The last time the Moose Jaw Warriors faced the Saskatoon Blades, things didn’t go as planned. On Tuesday, the Warriors were looking to avenge a loss from two weeks ago, but suffered another one-goal loss.
The Blades scored three goals in the second frame and an empty net goal to secure a 5-4 victory in Western Hockey League action. This was the Warriors 28th one-goal game of the season.
“We did a real good job in the first and they came out with a real push to start the second and that got us on our heels. It was the game from there,” said Warriors head coach Mike Stothers. “I always have a bad taste in my mouth when we lose, but we played much better than we did the last time here and we will continue to improve and make some adjustments so that we can get on the right side of these one-goal games.”
The Warriors had a good start to the game, getting an early lead on the Blades with a power play marker from Sam Fioretti and then Tanner Eberle added a short handed goal less than two minutes later.
Blades forward Brett Stovin had scored just once in his last 23 games, but netted two goals in 33 seconds in the second period to erase the Warriors lead.
“We are looking at a team that is suppose to be one of the best teams in Canada and are hosting the Memorial Cup, so they aren’t going to just roll over,” said Stothers. “They responded in a way that we expected them to and applied some pressure.”
Brayden Point scored his 13th goal of the season on the man advantage on a great pass from Morgan Rielly. But the Warriors lead would again be erased, this time from Josh Nicholls.
The turning point of the game came at 6:58 of the third period when Brenden Walker of the Blades cut in and backhanded a shot over the blocker of Warriors goaltender Justin Paulic. The goal gave the Blades their first lead of the night and it stood as the winner. Walker added an empty net goal with 75 seconds remaining in the game to seal the win.
Point scored his second of the game with five seconds remaining off a shot that beat Blades goaltender Andrey Marakov.
“A couple bounces and a couple good saves by Marakov, it could have been a different story, and so it was a much better performance than the last time we were here,” said Stothers.
For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.