Back to Routine for Warriors
The Warriors hit the ice at the Red Knight Arena on Tuesday afternoon.
There was one more road trip for the Moose Jaw Warriors on Tuesday before they could return to their regular routine.
With Mosaic Place still being converted back into a hockey rink following the 2015 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, the Warriors' first practice after their lengthy seven-game, 11-day road trip actually saw the team hitting the road again as they went to the Red Knight Arena at 15 Wing Moose Jaw.
While that is a slight change from normal, the team was happy to be back in Moose Jaw and getting back to their regular routine after spending two weeks together on the road.
“It's good to be back, long road trip, not really enjoying the weather here so far, but it's good to be back at home and it's going to be nice to play a couple home games this weekend,” said forward Tanner Eberle.
The Warriors were able to post a 3-3-1 record during the road trip, which is the first time all season that they posted a .500-record will out on the road. That's something that was encouraging to the team as they try to remain in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
“Overall, we feel good about ourselves, we're going to run the table here at home with eight wins and then get a few more points out on the road,” said head coach Tim Hunter after putting the team through its paces on Tuesday.
The road trip started and ended with losses for the Warriors, which is something they wished wouldn't have been the case as they were two winnable games. Hot goaltenders for both Lethbridge and Prince George allowed them to hold off the Warriors and keep them from putting up five wins on the road.
Their only other regulation loss came in a tough game against the Kelowna Rockets, which was on a Saturday night after playing in Kootenay the night before, a tough test for even the best teams in the Western Hockey League.
“We should have won five games,” said Hunter. “We should have won in Lethbridge, we out-chanced them 2-to-1, 24-13, we just couldn't get a goal on the power play. Then losing in Vancouver, we should have won, and we should have won in PG as well, all winnable games.
“All positives, I thought the goaltending was good and we scored enough goals five-on-five, but it would have been nice to get a few more goals on the power play.”
The Warriors were able to score first in five of the seven games on the trip, including each of the last four games. Setting the tone early is something that they're hoping to take away from the road trip as they return home for the final playoff push.
“(Scoring the first goal) is something that our team seems to thrive on, once we get that first one we seem to play a lot better, so as long as we continue to get that first goal of the game, our team's going to continue to move forward,” said Eberle.
“The road trip was perfect for us, we played a lot of high skilled teams and us beating Victoria gave us a lot of confidence, that's a good club,” he added. “Going into the final stretch here, we see what the good teams play like and that's like a marker point for us, so that's something that we want to play like.”
The Warriors will play eight of their final 12 regular season games on home ice at Mosaic Place, starting with a pair this weekend as they welcome in the Saskatoon Blades on Friday and the Regina Pats on Saturday. Moose Jaw will also travel to Regina on Sunday.
Warriors Go .500 On Road Trip; Back Home Friday
Brett Howden and the Moose Jaw Warriors have made their way back to Moose Jaw after a seven-game road trip.
Outside of the start and the finish, the Moose Jaw Warriors should be coming away happy with the way that their seven-game road trip went.
Being kicked out of their rink for two weeks due to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, the Warriors embarked on a season-long seven-game road trip. The tribe went 3-3-1 on the trek that started in Lethbridge on February 11th and ended ten days later in Prince George.
Moose Jaw ended up losing both those games, which is a tough pill to swallow despite playing well throughout much of the trip.
“It was a pretty good road trip, we wanted to end it off on a high note, but it was just a sour night for us,” said forward Brett Howden after their 4-2 loss to the Prince George Cougars on Saturday.
The road trip was a tough stretch for the Warriors, especially coming so late in the season. The team needed points to stay in the playoff race and they were able to grab seven of a possible 14.
That’s a positive sign, but the Warriors are always left feeling like they left some out there as well.
“The record, if it was earlier on in the year, we would have taken it a lot easier, going .500 on a tough stretch like this, that’s certainly something that you can be proud of,” said Mark O’Leary, Warriors assistant coach. “It’s tougher to handle right now when the playoff race is so tight.
