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Warriors fight for Sunday win

Marc Smith

The Moose Jaw Warriors fought their way to a 5-3 win over the Saskatoon Blades Sunday at SaskTel Centre.

Both teams are known for playing with speed but they weren’t able to showcase it throughout the first period as both teams weren’t clean coming up the ice in transition which led to several broken plays.

Despite the slow flow the Warriors were able to find their way on to the scoreboard 1:48 in to the game.

Oleg Sosunov stepped off the left line and skated down the left boards and then dropped the puck to the top of the circle for Jayden Halbgewachs.  The 20-year-old lifted the puck towards the net where Captain Brett Howden directed it over the goal line for his 18th of the season.

With under nine minutes left in the opening period Tristin Langan poked the puck away from the Blades at the Moose Jaw blueline.  As the puck rolled towards the Saskatoon zone 17-year-old Brecon rushed up the ice and was able to convert on a breakaway for his 3rd goal of the season that gave the Warriors a 2-0 lead.

Moose Jaw was given a power play in the final 90 seconds but they weren’t able to set up in the offensive zone.  Instead Blades forward Josh Paterson created a neutral zone turnover and then battled his way towards the Warriors net where he scored a shorthanded goal with 16 seconds left in the period.

After slow first period the Warriors started the second on the power play and they used the man advantage to establish a quicker pace and a territorial advantage.

Just as Saskatoon got back to even strength Brett Howden controlled the puck along the Blades left boards.  The Captain made a great pass cross ice to Brayden Burke inside the right circle where he then made a quick pass to Justin Almeida on top of the left crease where he chipped in his 28th goal 51 seconds in to the frame.

Saskatoon started the third strong and pulled back to within one 97 seconds in to the frame when Josh Paterson scored his second the game.  The Blades then tied the game at three when Eric Florchuk finished an odd-man rush up the ice.

The back half of the third period was a grind as the teams fought for the chances.

With just over seven minutes left in regulation Brayden Burke put the game on his stick.

Burke took a pass along the Warriors right boards and rushed up the ice.  The 20-year-old burst down the Blades left boards and muscled his way around a defenseman and charged the net where he finished with a shot passed Nolan Maier to give the Warriors the lead.

In the final moments of the game the Warriors buckled down defensively and didn’t give the Blades any clean looks towards their net.

Moose Jaw finished the game with an empty net goal from Jayden Halbgewachs with four seconds left to finish their weekend.

Brayden Burke, Brett Howden, and Jayden Halbgewachs had a goal and two points each and Oleg Sosunov picked up two assists.

The Warriors are now off until next weekend when they head to Alberta for games against Lethbridge and Medicine Hat.  The road trip starts Friday at the Enmax Centre against the Hurricanes and then wraps up Saturday at Canalta Centre against the Tigers.

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