Saturday a pair of Moose Jaw Warriors veterans said there was no panic in the midst of a six-game losing streak.
© Prince Albert Daily Herald photo by Perry Bergson
Prince Albert Raiders forward Carson Perreaux watches the puck past the top of Moose Jaw Warriors goaltender Zachary Sawchenko’s stick during the third period on Sunday afternoon at the Art Hauser Centre in Prince Albert.
Following their 4-2 loss to the Regina Pats, Tanner Eberle and Travis Brown both asserted that if the Warriors kept working hard and stuck to their game plan the wins would follow.
Sunday each man scored a goal as the Warriors prevailed with a 4-3 win over the East Division-leading Prince Albert Raiders.
“We’ve been trying to remain positive and calm. We know we played well enough to win some of those games,” said Warriors head coach Mike Stothers. “There wasn’t any need to change our approach. I did think there was a little more desperation to complete the opportunities that we were presented.”
The Warriors lost three of the six games on their skid in overtime or a shootout. Whether they’re coming off of a one-goal win or a one-goal loss Stothers wants his team to keep an even keel.
“It’s a matter of staying the course and everybody believing in what we’re doing. Sooner or later it’s going to turn the other way,” said Stothers of snapping out of their losing streak. “That’s not to say that you win one and you stop doing what you’re doing. You get rewarded for the work and effort you put in.”
The win raises the Warriors record to 5-6-1-2 in an incredibly close Eastern Conference.
The Warriors opened the scoring by scoring twice on the same penalty kill early in the first period on their first two shots of the game.
Jack Rodewald converted a pass on a two-on-one with Sam Fioretti and at the end of the kill Travis Brown blocked a shot and raced away to score on a breakaway.
“Our penalty kill did a good job of scoring two short-handed goals, we got a power play goal,” said Stothers. “Our energy level and our pace in the first period was unreal considering that we played (Saturday) and we had an early start (Sunday). I thought it might take us a little while to get going, but we had a great start. I thought that was the key.”
Tanner Eberle scored a power play goal to put the Warriors ahead 3-0 in the second period. It was an important goal, but Stothers felt Eberle’s contribution extended well beyond the goal.
“Tanner Eberle really set the tone for us just by hitting everything in sight,” said Stothers. “He played the annoying game that makes him most effective for us. He distracts the opposition because they spend a lot of their time chirping at him or wanting to kill him.”
Darcy Zaharichuk and Reid Gardiner scored for the Raiders before Rodewald’s second of the game put the Warriors ahead 4-2 heading into the third period.
The Warriors out-shot the Raiders 13-6 in the third period and earned three power play chances, but failed to convert. Leon Draisaitl made for a tense finish when he scored with 2:48 left.
Zach Sawchenko made 20 saves in goal for the Warriors.
“We’re getting more from some of the guys who are still trying to find their way,” said Stothers who praised Alexei Sleptsov, Alex Chirva, Colton McCarthy and his line with Brandon Potomak and Josh Uhrich.