The Moose Jaw Warriors are working hard enough.
They just need to work smarter.
Inconsistency continued to plague the Warriors this past weekend as their losing streak extended to four games after a pair of road losses. The Warriors lost 4-1 Sunday in Lethbridge after a 4-3 loss Saturday in Red Deer.
“I have no question with the effort or the determination,” said Warriors head coach Mike Stothers. “At times that can creep in when you’re having trouble finding ways to win and finding ways to score, but to a man I think the guys are competing and working.
“At times we were real, real good. At times we had mental lapses which hurt us. We played good in some stretches and the moments and minutes when we didn’t were obviously quite costly.”
Stothers pointed to turnovers as being the chief type of mental error that cost the Warriors over their winless three-game Alberta road trip.
“We went into a weekend with three teams that were playing pretty well and they made us pay for those momentary glitches,” said Stothers.
The Warriors will host the Calgary Hitmen Wednesday night. They own a 14-21-3-4 record in WHL play and have slipped into 10th place in the Eastern Conference.
The Warriors welcomed Brayden Point, Miles Warkentine and Josh Uhrich back into the lineup Sunday after the trio played at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. They had called up goalie Zach Sawchenko, defenceman Royce Rossignol and forward Darcy DeRoose and they will all return to their junior or midget teams Monday.
Whether the Warriors will get defenceman Morgan Rielly back is uncertain. The Toronto Maple Leaf first round pick was scheduled to return Sunday night from the world juniors in Ufa, Russia. However, he and the rest of his Canadian teammates were delayed and spent the night in London, England.
Rielly is now expected to arrive in Moose Jaw Monday. He is one of two junior players that Leafs GM Brian Burke has listed to recall for a training camp once the lockout was finalized. Rielly is expected to attend the Maple Leafs’ training camp once it is determined when and where that will take place.
Hurricanes 4 Warriors 1
Reid Duke scored his first two goals of the year and Jaimen Yakubowski scored twice as well for the Hurricanes.
The Warriors were trailing 1-0 late in the first period when their first power play was curtailed by a too-many men penalty. The Warriors picked up a bench minor protesting the call and Yakubowski scored on the eventual five-on-three power play.
“It was a tough weekend. It certainly wasn’t the feel-good of the B.C. trip coming back, that’s for sure,” said Stothers.
Goalie Christopher Tai made his fourth start of the season for the Canes and stopped 40 Moose Jaw shots.
Point marked his return with power play goal early in the third period rebound off of a Justin Kirsch point shot.
The goal halved the lead to 2-1, but Duke replied 42 seconds later to give Canes control of the game again.