Warriors lose twice to two-time defending provincial champs
The South Sask Pee Wee AA Hockey League is a little like the Olympics women's hockey tournament.
© Times-Herald photo by Matthew Gourlie
Moose Jaw Pee Wee AA goalie Peyton Shotter extends as far as he can, but can't stop Yorkton's Ryder Korczak from burying a cross-crease pass in South Sask Pee Wee Hockey League play Saturday.
Unfortunately for the Moose Jaw Pee Wee AA Warriors they aren't the Canadians or the Americans of the pee wee loop.
No, it is Yorkton and Weyburn who are neck-and-neck for the league title, while the Warriors and the other three teams in the league are well-matched, but struggle against the league's elite.
This weekend the Warriors hosted the Yorkton Sherring Gold Terriers and lost 11-0 Saturday and 9-2 Sunday.
"They're the two-time defending provincial champs and if you don't come to play they will embarrass you," said Pee Wee Warriors head coach Lonny Holmes. "Sunday we played 100 per cent better. We came prepared. We competed a lot harder … we played much better."
The Warriors are playing pee wee hockey the high level there is in the province, but Holmes was disappointed his team hasn't been more competitive against the league-leaders as the season has went on.
"You hope that through the year you hope you can close the gap a bit. Then you look at that and wonder if you really closed it much," said Holmes. "We play Weyburn much tougher. We played them a week ago and lost 4-0.
"Those other four teams are pretty balanced. The other thing is that those other two teams (Yorkton and Weyburn) are two of the three best teams in the province. Humboldt has a really strong team as well and they're the other team that can compete with those two."
Holmes took some responsibility for their struggles on the weekend.
"I don't know if we did a great job preparing our kids," said Holmes. "Our last practice before the weekend we worked on our forecheck a little. Well we really should have spent a lot more time working in our own zone and making sure we took care of our own end."
Sunday Jaxsen Wiebe and Reece Newkirk each had a goal and an assist for Moose Jaw. Crozier Holmes added an assist.
"It was 6-2 halfway through the third and we had a bit of a push, but they went out on one shift and scored two back," said Holmes.
Saturday Peyton Shotter made 38 saves in goal for the Warriors. It didn't help the Warriors cause any that they had to kill off 10 power plays, including some extended five-on-threes. The Terriers have scored 141 goals and allowed 33 in 19 league games this season.
The Warriors will play two more league games in two weeks and then begin the playoffs. Yorkton and Weyburn will each earn a bye to the semifinals and the Warriors will meet another sub-500 team in the quarter-finals to earn the right to take another shot at the big boys.