The Moose Jaw Warriors battled hard Wednesday, they scored a late goal in the third period to force overtime but fell 4-3 to the Saskatoon Blades in Game 4 of their 1st round playoff series.
Saskatoon had a good start the game as they created plenty of pressure inside the Moose Jaw zone. They outshot the Warriors 11-2 at the midway point of the first period and 17-7 overall in the frame, they took a 1-0 at 7:37 when Max Gerlach scored his 5th of the series.
Moose Jaw fought for their chances late in the frame and with just under two minutes left in the period their hard work was rewarded.
Tate Popple muscled the puck off the Blades right wall and was able to toss it over to Josh Brook who looked to drive the net. The puck bounced from Brook’s stick over to Luke Ormsby on the left side of the net where he punched in his first of the playoffs to tie the game at one.
Moose Jaw came out hard in the second period, two minutes in they forced the puck towards the Blades net for a flurry of chances. With the puck loose between the circles, Matthew Benson came off the blueline and put a shot into traffic that found the back of the net, his first WHL goal gave Moose Jaw a 2-1 lead.
Saskatoon responded just before the midway mark of the second period when Tristen Robins won a faceoff and drove to the Warriors net and finished the rush with his first of the playoffs to tie the game at two.
The battles continued in the third period as both teams pressed for the go-ahead goal.
Moose Jaw picked up a late power-play but unfortunately, Kirby Dach was able to create a turnover and came up the ice on a breakaway and finished with his second of the playoffs to give the Blades a late lead.
On the Saskatoon goal, behind the play, the Warriors took a penalty, which meant they trailed by one on the scoreboard and would be short a player on the ice.
Two minutes and eight seconds later and still shorthanded, Tristin Langan muscled his way down Blades boards on the right wing side. Langan drove behind the net and converted on a wrap-around, his first goal of the playoffs pushed the game to overtime.
Four and a half minutes into the extra period, Saskatoon’s Kristian Roykas-Marthinsen came down the Warriors right boards and hit the goal line. The import rookie forward tossed the puck towards the Moose Jaw net, the puck went off of a Warrior skate and trickled over the goal line, ending Moose Jaw’s season.
Adam Evanoff made 45 saves for the Warriors while Nolan Maier made 23 for Saskatoon.
Three of the four games were decided by one goal, with two of them ending in overtime, Game 2 was decided by two goals after Saskatoon was given an empty-net goal in the final minute.
With their season now over, the players will go their separate ways for the summer, some will head to the pro ranks while others will go home and prepare for 2019 Training Camp in August.