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Road Lessons For Warriors

Warriors-Howden-Sep27-1Warriors rookie Brett Howden had five goals and six points in 11 games this season.

It may only have been game 11 out of 72, but the Moose Jaw Warriors learnt a lot about their team during Saturday's 4-3 win in Swift Current.

The win over the Broncos was the first on the road this season for the tribe and with their next four games being away from Mosaic Place, that was big for the team before heading out to Alberta.

“That was huge,” said rookie forward Brett Howden. “We haven't been on the road much lately and we're going to be going on the road this weekend to Alberta, so it's going to be a tough road trip, but we're looking forward to it and ready for it.”

The Warriors will no doubt face some adversity on their three-game Alberta road trip as they head into Medicine Hat, Red Deer and Edmonton. They were given a full dose of adversity against the Broncos on Saturday.

Moose Jaw built up a 3-0 lead in the first period, but watched as Swift Current chipped away at it throughout the rest of the game, finally tying it with just over two minutes to go.

Jaimen Yakubowski made sure the game ended in regulation however, scoring with 4.1 seconds to go for the Warriors' win.

“It was huge that we didn't let them get a point in overtime and now we're tied with them in the standings, and still have two games in hand, so that was a big game for us,” said Howden, who sits tied for second on the team with five goals in 11 games.

The ability to stay into the game and score that winner after the late tying goal for the Broncos was a big test for the Warriors. One that Howden feels they handled well.

“We had to stay mentally tough, they had the momentum really because they tied it up, but we stuck to our game plan and it ended up being strong for us,” he said.

Moose Jaw has played eight of their first 11 games on home ice, so this road trip will be the first extended taste of the road for the tribe this season. The Warriors learnt a valuable lesson in Saturday's win as their quick start played a big part in their win.

“Coming into their own rink and having a big start, we scored three goals in the first ten minutes, that was huge,” Howden said. “We've just got to be ready right from the start, can't blame it on the bus legs or whatever, so being ready right from the start and playing a full sixty minutes is key on the road.”

The Warriors don't have any games throughout the week, allowing them to focus in on the first place Tigers, who they'll face at the Medicine Hat Arena on Friday night.

“We've got to be ready to go,” said Howden. “We've got a week here and then playing Med Hat, they're a great team, so we've just got to be ready to go for Friday.”

The Warriors follow up that game with a trip to Red Deer on Saturday and then they hit Edmonton on Sunday before coming home for a days rest and then back on the bus to Saskatoon on Tuesday.

Moose Jaw currently sits tied for second in the East Division with a 6-4-0-1 record.

Yakubowski Lifts Warriors To Win

Warriors-Yakubowski-Oct4Warriors assistant captain Jaimen Yakubowski cuts away from a defender during action this season. (Photo: Cory Kerr Photography)

Jaimen Yakubowski was the hero for the Moose Jaw Warriors on Saturday night.

The 20-year-old forward scored with 4.1 seconds to go in the game to give Moose Jaw a 4-3 win over the Swift Current Broncos in a tight East Division game at the Credit Union Iplex.

Yakubowski finished with two goals and three points in the win to lead the Warriors.

Coming off a 6-2 loss to Portland on home ice, the Warriors started quick against the Broncos.

Yakubowski opened the scoring 2:44 into the game when he tipped in a point shot by Tyler Brown.  Brayden Point followed that up with his sixth of the year just three minutes later, tipping a shot by Taylor Green past Travis Child.

Moose Jaw extended their lead to 3-0 midway through the first thanks to some hard work down low by Tanner Jeannot and Ben Duperreault.  Jeannot fed Linden Penner at the bottom of the circle and he made no mistake for his first of the season.

Swift Current answered to end the period when Carter Rigby scored a power play marker to get the Broncos on the board.

The Broncos continued to press into the second period and pulled within one midway through the frame.  Tyler Steenbergen forced a turnover in the offensive zone and beat Zach Sawchenko with a shot off the rush to make it 3-2.

