The West Kelowna Warriors travel to the Fraser Valley for a battle with the Langley Rivermen tonight as the B.C. Hockey League returns to regular-season action.
The Warriors (0-3) will play without one of their top scorers and top defenders as they try for their first win of the new season.
Warriors No. 1 centre Parm Dhaliwal never got a chance to play a regular-season game and has been ruled out of the lineup indefinitely due to an unspecified injury.
During the Warriors’ first game of the season, defenceman Jake Harrison suffered an upper-body injury that’s put him out with no timeline on his return, either.
It doesn’t get any easier tonight with a trip to Langley to face the 0-2 Rivermen.
The last time the Warriors played in Langley they lost 2-1. Rivermen goaltender Braedon Fleming and Warriors goaltender Brock Baier went head-to-head, making numerous key saves, but it was Fleming who had the last laugh.
Tonight, both goaltenders are expected to faceoff once again with expectations of another low scoring affair.
Although the Warriors have lost all three games to start the season, they’ve been competitive during all three of them. In each loss, the Warriors were either tied or down by one goal with less than five minutes to play in the game. Head coach Brandon West remains confident his club was within inches of two victories, but a couple of late unfortunate bounces went the opposite way.
The Warriors lost 4-1 to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on Sunday in what was a long weekend. They dropped a 5-4 decision to the Wenatchee Wild on Saturday and lost 4-2 to the Vernon Vipers to open the campaign last Friday.
Tonight, the Warriors will also need to figure out the power play without Dhaliwal in the lineup. Last Sunday, the Warriors couldn’t cash in after eight attempts on the man advantage.