Fans of the Moose Jaw Warriors won’t have to wait long to get their first look at Draft-year Connor Bedard and the Regina Pats at the start of the 2022-23 Western Hockey League season.
The Warriors announced June 20 that the Trans-Canada Clash will see one of its earliest starts in years, as Moose Jaw and Regina will do battle at Mosaic Place on Saturday, Sept. 24.
Interestingly enough, the Warriors and Pats have only met twice before in the Moose Jaw home opener since the 1996-76 season.
The Warriors took a 5-3 victory to kick off the 2019-20 campaign, with Keenan Taphorn scoring the eventual-game winning goal with one second left in the second period. Eric Alarie and Cory King drew assists.
Ryder Korczak made his debut for the Warriors and had a goal and two assists, Carson Demonie scored twice. Bailey Brkin had 43 saves in the win.
The only other recent time the two clubs met that early in the campaign was back in 2015-16 in another close contest -- Brett Howden scored the winner 5:46 into the second, with Nikita Popugaev and Dustin Perillat drawing assists in a 3-1 Warriors win.
Jiri Smejkal and Ryan Bowen also scored, as Moose Jaw had three power-play goals. Zach Sawchenko was the winning goaltender.
The Warriors had a storybook opening to their 2021-22 campaign, as Brayden Yager had a hat trick against his hometown Saskatoon Blades in a 7-1 win at Mosaic Place.
Moose Jaw announced their pre-season schedule earlier in the month, with a pair of home-and-homes with the Swift Current Broncos and Brandon Wheat Kings. The Warriors host the Broncos on Friday, Sept. 9 and travel to Swift on Saturday, Sept 10; they’re in Brandon on Friday, Sept. 16 and host the Wheat Kings on Saturday, Sept. 17.
For more on the upcoming Warriors’ season, including season ticket purchases, be sure to visit their website at www.mjwarriors.ca.