Thursday, February 3, 2011

Alberta, Here We Come!

The playoff hunt is on. The top teams in the East are battling it out for the top four positions that would give them an opportunity to host the first two games of a seven game playoff series.

The Warriors are neck and neck with the Kootenay Ice and Medicine Hat Tigers. The Warriors are just 2 points back of the 3rd place Ice and a single point back of the 4th place Tigers. The Saskatoon Blades and Red Deer Rebels sit in positions one and two with only 3 points separating the teams. The top two teams in the East have produced over 75 points and are likely to continue on that same pace.

If playoffs started today, the Warriors would face the Tigers with the series starting in the Hat. Perhaps the toughest building to play in come playoffs would be Medicine Hat. The entire arena is sold out and interested fans are on a wait list to get a ticket into the building. Noisy and proud, the Tigers den is a tough place to play.

Yet, the Warriors have 20 games left to finish before the final playoff spots are concrete. The Warriors will face both Kootenay and Medicine Hat just once more this season. The tribe will have a tough 4 games with the Saskatoon Blades along with three more battles with the Pats and a single bout with Red Deer.

The two teams the Warriors are chasing (Medicine Hat and Kootenay) will face off twice before the end of March. The other end of the play off race is even tighter than the top. With 16 point separating 5th from 6th, the bottom three teams are only points apart. Edmonton, Swift Current, Prince Albert, Lethbridge, Brandon and Regina are vying for the final three spots.

Swift Current looked like a steady contender to kick off the season, but after a recent slump; they could just as easy fall out of playoffs as they could earn a spot. The Warriors have a number of match ups with the bottom 6 teams. The Warriors will take on Prince Albert three more times, Swift Current once and Brandon twice. These teams will surely be pushing hard to earn points in the back half of the season.

This year’s Warriors team is one of scoring talent. The Warriors have six players ranked in the top 100 scorers of the WHL. Dylan Hood, Quinton Howden, Spencer Edwards, Tony Honejsek, Sebastian Svendsen and Cody Beach are all in the top 100 point earners. Thomas Heemskerk is the 8th ranked goalie in the league with 28 wins. With a strong defence, this team could make a great run at the playoffs.


Friday is the fourth and final meeting of the regular season between the Warriors and Red Deer Rebels. Moose Jaw is 0-3 against the Rebels, losing both at home and their only trip to Red Deer so far this season.

Sebastian Svendsen has two goals and three points against the Rebels, but all have come in three games as a member of the Prince Albert Raiders. Dylan Hood is pointless and a -4; Quinton Howden is pointless and a -5; Antonin Honejsek is pointless and a -3; Dylan McIlrath is pointless with 25 penalty minutes and is a -4; Thomas Heemskerk is 0-3 with a 3.07gaa and .900sv%.

Darcy Kuemper is 3-0 with a 0.00gaa and 1.000sv% with three shutouts against the Warriors; Brett Ferguson has a goal and five points; Byron Froese and Andrej Kudrna have a goal and four points each; Colin Archer, Adam Kambeitz, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Daulton Siwak have a goal and two points each; John Perrson and Alex Petrovic have one goal each.

Med Hat Notes to come....


In no order, what so ever...

- Spencer Edwards is a possibility for the weekend match ups

- Med Hat is coming off of a heartbreaking lost vs Vancouver, where the Giants scored with 1

second left on the clock for a 3-2 loss

- Check out Brandon Stone's new mask. Quite the artwork.

- This weekend could be the first time in quite awhile where the Warriors top 6 forwards are all in the line up

- Dylan Hood is 5 games away from reaching his 300th WHL game.

- Red Deer stomped Prince Albert Wednesday night after PA had a 3-1 lead after the first. Final Score... 7-4 Red Deer.

- Spencer Edwards is a +18 on the season.... next highest is a +9 by Dallas Ehrhardt


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