The top line has been producing at an amazing rate over the past two games for the Moose Jaw Warriors.
They've posted 14 goals in the past two games, both wins over Calgary last Saturday and Vancouver on Wednesday, however, the team is getting some strong contributions from all four of their forward groups in helping them to the wins.
The third line came up big during the third period of Wednesday's 8-5 come back win over the Giants. Tanner Jeannot scored the game winner with under five minutes to go and his linemate Jiri Smejkal added some insurance under a minute later.
“We're a really hard working line and just getting to know each other out on the ice a little bit better, it just gives you that chemistry and you know where each other are, so that gives you an extra edge in creating offence,” said Jeannot.
“Jiri and (Jayden Halbgewachs) are both really skilled players and it's fun to play with them. It's also nice that we're getting that offence going and contributing to the team.”
Last season, when the Warriors made their late season push towards the playoffs, the third line centred by Smejkal was a key to the team's success. That's been the case this season as well.
Jeannot said the connection has come quickly for them.
“Every day in practice just talking about where each other is going to be and you start to learn about where they're going to be and then just have that anticipation in the game,” said the Oxbow native.
In four games this season, Jeannot has one goal and two points after posting one goal and five points in 54 games last year as a rookie. He said he's tried to bring more to the ice this season in his second year on the Warriors.
“I'm a pretty big guy, so I can bring that physical aspect to the game, I work really hard every shift and that's my game, I just try to bring some energy to the team and do everything I can, whether it's in the offensive or defensive zone,” said Jeannot. “Hopefully I can contribute more offensively this year as well as being a good defensive player.”
The Warriors have been able to roll all four lines so far this season, which allowed them to keep their top unit fresh heading late into games. The line with Brayden Point, Dryden Hunt and Nikita Popugaev has provided the most punch, accounting for four of the eight goals on Wednesday.
The key for the Warriors will be finding a way to keep their speed going for a full sixty minutes.
“Every time you get out there and work hard to out compete the other team, if you just got a goal, then you want to keep that momentum going and if they just scored than you want to answer back right away,” said Jeannot.
The early season success is making the Warriors believe in each other as they head into a busy weekend with Edmonton and Kootenay in town.
“It's a really good atmosphere in there, all the returning players, we're really close after last year with the push at the end of the year, we know what we need to do and how hard we need to work,” said Jeannot. “The new guys that we picked up are really good guys and good leaders, so they're mixing in really well and it's fun every day to come to the rink.”
The Warriors host the Oil Kings on Friday night and the Ice on Saturday. All the action can be heard on Country 100 with Western Nissan Warriors Hockey, starting with the Pre-Game Show at 6:40pm.