War­riors de­throne Roy­als

De­fence­man Josh Brook makes de­but fol­low­ing in­jury

Moose Jaw Times Herald - - SPORTS - SHAWN SLAGHT

The Moose Jaw War­riors fi­nally de­cided that enough was enough.

Af­ter play­ing sub­par for the past five games, head coach Tim Hunter chal­lenged his play­ers to step up against the B.C. Divi­sion-lead­ing Vic­to­ria Roy­als on Tues­day night at Mo­saic Place and they did just that, tak­ing a 7-4 vic­tory.

“No ques­tion, I’m not go­ing to talk about lit­tle boys,” said Hunter fol­low­ing the game. “They played like men and we got the out­come. Our top six for­wards were our best play­ers and it showed on the score­sheet and in the game and that’s what we need ev­ery night.”

With the trade dead­line loom­ing on Jan. 10 and Hunter head­ing off to coach with Team Canada for the World Ju­nior Cham­pi­onships in De­cem­ber, he said now is the time for his play­ers to step up.

“I think they had a cou­ple meet­ings amongst them­selves, and I chal­lenged them right be­fore the game again that we have an eval­u­a­tion process here, we’ve here to win,” Hunter said.

“Trade dead­line is Jan. 10. It’s back to square one, we played 20 real good games, where we played real hard and real strong and then we didn’t do that for five games, and we stum­bled along against Saska­toon for three games, Cal­gary, then lost to P.A. We are not go­ing to win if we play like that and I told them. So I’m here for six more games be­fore the game tonight, be­fore I go to the World Ju­niors. Each of th­ese six games are a try­out for me and what my thoughts are come Jan. 10.”

What is help­ing for the War­riors is the fact that they are start­ing to get healthy when it comes to de­fence­men.

While Jett Woo is still nurs­ing an in­jury, star de­fence­man Josh Brook made his sea­son de­but af­ter hav­ing surgery on his wrist fol­low­ing an in­jury at Mon­treal Cana­di­ens’ train­ing camp in Septem­ber.

Af­ter get­ting a few shots in, Brook said af­ter the game that his wrist feels great and it didn’t take long for him to shake off the rust.

“I think it took me three or four shifts to get back into it. Once I got into it, it built con­fi­dence through­out the game and it started to get bet­ter and bet­ter,” he said.

He also made an im­me­di­ate im­pact on the game as he made a huge hit an Vic­to­ria’s lead­ing goal-scorer Matthew Phillips to break up a scor­ing chance mid­way through the game.

“I know they’ve got the most short­handed goals in the league, and I could read that pass com­ing right up,” Brook said. “I knew they were go­ing to give it to him and I was just lin­ing up the en­tire time.”

Moose Jaw got on the board first on Tues­day night as Jay­den Hal­bgewachs picked up the re­bound off of a Brett How­den shot to beat Vic­to­ria goal­tender Grif­fen Out­house.

SHAWN SLAGHT/TIMES-HER­ALD

Justin Almeida scores his sec­ond of three goals for the Moose Jaw War­riors against the Vic­to­ria Roy­als on Tues­day night at Mo­saic Place.

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