Looking to increase their lead atop the East Division, the Warriors will defend home ice tonight against the second place Saskatoon Blades. With 20 home wins, the Warriors have the second most victories on home ice in the WHL. Tied to those victories, the collection of 43 points at home the Warriors are tied for most points accumulated.
The Warriors (29-14-5-1,64 points), face off against the Saskatoon Blades (29-18-0-1,59 points) in a divisional match-up tonight. The Warriors hold a five point lead over the Blades in the division making the next two match-ups potential four point swings. In their previous three meetings this season, the Warriors hold a one game advantage. Their last hook-up was Friday, Dec. 16th at the Credit Union Centre, the Warriors triumphed with a 4-2 win. The Warriors scored three straight after falling behind 2-1early in the second. The two previous match-ups were decided by one goal, a 3-2 Warriors win and a 4-3 OT victory for Saskatoon, respectively. Justin Kirsch, Sam Fioretti and rookie Carter Hansen have registered 3 points against the Blades this season. Kirsch had a hat trick on Nov. 4th, 2011 in his third game as a Warrior.
The Warriors have four wins and one overtime loss in their last five, collecting nine of a possible 10 points. Over that five game span, the club has scored 22 goals. Moose Jaw has the most wins on home ice with 20-3-2 and a road record of 9-11-3. When leading after the first the Warriors are 18-1-2. That unblemished record was broken by the Hitmen Friday, Jan.13th. And when leading after forty minutes, they hold a record of 17-1-4. The one loss held by the Warriors when leading after 40 minutes was tarnished by the Pats on Dec. 9th, 2011. When the Warriors outshoot their opponent they have an 18-6-3 record. The Warriors have a 17-4 record in one goal games. The Warriors are 17-4-5 in one goal games. The Warriors have the ninth ranked power play (22.4%) and the eighth best penalty killing (80.6%) in the league. The Moose Jaw Warriors have played in 12 overtime games, (tied) most in the WHL. They have collected 18 points from games in extra time. The Warriors have 7 players with 10 or more goals this season.
Players to watch tonight:
In three games against the Blades this season, Luke Siemens has two wins and one overtime loss. Siemens has turned aside 97 of the 105 shots he has faced.
The last time Justin Kirsch faced the Blades, he had a three goal performance leading the way offensively for the Warriors.
Rookie forward Carter Hansen also has three points (1G,2A) in three games versus the Blades.
Three Warriors are closing on career milestones; Quinton Howden needs four goals to reach the 100 goal plateau in his WHL career. James Henry is closing in on two WHL milestones in games played and points. Henry needs 10 points to reach 200 and 12 games played to hit 300 career WHL regular season game mark. Kendall McFaull will play in 200 career regular season games in 2012, he is just 25 games played shy.
On the other side, former Warriors Jesse Paradis and Connor Cox are back to play at Mosaic. Paradis played two and about a half seasons with the Warriors before joining the Blades this season. Cox also played two seasons and a hand full of games for the Warriors prior to his trade last season. In that transaction, the Warriors attained a 2nd round pick in 2011 draft. Dalton Thrower is among the league leaders in points as a defenseman and is ranked 30th among North American players for the upcoming 2012 Draft.
Upcoming games for the Warriors: The Warriors have another home game tomorrow night when Swift Current comes to the Band City. The return match with the Blades goes next Friday at the Credit Union Centre followed by a home date with Prince Albert next Saturday night.
This Sunday, the Warriors will be holding their Skills Competition at Mosaic Place. The start time is 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. Tickets will be sold at the two home games this weekend on the concourse, $10 general admission. Then the Pizza Hut on Main Street wants to invite all Warriors' fans down for the Grand Re-opening celebration following the Skills Competition.
Catch all the action live on Prairie Mobile Warriors Hockey on Country 100FM with the voice of the Warriors James Gallo. Follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/mjwarriors and Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/MJWARRIORS