Skip to content

Broncos expecting pushback from Warriors in Game 2 of Eastern Conference semifinal

After rolling to 7-2 victory in opening game of series, Swift Current ready for tougher battle tonight as Warriors aim to respond
The Moose Jaw Warriors will look to get back in the series when they take the ice for Game 2 on Saturday night.

MOOSEJAWTODAY.COM -- One would have to excuse the Moose Jaw Warriors if they felt like they were going through some deja vu on Friday night against the Swift Current Broncos.

Despite dominating zone time, chances and opportunities, the Warriors were unable to find the back of the net, while the Broncos couldn’t seem to miss on the chances they had. 

In the end, that led to a 7-2 victory for Swift Current in Game 1 of the best-of-seven Western Hockey League semifinal series.

Onlookers will notice a distinct similarity to what the Warriors went through in late November and early December this season, when similar situations saw the team struggle to put wins on the board.

The good thing is since that time, the Warriors have become the kind of crew that more often than not finds a way to respond. And that’ll be the exact goal when the two teams take the ice for Game 2 on Saturday night at the Moose Jaw Events Centre.

“We can be better, that’s for sure,” said Warriors head coach Mark O’Leary. “The great thing about this group is they’ve shown for years that the last thing you have to worry about is being ready to go tomorrow. They’ve shown all along that when something bad happens or isn’t in our favour, you get better. That’s what we’ll do tomorrow, pick ourselves up and punch back.”

Warriors captain Denton Mateychuk was of much the same opinion on the UFZ Post Game Show, especially when it came to missed opportunities.

“I think we had lots of chances, and we could have taken it to them right from the start,” the Columbus Blue Jackets prospect said. “We just didn’t capitalize tonight, and it’s frustrating when that happens in the playoffs. So we just have to learn from it, it’s a long series, Game 2 is tomorrow and we don’t have any worries right now.”

One key factor in Game 1 was who didn’t take the ice. Warriors forward Matthew Savoie was a late scratch after putting up eight points in the four-game sweep of the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Savoie is a game-to-game decision, but should he return, the Broncos will be expecting an even bigger push from the Warriors in Game 2.

“They’re a team that has responded all year and I expect them to do so (tonight),” said Broncos coach Taras McEwen. “Obviously Sav not being in the line-up for them changes their full line-up and who we match together, and if he’s back that changes things. But I’m expecting a real good pushback from them and a tough one (tonight).”

One thing that’s for certain is the Warriors had no interest in dwelling on Game 1 and plan to use the quick turnaround to their advantage.

“We’ll take tonight, look at ourselves in the mirror, be honest about our game and reset for tomorrow,” Mateychuk said.

Game time for the sold-out contest is 7 p.m. at the Moose Jaw Events Centre, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks