Monday, April 25, 2016

Former Vernon Laker Ferster-Warriors Win BCHL Championship:

Former Vernon Lakers forward Rylan Ferster & the West Kelowna Warriors captured their first Fred Page Cup-League Title after a 4-2 win over the visiting Chilliwack Chiefs Saturday, taking the series in six games. This is the Warriors first & only Fred Page Cup since the Langley Hornets moved to West Kelowna in 2006. The Warriors will now advance to the Western Canada Cup in Estevan, Sask.

Here are the game highlight's-celebration from Game 6,

Ferster is in his fifth season as Warriors Head Coach-GM played one season in Vernon winning a Centennial Cup with the 1989-90 Vernon Lakers.  In 28 games with the Lakers Ferster collected (8-goals-11-assists-19-points).

Rylan Ferster's Player-Coaching Profile:

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Warriors, BCHL champions

Wayne Moore - Apr 23, 2016

The party will go well into the night in West Kelowna.

After 10 long, sometimes frustrating years, the West Kelowna Warriors can call themselves BC Hockey League champions.

The Warriors won the BCHL title and the Fred Page Cup Saturday with a thrilling 4-2 win over the Chilliwack Chiefs, and a 4-2 series win, before more than 1,500, mostly delirious fans at Royal LePage Place.

The crowd rose in unison, cheering and counting down the final minute. The sound was deafening as the Warriors brought home the championship.

Backup goaltender Keelan Williams, filling in for an injured Matthew Greenfield was brilliant at times, stopping 36 shots in his first start since Feb. 17.

He talked about the pressure of coming into such a pressure situation with a chance to win a league title.

"You are always going to feel pressure in a championship series, but I think the one good thing is I love pressure," said Williams.

"I love having that role where the game is on my shoulders. I don't even know if I could have scripted it any better, where I had to sit out for two months. All I wanted to do was seize the opportunity when I did get it."

He seized it and then some. With the Warriors up 4-2 and the Chiefs putting on pressure after having just scored, Williams made the save of his life and, given the situation, possibly the save of the season.

Williams somehow was able to slide to his left and and get a glove on a one-timer from Chiefs sniper Jordan Kawaguchi, who was alone at the edge of the crease after taking a backdoor, cross-crease pass.

"Honestly, I was just trying to read the play. I got there and I just tried to make the save.

"There's not much more to it. In a series like this and a game like that, you just have to be able to focus on the next shot, and that's what I was trying to do."

He called it the biggest save of his career given the situation.

"I just can't say enough about that young man coming in under those circumstances," said Warriors coach Rylan Ferster.

"I thought he was outstanding, and he gave us a chance to win. That's all you can ask from him. He made that 10-beller for us at the end to basically win the game for us."

The Warriors, who dropped a 5-2 decision in Chilliwack Thursday, came out of the gates flying and set the tone from the outset..

Jake LeBrun threw a crunching check on the fore check seconds into the game to get the crowd into it.

That early pressure helped draw a penalty just 23 seconds in, setting up Garrett Forster's power-play goal two minutes in. Forster deflected home Jake Harrison's shot from the left point for his sixth of the post season.

Chilliwack tied it on a power-play of their own minutes later, but a brilliant stretch pass from Rylan Yaremko onto the stick of a streaking Kyle Marino, helped forge a lead they would never relinquish
Marino muscled past a defenceman, and beat Aidan Pelino with a backhand deke for his seventh of the post season.

The goaltenders took over from there, especially Pelino, who stopped three breakaways to keep the Chiefs in the game.

The Warriors finally got some breathing room when Kyler Hope snapped home a power-play goal seven minutes into the third. The goal would prove to be the winner.

Four minutes later, Jonathan Desbiens notched his 15th when he converted a two-man breakaway with Brett Mennear.

The Chiefs pulled Pelino with more than eight minutes left and were rewarded with one goal immediately after but, other than Kawaguchi's chance, were not dangerous the rest of the way.

Before talking about his team, Ferster, as he always does, praised the opposition for a good, hard fought series.

"First and foremost we want to congratulate Chilliwack. They're a very classy group and Jason Tatarnic is a great coach and a very classy guy.

"I want to wish him all the best and wish their graduating players the best."

Ferster said the start was key.

"I thought so. And, getting the traction on our power-play. Even though we gave up that one shortly after, I thought our start was key," said Ferster.

"We talked about that, and playing a 10-minute game, and having a real good start. If you look over these playoffs, I don't think our starts have been unbelievable, and when you don;t have a good start, you;re chasing the game."

It was the Chiefs who were chasing most of the night.

The Warriors got good work out of their special teams as well Saturday, going 2-2 with the man advantage while shutting the Chiefs down for the most part. Chilliwack was 1-4 on the power-play.

Captain Kyle Marino, a physical force most of the series, said being a BCHL champion was a surreal feeling.

"I've never won a thing in my life. This is the first thing," said Marino.

"What a feeling though. A lot of guys have been here a long time, a lot longer than me. This is for them, 100 per cent."

The Warriors will enjoy a day off Sunday before getting back to work, in preparation for the Western Canada Cup in Estevan, Sask.

The week-long, five team tournament, will determine the two Western representatives in the RBC Cup next month in Lloydminster, Sask.

The Western Canada Cup begins next Saturday.

The Warriors will be joined by the host team along with Portage, the Manitoba champions and reigning RBC Cup, Brooks, the Alberta champions and Melfort, winners of the Saskatchewan league.

The Warriors will open against the host team from Estevan next Saturday night.

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