For the first time in 28 days, the Moose Jaw Warriors will be hitting the ice in front of their hometown crowd at Mosaic Place on Friday night.
The tribe is preparing to host the Prince George Cougars as they return to home ice after a six-game road trip through the US Division.
Moose Jaw has gotten a five-day rest to prepare for the Cougars, while Prince George is playing their third game in five nights. Despite the Cougars busy schedule, they’re coming in red hot, winning their last two games and scoring 16 goals in those two wins, including ten on Wednesday night in Saskatoon.
“We definitely know that they’re a high scoring, potent offensive team, but we know that they can give up a lot of goals too,” said forward Tanner Eberle. “We don’t want to get into a pond hockey game with them.”
The defensive zone will be the big key for the Warriors as they look to control former teammate Todd Fiddler, who comes in having scored 29 goals in 33 games since joining Prince George in November.
Limiting the scoring chances that Fiddler and the Cougars can generate will go a long way towards Moose Jaw ending their seven-game winless skid.
“We just want to make sure we’re playing our systems in our defensive zone and we’re not giving up any chances,” said Eberle. “We know that this team is going to want to play a run-and-gun game, but that’s definitely not our style.”
The Warriors should be use to taking on fast-paced, offence-first teams after their US Division road trip. They went winless during the six-game trek, but played some good hockey for the majority of the trip.
“(Friday’s) game will feel a lot easier in a sense,” explained Eberle. “Those US Division teams have a lot of different systems, they like to jump three guys on the puck in their end, which is really weird, so it’s going to feel like we have a lot more time out there.”
After playing six games in ten days, the Warriors are rested up and ready to go for the Cougars. Getting back into their regular routine has the team thinking positively as they look to get back into the win column in just their second home game in January.
“We’re on a little bit of skid here, but it’s not like we’ve been playing super bad,” said Eberle. “We’re right there, we just need to come together and make sure we pull off wins at the end of the game.”
The Warriors and Cougars will hit the ice at 7:00pm on Friday night. All the action will be live on Country 100, starting with the Pre-Game Show at 6:40pm.
Riders & Grey Cup In Town… Moose Jaw’s own Levi Steinhauer and members of the 2013 Grey Cup champion Saskatchewan Roughriders will be on hand for the game. They’ll be bringing along the Grey Cup trophy and fans will get the chance to have their picture taken with the iconic trophy, as well as get autographs from a number of Rider players.