The Moose Jaw Warriors gave up the first three goals to the Swift Current Broncos Friday and escaped with a win.
There would be no Houdini act Saturday when the Broncos scored the first three goals and kept scoring in their home opener. The Broncos earned an emphatic 7-1 win in Western Hockey League play.
“We didn’t take advantage of the breaks and opportunities that were given to us and Swift did. It’s hard if you’re playing from behind, especially on the road,” said Warriors head coach Mike Stothers.
“I don’t know if it was as bad as the score indicated. I don’t know that we were that bad. The end result is that they got the two points and we didn’t.”
Broncos captain Adam Lowry scored a hat trick, Coda Gordon had a goal and two assists, while Josh Derko and Ryon Moser each added a goal and an assist. Colby Cave got the rout started when he scored 7:03 into the first period.
The Broncos ended up taking a 5-0 lead in the second period.
“You never want to give up the first goal, but it’s not the end of the world if you do,” said Stothers. “You can’t have that as part of your mindset. You just have to keep playing and keep going.
“It’s a lesson that we’ll continue to work with: you might be able to fall behind by one and you might be able to fall behind by two, but you can’t continually fall behind and think you’re going to mount comebacks. It’s a very hard way to play both physically and mentally.”
The Warriors were missing defenceman Joel Edmundson and left winger Justin Kirsch after both players were ejected from Friday’s season opening 4-3 Warriors win. Both players suspensions are yet to be determined by the league.
Broncos defenceman Reece Scarlett — the victim of Kirsch’s check from behind — tweeted that he is sore, but will be fine. He didn’t play Saturday and Brad Brown from the Prairie Post reported that he has a soft tissue injury to his neck.
Gordon scored for the Broncos to put them ahead 5-0 and that was the end of the night for Warriors goalie Justin Paulic.
Paulic stopped 14 of the 19 shots he faced. Daniel Wapple gave up two goals in relief in his WHL debut.
Morgan Rielly scored his first goal of the season late in the second period on the power play to cut the lead to 5-1.
The Warriors have yet to score an even-strength goal this season.
Rielly — who had 23 penalty minutes in 84 career games heading into Saturday — picked up his first WHL fighting major late in the third period.