Warriors Dull Blades
The Moose Jaw Warriors took their skills on the road, on Sunday afternoon. They brought their speed and energy left over from last night’s game to triumph over the Saskatoon Blades. Ryan Peckford opened the scoring with his 19th goal of the season, early in the 1st period. Pressure from the Blades resulted in Saskatoon answering back five minutes later with a goal of their own from Braylon Shmyr. The first period ended with a late penalty call on Brandon Schuldhaus that carried over into the 2nd period. The two teams battled to a 1-1 tie going
into the first intermission.
The middle frame began with the Warriors on the penalty kill. Moose Jaw put the pressure on once the penalty ended but couldn’t manage shots on the Blades’ net. Brayden Burke then later regained puck possession for the Warriors and was able to fire a shot past the Saskatoon goaltender, Nolan Maier, to give the Warriors a 2-1 lead. The goal was Burke’s 30th of the season. Burke added another tally to his total after a 2 on 1 breakout, with Justin Almeida, to expand the Warriors lead to 3-1. Shots after 2 periods of play were 27-25 in favor of Moose Jaw.
The third period opened up with the Warriors killing off another penalty. A power play was then awarded in their favour. Pressure on the Blades didn’t result in any rewards on the man advantage. Moose Jaw kept up the pressure that resulted in yet another power play. Good chances were had by the Warriors on the power play but Saskatoon’s Maier blocked the door and kept the score the same. The Blades turned the tables on the Warriors with pressure of their own but Adam Evanoff stood tall in the net. Saskatoon maintained the tempo and hard play on the Warriors which resulted in Josh Paterson finding the back of the net to get them to within 1. The goal was Paterson's 27th of the season, but it was a milestone night for him, as it was his 100th point with the team.
Jayden Halbgewachs wrapped up the game with an empty net goal for his 59th of the season for the 4-2 victory. That goal put Halbgewachs ahead of Dryden Hunt on the all-time single season scoring record list. He is in sixth, with lots of hockey to play yet.
This win gives the Warriors a 4 point lead in the eastern conference over the 2nd place Swift Current Broncos. The Warriors also have 2 games in hand over the Broncos.
MJ Independent’s Game Stars: 1st star - Brayden Burke, 2nd Star - Justin Almeida, and 3rd Star - Adam Evanoff. An honourable mention goes to Daemon Hunt in the MJI’s Game Stars for his solid defensive play after being called up from the minors.
The Warriors now roll into Lethbridge on Tuesday evening to weather the Hurricanes.