Warriors Unable to Finish Wheat Kings

Nick Murray

Your Moose Jaw Warriors were handed a road loss to the Brandon Wheat Kings last night in a game they should have won.

They dominated the ice in all three periods, out-shooting the Wheat by 17 shots; and they scored more than enough times than was necessary to achieve victory. They just couldn't keep the puck out of their own net. Or, better yet, they just couldn't keep pucks touched by Schael Higson out of their own net.

This was the fourth time these clubs have met this season already, Brandon now leads the season series 3-1, but the games have been tight enough that a playoff showdown between the two would be interesting; provided Moose Jaw doesn't sell the farm at the trade deadline.

Despite controlling the ice, Brandon managed to score the only two goals in the first period. Both of which Higson delivered.

Things turned around halfway into the second thanks to Brandon getting into some penalty troubles. Playing with the man advantage, Justin Almeida shuffled a beautiful cross-ice pass to the Captain Josh Brook, who then shelved the puck past King keeper Yngwie Pantera. The goal was Josh Brook's fourth of the season.

Only shortly after that Brandon once again found themselves skating short-handed, and Moose Jaw made them pay for it again, when Tristan Langan tapped an Almeida backhand out of the air and into the net to tie things up 2-2.

All things said, Moose Jaw's Power Play lube worked tremendous in this game; moistening up Brandon’s net for successful penetration.

Brandon managed to beat Salmond once more in the second, this time it was Jonny Hooker scoring and Higson and Stelio Mattheos getting the helpers.

The period ended with the Wheat leading 3-2.

 Johnny Hooker celebrates his goal.   Photo: Brandon Wheat Kings

Johnny Hooker celebrates his goal.

Photo: Brandon Wheat Kings

Moose Jaw came out in the third period just as they had in the first and second; beating Brandon to the puck, hitting Brandon harder and moving the puck better. It paid off at 5:35, when Jett Woo scored his first goal of the season to tie things up. Again, it was Langan and Almeida assisting on the goal.

This two really relishing in their roles as primary providers of offence.

Langan scored again, his 7th of the season, at 16:11 to give the Warriors a 4-3 lead. It should have been smooth sailing from there, but Moose Jaw has struggled with closing games out this season.

It was the former Warrior, Luka Burzan, who we traded away last season for Kale Clague and a shot at the cup, scored with his own net empty, in the dying moments of the game to even things out and send the game into overtime. Again, Schael Higson had an assist on the play.

Overtime didn't take long, as it doesn't typically seem to do in the WHL. At 0:25, goalie Jiri Patera fed the puck, down ice, to, you guessed it, Schael Higson, who then shuffled it to Conor Gutenberg, who beat Brodan Salmond, on what was a night he would probably sooner forget.

Wheat Kings 5, Warriors 4

7 games into the season and Tristan Langan leads the club in points with 16 (7 goals, 9 assists).

After that it's Justin Almeida with 15 points, then Josh Brook with 4, outside of those three the next leading scorers are Brayden Tracey and Ryan Peckford with 4 points each. The Warriors are gonna start wanting a little more production outside of that top line.

Moose Jaw is back on the ice at Mosaic Place tonight hosting the Spokane Chiefs

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