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Fans from all over Canada buy up Moose Jaw Warriors gear during WHL championship

The Moose Jaw Warriors are gearing up for Game 3 of the WHL finals, but so are the fans.

The last time the Warriors were in the finals was 2006, and with the latest run it has meant big business for those selling merchandise.

Joanne Klassen and her family have been operating as retailers in the city of Moose Jaw for over 30 years.

Thanks to the Warriors’ run, she said business is booming at her store, The Shop Downtown, as anything with a moose or the city’s name on it is flying off the shelves.

And it’s not just local shoppers who want some.

“Just because they’re competing teams does not mean they’re not going to buy that Moose Jaw shirt,” Klassen said. “Are you kidding? They’re in Moose Jaw.”

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“Portland people will come in here, families will be here and you have to realize a lot of those players come out of Canada, so their families are from everywhere,” she went on to say.

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She said she has seen fans from Lethbridge, Calgary, Winnipeg and more come to the store.

“They’re coming from all over for this game and they want to remember this,” Klessen said. “They want to remember their boy was in this game.”

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Tourism Moose Jaw executive director Jacki L’Heureux-Mason said it’s a wonderful time to be from or in Moose Jaw because all are welcome, even the competitors.

“‘Welcome to Moose Jaw’ — that, to me, encompasses exactly who we are. We’re fierce competitors, no doubt about that, but we’re always going to be notoriously welcoming.”

L’Heureux-Mason said if you’re out in Moose Jaw over the next few days, be prepared as the city is busy.

It was a frenzy at the Crushed Can Store Tuesday before game time and Warriors Marc Smith digital services manager said it’s been a record-setting season for the Warriors off the ice.

“I believe our store has already broken the record for the most sales in a season, so anything above that is gravy and it’s been a really successful year and we’re really proud of how it went,” Smith said.

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This finals run is the Warriors’ second appearance in the team’s 40-year history.

Game three and four will be at 8 p.m. in Moose Jaw Tuesday and Wednesday. If a game five is needed, it would also be played in Moose Jaw.

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