The score stayed that way into the third despite some more pressure from the Broncos.  

The home side finally broke through with 2:23 to go in the game as Glenn Gawdin found Coda Gordon at the side of the net for the game-tying goal.

With overtime looking like a certainty, the Warriors top line went to work in the offensive zone.  Point dug the puck out of Dillon Hetherington’s skates and found Yakubowski all alone in front of the net for the winning goal with just four seconds to go.

Sawchenko made 28 saves to pick up his sixth win of the season, while Child stopped 23 of 27 shots thrown his way by the Warriors in the loss.

Moose Jaw improves to 6-4-0-1 on the year and moves into a tie with the Broncos for second in the East Division, four points back of Brandon.

The Warriors are off now until next weekend when they hit the road to Medicine Hat, Red Deer and Edmonton for a three-game Alberta road swing.

Warriors Winning Streak Ends With 6-2 Loss to Portland

Oct17-Portland6 570x380Portland forward Oliver Bjorkstrand dekes out Warriors goalie Justin Paulic during Friday's 6-2 loss for Moose Jaw at Mosaic Place. (Photo: Stephen Simon/MJ Warriors)

The Moose Jaw Warriors got off to a slow start on Friday night and Portland didn’t let off the gas pedal, as they dealt the Warriors a 6-2 loss, snapping their three game winning streak.

Portland looked sharp to open the game, they used their speed through the neutral zone to create a constant attack inside the Warriors line.  The Winterhawks fore-check was strong, it pressured the Warriors defenceman, not allowing the tribe to breakout of their zone cleanly.

Warriors assistant captain Tanner Eberle speaks with Marc Smith on the Country 100 Post-Game Show after the team's 6-2 loss on Friday night.

The visitors opened the scoring at 9:32 of the first period, Layne Viveiros’s point shot on the power play deflected off a Moose Jaw defenceman and past goaltender Justin Paulic.

As the first period continued Portland’s attack continued, the visitors outshot Moose Jaw 7-0 in the first ten minutes and 13-3 overall in the period, Paulic made a number of key saves to keep his team within a goal going in to the intermission.

In the second period Moose Jaw was given plenty of time to work on the power play but unfortunately it was the visitors who created the offence.  Down at man at 7:38, Nic Petan jumped on a loose puck in the Portland zone, he tossed a pass to Oliver Bjorkstrand who put a backhand over Paulic on a shorthanded breakaway to make it 2-0.

Warriors assistant coach Mark O'Leary joins the Country 100 Post-Game Show to go over Moose Jaw's 6-2 loss to Portland.

The Warriors power play opportunities continued in the second, just over ten minutes in to the period they were given a two-man advantage and finally capitalized.  From the Portland left goal line, Jack Rodewald feathered a pass cross ice where Brett Howden ripped his fifth of the year.

With momentum finally in their favor, the Warriors had the wind knocked out of their sails just under two minutes after Howden’s goal.  Big Portland forward Dominic Turgeon muscled the puck underneath the pad of the Warriors goalie, instilling the visitor’s two-goal lead going in to the third.

Portland poured on the offence to start the third period, Turgeon scored his second of the game at 1:24 to make it 4-1.  Approaching the midway point of the period, Alex Schoenborn deflected a shot to the back of the Warrior net to make it 5-1, then on the power play at 11:44 Chase De Leo set up Bjorkstrand for a one-time blast to make it a five-goal game.

Portland captain Nic Petan talks about their 6-2 win over Moose Jaw with Marc Smith on the Country 100 Post-Game Show.

Warriors Captain Brayden Point scored a power play goal at 12:34 to put a little life in the Moose Jaw sticks but it wasn’t enough to spark a comeback, as Moose Jaw’s three game winning streak came to an end with a 6-2 loss.

Alexey Sleptsov had two assists for the Warriors and Justin Paulic made 35 saves.  Nic Petan finished with three assists, Miles Koules had two assists, and Brendan Burke made 26 saves.  The Warriors were 2-for-7 on the power play (with a shorthanded goal against), and 3-for-5 on the penalty kill.

