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Warriors’ Kiesman hopes fast start in camp just a sign of things to come

Two goals for 19-year-old veteran in second scrimmage among highlights of second day of training camp
Moose Jaw Warriors forward Bryden Kiesman can tell you all about bad luck in the Western Hockey League.

Whether it’s injuries sapping his ice time or just being unable to generate offence despite signs of brilliance over the last two seasons, things haven’t worked out as well as the 19-year-old veteran would like.

But if his showing through the first day of scrimmages in Warriors training camp are any indication, that could all be long behind him.

Kiesman scored two goals and created a host of opportunities as his Team White took a 4-3 victory over Team Black on Thursday afternoon, a few hours after a similarly strong showing in the morning scrimmage.

“That’s one part of my game I’ve tried to work on a lot this summer,” Kiesman said of his offensive output. “I’ve had a few tough years in the offensive zone, but hopefully this year will be a good one.”

Kiesman played 41 games in his rookie season in 2019-20, scoring once and finishing with four points. He suited up for 11 games in the East Division Hub last season, picking up a single assist.

Doubling his career goal production in a single scrimmage game is just one step in the right direction.

“I’m hoping to get to the spot that I can contribute more to the team and help us win games,” Kiesman said. “In the end, everyone comes together, there’s no I in team, it’s all ‘we’, so as long as everyone contributes we should have a good year and everyone should have a good season.”

Fellow forward Kade Runke also got off to a fast start in camp, scoring once in Team Black’s 3-1 win Thursday morning and adding another two goals in the afternoon game. 

Daemon Hunt and Calder Anderson also scored in the morning win for Team Black, while Keenan Allan had their other goal in the afternoon scrimmage. For Team White, Ben Riche had their lone goal in the first game; Josh Hoekstra and Lucas Brenton scored in game two.

“It’s been a good camp so far, there’s a lot of competitors and a lot of compete out there,” Kiesman said “The guys from last year have improved and seeing the young guys come in and vie for a spot, it’s been really good.”

Kiesman has also done what he can to take on a leadership role in the early going, putting his two seasons of WHL experience to good use in helping the younger players along.

“As one of the older guys coming into camp, you want to make sure the guys are comfortable around you and knowing what role they can play and seeing how they fit in along the way,” he explained. “Right now they’re just a bunch of sponges trying to absorb as much information as they can, so we’re going to look after them and make sure they’re good to go.”

Training camp continues with one scrimmage at 4 p.m. on Friday, followed by games at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday and the Black-White intrasquad game at 4 p.m. on Sunday.

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