For the past 29 seasons, the Moose Jaw Warriors and the Regina Pats have been highway rivals. After a first round five-game exit at the hands of the Warriors last season in the Western Hockey League playoffs, the Pats will be looking to avenge that series.
However, the Warriors were busy preparing the same way as any other game on Tuesday afternoon at Mosaic Place, prior to face off on Wednesday evening at the Brandt Centre.
“We prepare every game the same, but we definitely get more amped up and more excited to play Regina,” said Warriors captain Kendall McFaull.
With 13 new players to the Warriors roster, including 10 rookies, many of the veteran players have tried to explain just how intense this rivalry is between the two teams.
“I think the biggest thing is to not let the emotions get the best of them. We have to let them know that the fans are going to be into it a lot more than the games they are used to and both cities are extremely involved in it,” stated McFaull. “We have to tell them that it’s not what is outside the rink, but they can only control their play on the ice.”
As a young hockey player and fan growing up in Weyburn, new Warrior defencemen Reid Jackson has been able to see just how intense the games get.
“I grew up watching it and I’ve probably seen about 10 or 12 games, so I know all about it,” he said.
With the Warriors a smaller team than last year as physical players like Cody Beach and Dylan McIlrath have graduated and moved on, some teams may feel like taking some liberties on the team’s smaller forwards.
“They might try that, but Swift Current did and they found out that we aren’t going to be a team that is going to roll over,” stated McFaull. “We are going to be hard all the time. No matter what our size is, we are going to be a tough team to play against. They can try and do that, but it is not going to effect us."
For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.