There are ten rookies on the Moose Jaw Warriors roster this season and they got their first taste of the WHL regular season this past weekend during the tribe's home-and-home series with the Swift Current Broncos.
"You grow up dreaming of playing junior hockey and it was finally here, so it was good to get out there and see what it's like," said Bryson Gore, a 17-year-old forward from Milo, Alberta.
Miles Warkentine, who was a first round Bantam draft pick by the Warriors in 2011, says the home opener was an experience he'll never forget, "There was lots of energy in the crowd, you never see that with Midget AAA home openers it's nothing like that whatsoever, you've got 4,000 fans out there going nuts when you score. It was a good experience."
Gore said his stomach was in knots at the start of Friday's home opener at Mosaic Place, "It was unreal, the fans are crazy and it was an unbelievable experience for me."
The nervous feelings subsided as the weekend went on for the Warriors and they played their second game of the year in Swift Current the next night, "I knew what the pace was like, not the result we wanted (in a 7-1 loss), but it was less nerve racking," explained Gore.
Gore plays a gritty, hard working style and is looking forward to his role developing as his rookie season goes on and bringing that effort to the Warriors every night, "Lots of energy, finishing checks and finishing in front when it's there."
Warkentine feels he's becoming more comfortable playing in the league with each game, "From training camp, to preseason, to now regular season, I feel like I've got better every time on the ice. Practicing with other WHL guys and playing games at the high pace and big bodies out there, it's physically demanding, so you've got to be ready.
"Right now you've just got to pay your dues, I'm on the fourth line and I'm looking to battle myself up and by the end of the year, I'll be up where I want to be.
"You can't take a shift off, that goes for everyone, but you can't take a shift off in the WHL because it could be the most important shift, you could get scored on and that could be the game winning goal."
The Warriors continue to practice on Wednesday at Mosaic Place as they get set for another pair of games this weekend. The tribe heads up to Prince Albert on Friday to take on the Raiders and then on Saturday, they're back at Mosaic Place for a meeting with the Brandon Wheat Kings. Both games will be live on Country 100 with the Pre-Game Show hitting the air at 6:40pm.