After a week of practice, the Moose Jaw Warriors are looking forward to their busy weekend ahead.
The Tribe has three games in three nights starting on Friday in Regina against the Pats, which is also the kick-off of a home-and-home between the two Trans-Canada rivals.
Coming off the first back-to-back losses of the season, the Warriors are ready to get back on track this weekend.
“It was nice to have a week off after a weekend like that,” said 20-year-old forward Dryden Hunt. “It gives guys time to rest and regroup and think about the weekend, obviously it was tough and we haven't went through that kind of adversity yet this year, so it was good to go through that.”
This will be the first meeting between the Warriors and Pats since the opening weekend of the regular season when each team picked up wins in their home rink, but the Warriors were able to score three out of four points.
Moose Jaw will be looking for a sweep of the games this time around and playing a complete game will be the key.
“We need to play hard for sixty minutes,” said 20-year-old defenceman Marc McNulty. “Last weekend we took some time off in those (two) games and it cost us, so playing a full sixty this weekend will help.”
Playing a simple game, while still using their speed and skill, will be another focus for the Warriors this weekend after scoring just two goals in last weekend's loss to Prince Albert and Swift Current.
The Warriors entered that weekend averaging 4.5 goals per game during the first ten games of the regular season.
“You've got to bring speed and a work ethic and that wasn't there last weekend,” said Hunt. “We have three games this weekend against three pretty good teams, so hopefully we can start fresh on Friday.
“Anytime you get shutout, it's pretty frustrating, especially for the guys that are use to contributing, so that's why it was good to have this whole week of practice to work on stuff like that and hopefully we can carry this good week of practice into the weekend.”
Hunt is a former Pat, playing three seasons in Regina before being traded to Medicine Hat at the deadline last year, so every game against the Pats is special for him.
“When you go back there it's pretty exciting, I've got a lot of friends on that team still, but when the puck drops it's just another team and hopefully we can get the two points,” said Hunt.
In order for the Warriors to have success this weekend, they're also going to have to slow down the Pats' and Brandon Wheat Kings' forward groups, which will be a tall task for their defence with just five defencemen due to an injury to Dustin Perillat and Josh Brook at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
“We've been working on playing strong defensively all week, so we're going to do anything to shut those guys down in our D zone,” said the six-foot-six McNulty.
The Warriors and Pats hit the ice at 7:00pm on Friday night. Tune into all the action live with Western Nissan Warriors Hockey on Country 100, starting with the Pre-Game Show at 6:40pm.
Moose Jaw will host Regina on Saturday afternoon at 2:00pm and then Brandon comes to Mosaic Place on Sunday afternoon at 4:00pm.