(Marc Smith/DiscoverMooseJaw) Josh Brook and Jett Woo returned to practice with the Moose Jaw Warriors on Thursday after their experience with Team WHL this week at the 2018 Canada-Russia Series.
The defensive duo was joined by forward Justin Almeida and head coach Tim Hunter on the Western Hockey League’s all-star team that came away with a split against the Russians.
Brook, who served as captain of Team WHL, said he had a great time during the two games.
“It was a great experience, playing against the Russians was good fast hockey and it’s also nice to meet the guys that you’re playing against all your career in the WHL, they’re great guys,” said Brook.
The experience wasn’t as good for Almeida, who left Monday’s game during the first shift with an upper-body injury. He was held out of Tuesday’s game as a precaution and there’s been no update on his status yet.
Brook didn’t hit the scoresheet in either game, but the 19-year-old defenceman said he’s walking away pleased with how he played in both games.
“I tried to play strong defensively, get the puck up to the forwards, jump up in the play and just try to be fast, show them that I can skate well, it went well,” said Brook.
Woo assisted on Team WHL’s opening goal in Monday’s 2-1 win over the Russians in Kamloops. He also delivered two crushing hits in both games.
Woo said he was just trying to play his game, “I was just trying to play simple, play hard defensively and I feel that I was able to do that and the more that I can do that, the better chance I have of hopefully making the team,” he said.
Being a second-round pick of the Vancouver Canucks in this past June’s NHL Draft, Woo was a fan favourite during Tuesday’s game at the Langley Events Centre.
He said it was pretty fun to have the crowd behind him, “After those two hits, I was able to hear the crowd a bit,” said Woo. “I was paired with Bowen Byram, who plays for Vancouver, so it was a lot of fun being able to share that with him.”
Now that they’re back with the Warriors, both players said that their experiences with Team WHL will help them coming back to Moose Jaw.
“You just build off the speed of the game, try to play as fast as you did in that game and try to push it even faster,” said Brook.
Team OHL topped Team Russia, 3-1, in Game 3 of the series on Thursday night in Sarnia, ON. Game 4 will be held on Monday in Oshawa before the series shifts to the QMJHL.
The Warriors are back to game action coming up on Saturday when they host the Central Division-leading Red Deer Rebels at Mosaic Place.