The Moose Jaw Warriors have been extolling the values of work ethic all season.
The Medicine Hat Tigers have doing the same for more than a decade.
As they prepare for their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series to open Friday, both Warriors head coach Mike Stothers and Tigers head coach Shaun Clouston are looking for their team to work as hard as they can.
“Work ethic always beats skill. You can be the most skilled team, but if you don’t work, you won’t win,” said Warriors head coach Mike Stothers.
“I think Shaun’s team is a good example. They work hard game in and game out. I would like to think our team is the same. We take a workmanlike approach to every game. That’s the only way we can win.”
The Tigers’ set a standard under former bench boss Willie Desjardins for playing a tenacious and gritty brand of hockey. That has carried on since he left.
“They’re hard-working and gritty. That’s always been the Medicine Hat Tigers’ way,” said Warriors right winger Cody Beach.
“They bang bodies, they finish checks and they aren’t going to give up on plays.”
The Tigers’ style helped them post the WHL’s best road record (23-10-1-2) during the regular season.
“We have found ways to be successful on the road. It got to the point where we started to wonder ‘why can’t we be better at home too,’” said Clouston.
“I think we try to play a little simpler when we’re on the road. We play simple and do the little things well.”
Doing the little things well has helped the Warriors post the WHL’s best home record (30-3-2-1) during the regular season.
For more on this story read Thursday's edition of the Times-Herald