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JR Boucicaut

Warrior EVO - Jim A

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Stick: Warrior Evo

Shoots: Right

Flex: 85

Pattern: Gionta Lie 4

Me:

5'11

220lbs

Position: Defense

Coming off a 6 year layoff, used to be in the industry in a variety of roles. Now just getting back up to speed so I can play at a fun and competitive level by the end of the Summer.

Cooperalls took some great photos in his thread, where he has an LTR on the same stick/flex/pattern; http://www.modsquadh...evo-cooperalls/

For ice I normally use a One90 Shaft (102 flex) with a variety of blades, Sakic retail being most common. When I’ve used OPS in the past, it has been more on the roller side (Vapor XX/XXX) and less on the ice because I just haven’t been able to find that feel with the weight of an ice puck compared to inline.

Because of that I liked that the Evo was a little bit on the high side with regards to its weight. It felt pretty similar to my current setup. Reminded me of an old Inno, which makes sense with Warrior’s heritage.

First Impressions:

Session: Pick-up

Grip- I liked the mix of grip, Velvet and Smooth throughout made it easy to find where you wanted to be on the shaft and wasn’t a grip/tac version.

Blade – Gionta pattern was nice, a bit of an open toe but lower lie so easy to keep the puck out from the body but then pull it back in when needed.

Passing- Sacuer passes were nice and tight. The open toe pattern doesn’t allow you to just let the puck slide off when keeping it on the ice, took like 2x to make the change and was pretty seamless

Shooting: My experience was similar to Cooperalls in that I needed to let the stick load a touch longer before letting it go to get the most out of it. Once that was accomplished it was easy to get the puck up to the corners. I didn’t take many slap shots since it was pick up, I think that snapshots are going to be my first choice with the lower flex on this model.

Likes

Linear Taper – it is more in line with other sticks and setups I have used in the past – based on what others have posted the Dagger Taper probably wouldn’t be in my wheelhouse

Graphics – It’s a good looking stick, not overly splashy but fits the price point of $149.

Strength –The few times I really had to lean on it, battle in the corners it felt strong and didn’t noodle with the lower flex. This was one of my biggest concerns using a lower flex since most of day is spent in the corners and making outlet passes.

Wants – I like when companies put what the change in flex would be once you cut it. Since I normally don’t cut my sticks but this came with the +3, having a little more info would have been nice to start.

Next up: Game on 5/2,

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Update: 5/2

1st game back -

Used the stick for the 1st period. However after letting 2 slappers go head-high on the goalie, decided to call it a night and move back to my usual 2 piece setup.

I'm not sure if it's the flex, curve or combination of both but the puck just wants to rise. I'll continue to use it in Stick & Puck sessions for now and some pick up to make the change.

Interesting that both Cooperalls and I had the same feedback regarding shooting higher than normal to start off. Since we both are coming from 100 Flex, it appears we need a bit of a transition to how a whippier stick performs when it loads.

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Played 1.5 hours of drop-in tonight, good fast paced skate with mostly younger kids.

The stick feels solid and well-balanced.

Snapshots have a good amount of pop to them. Again, still not the fastest release, however it has good accuracy now that I let it load a touch longer and I'm a fan of the Linear Taper. Since it's an 85 Flex I'm not really looking to rip slappers.

Adapting to the Gionta pattern didn't take long at all. I'm not a toe drag star yet, but it's comfortable and easy to maneuver the puck in traffic compared to my normal Sakic type of pattern.

One piece I don't have down yet is the touch when passing. I haven't figured out if it's the flex, pattern or blade (all 3?) or just some rust coming off, but I haven't been able to really thread passes yet with the Evo compared to my current setup. I'll give it another week before I start making changes.

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Skated with it for about 2 hours last night - more than pickup but not an actual game if that makes sense.

It holds up well, took a good deal of slashes and whacks across the shaft with no signs of wear.

Shooting: The puck is still getting up quickly and shots are accurate. Since it's an 85 flex I'm not really looking for the big boomers and it's easy to keep it low when winding up from the point. The blade is still stiff

Wear & Tear: Took some good whacks and slashes last night (and gave them out) with little to no visible signs of cracking/issues

Passing - Still an issue, I just don't have the touch on this. Failed miserably trying to make a short range saucer on a few occasions last night.

General Thoughts: Liking the stick and will consider the 100 flex version when the LTR is done. If you are coming from an 2pcs OPS combo and/or have never had the lightest stick on the market, this is a good option. Especially if you are of the age and time when all of your $ can no longer go to hockey between the wife, kids, etc!

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Solid 2 hours of drop-in this evening.

The passing is working itself out and I've got a handle on it, just can't get the puck to be flat when saucering. One thing I've noticed is that when I lean on my normal stick (100 flex) while figuring out where I'm going with the puck vs the current stick 85 flex.

The Evo once you load the stick, will get rid of the puck. I had a couple times today where I was thinking about doing something but since I was leaning on the shaft it gave a little soft pass that went about 1/4 of where I was thinking about passing.

Good accuracy, went short side high from the top of the circle with ease. One of my fave shots so it was nice to finally get to use the Evo with it.

The blade is still in fantastic shape, excellent stiffness and the shaft shows little signs of wear. Tonight was fun as the sticks were up a bit and some good contact going on throughout

For me, I like the stick, it still has good pop. I'm likely more suited for the 100 flex version of the Evo and if I were to use an 85 on a regular basis, would likely do so playing roller where the puck is lighter and I could take advantage of really getting it up quickly Hoping to get back on the inline's soon as well, so this could be a good dual LTR.

