On the list of things that haven’t been kind to the Moose Jaw Warriors this season, overtime and Patrik Bartosak would rank high.
Saturday Bartosak made 42 saves and three more in the shootout as his Red Deer Rebels beat the Warriors 2-1 in Western Hockey League action.
The loss was the Warriors fourth in a row and second at the outset of their seven-game road trip, but head coach Mike Stothers had nothing but praise for his team’s performance and effort.
“I thought we played extremely well,” said Stothers. “We played hard and we did not have any passengers. I thought it was a really good effort from everybody. I have no complaints about the way we played at all.”
The Warriors record falls to 8-11-3-4 on the season.
The Warriors overtime record drops to 1-0-3-4 this season. They have yet to win a game in a shootout. The point was valuable as it lifted the Warriors into a four-way tie for eighth place.
It was the third time in four games against the Warriors that Bartosak has faced more than 40 shots and came away with the win. Bartosak made 41 saves in a 4-3 shootout win at Mosaic Place earlier this season. Last season, the Czech netminder made 39 saves in a 3-2 Rebels win.
“We had some better quality chances and I thought their goalie played very, very well,” said Stothers. “We dictated. We did what we wanted to do — outside of finding the back of the net on a more regular basis.”
After taking the game to the Rebels for much of the second period, the Warriors persistence finally paid off when Justin Kirsch opened the scoring. The 20-year-old scored his 10th of the season with 3:51 remaining in the second period when Brandon Potomak found him open in the high slot.
The Warriors kept their foot on the gas pedal to start the third period, but the Rebels tied the game when Matt Dumba scored a power play goal 4:23 into the third.
Conner Bleackley scored the winner in the fourth round of the shootout. Rhyse Dieno had the other Rebels goal.
Brayden Point was the only Warrior to score in the shootout.
The Warriors will meet Victoria on Tuesday as they continue their road trip.