Warriors Go For Three In A Row
Warriors 16-year-old rookie Brett Howden has six goals and nine points in 17 games this season.
A big week opens with a big game for the Moose Jaw Warriors on Wednesday night.
The tribe welcomes in the Edmonton Oil Kings to Mosaic Place on Wednesday night for the first of four games over the next five nights, including three on the road starting on Friday.
“Obviously the first game in four nights is a very big game, so we’re excited for it and we’re ready too,” said Brett Howden, the Warriors’ 16-year-old centre.
Moose Jaw lost their only meeting of the season with the Oil Kings, falling 3-1 in Edmonton last month, which was in the middle of a five-game losing skid for the Warriors.Warriors forward Jack Rodewald has been extremely consistent so far this season, click here for more on his stellar start to the campaign.
That’s not the case for Moose Jaw right now as they enter the game on a two-game winning streak after scoring 11 goals in two games last week with wins over Seattle and Prince Albert.
After beating the Raiders 5-3 last Friday, the Warriors got the weekend off to get ready for their busy week ahead. Howden said the team took full advantage of their Saturday and Sunday off.
“We’ve been quite busy over the past couple months to start the season, lots of games in very few nights, so this past weekend was very good to take off and now we’re back at it,” said Howden.
The Warriors played a tight game against the Oil Kings in their last meeting and know that they will need to be on top of their game to knock off the defending Memorial Cup champions.
“They’re a fast paced team, so we need to realize that be physical on them, but at the same time, last game we didn’t take any penalties on them, so that really helped,” said Howden. “Just staying disciplined and working hard in winning every battle. It’s going to be a good game and hopefully we’re successful in it.”
The Oil Kings are led by goalie Tristan Jarry, who made 24 saves in their first meeting of the season. Howden said Jarry is like many top goalies and they need to make him uncomfortable to have success against him.
“Just crashing the net and getting pucks to the net,” said Howden. “Getting a net presence in front of him, we need guys screening him so that he can’t see the puck because he’s a great goalie, so we’re going to try and create as much offence as we can.”
Moose Jaw has followed their game plan to a tee over the past two games and it’s paid off in two strong outings. The team will look to continue that into this week, starting on Wednesday against the Oil Kings.
“We’re just all playing together, there’s nobody playing individually, everybody is playing for the team,” said Howden. “We’re going to need the next few lines putting up some points, we can’t rely on our first line to do everything for us, but everybody’s playing well right now we’ve got to stay focused.”
The Warriors are starting to get healthier heading into the weekend with Austin Adam making his return to the lineup on Wednesday. The team is also hoping to have goalie Zach Sawchenko back by the weekend.
The action starts at 7:00pm on Wednesday, the pre-game show hits the air on Country 100 at 6:40pm.
Warriors' Prospect Brook Returns Strong
Josh Brook in action with the Notre Dame Hounds at the Duncan McNeill Arena this season.
Josh Brook has a pretty big role in the future of the Moose Jaw Warriors, which worried many when he missed the first month of the season due to a back injury.
The 15-year-old defenceman has put those worries to rest however since returning to the Notre Dame Hounds' lineup at the end of October.
“I'm feeling good, starting to get back in shape and stuff, and feeling great,” said Brook, who was taken with the fourth overall pick in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft. “Just getting back in shape has been the biggest thing, skating and my normal day life.”
Brook opened his Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League season on October 28th and has since posted two goals and five points over eight games.
The best sign of his return to form came against the Moose Jaw Generals on November 5th, Brook took the puck in his own end, flew through the neutral zone and while cutting across the top of the slot, unleashed a wrist shot that most WHL goalies would have trouble stopping.
It was his first goal of the season and a highlight reel one at that against the team he expects to be sharing a home with next season.
“I'm really starting to be able to use my skating ability to create offence,” said Brook after that game. “I just need to keep my head up and watching for plays, and I'm working on that every day.”
Brook got his first taste of the WHL in August when he suited up for the Warriors in a pair of preseason contests after going through training camp with the team. He said that was an eye opening experience for him.
“It was a big confidence booster to see how much you have to improve to play at that level,” said Brook. “I need to get bigger and stronger to play with the older guys.
“I'm definitely feeling like if I keep working hard that I can push for a spot (on the team next season).”
Brook should get a chance to show what he can do with the Warriors at some point during the regular season this year as well. He's eligible to play up to five games before the end of his midget AAA season and with Notre Dame being a stone throw away from Moose Jaw, Brook said he's looking forward to it if that opportunity comes.
“It's great that I'm that close and hopefully I get a chance,” he said.
Following in the footsteps of Morgan Rielly, Brook is playing with the storied Hounds program after spending his bantam season there as well. He loves being able to focus on hockey at the school in Wilcox.
