The Penticton Vees and West Kelowna Warriors will battle for the Ryan Hatfield Memorial Trophy, the Interior Division Championship, starting Friday at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
It’s the second straight season, and third time in four years, that the Vees and Warriors meet in the BCHL playoffs. Penticton advanced to their fifth consecutive Interior Division Final on March 11 after a 5-0 shutout win over the Vernon Vipers in Game Five at the SOEC. West Kelowna is making their second trip in three years to the Division Final. They got by the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in six games in their first round match up.
Penticton had a decisive advantage in the regular season against West Kelowna, winning six of their seven meetings. They outscored the Warriors 23-13. Penticton won all four games at the SOEC outscoring the Warriors 16-9 in those home games. The Vees only loss was a 2-0 shutout on Dec. 18, the only time they were shutout this season.
Scott Conway led the Vees in scoring against the Warriors, compiling six goals and 12 points in six games. Conway was followed by captain Tyson Jost (9-1-10) and defenceman Dante Fabbro (0-8-8). Anthony Brodeur and Zach Driscoll split the duties between the pipes with Brodeur picking up four wins, Driscoll three. Jonathan Desbiens led the Warriors in scoring against Penticton, bagging five goals and six points in seven games just ahead of teammate Liam Blackburn who also had six points (3-3-6). Warriors goalie Matt Greenfield started the final three games of the season series against Penticton after being acquired in December, going 1-2 but did shutout the Vees.
Last year in the Interior Division semifinal, the Vees won the series in five games.