Quinton Howden was the hero for the Moose Jaw Warriors Tuesday night, scoring the game tying and game winning goal in the third period to lift the tribe to an exciting 6-5 win over Red Deer at Mosaic Place.
The tribe opened the game strong. Goals from Travis Brown and Carter Hansen put them into the lead going into the first intermission.
Red Deer made strong adjustments to open the second and took the fight to the Warriors. Joel Hamilton scored a shorthanded breakaway goal at 4:34 to put the visitors on the board and less than three minutes later Marc McCoy tied the game with his third of the year.
The Rebels took the lead with less than nine minutes to go in the second on a goal from Justin Weller, but the Warriors were quick to respond as Dallas Ehrhardt found the back of the net for his second of the year.
Tied at three to open the third, highly touted NHL prospect Mathew Dumba put Red Deer back in the drivers seat at 5:46. Moose Jaw battled back to tie the game on a wrist shot from the blueline from captain Kendall McFaull.
The see-saw game continued four minutes later when Tyson Ness put the Rebels back in the lead, but Howden ripped his 13th of the year 22 seconds later to the game at five. The Warriors came hard in the final minute and, with 4.8 seconds left, Howden scored his second of the game to hand the Warriors the win.
Howden says it was a wild and crazy night out on the ice. "It's a weird game, bounces are going your way sometimes and aren't going your way sometimes."
"Obviously it's a game the fans love with a lot of goals, but there's a lot of stuff we need to clean up to get ready for Friday," he added.
The Warriors had a strong first period, but Red Deer took control of the game in the second. Heading into the third, Howden says the leaders stepped up to rally the troops.
"We were doing good in the first period then slipped away in the second. We needed to get back to our game and basically just play simple. Obviously our leadership group will lead the way and we tried to do that the best we could."
Howden had two goals on the night; Andrew Johnson had three assists; Ehrhardt and McFaull finished with a goal and two points each; Sam Fioretti and Tanner Eberle had two assists each.
Last night was the first time that Rebels rookie and former AAA General Cory Millette played in front of family and friends. Millette had two assists in the loss, and says it was nice to be back in Moose Jaw.
"Playing in front of my old team was pretty exciting. Some friends, my billets, some old friends, my family made the trip in, it was good to see."
The win improves the Warriors record to 19-9-2-1 and gives them sole possession of first place in the WHL East Division, two points up on Saskatoon and three points ahead of Brandon. They also pull into a tie with Edmonton and Kootenay for top spot in the Eastern Conference.
The guys will take today off and then get back on the ice Thursday to prepare for weekend home games against Regina Friday and Kelowna Saturday.
Warriors Quinton Howden
Warriors Assistant Coach Trevor Weisgerber
Rebels rookie and former AAA General Cory Millette
Rebels Mathew Dumba talks about his invite to Canada's World Junior Selection Camp coming up this weekend
Tuesday WHL scores;
Red Deer 5 v 6 Moose Jaw
Regina 3 v 6 Prince Albert
Calgary 2 v 6 Edmonton
Portland 5 v 3 Prince George
Tri City 6 v 2 Victoria
Wednesday WHL schedule;
Red Deer v Swift Current
Everett v Kamloops
Portland v Prince George
Lethbridge v Kelowna
Tri City v Victoria
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