“We’ll certainly take it, we have to at this point, but we have a big weekend coming up next weekend at home.”
If the Warriors are able to sneak into the Eastern Conference playoffs this year, in order to have success, they’re going to have to win on the road and that’s what they were able to do on this road trip.
Three of the final four games on the road trip were decided by one goal, which allowed the Warriors to get a playoff feel as well. Howden said that was big for them.
“It feels like playoff hockey right now and if we want to make the playoffs, we’ve got to bear down right now,” he said. “We couldn’t do that (in the finale against Prince George), but throughout the road trip, I felt we played pretty well.”
The Warriors come off the road trip sitting seven points back of the Edmonton Oil Kings for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. Edmonton won 5-1 over the Central Division-leading Medicine Hat Tigers on Sunday night to re-gain that seven-point lead.
Moose Jaw does have a favourable schedule down the stretch for a playoff push with eight of their last 12 games coming at home where the team has a 14-11-3-0 record this season.
The Warriors will return to home ice on Friday and Saturday against the Saskatoon Blades and Regina Pats as the team celebrates their 30th anniversary agains their two biggest rivals.
Warriors Finish Trip With Loss In Prince George
Moose Jaw created opportunities but weren’t able to capitalize Saturday as they fell 4-2 in Prince George in their road trip finale.
Moose Jaw was able to catch the Cougars early in the game. Tanner Eberle muscled his way to the high slot for a shot, the puck bounced off the pads of Ty Edmonds and with a scramble in front of the net Austin Adam came off the blue line for a slapshot that found twine at 1:39.
Prince George responded three minutes later. The Warriors had an opportunity to move the puck out of their zone but headed south instead. Jansen Harkins was aggressive on the fore-check, stripping Moose Jaw of the puck then feeding Chase Witala on the bottom of the left circle where he scored to even the game at one.
Throughout the rest of the first period both teams had chances but with less than a minute remaining it was the Cougars who found twine. Harkins and Witala pressured the Warriors on the fore-check in the right corner, they fed the puck to Josh Connolly at the blue line where he ripped a slapshot past Brody Willms, who was heavily screened, giving Prince George the one-goal lead.
Just over a minute in to the second period the Cougars fore-check was able to generate another Connolly shot from the blue line in to traffic that found the back of the net to make it 3-1.
As the period continued the Warriors started to generate more opportunities. Moments after having a goal waived off for accidental contact on the goaltender the Warriors were able to respond. Situated on the Cougars right half wall, Axel Blomqvist moved the puck below the goal line for Jack Rodewald who then played the puck off of Brayden Point for a cut that cut in to the Cougars lead.
In the final minute of the second Prince George had a golden opportunity to add to their lead as Jari Erricson was given a penalty shot. Warriors’ 16-year-old goalie Brody Willms held his ground, making a key blocker save to keep the Warriors within one going in to the intermission.
Moose Jaw peppered the Cougar net in the third period, throwing 15 shots on Ty Edmonds but they weren’t able to claw back in the game. Instead Prince George was able to add an insurance goal with just over four minutes remaining.
Chase Witala led Prince George with two goals and four points while Ty Edmunds made 33 saves, Brody Willms made 36 saves in the loss. Moose Jaw finished 0-for-5 on the power play and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill.
The Warriors went 3-3-1 on their season high seven game road trip, capturing seven of a possible 14 points.
Moose Jaw is now off until next weekend when they host Saskatoon Friday and Regina Saturday. This is 30th Anniversary Weekend for the organization where they will unveil the results of the fan vote for the All-Time Team.
Celebrate 30 years for $30 next weekend. A weekend package for adult tickets to both games is available for $30, which is a $10 savings.
Moose Jaw Edges Kamloops 4-3
Brayden Point scored a hat trick Friday, leading the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 4-3 win over Kamloops at Interior Savings Centre.
