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Warman Wildcats in 1st place at halfway point of season, aim to continue momentum

Click to play video: 'U18 AAA midget Warman Wildcats aim to ride momentum of hot start into second half of the season' U18 AAA midget Warman Wildcats aim to ride momentum of hot start into second half of the season
WATCH: The Warman Wildcats are in their second year of existence after relocating from Beardy's in 2020. They find themselves in first place at the halfway point of the Saskatchewan U18 Triple-A male Midget hockey league and are looking to ride that success into the second half – Dec 31, 2021

To say the U18 Triple-A Midget Warman Wildcats have had a successful first half of the 2021-22 season would be an understatement. They currently find themselves in first place with a 22-5-1 record, good enough for 45 points in the SMAAAHL standings.

From the players to the coaching staff, they all feel the team as a whole has bought into what makes a team win more than losing.

The team formerly known as the Beardy’s Blackhawks moved to Warman in 2020. In that shortened season, they finished with one win and five losses.

Click to play video: 'SuperHEROS program growing thanks to assist from hockey community' SuperHEROS program growing thanks to assist from hockey community
SuperHEROS program growing thanks to assist from hockey community – Jan 3, 2022

Assistant coach Cory Harder says it’s a testament to the work the players have put in.

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“It’s hockey,” said Harder. “Each year is going to be very different from the last. It’s building but not just because you had a good year last year, you have to continue on to the next year on the right foot.”

The move to Warman was a homecoming for some players who grew up in the community.

It was a welcome one.

Wildcats forward Jordan Normand says it’s special to be back home, after playing away from home for a number of years.

“I’ve always wished Warman had a Triple-A team,” Normand said. “I’ve lived away from home for a few years. It’s nice to be back home in Warman.”

One veteran on the team, Jaydon Jessiman, said the team’s ability to come back and win games, not having any prolonged losing streaks, and an extended winning streak have really allowed the team to find their swagger.

“A lot of us have played with each other in the past, so I think that has helped with us coming together and building our chemistry,” said Jessiman.

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The work the coaches have put in is not lost on the players either. The credit is passed around.

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“We’ve got a really good group of guys and coaching staff. So, I think it’s working really well,” said Normand.

“I think we won 11 games in a row; that really got our competition and our hopes up. We stuck to our game, kept finding success,” added Jessiman.

Harder said he can’t wait to see what this team can do come the second half of the season, and hopefully a long playoff run.

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“(I’m) excited to see what we can do with this group (and) what they can do with each other (and) see the level we can get to and go from there,” said Harder.

The Wildcats resume their season on Jan. 7, when they welcome the Swift Current Legionnaires to The Legends Centre. Puck drop is at 8 p.m.

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