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 Moose Jaw Warriors

Unger on Unprecedented Run for Streaking Warriors

January 22, 2024 - Western Hockey League (WHL)
Moose Jaw Warriors News Release

Moose Jaw, SK - Jackson Unger is putting together one of the best seasons by a Moose Jaw Warriors goaltender, ever.

The 19-year-old netminder backstopped the Warriors to back-to-back wins over Swift Current this past weekend, helping the team extend their winning streak to five games.

"We're at an all-time high right now, a lot of confidence in the room and everyone is just feeling themselves and we're playing real well right now," Unger said after practice on Monday.

The Warriors have now won 10 of the last 11 games, including nine of 10 since returning for the second half.

That's helped the team climb just three points back of the Medicine Hat Tigers for second place in the Eastern Conference.

"We've all realized that what we have here is something special," Unger said on what's clicked in the second half for the team. "Everybody's giving it their all, we've taken another step in the right direction and it's just working well."

Unger has been a key part of that as he's now tied a modern era (1996-present) franchise record with wins in nine straight starts, equalling the mark set by Tim Barlow in 1998-99.

The Calgary product leads the Western Hockey League with 23 wins overall. The Warriors' franchise record for wins in a season is 37 by Brody Wilms in 2017-18.

"He's consistent, that's a word that we've used a lot about what we're searching for as a group, but since the start of the year, Jackson's given us a chance to win each and every night," Warriors head coach Mark O'Leary said.

During his nine-game win streak over the past month, Unger has posted a 2.43 goals against average, 0.924 save percentage and one shutout.

"I've just built off the first half," Unger said. "I just try to give my team a chance to win every game, so it's going well.

"It's definitely a lot of confidence, a lot of games played and a lot of wins will do that to you, so just staying confident after good games and bringing it into each game."

In addition to wins, Unger leads the WHL in saves with 1,164 and games played with 37. He is sixth in the league with a 0.917 save percentage and his 2.92 goals against average ranks 10th.

Unger was given the reigns in the Warriors' net this season and has ran with the opportunity. He said the success this season can be traced back to his run of 17 straight starts to end last season.

"That helped a lot," Unger said. "It just helped my confidence too and made me a little more comfortable playing that many games and being the starter this year."

O'Leary said the Warriors' staff knows what they're getting each night when Unger is between the pipes.

"Each and every game is a little bit different, whether it's a track meet or just one that's played on special teams, he brings the same effort, the same compete each and every night and it's a big part of our team," he said.

That consistency was a big part of why the Warriors went to Unger in both games this past weekend against Swift Current.

"That was playoff caliber right there, they're a team that's trying to catch us in the standings and possible contender in the playoffs, so to beat them two in a row is definitely going to give us momentum," Unger said.

The Warriors have another playoff style weekend on tap as the team prepares to battle the Tigers in a home-and-home set this weekend.

"It's going to be the same, another playoff caliber match-up and they're right ahead of us in the standings, so winning these two games will be huge," Unger said.

The home-and-home set starts on Friday in Moose Jaw and continues Saturday in Medicine Hat.

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