Warriors score four unanswered in OT win in Lethbridge
Mike Stothers found that silence was golden Thursday night.
The Moose Jaw Warriors head coach gave his team the silent treatment during the second period intermission and his team responded with four unanswered goals in a 4-3 overtime win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
“I voiced my opinion between the first and second. To be honest with you I didn’t even go in between the second and third. I just said to the assistant coaches ‘my silence will speak volumes we hope,’” said Stothers. “Whether or not it had any effect, who knows?
“Everybody thinks you go in there and make some sort of Knute Rockne speech, the rah-rah type of thing, the General Patton speech. Sometimes a lot can be read through my silence or body language.”
The Warriors actions spoke volumes about their resolve as they scored three goals in the third period to force overtime before Travis Brown’s second goal of the night won the game.
“Ultimately it’s the players who decide the game,” said Stothers. “Our character guys, our leaders stepped up — Brayden Point and Travis Brown and the like — and everybody else fed off of it.”
The win moves the Warriors into fifth place in the Eastern Conference though they have played more games than anyone else in the Western Hockey League at this point.
Point got the Warriors comeback started with a power play goal 39 seconds into the third period.
“That’s what a guy like Pointer does. He’s a big play-making kind of guy. He comes up with timely goals and sets things up. That’s what we’ve come to expect from him,” said Stothers. “It got us some energy and helped us believe that we could do it. We knew we still had a lot of time left to work with.”
Brown scored a power play goal six minutes after Point’s and Alexander Chirva scored his first WHL goal to tie the game with 4:40 left. After being in-and-out of the lineup, Chirva has played four straight games and the 17-year-old Russian is starting to find his game.
“I think it’s going to be good for him. He has been rounding into playing some good games for us,” said Stothers. “He skates well, he handles the puck well and he shoots well. It’s nice to see him get on the board.”
The Warriors out-shot Lethbridge 16-5 in the third period and Brown ended the game with his sixth goal of the season 1:20 left in overtime.
The Warriors got on the bus and made the 550 km trek to Lethbridge immediately following their 3-1 loss at home to Edmonton Wednesday. The team didn’t have a lot of jump in the first two periods, but came out with renewed vigor in the third period.
“With the travel it would have been easy to say that we were tired, but we decided to dig down and play the way we could. I think the results were in our favour because we overcame that. It was a mental thing to push through,” said Stothers.
Lethbridge grabbed a 2-0 lead after the first period when Axel Blomqvist scored by capitalizing on a Warrior turnover. Tyler Wong scored a power play goal on a two-on-one to double the lead.
Griffin Foulk scored the other Hurricanes goal.
Jack Rodewald had a pair of assists for the Warriors, while Point also had an assist and Brown had a three-point night.
Zach Sawchenko remains perfect in his WHL career. The 15-year-old made 23 saves to improve to 3-0 on the season. Corbin Boes made 35 saves in goal for the Hurricanes.