Moose Jaw's Reece Newkirk gave his family and friends plenty to cheer about, but the rest of the Moose Jaw fans were kept silent as the hometown Warriors suffered one of their worst losses of the season.
Newkirk had a goal and two points to lead the way for the Portland Winterhawks in a 6-0 win over the Warriors at Mosaic Place on Saturday night.
"It was great, I was waiting for this game for a long time, I've been dreaming about it since I got in the league and to score in front of my friends and family was the best feeling of my life," said Newkirk, who opened the scoring for Portland 3:47 into the game.
The 17-year-old forward had his own cheering section at the game. Newkirk said they made it a special night.
"I came out in warmups and all the guys on the team were like, 'Holy, you've got a lot of guys up there', it was good to have and I wouldn't be here without them," he said.
The opening goal was the 18th of the season for Newkirk, who also set up Seth Jarvis' goal 18 seconds into the second period that made it 5-0 for Portland.
Jake Gricius, Lane Gillis, Clay Hanus also scored in the first period for the Winterhawks as they jumped out to a 4-0 lead.
The Warriors weren't without their chances in the first period, but they couldn't find a way to finish on their opportunities, which ended up being the story of the game for the team.
"That was the difference in the game, the first period," said Warriors associate coach Mark O’Leary. "We had some real good looks, I thought our power play was good tonight and eventually our PK had to do some work too, but there wasn't a whole lot good about tonight and certainly early on when we didn't capitalize on the chances that we had, that was the difference in the game."
WHL leading scorer Joachim Blichfeld scored his 36th goal of the season in the third period for Portland and finished two points. Defenceman Nick Cicek chipped in with three assists in the win.
Moose Jaw ended up being outshot 38-23 in the loss as Portland goalie Shane Farkas stopped every shot that came his way for the shutout.
Warriors netminder Adam Evanoff was replaced by Brodan Salmond after allowing four goals on 11 shots in the first period. Salmond stopped 25 of 27 shots over the final 40 minutes.
"They're a fast team, they regroup quick, we just gave them too much space, too much time and they're a skilled team, they buried," said Warriors captain Josh Brook.
"I didn't even think we had a bad first, they got some good chances and we got some good chances and they just buried theirs."
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Warriors. They will look to rebound on Wednesday night when they host the Calgary Hitmen at Mosaic Place.