A four-goal third period propelled the Moose Jaw WINMAR AAA Warriors to their 12th win of the season, as they took down the Warman Wildcats 5-3 on Saturday afternoon.
The win earned the Warriors a split of the weekend series, as they lost 7-4 on Friday night. They also moved back into a playoff spot, as they now sit in seventh place in the standings with 28 points.
Liam Fitzpatrick and Jake Briltz were the offensive leaders for the Warriors on the afternoon. Fitzpatrick scored two goals giving him 20 on the season, while Briltz had two assists in the win.
Saturday’s game started the same way that Fridays did, as the first period was filled with several opportunities for both sides but neither was able to find the back of the net.
Warriors starter Ryan Bain and Wildcats netminder Luke Brunen stopped everything that came at them and kept the game scoreless through 20 minutes.
Warman had the shot advantage 11-8 after one period.
The second period was much of the same as the first, with several opportunities being had by both teams but the goaltenders standing tall.
With under 10 minutes left in the second period, Moose Jaw would open the scoring for the second consecutive game.
Grady Hoffman would fire a puck from a sharp angle and it would hit the post, go up in the air, and then hit the back of Brunen and roll into the net. This was Hoffman’s 16th goal of the season and fifth this weekend.
Like Friday’s game, the Wildcats would answer back in a hurry. Off the ensuing faceoff, Warman would hem the Warriors in their own end and Jaxon Herchak would fire the puck from just above the left faceoff dot and it would beat Bain low glove to tie the game just 40 seconds after the Warrior's opening goal.
The Wildcats would take the 2-1 lead 2:50 later after Warman would break out on a two-on-one and Jonah Marshall would get the pass from Tylan Hendrikson and wouldn’t miss, beating Bain upstairs.
That’s how the second period would end with Moose Jaw down 2-1. The shots after 40 were 23-17 for Warman.
Moose Jaw would come out of the dressing room and score four unanswered goals within the first 10 minutes of the third period.
It started just over five minutes in, as Bryce Boughen would follow up on a rebound off a Jake Briltz shot and bury it to get his sixth goal of the season and tie the game at 2-2.
17 seconds later the Warriors would take the 3-2 lead off the stick of Liam Fitzpatrick for his 19th of the season. Max Threinen picked up the lone assist.
Moose Jaw wasn’t done there, as Connor Miller would use his quick release to fire one five-hole on Brunen to keep the momentum going and extend the lead to 4-2.
Late in the game with Warman’s net empty, Liam Fitzpatrick would win a foot race in the Wildcat's end and fire it into the open cage to ice the game at 5-2.
Warman would get a late goal to make it 5-3, but it wasn’t enough as the Warriors skated to a 5-3 win over the Wildcats.
The final shots were 38-28 in favour of Warman.
Ryan Bain would stop 35 of 38 shots he faced for his sixth win of the season. Brunen would take the loss-making 25 saves.
Moose Jaw with the win improves their record to 12-14-0-4 on the season.
It will be a quick turnaround for the team, as they hit the ice again on Monday night and travel to Regina to take on the Pat Canadians for the second time this season. The puck drop is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. at the Co-Operators Arena #6.