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Finally!

Now that I'm a few weeks into using the Evo, tonight it felt right.

For me now that the honeymoon period is over, it just played better. My prior issues with the lower flex and overall loading of the stick were just gone tonight. I've been playing forward the past couple weeks and the Evo has really shown itself well.

Release: The puck is just coming off the stick quicker and with more authority. That pre-loading phase appears to be over and that makes me happy, especially on snapshots.

Passing - still don't have the feel for the short saucer, however longer outlets and half-rink saucer's were crisp tonight. Gone was the wobbles from week's past.

Blade - still very stiff with little to no sign of wear and/or cracks.

Shaft - some marks and scuffs but overall holding up well. Lots of stick checking/slashing in my beer league, so this is a good value point for me going forward.

Really hoping tonight was the turning point for the Evo and I. I'm excited that for the first time it really felt like my stick.

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Skated with it a couple more times. Still feels good.

Updates on above:

Passing - wobbles are back - likely just that a 100 flex suits me better for short saucers - no issues with my normal setups

Shooting - the blade is getting flexible - however that pre-load phase is gone that was an issue.

Shaft - excellent shape - but I've stayed out of trouble lately

I'm happy for the chance to test the Evo 85/Gionta - but I think the 100 flex in a 5 lie would be ideal if I were purchasing..

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Nearly 90 Day Check-In

I'm using the Evo more when I play forward as of late.

More Impressions:

Grip- I am a fan of sticks with a pattern for grip and not tackiness. The Evo gets a solid grade in my book as it is about feel.

Blade – The Sakic style is still my preference, however the Gionta does what you would expect very well. Easy to toe-drag, good accuracy and quick to raise the puck.

Passing- Outside of a couple good days, I just can't get the touch/saucer passes down with the Evo. It could be the flex, coming from a 95-102 to an 85 created some changes.

Shooting: The pre-loading has mostly gone away. The release is much better than at the start and I'm seeing more pop on my slapshots as of late. Overall good accuracy and not much flex in the blade.

Likes

Price point – good balance for a stick that is at $149. I'd like to see more options from companies in this range. If you are coming from a shaft/blade combo or have issues like me with the lighter sticks, the Evo fits the bill well.

Graphics – It’s a good looking stick, graphics have held up well over the first 10-12 weeks.

Strength –Over the past month I have put the Evo to the test and doled out my share of slashes and stick checks. It has has held up well and shows very little signs of

wear.

Wants – I like when companies put what the change in flex would be once you cut it. Since I normally don’t cut my sticks but this came with the +3, having a little more info would have been nice to start. Maybe 10-15g lighter spread throughout the shaft.

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I apologize for not checking in lately, I've continued to use the Warrior Evo Gionta 85 in a variety of pickup and stick and puck sessions throughout the remainder of the summer and after nearly 4 months it is time for a recap and final review. To keep it in perspective I'll use the same format as Cooperalls.

Blade (9.25/10) - I prefer a blade that has some heft to it, without weighting down the stick. The Evo provided a blade the kept its stiffness and after 35 or so sessions, shows little wear outside of the toe. Never felt that it was flexing too much or shots were off the mark because it was soft.

Shaft/Flex (8.5/10) - Agree with Cooperalls with regards to the Velvet Grip and Slick Grip texture. The tactile feeling it provides without being overly tacky was something I liked throughout. It reminded me of the Tac Spiral from Bauer. The 85 flex was a little lower than normal, however, once I adapted it was fine. If you don't use a full length stick, this is a good option since cutting it a couple inches will put it in the 95-100 range. Snapshots were tight and accurate. My only caveat as noted in prior posts was the preloading of the shaft. I don't know if that would have been alleviated with the 100 flex.

Stickhandling/receiving passes (9/10) - Gionta toe curve = easy toe drags! If this is your game, the pattern should be a no brainer. Coming from a standard shaft/blade combo, the weight was a positive for me. It provided more feel with the puck when stickhandling. Receiving passes was comfortable with the D-Light core blade. I liked that the center of it's balance is skewed towards the heel.

Weight and balance (8.5/10) - In it's pricepoint, the Evo has a good weight/balance. If you are coming from a shaft/blade combo or something that isn't an ultralight option it should be in your wheelhouse. I found the Evo to be slightly blade heavy, but the balance was overall very even.

Durability (9.5/10) - Overall this stick has held up very well in a variety of uses. Whether it was league play, stick and puck and/or drop-in it was used in every option a beer league player can face. The blade and shaft are still in excellent shape, I'll try to get some photos up in the near future. At this pricepoint and with it's durability the Evo provides an excellent value. I will note that I'm not one to break blades and/or OPS's so a stick should be in good shape after a few months.

Miscellaneous - It's an good looking stick that garnered questions in the locker room and has shelf appeal. The one thing that never came around for me was the saucer pass.

Conclusion -8.95/10 - Overall, the Warrior Evo is an excellent option at the $149 price point. It offers quite a bit of functional technology and it's competition outside of closeouts would be the Bauer One.7 (launching 9/21/12) and Alkali CA9. The Evo is an excellent option for someone looking for an OPS to transition to from a blade/shaft combo and/or looking for an option above many entry level options at retail which tend to be too blade heavy. It also is a good option just for the player who is looking for a durable OPS and doesn't want to spend $150-200 every few weeks. Offering 7 patterns in North America, along with 75/85 and 100 flex, you have nearly 2 dozen options available.

Thanks to Warrior and MSH for the opportunity to do an LTR on the Evo!

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