Seemingly picking up where they left off last year, it was two games and two wins for the Moose Jaw U18 AAA Warriors over the weekend.
The Warriors won 7-0 Saturday and 3-0 Sunday in their only two exhibition games, with both wins over the Swift Current Legionnaires. Head coach Trevor Weisgerber's team outshot the Legionnaires by a significant amount in both games but still feels his team needs work.
“I thought our first period (Sunday) was really good, and then I thought our second and third we definitely got away from what we were doing our first four periods of this weekend,” he said. “We’ll watch some video and we’ll definitely shore some stuff up here in practice before we start league here. There are some things we definitely need to work on but it all in all it was pretty good.”
Saturday, the Warriors led 1-0 after the first period and 4-0 after the second period. By the end of the third, they had outshot Swift Current 44-20. Ethan Peters and Blake Betson scored two each, with Atley Calvert, Evan Callaghan and Wyatt Wilson scored singles. Kirk Mullen, Maximus Wanner, Christopher Otterson and Riley Niven had two assists each, and Kael DePape stopped all 20 shots he faced.
The Warriors were able to get off to a good start with Callaghan scoring the Warriors’ first goal.
“First of all, just work hard,” Callaghan said. “Working hard makes good things happen, so just getting on them quick and making their D turn the puck over, is kind of our main goal.”
Sunday, the Warriors outshot Swift Current 45-21, with Calvert picking up a trio of assists, Mullen scoring two goals and Wanner scoring the other. Jaxson Taupert saved all 21.
Both netminders got a shutout in their games on the weekend, which is a good start to their AAA Warriors careers.
“It’s always nice when your goaltenders play the way they did this weekend,” said Weisgerber. “That’s all we ask is that they’re making those first saves and then our guys do a good job of clearing pucks out and things like that. They made some good saves at key times… they both played very well.”
With the addition of Calvert and Wanner – both players with a strong chance of sticking in the Western Hockey League’s Moose Jaw Warriors this year once that gets going – the Warriors added even more skill and talent for the first couple of months of the season. Weisgerber said those players would be sticking with the U18 AAA Warriors for a while.
“They’re with us till we know what’s going on here with the (WHL),” he said. “They’ll be here until the new year for sure and then it just depends what goes on. For the first 12-14 games, they’ll be with us here.”