First place for Midget AA Warriors

Katie Brickman
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Squad on nine game winning streak

Drew Nimegeers of the Moose Jaw Midget AA Tier 1 Warriors tries to deflect a shot past Dallas Kotylak of the Lumsden/Bethune Lions, but Kotylak makes a pad save during South Saskatchewan Midget Hockey League action at the Bert Hunt Arena on Wednesday evening. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman 

High on a nine game winning streak and top place in the standings, the Moose Jaw Midget AA Tier 1 Warriors are off to an unexpected great start to their season.

 “It is quite a surprise, actually. We have a very young team…we have three third year kids, nine second year kids and seven first year kids,” explained Warriors head coach Curtis Banda. “Being as young as we are, it is a little bit surprising that we are doing as well as we are at this point of the season.”

The Warriors have outscored their opponents 51-25 this season in just 11 games. They blew out the Lumsden/Bethune Lions 11-1 on Wednesday evening to extend their streak and sit atop of the South Saskatchewan Midget Hockey League standings.

They are an extremely fast team that is capable of making a play occur from centre ice or at the opponent’s blue line on a broken play. Many teams’ defensive players cannot contain the fast moving forwards of this Warriors team.

“The big thing is that our speed has allowed us to draw a lot of penalties,” stated Banda. “Our power play is doing extremely well. The other thing that speed does is that it helps kill penalties and we, by far, have the best kill percentage in the league right now. Those are two big things.”

Not only are the Warriors in first place, but also they have four players in the top 20 scoring leaders, including Riley Cannon who is leading the league.  Their veteran goaltending duo of Brett Banda and Thomas Spence are also a reason the Warriors are doing so well.

“It gives us stability and a good comforting feeling for the guys knowing that they have two very capable goalies. They are both ranked very high in the standings as well,” said Banda. “It definitely helps settle down those younger players knowing that if they make a mistake, they have someone there to help them out.”

For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.

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