Warriors searching for the right combination up front

Matthew
Matthew Gourlie
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Moose Jaw Warriors

As the Moose Jaw Warriors try to find the right combination up front there is plenty of room to get a quick promotion.

Tanner Eberle has already been a benefactor. Saturday he made his season debut and formed a very gritty, defensively responsible trio with Jordan Wyton and Carter Hansen.

A night later — with the Warriors struggling and Eberle flying — he earned a promotion to the wing beside Sam Fioretti and Brayden Point on the top line.

“I’m obviously playing with a pair of pretty skilled guys compared to myself right now. I can’t start thinking I’m a goal-scorer. I have to keep grinding and help those guys get points,” said Eberle who has three assists in two games this season.

He missed the first seven games of the season after undergoing off-season shoulder surgery.

“I watched a lot of games, so obviously I saw what our team needs to do and I was able to reflect on that,” said Eberle. “Hopefully, now I can start contributing point-wise as well as hitting.”

Eberle is expected to start tonight’s game against the Everett Silvertips (7 p.m., Mosaic Place) on the top line with Fioretti and Point.

“I thought Ebs was really good in his first game back, obviously, but (Sunday) — even though I didn’t think we were very good — I thought he was really good,” said Warriors head coach Mike Stothers.

“So that’s why I changed it up and put him Pointer and Sam. If you’re going to work like that and produce like that, then I’ll reward you and put you with those two.”

With Eberle returning to the lineup the same game that six-foot-two 20-year-old winger Jordan Messier made his debut adds a new element to the Warriors’ forward corps.

“We’ve got a nice mix of scoring, skill, we’ve got a bigger body now with (Messier), Ebs plays big. He’s a tough guy to play against. Jordan is a tough guy to play against,” said Stothers. “You can sprinkle in the young guys too. I think (Bryson) Gore has been playing unreal. I thought Sunday Ebs and Goresy were really good.”

With so many new faces up front this season, the Warriors have been tinkering to try to find some effective lines.

“I think in time you’re going to see a more set grouping,” said Stothers of the lines.

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