Moose Jaw at Swift Current game day

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Firday October 9, 2009

Moose Jaw Warriors coach Dave Hunchak was fined $500 by the Western Hockey League after he was ejected in Wednesday’s win over the Regina Pats. Hunchak won’t be suspended.

Hunchak was ejected after he threw a water bottle onto the ice in the general direction of referee Devin Klein.

Pats head coach Curtis Hunt was assessed the same fine for the same offence a week ago in Prince Albert.

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The Warriors will start Brandon Glover in net Friday in Swift Current. The rookie is 2-0 this season and is coming off of a strong performance in the 4-3 win in Calgary.

Hunchak expects to have his full compliment of players available Friday as the Warriors begin a three games in three night stretch.

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Swift Current are 4-0 at home and 0-3 on the road. And Swift Current hasn’t been a particularly kind place for the Warriors in recent years.

The Broncos made a pair of trades Thursday that ended up with them landing 16-year-old prospect Robbie Newton from Seattle. Newton plays for the Saskatoon Contacts in the Sask. Midget AAA Hockey League and is in the top-10 in scoring.

The Broncos dealt a seventh round pick in the 2010 Bantam draft to Chilliwack for 18-year-old defenceman Scott Ramsay and then dealt Ramsay to Seattle for Newton later in the day.

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As it nears the end of its time, Wednesday was one of those nights where you had to appreciate a junior hockey game in the Moose Jaw Civic Centre. It was frenetic, the atmosphere built as the game went on and the game took on a life of its own. It was a memorable night and you just don’t see that as often in other buildings.

It’s time has passed, but you have to appreciate the atmosphere and how both teams feed off of it in the old barn.

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Jason Bast and Curtis Hunt were both quoted about the return of the Civic Centre roar, but they weren’t the only ones who commented on it. The players definitely noticed and appreciated the increase in volume in the rink and the passionate support of the home fans.

For those guys who were either acquired via trade last season or were rookies — which is certainly the majority — there weren’t a lot of nights when the fans had reason to be loud.

So far at this very early point in the season the Warriors are averaging 2,212 fans per game. That’s down from 2,360 at the same time last year and 2,340 in 07-08 (thanks to Jean and Otto Kempel who do a fantastic job of keeping up the Warriors home attendance stats).

Hopefully the fans will embrace this team. It’s too early in the season to really say what the potential is for this team in the big picture, but so far they’ve been entertaining, hard working and fairly successful and you can’t ask for a whole lot more than that if you’re a fan.

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The officiating drew a fair bit of attention Wednesday — from both teams. 

Considering how rarely there is only one referee working a game in Moose Jaw, why would the league schedule only one referee for a Pats-Warriors game? If ever there’s a night you could use a second set of a eyes on the ice, you would think that would be it.

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Dawson Guhle, who turns 17 this week, is the second youngest goalie to play this season (1993- born Vancouver back-up Brendan Jensen is the youngest in case you were wondering).

Guhle made a lot of first saves Wednesday and probably deserved a better fate than giving up nine goals. He definitely deserved to get some relief. Unfortunately Damien Ketlo isn’t healthy enough to play and the Pats decided not to recall Derek Tendler from Estevan in the SJHL.

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As effective as the Warriors power-play was Wednesday (5-for-8 after scoring on five of their first six chances), it was old fashioned hard work and winning battles down low that made the difference.

The Warriors like to drop a defenceman into the high slot in the middle of the penalty kill’s ‘box’. That’s where Ryan Stanton and Kevin Smith found rebounds for their respective first goals of the season. Jason Bast and Dylan Hood buried loose pucks at the side of the net.

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Speaking of Bast . . . watching live I didn’t think Bast’s shot at the end of the second period was all that close to beating the buzzer.

With the clock about to expire and the puck on Bast’s stick behind the Pats’ net, the captain threw it in front and hoped for the best. The puck hit something in front and went past Guhle with the green light on and the buzzer sounding. It was ruled no goal after review.

After seeing a replay, it was incredibly close to crossing the line before the buzzer went. Certainly much closer than I thought on live first look.

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  • MR TRUTH
    October 09, 2009 - 18:03

    Is it just me, but isn't it ironic that the day Theo Fleury tells the truth about Graham James and what happened here, that the Warriors are in Speedy Creek. I wonder how that one will play itself out....