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Weekend series with Tigers opens with narrow loss

Randy Feere/ Medicine Hat Tigers

The Moose Jaw Warriors had a strong start but the Medicine Hat Tigers fought from behind and picked up a hard 5-2 win at Canalta Centre.

The Warriors came out hard to start the game.  They moved up the ice quickly when going on the attack and the came back just as fast defensively to neutralize the Tigers fore-check.

Close to the 5-minute mark of the period, new Warrior Logan Doust jumped on a loose puck in the neutral zone and burst up the ice on a breakaway.  In his 100th WHL game, which was his first game with his new team, Doust ripped a shot past Garin Bjorklund to give Moose Jaw and early lead.

Just over two minutes later at 6:51, Cole Jordan had the puck in the Moose Jaw zone and looked up the ice where he put a pass onto the stick of Captain Owen Hardy.

Hardy charged down the Tigers’ right wall and when he got to the face-off dot, he put a shot over the glove of Bjorklund, his team-leading 18th goal made it 2-0.

Medicine Hat was able to respond at 13:06 when they dumped the puck into the Moose Jaw zone and the puck took a funny hop off the glass in the Warriors zone and ricocheted to the top of the crease.

Bilous had come out of his net to play the puck and was not able to recover from the odd bounce as Caleb Willms scored to get Medicine Hat on the scoreboard.

The Tigers came out in the second period with a hard push.  They had plenty of zone time and were able to outshoot Moose Jaw 15-5 in the period, but the Warriors held their ground and kept their 2-1 lead going into the second intermission.

Medicine Hat started the third period just like the second period, with a strong attack and plenty of zone time.

Close to three minutes into the period, Brett Kemp had the puck for the Tigers at the bottom of the left circle and then set up Cole Sillinger between the circle for a one-timer that found the back of the net to tie the game at two.

The game remaining close as both teams pushed for a go-ahead goal.

With less than five minutes left, the Warriors failed to clear their zone which allowed Cole Sillinger to make a cross-ice pass from the high left wall to Brett Kemp on the right win where he drove the Moose Jaw net and scored to give Medicine Hat their first lead of the game.

In the final moments of the game, the Warriors pulled their goalie twice which led to two empty-net goals and a 5-2 loss.

Warriors goalie Boston Bilous made 45 saves in the loss while Garin Bjorklund made 22 in the win.

Moose Jaw was 0-for-4 on the power-play and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill.

These two teams will wrap up their regular-season series Saturday at Mosaic Place with the back half of their weekend home-and-home series.

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.

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