Meatloaf once sang that two out of three ain’t bad.
For the Moose Jaw Warriors it constituted a very strong weekend of hockey.
The Warriors snapped their losing streak Friday and snapped the winning streaks of two of the hottest teams in the Western Hockey League before losing to the Memorial Cup hosts Sunday.
“The guys have worked hard and have been through a lot in this last little stretch,” said Warriors head coach Mike Stothers. “Getting a couple of victories allows us to relax a little bit and play the way we can.”
The Warriors snapped the Swift Current Broncos’ seven-game winning streak with a 5-2 win Saturday before the Saskatoon Blades blanked them 5-0. Friday the Warriors ended the Kootenay Ice’s five-game winning streak with a 3-2 overtime victory. That win also snapped the Warriors’ 10-game losing streak.
The Warriors were playing their third game in as many nights and the Blades had been off since Wednesday. The result was pretty predictable.
“I think we kind of hit the wall against a fresher team,” said Stothers. “As the game wore on it became more and more difficult to get any ice or to battle through. We played hard and we played competitively right to the very end.”
Darren Dietz scored on a power play in the first period and Collin Valcourt doubled the lead later in the second period. The Warriors were battling to hang in the game, but Matej Stransky and Lukas Sutter scored less than two minutes apart to put the game away. Erik Benoit had the other Blades goal.
Justin Paulic made 43 saves for the Warriors.
“Paulic gave us every opportunity to stay in the game. He played extremely well,” said Stothers.
Andrey Makarov made 27 saves to earn the shutout for the Blades.
The Warriors are now 16-26-3-6 on the season. They travel to Regina Wednesday.