Hurricanes in Town to Face Warriors
It's been a tough season so far for the Lethbridge Hurricanes, but that doesn't mean the Moose Jaw Warriors will be taking them lightly.
The Hurricanes roll into Moose Jaw on Tuesday night for a meeting with the tribe at Mosaic Place. It's the second time the two teams have met this season with Moose Jaw winning 5-1 in Lethbridge on Nov. 22.
Coming off a 4-1 loss to the Red Deer Rebels that saw the Warriors come out of the gate slow and surrender a 3-0 lead to the visiting team in the first period, the players know the importance of starting strong against the Canes.
“We need to come ready to play the first shift of the first period and finishing it all the way through the game, playing a full sixty minutes,” said 16-year-old forward Brett Howden after Monday's practice.
During Saturday's loss to Red Deer, the Warriors played strong for the final 40 minutes, but saw that their weak first period was too much to overcome. Despite Lethbridge being a lesser opponent than the Rebels, they know another slow start like that can' happen.
“They're a better than what their record is, so we're just coming here to be prepared and not underestimating them,” said Howden.
“We've got to compete every shift. You take one shift off and it could be a goal in your net and it could be the only goal of the game, so it's just competing every shift and working hard.”
The Warriors have been playing some good hockey as of late with six wins in their past ten games, while Lethbridge have went 1-8-0-1 in their past ten.
Focus will be the key word for the Warriors heading into Tuesday's meeting with the Hurricanes.
It's the final stretch run before the Christmas break for both teams with Moose Jaw playing in their final home game before heading up to Prince Albert on Wednesday to wrap up the first half. Lethbridge will head to Regina after Tuesday's game to finish a first half that has seen them post a 6-20-3-2 record.
Moose Jaw is hoping that they can add to the Hurricanes' loss column with two more meetings left between the two teams in the second half.
“Everyone is excited to go home and see their families and friends, but we've got to stay focused for these final two games,” said Howden. “These are four important points that we really need.”
You can catch all the action between the Warriors and Hurricanes live on Country 100, starting with the Pre-Game Show at 6:40pm. Puck drops at 7:00pm.
Bowen Recalled… The Warirors are shorthanded up front with Tanner Jeannot, Noah Gregor and Ben Duperreault all out with upper body injuries, and Brayden Point away at Canada's world junior selection camp. That has led the tribe to calling up 16-year-old forward Ryan Bowen. Bowen was selected in the fifth round, 95th overall, in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft. Bowen is playing in the BCHL (Junior A) with the Chilliwack Chiefs and in 31 games this season, he has six goals, nine assists, 15 points, and 17 penalty minutes.
More Injury News... Gregor and defenceman Tyler Brown were both skating with the Warriors during practice on Monday, wearing non-contact yellow jerseys. Brown is recovering from a broken hand that is expected to keep him out until at least after the Christmas break, while Gregor has been progressing from a shoulder injury that has caused him to miss the past 25 games.
Red Hot Rodewald... 20-year-old Jack Rodewald enters the week fifth in the WHL in scoring with 47 points, five back of first. Rodewald has 18 goals and 29 assists in 32 games this season; he has five goals and 13 points in the last six games, and 11 goals and 29 points in the last 17 games.
Wray Added to Staff... Warriors alumnus Brennen Wray has been added to the team's coaching staff for the remainder of the season as a coaching assistant. Click here for more on the move.
Warriors Add Wray to Coaching Staff
Brennen Wray is back with his hometown team.
The Moose Jaw Warriors alumnus was added to the team's coaching staff for the rest of the season as a coaching assistant, rejoining the team that he started his WHL career with.
The position will be used to transition Wray from his playing career to a coaching career.
“It's almost like a hockey internship,” said Warriors general manager Alan Millar. “It's an opportunity for Brennen to work with Tim Hunter and Mark O'Leary, learn the business.”
Wray will be in the press box during games serving as an “eye in the sky” for the Warriors' coaching staff. He will also help out at practice and do some video work with the team.
