday night. 


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