MacAuley makes 36 saves in shutout
Boston Leier was an early season acquisition for the Regina Pats and he is making the most of his final season.
The 20-year-old scored the game winning goal just 1:46 into the third period and assisted on another to help the Pats defeat the Moose Jaw Warriors 3-0 in Western Hockey League action at the Brandt Centre on Wednesday evening.
“You want to be one of those guys who’s looked to in the clutch, so it feels pretty good (to come through),” said Leier. “It was just nice to get those two points in the end. We battled hard. I thought we played a full solid 60 minutes. Sometimes it takes until the last 10 minutes or whatever was left to get it, but we did the job.”
Leier was traded from the Medicine Hat Tigers in early October to the Pats and since he arrived in the Queen City, he has scored 13 points in 11 games.
It was the same rhetoric for the Warriors, who continue to struggle to score goals. Although the team had plenty of chances throughout the game, they just couldn’t beat Dawson MacAuley, who made 36 saves for his second shutout this season.
“He (MacAuley) played well. We did get some chances on net and going forward, we are going to start burying them,” said Brayden Point of the Warriors.
It was a goaltending duel between MacAuley and Justin Paulic through two periods, as both had to make some outstanding saves. Paulic made 39 saves in the loss.
Jack Rodewald had a good chance early in the first period on MacAuley, but couldn’t beat him. Jesse Forsberg had MacAuley beat late in the second frame, but the puck didn’t cross the line.
The Warriors continue to struggle to find an answer to their scoring woes this season.
“I don’t know. It just starts in practice and its not like we aren’t working hard, but it will come, for us, I think. It is just sticking with it,” said Point. “It is a little bit (frustrating), but the chances are still coming. It is when they aren’t coming that’s when we have to start worrying.”
Leier broke the scoreless tie early in the third period after Dryden Hunt spun at the blue line and took a blind shot on net. The puck went wide and Geordie Maguire was behind the net and dished the puck to Leier who had an open net.
Leier and Maguire hooked up again midway through the final frame, when Leier took a shot and Paulic made the initial save, but Maguire had an open net to pop in the rebound.
“Geordie is a really good player. He will put the puck in the net and makes some really good plays,” said Leier of the chemistry. “(Dryden) Huntsy is also a good player. He is a good energy guy and gets in there first on the fore-check and in the corners.”
These two teams will face off again on Sunday and if Wednesday was any indication, the rivalry is heating up quickly as the Pats now lead the season series 2-0-0-1.
“It is pretty exciting. There are a few fights every game and there are lots of bumps, lots of hitting and chirping,” Leier said of the rivalry. “I love it.”
The Warriors were able to contain the Pats’ top line of Morgan Klimchuk, Dyson Stevenson and Chandler Stephenson to just the lone empty net goal.
“It is hard sometimes for that first line to contribute every night, especially when they are going against the other teams best lines,” said Leier. “That is when the secondary scoring really comes in.”
The Warriors will host the Prince Albert Raiders on Saturday (7 p.m., Mosaic Place) before heading to Regina again on Sunday to play the Pats for the fourth time this season.
“We always look forward to the games against the Pats and we are looking forward to that game, but it starts on Saturday and that’s where we are focused right now,” said Point.
Follow me on Twitter @katiebrickman.