By: Joey Battaino
It's been well documented that the Warriors have struggled as of late (even on the teams website) but before the panic alarm is pulled, lets take a look back at the 2010-11 North Division playoff champion, Robertson Cup Runners-up.
In February through Early March of 2011, The Warriors had a stretch in which they lost seven out of eight games. Including a weekend in Traverse City, where the Warriors dropped both games to the North Stars. From then on, the Warriors went on to win 8 of their final 9 games and push Janesville down to 4th in the division, getting them a first round battle against the Traverse City North Stars and the rest is history.
It's been said the Warriors should be "Playing for Pride" Why play for pride, when you can play for the Robertson Cup? In case you haven't noticed, the Warriors are currently in the playoffs with a 5 point lead over 4th place Jamestown and only trail 3rd place Traverse City by six points with 14 games remaining. The Warriors have 2 games remaining against the Ironmen, one at Perani Arena and one in Jamestown.
If Jamestown plans on overtaking the Warriors, they have a long road ahead of them. In this case the pun is intended with their final 9 games being on the road against divisional opponents. Jamestown boasts a 4-13-1 road record for this 2011-2012 campaign. If the numbers don't lie, and according to a certain writer they NEVER do, then it is going to be quite the uphill battle for the Ironmen if they want to take over the Warriors for the forth and final playoff spot.
Experience: We have it, they don't.
When you look at a team that is heading down the stretch run, experience plays a somewhat unknown yet very key factor. The Warriors veteran leadership goes all the way down the depth chart. Marty Gruse, Chris Eckler, Bobby Mantha, A.J White, Bobby Bodette, Sheldon Taylor, Derek Knetter, Ben Gislason, Travis Hill, Brach Tiller. These are all players that have been in the league before and have been in this situation. When the playoffs come, It's not about skill, it's about will. Mental toughness. Talent will only carry you so far in the playoffs. Chemistry and comradery are keys to any successful franchise and I see this team coming together again, at just the right time.