Carson Denomie grew up disliking the Moose Jaw Warriors, but his allegiance to the Regina Pats was thrown out the window when he was traded to Moose Jaw at the WHL Trade Deadline.
"The Regina-Moose Jaw rivalry obviously heats up and I remember disliking the Warriors when I was young, but the tables have turned now and we're looking to beat them," said Denomie after practice on Thursday.
The Regina product has found a home with the Warriors after starting his WHL career with the Kamloops Blazers last season.
In 25 games since joining Moose Jaw, Denomie has four goals and eight points, which is double the production that he had in 36 games with the Blazers to start the year.
Denomie said he's enjoying the role that was given to him with the Warriors.
"It was definitely a bigger opportunity and coming here, I was very excited to get more ice time and be able to expand my game," he said. "It's been going well lately, I'm playing with some good linemates and we've just been finding chemistry and making plays."
Having the opportunity to learn from the Warriors' coaching staff has also been a positive for Denomie, "Tim is obviously one of the most prestigious coaches in the league right now and he's helping in a big way, just little things that he shows, little details that you can do to make your game better," he said.
Another big benefit to coming to Moose Jaw is being closer to his hometown, which Denomie said has made the transition to playing for the Warriors much easier.
"My family has been to about every game here in Moose Jaw, so it's nice to have them around, be able to see them a lot more often and have a chance to go home every now and then," said Denomie.
Denomie will get a chance to play in front of his family and friends in Regina coming up on Friday night when the Warriors take on the Pats at the Brandt Centre. The two sides will also meet at Mosaic Place on Saturday night.
Puck drops on both games at 7 p.m. and the Pre-Game Show is on the air at 6:40 p.m. on Country 100.
Warriors Aiming to Lock Up Playoff Spot
The Warriors head into this weekend needing just one point to solidify their return to the WHL Playoffs.
Moose Jaw's magic number dropped to one after the Brandon Wheat Kings lost 4-1 in Lethbridge on Wednesday. The Warriors now lead Brandon by 10 points and the Wheat Kings have five games left in the regular season.
"It's huge for us to try to get momentum going into the playoffs and this three-in-three can do that for us," said Warriors forward Keenan Taphorn.
The Warriors will face the Pats in a home-and-home and then head up to Saskatoon for another potential first-round preview against the Blades, who beat Moose Jaw 4-2 on Tuesday at Mosaic Place.
Taphorn said the Warriors learned a lot from that loss to Saskatoon and they will use that moving forward.
"We had a decent game, it was a good effort, but at the end of the day, we didn't get the two points, there are some positives that we can take out of that loss," said Taphorn.
Warriors Chasing Milestones
Two Warriors are closing in on some big season milestones with six games remaining in the regular season.
Tristin Langan surpassed 100 points last weekend but the 20-year-old forward is now looking to become the 10th Warrior to score 50 goals in a season. Langan enters the weekend with 48 goals this season.
After coming up just short of the 100-point plateau last season, Justin Almeida is closing in on the century mark again this season. The Pittsburgh Penguins prospect heads into the weekend with 95 points this season.