West Kelowna Warriors
Rivalries are an integral part of sports, especially in the game of hockey. They add an element of excitement, passion, and intensity to any matchup, making it more than just a game – it becomes a battle for bragging rights. For the West Kelowna Warriors, one of the most successful teams in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), rivalries have played a significant role in shaping the team’s history.
Established in 2006, the West Kelowna Warriors have always been a formidable force in the BCHL. The team has had its fair share of ups and downs, but one constant throughout their journey has been their intense rivalries with other teams. In this article, we take a trip down memory lane and revisit the Warriors’ most important matchups throughout their history.
Vernon Vipers – The Oldest Rivalry in the BCHL
When the Warriors were first established, the Vernon Vipers were already a well-established team in the BCHL. The two teams have been facing off against each other since 1982, making it the oldest rivalry in the league. The matchups between these two teams are often intense and highly competitive, with both sides bringing their A-game to the ice.
Over the years, the Warriors and the Vipers have faced each other in numerous playoff series, with the Vipers holding the upper hand in most instances. However, in the 2015-2016 season, the Warriors finally broke the curse and defeated the Vipers in the BCHL Championship, giving the team its first-ever Fred Page Cup.
The rivalry between the Warriors and the Vipers is not just limited to the ice. The two cities, West Kelowna and Vernon, are located just an hour apart, making it a heated battle for regional supremacy between the fans as well.
Penticton Vees – The Battle for the Interior Division
Another intense rivalry for the Warriors is with the Penticton Vees. The two teams have been battling each other for years for the top spot in the Interior Division of the BCHL. This rivalry is further fueled by the history of the two cities, with Kelowna often seen as the young, rebellious brother to the more established and successful Penticton.
The rivalry between these two teams has reached new heights in recent years, with both sides consistently performing at high levels. The Vees have won multiple BCHL Championships, while the Warriors have managed to clinch two Fred Page Cups. However, it was during the 2016-2017 season when things reached their peak. The two teams met in the second round of the playoffs, where the Warriors ultimately emerged victorious, defeating their rivals in seven games.
Salmon Arm Silverbacks – The Battle for the Okanagan Cup
The Salmon Arm Silverbacks have been one of the Warriors’ toughest opponents in the past decade. The two teams have been evenly matched, and their matchups have always been exciting to watch. However, the intensity of this rivalry intensified in the 2015-2016 season when the BCHL introduced the Okanagan Cup. This cup is awarded to the team with the best record among the Interior Division teams.
The Warriors and the Silverbacks have consistently been top contenders for the Okanagan Cup, with both teams exchanging wins and losses throughout the season. However, in the 2016-2017 season, the Warriors managed to snatch the trophy from the Silverbacks, defeating them in the final game of the season and clinching their first-ever Okanagan Cup.
The West Kelowna Warriors have a rich history of battling against some of the toughest teams in the BCHL. Their rivalries with the Vernon Vipers, Penticton Vees, and Salmon Arm Silverbacks have shaped the team into what it is today. These matchups have not only been intense and entertaining for the fans, but they have also contributed to the growth and success of the team.
As we eagerly wait for the upcoming hockey season, let’s not forget the intense rivalries that have made the Warriors’ journey so exciting. Who knows, maybe this year, the team will create new rivalries that will go down in history. So, hockey fans, gear up and get ready for another thrilling season of the West Kelowna Warriors!