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Warriors embark on seven-game road trip to B.C.

Marc Smith/Moose Jaw Warriors

For the first time since January of 2019, the Moose Jaw Warriors have packed up the bus and headed to the B.C. Division.

The Warriors preparing to open a seven-game, 14-day road trip, which will take them to the West Coast and back over the next two weeks.

“I love these road trips, it’s coming at a good time with our group,” Warriors head coach Mark O’Leary said. “It’s a good opportunity for our team to be around each other a lot.”

Moose Jaw opens the trek on Wednesday in Prince George after two days of travel to British Columbia.

Following Wednesday’s game, the Warriors head into the B.C. Interior to take on Kamloops on Friday and Kelowna on Saturday. Moose Jaw travels to Victoria next Tuesday and Vancouver on Wednesday.

The road trip finishes in the Central Division when the Warriors face Red Deer on Saturday, Dec. 3 and Calgary on Sunday, Dec. 4.

For many of the players, this will be their first road trip to the Western Conference due to the COVID-19 pandemic, eliminating cross-conference play for the past two seasons.

Brayden Yager said he’s looking forward to it.

“It’s going to be fun,” he said. “We’re really excited, I lot of us have buddies on different teams out here.”

The last time the Warriors traveled to the Western Conference was to the U.S. Division in early 2020. Ryder Korczak is one of the few players that was on that team.

He said it will be a good opportunity for the team to grow closer together.

“Just enjoy the experience, it’s hockey, so have some fun and obviously play hard,” Korczak said.

The Warriors are a close group with a large part of the team returning from last season, but Yager said long road trips will help build the character of the team.

“You’re together for two weeks, many hours on a bus, crammed together, so it’s really fun and we’re looking forward to it,” he said.

Moose Jaw is riding some good momentum heading into the road trip after sweeping a home-and-home set against Swift Current last weekend, which included a 5-4 win on home ice on Friday and a 6-0 victory on the road on Saturday.

“We played pretty well, really liked our game in Swift Current,” O’Leary said. “We had a lot of individuals who played really weak, but as a team, I thought we looked the way that we want to look.”

The Warriors and Cougars will be squaring off against each other for the first time since Jan. 17, 2020 when they meet at CN Centre on Wednesday.

Prince George currently leads the B.C. Division with a 12-9-0-0, while the Warriors start the road trip at 13-8-0-0 this season.

“It’s a long way up there to get there, but that’s a great way to kick it off,” O’Leary said. “They’re a team that plays hard, they have some firepower up front and it will be a real good test for us.”

The Warriors and Cougars face-off at 9 p.m. CST on Wednesday. Tune into all the action with Voice of the Warriors James Gallo at 8:40 p.m. on Country 100 and WHL Live.

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