(Story courtesy Marc Smith, DiscoverMooseJaw.com) The WHL regular season is just about here for the Moose Jaw Warriors as they wrap up preseason play this weekend with a home-and-home series against the Brandon Wheat Kings.
The tribe is going to look a lot different heading into the 2012-13 season as they adjust to a big turnover on the roster. After being a big and physical team during their run to the WHL Eastern Conference Final last year, the Warriors will be built around some skilled young forwards.
20-year-old forward Justin Kirsch says this year’s team fits well with his style of play, “We’ve got a lot of young guys that have good speed, our older guys have a lot of speed too, and we’ve got a good (defensive) core, so I think our team is going to be built off speed.
“I think I’m fast out there, and I like to shoot the puck, so it should fit my style.”
Kirsch came to Moose Jaw in a trade with the Calgary Hitmen last October and went on to post 17 goals and 51 points in 47 games with the tribe. He says it was nice to come in this year right from training camp, “I came pretty early last year and I guess now coming and starting right from the start is good. Getting back into it and getting with the new guys and getting things going here really early.
“A lot of learning curves right now that we’re going through, but everybody is buying into the system and we’re just all working hard and learning everything we can.”
Being one of the older players on the team this year, Kirsch says he wants to leave an lasting impression on the young roster, “I remember when I was a rookie and looking up to the older guys and now I’m trying to set an example for all these younger guys coming in, so that they’ll have a good, successful career in the WHL.
Kirsch and the Warriors travel to Brandon on Friday to face off with the Wheat Kings at Westman Place, and then the two teams come to Mosaic Place on Saturday night to finish off the WHL Preseason. Warriors Hockey is back on the air on Country 100 (100.7 FM) this weekend. The pre-game show kicks things off at 6:25pm on Friday.