Saturday, 7 May 2016

WCC Championship Game PREVIEW

The West Kelowna Warriors and Brooks Bandits will meet tonight for the Western Canada Cup Championship, and the first berth in the Royal Bank Cup in what is probably the most anticipated rematch from the round robin.

Last Sunday, it was the Bandits who skated away with a 4-2 victory in the game that had people talking even four days later. West Kelowna had a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes in that game, and had 14 opportunities on the man advantage but only scored once. The game was marred by three separate goaltender interference penalties against the Bandits, including one major, which in turn, knocked Matthew Greenfield out of the tournament to this point. He remains day-to-day. Further to those incidents, Kyle Marino and Bandits goaltender Garrett Hughson mixed it up with 10 seconds left, which included a fight where not many punches were landed as Marino was tied up immediately by the linesman.

Looking at tonight's game, don't expect the 14 power-play opportunities for the Warriors once again, however it will be a very physical hockey game and will be interesting to see how it gets called early. Rylan Ferster made some great points on Thursday and to Castanet on how the Warriors players have not forgotten what happened last Sunday, and that everyone around the tournament knows what happened. Ferster mentioned that they need to focus on winning and not on settling any scores.

Keelan Williams will get the start in goal once again and he's been good, thrown into the fire so to speak against the Portage Terriers, Williams is 2-0 with a 1.47 GAA and a .939 SV% after the OT win against Portage and the victory over the Melfort Mustangs. On the flip side, Hughson was named the tournaments Top Goaltender last night at the Awards Banquet, and sports a 3-0 record and a 1.67 GAA and .938 SV%. It could very easily be a goaltenders duel tonight.

Brett Mennear and Ty Mappin (Brooks) tied for the tournaments top scorer award, while the tournaments Top Forward was Jeff Mallott (Brooks) so there's a lot of recognized talent in this one tonight. Mennear, Mallott, Cale Makar on defense, and Hughson were also tournament all-stars.

The Bandits PP heated up late in the WCC, scoring 4 times against the Portage Terriers to up their percentage to 28.6% to lead the tournament. West Kelowna is 3 for 26 (11.5%) on the man advantage. Both teams penalty kills are 24 for 25 and lead the tournament at 96%.

With a trophy on the line, and an extra days rest leading into the Royal Bank Cup, expect tonight's battle to have the intensity of a Game 7. While there is another chance waiting Sunday for the loser, nobody on either team wants to play in that RBC Qualifier game approximately 18 hours after losing the WCC Title Game. Tonight should be one hell of a game.

Listen Live at, or visit Kelly O'Bryan's in West Kelowna to watch it on the big screen. Visit to watch the game if you can't make it to Kelly O's!

Wednesday, 4 May 2016


When the West Kelowna Warriors take the ice on Thursday afternoon against the Melfort Mustangs, the math is simple: Win, and you play the Brooks Bandits for the Western Canada Cup on Saturday night. Lose, and you'll be the road team on Saturday afternoon against the Mustangs once again.

With tonight's 9-3 loss to the Bandits, the Portage Terriers are hovering between 2nd and 3rd place in the five-team round robin, and will be watching Thursday's afternoon game closely to see which game they'll play in on Saturday. Brooks is locked in first place with 9 points and one game to come against winless Estevan on Thursday night.

West Kelowna sits at 2-1 in the tournament and 5 points on the 3-points/game system after an overtime win on Tuesday against the Portage Terriers. Jonathan Desbiens played the hero in overtime, after Bryan Basilico scored a pair on the power play in the first period. Keelan Williams earned the game MVP after making some huge saves throughout the game including a big toe save with just a second remaining. Williams started after Matthew Greenfield was injured in the game Sunday vs. Brooks. He's listed as Day-to-Day.

Looking at the Mustangs (1-2), they are lead by the top line of Travis Mayan, Tristan Frei, and Juston Boyer, who combined to total of 104 goals and 134 assists in the regular season, and another 26 goals and 36 points in the SJHL playoffs. It would be an understatement to say that the Mustangs rely on their top line, as they accounted for 45.8% of the teams goals int he regular season, and 41.3% in the post-season. Shutting down those three will be the number one key to the Warriors game on Thursday.

In goal, its Richard Palmer who will more than likely get the start, and he's been solid as well. Palmer went 29-9 in the regular season with a 2.92 GAA and a .904 SV%, but only played in 3 postseason games due to injury. He went 3-0, allowing just four goals in those games, and has allowed just  6 goals in three tournament games.

The Melfort Mustangs have had decent Special Teams in the WCC and on the season, as the Mustangs have the second best WCC PP (2 for 11), and the third best PK (15 for 16). The Warriors sit third in PP (3 for 18) and second in PK (19 for 20).

