The Moose Jaw Warriors picked up a pair of points this past weekend, but lost their two leading goal-scorers.
The Warriors lost 2-1 in overtime to the Calgary Hitmen Sunday after losing 4-3 in a shootout to the Seattle Thunderbirds Saturday. The losses leaves the Warriors with a 7-7-3-2 record in Western Hockey League action.
The Warriors played both games without Justin Kirsch, after he picked up a lower-body injury in Friday’s loss in Brandon. Sunday, leading scorer Sam Fioretti left the game in the first period after blocking a shot. Fioretti went to Union Hospital to be evaluated for what was called “an upper-body injury.” His status is unknown at press time.
“When you struggle to score a goal, it’s hard when you take your most gifted pure goal-scorer and arguably one of your best play-makers,” said Warriors head coach Mike Stothers. “But you know what? Guys like (Bryson) Gore and (Brandon) Potomak are starting to play better ... that’s what you’re looking for. We have other guys who can play.
“I thought with what we’re missing and what we had, we played (Calgary) as hard as we could.”
Jaynen Rissling scored 2:13 into overtime when his point shot went through the screen of Elliott Peterson and past Warrior goalie Justin Paulic.
Mack Shields was 1:33 away from his first WHL shutout when Moose Jaw’s Torrin White threw a puck at the net from the side boards that hit teammate Andrew Johnson in the chest and went in.
“It was under two minutes to play, we didn’t have anything going and we found a way to score and get a point. I think that’s a character builder, right there, for us,” said Stothers.
“The weekend as a whole we played three really good games — three really close games Did we get the wins? No. But maybe we made some steps in how we need to play and how hard it is for us and that we have to play that hard every night.”
Hitmen captain Cody Sylvester opened the scoring when he deflected Spencer Humphries’ point shot past Paulic in the first period. The win was the Hitmen’s third in as many nights on the road.
The Warriors penalty kill kept then in the game. They killed off a five-on-three Hitmen power play that lasted for 1:12 at the end of the first period.
The Warriors took a penalty on each of their first two power plays — including a too-many men penalty — to limit their chances.
Shields finished with 25 saves for the Hitmen.
Paulic stopped 24 shots in goal for the Warriors.