In their final game of the 2021 Regular Season, the Moose Jaw Warriors fought hard but came up short, falling 5-4 in overtime to the Saskatoon Blades at the Subway WHL Hub in Regina.
Saskatoon picked up the game’s first goal at 3:49 when Kyle Crnkovic jumped on a rebound on the blocker side of Warriors goalie Boston Bilous.
Moose Jaw fought back at 7:27, Lucas Brenton let a shot go from the blue line that went off a skate and right to Logan Doust on top of the Saskatoon crease where he scored his second of the season to tie the game at one.
The game remained tight in the second period as the team’s continued to make it difficult to generate quality scoring chances.
With Moose Jaw on the power-play at 11:24, the Blades generated a turnover in the neutral zone, allowing Kyle Crnkovic to lead an odd-man rush up the ice. The third-year Blade drove towards the net and finished the rush with his second of the game to give Saskatoon a 2-1 lead.
38 seconds later and with the Warriors’ power-play ending, Tate Popple was able to roll a shot on the net, the rebound came to 16-year-old Jagger Firkus on the left side of the net where he scored his sixth of the season to tie the game at two.
Saskatoon started the third period on the power-play and eight seconds into the frame, they tossed the puck towards the Moose Jaw net where it went off the skate of Colton Dach and past the Warrior goaltender.
Five and a half minutes later and back on the power-play, Saskatoon took a shot from the Moose Jaw right boards. The rebound came to the top of the Warriors’ crease where Chase Wouters knocked in the rebound, giving the Blades a two-goal lead.
Under two minutes later and this time the Warriors on the power-play, Daemon Hunt took a shot from inside the blue line that went off two Blades and then past goalie Nolan Maier to pull Moose Jaw within one.
Moose Jaw continued to battle for an equalizer and with less than five minutes left they were rewarded.
Atley Calvert fought the puck out of the Warriors zone and was able to slide the puck to Logan Doust. The 19-year-old led a rush across the Saskatoon line and then fed the puck on the right-wing to Calder Anderson. Anderson drove towards the Blades net and then snapped a shot past the blocker of the goalie, his third of the year tied the game at four.
Neither team found the back of the net in the rest of the regulation, which propelled the game to overtime.
Close to 90 seconds into the extra period, the Warriors lost control of the puck high in the Saskatoon zone.
That allowed the Blades Colton Dach to jump on the loose puck and burst of the ice. Dach was joined by defenceman Rhett Rhinehart to make it a 2-on-0 rush, the puck landed the blueliners stick and he ended the game.
Daemon Hunt and Logan Doust led the Warriors with a goal and two points each while Kyle Crnkovic led the Blades with two goals and four points.
The Moose Jaw Warriors end their 24-game regular season with a record of 8-13-3, 18-year-old Eric Alarie led the team in scoring with ten goals and 20 points, Captain Daemon Hunt had eight goals and 18 points, Brayden Yager had 11 assists and 18 points, and graduating forward Tate Popple had 16 points.
15-year-old Yager, who was an affiliated player this season, led all first-year players in scoring, followed by 16-year-old Jagger Firkus who had six goals and 14 points.
The team now enters the off-season where they will dive into their 50-man roster and make plans for the 2021 – 2022 WHL Regular Season.