“Being a guy that can help out Tim and Mark in any areas that they see fit,” said Millar. “He can help the young guys out with in video and development and anything we need, so there's lots of great things about the move.”
Wray was originally drafted in the first round, 15th overall, by the Warriors in the 2003 WHL Bantam Draft. He played 171 games in a Warriors' uniform before finishing his WHL career with the Red Deer Rebels where he played 175 more games.
After his time in the WHL, Wray went on to play five seasons with the St. Francis Xavier University X-Men where he posted 23 goals and 51 points in 134 games, while acquiring a chemistry degree.
“It's great that we're able to bring Brennen in as a Moose Jaw guy, an alumnus as a team, someone who's played in the league and moved on to utilize his WHL scholarship. There's all kinds of positives,” said Millar.
Wray will be joining the Warriors' staff immediately.
Point Impressing at World Junior Camp
Brayden Point makes a pass in traffic against the Toronto CIS Selects during a 6-0 win for Canada on Sunday. (Photo: Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada Images)
Brayden Point is showing the Hockey Canada brass what Moose Jaw Warrior fans have been seeing for the past three seasons.
The Warriors captain put on an impressive display in Canada's two exhibition wins against the Toronto CIS Selects over the weekend at the World Junior selection camp. He posted a goal and two points in Saturday's 10-3 win and then led Canada with two goals and three points in Sunday's 6-0 win.
“I was a little nervous in the first game, but as the game went on, you start to feel more comfortable, you start to make better plays with the puck and overall, I thought it was a comfortable experience,” said Point after Sunday's win.
The 18-year-old forward is trying to win a spot on Canada's roster for the World Junior Hockey Championship and this weekend was a good first step.
“Hopefully I can keep the way I'm playing going throughout the camp,” added Point
Playing right wing in the two games, the centre didn't look out of place as he sped up and down the ice, making plays for Canada at both ends of the ice.
TSN's Bob MacKenzie tweeted out after Sunday's game, “Another terrific outing for 5-foot-8, 160-pound Brayden Point. Best player on the ice for Team CAN for 2nd consecutive day.”
The praise didn't stop there as his head coach Benoit Groulx from the Gatineau Olympiques of the QMJHL has liked what he's seen so far from Point.
“He's playing with a lot of passion, competes, he's got a flare out there, there's a lot of anticipation, he's been good,” said Groulx.
Hockey Canada made five cuts after Sunday's game, including Regina Pats forward Morgan Klimchuk and Calgary Hitmen defenceman Travis Sanheim. The other players released include: forwards Nick Baptiste and Remi Elie and defenceman Chris Bigras – a returnee from last year.
They will need to make three more cuts (two forwards and one defenceman) to get down to the 22-player roster for the tournament.
Canada practices over the next four days in St. Catherines, Ont. before opening their pre-tournament on Friday against Russia in Toronto. They will also play Sweden on Sunday and Switzerland on Tuesday in exhibition games before the start of the tournament on Boxing Day.
Rebels Hand Warriors 4-1 Loss
Riding a three goal first period, the Red Deer Rebels went on to hand the Moose Jaw Warriors a 4-1 loss Saturday at Mosaic Place.
Moose Jaw had a strong opening shift, pinning the Rebels deep inside their zone, but after that as the period went on the visitors took control.
Just over five minutes in to the game Mason McCarty feathered a pass from the right Warrior goal line to Meyer Nell in front of the net where he tapped in his seventh of the year.
At 12:40 Rebels 20-year-old Riley Sheen blazed down the Moose Jaw right wall, at the bottom of the circle he snapped a shot short-side over the glove of goalie Zach Sawchenko to make it 2-0.
Moose Jaw had late pressure on the Rebels net but unfortunately with 18 seconds left in the period Rebels defenceman Brett Cote dangled through the Moose Jaw zone then beat Sawchenko to make it 3-0 going in to the first intermission.
Moose Jaw looked much stronger in the second period, they had a stronger attack inside the Rebels line and they limited their turnovers in their defensive zone.
