Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Warriors take on Blades in Divisional Match-up

Game Preview: Saskatoon Blades at the Moose Jaw Warriors

The Warriors will face the Blades for the seventh and final time this 2011-12 regular season. The Warriors hold a seven point lead in the East Division standings and will look to move ahead further in tonight's game. The two clubs will be looking to turn up the intensity as the playoffs draw near, thus making for a spirited game. The Warriors will be looking to avenge a 6-2 loss in their last meeting with the Blades on Feb. 3 in Saskatoon.

The Warriors (35-15-5-1--76 points) will battle the Saskatoon Blades (34-22-0-1--69 points) at Mosaic Place tonight. The Warriors lead the clash 3-1-1. On February 3rd, the Blades got a 6-2 victory at the Credit Union Centre. The fifth meeting of the season was a one goal victory for the Warriors. Quinton Howden scored and Kenton Miller notched the game winner for the Warriors, while Luke Siemens turned aside 29 of the 30 Blades shots. The Warriors are x-x against the Blades this season heading into this match-up. A midseason 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.

Photo by Cory Kerr

The Warriors enter tonight's game on a four game winning streak, with three wins coming on the road. In their final game of a three game road trip through the Central Division, the Warriors capped it off with their third consecutive win. In a wildly entertaining second period for the fans, the teams tallied nine goals, Kirsch scored late in the period to give the club a 6-5. The Warriors scored two in the 3rd and won 8-5. On Friday night at the Saddledome, the Warriors fell behind by two early, but rallied to score four unanswered to collect a 4-2 victory against the Hitmen. Kenton Miller had a three point night and Justin Kirsch added a pair of assists, as the two former Hitmen contributed in defeating their old club. In Lethbridge, the Warriors picked up two points with a 5-3 win over the Hurricanes. Quinton Howden registered his second consecutive hat trick and four point night.

The Warriors are 8-1-1 their last ten, collecting 17 of a possible 20 points. In the last five games, the Warriors have outscored their opponent's 26-18 and are 4-1 in that stretch. Moose Jaw is tied for the most wins (23) on home ice in the WHL with Portland and Edmonton and a road record of 12-12-3. When leading after the first the Warriors are 20-1-2. That unblemished record was broken by the Hitmen Friday, Jan.13th. And when leading after forty minutes, they hold a record of 23-1-4. 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 a 24-7-3-1 record. The Warriors have an 18-4-5-1 record in one goal games. The Warriors have the sixth ranked power play (23.6%) and the 10th best penalty kill (80.3%) in the league. The Moose Jaw Warriors have played in 12 overtime games, (tied) second most in the WHL. They have collected 18 points from games in extra time. The Warriors have nine players with 10 or more goals this season and three players with 20+ goals this campaign.

Kenton Miller has scored the game winning goal in the last five Warriors wins. Justin Kirsch broke that streak on Saturday in Red Deer when he scored with just 22 left in the 2nd. In five games this month, Quinton Howden has socred eight goals and 13 points. Four of those eight goals have come on the powerplay and one shorthanded.

Warriors Leading Scorers: Braes(64), Henry(56), Howden(51), Kirsch(43) and Cody Beach(42)

Blades Leading Scorers: Stransky(60), Burns(52), Sutter(50), Nicholls(48) and Trask(48)

Friday the Medicine Hat Tigers come in for the first game of a home-and-home series. Puck drop from Mosaic is 7:00 p.m. The Tigers then host the Warriors at 8:30 p.m. CST on Saturday.

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 and Twitter!/MJWARRIORS

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