Warriors score five straight on way to win over Wheat Kings
Korczak and Lolacher each score two goals, Dowhaniuk and Mateychuk each have two assists while Moose Jaw Brandon wins 5-1
It took the Moose Jaw Warriors two periods to really get going against the Brandon Wheat Kings on Friday night, but by the time they did it was all hands on deck.
The Warriors overcame an early 1-0 deficit by scoring five straight goals – including four in the third half – and would earn a 5-1 Western Hockey League win at the Moose Jaw Events Centre.
Moose Jaw improved to 29-15-0-3 with the win and once again moved past the Saskatoon Blades for third place in the Eastern Conference, despite the Blades having five games in their hands.
“It was definitely a slow start, we gave up early there, but about 10 minutes later we figured it out a little better,” said Warriors defenseman Logan Dowhaniuk, who capped the contest with two assists. “Then in the second we got the power play goal and in the third we just shot from all guns, so it was a nice win.”
As Dowhaniuk alluded to, Brandon got off to a great start, pushing the Warriors into their zone in the first minute before scoring the game’s first goal. Former warrior Calder Anderson took a feed off Nolan Ritchie’s endboards and put a shot home just 1:23 into the contest.
Neither team had more than a few scoring chances in the second period, but the Warriors were able to make the most of the opening they had on their first power play of the game. Harper Lolacher found some clearance in the slot and jumped on a Dowhaniuk shot that rebounded up front from Martin Ryavy and covered a shot blocker side to put the game 5:52 in the section.
Jagger Firkus had two chances to put his team ahead in the last minute of the frame, but Carson Bjarnason would make two big saves to tie the fight.
The Warriors had the most chances in the first eight minutes of game three, and when they broke through at 7:36, the game continued.
“It was all about getting shots at the net, trying to destroy the net and generating chances like that,” explained Dowhankiuk. “We had bodies in front of the net, we shot and they went in.”
Atley Calvert started the run and missed a couple of chances just seconds before before putting himself in front of the Brandon net. He would be rewarded by scoring a point shot from Denton Mateychuk past Bjarnason for the 2-1 lead.
Ryder Korczak then extended the lead to two goals at 7:01, taking a short pass from Max Wanner in the slot and absolutely wiring a one-off top shelf.
Just 59 seconds later, the above-average forward scored another beauty as he drove into the high slot and tipped a glove-side Dowhaniuk shot into the top corner. The goal was Korczak’s 20th of the season and 42nd point in just 28 games.
“I saw Korz on the ice with his stick and kind of shot it right at him and he got a really nice tip on that,” Dowhaniuk said.
The Warriors progressed and Lolacher made it a 5-1 game with 3:36 to play, breaking down the left wing on the rush and sneaking home that Bjarnason was only able to get a piece of.
Connor Ungar was steadfast in goal as usual, repelling 32 shots to win while the Warriors had 33 shots on Bjarnason.
The Warriors are right back in action on Saturday night when they host the Medicine Hat Tigers and the goal is to continue with the role.
“I think we have all the talent in the world here, the only thing we struggle with is consistency,” Dowhaniuk said. “It just comes in every day and does what we can to win. I think we did a lot better with that last month so we just have to take it to the playoffs.”
Game time is 7pm at the Moose Jaw Events Centre.