Everything is going right for the Moose Jaw WINMAR AAA Warriors, as they picked up their third-straight win and seventh in their last eight games beating the Saskatoon Contacts 6-2 on Sunday afternoon.
The win was their 18th of the season and improved their record to 8-2-0-0 in their last 10 games. Moose Jaw now has an 18-16-0-4 record which puts them only four points behind Notre Dame for sixth place.
Liam Fitzpatrick had a three-goal afternoon, with Jonah Pinel, Drew Fleger, and Austin Woodley all finding the back of the net.
Head coach, Trevor Weisgerber was very proud of his team and how they played in Sunday’s win.
“The boys are playing hard, and a lot of good things are going right and the result is that we’re winning hockey games and it’s fun to watch,” says Weisgerber.
Moose Jaw would find themselves in an early hole to start the game. Saskatoon’s Spencer Chestolowski would get a pass from behind the net and put it upstairs on Moose Jaw’s starter Ryan Bain to take an early 1-0 lead, 2:43 into the game.
The Contacts weren’t done there, as Jackson Fox would get his first U18 AAA goal redirecting the puck past Bain for the 2-0 lead on only their 3th shot of the game.
That would be the only offense the Contacts would get, as Moose Jaw would go on to score six unanswered goals to win 6-2.
It all started with 5:36 left in the first period, the Warriors would have an odd-man rush where Drew Fleger would get the puck in the low slot and fire it upstairs over the shoulder of Logan Edmonstone to make it 2-1.
That was Fleger’s first U18 AAA goal and first as a WINMAR Warrior.
“It’s taken a long time and a lot of hours in practice,” says Fleger. “Thankfully Grady [Hoffman] was able to get me the puck in the slot and it was a good shot. I was in shock; I think the guys had more of a celebration than I did.”
Grady Hoffman picked up the lone assist on the goal.
Moose Jaw would go into the dressing room down 2-1 after 20 minutes. The Warriors heavily outshot the Contacts 12-5 in that first period.
The scoring continued in the second period. This time with Austin Woodley, who found himself all alone in front of the net after a pass from Rhett Perrin and buried it five-hole on Edmonstone to tie the game 2-2.
The back-and-forth game continued, and Moose Jaw would shut down the Contacts’ offense by blocking shots and forcing them to miss opportunities.
With 5:36 left in the second period Moose Jaw would take their first lead of the hockey game. Jonah Pinel got an up-ice pass and flew through the neutral zone, had some room on the left wing, and ripped it upstairs for his second of the season. Kanyan Unger and Brennan Brown got assists on the goal.
That was Pinel’s first goal since Oct. 1, 2022, against the Tisdale Trojans.
“I saw a hole,” says Pinel. “The goalie moved over a lot, and I shot it, and it found the back of the net.”
The Warriors were not done there, as 2:25 later Liam Fitzpatrick would get on the board for the first of three times on Sunday afternoon.
He would get a pass from Hoffman in front of the net and would tap it into the wide-open net to make it 4-2 after 40 minutes.
Dylan Duzan would pick up the secondary assist on the goal.
The Warriors led 23-10 in the shot department after 40 minutes.
Moose Jaw would fend off an early push by the Contacts to start the third period, but the game remained 4-2.
The Warriors would put the game away late in the third period on the powerplay. Off the faceoff, Connor Miller found Fitzpatrick alone on the back door and put it past the glove of Edmonstone for the 5-2 lead.
Duzan picked up the second assist on the goal.
Fitzpatrick would add an empty netter with 2:52 left in the game for his third of the game to make the final 6-2. Hoffman would grab the lone assist.
Those three goals would extend his point streak to 14 games and has 29 points in that span. He is now in second place in the league scoring with 59 points on the season.
The final shot total was 34-23 for Moose Jaw.
Grady Hoffman had a strong afternoon offensively with three assists, along with Dylan Duzan who finished with two assists.
Ryan Bain picked up his 12th win of the season stopping 21 shots.
The next opponent for Moose Jaw will be the Regina Pat Canadians on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. at the Moose Jaw Events Centre.