Puck drops at 2:00 PM local time so tune in at 12:40 in BC for the pregame show at or head on down to Kelly O'Bryan's to catch all the action. The playoff picture will be set once the game ends, so you don't want to miss this one!

Monday, 2 May 2016

WCC Game 3 vs Portage PREVIEW

The West Kelowna Warriors take on the Portage Terriers on Tuesday afternoon in their third matchup of the 2016 Western Canada Cup.

The Warriors are coming off a loss to the Brooks Bandits on Sunday by a 4-2 score, while the Terriers are 2-0 after a 2-1 win over Melfort and a 3-2 win over the Estevan Bruins. A win for the Terriers would lock up a berth in the 1-2 game on Saturday night for the WCC Championship.

The Terriers are the defending National Champions as they hosted the RBC last year. They did qualify out of the WCC as the West #2 seed, beating Melfort in the RBC Qualifier game. The Mustangs also advanced to RBC since Portage was the host.

Portage is lead by twins Brad and Shawn Bowles, who both had great years in the MJHL averaging 1.7 points per game. Brad is the goal scorer, as he put in 45 in 60 games, while Shawn scored 19 in 39 games. Brad finished with 102 points.

In goal, Nathan Park had great numbers this season going 38-7 with 1.92 GAA and a .922 SV%, as the Terriers finished the season at 52-6-2.

Special Teams wise, the Terriers were 57/232 on the man advantage (24.6%) which is the same % as the Warriors had in the regular season. Portage went 11/55 in the postseason, and is currently 2/11 in the WCC. Portage had the best PK of all WCC teams in the regular season only allowing 27 power-play goals against for an 88.8% clip.

West Kelowna knows that they'll need to get their power play working in order to have success, as they enter Tuesday's game having gone 1/15 on the man advantage. The penalty kill has been good though going 15/16.

Don't expect Tuesday afternoon's tilt to have the amount of power plays as the Brooks game did, but again anything can happen in a tournament like this, as we saw on Sunday afternoon. It was clear that the two teams didn't like each other on Sunday, but West Kelowna probably would have had a lot less power play opportunities if they had capitalized on a couple more chances in the first half of the game.

Tune in to the action starting with the 12:40 BC time pre-game show at while puck drops at 2 PM.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

WCC Game 2 vs Brooks PREVIEW

It seems like the Warriors just left the rink after Game 1 of the Western Canada Cup and they're already back (okay so thats kinda true because this is being written early morning on Sunday). It's the toughest turn-around in the entire Western Canada Cup for any team, but its not like the Warriors have done anything the easy way all postseason long, so why start now.

The AJHL Champion Brooks Bandits will pose a big test for West Kelowna this afternoon, as they look to set their tournament off on the right foot, while the Warriors are looking to move to 2-0. The Bandits were the lone team off on Saturday night, and much like the Estevan Bruins, will look to bring energy to the start of the hockey game.

Unlike the Bruins however, it's only been nine days since they last played, when they knocked off Spruce Grove in Game 5 to win the Gas Drive Cup. Brooks went 12-1 in the postseason with a pair of sweeps, before dropping just one game to the Saints in the finals.

The Bandits pose a balanced attack, with a team that averaged over five goals a game en route to a 49-9-2 record on the season, which happened to have them finish BEHIND Spruce Grove at 49-7-4. Brooks has just one 30-goal scorer in Jared Cockrell, but have 13 players that had 40 or more points this season. Cockrell, Landon Welykholowa, and Josh McKechney all had 11 PP goals on the season.

Since we're talking special teams, the numbers were flattering for the Bandits as well as they had 341 man advantages this season (5.7/gm) and scored 78 goals while a man up. In comparison, the Warriors scored 67 PP goals, but in just 272 opportunities (4.7/game). In the postseason, its the Brooks PK that jumps out, killing at a 93.1% efficiency having allowed just four power-play goals against in 13 games.

You can't have a good PK without good goaltending and the Bandits have that as well with Garrett Hughson. A 1.10 GAA and a .957 SV% in the playoffs are gawdy numbers, but he was stellar down the stretch in the regular season too with a 14-3 record, 2.23 GAA, and a .918 SV%. Today's game might be 2-1 or 1-0.

There is one somewhat familiar face on the Brooks side, as former Vernon Viper and Salmon Arm Silverback Logan Mick plays for the Bandits.

Puck drop for this one goes at 1 PM (BC time) and is available on the screens at Kelly O'Bryan's, as well as with subscription, just search Western Canada Cup.

All the audio-only broadcast issues we had last night should be fixed, so you can also tune in there at