The Moose Jaw Warriors battled hard but could not erase a three-goal second-period deficit and fell 5-2 to the Brandon Wheat Kings Friday at Mosaic Place.
In the opening moments of the game, both teams struggled to settle a bouncing puck down but as the period went on, both teams started to battle their way up the ice.
Space was limited throughout the opening period, there was a lot of battles along the boards in all three zones which limited the quality scoring chances.
Brandon picked up the game’s first goal with six minutes left in the frame while working on the power-play.
Cole Reinhardt had the puck at the Moose Jaw right goal line and jammed it off the pad of goalie Jackson Berry. The puck rolled to Braden Schneider on the left side of the Moose Jaw net where he scored to give the visitors the lead.
Eight minutes into the second period, Brandon took a 2-0 lead on a goal from Ridly Greig, they extended their lead three minutes later with a goal from Jake Chiasson.
Moose Jaw kept battling in the middle frame, they outshot the Wheat Kings 10-7 in the frame and they were able to pick up a goal from Tate Popple at 15:53 to get on the scoreboard.
The Warriors kept coming after Popple’s goal, they were able to create some quality chances but were not able to convert. Instead, the Wheat Kings went up 4-1 with just over two minutes left in the period when Greig scored his second of the game.
Approaching the two-minute mark of the third period, the Warriors pushed the puck the Brandon crease and then had bodies crashing the net. 17-year-old rookie Cade Hayes was able to jam the puck in, his second goal of the pre-season pulled the Warriors to within two.
Moose Jaw outshot Brandon 10-8 in the third period but they were not able to close the gap, Brandon added a goal from Lynden McCallum and skated away with the 5-2 win.
Tate Popple led the Warriors with a goal and two points while Ridly Greig led Brandon with two goals and four points.
Moose Jaw was 0-for-5 on the power-play and they were 1-for-2 on the penalty kill.
These two East Division rivals will close out their 2019 WHL Pre-Season Saturday with a return matchup in Brandon. Catch all the action on Country 100 starting with the PreGame Show at 6:25pm.