Warriors take aim at CJHL’s top prize

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The West Kelowna Warriors are in Lloydminster, Sask. where they’ll compete for a national Junior A title starting Saturday night at the RBC Cup

The West Kelowna Warriors have been in uncharted waters for some time now but so far, it hasn’t bothered them.

With the Fred Page Cup and Crescent Point Energy Western Canada Cup (WCC) titles in their bag already, this is the farthest into the postseason the franchise has ever gotten. Now, they’re set to face the field at the RBC Cup national championship tournament in Lloydminster, Alta. Just like in the WCC, the Warriors get the host club in their first game Saturday night – they take on the Lloydminster Bobcats at 6:30 p.m. Pacific.

COMPLETE RBC CUP SCHEDULE

While Jonathan Desbiens, Kylar Hope and Liam Blackburn have been the offensive catalysts most of the season, others have carried the torch more recently. Defenceman Nick Rutigliano let the team in scoring at the WCC with a goal and six helpers while West Kelowna native Brett Mennear went off for four goals and two helpers in the five games in Estevan, Sask.

Regular-season No. 1 goalie Matthew Greenfield is again considered day-to-day after sustaining an injury in the WCC in a game against the Brooks Bandits. In his stead, Keelan Williams has been nothing short of stellar, going 3-0 with a shutout and a .987 goals-against average at the WCC.

The Warriors will have to contend with Brooks once again at the RBC Cup as the Bandits grabbed the second berth into the national championship from the WCC. Also at the RBC Cup this year are the Trenton Golden Hawks from the Ontario Junior Hockey League and the Carleton Place Canadians of the Central Canadian Hockey League. Carleton Place is at their third consecutive RBC Cup.

The West Kelowna Warriors open up the 2016 RBC Cup National Junior A Hockey Championship in Lloydminster, Alberta/Saskatchewan on Saturday, and fans are already planning to flock to Kelly O’Bryan’s.
 
The West Kelowna Restaurant will have all 4 round robin games on their screens, as well as the Semi-Final should the Warriors qualify all through the Hockey Canada and Fast Hockey webcast. The RBC Cup Final, is broadcast nationally on TSN on Sunday May 22nd.
 
The Warriors preliminary schedule for the 10-day tournament is as follows: (all times BC local time)
Saturday May 14th – 6:30 PM vs. Lloydminster Bobcats (HOST)
Sunday May 15th – 6:30 PM vs. Brooks Bandits (AJHL/West #2)
Tuesday May 17th – 2:30 PM vs. Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL/Central)
Wednesday May 18th – 2:30 PM vs. Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL/East)
 
The semi-finals go on Saturday May 21st at 1:30 and 6:30 pm, while the RBC Cup Final is scheduled for 3:00 PM.
 

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