The Moose Jaw Warriors start the second half of the Western Hockey League season in a solid position.
Moose Jaw won 3-1 over the Brandon Wheat Kings on Monday to sweep the home-and-home, given them a 10-point cushion on their rivals for third place in the East Division.
"We're creating some separation between us and Brandon, it's the second half of the year now and it's starting to be that time when you look at the standings, so it was a big win and we like where our game is at here," said Warriors associate coach Mark O'Leary after Monday's win.
The Warriors posted a 20-8-5-1 record over the first 34 games of the 68-game season. They posted a 6-3-2-0 record during 11 games in December.
In the four games since returning from the Christmas, the Warriors have points in all four, including three straight wins.
"I thought (Sunday) was our best game out of the four, but it's still a work in progress, but if there are more nights like this where we can use everybody, that's a positive thing," said O'Leary.
Brayden Tracey has had a special first half of his rookie season, which he capped off with his first WHL hat trick during Monday's win.
The 17-year-old forward is showing glimpses of what is to come for Warrior fans.
"He's a real special player, he's slippery and he can do it in many different ways," said O'Leary. "He plays with two older guys, but a lot of nights he makes them better players with his vision and playmaking ability."
Tracey said the Warriors are starting to push towards the playoffs already, "We're looking forward to playoffs, but we've got to make it first and these past few games have helped a lot," he said.
The Warriors will return to game action coming up on Friday when they travel to Prince Albert to face the Division-leading Raiders. The Warriors will host Moose Jaw's Reece Newkirk and the Portland Winterhawks on Saturday at Mosaic Place.