Warriors cage Silverbacks


November 19, 2013, Salmon Arm (ISN) – The Warriors earned a comprehensive victory over a key divisional rival on Tuesday. Visiting a Salmon Arm club that sits immediately ahead of West Kelowna in the standings, the Warriors struck four times in the first period and cruised to a 6-2 victory.

The opening 15 minutes of the game proved pivotal, with Jason Cotton, Taylor Graham, Ambrose Firkus, and Matt Anholt all finding the back of the net during an onslaught that saw Salmon Arm struggle to clear the defensive zone.

The Silverbacks would fight back with a much improved second period, and earn goals from Bryden Marsh and Alex Jewell to make a game of it. However, Warriors netminder Andy Desautels made several key saves to keep the Warriors in front and stem Salmon Arm’s comeback bid. 

Cotton and Anholt (into an empty-net) would then both tally their second of the night in the third period to seal West Kelowna’s win. 

“Obviously we got a good start” Zane Schartz smiled after the game. However, the Warriors defenceman also saw more factors in the game, including strong saves from Andy Desautels and a Salmon Arm forward group depleted by injuries and illness. 

“Our goalie played very good” Schartz suggests, adding “I think their three lines and (lack of) depth hurt them in the end.”

Making his West Kelowna debut after a Monday trade with the AJHL’s Brooks Bandits, the Plano, Texas native says he was thrilled to be traded to the Warriors and eager to get onto the ice with his new club.  

“The sooner I could get in the lineup, the quicker I could make an impression”

“You can never have enough puck-moving defencemen Warriors Head Coach / GM Rylan Ferster says of the deal, also pointing to Schartz’ heavy shot which should help a struggling Warriors powerplay.  “You have to have that threat to start from the back, and now we have that on two units.”

While the Warriors only had two chances on the powerplay all night, Schartz impressed on an even-strength pairing with Jaden Schmeisser.

“I loved it” insists Schartz.  The 19 year-old says he likes to play an offensive style, which will work well with Schmeisser’s more stay-at-home nature.  “That’s the perfect D partner I’d like to have, actually” he laughs. 

With the victory, the Warriors now sit tied with Salmon Arm for fourth in the division, though West Kelowna has games in hand on the bulk of the division. 

A busy week continues when the Chilliwack Chiefs make their lone visit of the season to RLP on Friday.  The Warriors then visit Vernon on Saturday.

The General’s Report offers continuing in-depth coverage of the West Kelowna Warriors, including tonight’s full audio interview with newcomer Zane Schartz.