For the first time in franchise history, the Moose Jaw Warriors will be heading into the post-season as the top seed in the Western Hockey League.
The Warriors secured the Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy as the WHL regular season champions with Tuesday's 2-1 shootout win against the Prince Albert Raiders.
Just going to overtime locked up top spot and the East Division title for the Warriors, who now lead the Swift Current Broncos by seven points for first place with two games remaining.
“50 percent of the banner that are in the rafters now, there's four banners up and we just added two more and we're looking to add another here and that's our goal,” said Head Coach Tim Hunter after the game. “It's a great accomplishment by our organization from top-to-bottom, whether it's the scouts, the front office, the trainers, the coaches, the players, it's a great accomplishment and we're really thrilled and proud of it.”
The Warriors have set a lot of records this season, including the most wins in franchise history, which hit 52 with Tuesday's victory, and most points in a season at 107.
Goalie Brody Willms added to that on Tuesday as he earned his 37th win of the season, passing the team's single-season record, which was set by Thomas Heemskerk in 2010-11. Willms said it's a special feeling to have his name in the team's record books.
“I'm very proud to have my name in franchise history, but obviously wins are pretty much the biggest team accomplishment you can have, so without my teammates and the coaching staff and everything that goes into earning those wins, it's nothing, so I have to thank those guys immensely,” he said.
The 19-year-old goalie set the record in style with a first star performance, turning away 27 shots in regulation and overtime before adding two more save in the shootout.
Willms said the Warriors' locker room is pretty proud to be the first team in franchise history to finish first in the regular season.
“To do it tonight the way we did with a big, tight game like that, it feels good, we're proud of that, but you also can't hang your hat on that, we've got to move forward now and prepare for playoffs,” he said.
The Warriors will finish the regular season with a home-and-home against the Brandon Wheat Kings. They meet on Friday at Mosaic Place and then finish things up on Saturday in Brandon.