Kamloops utilized their speed to attack the Warriors zone early in the game but Zach Sawchenko was sharp, turning away the Blazers on all opportunities.
Four and a half minutes in to the period and on the power play, Dustin Perillat put a shot wide of the Kamloops net, goalie Connor Ingram was stuck on top of his crease as the puck came off the end boards and to Brayden Point on the right goal line where he chipped in his 24th of the year.
Moose Jaw went up by a pair with just over seven minutes remaining in the period. Point led a two-on-two rush up the ice with Tanner Eberle. With the Captain on the left wing he cut to the middle of the Blazer zone and used Eberle as a decoy, Point let a shot go that beat Ingram blocker side for his second of the period.
To start the second period the Blazers got into penalty problems, handing the Warriors four power plays including a lengthy two-man advantage. On their fourth power play the Warriors moved the puck around the Blazer zone, between the circles Axel Blomqvist moved the puck to Brett Howden inside the right circle who then quickly fed Jack Rodewald for a one-timer to make it 3-0 at the nine minute mark.
14 seconds later Blazers leading scorer Cole Ully drove down the Moose Jaw right wall and crashed the Warriors net, finishing the play with his 29th. 20 seconds later Joel Hamilton cashed in on a wraparound to make it 3-2.
With under five minutes to go in the period Brayden Point showcased his skill. Point came across the Kamloops line, put the puck between his legs then danced around the Blazers defenseman. The Captain came to the bottom left circle then drove the net, deking out the goaltender for his hat trick goal.
Kamloops tried to claw back in the game in the final period, they outshot the Warriors 14-5 in the frame and managed a goal in the final minute to cut the deficit to within one. In the final moments the Warriors were able to hold on for the narrow win.
Brayden Point had three goals for the Warriors, Axel Blomqvist and Dustin Perillat had two assists, and Zach Sawchenko made 31 saves. Joel Hamilton led the Blazers with two goals. Moose Jaw finished 2-for-6 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Moose Jaw’s season high seven game road trip concludes Saturday with a trip up to Prince George for their only meeting of the season against the Cougars. Last season Prince George edged the Warriors 2-1 January 31st in Moose Jaw. Josh Uhrich scored the lone Warriors goal, Todd Fiddler and Marc McNulty had the tallies for the Cougars.
Two years ago in Prince George the Cougars beat the Warriors 2-1 on December 4, 2012. Sam Fioretti scored the only Moose Jaw goal, while Jarrett Fontaine and Daulton Siwak notched goals for the Cougars.
Moose Jaw’s last win over the Cougars was a 6-0 decision October 10, 2011 in Mosaic Place. That night Andrew Johnson had a goal and three points, Collin Bowman and Torrin White had two goals each, Carter Hansen had a goal and two points, and Tanner Eberle and Joe Kornelsen had two assists each.
Catch all the action from CN Centre in Prince George Saturday starting with the Country 100 Westrum Lumber Timber Mart PreGame Show at 8:40pm.
Warriors Drop OT Game in Vancouver
Warriors defenceman Spenser Jensen had a goal in the tribe's 3-2 overtime loss to Vancouver on Wednesday afternoon.
Moose Jaw’s only meeting of the season to Vancouver was a tight contest, the Warriors scored early in the third to tie the game but weren’t able to sneak in a game winner as they lost 3-2 in overtime.
The first period saw the teams establish a quick pace which led to plenty of excitement for the fans in attendance for “Hockey Hooky Day” in Vancouver.
Both teams created chances in the opening twenty minutes, they combined for 16 shots, but goalies Brody Willms and Payton Lee kept the game scoreless.
The Warriors started the second period strong, they pressured the Giants below their goal line forcing the in to a pair of turnovers. Set up behind the net Axel Blomqvist fed Dustin Perillat, who was pinching off the blueline as the Warriors collapsed on Vancouver’s home plate. Lee stopped Perillat’s shot but the rebound came to Jack Rodewald in the left circle where he hammered home his 27th of the year.
