Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009
A few notes and thoughts from Friday’s game in Regina:It was nice to see some familiar faces in the Brandt Centre. Former Warriors GM Chad Lang was sitting in the stands, watching his first Warrior game of the season. Also, former ‘voice of the Warriors’ Drew Haubrich dropped by the press box to say to hi to some media types and talk some hockey.* * * *There were a lot of strange goals Friday. Kendall McFaull’s first WHL goal went top corner, but the Warriors defenceman’s point shot took a wicked deflection off of Regina defenceman Alex Pym and in. You couldn’t redirect a shot that well if you tried. The Warriors’ 3-1 goal came on the power-play just after they spent a good 4-5 seconds with six skaters on the ice. With the whole building howling for a penalty nothing was called. The howled some more when Jason Bast slid the puck under Dawson Guhle.The breaks went both ways. As I saw it on the Pats 3-2 goal, Tomas Hricina knocked Warriors defenceman Ryan Stanton in goalie Jeff Bosch. With both Warriors still on the ice (and Hricina appearing to be on top of the pile), the Pat forward was the first to his feet to accept a pass and tap it into the empty net. The Pats also got a huge boost on Brett Leffler’s goal with 39 seconds left. With Regina’s Brandon Davidson and Moose Jaw’s Corey Scott serving coincidental minors, Scott left the box and went for a change, while Davidson stepped out of the box and lifted the puck off of Dylan McIlrath’s stick at the Pats’ blue line. McIlrath had no warning that the penalty was over or that Davidson was behind him. Leffler jumped on the puck and scored on the breakaway. It really could have been a back-breaking goal and was needlessly sloppy, but the Warriors did well re-grouping in the third.* * * *Speaking of Scott, the Warriors’ depth was critical Friday. While they weren’t all playing great all game, the Warriors were able to roll four lines and the final trio of Scott, Riley Reinbolt and Jesse Paradis had their best shift of the game in the final two minutes holding off the Pats at a crucial juncture. The Pats had to shorten their bench as they got back into the game and the Warriors didn’t and that helped them weather the storm.* * * *Warriors defenceman Travis Hamonic may have set an unofficial record by breaking three sticks in one period Friday. Hamonic said after the game that he’s waiting on a shipment of new composites and it running pretty low on sticks. * * * *Davidson, an 18-year-old rookie, who played Midget AAA last year in Lethbridge had a very good night for the Pats netting his first WHL goal and adding an assist. Goalie Dawson Guhle and defenceman Myles Bell (who played forward for the night) are both 16 and will be very good players in the years to come.* * * *In case you were wondering, the home teams in the WHL will wear their dark jerseys at home until the midway point of the season. That has been standard in recent years, the only wrinkle this season is that teams wore their home whites in their home opener. So expect to see the Warriors in black at the Civic Centre until Christmas. I’ve got to say I really like most of the new Reebok Edge jerseys. The Warriors are a marked improvement in my opinion.* * * *Having recently been in the recently renovated Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon, it was hard to imagine the way it looked before the entire upper bowl had been filled in. The lower bowl was still under construction on the one end (and it will be portable to make way for the stage during concerts), but the complete upper bowl looks like it has been there forever.The Brandt Centre in Regina is also renovating before co-hosting the World Juniors, but the completed upper deck in the southeast side will take some getting used to. Mind you I still think the old Agridome looks weird without the ‘moat’ between the stands and the ice.