It is the fifth meeting of the 2011-12 regular season, as the Warriors travel to Regina to face-off against their rival at the Brandt Centre. The Warriors come in winning three in a row and have outscored their opponents 16-7 over those three games.
The Warriors (28-14-4-1, 61 points), square off against the Pats (25-17-5-1,56 points) at the Brandt Centre tonight. In their previous four meetings this season, the Warriors hold three wins and an OT loss. The last two games have been split with each team earning an overtime victory with the final score registering 3-2. The Warriors OT hero on Nov. 11 was Quinton Howden. The Warriors sit atop the division with a five point lead over tonight's opponent. The Warriors built a two-goal after two periods on Dec. 9th, the two team's most recent clash. The Pats scored three to not only win, but hand the Warriors their first loss when leading after 40 minutes. The Pats and Warriors will face each other three times after tonight's match. Three of the four remaining games (including tonight) will take place at the Brandt Centre. Last season, the Warriors won seven games against the Pats, suffering only an overtime loss in eight games.
Tonight's game ends a four game week for the Warriors who a bit of a streak going. An overtime game kept the winning streak alive and currently at three. The Warriors earned two points with a win over the Kootenay Ice Friday night at Mosaic Place. Andrew Johnson scored the OT winner. Joel Edmundson, Kendall McFaull, Quinton Howden and Cody Beach all had two point nights against Kootenay. The club won their second consecutive game Wednesday night 2-0 over the Victoria Royals. Spencer Tremblay recorded a shutout the first of his WHL career. The netminder stopped all 23 shots put his way. James Henry and Cam Braes scored for the Warriors. Sunday night ended a weekend three game set Brandon was the night's opponent and the game was one-goal game until the Warriors scored five unanswered to make the final 8-2. Four Warriors registered three point nights. James Henry and Cam Braes each recorded a goal and two assists. Henry's goal was his first as a Warrior. Justin Kirsch had two goals and an assist. The fourth Warrior to register three points was Quinton Howden, he tallied three helpers.
Spencer Tremblay has been between the pipes in two of those three victories. In his start against Victoria Tremblay made 23 saves to earn his first career WHL shutout. The next outing Tremblay turned aside 25 shots to help his team defeat Kootenay. This is the first time Tremblay has played back-to-back games since November. Luke Siemens will return to the line-up, however, his status of playing is unknown. The Warriors also found out yesterday that Dylan McIlrath will not be in line-up for eight games due to a league issued suspension.
Justin Kirsch, Cam Braes, James Henry and Quinton Howden have been foremost contributors to the offense lately for the Warriors. Since coming over and taking a couple games to adjust, Cam Braes has eight points in five games (3G,5A). James Henry is also registering a point-a-game with the Warriors with five in five (2G,3A). Quinton Howden has seven assists in his last four games and has 36 points in 27 games. Justin Kirsch is also providing the offense. Since coming back off of injury on Dec. 28th, 2011, Kirsch has 11 points in 12 games (4G, 7A). As a Warrior, the 19-year-old forward has 25 points in 24 games. Cody Beach needs to record a single point to achieve 100 in his WHL career of 150 played (adding tonight`s).
On the other side, Jordan Weal continues his torrent pace. Weal is now the WHL leader in points with 79, one ahead of Ty Rattie in Portland. He is also tied for fourth in goals amongst WHL players. He is the WHL top assist leader with 50. Obviously, Weal is the catalyst behind the Pats offensive attack. The Pats made a move at the trade deadline to bring over a defenseman. Martin Marincin was acquired from the Prince George Cougars. Since coming to the Pats, the d-man has produced a point-a-game (five points in five games).