Calgary at Moose Jaw post-game

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday night was a huge win for the Warriors. Beating the team with the best record in the league is always a feather in the cap, but the way they did it is more important. Up 3-0, the Warriors had to be feeling some deja vu from the night before when they gassed a three-goal third period lead. Instead clinging to a 3-2 lead, Quinton Howden gave them some breathing room.

Joel Broda cut it back to 4-3, but Jason Bast scored a sensational goal that showed incredible balance and great hands. I’d hate to have to pick between some of the great goals Bast has scored over the years, but that was one of his best. He finished off the hat trick with a great chip off the boards and into the empty net.

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Warriors head coach Dave Hunchak gave a lot of credit to their top players — the first two lines and veteran d-men Hamonic, Ryan Stanton and Chad Suer for taking the momentum back in the third period Saturday.

“At this level of hockey, when your older guys are your best guys on the ice — more often than not you win,” said Hunchak.

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As of this writing (with a few western games still playing) Bast leads the WHL with 16 points. Howden is second and Travis Hamonic is fourth with 15 each.

Hunchak has preached sound defensive hockey from all of his players since the day he got here.

   

The Warriors lead the WHL in scoring right now, but Hunchak feels production and strong defensive play can and do work together.

“You can make a commitment below you half of centre ice and be very good in your half of centre ice and still score,” said Hunchak. “That is something that always has been and always will be a focus of ours.”

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After coming out slow with a big lead for the second night in a row, Hunchak called it a “mental toughness thing.”

He feels they’re beginning the game prepared, they’re competing hard and then somehow they lose mental focus. That being said he was happy with how they responded and bounced back after Friday’s meltdown.

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After being out-shot 11-3 after 12 minutes in the first period, the Warriors out-shot the Hitmen 8-0 in the next 5:30 and scored in that time span.

Jeff Bosch deserves a lot of credit for that. He made several big saves and generally looked on top of his game.

Bosch will start Sunday against Kootenay

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The Warriors went with the unusual move of having 11 forwards and seven defencemen. Hunchak decided to dress Connor Cox as a seventh d-man as an insurance policy for a banged-up Stanton. Stanton didn’t look too worse for wear and Cox took a few shifts, but didn’t see a lot of the ice.

The Warriors healthy scratched three forwards — Dylan Hood, Antonin Honejsek and Jakub Herman.

“As far as who we scratched, the message has been loud and clear — part time players won’t be accepted and consequences take place,” said Hunchak.

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When I looked up the last time the Warriors scored nine goals, I wondered when the last time they hit double-digits. It was longer ago than I had thought. There were a couple of pretty lopsided wins at home to Regina and I recalled a big night against Saskatoon’s Anton Khudobin . . . but none of those games resulted in 10 goals.

The 05-06 home opener was a 9-3 game with Khudobin in goal. In 03-04 there were 8-0, 8-3 and a 7-1 home wins over Regina, but no the last time the Warriors scored 10 goals in a game was a 10-0 win at home over the Pats on Oct. 26, 2002.

In case you were wondering, the goal-scorers that night were David Bararuk with three, Dustin Boyd with two (wearing No. 28 in his rookie season), Tomas Fleischmann, Derek Krestanovich, Ryan Annesley, Shaun Landolt and Tim Plett.

There were also 10 fights in that game.

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Brock Montgomery and the Kootenay Ice are in town Sunday. The Ice had the night off Saturday after a some disparate results on their current road trip.

They lost 4-3 in Prince Albert and then were shelled 8-4 by Saskatoon in a game where the Blades were up 6-0 and 7-1. Then the Ice went into Brandon and beat the Wheat Kings 7-3.

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  • Claire Cox
    October 14, 2009 - 15:32

    Congrats on the Moose Jaw Warroir Blog. Long overdue!! have been asking for the last year where to get info on how ALL the players are doing. Hope tou can help!!