That is, unless it’s a training camp featuring two teams that have been through plenty of wars together over the last two seasons. Then it’s just about bragging rights, for a few days at least.
The Moose Jaw Warriors wrapped up their series of training camp scrimmages on Saturday afternoon, with Team Black improving to 4-1 after taking a 2-1 victory over Team White. It was the fourth-straight one-goal game between the two sides, and offered yet another sign of how close and competitive this camp has been.
“It’s not too bad, some of those guys I’m really good friends with and it’s good to be able to compete against guys you didn’t get to see last year,” Warriors forward Jagger Firkus said of the ‘animosity’ between the two teams. “It’s great to be back and out here having fun again.”
Firkus and Kade Runke scored for Black, while Ben Riche had White’s lone goal.
In the morning scrimmage Saturday, Black again picked up a 2-1 win, this time with Darien Shaan and Cade Hayes scoring for the victors and Mateychuk finding the net for Team White.
The teams also faced off in their lone game on Friday night and saw Black win 3-2; Firkus, Runke and Tate Schofer hit the net in the win, Atley Calvert and Mateychuk scored in the loss.
While the teams kept things on an even keel throughout their on-ice battles, that’s not to say the intensity didn’t ramp up each game -- especially with things being so close all the way through.
“Absolutely,” said Firkus. “Every game it just kept getting more competitive and everyone wants to earn their spot on this team, even the older guys. Everyone has to earn their spot and be ready to go for the season and it shows out there.”
It all leads into the final chance to impress team management on Sunday night. Game time is 4 p.m., with admission by donation to the Canadian Mental Health Association in honour of Ethan Williams.
“They’re trying to come back and we want to keep winning, so we just want to go out there, do our best to keep winning and see how it goes,” Firkus said.
The best news of all is what’s in the Warriors’ near future -- they face the Brandon Wheat Kings in their first exhibition game of the season on Tuesday, a contest that will mark the first pre-season game at Mosaic Place in nearly two years. Game time is 7 p.m.
“It’s been since last April that we played a regular season or pre-season game, so it’ll be awesome to be back here and see fans here, and even a better tempo than it is right now,” Firkus said.