“Team First” on display
(Marc Smith/DiscoverMooseJaw) All season long, the Moose Jaw Warriors have touted the fact that they’re a tight knit team. One play late in Sunday’s 5-3 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings put that on full display.
With the Wheat Kings’ net empty and the Warriors leading by one, Tanner Jeannot and Jayden Halbgewachs rushed into the Brandon zone with each having a lane to the net. Halbgewachs — who sits two goals back of the Warriors’ single season franchise record — waved off Jeannot’s pass telling his fellow 20-year-old to take insurance goal.
The goal snapped a nine-game goalless drought and was the 37th of the season for Jeannot.
“He wants to help me get those goals, but for him, he needed that tonight,” said Halbgewachs after the game. “He’s been a little down on himself just because he’s not able to find the net, so for him to get that tonight is a huge confidence booster for him and we need him and for him to get that goal and get rolling again is going to be key.
“That’s his goal, he’s got to take that. Breaking the record is something I’m shooting for, but that’s not the right time to contribute to that.”
While Jeannot’s scoring pace may have slowed down over the past month, the power forward has been playing a hard game, forcing turnovers and making room for Halbgewachs to do his thing as he’s put together a 17-game point streak.
“He’s been playing good, he’s just been having a tough way finding the back of the net,” said Halbgewachs. “It gives him some confidence going into the last three games here to find the back of the net and know he can do it.”
On another note, Halbgewachs has taken his game to another level in recent weeks during his point streak.
The Warriors overage forward was named WHL Player of the Week on Monday after picking up seven goals and 12 points in four games last week.
Halbgewachs leads the WHL with 68 goals and 125 points in 69 games this season.
He’s looking to track down the Warriors’ single season goal record of 70, which Blair Atcheynum has held since 1988-89.
The Emerald Park product said that’s definitely on his mind heading into the final week of the regular season.
“You never look at coming into the season and breaking records like that, it’s pretty surreal,” said Halbgewachs. “If it happens, it happens and if not, it’s always going to be in the back of your mind, so you’re going to try your hardest to get that and my teammates are going to help out with that as well, and two goals in three games is obviously pretty realistic.”
Halbgewachs would be just the sixth player in the WHL to score 70 goals since 1990-91 and the first since Pavel Brendl in 1998-99.
The Warriors are one point or a Swift Current loss away from clinching the franchise’s first Scott Munro Memorial Trophy as the regular season champions.
Moose Jaw hosts Prince Albert on Tuesday.