For the sixth time in seven games this season the Moose Jaw Warriors played in a one-goal game but unfortunately, they came up just short falling 5-4 in overtime to the Brandon Wheat Kings Friday in Manitoba.
The Warriors weren’t able to get a shot on net in the first ten minutes of the game but in the back half of the opening period, they tossed a lot of rubber towards the Brandon net.
They were able to create quality chances inside home plate but weren’t able to capitalize as Wheat Kings import rookie goalie Jiri Patera made several key saves to keep Moose Jaw off the board.
Moose Jaw outshot Brandon 14-8 in the first period but found themselves down 2-0 after one as the Wheat Kings got two goals from Schael Higson who was able to beat Brodan Salmond with a pair of shots from the point with the Wheat Kings having plenty of traffic inside home plate.
At the start of the second period, the Warriors were able to attack the Brandon zone which helped to build momentum and a one-sided 24-13 advantage on the shot clock through two periods.
Moose Jaw’s special teams got them back in the game in the middle frame.
At 9:25 and working on the man advantage, Justin Almeida made a great pass from the left circle to Josh Brook inside the right circle. The Warriors captain didn’t hold on to the puck long as he ripped a shot over the glove of Patera for his 4th of the season.
Back on the man advantage at 11:07 the Warriors were able to tie the game at two when Tristin Langan knocked the puck in from inside the Brandon crease for his 6th of the season.
The Wheat Kings responded just over two minutes later at 13:28 when Jonny Hooker picked up a rebound on top of the Moose Jaw left the crease and snapped the puck high over the Warriors sprawling goalie.
Down a goal to start the third period, the Warriors pushed to the Brandon net and were able to tie the game at three at 5:35 when Jett Woo let a wrist shot go from inside the right circle for his 1st goal of the season.
The tight game continued throughout the third period but the Warriors controlled the pace due to their aggressive fore-check.
With just over four minutes left in regulation, the Warriors fore-check created a turnover inside the Brandon zone.
They moved the puck to the point for Daemon Hunt who then slid it down between the circles for Justin Almeida.
Almeida made a quick pass to the left side of the Brandon crease where Tristin Langan redirected in his second goal of the game to give Moose Jaw their first lead.
With their backs against the wall, Brandon pulled their goalie inside the final two minutes of the third period and the gamble paid off as they were able to set up Luka Burzan on the right side of the Warriors net where he tied the game at four.
For the second time in a week these two teams went to overtime and for the second time, it didn’t take long to produce a winner.
Moose Jaw came in for a quick shot to start the extra frame but the Wheat Kings grabbed the rebound and moved up the ice quickly.
Connor Gutenberg led an odd-man rush across the Warriors line and snapped a shot from inside the right circle that ended the game.
Tristin Langan finished with two goals and three points and was the game’s second star, Josh Brook had a goal and two points, Justin Almeida picked up four assists, and Schael Higson led the Wheat Kings with two goals and five points.
Moose Jaw outshot the Wheat Kings 41-24 and finished the game 2-for-3 on the power play and they didn’t see any time on the penalty kill.
Moose Jaw’s weekend schedule continues Saturday back at Mosaic Place with their only meeting of the season against the Spokane Chiefs. Tickets are available at the Mosaic Place Box Office or online at www.mjwarriors.ca.
Catch all the action on Country 100 starting with the PreGame show at 6:40 pm.