A potential playoff preview is on tap for the Moose Jaw Warriors on Wednesday night as they make their way to the Bridge City to battle the Saskatoon Blades.
The Warriors and Blades are on track for a first-round playoff match-up with only home-ice left to be decided over the final month of the regular season.
"These are huge games, they're four-point games and home-ice in playoffs is the biggest advantage there is, so any chance we get to close that gap we're going to try to take it," said Warriors forward Justin Almeida.
Moose Jaw enters the game sitting six points behind Saskatoon, but the Warriors do have four games in hand on the Blades.
The Warriors are 1-2 in three previous meetings with the Blades.
"This is looking like it's going to be a first-round match-up, so we have to show them what we have and we've got to play hard and show them it's not going to be easy," said Almeida.
"Each team has been slowing getting better, in the second half of the season you're more comfortable in your systems so the games are a lot harder. We focus on ourselves because when we play well, other teams have to keep up with us."
Coming into the week, the Warriors have points in eight of their last nine games. They're coming off a one-goal loss to the CHL-leading Prince Albert Raiders on Saturday.
Almeida said despite the loss, the Warriors will be growing from that game.
"Coming out of a game like that, confidence is a bit higher when you're playing one of the best teams and you compete with them and have a chance to beat them, so the team is feeling pretty good," he said.
"We learned that we can compete with the best and where we need to bear down in the last five minutes of the game, we gave up a goal because of a defensive breakdown so we learn from those little things and we can take it forward in our game."
The Warriors will be shorthanded up front for Wednesday’s game as leading scorer Tristin Langan serves a one-game suspension stemming from last Saturday's game in Prince Albert.
Almeida said it will be on everyone to step up, "Everyone has to bear down, we've got to play as a team, we've got to use our teammates, our top scorer is out and he's a big part of our team but we have a lot of guys that can contribute and do the little things right," he said.
The Warriors and Blades face-off at 7 p.m. at SaskTel Centre. The Pre-Game Show is on the air at 6:40 p.m. on Country 100.