Warriors dealt a narrow Thanksgiving Sunday loss

Marc Smith

The Moose Jaw Warriors Thanksgiving Long Weekend ended Sunday with a narrow 4-3 loss to the Swift Current Broncos at Mosaic Place to drop their record to 5-1 on the season.

There was end to end action throughout the opening period as the teams looked to utilize their speed to create scoring opportunities.

Moose Jaw drove the net hard early in the game but weren’t able to slide the puck over the goal line, instead Swift Current’s Glenn Gawdin led a rush up the ice at 4:42 and then dropped the puck back to a trailing Aleksi Heponiemi where he snapped in the game’s first goal.

The Warriors were able to respond with just over five minutes left in the first period.  Justin Almeida burst down the Broncos left boards and drove the puck hard to the net.  Goalie Logan Flodell made the initial save but Jayden Halbgewachs jumped on the loose puck and tapped it in for his fifth of the year to tie the game at one.

In the first period the Warriors were able to establish a quick transition game but in the second period the Broncos closed the neutral zone gaps in an effort to slow Moose Jaw down.

Two minutes in to the second period the Warriors weren’t smooth coming up the ice, Swift Current jumped on a loose puck in the neutral zone and Heponiemi set up Tyler Steenbergen for his WHL leading 13th goal of the year.

Playing 4-on-4 just past the midway point of the period the Warriors turned the puck over on their left boards.  Broncos’ defenseman Sahvan Khaira jumped on the puck and took a quick shot that went off of Kaden Elder to give Swift Current a two-goal lead.

Moose Jaw found the form that they had in the first period early in the third as they were able to use their speed to attack the Broncos net.  Four minutes in to the period Branden Klatt pestered Broncos behind the Swift Current net, Noah Gregor grabbed a loose puck and drove to the Swift Current net where he slid the puck through the pads of Logan Flodell to pull the Warriors to within one.

Moose Jaw’s momentum was taken away with nine minutes left in the game when another turnover inside their zone ended up in the back of their net to put Swift Current back up by two.

In the final four minutes of the game the Warriors kept attacking the Broncos net and were able to claw back to within one on a goal from Jett Woo.  In the final moments they tried desperately for an equalizer but would come up short as they were dealt their first loss of the season.

Moose Jaw is now off until Thursday when they host the Edmonton Oil Kings at Mosaic Place, they wrap up a 7-game homestand next Saturday against the Vancouver Giants.

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