Moose Jaw, SK — Special teams sunk the Moose Jaw Warriors on Saturday night.
The Warriors surrendered four power play goals to the Brandon Wheat Kings in a 4-1 loss to close out the preseason at the Moose Jaw Events Centre.
“Anytime you give up four, you put yourself in a little bit of a hole,” Warriors associate coach Scott King said.
After suffering a tough 9-1 loss in Brandon on Friday night, the Warriors were focused on seeing how the team would respond and King said the effort was improved.
“I thought the effort wasn’t terrible last night, but just better execution, looked like more of a team,” he said. “I thought we were just hungrier, a couple of guys that we challenged to be better were better, so there was a lot of positives in the game.”
The Warriors fell behind 2-0 in the first period on a pair of power play goals from Brandon’s Dominik Petr.
Moose Jaw responded earlier in the second when Eric Alarie scored a power play goal just 38 seconds into the frame.
Brandon added a late goal in the second and another in the third to take the win.
“Today we competed better, we were more intense, we did a lot of good things and happy with the way the boys competed, but we lost 4-1 and that’s not acceptable,” Alarie said.
Moose Jaw finished the preseason with a 1-3-0-0 record, but Alarie said there was positives to build off.
“It’s nice for the guys to gel, we’ve got a few new guys, new faces in the group this year and getting as much ice time as we can get together and get some chemistry together, it’s really good,” he said.
“We lost today, but in the end, if we got better and feel more comfortable with each other, it’s a win.”
Jackson Unger made 37 saves on 41 shots in the loss for the Warriors, while Moose Jaw fired 28 shots on Brandon goalie Ethan Eskit.
Both teams were perfect on the power play with Brandon finishing 4-for-4 and Moose Jaw converting on its only chance on the man advantage.
The Warriors will now turn its attention to the start of the regular season when it travels to Prince Albert on Friday and then hosts Brandon next Saturday for the home opener.
Get your tickets at mjwarriors.ca and the Moose Jaw Events Centre box office.