A four-goal first period, penalty woes, and missed opportunities were the story for the Moose Jaw Winmar AAA Warriors on Sunday night losing 7-2 against the Saskatoon Contacts at the Merlis Belsher Place.
The loss was their first in regulation and drops their record to 2-1-0-1 on the season and drops them down to third place in the league.
Warriors assistant coach, Carter Smith explains following the loss what went wrong for the team on Sunday.
“We had a great start, but then our execution and the effort were poor as we were getting beat all over the ice,” says Smith. “If one guy isn’t going, especially the way we want to play, it just doesn’t work. We tried to do too many individual things. We want everyone to be going every night and it just didn’t happen tonight [Sunday].”
Moose Jaw was coming off a tough 4-3 shootout loss a night ago and came out of the gate firing.
Right of the opening faceoff, the Warriors Connor Miller drove into the Contacts zone and was able to feed Liam Fitzpatrick, who put it in the back of the net to make it 1-0 only seven seconds into the game. Fitzpatrick’s goal extended his point streak to four games.
After the opening goal by Moose Jaw, Saskatoon took over the game from there. Ronan Buckberger would tie the game for Saskatoon, 43 seconds after Moose Jaw would open the scoring.
The scoring would continue for the Contacts a few minutes later after Moose Jaw would take a couple of penalties back-to-back to leave Saskatoon on a 5-on-3 powerplay.
Right off the faceoff Buckberger would find Tyler Phipps on the back door of starter Ryan Hicks and tap it home to make it 2-1 Saskatoon.
Sasktoon’s Brodie Scopick found the back of the net 8:24 later to extend the lead to 3-1 Contacts not even halfway through the first period.
Phipps added his second of the period and the game 2:47 left in the period to make it 4-1. That fourth goal was the end of Hicks’s night giving up four goals on eight shots. Ryan Bain would come into the game in relief.
Moose Jaw would get one back nearing the end of the first period, as Owen Prohar’s point shot would handcuff the Contacts goalie Logan Edmonstone and trickle over top of him and into the net to cut their deficit to 4-2.
Shots after 20 minutes was 10-8 in favour of Saskatoon.
Moose Jaw turned things around in the second period, stepping up defensively and generating chances on a number of powerplays, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
The Contacts Braxon Kabrub would beat Bain early in the second period on the powerplay, making it 5-2 Sasktoon. That’s how the second frame would end with Moose Jaw still trailing in the game and the shot department.
Phipps would get the hat-trick goal with just under five minutes into the third period, followed by Mason Karakochuk potting his first goal of the season. That’s how the game would end with a 7-2 loss.
The final shots on goal were 32-27 for Moose Jaw. Penalties hurt the Warriors on Sunday night, as they were in the penalty box seven times, allowing the Contacts to score two of their seven goals with the extra man.
“The penalty kill played okay, it is if you’re going to the box that many times it's tough to get everyone involved. Our powerplay needs some work," explains Smith.
Moose Jaw finished the game 0/6 with the extra man, which is something that the team will work on this week in practice.
The Warriors will have a full week of practice and prepare for a Saturday afternoon showdown with the Prince Albert Mintos at 1:30 p.m. at the Moose Jaw Events Centre.
Tickets can be purchased at Sasktik.ca or the Moose Jaw Events Centre box office. The game will be live-streamed on IKSLive.ca.