Warriors Finish 2017 Looking Unstoppable
It really tells you something about how good these Moose Jaw Warriors are playing, when Jayden Halbgewachs (2 goals, 3 assists on Sunday) can put up a five-point night and still not be selected as one of the games three stars. As is exactly what happened on Dec 31. Brayden Burke, Tristan Langan and Tristyn DeRoose were all deemed to have been more valuable to the games final outcome.
It should be noted though, that although Halbgewachs was passed over by the folks in Moose Jaw, his performance did not go unnoticed. He was named the WHL's #1 star for the evening.
The Moose Jaw Warriors closed out 2017 by being the best damn team in the WHL. They've got nine points on the next best team in the league (Swift Current). They've currently got 30 wins. Only 15 more and they will surpass the team's most winningest record (45 wins in 2011-12). But they don't just lead the league in wins and points; they also lead the league in almost every other conceivable player category one can lead the league in.
Points (Burke), Goals (Halbgewachs), Assists (Burke), Power-Play Goals (Halbgewachs), Insurance Goals (Tanner Jeannot), Penalty Minutes (Barrett Sheen), Plus Minus (Tanner Jeannot + Brayden Burke are at #'s 1&2), Goalie Wins (Brodie Willms), Power-Play Assists (Brayden Burke) and Game-Winning Goals (Jayden Halbgewachs).
They ended the year with back-to-back 7-4 and 6-2 dismantlings of the Brandon Wheat Kings, who are actually the third best team in the league; so this was no easy feat.
Brett Howden, once again, did not play. He's a little busy putting pucks in nets for the Team Canada Juniors. Also missing from the games was Brandon's star defenceman, Kale Clague, who is also on Team Canada.
In last nights game, it was the power-play trio of Halbgewachs, Burke and Justin Almeida that got the scoring started. They scored three times on the power-play, holding onto a 3-1 lead at the end of period 2.
In the third period, Tristan Langan scored twice; one goal was short-handed and another at even strength. Tanner Jeannot deflected a late Dmitri Zaitsev offering in to the net to cap the game off at 6-2.
Since the Christmas break they have played twice against Swift Current and twice against Brandon (the two top teams in the league aside from them, remember). They won 3 of the games and out-scored the competition by 12 goals.
It's hard not to be excited about this team, and there potential for a run at the Memorial Cup.