Julie Pringle/Snap PhotographyRylan Ferster’s West Kelowna Warriors will host Cowichan Valley Saturday, then travel to Salmon Arm Sunday.

Julie Pringle/Snap PhotographyRylan Ferster’s West Kelowna Warriors will host Cowichan Valley Saturday, then travel to Salmon Arm Sunday.

First-place Warriors wrap home stand Saturday

West Kelowna, with 10 wins in 14 games, hosts Cowichan Valley at LePage

Ten wins and a share of first place in the BCHL‘s Interior Division three weeks into October is a most welcome position for the West Kelowna Warriors.

While head coach and GM Rylan Ferster is pleased with his club’s start, he’s cautious about putting too much stock into a relatively small sample size of games.

“Is it nice? Sure it is, but it’s early, there’s still such a long way to go,” said Ferster, in his seventh season with the Warriors. “You don’t want to put too much weight on it, right now it’s all about the process and continuing to improve.

“We’re off to a good start, it’s nice to be in the mix and now we just want to keep it going.”

The Warriors (10-4-0), who will close out a four-game home-stand Saturday against Cowichan Valley, currently share top spot in the BCHL and Interior Division with the Vernon Vipers. But with Trail, Penticton, Wenatchee and Salmon Arm all within six points or less of first place, the standings can change quickly.

“Our division is always like this, it’s so tight, you could lose a couple of games and slip two or three places almost overnight,” he said. “We haven’t played a lot of games within our division yet, we haven’t played Vernon and have seen Wenatchee and Penticton only once, so those will be important games to come.”

On the upside, with 16 of 17 teams making the BCHL playoffs this season, the Warriors’ 10-win start should help them in the long-term.

Among the keys to his club’s success so far, Ferster points to special teams, particularly the penalty kill which is running at a BCHL-best 92.1 per cent.

The Warriors have also been relatively solid defensively, allowing just 2.28 goals per game.

On the injury front, West Kelowna will be without forward Matt Kowalski for the next six to eight weeks due to an upper body injury. Kowalski has five goals and 10 points in 12 games this season.

Also sidelined with an upper body ailment is defenceman Tyler Jutting on a week-to-week basis.

The Warriors and Capitals will face off Saturday at Royal LePage at 7 p.m. On Sunday, West Kelowna will travel to Salmon Arm.

Warriors acquire Lombardi…

The West Kelowna Warriors have acquired forward Matthew Lombardi from the Chilliwack Chiefs for future considerations.

Lombardi, 19, from Barrington, Rhode Island, had two goals and five points this season in 13 games with the Chiefs.

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