It’s a simple phrase, but very appropriate for when the Prince Albert Raiders host the Moose Jaw Warriors in Western Hockey League action tonight at 7 p.m. at the Art Hauser Centre.
As a team, the Raiders will be looking to pay back the Warriors for a 9-0 defeat the last time the two teams met Oct. 13 in Moose Jaw and individually, defenseman Shayne Gwinner will be out to prove to his old team that they made a mistake in dealing him to Prince Albert prior to the start of the season.
“It’s a lot of fun playing against those guys,” says Gwinner. “I’d like to beat them too as pay back for getting rid of me. The last game was tough though.”
Gwinner has been a pleasant surprise for the Raiders as he has been used up front on occasion in addition to his familiar position on the blueline. In fact, Gwinner is expected to see a regular shift as a forward tonight and again tomorrow when the Raiders and Warriors complete a rare doubleheader in Prince Albert.
“It’s pretty fun,” laughs Gwinner when asked how he likes the role change. “I’m kind of an energy guy so if I can get the team going, that’s good.”
“He’s a guy not only adjusting to a new team, but he is adjusting at an age to get into a regular line-up,” says Raiders’ head coach Steve Young. “With his skating and skill, we can afford to use him up front.”
The 18-year-old from Drumheller, Alta., says he has enjoyed coming to Prince Albert. He admits he didn’t know what to expect, but everything has gone very well.
“I’m surprised how much better it is than I thought it would be,” says Gwinner. “The only other time I was here was coming into the rink when I played in Moose Jaw.”
“My game is still coming along,” adds Gwinner. “I’ve still got improvement to do, but I have been working with (associate coach) Dave (Manson) everyday.”
Gwinner, who has one goal in eight games this year, will be joined by another rearguard, Riley Guenther, on the forward units this weekend as the Raiders have several players out of the line-up.
Anthony Bardaro is unavailable for both games as he has returned home to attend a family funeral while Tim Vanstone completes a four-game suspension tonight for a checking-from-behind major he received in the game against Moose Jaw two weeks ago. Reid Gardiner is also out for another two or three weeks with an upper body injury he suffered in a game against the Tri-Cities Americans on Oct. 16.
Moving the two defensemen to play forward is possible because Zach Hodder returns to the line-up tonight after missing 11 games with a shoulder injury.
RAIDER NOTES: Prince Albert product Miles Warkentine is listed as doubtful for the Warriors this weekend after suffering an undisclosed injury last weekend…Raider fans are reminded that tonight is BMO Ultimate Fan Appreciation Night. Three fans will be selected for a trivia contest with the winner being entered in a grand prize draw for a trip to see the MasterCard Memorial Cup in Saskatoon in May…Tickets are now on sale for the NHL Lockout Luncheon scheduled for Nov. 7 with former Raider defenseman Nick Shultz and former Raider play-by-play broadcaster Bryan Munz the special guests. Schultz is now with the Edmonton Oilers after spending 10 years with the Minnesota Wild and Munz is the voice of the Winnipeg Jets. Proceeds from the event will go to the Raider Education Fund.