Moose Jaw Warriors
It’s a world of difference from the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary to driving in half of your equipment to the Kinsmen Arena in Moose Jaw.
None the less, the newest Moose Jaw Warriors didn’t seem to mind.
Justin Kirsch, 19, and Kenton Miller, 20, practiced for the first time Thursday after being traded from the Calgary Hitmen Wednesday in exchange for Collin Bowman, Joey Kornelsen a fourth round pick in 2012.
“I want to come in and work hard. Obviously I want to play as much as I can, but wherever the coach needs to me play, I’ll play,” said Kirsch.
Kirsch played 34 regular season games with the 2009-10 Hitmen, but didn’t feature in the playoffs when the Hitmen won the WHL title. Kirsch said that while he didn’t play on the Hitmen’s run, he did learn a lot from the experience and from the veteran players on that team.
After the Hitmen finished with the worst record in the WHL last season, Kirsch was excited to come to a contender.
“I saw the roster, we have a deep team with good D-men. There’s a lot of good forwards. Hopefully we can make the playoffs. I’m looking forward to it,” said the six-foot-two left winger from Chilliwack, B.C. who didn’t see the deal coming.
“I was shocked actually. I never expected to be traded, but I’m happy to be here.”
Kirsch brings some size and speed to the line-up and his ability to finish chances left him tied for the Hitmen team lead with 25 goals a season ago.
While Kirsch was entering his third season with the Hitmen, Miller had only spent 11 games with the Hitmen. The 20-year-old centre had played three seasons with the Spokane Chiefs before that.
“I want to play great defensively and hopefully put up a few points,” said Miller who described himself as a hard-working two-way centre.
Miller, who is from Redvers, Sask., had three goals this season and was second on the Hitmen in plus-minus. A season ago with the Chiefs he 10 goals and 28 points in 55 games.
The Warriors practiced at the Kinsmen because Mosaic Place was occupied by the Western Canada Under-16 Challenge Cup.