Ryan Peckford scored his first WHL hat trick Sunday to lead the Moose Jaw Warriors to a one-sided 9-1 win over the Kootenay ICE at Western Financial Place in Cranbrook, BC.
Kootenay had strong pressure in the first couple of shifts to open the game, but the Warriors weathered the storm and as the period continued they took control.
They were aggressive in the Kootenay zone and did a good job creating turnovers which led to second opportunities at the ICE net.
At 4:41, the puck squirted off the Kootenay left boards and came to Ryan Peckford in the circle. The 19-year-old drove the net and then put his stick between his legs and shot the puck over the blocker of Duncan McGovern for a highlight reel goal similar to Josh Brook’s earlier in the week.
Just over a minute later the Warriors were back on the attack and created a turnover which led to extra attack time. The puck came to Josh Brook at the right point who the skated to the top of the circle and made a pass to the top of the crease where Yegor Buyalski deflected in his 4th of the season.
At 9:43 the Warriors again were able to create a turnover inside the Kootenay zone. Dalton Hamaliuk moved the puck to the end boards for Kaeden Taphorn who then made a quick pass to Tate Popple inside the left circle where his quick shot found the back of the net for his 5th of the year.
Moose Jaw kept coming and went up 4-0 at 12:17 while working on the power play when Brook made a pass between the circles where Peckford directed in his 6th of the season and second of the game.
Kootenay came out strong in the second period and they were able to pick up a goal from Owen Pederson three minutes to get some life in their legs.
It didn’t take long for the Warriors respond, just under two minutes later Dalton Hamaliuk took a big shot from the point and the rebound sat on top of the Kootenay crease. Ryan Peckford poked at the puck and jammed it over the goal line for his hat-trick goal to make it 5-1.
The Warriors offence kept coming in the back half of the second period.
Just past the midway point, they picked up a power-play goal from Ryan Peckford and then Tyler Smithies scored two goals in the final five minutes to make it 8-1 after two periods.
In the third period, the Warriors outshot the ICE 15-6 and picked up a goal from Brayden Tracey to make it 9-1.
Ryan Peckford led the Warriors with four goals and five points, Tyler Smithies finished with two goals and three points, six players picked up two points, and Adam Evanoff made 19 saves in the win.
Moose Jaw outshot the ICE 43-20 and they were 3-for-3 on the power play and didn’t spend any time on the penalty kill.
The Warriors are now off until next weekend when they’re back at Mosaic Place for a pair of games. Friday night the Edmonton Oil Kings are in town and then Saturday afternoon (2:30pm) they’ll take on the Lethbridge Hurricanes.