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Sunday, February 26, 2012

D'oh: Springfield Sweeps Weekend Series with Warriors

By: Joey Battaino

Flint, MI- With the Jamestown Ironmen idle this weekend, the Michigan Warriors had a chance to pad their seven point lead for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North division.

Their opponent was the Springfield Jr. Blues (23-23-2). The Blues had already beaten the Warriors twice this season is Springfield. "Both games were nail bitters" said Warriors head coach Moe Mantha in an interview before Friday's 4-2 loss, "I think the key (to this weekend) is who comes prepared to execute the team systems."

Friday, the Warriors started sluggish. In fact, It wasn't until the third period before they were able to solve Springfield netminder Gabe Antoni. Michael Economos finally got the Warriors on the board at the 11:41 mark of the thrid. They trailed 3-1. Then, Bobby Mantha scored only 24 seconds later. It was 3-2 Springfield. Coach Joe Dibble called a timeout to settle the troops, and it seemed to work. The Blues were able to bare down and Gavin Tufte put the icing on a 4-2 Springfield win Friday night.

Coming into Saturday, The Warriors knew they would have to play a full 60 minutes if they wanted to win. Unfortunately for them, it was Springfield that came out firing. Springfield lead 3-1 after one period. The Warriors got close in the second as Matus Matis made it a one goal hockey game, 3-2 at the 8:24 mark. But after that, it was all Springfield. They closed out the night with four unanswered goals and left Perani Arena with a 7-2 convincing win and the weekend sweep.

The Warriors have been outscored 21-8 in the last 4 games at home. Not the kind of effort you would expect from a team fighting for their playoff lives. The Warriors started the season a blazing 10-2-1. Since then they have gone 8-26-4.

We will see what kind of effort the Warriors bring to Jamestown as they prepare for a Saturday night showdown with the Ironmen. The game is at 7:05pm and can be heard on mywarriors.co and viewed live on PPV nahl.fasthockey.com with yours truly on the call.

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