As their season begins to draw to a close, Friday’s effort was emblematic of the Moose Jaw Warriors’ season as a whole.
The Warriors took 43 shots and only managed to score twice before losing in overtime for the fourth time this season.
The Warriors’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Regina Pats kept them mathematically alive for post-season play, but with eight games left, nothing short of a miracle would prolong their season.
“I thought we played a really good road game. I’ve got no complaints,” said Warriors head coach Mike Stothers.
The Warriors record drops to 21-33-4-6 on the season. They will host the Regina Pats Saturday before the Saskatoon Blades come to town Sunday (6 p.m., Mosaic Place). The Blades are riding an 18-game winning streak.
Stothers took some positives from the effort and the commitment he has seen from his team down the stretch — even as the games mean less and less.
“I’ve been happy with the effort. Tonight what really stood out for me was the penalty kill — the sacrifices that guys were still making to block shots. We blocked numerous attempts to our net,” said Stothers. “That’s an encouraging sign as your season winds down and your hopes are fading, that they’re still committed to playing hard and doing the right thing.”
Regina’s Trent Ouellette scored with 16 seconds left in overtime after the Warriors had killed off a Pats overtime power play.
The Warriors have only won four of the 14 overtime games they’ve played this season.
Matt Hewitt made 41 saves in goal for the Pats. It was the second straight loss where the Warriors forced the opposition goalie into make more than 40 saves.
“That’s been an issue all season long — we don’t fill the net naturally,” said Stothers. “We certainly had some good chances. Hewitt made some good saves for them.
“We were doing some good things in the offensive zone. We were cycling, we were shooting and we were going to the net, so you can’t complain.”
The Warriors opened the scoring when Justin Kirsch scored his 21st of the season.
The Pats replied before the end of the first period when Morgan Klimchuk scored on the power play.
The Pats took the lead in the second period thanks to Braden Christoffer, but Sam Fioretti’s 30th goal of the season forced overtime.