Warriors can't match Wheat Kings' response

Matthew Gourlie
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Moose Jaw Warriors

After a quiet first 40 minutes, the goals came fast and furious in the third period in Brandon Friday.

For the Moose Jaw Warriors the goals they scored were followed by Brandon goals far too quickly for their liking.

The Brandon Wheat Kings quick responses helped them beat the Warriors 4-2 in WHL Friday. The Warriors record drops to 12-16-3-4. The teams will meet tonight in Moose Jaw (7 p.m., Mosaic Place).

Twice the teams scored three goals in less than three minutes during the third period.

“We got stung by a couple of turnovers that Brandon was able to capitalize on,” said Warriors head coach Mike Stothers. “It was a seesaw battle for most of the night and we fell a couple short.”

Wheat Kings responded to the Warriors’ goals, but scoring 80 and 43 seconds later respectively.

“It is tough. Basically we have to do a better job of protecting the puck ... and not putting it in areas where the other team can take advantage,” said Stothers.

Turnovers proved costly in the Warriors 5-2 loss to Saskatoon on Wednesday as well.

“There’s a little bit of inexperience,” said Stothers. “There’s guys that are maybe a little guilty of knowing that we’re having a hard time scoring and are trying to do a little too much. I think that’s an admirable thing to want to help your team, but quite often it backfires when you try to do too much and maybe trying to do it as an individual.”

Bryson Gore opened the scoring for the Warriors early in the third period. Tanner Eberle forced a turnover with some good work on the forecheck and he fed the puck to Gore who banged home his own rebound.

Tim McGauley tied the game 1:20 after Gore’s goal and then Nick Buonassisi put the Wheat Kings ahead 2:43 after the Warriors opened the scoring. Ryan Pluck made a great rush through the neutral zone to create a two-on-one before he fed Buonassisi who scored to give the Wheat Kings the lead.

After nine scoreless minutes that featured a successful Wheat Kings penalty kill, Richard Nejezchleb gave the Wheat Kings a 3-1 lead and kicked off another flurry of goals.

Eberle deflected a Travis Brown point shot to cut the Brandon lead to a 3-2. That goal came 46 seconds after Nejezchleb scored. It only took Brandon 43 seconds to regain their lead when McGauley crashed the net to bury a rebound to put the Wheat Kings up 4-2.

Justin Paulic made 28 saves in goal for the Warriors.

Curtis Honey stopped 24 shots for the Wheat Kings.

Torrin White returned for the Warriors lineup after missing 14 games with a broken hand.

Organizations: Warriors 4

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Saskatoon

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