Moose Jaw charged late but came up short as they opened a weekend home-and-home series with Saskatoon with a 4-3 loss at Mosaic Place.
Saskatoon opened the scoring at 12:35 of the first period when Nick Zajac beat Justin Paulic. The visitors extended their lead on a Collin Valcourt power play goal just over a minute later.
Down by a pair to start the second the Warriors put shots onto Blades goalie Alex Moodie but they weren’t able to notch any results. Instead, Saskatoon added a power play from Brett Stovin at 9:14, and then with 25 seconds left in the period Nathan Burns made it 4-0.
Moose Jaw found their spark in the third period when Jesse Forsberg dropped the gloves with Blades defenceman David Nemecek at 4:49. Four minutes later and on the power play Travis Brown scored his seventh of the year to break up the shutout.
With the clock counting down the Warriors continued to attack the Saskatoon net. With 1:07 remaining Ben Duperreault spotted Josh Uhrich inside the Blades crease, Uhrich banged away at the puck, scoring his first of the year to pull Moose Jaw to within one.
In the final minute of regulation the Warriors pulled their goalie for an extra attacker, with 34 seconds left Jack Rodewald crashed the Saskatoon net, scoring his ninth of the year to make it a one-goal game.
Moose Jaw tried desperately to even the game in the dying moments, they came close, but in the end they came up short, suffering their fifth straight loss.
The Warriors outshot the Blades 15-6 in the third, 31-18 in the final two periods, and 42-30 overall. Moose Jaw’s power play ended 1-for-9 while the penalty kill allowed two goals on six opportunities.
Moose Jaw’s weekend continues Saturday with a trip to Saskatoon for the back half of this weekend home-and-home series. Coverage begins from Credit Union Centre with the PreGame Show at 6:40pm on Country 100.
Moose Jaw Starters: G; Justin Paulic, D; Travis Brown & Reid Zalitach, LW; Ben Duperreault, C; Brayden Point, RW; Jack Rodewald
Moose Jaw Scratches: Tyler Brown, Brandon Del Grosso, Royce Rossignol, Brandon Potomak
Saskatoon Starters: G; Alex Moodie, D; Graeme Craig & Nelson Nogier, LW; Nick Zajac, C; Nathan Burns, RW; Nikita Scherbak
Saskatoon Scratches: Ayrton Nikkel, Ryan Pruden, Logan Harland, Nick Gomerich
Sutherby Returns… The Moose Jaw Warriors welcomed Brian Sutherby to Mosaic Place for the first time Friday. Sutherby was selected by the Warriors in the 6th round of the 1997 WHL Bantam Draft, he went on to play in 208 games for the tribe from 1998 to 2002, scoring 79 goals and finishing with 178 points.
In 2002 he captured silver with Canada at the World Juniors, he finished the tournament with three goals and six points in seven games. Sutherby was drafted in the first round, 26th overall, by Washington in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft… He went on to play in 460 games in the NHL where he scored 41 goals and had 90 points.