As the period continued the Warriors had chances to add to their lead but weren’t able to roll the puck across the goal line.
The Giants on the other hand were able to utilize their speed, especially on the fore-check where they were able to create turnovers and second chances.
With five and a half minutes remaining in the period Vancouver found themselves on the power play and were able to capitalize on a goal from Thomas Foster. The Giants went up 2-1 with 31 seconds left in the period when a Mason Geertsen shot from the left circle in to the traffic beat Willms.
Six minutes in to the third period the Warriors found the equalizer. Moose Jaw crashed the Giants net for a scramble, the puck came to defenseman Spencer Jensen who unloaded a slapshot from behind the circles that beat Lee to even the game at two.
Throughout the remainder of regulation the teams pressed for a game winner but neither was successful, sending the game in to overtime.
In the final minute of the extra period, and with a shootout looming, Tyler Benson beat the Warriors on the Moose Jaw left wall then drove hard to the goal line. Benson swung the puck to Geertsen at the right circle where his shot beat Willms, giving the Giants the 3-2 lead.
Geertsen finished the game with two goals and three points, while Warriors goalie Brody Willms made 29 saves and was named the game’s first star. Moose Jaw was 0-for-3 on the power play and 1-for-2 on the penalty kill.
Warriors' Road Trip Continues in Kamloops
Moose Jaw’s season high seven game road trip shift to Kamloops for a battle against the Blazers on Friday at Interior Savings Centre.
This is the first and only meeting of the season between the Warriors and Blazers. Last season, the Warriors posted a 5-2 win over Kamloops on Dec. 15 at Mosaic Place. Brayden Point had two goals and three points, Tanner Eberle and Sam Fioretti had a goal and two points each, while on the other side of the ice Cole Ully led the Blazers with a goal and two points.
Two years ago in their last meeting in Kamloops, the Warriors posted a 3-2 shootout win Dec. 1. Travis Brown and Morgan Rielly had one goal each for the Warriors, while Tyler Bell and Colin Smith had one goal each for the Blazers.
Moose Jaw is 5-0 against the Blazers in the last five years and they have posted seven straight wins in Kamloops. The Warriors last loss was a 5-4 overtime decision Dec. 29, 2006. Jordan Knackstedt led the Warriors with a goal and two points, Reid Jorgensen and Brock Nixon led Kamloops with three points each.
Moose Jaw’s last loss in Kamloops was ten years ago, Jan. 7, 2005, the Blazers edged the Warriors 2-1. Riley Holzapfel scored the lone goal for the Warriors, Raymond Macias led the Blazers with two assists, and Victor Bartley and Reid Jorgensen had one goal each.
Catch all the action Friday starting with the Country 100 Westrum Lumber Timber Mart PreGame Show at 8:40pm.
Warriors Upset Royals 4-3
Jack Rodewald had a goal and two points for the Warriors in their 4-3 win over the Victoria Royals on Tuesday afternoon.
In their only visit to Victoria this season, the Moose Jaw Warriors led 2-0 after one and had a 3-0 lead early in the second, the Royals battled back but weren’t able to complete a comeback as the tribe held on for the 4-3 win.
Moose Jaw stormed out of the gates to start the game. Ninety seconds in Dustin Perillat was low in the Warriors zone and made a beautiful rink wide stretch pass to Brayden Point in the neutral zone. The Warriors Captain came down the Royals right boards and fed Jack Rodewald driving through the middle of the ice where he beat former teammate Justin Paulic for his 26th goal of the year.
31 seconds later Rodewald went to work below the Victoria goal line. The Warriors 21-year-old forward was able to spot and set up former Royal Axel Blomqvist in the left circle where he sniped a shot short side over the blocker of Paulic to make it 2-0.
Throughout the first period the Royal were able to generate some chances but were turned away by Zach Sawchenko. Paulic was busy throughout the opening frame as the Warriors tossed 13 shots on net and had several goal mouth scrambles.
