Warriors offense explodes against ICE

Brayden Burke and Brett Howden had three points each and Brody Willms picked up his second shutout of the weekend in the Moose Jaw Warriors 6-0 win over the Kootenay ICE Saturday at Mosaic Place.

Both teams pushed the pace right from the opening puck drop and created plenty of scoring chances at both ends of the ice.

The Warriors were able to control the time on attack and they broke through when Brayden Burke buried his 27th goal of the year just 7:47 into the game. It was also his 100th point of the season, making him the first player in the Canadian Hockey League to surpass the century mark.

Kootenay pushed back and Warriors goalie Brody Willms made some big saves to keep his team ahead.

Moose Jaw rewarded their goalie with two late goals in the first period. Dmitri Zaitsev’s point shot found its way through the net with 1:30 to go in the opening frame and then captain Brett Howden scored his 19th of the year with only 28 seconds left in the first.

The Warriors kept the pressure coming in the second period as they outshot the ICE 14-3 in the period and added two more goals to the scored.

Working on the power play at 7:45 Brayden Burke controlled the puck inside the left Kootenay circle.  Burke found a seam to move the puck cross ice to Brett Howden inside the right circle where he drilled in his second of the game and 20th of the season.

They added to their lead at 15:34 when Burke picked up the puck up from behind the ICE net and converted on a wrap-around for his second of the game and 28th of the season.

In the third period the Warriors added a late goal from Brandon Schuldhaus when he blasted a puck from the left point over the shoulder of goalie Matt Berlin.

Howden and Burke finished with two goals and three points each, Dmitri Zaitsev had a goal and three points, Brandon Schuldhaus had a goal and two points, Kale Clague picked up two assists, and Brody Willms made 15 saves for his second shutout of the weekend and his fourth of the season.

Burke and Howden’s big nights led to personal milestones.

Burke’s early goal in the first period made him the first player in the WHL to reach the 100 point milestone and this marks the second time in three years that he’s surpassed the century mark for points.  Burke currently leads the WHL with 102 points.

Howden’s three point night brought his career point total to 241 moving him in to 9th place on the Warriors All-Time Scoring list, moving past his brother Quinton who had 239 points in four years in Moose Jaw.

Jayden Halbgewachs also picked up one assist which brought his career point total to 245 which moves him in to a tie with Warriors Hall of Famer’s Rob Reimer and David Bararuk for 5th All-Time.

The Warriors are now off until next Wednesday when they’ll head in to Regina for the first of three straight games against the Pats.

The old rivals collide on Valentine’s Day in the Queen City, they series shifts to Moose Jaw next Friday, and the stretch wraps up Sunday, February 18th back in Regina.

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