It took 65 minutes, 20 shootout attempts and a video review, but the result was the same for the Moose Jaw Warriors.
The Kootenay Ice prevailed 3-2 after a shootout Saturday to hand the Warriors their ninth straight loss.
“I think that’s the biggest thing right now is putting teams away. There’s no reason we should have been going into the third period with a one-goal lead,” said Warriors captain Kendall McFaull who scored both Warriors goals.
“We collapsed into a shell it seemed like. We have to be tighter defensively and be taking it to them offensively. That’s the best way to keep it out of our end is to have some grind time in their end.”
The game followed an all-too-familiar script for Warriors home games so far in 2013 — the Warriors got off to a good start, grabbed a lead, failed to turn their dominance into more goals and then failed to hang on to their advantage in the third period.
“We have a lot of chances that we don’t capitalize on. There are loose pucks in front of the net and other teams are finding ways to put them away,” said McFaull. “That’s something we’re definitely working on: finding loose pucks in front of the net and putting those away. Getting those second and third opportunities will definitely help us increase a lead and hold a lead.”
Kootenay’s Zach McPhee scored the only goal in the shootout and Ice goalie Mackenzie Skapski stopped all 10 Warriors shooters as the Ice won their fourth straight game. They have now won 11 of their last 12 games.
“It was a greasy one. We weren’t at our best in the first period, but we got the two points and that’s what matters,” said Ice assistant captain Brock Montgomery who is from Moose Jaw. “We’ve been finding ways to win games. Everyone has come back after Christmas a little more prepared and ready to go.”
McFaull opened the scoring in the first period as the Warriors established their forecheck and held a territorial advantage.
Kootenay’s Jon Martin picked up a charging major after driving Warrior defenceman Morgan Rielly's head into the glass. Rielly was slow to get up and was cut above his right eye, but didn't miss a shift.
Sam Reinhart scored a short-handed goal on the subsequent power play to tie the game 40 seconds into the second period, but McFaull’s second goal came on the same power play and put the Warriors back ahead.
The Ice out-shot the Warriors 10-3 in the third period and were rewarded when Jaedon Descheneau tied the game when he found a loose puck in a scrum in front of the Warriors’ net.
Descheneau has accounted for three of the last four Ice goals.
The Warriors dominated most of the overtime period as Rielly, McFaull, Justin Kirsch and Sam Fioretti created a number of chances on one extended shift.
Kootenay’s Luke Philp had the best chance, but missed the net on a partial breakaway.
Philp should have ended the game in the shootout as well, but Paulic made an incredible sprawling glove save to rob Philp when it looked like he beaten the Warriors goalie.
Reinhart’s shootout chance was reviewed after Reinhart put the puck in the net, but it was ruled that he had touched it a second time to get it over the line.
“First of we shouldn’t have been in the shootout. We should have found a way to put them away in the third and play better with the lead,” said McFaull. “Once we got into the shootout, (Paulic) was fantastic. We have to find a way to score. When your goalie stops eight or nine guys, one of our guys has to step up and score.”
Paulic finished with 23 saves.