The visitors kept the pressure on to begin the second period, 1:53 in to the frame Tanner Eberle charged to the Royals right circle. Eberle cut to the middle of the Victoria zone then beat Paulic glove side on a wrist shot, scoring his team leading 30th of the season.
Victoria is known for their hard work and it was their hard work that got them back in the game in the second period.
Former Moose Jaw General Regan Nagy broke up a Warriors clearing attempt inside their zone at the six minute mark. Nagy, along with Dante Hannoun, forced the puck to the Moose Jaw crease for a goal mouth scramble that ended with a goal for Nagy.
Late in the period the Warriors found themselves on the power play but it was the Royals who capitalized. Victoria broke up a Moose Jaw pass to the blueline, Brandon Magee charged up the ice on the left wing then dished the puck to Brandon Fushimi driving through the middle of the ice where he deflected the puck in to pull Victoria to within one heading to the third.
The final twenty was tight as the Royals pressed for an equalizer while the Warriors searched for breathing room.
Midway through the period Ryan Gardiner let a low shot go from the point that 20-year-old Jaimen Yakubowski picked up on top of the crease. Yakubowski’s shot was stopped by the pad of Paulic but the rebound came right to Jiri Smejkal who buried a backhand for his 10th of the year.
With Moose Jaw up by two the Royals clawed back in the game three minutes later when they set up Alex Forsberg for a tap in blocker side to Sawchenko.
The teams exchanged changes for the remainder but the Warriors held their ground and held on for the win, improving their record on their current road trip to 2-2.
Jack Rodewald finished with a goal and two points for the Warriors while Captain Brayden Point had two assists, Zach Sawchenko made 26 saves in the win. Moose Jaw finished 0-for-4 on the power play and was 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
Moose Jaw’s season high seven game road trip continues Wednesday afternoon with their only meeting of the season against the Vancouver Giants. In the last five years the Warriors are 4-0-0-1 against the Giants.
Last season the Warriors posted a 2-1 win October 5th in Moose Jaw. Tyler Bell and Sam Fioretti scored for the Warriors, Tanner Eberle and Torrin White had one assist each, and Zach Sawchenko posted a 1.00gaa and .966sv% to record his first WHL win. Andreas Eder scored the Giants lone goal, and Payton Lee posted a 2.03gaa and .923sv%.
Two years ago the teams squared off November 28th in Vancouver, that night the Warriors posted a 2-1 win. Kendall McFaull and Morgan Rielly had one goal each for the Warriors, Tristan Sieben accounted for the Giants lone goal.
Vancouver last win over the Warriors was a 4-3 shootout decision November 29, 2011 in Moose Jaw. Quinton Howden led the Warriors that night with a goal and two points, while Vancouver’s Jordan Martinook, Brendan Gallagher, and Marek Tvordon had two points each.
Catch all the action on Country 100 starting with the Westrum Lumber Timber Mart PreGame Show at 1:40pm.
Rockets Burn Warriors 6-0
Moose Jaw gave up three goals just over six minutes apart in the first half of the opening period and weren’t able to recover as they lost 6-0 Saturday to the WHL leading Kelowna Rockets.
Kelowna jumped on the Warriors early, two minutes in to the game the Rockets forced the puck to the Moose Jaw crease where Leon Draisaitl was able to snap it in on a scramble.
The Rockets kept flying in the first, Moose Jaw took a double-minor for high sticking and it was costly. Draisaitl scored his second of the period at 6:30, then just under two minutes later Captain Madison Bowey jumped on a rebound and hammered home the home team’s third goal of the period.
Moose Jaw ended the first with pressure and continued that pressure in the second as they outshot the Rockets 11-9 in the frame. The Warriors were able to produce several scrambles in front of the Rocket net but weren’t able to solve goalie Jake Morrissey.
