After having their six-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday in Saskatoon, the Moose Jaw Warriors are looking to get back on track with a couple of home games this weekend.
The Warriors welcome in the Calgary Hitmen on Friday and then host the Blades for a rematch on Saturday night at Mosaic Place.
Moose Jaw had been playing some dominating hockey during their winning streak, but stumbled a bit in a 5-4 loss to the Blades in the Bridge City.
“We got away from what we were doing against Regina and Swift (Current) where we were competing on every puck and playing hard and playing with desperation and confidence,” said Almeida.
Heading into Wednesday, the Warriors were coming off an emotional 7-4 win over the Broncos the night before in Swift Current. Almeida said they can’t use the trap game excuse for how their meeting with the Blades went.
“We always try to take it one game at a time and we’ve got a bit of a tough week, but every team has those and you’ve got to battle through it,” he said. “We watched video on it, we will learn from our mistakes, move on and be better on Friday.”
The Hitmen have struggled to start the season, posting a 6-12-3-0 record, which has them sitting in a tie for 10th place in the Eastern Conference. They do feature some talent that could give the Warriors trouble with defenceman Jake Bean as well as forwards Beck Malenstyn, Matteo Gennaro and Jakob Stukel.
Almeida said getting back to playing their style of game will be the biggest key to success against the Hitmen.
“We had success because we were playing as five guys and were supporting each other all over the ice, we were playing with extra confidence and we battled for every puck,” he said.
“We want to get back to that and get back into the win column.”
The Warriors have been banged up this week with five regulars out of the lineup. They received a nice boost with Captain Brett Howden, along with defencemen Josh Brook and Dmitri Zaitsev back on the ice for practice on Thursday.
Howden has missed the past four games for the Warriors after suffering an upper body injury in last Monday’s Canada-Russia Series game in Moose Jaw. He was in a non-contact jersey along with Brook, who is returning from wrist surgery. (Click here for more on Brook’s return.)
Zaitsev has sat out the last six games with an upper body injury. He was a full participant in practice and could return to the lineup this weekend.
Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday. You can hear all the action on Country 100, starting with the Pre-Game Show at 6:40 p.m.