Quinton Howden is hoping to have a prolonged absence from the Moose Jaw Civic Centre.
If the Canadian World Junior hopeful is gone until the New Year, he gave the hometown fans plenty to remember Friday.
Howden scored twice in the first period and added an assist as the Moose Jaw Warriors beat the Kootenay Ice 6-4 in Western Hockey League action.
“We knew Kootenay is good team and we got off to a big start,” said Howden. “We want to go into the Christmas break with a bang and this was a good start.
“We had a lot of jump. I got reunited with (Spencer Edwards and Dylan Hood) and we all got going.”
Howden and the Warriors top line accounted for four first period goals as they stormed out to an early 4-1 lead.
“Right off the first shift we came out and scored one and after that it seemed like everyone decided we were going to go tonight,” said Hood who had a goal and three assists. “The guys were jumping on loose pucks and forcing their d-men to turn pucks over and we capitalized on our chances.”
Edwards had a goal and two assists, while Collin Bowman scored his ninth goal of the season. Ice starting goalie Nathan Lieuwen was pulled after stopping 13 of the 17 shots he faced in the first period.
The Warriors went ahead 5-1 1:18 into the second period when Antonin Honejsek had a great take on a 100 foot pass from Dallas Ehrhardt and beat Ice back-up goalie Brett Teskey on the first shot he faced.
“Our focus, our preparation and our execution was excellent to start the game,” said Warriors head coach Dave Hunchak. “We did a lot of good things in the first and second period that we were pretty happy with.”
Hunchak was decidedly less impressed with the third period. The Ice out-shot the Warriors 12-3 in the final frame.
Elgin Pearce scored three goals for the Ice, while Joe Antilla had a goal and a pair of assists. Christian Magnus had three assists for the Ice.
The Warriors record improves to 18-12-0-2. Their next action is at home Tuesday against the Saskatoon Blades.
For more please see Saturday's Times-Herald.