The tribe played a tight second period but they made two noticeably mistakes which led to odd-man rushes the other way and both led to goal’s for Tyson Baillie to make it 5-0 Rockets after forty.
Former Prince Albert Raider Josh Morrissey added a goal in the third period, his younger brother Jake made 28 saves to record his first WHL shutout. Draisaitl led the Rockets with two goals and four assists, Baillie finished with two goals and three points.
Moose Jaw was 0-for-6 on the power play and 4-for-6 on the penalty kill.
Moose Jaw will head to the coast Sunday where they’ll eventually land in Victoria and prepare to take on the Royals Tuesday. This will be the Royals and Warriors only meeting of the season, in the last five years the Warriors are 4-0-0-1 against Victoria/Chilliwack.
Last season they met February 17th in Moose Jaw, that night the Royals edged the tribe 4-3 in a shootout. Brayden Point led the Warriors with three assists, Jesse Forsberg had a goal and two points, Torrin White had two assists, and Zach Sawchenko had a 2.77gaa and .906sv%. Joe Hicketts led the Royals with a goal and two points, Travis Brown had two assists, and Patrik Polivka had a 2.77gaa and .912sv%.
The last time they met in Victoria was November 27, 2012, that night the Warriors pulled off a 4-3 shootout win. Brayden Point had a goal and two points, Morgan Rielly had two assists, and Jordan Messier scored the game winner. Alex Gogolev, Brandon Magee, and Tim Traber had one goal each.
Earlier this season the Warriors and Royals combined for a deal that saw Axel Blomqvist land in Moose Jaw and Justin Paulic and Alexey Sleptsov in Victoria. Blomqvist came to Victoria last season in a deal from Lethbridge, while with the Royals he played in 80 games scoring 30 goals and finishing with 72 points. Paulic played in 132 games for the Warriors over two and a half seasons, posting a 40-60-8-11 record, Sleptsov suited up in 100 games for the Warriors where he had four goals and 43 points.
As well, last season the Royals acquired Travis Brown from the Warriors in a package that included 16-year-old Noah Gregor. Brown played in 179 games for the Warriors from in 2011 to 2014, he had 25 goals and 109 points.
Catch the Warriors and Royals Tuesday, the Country 100 Westrum Lumber Timber Mart PreGame Show is live from the island starting at 1:40pm.
Warriors Melt Ice 5-1
Early goals to start the first and second period, along with a solid team game defensively, led to a 5-1 win for the Moose Jaw Warriors over the Kootenay Ice Friday at Western Financial Place in Cranbrook, BC.
Three minutes in to the game Warriors rookie defenseman Dustin Perillat made a cross ice pass through the neutral zone to Axel Blomqvist who stormed across the Kootenay left line. Blomqvist dropped the puck off for Jack Rodewald whose shot was stopped by goalie Wyatt Hoflin, the rebound sat on the left goal line where Blomqvist used his long reach to tap it in for his 21st of the year.
Throughout the first the teams exchanged opportunities, Moose Jaw had established a consistent physical presence while on the fore-check, while the Ice used their puck possession game in the offensive zone to develop shots.
Down a man to start the second period, Jack Rodewald swung the puck to the Kootenay boards then went hard on the fore-check. Kootenay’s goalie came out to play the puck, Rodewald was able to pressure the Ice in to a turnover inside their zone. The puck came to Tanner Eberle who weaved towards the net and finished the play with his 28th of the year to give Moose Jaw a 2-0 lead 28 seconds in to the second period.
Approaching the seven minute mark of the frame, Rodewald took a hit along the neutral zone wall just outside the Warrior line. He was able to jam the puck up towards the Kootenay blueline where Blomqvist was able to settle the puck down and lead a rush in with Brayden Point. Blomqvist cut towards the middle of the ice then dished the puck to Point on the left wing, the Captain dangled towards the net where he beat Hoflin between his pads to put Moose Jaw up by three.
