It took a shootout to decide a winner on Tuesday night in Prince Albert as the Moose Jaw Warriors opened a busy schedule this week with a 6-5 win over the Raiders at the Art Hauser Centre.
19-year-old forward Brayden Burke had a hat trick and four points in the win for the Warriors, while Brett Howden picked up a goal and three points to help lead the way for Moose Jaw.
The Warriors are in the midst of a four games in five nights schedule that will see them host the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Wednesday. The Hurricanes are coming off a 5-4 loss in Swift Current on Tuesday.
On the road the Warriors got the game started they wanted, as they picked up the game’s first goal just 36 seconds in. Moose Jaw flipped the puck to the Raiders end boards and went in on the fore-check, Prince Albert turned the puck over to Howden inside the right circle, he quickly set up Burke on top of the right crease where he scored his eighth goal of the year.
Prince Albert’s power play tied the game up at 3:33, as just eight seconds into the man advantage, Max Martin let a shot go from the blue-line, Zach Sawchenko made the initial save, but Parker Kelly tossed in the rebound to tie the game at one.
Moose Jaw power play put them back out in front at 8:46 when Burke scored his second of the game to give the Warriors a 2-1 lead.
However, the Raiders aggressive fore-check continued to give the Warriors problems throughout the first period and Prince Albert scored two goals 28 seconds apart at the midway point of the frame to take a 3-2 lead.
In the second period, the Warriors had a consistent attack to the Raiders’ net as they put 11 shots on Nick Sanders, while on the other side of the red line they made good adjustments defensively as they limited Prince Albert to just five shots.
Just in front of the midway point of the period and with Moose Jaw on the power play, Burke came off the right Raider wall with the puck and then set up Howden inside the bottom left circle where his 18th of the year tied the game at three.
Close to four minutes later, Nikita Popugaev and Noah Gregor battled with the Raiders along the Prince Albert boards and Popugaev was able to spot a wide-open Tanner Jeannot, who rifled a shot past Sanders for his 12th of the year to put Moose Jaw up 4-3 skating into the third.
The tight battle continued throughout the third period and just in front of the midway point of the frame, the Raiders won a face-off in the right circle, the puck came to Curtis Miske, who quickly lifted a shot over the glove of Sawchenko to tie the game at four.
Back on the power play just over two minutes later, the Warriors set up Burke again in the low slot between the circles where he scored his hat trick goal to put the Warriors back out in front.
Prince Albert was able to force overtime when Carson Miller converted on a goal mouth scramble with just over two minutes left in regulation.
This marked the third straight game that the Warriors went to overtime, and it was the second straight game that the Warriors took a penalty in the extra frame. Moose Jaw buckled down and limited the Raiders chances while on the man-advantage and after getting back to even strength the Warriors were able to force a shootout.
Prince Albert elected to shoot first in the shootout as Miske took the first shot and was denied by Zach Sawchenko, while on Jayden Halbgewachs converted for the Warriors to give them the edge.
In the second round, Miller was turned away again by Sawchenko, while Nikita Popugaev lifted a shot over Sanders to clinch the 6-5 win.
Sawchenko made 31 saves in regulation and overtime and another two in the shootout to backstop the Warriors to the win.
Moose Jaw was 3-for-6 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill.
The Warriors ‘four-game in five-day schedule continues on Wednesday at home against the Hurricanes. This will mark the first time that forward Brayden Burke will play his former team since being acquired by the Warriors back in November, he played 128 games for the Hurricanes over two years picking up 39 goals and 166 points.
The game also marks the return of Ryan Bowen to Moose Jaw for the first time since being traded to Lethbridge in the Burke deal.
Catch all the action on Country 100 starting with the Westrum Lumber Timber Mart Pre-Game Show at 6:40 p.m.