The Moose Jaw Warriors received career-year performances from a number of players over the first half of the Western Hockey League season.

Tanner Jeannot was one of those players as he exploded for 25 goals in 35 games to start the year, which is six more goals in 36 less games than last season.

“It’s been really good, every year you want to come in and get better and better, and I feel like I’ve taken another step up this year, which is good and I’ve just got to keep it going,” said Jeannot. “Also, if the team is having success, individual success is going to come to, so we’ve just got to focus on that.”

Always one of the top players on the team when it comes to fitness, Jeannot has also focused a lot on developing his hockey skills over the past few offseasons. It’s paid off this year.

“It’s nice to see hard work paying off, part of it is just getting older too and having some experience, you learn how to play a bit better and carry that into games, and it’s been working out for me this year,” said Jeannot.

Jeannot SwiftCurrent Dec1Warriors forward Tanner Jeannot battles for position in front of the Swift Current Broncos' net earlier this season. (Photo: Marc Smith)

Jeannot actually had just three goals through the first 11 games of the season, but since joining up with Brayden Burke and Justin Almeida to form the Warriors’ top line, he’s been on an absolute tear. Over the next 24 games, Jeannot has scored 22 goals, including a four-goal night on Oct. 27 in Medicine Hat and a hat trick on Nov. 18 against Saskatoon.

Jeannot scored in six of nine games for the Warriors heading into the Christmas break.

“It’s been awesome playing with Almeida and Burke, they’re two really skilled guys that are really quick,” said Jeannot. “They get to open spaces really good and Burke is a really good playmaker, so you’ve just got to get open for him, and Almeida is really responsible in his own end and is really quick to get to pucks.  We have some good chemistry right now and we’ve just got to keep it going.”

Top teams in junior hockey are usually led by a strong group of 20-year-olds. The Warriors currently have three of the best with Burke and Jayden Halbgewachs both sitting in the top-five in the league in scoring, while Jeannot is 17th in points and tied for seventh in goals.

Jeannot said teaming with Burke has been great as he’s on another level this season, “I just try to get open for him and be ready to shoot at all times because sometimes he fakes his own teammates out because he’s that good, so you’ve just got to be ready for it and when you get it, put it in the net.”

The Warriors entered the Christmas break with the best record in the WHL at 27-6-1-1. They will return to the ice on Dec. 27 when they travel to Swift Current to face the Broncos. The two teams will square off in a return engagement on Dec. 28 at Mosaic Place.

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