Welcome back to the Warriors notebook. We are hoping that our technical issues are a thing of the past and this will be a regular source of news on the team beyond the Times-Herald print coverage.
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Injured Moose Jaw Warrior centre Brendan Rowinski is getting very close to being ready to return to the line-up. Rowinski underwent major off-season knee surgery, but has been practicing with contact for a week and with three games in three nights, it is possible he will see his first action of the season this weekend.
Rowinski will continue to be evaluated for the rest of the week as will Joey Kornelsen who has a good chance to be ready to go for the weekend’s action as well after he re-aggrevated his shoulder injury last Friday against Spokane.
When Rowinski returns, the Warriors will have 14 days to get back down to three 20-year-olds. That list currently includes goaltender Thomas Heemskerk and forwards Dylan Hood and Spencer Edwards.
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The Warriors announced a new initiative Wednesday as the “Warriors get gutsy” in the fight against Crohn’s and Colitis. November is national Crohn’s and Colitis month in Canada. The Warriors have partnered with local Colitis sufferer Alison Anderson to try to raise funds for a tranquil cabin that those affected by the disease can use to escape the tough days they face.
To help raise money, the Warriors will have a series of ‘gutsy challenges’ after the Nov. 12, 13 and 15 home games. If fans raise $1,000 per game, the players will meet a series of challenges.
Captain Spencer Edwards will perform a challenge after the Nov. 12 home game as suggested and voted on by the fans.
For more information and a list of the challenges the players and staff have agreed to, please visit: http://www.mjwarriors.ca/article/warriors-get-gutsy
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The Warriors were also out in the community Halloween night collecting food donations for the Moose Jaw & District Food Bank. A few of the more baby-faced Warriors were mistaken for trick-or-treaters dressed up as Warriors as opposed to the real thing. Regardless, the Warriors were able to collect enough items to fill the entire back of a truck box for the Food Bank. The Better Together Food Drive collected 52,000 pounds of food in the one night.
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While Warriors head coach Dave Hunchak was lamenting some of the penalties his team took in the Warriors’ 7-4 win over Prince Albert, one of the penalties he didn’t object to was Nathan MacMaster’s interference penalty at the end of the second period.
MacMaster picked up the call after getting mixed up with Prince Albert’s Justin Maylan. Maylan — a former Warrior himself — had had an earlier run in with Warriors’ 16-year-old defenceman Morgan Rielly at the benches. The Warriors felt Maylan had taken liberties with their young defenceman and Hunchak had no problem with MacMaster standing up for a teammate.
“The players took notice. That’s part of the game. That’s part of being accountable in the game. We hold players accountable as coaches, but one thing that maybe has been lost in hockey is players holding players accountable for their actions on the ice. I don’t fault Nathan for making sure he looked after his teammate,” said Hunchak.
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Speaking of Rielly, since Dallas Ehrhardt came back, the Warriors have sat Joel Edmundson, Rielly and Connor Cox.
Ironically Rielly sat the game after he scored the tying goal in Prince Albert with 1:39 left Wednesday night. Saturday Cox sat after he scored the game-winning goal against Spokane the night before.
Hunchak said there is no set rotation and the players are evaluated after each game and that’s when he decides who will be in the lineup the next game. It is reasonable to expect one of their two rookie rearguards — Rielly and Edmundson — to be in the stands more often than the veterans.
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After struggling in recent games, Jesse Paradis responded with one of his best games of the season Saturday. The gritty 19-year-old earned a promotion back onto the checking line with Jordan Wyton and Nathan MacMaster early in the first period and got his hard-working cycle game going. His hard-work was rewarded with his second goal of the season.
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While Dallas Ehrhardt looked very sharp in his first home game Friday against Spokane, the big 18-year-old defenceman showed some of the rust from his 13-game layoff after he injured his knee at Edmonton Oilers camp.
Ehrhardt made a dreadful giveaway which led to the first Prince Albert goal. Standing behind his own net waiting for his teammates to get in position for their breakout, Ehrhardt put the pass right on the stick of Riders’ forward Mike Winther who scored on a clear chance in front of goal.
Despite the mistake, Hunchak felt it was a physical mistake more than anything else.
“His intentions were right. The play was right. It was just his execution on it,” said Hunchak.
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The Regina Pats will have a long week to stew and think about their 11-1 home loss to the Spokane Chiefs from Saturday night. The Pats won’t play until they host the Warriors Friday night at the Brandt Centre.
It was the Pats’ biggest loss since a 10-0 loss in the Civic Centre on Oct. 26, 2002.