(Marc Smith/DiscoverMooseJaw.com) A big question mark coming into the season has been answered very quickly over the first quarter of the Moose Jaw Warriors’ season.
Brody Willms has taken over the starting goaltender role and ran with it, providing a steady presence behind the Warriors’ strong offensive and defensive groups.
Willms has started 14 of the Warriors’ 17 games so far this season, which has him over halfway to the number of games that he appeared in last season. He’s posted a 10-4 record in those starts.
“I’m liking it, I’m really enjoying playing lots,” said Willms after practice on Wednesday at Mosaic Place. “You can get into a bit more of a groove and start stringing good games together, so it helps to be in there lots and feel the puck lots.”
In his 14 starts, Willms is tied for second in the Western Hockey League in wins and has posted a 2.72 goals against average, which ranks fifth. His 0.912 save percentage is 13th in the league.
Willms said he’s started strong and been able to build momentum as the season has progressed.
“I’ve been building on every game and you can take little things out of each game and try to put that into the next game right away, so that’s been really beneficial for me,” he said.
The 19-year-old netminder has played a big part in the quick start for the Warriors this season, who sit first in the East Division heading into the weekend.
Keeping up the pace that he’s set in the first quarter of the season is something that Willms wants to continue as the weather turns colder and the games get bigger.
“I just need to stay steady, you want to give your team a chance to win every night and I just want to keep carrying that forward and have some fun,” said Willms.
“It’s been a good start to the year for the whole team, we’ve done well and we want to continue to build on that, just continue to improve.”
Willms and the Warriors are getting set for a big showdown this weekend with two games against the rival Regina Pats.
Moose Jaw currently sits two points ahead, with two games in hand, of the second place Pats for the East Division lead. While the Warriors are leading the way this year, Willms said they still look at each match-up with Regina as a chance to prove themselves.
“Every game we’re proving ourselves,” he said. “We try to go in night in and night out and make a statement and prove to everybody that we want to be at the top, so that’s what we’re going to try to do this weekend.
“It’s always exciting, everyone looks forward to playing the Pats, these are always fun games, crowds are always into it and they’re always intense, so we’re looking forward to it.”
The two rivals meet on Friday night at the Brandt Centre. They then come to Moose Jaw on Sunday for an afternoon showdown at Mosaic Place.