For the past few weeks, the Moose Jaw Warriors weren’t able to put together a consistent effort from night-to-night, but that wasn’t the case this weekend.

The Warriors cruised past the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Kootenay Ice, outscoring their two Central Division opponents by a combined score of 8-0 on the way to back-to-back shutout wins for the Western Hockey League’s number one team.

“When we skate like we did all game (on Saturday), that’s when we’re best and I don’t remember the last time that we skated that hard for three periods, it’s great to see,” said head coach Tim Hunter. “I know they’re capable of it, they know they’re capable of it and they showed it.”

Heading into the weekend, the Warriors talked about improving their defensive play as they look to prepare for a playoff run. They did just that over the two-game set, holding Lethbridge to 20 shots on Friday and limiting Kootenay to just 15 shots on Saturday.

The success came from the forwards, defence and goalie Brody Willms all making key plays in the defensive zone.

“It’s a team accomplishment to earn a shutout and we played hard for the full 60 minutes in both games this weekend and that showed in the scores,” said Willms, who now has four shutouts this season.

“All six (defencemen) played really well and our forward were good defensively as well, staying with the high guy in the offensive zone and coming back hard to home plate, so all around it was a good defensive game for us in both games.”

Before this weekend, Willms had started just one of the Warriors’ last four games. Hunter said they felt that getting Willms rest was going to be key for the team heading down the stretch.

“He had a little tweak of an injury a little while ago, we gave him some games off, played Adam (Evanoff) a bit more to give him some time and at the same time rest Willms, it’s going to be a heavy schedule moving forward,” said Hunter. “Willms is our number one guy, getting him in a groove and feeling confident was really important.”

Willms said he feels on top of his game coming out of the two shutouts, “With the schedule that we’ve had lately, there was lots of time during the week to get in practice time to fine tune my game and get it back to where I wanted it to be,” he said.

“You definitely try to build on your performances in net and if you can put a few strong ones together, you start to build on that and your confidence grows with it.”

The Warriors received stellar play from their defence over the two games.

Brandon Schuldhaus scored on Saturday and played a physical game all weekend, finishing a combined plus-four. Dmitri Zaitsev had a goal and three points on Saturday and was plus-five for the weekend.

“Brandon played his best game I’ve seen him play and Zaitsev as well, moving pucks and getting pucks to the net,” said Hunter. “They all chipped in and did a good job, but I thought those two guys were real good.”

Kale Clague had three assists over the two games, while Josh Brook and Oleg Sosunov also picked up an assist each. Matthew Benson also put together two strong games.

Burke Feb9Brayden Burke celebrates his goal on Friday, he finished with three goals and four points in two games on the weekend. (Photo: Marc Smith)

Milestone Weekend for Burke

Brayden Burke became the first player in the Canadian Hockey League to reach the 100-point milestone on Saturday when he riffled a shot into the Kootenay net early in the first period.

“It was nice to get it right off the start there, nice pass from (Justin) Almeida and I just had to tap it in,” said Burke. “Obviously it’s nice to get the personal accolade, but the team played real well tonight.”

Burke would finish with two goals and three points on the night, giving him 102 points on the year. He sits two points back of Swift Current’s Glenn Gawdin for top spot in the league after the Broncos’ captain past him on Sunday.

This is the second 100-point season in the past three years for Burke, who hit 109 points in 2015-16 with Lethbridge. He still has 18 games remaining this season.

“I come into every season trying to just play my best, create offence and do my thing on the ice and the points will come,” he said. “I’ve had some good stretches here where I’ve done really well and I’ve had some where I had to work harder at it, so it’s been a good learning curve over the season, but I’m happy to get there.”

Burke currently has 74 assists, which are 18 back of Theo Fleury’s franchise record.

Busy Stretch Ahead for Warriors

After playing just six games over the past three weeks, the Warriors will hit the ice for 11 games over the next 18 days, including nine against the East Division.

It starts this week with three games in five nights against the rival Regina Pats. The Warriors will head to the Queen City on Wednesday; they will host the Pats on Friday; and then head back to Regina on Sunday.

More Local Sports

Warriors Looking for Rebound This Week

It’s Hall of Fame Weekend for the Moose Jaw Warriors. While the organization focuses on honouring the past, the present has become a test for the Warriors, who now sit tied with the Swift Current…

MJ Girls Suiting up with Selects in Texas

SAN ANTONIO, Tex. — Two Moose Jaw girls are showing that they can hang with the boys this week as they suit up for the 12-and-under team with the Saskatchewan Selects in San Antonio, Tex.

MJ’s Morris Headlines Stellar First Half at Sask Games

The first half of the 2018 Saskatchewan Winter Games in North Battleford is in the books and it was a very strong showing for Moose Jaw athletes. Moose Jaw’s Molly Morris picked up a gold medal in…

MJ’s Hendrickson Off to Wrestling Nationals

Adam Hendrickson’s freshman season with the University of Regina wrestling team has been a dream come true. The local product earned a bronze medal last week at the Canada West wrestling…

Cyclones Duo Centre of Selects’ Defence

SAN ANTONIO, Tex — Two Central Cyclones’ linebackers are getting the opportunity to show what they can do down in Texas this week. Hunter Morgan and Brant Schwengler are both starting linebackers for…

Warriors Fall to Broncos in Tight Contest

The Moose Jaw Warriors outshot the Swift Current Broncos, 39-25, and controlled the pace for the majority of the game on Wednesday, but couldn’t convert on key chances and suffered a 4-2 loss. The…

Wareham Out as Moose Jaw Generals' Manager and Coach

The Moose Jaw Minor Hockey Association (MJMHA) released a statement on Wednesday announcing the release of General Manager and Head Coach of the Moose Jaw Midget AAA Generals, Ray Wareham. As for the…

Warriors Head to Swift for Battle with Broncos

The Moose Jaw Warriors returned to the win column on Monday and it gave the team some much needed momentum heading into a showdown with the Swift Current Broncos on Wednesday night. Monday’s win in…

MJDSHF Looking for Nominations

Three classes have went into the Moose Jaw and District Sports Hall of Fame and now they’re starting their search for the fourth group of illustrious local athletes. The Hall of Fame’s board of…

MJ’s Morris Golden During Day 2 of Sask Games

The first gold medal for a Moose Jaw athlete at the 2018 Saskatchewan Winter Games went to speed skater Molly Morris. Morris captured gold during the female 200-metre on Tuesday, finishing with a…

DiscoverMooseJaw.com is Moose Jaw's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

2018 SSFA 55+ Games Volunteers Needed

31 January 2018 12:00 am - 12 July 2018 6:00 am

TBA





St. John Ambulance Volunteers - Open House

22 February 2018 10:00 am - 03 March 2018 4:00 pm

St. John Ambulance Training Centre (Town 'n' Count, Moose Jaw





Parkinson Support Group

23 February 2018 1:30 pm

Hillcrest Apostolic Church, Moose Jaw





National Cupcake Day for SPCA's & Humane Societies

26 February 2018 9:00 am

Bellamy Harrison Animal Hospital, Moose Jaw





Legion Cribbage

27 February 2018 1:30 pm

Royal Canadian Legion - Branch 59 Moose Jaw, Moose Jaw





TOPS SK 2211 (Take OFF Pounds Sensibly)

27 February 2018 5:30 pm - 7:15 pm

St Andew's United Church TOPS SK 2211, Moose Jaw





Information Night - Moose Jaw & District Food Bank

27 February 2018 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

TBA





Login