“It's definitely nice to have the atmosphere here, it's all hockey all the time,” Brook said. “I feel like I'm improving every day.”
Brook and the Hounds are back in action on Thursday when they host the Swift Current Legionnaires at the Duncan McNeill Arena.
Consistency Driving Warriors Leaders
Brayden Point carries the puck into the zone with Jack Rodewald close behind, the two linemates sit 1-2 on the Warriors in scoring and are tied for the team lead in goals with Tanner Eberle.
As expected, it's been the Brayden Point and Jack Rodewald show for the Moose Jaw Warriors this season.
The top line pairing has produced night in and night out for the Warriors and it's starting to show in WHL scoring leaders with both players moving up the leaderboard.
After last Friday's three-point night, Rodewald has moved into a tie for fourth in the league in scoring with 28 in 20 games, while Point sits two points back in a tie for 12th with 26 in 19 games.
“I'm not focusing too much on it, but I'm obviously really happy,” said Rodewald after Monday's practice at Mosaic Place. “Brayden and I have been doing really well together and feeding off each other, so I just hope it continues.”
The duo of Rodewald and Point has been together for almost an entire calendar year now. The pairing has had a rotating cast of left wingers during that time, but it hasn't effected their play as their chemistry seems to continue growing with each game.
“We're good friends off the ice, in the locker room we're really good friends, so I just have fun playing with him,” said Rodewald of his centre. “He's an exciting guy to play with and even more to watch, so it's been real good for both of us.”
Rodewald was acquired by the Warriors from the Regina Pats for fellow forward Carter Hansen, a tenth overall pick that hadn't panned out. Rodewald came to Moose Jaw without much fanfare, but no Warrior fan would want a redo on the trade now as Rodewald has blossomed into a high calibre power forward.
It's been a building process for the 20-year-old over the past two seasons to get his game to the level that he wanted.
“Last year, coming off a strong end, I gained a little more confidence and then coming back from Buffalo (Sabres training camp), I thought that helped a lot with my confidence,” said Rodewald. “Things have just been going my way lately and it's even better when we get the two points.”
While just now starting to creep onto the WHL scoring leaderboard, Rodewald has been hot right from the start and hasn't let up.
He has registered a point in all but two games this season.
“I'm just trying to go out there every game and not really worry about points, I'm just trying to help the team out and contribute,” said Rodewald, who has 11 goals and 17 assists in 20 games.
It's that kind of consistency that has head coach Tim Hunter pointing to Rodewald, and Point, as examples for the younger players on the Warriors on how to play the game.
“They're almost professional with how they approach the game, both on and off the ice, in games and in practices as well,” said Hunter. “As they go, the team goes and they get a lot of attention from the other team's top checkers, it's a hard night for them when they play, but we can't always count on them, we need secondary scoring and have to look down the line to get it.”
Hunter hasn't given it any thought about breaking the tandem up to spread the scoring out a bit.
“They seem to see the game the same and both being right handed, they play very similar,” said Hunter. “Both great on the rush, creating scoring opportunities and they both have a great shot.”
The Warriors will be hoping to seem more points coming from the duo as the season progresses, and especially this week with four games in five nights on the way, starting on Wednesday with Edmonton at Mosaic Place.
-- Goalie Zach Sawchenko skated for about a half hour on Monday, but is still listed as day-to-day with a lower body injury. Hunter said the team is aiming to have him back in the lineup for the weekend's three-in-three Central Division road trip
-- Defenceman Austin Adam will return to the lineup on Wednesday from a shoulder injury that has caused him to miss 17 games since suffering the injury on September 27th against Saskatoon.
Warriors Pick Up Road Win In PA
A solid team effort and two goals in less than two minutes in the second period lifted the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 5-3 win over the Raiders Friday in Prince Albert, improving their record to 9-10-1-1.
Prince Albert’s fore-check started strong, pinning the Warriors inside their line early in the hockey game. 97 seconds in to the period the Raiders pushed the puck towards the Moose Jaw net, no one was able to clear the puck which allowed Gage Quinney to tap it in to give them an early lead.
As the period went on the Warriors got better, they came up the ice with speed, they had extended time in the attacking zone, and the majority of their ten first period shots were quality scoring opportunities.
With just over a minute remaining in the frame Jack Rodewald fed Brayden Point going through the middle of the ice across the Prince Albert line. Point undressed the Raiders defenceman then beat Nick McBride for a highlight reel goal to even the game at one.
Moose Jaw kept the pace high to start the second, at 8:47 Jaimen Yakubowski straddled the Raiders blue line then put a wrist shot on to the pads of the goalie. The rebound was left in the crease where Point directed it in for his second of the game to put Moose Jaw on top.
