Canada Rus­sia Se­ries a boon for War­riors

Tribe set to host open­ing game of pres­ti­gious all-star se­ries on Mon­day

Moose Jaw Times Herald - - SPORTS - RANDY PALMER

city,” Mil­lar said. “You have a na­tion­ally broad­cast game on Sport­snet and the ex­cite­ment of get­ting hyped up for Christ­mas­time and the World Ju­nior Cham­pi­onships. This is a step in a re­ally im­por­tant part of putting to­gether our na­tional ju­nior team and it’s a great show­case for our fran­chise, the build­ing and the city.”

Hav­ing such heavy rep­re­sen­ta­tion from the War­riors on the team is es­pe­cially pos­i­tive, with Hunter’s po­si­tion as head coach just the lat­est in a se­ries of high-level recog­ni­tion for the Tribe bench boss by Hockey Canada.

It comes as lit­tle sur­prise to Mil­lar, given how Hunter has worked with the War­riors since ar­riv­ing three years ago.

“He’s a very good coach at the ju­nior level and has done some very good things with our team over the last few years, I think he’s a guy who has a great fu­ture ahead of him at the pro level at some point,” Mil­lar said. “But in the mean­time he did a great job a cou­ple years in ap­ply­ing and in­ter­view­ing to be part of the na­tional ju­nior team, he has ex­pe­ri­ence on the Un­der-18 bench, so I think it’s great for our team that Tim is get­ting that recog­ni­tion.”

In ad­di­tion to act­ing as an all-star game for the three Cana­dian Hockey League loops, the con­tests carry ad­di­tional weight as a scouting op­por­tu­nity for mem­bers of the Na­tional Ju­nior Team staff, all of whom will be on hand for the game on Mon­day.

As a re­sult, a solid show­ing could go a long way in re­gards to play­ing for Team Canada over the Christ­mas hol­i­days.

“I think that’s the goal of all Cana­dian play­ers play­ing, hav­ing a chance to play on that team and this is a step in that process,” Mil­lar said. “I’m proud of them putting them­selves in po­si­tion have a chance to play in that game.”

And then there’s the ben­e­fit to the Moose Jaw War­riors fans them­selves — yet another high-level dis­play of hockey in Mo­saic Place means another chance for lo­cals to watch some of the best play­ers the WHL has to of­fer.

“From our end, be­ing able to host this and bring in events like this, it’s im­por­tant,” Mil­lar said. “Be­ing able to in­clude added value for our sea­son ticket hold­ers and hav­ing another hockey event of this mag­ni­tude for our fans is im­por­tant. If the team can make some money and get some rev­enue out of it, that’s great, but first we look at it as an en­hance­ment for our fans, and they’ve re­sponded re­ally well since ticket sales are good.”

The se­ries con­tin­ues Tues­day in Swift Cur­rent be­fore re­vert­ing to the On­tario Hockey League with games in Owen Sound, Ont. on Thurs­day and Sud­bury, Ont. Nov. 13. The Que­bec Ma­jor Ju­nior Hockey League takes cen­tre stage on Nov 14 in Char­lot­te­town, P.E.I. be­fore things wrap up Nov. 16 in Moncton, N.B.

Canada holds an over­all se­ries lead of 58-19-1-6.

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