The best chance for the Warriors to get on the scoreboard came on a rush which ended with a Blake Bargar shot that rang of the post. Unfortunately Moose Jaw wasn’t able to convert throughout the second and went into the third still down three.
Moose Jaw started the third period on the power play, 50 seconds in to the frame the Warriors pushed the puck the Rebels crease, rookie defenceman Dustin Perillat pinched from the blueline to join the scramble in front of the net where he banged in his fourth of the year.
Perillat’s goal was the 2014 Moose Jaw Warriors Teddy Bear Toss goal. The team and volunteers picked up the bears, which will be given to the Moose Jaw Salvation Army, after the delay the Warriors kept their attack on but weren’t able to finish their drives to the net.
With their net empty with three minutes to go in the game Moose Jaw tried desperately to claw back in the game but was unable to jam the puck over the goal line. With under two minutes remaining Red Deer added an empty net goal and went on to hand Moose Jaw a 4-1 loss, dropping their record to 15-15-2-1 on the season.
Moose Jaw is now off until Tuesday when they host the Lethbridge Hurricanes in their final home game before the Christmas break, they finish their pre-Christmas schedule Wednesday in Prince Albert.
December 13 v Red Deer
Moose Jaw Starters: G-Zach Sawchenko, D-Ryan Gardiner & Spenser Jensen, LW-Tanner Eberle, C-Jack Rodewald, RW-Torrin White
Moose Jaw Scratches: Tyler Brown, Ben Duperreault, Brayden Point, Noah Gregor, Reid Zalitach
Red Deer Starters: G-Rylan Toth, D-Kayle Doetzel & Brett Cote, LW-Presten Kopeck, C-Brooks Maxwell, RW-Wyatt Johnson
Red Deer Scratches: Nick Charif, Haydn Fleury, Adam Musil
Paulic 25 Saves in 3-0 Win Over Saskatoon
Moose Jaw rode a strong performance from goalie Justin Paulic Friday in a 3-0 win over the Saskatoon Blades at SaskTel Centre in the Bridge City.
Saskatoon had early pressure inside the Warriors zone, they’re fore-check was aggressive and in the opening minutes were able to create a 4-1 advantage on the shot clock.
As the first period went on the Warriors got stronger, the fore-check was consistent and created plenty of attack time, and they were able to force Saskatoon in to turnovers to keep the puck in the offensive zone.
At the ten minute mark Blades defenseman Amil Krupic whiffed on a pass to the neutral zone, Warriors import Jiri Smejkal pounced on the puck and drove down the Saskatoon left wall. Smejkal rushed inside the left circle where he shelved a wrist shot over goalie Nik Amundrud for his third goal of the season.
Moose Jaw’s penalty kill was inches away from adding to their lead late in the first. Tanner Eberle forced the Blades in to a turnover on their breakout, his initial shot went off the post and then on the rebound Amundrud sprawled across his crease to get a piece of another Eberle shot.
Saskatoon goalie Nik Amundrud was busy in the opening period as the Warriors held a 13-7 advantage on the shot clock, plus he was forced in to making several acrobatic saves. Justin Paulic was calm between the pipes, he limited his rebounds, and on the most notable opportunity for Saskatoon on a rush up the ice he denied Nikita Soshnin on top of the left crease.
The second period saw the Warriors once again attack the Saskatoon net, outshooting the Blades 13-6 in the period, but on every quality scoring chance Amundrud was there to make a stellar save to keep Saskatoon in the game.
Saskatoon pushed the Warriors in the third period, they outshot the tribe 12-6 in the final frame but Warriors veteran goalie Justin Paulic turned them away on all chances.
In the final minute the Blades pulled their goalie twice, and both times the Warriors found the empty net, goals from Torrin White and Tanner Eberle, lifting Moose Jaw to the 3-0 win.
Paulic finished the game with 25 saves, posting his first shutout of the season, Saskatoon’s Nik Amundrud made 29 saves in the loss.
Moose Jaw’s weekend continues Saturday when they’re at home to battle the Red Deer Rebels, catch all the action on Country 100 starting with the PreGame Show at 6:40pm.
