It may be a new season, but the Moose Jaw Warriors had a familiar feeling leaving Rexall Place Friday.
After losing all five games in Edmonton a year, the Warriors surrendered four unanswered goals in a 5-1 loss to the Oil Kings in Western Hockey League action.
“We started pretty well, but we took some penalties and they’re too good of a team to give them those kinds of opportunities,” said Warriors head coach Mike Stothers. “It kind of went downhill from there.”
The Warriors record drops to 5-5-0-1 on the season. They are in Lethbridge tonight to face the 4-6-1-0 Hurricanes.
Curtis Lazar got the scoring started for the Oil Kings 3:43 into the first period.
Warriors rookie Brayden Point tied the game at 1-1, but Michael St. Croix scored on a power play to give the Oil Kings the lead back and Travis Ewanyk scored to put Edmonton ahead 3-1 after 20 minutes.
St. Croix completed his hat trick with a pair of power play goals in the second period.
“We had chances on our power play and the difference was that they took advantage on theirs,” said Stothers.
The Oil Kings finished 3-for-5 on the power play, while the Warriors were 0-for-6 — though half of those chances came in the third period.
Stothers gave credit to the Oil Kings’ power play while also acknowledging the Warriors penalty kill needs to do a better job.
“They have a good power play. They use five forwards out there and they move the puck well and get it through the seams,” said Stothers.
“We didn’t win many face-offs, so it’s even harder when they start with possession of the puck. They’re good on draws, but when you lose them and give that power play the possession it just makes it even harder.”
Daniel Wapple stopped 28 shots over two periods for the Warriors, before being pulled for Justin Paulic.
Wapple had faced a full nights’ worth of shots by time he left and with Paulic scheduled to start in Lethbridge, Stothers decided to give him some action to get him ready for tonight’s game.
Tristan Jarry made 23 saves in goal for Edmonton.