Warriors rally with pair of third period goals, fall in shooout in Winnipeg
Moose Jaw overcome the 2-0 deficit with goals from Calvert and Rysavy in the closing stages but end up in a 3-2 defeat
The Moose Jaw Warriors did everything they could to try and grab a win from the Winnipeg Ice on Saturday night in Winnipeg, but in the end they settled for a single point.
Matthew Savoie scored the only goal on penalties, spoiling a two-goal comeback by the Warriors against the CHL’s top team, and the Ice would earn a 3-2 Western Hockey League win.
Moose Jaw improved to 28-14-0-3 and is just one point behind the Saskatoon Blades in third place in the Eastern Conference, with the Blades now having two games in hand.
Both teams had their share of scoring chances in the first nine minutes, with Connor Ungar making the biggest save of the first half of the opening period. Zach Benson went into play with a partial breakaway at 8:30 but Logan Dowhaniuk would come back just in time to throw Benson off stride and Ungar would save the bat to keep it a goalless game.
A few minutes later, Owen Pederson got a partial break, but Ungar got a shoulder on the shot in his second big save of the period.
With six minutes left, Pederson got another chance and this time it went in the ice veteran’s favour. Pederson stole the puck behind the net and slipped past Ungar with a sweep for the first goal of the game.
It was Ice goalie Daniel Hauser’s turn to make big saves in the closing minutes of the period, first stopping a shot from Ryder Korczak into high position and then an open shot from close range by Max Wanner with just his shoulder fend off.
The Warriors had a lot of pressure starting the second half and it would all result in Moose Jaw getting the game’s first power play at nine minutes. However, Winnipeg would have the only good scoring chance when Connor Geekie and Benson made it two-for-one after the penalty was over, but Ungar would save again.
Things didn’t change much after the penalty expired as the Warriors continued to roll and cycle in the Winnipeg Zone and spent nearly two full minutes in the Ice Zone around the nine-minute mark.
Despite all that pressure, Winnipeg would extend their lead by just under a minute to play in the frame. Zach Benson found the puck in a scramble and put down a shot home to give Winnipeg a 2-0 lead.
The second period became the third period, but game control didn’t change and the Warriors would finally break through.
After another long run from the zone in the Winnipeg end, Atley Calvert picked up the rebound from a point shot by Eric Alarie and scored his 26th goal of the year. Korczak also collected an assist and extended the point streak to six games for all three players. The goal fell 2:30 into the half period.
A double minor against Ice forward Easton Armstrong 10-51 at halftime gave the Warriors a glorious chance to level the game and while they wouldn’t be able to get the job done there, they would seven minutes later .
Jagger Firkus threw a puck forward from deep in the Winnipeg zone and Martin Rysavy would be in the right place to poke the puck home and make it a 2-2 game.
Overtime wouldn’t solve anything – thanks to a couple of big saves from Ungar and Hauser in the final 1:30 of extra time – and the two teams would go to penalties.
There Savoie scored on the second shot and the Warriors were ruled out again – leading their scoreless shootout run to 10 straight – and Winnipeg had their win.
Unger hit 26 shots in the Warriors’ net, while at the other end of the ice, Hauser had 29 saves, including 16 in the third period alone as the Warriors beat Winnipeg 16-4.
The Warriors and Winnipeg are back in action Sunday in Winnipeg with a puck drop at 5:00 p.m. The next home game is on Friday when they host the Brandon Wheat Kings. Game time is 7pm at the Moose Jaw Events Centre.