Friday, December 9, 2011

Warriors Open Weekend v Pats

Points in six out of their last seven games has put the Moose Jaw Warriors on top of the East Division standings going into the weekend.

Their latest win was a thrilling last second 6-5 decision over Red Deer Tuesday, forward Andrew Johnson had three assists that night and says that game was exciting for the fans, but it exposed some issues that they needed to address.

"By both teams I think it was a pretty sloppy game. We had a lot of work to do this week and practice and hopefully cleaned it up, and I think this weekend will be a lot better."

Moose Jaw's winning ways as of late vaulted them up the division and conference standings, and Johnson says some of the success can be attributed to the character in the locker room.

"Overcoming adversity is huge too, and we've done quit a bit of that in the last month or so, I'm 100% sure that the guys can keep this rolling."

The second year Warrior out of Saskatoon has been on a tear as of late, racking up six goals and 17 points in the Warriors last 13 games. Despite playing so well as of late, he says he's still looking to be better.

"It's definitely a big confidence booster (for me), and I thank the coaches for that," said Johnson. "(Quinton) Howden is making this a lot easier in the transition (to playing bigger minutes), he's easy to talk to and helped me along the way. It's nice to have a guy like that especially with his experience."

The Warriors weekend home stand starts tonight against the Regina Pats, the sophomore forward says there's ways that the forwards can help out the defence as they try to contain Regina leading scorer Jordan Weal.

"I think we just have to play in their zone, if we have the puck it means that he doesn't, puck possession is going to be a huge thing especially against a guy like him. Just don't allow him to get the puck, and if he does finish the checks and play hard against him."

For Johnson, he says that he'll have to play within his skills and get away away from the team's game plan if they want to come away with the win.

"I'm not the biggest guy out there but I have to know what I can and can't do, I just have to chip pucks by them," he said. "I think I have to use my speed, get on them quick and force them to make turnovers, don't give them a lot of time to make decisions coming out of their zone. I think if me and the rest of the boys do that then we'll have success."

Catch the Warriors and Regina Pats on Country 100,, and starting with the PreGame Show with James Gallo, Derek Kletzel, and Marc Smith.

Coming up on Saturday the Warriors close out their weekend with their only meeting of the season against the Kelowna Rockets, coverage starts with the PreGame Show at 6:40pm.

Two things to keep in mind when heading to the rink tonight....

1. It's Teddy Bear Toss Night... fans are encouraged to bring a plush toy to the game, when the Warriors score you throw them on the ice where they'll be collected and then given to the Salvation Army for children in Moose Jaw and surrounding area.

2. Scotiabank's "Celebration of Hockey" makes a stop at Mosaic Place, and the honoured guest is the Stanley Cup. Canada's most iconic trophy will be on display from 5:30pm to 9am.

Thursday WHL scores;
Brandon 3 v 7 Edmonton... this was the Oil Kings 8th straight win, it moves them two points up on Moose Jaw for top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Friday WHL schedule;
Regina v Moose Jaw
Kelowna v Swift Current
Prince Albert v Calgary
Medicine Hat v Kootenay
Brandon v Red Deer
Portland v Vancouver
Lethbridge v Victoria
Spokane v Everett
Prince George v Seattle

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