Trailing by one, Prince Albert was able to create scoring opportunities as they outshot the tribe 16-8 in the period. At 13:03, Brendan Guhle charged towards the Moose Jaw net, Justin Paulic poked the puck of his stick but it went right to Tim Vanstone who was able to tie the game at two.
Two minutes after the Raiders goal the Warriors forced a loose puck high along their boards. Tanner Eberle came in to the neutral zone and spotted Tyler Brown at the Raiders line. Eberle went tape-to-tape to Brown, springing the defenceman on a breakaway where his shot found twine to put Moose Jaw back up by one.
Less than two minutes later Point created a turnover high in the Prince Albert zone, Rodewald jumped on the puck and stormed down the right wing. He connected with Eberle driving through the middle of the ice where he chipped the puck in for his tenth of the year to make it 4-2 Moose Jaw going in to the second intermission.
Prince Albert outshot the Warriors 10-4 in the final period but Warriors goalie Justin Paulic held his ground, keeping them off the scoreboard for the majority of the frame.
With just over ninety seconds left in the game the Raiders pulled their goalie for an extra attacker. With the puck along the Moose Jaw boards they chipped it towards the net where Reid Gardiner worked it past Paulic to pull Prince Albert to within one.
That would be as close the Raiders would get, Eberle scored his second of the game in to an empty net to seal the Moose Jaw win.
Eberle and Point finished with two goals and three points each, Jack Rodewald had three assists, and Paulic made 29 saves.
Moose Jaw has the rest of the weekend off, they’re not back in action until Wednesday, November 19th when they host the defending Memorial Cup Champion Edmonton Oil Kings. After that game the team will head to Alberta for another Central Division three-in-three road trip November 21st to 23rd.
Moose Jaw Starters: G-Justin Paulic, D-Alexey Sleptsov & Tyler Brown, LW-Jaimen Yakubowski, C-Brayden Point, RW-Jack Rodewald
Moose Jaw Scratches: Noah Gregor, Torrin White, Austin Adam, Reid Zalitach, Zach Sawchenko
Prince Albert Starters: G-Nick McBride, D-Josh Morrissey & Hunter Warner, LW-Craig Leverton, C-Jordan Tkatch, RW-Jayden Hart
Prince Albert Scratches: Curtis Roach
Warriors Head Into Prince Albert
Dustin Perillat celebrates after scoring his first WHL goal on Wednesday against Seattle. (Photo: Stephen Simon/MJ Warriors)
The injuries on the back end for the Moose Jaw Warriors has opened up the opportunity for the team to get a look at two late cuts from this year's squad.
17-year-old Dustin Perillat and 16-year-old Colin Paradis were added to the team last week and have seen some action over the past three games and will no doubt again on Friday night when the Warriors travel to Prince Albert.
The two young defencemen have held their own when in the lineup over the three games, including Perillat getting his first WHL goal during Wednesday night's 6-2 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds.
“It was real exciting and it was a big confidence booster for me personally,” said Perillat after practice on Thursday. “It's just what I needed for my play.”
Perillat looked strong during Wednesday's outing, his second since being called up from the SJHL's Flin Flon Bombers. Perillat has even seen some time on the second power play unit during his stint with the tribe.
“I'm playing good, but there's always room for improvement,” Perillat said. “I just need to do the little things right, be calm out there and just play my game.”
In 11 games with the Bombers before coming to Moose Jaw, Perillat posted two goals and four points.
His speed and skating is one of his strongest attributes and Perillat has been showing more and more of that over the course of the past week. He said he's becoming more comfortable with the jump from Junior A to Major Junior.
“As each games goes on, I'm building more confidence,” Perillat said. “I'm working hard towards playing to my full potential, so it's been good, but there's always room for improvement.
“(SJHL) has prepared me well for the WHL. It's been good in Flin Flon.”
Perillat and the Warriors prepare for a trip into Prince Albert on Friday night to face the Raiders for the fourth time this season.
The Warriors have went 1-1-1 against the Raiders so far this season, including a 6-3 loss on Halloween at Mosaic Place.
“We need to come out with a good jump right from the start,” said Perillat. “We just need to focus on playing a full sixty minutes... We're going to have to be focused mentally because it's a big one for us.”
Moose Jaw is coming off a 6-2 win over Seattle on Wednesday night, while the Raiders have dropped three straight games after getting beat 8-3 on Wednesday by the Regina Pats.
This is the lone game this weekend for the Warriors as they don't return to the ice until Wednesday when the Edmonton Oil Kings are in town
The Warriors and Raiders hit the ice in Prince Albert at 7:00pm, you can catch the Country 100 Pre-Game Show, starting at 6:40pm.
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