Saturday is the Warriors annual Teddy Bear & Toque Toss, fans are encouraged to bring a plush toy, mitts, scarfs, or toques, put them in plastic bags, and when the Warriors score their first goal throw them on the ice where they’ll be collected and donated to the Moose Jaw Salvation Army.
As well, special guest Cameron Hughes will be in attendance, Hughes is a sports entertainer who blends in with fans and cheers loudly. He’s been to numerous events throughout the world, some notables include the MasterCard Memorial Cup, the World Junior Hockey Championships, the 2011 US Open (tennis), and the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Howden Taking On Bigger Role; Warriors In S'toon
Warriors forward Brett Howden has nine goals and nine assists in 27 games this season. (Photo: Stephen Simon/MJ Warriors)
The Moose Jaw Warriors will be missing a big piece of their lineup heading into the Christmas break and possibly beyond with Brayden Point away for the World Junior selection camp.
Point has been in on 46 percent of the Warriors' goals so far this season and someone will need to pick up the slack over the next four games at least.
In steps 16-year-old centre Brett Howden, who has been playing well this season and getting stronger over the past month. Howden has nine goals and 18 points in 27 game this season, which includes four goals and 11 points in his last 12 games.
“Coming back from the U17s gave me a lot of confidence,” said Howden. “That's a big thing for me was just getting the confidence and it's been going well lately.”
Howden knows that with Point out of the picture for the next while, he will be leaned on more to help fill the void as the team looks for secondary scoring. He's been contributing, but that will be expected to increase now.
“He's going to be gone for a little while and obviously that puts a lot more pressure on all of us, especially from our secondary scoring, we want that to start improving and lately it has been,” said Howden. “Obviously that top line with (Jack) Rodewald will have to do a lot of work still, but secondary scoring with my line and Jiri (Smejkal)'s line will have to work a lot harder to contribute to help the team win.”
The Warriors have been playing well over the past few weeks as well with their record moving to 14-14-2-1 on the year. They're coming off a well played game against the Brandon Wheat Kings, when they handed the Eastern Conference-leading squad a 5-4 shootout loss.
They want to build off that and keep the momentum going over the next four games heading into the Christmas break.
“We want to go into the break feeling good about ourselves, so we're working really hard to get that extra edge on every team that we play,” said Howden. “Staying focused and working hard every time we're on the ice.”
Wednesday's win over Brandon epitomized that mindset of staying focused as the Warriors fell down 3-1 after one, but battled back to tie the game with a strong second period before eventually taking the lead in the third.
“That was a big battle, obviously every time we play Brandon it's going to be a good battle like that, but it was a close game all the way through,” said Howden. “It was a fun game to play for sure.
“We just stayed with what we were doing, we were playing well, we just made little mistakes that we knew we could fix them quick and we could turn the game around,” he added. “We stayed calm and stuck to our game plan and it all worked out.”
Now heading into Saskatoon on Friday night, the Warriors will be making sure that they don't take the Blades lightly, despite sporting a 3-1 record against the Bridge City Kids so far this season.
Moose Jaw swept a home-and-home with the Blades three weeks ago, winning both games 4-2.
“We want to set the pace of the game and get them scared right off the bat,” said Howden. “The first couple of shifts are going to be huge, we've got to get the puck in deep and work really hard on their d-men to get them on their heels.”
Saskatoon has played the Warriors hard in each of their meetings, outside the tribe's 7-1 win at home early in the season. Howden said they have to play strong in the defensive end against a tough Blades' fore check.
“Their defence pinch too, so we've got to be willing to take a hit to make a play and chip pucks out to get our centres going flying down the middle,” he said. “It's going to be a good game and an aggressive one too.”
The Warriors and Blades hit the ice at 7:00pm on Friday night. Voice of the Warriors James Gallo will have all the action on Country 100, starting with the Pre-Game Show at 6:40pm.
Warriors Call-Up Oleksyn... With injuries to Ben Duperreault, Noah Gregor and Tanner Jeannot, as well as Brayden Point being away at the World Junior selection camp, the Warriors have been left shorthanded up front. To help with that, the team called up 18-year-old Braden Oleksyn from the Kindersley Klippers of the SJHL.
