Sometimes hockey is a pretty simple game.
Saturday, the Moose Jaw Warriors scored on their first two power play chances and didn’t look back in a 4-1 win over the Kootenay Ice. Monday afternoon, the Warriors threw 35 shots at Lethbridge goalie Ty Rimmer and only scored once, while the opportunistic Hurricanes skated away with a 4-1 win.
“It was a tough one,” Warriors defenceman Morgan Rielly said after Monday’s loss. “I thought we worked hard, but we couldn’t put the puck in the net — obviously that’s an important part of the game. We have to keep trying to improve on that as a team.”
After playing every minute in 21 straight games, the Canes gave their 20-year-old goalie the night off Saturday. They subsequently lost and saw their seven-game point streak snapped, but they rebounded Monday at Mosaic Place.
“We had 20 guys going,” said Rimmer. “The last time we came in here we had a good start, but we took 10 minutes off in the second period and it cost us. (Moose Jaw) is a dangerous team, especially at home.”
The Warriors limited the Canes to a dozen shots in the first 35 minutes, but still trailed 3-0.
Lethbridge opened the scoring when Brady Ramsay deflected a Daniel Johnston point shot and then early in the second Johnston doubled the lead when his point shot beat a screened Justin Paulic.
Jay Merkley gave the Canes a 3-0 lead when he scored after Paulic turned the puck over behind his net to Craig Leverton and Jay Merkley scored from the high slot.
“We really didn’t give up much and we had some good chances at times,” said Warriors head coach Mike Stothers. “We got some pucks to the net, but we didn’t do a good enough job of getting in Rimmer’s way. We made it pretty easy for him and hit him in the middle of his body. We didn’t get him moving side-to-side, we didn’t get enough traffic.”
Rimmer made his two best saves in an early third period penalty kill. He robbed Morgan Rielly with a two-pad stack on a two-on-one and a minute later he robbed Sam Fioretti on a rebound chance.
The Canes scored their fourth goal on the power play when Merkley scored his second of the night. Merkley was originally judged to have kicked the puck in, but after review the call was reversed.
Bryson Gore got the Warriors on the board when he redirected a Kendall McFaull pass past Rimmer in the third period.
Warriors defenceman Travis Brown was ejected after picking up a checking to the head major when he caught Jaimen Yakubowski with his head down. Yakubowski returned in the third period.
Torrin White missed his third straight game after breaking his hand while blocking a shot in Friday's loss in Calgary. He is expected to be out 4-6 weeks.
The Warriors were also missing Jordan Wyton (illness) on Monday, while Miles Warkentine and Reid Jackson remained shelves with upper body injuries.