Brody Willms’ stellar play in the Moose Jaw Warriors’ two-game sweep of the Regina Pats over the weekend was honoured by the Western Hockey League on Monday.
Willms was named WHL Goaltender of the Week after leading the Warriors to back-to-back wins over their East Division rivals.
“It was a huge weekend for our team, guys had to step up with a couple of guys leaving the game on Sunday, so it’s big for our team and the award is attributed to the team playing well in front of me,” said Willms after practice on Monday.
This is the first weekly award of his WHL career for Willms.
On Friday in Regina, Willms was forced to make 31 saves to help Moose Jaw to a 3-2 win at the Brandt Centre. He turned away all 12 shots he faced in the third period on the way to the win.
Then on Sunday, the Warriors continued to play a tight defensive game despite being down three of their top-four defencemen and with just four healthy bodies on the back-end.
Willms was there to back up his defencemen throughout the game, making 23 saves, including stopping all 15 shots for the Pats over the final two periods.
With the team shorthanded in front of him, Willms helped the Warriors lead throughout the entire two-game set. He said he felt the need to step up for the team.
“You try to minimize the second chances that the other team gets, whether that’s controlling rebounds or if you can make a play with the puck to help out your d-men a little bit more, you help them out in anyway you can,” said Willms.
Willms was able to limit the Pats’ second chance opportunities throughout the two games with some outstanding rebound control, which has been a big part of his game so far this season.
“That’s a product of our team as well,” said Willms. “When the shots are coming on me, they’re from either the outside or less dangerous scoring chances, you get a better opportunity to control that rebound.”
It’s been a great start to the year for the 19-year-old goaltender as he currently sits tied for the WHL lead with 12 wins, which also ties his career-high. He’s third in the league with a 2.57 goals against average and fifth with a 0.916 save percentage in 16 appearances.
Coming off their two wins over their East Division rivals and with five straight wins under their belt, Willms said that the Warriors are feeling pretty good about their game right now.
“Two big games this weekend and we come away with four points, so that’s huge, and we have another big week coming up, which will be a test, so we’re looking forward to that,” said Willms.
The Warriors open their four-game week on Tuesday in Swift Current against the Broncos. The Pre-Game Show is on the air at 6:40 p.m. on Country 100.