Oleksyn – 5-foot-11 195lbs – has three goals and 11 points in 11 games this season with the Klippers. The Saskatoon native was originally a third round pick of the Calgary Hitmen in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft.
Busy Saturday Night... Saturday is a big night at Mosaic Place as the Warriors will host their annual Teddy Bear and Toque Toss when they welcome in the Red Deer Rebels. All stuffed toys, toques and mitts thrown on the ice will be donated to Salvation Army to be given out to kids and families in need this holiday season. The tribe will also have "Super Fan" Cameron Hughes in attendance for the game.
Point Off to Toronto for World Jr Camp
Hockey Canada will be hard pressed to find a player that is playing better heading into the World Junior selection camp this week.
Moose Jaw Warriors captain Brayden Point heads into the camp on a 12-game point streak, which he extended on Wednesday night with an assist in the Warriors' 5-4 shootout win over the Eastern Conference-leading Brandon Wheat Kings.
“It was a big win for our team, I still had work to do tonight and we put in a good shift, so it was good to get business done here and now off to Toronto,” said Point after Wednesday night's win.
In those 12 games, Point has amassed nine goals and 22 points, which have him sitting tied for fourth in the WHL in scoring with 17 goals and 44 points in 29 games heading into the World Junior selection camp.
The camp runs Thursday through Sunday in Toronto.
“I just need to play my game,” Point said. “Obviously there's something that they like in the way that I play, so I'm not going to try to change it up too much and just give it everything I've got.”
Over the course of the camp, there will no doubt be questions about how a player of Point's size will hold up against the top junior players in the world, but he feels confident that his game will translate well to the international stage, as it has before.
Point has represented Canada before at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, posting two goals and four points in five games; at the World Under-18 Hockey Championship, putting up two assists in four games; and at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, leading Canada with one goal and four points in five games.
“There's always a question about a smaller player is if he can handle himself along the wall and it's going to be important for me in those exhibition games to try to do that and let them know that I can handle myself and that I will compete,” said Point.
Canada brings a lot of depth at centre, which means that Point's best opportunity to make the team will be on the wing. He showed Hockey Canada that he can adjust to moving out of position during the CHL Super Series and he will no doubt be asked to do it again this week.
“It's not too much different in the offensive zone. Just in the defensive zone, making plays off the wall is the only thing,” said Point. “You've got to use your speed a little bit more and try to break for odd man rushes, so it plays into my hands.”
The camp will feature four practices and two exhibition games against a team of CIS all-stars on Saturday and Sunday. Performing in those two games can go along way towards securing a spot on the team, but Point said he needs to be ready to go from the moment he steps off the plane in Toronto.
“I don't think you need any motivation to try to make the World Junior team, it's a dream for a lot of kids growing up, so it's going to be everything I've got,” said the Warriors captain.
The camp opens on Thursday with a practice at 8:15pm. There's two practices on Friday and then one more on Saturday morning before the camp finishes with the two exhibition games. The roster should be announced Monday after which the team will hold a pre-competition camp in St. Catherines, ON.
Warriors Harvest Wheat Kings 5-4 In A Shootout
Warriors forward Jack Rodewald chases down Brandon forward Jayce Hawryluk during Wednesday night's game at Mosaic Place.
Back at home after a weekend road trip, the Moose Jaw Warriors thrilled their fans with an exciting 5-4 shootout win over the Brandon Wheat Kings at Mosaic Place.
With this being the first meeting of the season between the two long-time rivals, the Warriors and Wheat Kings used the first couple of shifts to feel each other out. When the teams got comfortable they picked up the pace, they both used their speed to create turnovers and rush across the blueline
Three minutes in to the game Jack Rodewald pushed the puck through the neutral zone to Tanner Eberle at the Brandon blue line. Eberle muscled through a back check to the left circle where he rifled a wrist shot over the glove of Alex Moodie to give the Warriors the lead.
