After practicing throughout the week at Mosaic Place, the Moose Jaw Warriors will finally get into some game action tonight when they open a weekend pre season series against the Wheat Kings in Brandon.
With seven veterans away at NHL Rookie Camps, Head Coach Mike Stothers says this is a chance for others to get some quality ice time.
"It's going to be challenging but the kids have been receptive to changing positions and helping out if they can. They're all going to get a lot of ice time, they're all going to be used in all situations, it can only benefit us in the long run. We might take our lumps here and there but we know that and expect it, and hopefully we can all learn from it."
The tribe is without seven veterans who are at NHL Rookie camps. Six of those players are defenceman, and with Morgan Rielly still out after having his appendix removed late last week, Stothers says they've moved some forwards to the back end.
With so many players gone, Stothers says it has some pros and cons. "On the one end you're happy and thrilled for the guys gone to pro camps. It's a tribute to this organization that they've developed some players that have gotten noticed and gotten some interest from the NHL."
"Now for myself personally, I'm very happy for those guys but deep down in my heart would I look to have them back, yes. This is the process of junior hockey, every team goes thru it."
Sophomore Brandon Stone and rookie Spencer Tremblay are the only two goalies still with the team, and Stothers says he's taking the goaltending situation one day at a time.
"We're going to go with Tremblay in Brandon and see how he does. Stone has gotten some time in game situations, Tremblay hasn't and we'll see how it goes.'
"It's an awful lot of hockey in a short time frame with a little bit of travel involved and you don't want to wear anyone out. But who knows, if the kid goes in and pitches a shutout he's going back in."
The weekend series tomorrow night at Mosaic Place, for tickets go online to MJWarriors.ca or call 694-5711. The tribes final pre season games are next weekend against Saskatoon, and will mark the return of Warriors hockey on Country 100.
This weekend you can follow both games against Brandon online at DiscoverMooseJaw.com or follow the voice of the Warriors James Gallo on Twitter, @jamesgallo2.