Four minutes in to the third period Eberle danced across the Kootenay line along with Jiri Smejkal. Eberle carried the puck on the right wing then cut to the middle of the ice, he held on to the puck until the left circle where he shelved a shot over Hoflin for his second of the game.
Midway through the third period the Warriors were given a four minute power play but it was the Ice that found the back of the net. Veteran Austin Vetterl weaved through the Moose Jaw zone shorthanded, eventually beating goalie Brody Willms to put Kootenay on the board.
As the clocked winded down the Warriors didn’t allow Kootenay back in the game, they were solid defensively, Willms made key saves, and Point added an empty net goal to finish the game.
Point and Eberle scored two goals each, Blomqvist had a goal and two points, and Willms finished with 32 saves. The tribe finished 0-for-7 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Moose Jaw’s road trip continues Saturday with their only meeting of the season against the Western Conference leading Kelowna Rockets. In the last five years Moose Jaw is 2-2-0-1 against the Rockets, which includes a 1-1-0-1 record in Kelowna.
Last season Kelowna doubled the Warriors 6-3 December 11th at Mosaic Place. Sam Fioretti led the Warriors with two assists; Scott Cooke, Ben Duperreault, and Miles Warkentine had one goal each; Myles Bell led the Rockets with two goals; Nick Merkley and Ryan Olsen had a goal and two points each.
Two years ago in their last meeting in Kelowna, the Rockets edged the Warriors 3-2 November 30, 2012. Braiden Doucette and Sam Fioretti had one goal each for the Warriors, while Zach Franko led the Rockets with three assists.
Kelowna has won the last two meetings, previously two that the Warriors had beaten the Rockets six consecutive times, the most recent being December 10, 2011 at Mosaic Place. That night Kenton Miller scored twice to lead the Warriors to a 4-1 win, Sam Fioretti had a goal and two points, and Travis Brown and Joel Edmundson had two assists each.
Catch all the action from Prospera Place starting with the Westrum Lumber Country 100 PreGame Show starting at 8:45pm. After Saturday the Warriors will head to the coast for games in Victoria and Vancouver Tuesday and Wednesday.
Warriors' Road Trip Continues in Cranbrook
After suffering a rough 6-3 loss on Wednesday night in Lethbridge, the Moose Jaw Warriors are looking to redeem themselves as they continue their seven-game road trip on Friday night in Cranbrook against the Kootenay Ice.
“Obviously it's very frustrating for us, that was a big two points that we needed and should have had,” said rookie forward Brett Howden on Thursday. “It's frustrating, but we've got to push past that and get ready for the rest of the games on this road trip.”
The Warriors have had success against the Ice so far this season, winning two of their three meetings, but their only loss came in Cranbrook on Nov. 23 when they were beat 7-3 by the Ice.
The tribe is in desperate need of a win as they continue on their longest road trip of the season. They currently sit nine points out of the final playoff spot in the East Division and are ten points out in the Eastern Conference wild card race.
Howden said they need to treat every game going forward as a playoff game if they hope to salvage their playoff chances.
“Every game from here on out is very big, we need these points badly if we want to be a playoff team,” he said. “Kootenay is a great team, so we've got to come out ready to play.”
The Warriors had their chances on Wednesday as they outshot Lethbridge 41-28 in the game, but were turned away constantly by goalie Stuart Skinner. Howden said they need to do a better job of finishing on their chances in order to find their way back into the win column.
“He's a great goalie, but we had a lot of open nets that we didn't bear down on, we could have had a few more goals than we did,” he said. “For the next upcoming games, we've just got to bear down in front of the net and bury our chances.”
The Warriors and Ice face-off at 8:00pm on Friday night. The Pre-Game Show is on the air at 7:40pm on Country 100.
Moose Jaw will be in Kelowna on Saturday to take on the Western Conference-leading Rockets before getting a few days off.
Warriors Doubled Up in Lethbridge 6-3
Lethbridge goalie Stuart Skinner stymied the Warriors, making 38 saves in a 6-3 loss for Moose Jaw to open their seven-game road trip.
