Warriors allow five straight second period goals in loss on consecutive nights
The Moose Jaw Warriors have only scored more than five goals in a game twice this season.
Moose Jaw Warriors
For the second night in a row they gave up five goals in the second period Saturday.
After allowing five unanswered goals in the middle frame in a 6-0 loss to Medicine Hat Friday, the Brandon Wheat Kings scored five straight second period goals in a 7-4 win over the Warriors.
"It's something we're going to address and work on," said Warriors head coach Mike Stothers. "In this league, you're never really out of it. You just have to keep battling away."
With the loss, the inevitable became official as the Warriors were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.
The Warriors (15-37-3-6) play in Saskatoon on Tuesday.
In their last five games the Warriors have been out-scored 16-3 in the second period. Friday the five goals came in the first 8:39 of the second and Saturday it took 11:11 for the Wheat Kings to score their five goals.
Stothers conceded that they've had trouble stopping the bleeding when the game has started to get away from them, but he was at a loss to explain why that is.
"It seems like it becomes a little tougher and it becomes a little harder to get things going up ice for us," said Stothers.
Brandon took a 2-0 lead early in the first period before Brayden Point replied with his 28th goal of the season for the Warriors.
Tim McGauley scored the first of his three goals for the Wheat Kings 14 seconds into the second period and Jesse Gabrielle scored his second of the night 1:40 into the fame and the rout was on.
While both of those goals came five-on-five, Stothers blamed a large part of their second period woes Saturday on penalty troubles.
The Wheat Kings next three goals came on the power play. Brandon earned six power plays in the second period alone and, incredibly, the Warriors were accessed the first seven minor penalties of the game.
"We were short-handed the whole period," said Stothers. "Apparently we were the dirtier team."
At one point the Warriors took four minor penalties in a span of 2:16 as their frustration boiled over. Tanner Eberle, who was questionable to play after leaving Friday's game with a lower body injury, had to wait to fully serve his double-minor because the Warriors were already short-handed.
The Warriors only got one real power play in the game — a second power play came 16 seconds before the game ended — while the Wheat Kings finished 3-for-7 with the man advantage.
Justin Paulic's night came to an end after the seventh goal as the Warriors pulled their starting goalie for the third straight game. Once again the back-up came in and played well. Zach Sawchenko stopped all 20 shots he faced.
"You don't want to have to do that," said Stothers. "You're hoping that he can battle through it and we get through it without having to go that route. It looks like you're dissatisfied (with your goaltender) and I don't think that's fair, but at some point you can't leave them in. You don't want to do it three games in a row."
Eberle and Josh Uhrich scored for the Warriors before the end of the second period and Colton McCarthy scored his third goal in three games in the third to make the score more respectable. Jack Rodewald and Alexey Sleptsov each had two assists and McCarthy and Uhrich also had two-point nights.
Despite the score, the Warriors were able to generate some chances and took 45 shots on the Brandon goal.
"There were stretches where we played pretty well. We missed some glorious opportunities," said Stothers.
Jordan Papirny made 41 saves to earn the win.
Ryan Pulock and Brett Kitt had the other Brandon goals.