The Moose Jaw Warriors battled hard last night in Brandon and came up short falling 2-1 to the Wheat Kings in their season opener at Westoba Place.
In the first period, the Warriors and Wheat Kings established a quick as they raced up and down the ice. Midway through the frame, Brandon was able to establish a territorial advantage with an aggressive fore-check and that led to a 14-5 advantage on the shot clock.
Inside the final two minutes of the period, Brandon was put on the power play.
Moose Jaw’s penalty kill didn’t give Brandon much but with 46 seconds left in the period, the Wheat Kings Stelio Mattheos took a shot from inside the right circle that went off of a Warriors on top of the crease and past Adam Evanoff.
16 seconds into the second period the Wheat Kings broke up a Warrior clearing attempt inside their zone and fed the puck to 20-year-old defenceman Schael Higson whose slapshot from the left point found its way through traffic and to the back of the net.
Moose Jaw needed a spark in the middle period and they got it at 7:31.
Tristin Langan won a faceoff in the right circle and Justin Almeida came off the right wall to grab the puck. The Pittsburgh Penguins prospect skated to the left side of the circle and snapped a wrist shot from Jiri Patera to get the Warriors on the board.
At 11:19 the Warriors thought they tied the game at two when Brecon Wood knocked the puck out of the air and into the Brandon net. However, after video review, the goal was disallowed as they said it was knocked in with a high stick.
With their backs against the wall to start the third period, the Warriors came hard at the Wheat Kings.
They used their speed to ignite an aggressive fore-check which allowed them to create quality scoring opportunities.
Moose Jaw outshot Brandon 14-11 in the third period but they just couldn’t snag an equalizer and went on to suffer a tight one-goal loss.
Moose Jaw didn’t receive a power play in the game while Brandon was 1-for-1, Adam Evanoff made 34 saves in the loss while Jiri Patera made 28 in the win.
These two rivals will continue their weekend series Saturday back in Moose Jaw. Saturday’s 50-50 jackpot is starting just shy of $167,000 and door at Mosaic Place will open at 5:30pm.
Catch all the action on Country 100 starting with the PreGame Show at 6:40pm.