Just past the seven minute mark Wheat Kings defenceman Ryan Pilon tossed a wrist shot towards the Warriors net, it ricocheted off several sticks and landed on the blade of Tim McGauley at the Moose Jaw left crease where he scored to tie the game.
Two minutes later the Wheat Kings once again tossed a light wrist shot towards the Warriors net, the puck once again deflected off of a stick and fell on to the blade of Nolan Patrick who had an open net to wrist the puck in to give Brandon the lead.
The visitors went up by two with just over four minutes remaining in the period when once again a shot was deflected in front of the Moose Jaw net, this time it was Tyler Coulter who was able to track the puck on top of the left crease where he scored his ninth of the year.
Four minutes in to the second period the Warriors tossed the puck from the Brandon blue line towards the net, as it bounced off a body the puck came right to Brett Howden who scored his ninth of the year to bring Moose Jaw to within one.
Just past the midway point of the second and on the power play, 17-year-old rookie defencemen Dustin Perillat and Ryan Gardiner showed great teamwork to keep the puck inside the Brandon line along the high right boards. They forced the puck to Howden who made a beautiful pass to Rodewald in the far left circle for a one-time to tie the game at three.
Early in the third period the Warriors line of Eberle, Point, and Rodewald went on the attack. Rodewald and Point did a lot of heavy lifting along the Brandon boards to create a turnover and then feed Eberle in the slot where he sniped his second of the game to give Moose Jaw the lead.
Brandon pressed for an equalizer later and with four and a half minutes to go defenceman Macoy Erkamps charged down the Moose Jaw right wall and threw the puck towards the net where it went off of Nolan Patrick to tie the game at four.
Throughout the remainder of regulation, and eventually overtime, the teams exchanges opportunities but weren’t able to find a goal which propelled the game into a shootout.
The first three round didn’t produce a goal, the fourth round started with a goal from Tanner Eberle and the game finished with Zach Sawchenko denying Nolan Patrick.
Eberle finished with two goals and scored the shootout game winner; Rodewald had a goal and three points; Brett Howden had a goal and two points; Zach Sawchenko made 26 saves in regulation and the shootout and another four in the shootout.
Moose Jaw returns to action on the weekend when they have a pair of division games, Friday they’re in Saskatoon to take on the Blades, they’re back home Saturday to take on Red Deer.
Saturday’s game against the Rebels is the Warriors annual Teddy Bear and Toque Toss. Fans are being encouraged to bring plush toys, toques, mittens, and scarfs to the game, they can put them in plastic bags, and when the Warriors score their first goal fans can throw them on the ice where volunteers will pick them up and they will be given to the Moose Jaw Salvation Army.
Warriors Host Wheat Kings Tonight
The Moose Jaw Warriors and Brandon Wheat Kings meet for the first time in the 2014-15 season when they square off at Mosaic Place on Wednesday night.
It should be an interesting meeting between the two East Division rivals with Brandon sitting in first place in the Eastern Conference, while the Warriors enter the night in tenth place, one point out of a playoff spot.
Both teams enter the game having dropped two of their past three games with the Warriors going 1-2 on their three-in-three Alberta road trip last weekend, while the Wheat Kings dropped a pair to the Regina Pats before beating Swift Current, 6-4, on Saturday.
Brandon has scored a WHL-high 143 goals so far this season, so strong play on the defensive side of the ice will be key for the Warriors in the game.
“They've got a lot of offensive talent, guys like (Jayce) Hawryluk and (Peter) Quenneville, there defencemen are really good with the puck, so it's definitely going to be a tough game,” said Rodewald. “It's also going to be interesting because we haven't seen them up until now... it's going to be a good game.”
The Wheat Kings have been getting scoring from across their lineup this season with ten players already crossing the 20-point plateau and three players having 30+ points in 31 games.
The Warriors have been doing their fare share of scoring lately led by the combo of Rodewald and Point, who sit tied for fourth in the league in scoring with 17 goals and 43 points each.
They both had strong weekends this past weekend with Rodewald posting nine points in three games, while Point had seven.
