The Moose Jaw Warriors have been one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference at keeping pucks out of the net, but they’ve also struggled to score during the first half of the WHL season.
The team sits in 11th place in goals for in the Eastern Conference with just 98 goals in 39 games this season. So, they’ve been looking for players to step up and contribute offensively.
17-year-old rookie Brandon Potomak has started to become an offensive threat for the tribe over the last month. He scored two of his three goals and picked up four of his seven points on the year in December.
“I’m getting more confidence as the year is going on and getting more experience is helping a lot, especially the new players that I’m playing with, they’re all giving me good opportunities to get the puck,” explained Potomak this week after picking a goal and two points during the Warriors’ three games on the weekend.
Potomak was playing on the top line with leading scorer Sam Fioretti during those weekend games and really flourished making a number of big plays for the Warriors as the team went 2-1 to kick off the second half. “I’m taking advantage of the opportunity that I’m getting right now and hopefully it keeps going this way.”
When watching the Aldergrove, BC native play, his speed is definitely evident right off the back, but now he’s starting to show the other skills that he possesses, like a great shot. “My hands are starting to catch up now with my speed and it’s helping out a lot now,” said Potomak.
Although his offensive game is starting to come around, Potomak feels he still has a lot of work to do on the defensive end of the game, “That’s something I need to work on the lot I think. That’s probably the part of the game that I need to fix up a bit, so it will be good to work on that.”
The Warriors will be focusing on their defensive zone play this week in practice after a tough 5-1 loss to the Regina Pats on Sunday that put a sour end to a great opening weekend of the second half. The tribe struggled to get the puck out of their own end during that loss on home ice with turnovers at the blue line being a contributing factor.
“We have a lot of work and need to get down on our defensive zone and work on our systems and hopefully this weekend coming up goes good,” said Potomak.
There’s a big weekend on the horizon for the team as they will head to Alberta for a three games in three nights road trip. There won’t be any easy games during the weekend as the tribe will play third place Calgary, fourth place Red Deer and fifth place Lethbridge. “It’s going to be tough for sure, but I think it’s a challenge for our team and we can pull it off pretty good,” added Potomak.
The Warriors will practice over the next few days at Mosaic Place and then load up the bus and head west. Their first game of the road trip is on Friday at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary against the Hitmen.