Two long-time rivals collided at Mosaic Place on Valentine’s Day, the Moose Jaw Warriors tossed a lot of rubber at the Brandon Wheat Kings net and skated away with a 3-1 win.
In the first period the Warriors were able to establish a quick pace and had a consistent presence and attack in the Brandon line as their fore-check was able to keep the Wheat Kings pinned and had a 12-1 advantage on the shot clock in the period.
At the mid-way point of the period Branden Klatt forced a neutral zone turnover and pushed the puck ahead for Justin Almeida who led a rush across the Brandon line. Almeida swung set up Jayden Halbgewachs on the right wing where he one-timed his 43rd goal of the season
The Warriors attack went back to work early in the second period as the line of Justin Almeida, Brett Howden, and Jayden Halbgewachs continued to pressure the Wheat Kings.
Two minutes in to the period Halbgewachs burst up the ice on the right wing and drove down the Brandon boards to the goal line where he then set up Howden driving the net where he scored his 29th of the year.
Brandon was able to pull back to within one when a shot from Stelio Mattheos snuck over the goal line at 5:43.
Moose Jaw outshot Brandon 17-7 in the second period and had a 29-8 advantage through two periods.
In the third period the Wheat Kings pressed for an equalizer but Zach Sawchenko slammed the door on a comeback by making eight saves in the frame. Yan Khomenko’s 13th goal of the season with over two minutes left in regulation was the insurance the Warriors needed as they went on to a 3-1 win.
Jayden Halbgewachs led the Warriors with a goal and two points, Zach Sawchenko made 15 saves, the Warriors outshot the Wheat Kings 34-16, they were 0-for-3 on the power play, and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.
Moose Jaw returns to action on Saturday when they host the East Division leading Regina Pats at Mosaic Place. Catch all the action on Country 100 starting with the Westrum Lumber Timber Mart PreGame Show at 6:40pm.