Sudden death sure is an apt name.  A terrific season for the Warriors came to an abrupt end last week after a third consecutive overtime thriller in the Interior finals.

The Warriors were sent packing by an astonishing Penticton squad, and now I’m left wondering what else to add to or somehow tie-up the season.

The Warriors were a very decent team in the first half of the year, a terrific team in the second half, and then tough to play against in the playoffs.

The post-season itself began with triumph but ended with disappointment when the Tribe lost game five the 4th one-goal game of the series).

And now?

Well, the locker room is pretty much cleaned out and guys are heading their separate ways.  Many will return to West Kelowna next season (BTW – things look very bright for the upcoming year, but I ain’t talking about next year just yet!).  Others are moving on for good, and that’s always tough to see.  Due to an injury to Brett McKinnon, the Warriors graduate seven 20 year-olds this year, as well as a pair of committed players.

So, I would like to end things by wishing the very best of luck to:

  • Max French ‘C’
  • Shawn Hochhausen ‘A’
  • Josh Monk ‘A’
  • Brett Zarazun
  • Brett McKinnon
  • Danny Gayle
  • Tyler Briggs
  • Mitch Nardi
  • Marcus Basara

That sure is an impressive list of young men, both on and off the ice.  They leave big shoes to fill hockeywise, and big voids in the community and the hearts of West Kelowna fans.

Thanks for the hockey guys, and congrats on excellent careers.

And thanks to the entire Warriors team this year for playing such entertaining hockey, and for having me along for the ride.

And so I’m going to leave it at that.  I’ll have the odd update on this blog over the off-season.  I won’t be posting very often, but if trades or noteworthy stuff happens I’ll try to pass it on.

As well, I’ll try to catch up with a few of the graduated players over the next couple of days to get their final thoughts.

Marcus Basara was named West Kelowna's playoff MVP.

Marcus Basara was named West Kelowna’s playoff MVP.

Year in Review – Shawn Hochhausen.   I saw Shawn chatted with Shawn as he cleaned out his locker on Monday.  The 20 year-old is heading to work for the summer, before he heads to the University of Alaska Fairbanks in the fall.

The most notable quote from this interview?

It just goes by so fast.  It’s been great though, I’ve loved every second of it.”

Click here to listen to my chat with ‘Hawker’ (runs 2:30)

Shawn Hochhausen just loves to play hockey.

Shawn Hochhausen just loves to play hockey.

Year in Review – Rylan Ferster.  I sat down with Head Coach Rylan Ferster on Monday as he was between exit meetings with players.  There’s nothing earth shattering in here, just some of the coach’s impressions of the season, the playoffs, and a couple of his graduating players.

A couple of notable quotes from Coach Ferster:

About the season on the whole:  “Where we came from to where we are right now, I think we’re really happy and we’re excited.”

About the Penticton series:  a) “We were undisciplined, not only in our play, but we took undisciplined penalties.”  b) “There’s things you could have done better.”  c) “We played hard and we battled.”

About the team: “This would be a team that I’d like to play with

Click here to listen to the whole interview with Coach Ferster (runs 16 mins).

Thanks to John Hebert for his fine photography this year.

Thanks to John Hebert for his fine photography this year.

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