© Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman
Moose Jaw Warriors forward Jack Rodewald celebrates his first goal of the season and his first as a Warrior in the Western Hockey League home opener on Friday evening at Mosaic Place.
Jack Rodewald liked his new home even before it was home.
“I’ve actually always loved playing in this spot over the last two season,” said Rodewald who was acquired by the Moose Jaw Warriors Wednesday along with a conditional in exchange for Carter Hansen.
Last season Rodewald scored a career high seven goals and two of those came in two of the four games he played with the Regina Pats at Mosaic Place against the Warriors.
Making his debut for the Warriors Friday, Rodewald kept up the tradition as he scored a first period power play goal. Sam Fioretti set up the marker with a nice no-look pass.
“I wanted to come in and make a good impression right away while playing with a couple of good guys,” said Rodewald who played with Tanner Eberle and Brayden Point to form the most effective Warriors line of the night.
“I wanted to open up the ice for them and fortunately I got a good bounce and I was able to get a goal.”
Seeing time on the first power play unit and riding shot gun with Point and Eberle was a good vote of confidence for the 19-year-old who now has 14 goals in 127 career WHL games.
“Eberle is kind of a similar player to me. He likes to open up the ice for a player like Point. Point has a ton of skill, he’s really quick with his hands. I just have to go in on the forecheck and get him the puck in a nice area. I think I can compliment him pretty well,” said Rodewald. “It’s nice to come in and be given the opportunity right off the bat. Now I just have to work and keep proving myself.”
Rodewald showed another side of his game when he immediately challenged Kord Pankiewicz to a fight after the Wheat Kings defenceman checked Eberle from behind. Pankiewicz declined the offer and Eberle took matters into his own hands, but Rodewald said he is never shy about coming to the defence of a teammate.
“Anytime there’s a teammate that you feel has been checked in an illegal way, you want to try to step in and stick up for them,” said Rodewald.