The Moose Jaw Warriors’ longest road trip of the season opened on a sour note on Wednesday night, as Lethbridge scored two power play goals and two shorthanded empty net goals in the final moments to hand the Warriors a 6-3 loss at the Enmax Centre.
From the opening faceoff the Warriors were aggressive on the attack. They rushed across the Lethbridge line and were able to force pucks to the front of the net but weren’t able to beat rookie goalie Stuart Skinner.
Four and a half minutes in to the game Lethbridge’s Carter Folk broke up a Warriors clearing attempt in their zone. Folk played the puck off the end boards and it bounced to Florian Baltram who gave the home team an early lead.
Moose Jaw stuck with their game plan and their attack and kept the heat on the Hurricanes throughout the remainder of the first and had an 18-12 edge on the shot clock.
In the final moments of a power play with six and a half minutes remaining in the period Jiri Smejkal fed Tanner Eberle on the right wing coming across the Lethbridge line. Eberle skated to the top of the circle where he sniped his team leading 27th of the season to even the game at one.
Moose Jaw found themselves on the penalty kill early in the second but that didn’t stop them from thinking offence.
Smejkal pressured the Hurricanes behind the Lethbridge net, eventually forcing a turnover and feeding Jack Rodewald in the right circle where he ripped his 25th to give Moose Jaw the lead.
Throughout the first ten to twelve minutes of the second period the Warriors had numerous opportunities to add to their lead but were denied by either a post or an acrobatic save from Skinner.
Late in the middle period the Warriors found themselves in some penalty problems and the Hurricanes were able to capitalize, power play goals from Mike Winther and Johnny Wesley gave Lethbridge a 3-2 lead going in to the second intermission.
Approaching the three minute mark of the third period, Baltram connected with Hurricanes Captain Jamal Watson with at the Warriors blueline. Watson burst behind the Moose Jaw defence and drove the net where he scored to make it 4-2.
Down a pair the Warriors battled back with seven minutes remaining. Torrin White intercepted a Hurricanes clearing attempt along their right wall. The 19-year-old veteran swung the puck to the front of the net for Smejkal who shelved the puck over Skinner to make it a one-goal game.
In the final two minutes the Warriors were given a power play and they decided to roll the dice by pulling their goaltender. The gamble backfired as the Hurricanes scored two shorthanded empty net goals to finish the Warriors.
Jiri Smejkal led the Moose Jaw offence with a goal and three points, Jamal Watson had two goals and three points for the Hurricanes, Lethbridge goalie Stuart Skinner made 38 saves in the win. Moose Jaw finished 1-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-5 on the penalty kill.
Moose Jaw’s seven game road trip continues Friday with their final stop of the year in Cranbrook, BC to take on the Kootenay Ice. The Warriors are 2-1 against the Ice this season, both of their wins came at Mosaic Place. November 23rd in Cranbrook the Warriors fell 7-3 to the ice.
Brayden Point leads the Warriors with three goals and six points; Jack Rodewald has a goal and four points; Axel Blomqvist has a goal and three points; Dallas Valentine has three assists; Torrin White has two goals; Zach Sawchenko is 2-0 with a 2.00gaa and .922sv%; Brody Willms is 0-1 with a 7.00gaa and .825sv%.
Jon Martin leads the Ice with a goal and five points; Jaedon Descheneau has two goals and four points; Matt Alfaro has a goal and four points; Levi Cable and Luke Philp have two goals and three points each; Sam Reinhart and Rinat Valiev have a goal and three points each; Keelan Williams is 0-1 with a 3.01gaa and .921sv%; Wyatt Hoflin is 1-1 with a 3.57gaa and .865sv%.
Catch all the action Friday on Country 100 starting with the PreGame Show at 7:40pm, after the game against the Ice the Warriors will head to Kelowna for a Saturday Valentine’s Day battle against the Western Conference leading Rockets.
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