“I was able to find the back of the net and bounces were going my way, but also our line was clicking,” said Rodewald, who played with Point and fellow overager Tanner Eberle in three games.
“Me and Point have been together the majority of the time that I've been in Moose Jaw and we're still learning about playing with each other,” he added. “But, we're doing a really good job.”
The Warriors' offence tends to run through that trio of Point-Rodewald-Eberle, meaning the secondary scoring will need to come through against a tough Brandon team.
That's what happened last Saturday in Edmonton when the Warriors handed the Oil Kings a 7-4 loss. Point and Rodewald both had big games, but the scoring came from across the lineup.
That's something that the Warriors will be trying to build off on Wednesday night against the Wheat Kings.
“We just have to continue to work hard, our special teams really kicked it up a notch this last weekend, we scored a bunch on the power play and had some big kills, so we need to carry that into our last five games,” said Rodewald.
The Warriors' power play enters the game 21st in the league, while Brandon sports the second ranked power play. The teams are a little more level on the penalty kill side with Moose Jaw sitting 17th and Brandon ranked 18th.
The final stretch drive before the Christmas break starts on Wednesday night with Moose Jaw having five games remaining. They kick it off against the Wheat Kings at 7:00pm.
You can catch all the action live on Country 100, starting with the Pre-Game Show at 6:40pm.
Warriors Busy For Holiday Season
After going through three Teddy Bear Toss games over the weekend, the Moose Jaw Warriors are becoming professionals at dealing with the distraction that comes with the games.
That's perfect because the team has another one – their own – on the way for Saturday's game when they welcome in the Red Deer Rebels to Mosaic Place.
Fans are encouraged to bring plush and stuffed toys, toques and mitts to the game and when the tribe scores their first goal of the game, throw them onto the ice.
“We're looking for new or gently used stuff toys and pre-bagged is always the best to keep them clean for that,” said Corey Nyhagen, director of business operations for the Warriors. “It's something that fans have started to come and really support across the league, so we're encouraging the fans to get out on the 13th and fill the ice with bears.”
The Warriors were in Red Deer, Edmonton and Calgary for their Teddy Bear Toss nights during their three-game road trip on the weekend. In Calgary, over 25,000 bears were thrown on the ice after the Hitmen scored early in the first period.
“One thing that we always say and always brag about is the hearts of Moose Javians and surrounding area, they always come out and always support the team and you'll see on December 13th that we're going to get a lot of people in the stands and they're going to be really excited for that goal to hit so that they can fill the ice surface,” said Nyhagen.
The toys, toques and mitts are donated to the Salvation Army here in Moose Jaw and go to kids and families that are in need during this holiday season.
That will be special for another reason as well with the Warriors welcoming in “Super Fan” Cameron Hughes for the game. “He literally goes to events, gets into the stands and really gets the excitement going in the crowd,” said Nyhagen.
“It's going to be something that you have to see to believe, I've seen a lot of the things that he's done and I can't wait to see it in person,” he added. “Lets have some fun over the Christmas games.”
With just three home games remaining before the Christmas break, the Warriors will be bringing back their “3 Games of Christmas” promotion from last year that will see fans rewarded for attending the games.
“Fans that remain in their seats until the end of the game have the opportunity for thousands of dollars in prizes at each of these games,” said Nyhagen. “Last year we had trips, we had electronics, we had anything and everything and this year is going to be no different.”
This will be happening on Dec. 10, 13 and 17 when the Warriors at Mosaic Place. There's also special pricing for the games with the Warriors offering buy two, get one free pricing when you purchase tickets to all three games.
With the team going on a break until Dec. 27, that doesn't mean things will be slowing down for the Warriors as when the players return to the ice, they have another big night planned for New Year's Eve.
The Warriors will take on the Regina Pats on the final night of 2014 and following the game, the team will be hosting the New Year's Eve Bash for the second straight year, which will feature the band Wonderland performing at the Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre.
Tickets are on sale now and going fast for both the game and the bash afterwards, contact the Mosaic Place Box Office for more details.
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