© Times-Herald photo by Matthew Gourlie
Torrin White does a pull-up at Moose Jaw Warriors fitness testing Thursday at Yara Centre.
No one threw up on the first day of Moose Jaw Warriors training camp.
That, itself, spoke well to the conditioning of the players when camp opened Thursday.
The Warriors prospects gathered at Yara Centre to take part in fitness testing to open camp. Following that the rookies also did an on-ice beep test that had rubber-legged teens doubled over and sprawled out in the corners of the rink gasping for air.
“It’s hard, but it’s good though. It’s good to get your conditioning up,” said Dustin Perillat, a 16-year-old Warriors prospect.
The truth is that the beep test isn’t that far from the post-practice skate the team would have during a “work day” during the season.
“(Head coach Mike Stothers) runs a pretty tough practice, so it always helps to have your lungs ready,” said Bryson Gore who was a rookie with the Warriors a year ago.
With a season in the league under his belt, Gore spent the summer working hard in the gym in Lethbridge to try to get stronger and faster for his second season. He put in the work to see it pay off in game action, but seeing the results on fitness testing day was still satisfying.
“It shows what you’ve done in the summer. It’s a simple way to show the work that you did,” said Gore who finished second in the pull-ups and third in the two mile run, which he completed in less than 12 minutes.
“I was trying to get bigger and stronger — especially in the lower body to work better in the corners. I also worked on cardio to keep that endurance up,” said Gore who is 15 pounds heavier than he was last season.
“I put on quite a bit and my cardio hasn’t gone down, so that’s a good sign.”
Experience is a good motivator for veterans and rookies alike. Gore’s rookie season showed him where he needed to get stronger, but for players trying to make the team, their first taste of fitness testing can be a rude awakening.
Defenceman Tyler Brown, 16, said he had no idea what he was getting into when he went to camp last summer for the first time.
“I didn’t know it was going to be that intense. I thought maybe we’d do a couple of sprints or something like that, not a two mile run and all of those strength tests,” said Brown. “This time I worked on the testing group. It was good to know what was going on.”
Brown worked hard in the off-season to try to get ready for camp and get to a level of strength and fitness needed to play in the WHL.
“I did a lot strength and agility work and I tried to bulk up. Playing against older guys, you can’t be light,” said Brown. “I felt stronger in fitness testing this year. Everything went up, so I was happy about that.”
The veterans carried the day in the fitness testing.
Travis Brown won three categories as he was tops in push-ups (57), in the standing broad jump (nine feet even) and in vertical leap (31 inches).
Brayden Point was top in the sit-ups (161) and pull-ups (35). Gore was right behind him with 34 pull-ups.
Sam Fioretti ran the fastest two mile run, clocking in at 11 minutes and 41 seconds.