Moose Jaw’s weekend schedule continues Saturday with a trip to Swift Current, which marks the first of five straight road games.  The Warriors are 0-2 against the Broncos after being swept opening weekend on September 19th and 20th.  Catch all the action on Country 100 starting with the PreGame Show at 6:40pm.

Warriors Rolling Into Weekend

Warriors-White-Oct2Torrin White celebrates one of his three goals this season for the Moose Jaw Warriors. (Photo: Stephen Simon/MJ Warriors)

Three straight wins, points in six straight games and five straight home wins.

The Moose Jaw Warriors are playing some outstanding hockey right now as they get set for a big weekend set of games. The Warriors will wrap up their season-opening homestand with the Portland Winterhawks in town on Friday night before travelling to Swift Current on Saturday.

The tribe heads into the weekend with loads of confidence after their 5-3 win over the Prince Albert Raiders on Wednesday, which extended their winning streak to three games.

“There's a real positive atmosphere in the room and if we keep playing the way that we've been playing, it's going to be a good year,” said 19-year-old forward Torrin White. “This little streak that we've been on is a pretty good feeling and it's brightening the spirits in the room.”

Moose Jaw enters the weekend with a 5-3-0-1 record, which puts them over .500, something that hasn't been seen very much over the past two seasons. The team is doing it on the back of depth throughout their lineup.

All four forward lines are contributing and since the team's 7-1 loss to Regina on Sept. 28, the defence has been playing as a solid six-man unit.

“We have skill through all four lines and it obviously shows in the game,” said White. “With the skilled players we have and the puck possession, skill game that we play, it complements each other nicely.”

White said the lineup overhaul that happened since last season has led to that depth and made the Warriors into a tough team to match-up against now that they've adjusted to head coach Tim Hunter's system.

“There's a lot of things that have gone into (the early season success),” White said. “Just the way that Tim's coaching here is working well with the players that we have and I think that's a big reason why we're winning.”

Moose Jaw has been producing offensively during their recent winning streak and it's been led as expected by Brayden Point, Jack Rodewald and Tanner Eberle, but the team is seeing each line chip in. White said that teams are having a tough time answering their depth.

“Through all four of our lines, there's some dangerous guys,” said White. “If we keep playing the way that we are, teams are going to start respecting us a little more.”

Portland has had their struggles to start the year. The four-time defending Western Conference champions are sitting at 1-7-0-2 through their first ten games this season. They come into Friday night with the most goals against in the league at 47, compared to the 26 that the Warriors have allowed in nine games.

White said that despite the Winterhawks' struggles, they know that they can be a dangerous team at any moment with players like Nic Petan and Oliver Bjorkstrand still in the lineup.

“We just need to know who's on the ice, they have some real dangerous guys,” he said. “As long as we most importantly focus on our own game and then be aware when those guys are on the ice, then we'll be alright.”

Moose Jaw and Portland hit the ice on Friday night at 7:00pm and then the tribe travels to Swift Current on Saturday night. You can catch all the action both nights on Country 100, starting with the Pre-Game Show at 6:40pm.

Point Named To Team WHL For Super Series

Warriors-Point-Oct15Warriors captain Brayden Point in action against the Prince Albert Raiders on Wednesday night, he had a goal and an assist in the win. (Photo: Cory Kerr Photography)

Brayden Point can cross another accomplishment off the list.

The Moose Jaw Warriors captain was named to Team WHL for next month's CHL Subway Super Series in Saskatoon and Brandon.

Point and Team WHL will take on Team Russia on Monday, Nov. 10 in Saskatoon and then again on Tuesday, Nov. 11 in Brandon as part of the annual six-game series that sees CHL all-star teams take on Russian all-stars.

The tournament serves as part of the evaluation process for Hockey Canada in the lead up to the World Junior Hockey Championship.

This will be Point's first time taking part in the Super Series. He has four goals and 11 points in seven games this season.

Click here to see the full WHL roster.

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