Friday battle decided in overtime

Marc Smith

The Moose Jaw Warriors erased a two-goal third period deficit Friday but gave up a late game in the final frame and went on to fall 7-6 in overtime to the Swift Current Broncos at Mosaic Place.

Moose Jaw stormed out of the gates and had the Broncos pinned inside their zone with an aggressive fore-check that produced turnovers and attack time.

2:40 in to the game rookie forward Tate Popple chipped the puck down the Broncos boards for Tristin Langan who grabbed the puck and came inside the right circle where he snapped a hard shots past Logan Flodell to give Moose Jaw and early lead.

Langan’s goal was the Warriors 2017 Teddy Bear Toss goal as fans showered the ice with plush toys, toques, gloves, and scarfs which were collected by the Warriors and volunteers and will be donated to the Moose Jaw Salvation Army.

The Warriors kept the pressure on and at 5:48 Branden Klatt made a nice pass up the neutral zone left boards.  17-year-old rookie Tyler Smithies tracked the puck on the Broncos boards and passed it back to Klatt driving through the middle of the Swift Current zone.  Klatt’s shot went off the post and came back to the front of the net where it went off of Klatt for his first goal of the season.

As the period continued the Broncos slowed the game down and were tighter inside their zone which neutralized the Warriors fore-check.

Offensively the Broncos capitalized on some bad breaks for the Warriors.  At 8:01 the puck bounced away from Oleg Sosunov coming up the ice and came to new Broncos forward Matteo Gennaro who drove hard in and put Swift Current on the board.

Then on the power play at 14:52 the Warriors were able to poke the puck away from the attacking Broncos but it came to a trailing Aleksi Heponiemi who put a quick shot over the goal line and then at 18:24 the Broncos capitalized on another bad bounce in the Moose Jaw zone and took a 3-2 lead on a goal from Glenn Gawdin.

Moose Jaw was able to tie the game four and a half minutes in to the second period when Tate Popple finished a Warriors rush up the ice by jamming the puck past Logan Flodell for his 3rd goal of the season.

Just past the midway point the Warriors weren’t able to clear the puck out of their zone which allowed the Broncos to set up Connor Horning for a slapshot off the right line that gave Swift Current a 4-3 lead.

15 seconds in to the third period the Broncos went up by two when Glenn Gawdin scored a power play goal.  However the Warriors came right back with a goal from Tanner Jeannot 37 seconds later to pull Moose Jaw back to within one.

The action was fast throughout the third period and the Warriors were able to tie the game at five at 9:52 after a turnover by the Broncos in the neutral zone turned in an odd man rush that saw Jeannot set up Brayden Burke for his 12th goal of the year.

With momentum in their favour the Warriors kept the pressure coming.  Under two minutes later Tristan Langan took a pass from Barrett Sheen and let a shot go that found the twine, his second of the game gave Moose Jaw a 6-5 lead.

Swift Current pressed for an equalizer and with under just over two minutes left in regulation they had the Warriors pinned and eventually set up Tyler Steenbergen who picked up the game tying goal.

Regulation didn’t produce a game winner and the teams were off to overtime.  2:13 in to the extra period Steenbergen used his speed behind the Warriors net to come out to the bottom of the right circle and snapped in the game winner for the visitors.

Tristin Lagan finished with two goals and Tanner Jeannot and Tate Popple had a goal and two points each.  Moose Jaw was 0-for-2 on the power play and 2-for-4 on the penalty kill.

These two teams will square off again Saturday at the Credit Union IPlex in Swift Current, catch all the action on Country 100 starting with the Westrum Lumber Timber Mart PreGame Show at 6:40pm.

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