Though the Moose Jaw WINMAR AAA Warriors only led for a total of four minutes on Tuesday night, they were able to pull out the 4-3 win over the Yorkton Maulers.
Moose Jaw’s own Dylan Duzan scored the game-winner with 4:01 left in the third period by crashing the net and banging home the rebound for his sixth goal of the season.
“We knew we had to keep pucks low with a third guy high because late in the game we don't want to give up anything defensively," says Duzan on Tuesday night. "I saw (Connor) Miller in the slot and he gave it to (Liam) Fitzpatrick and I went to the net and it was right there and I jammed it home."
The win snapped the Warrior’s four-game losing streak and gives them a lot of confidence heading into this weekend.
Jake Briltz for the Warriors was named the game’s first star as he picked a goal and an assist in the win. Ryan Hicks picked up his third win of the season stopping 37 of 40 shots he faced.
Moose Jaw got out to the start they wanted, getting several shots on Mauler’s goaltender Wyatt Bouvier, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
Yorkton would strike first with just a minute left in the first period after a turnover at the blueline by Moose Jaw would allow a three-on-one for the Maulers and Luc Fortier would fire it over the blocker of Hicks to make it 1-0 after 20 minutes.
Moose Jaw led 16-10 in shots after one period.
The second period is when the game really opened up, as four goals were scored in the frame – all on the powerplay. Max Threinen would throw a point shot on the net, which sailed over the glove of Bouvier tying the game at 1-1 on the powerplay. That was Threinen’s first of the season and the first of his U18 AAA career. Briltz would pick up the only assist on the play.
Back came the Maulers as they were able to capitalize on the man advantage. Edward Knittig would drive down the left side and cut in front of the net with Hicks making the initial save, but Alex Morrison was there to put home the rebound to make it 2-1.
Just over seven minutes later Briltz would pick up his third goal of the season after he would one-time it past Bouvier after a picture pass from Wyatt LaCoste to tie the game at 2-2. Rhett Perrin would grab the secondary assist on the goal.
The seesaw battle continued, as Yorkton would once again take the lead. On the powerplay once again Shaden Duliak had some space on the left side and picked the top left corner.
Yorkton controlled the shots in the second period getting 18 in the frame and leading 28-22 after 40 minutes.
Heading into the third period the Warriors had to dig deep and battle their way back. Head coach Trevor Weisgerber said following Tuesday’s win that heading into that third period something had to change.
“We’ve been in this position a lot and we just needed to reverse it and we needed to dig deep and leave it all out,” says Weisgerber. “You can’t keep digging a hole where you’re all of a sudden 3-6 after tonight [Tuesday]. It was a big win and a big third period to come back and get those two points.”
Moose Jaw did battle back and it started with Kanyan Unger getting his first of the year and first of his U18 AAA career. Unger benefited from a battle in front of the net and was able to sneak it under the goaltender to tie the game 3-3. Bryce Boughen picked up the lone assist.
The stage was set for Dylan Duzan’s game-winner. Off the rush and after a great passing sequence, Duzan found a loss puck in front of the net and buried the rebound after the initial shot from Liam Fitzpatrick was stopped. Fitzpatrick and Miller picked up assists on the play.
A late push with the net empty for Yorkton came up short, Moose Jaw was able to hold on for the 4-3 win.
The final shots on goal were 43-32 for the Maulers and this marks only the third time this season, Moose Jaw has been outshot in a game.
The Warriors finished the game 3/9 on the powerplay, while Yorkton was 2/7 with the extra man.
After the game, Weisgerber showed some praise for his team.
“I give the guy's credit they dug deep in the third and scored two goals and ended up coming out with two points.”
Moose Jaw will look to build on Tuesday’s win as they continue their three-game homestand this weekend. On Saturday they host the 9-2 Saskatoon Contacts and then Sunday welcome the 5-4 Warman Wildcats, with both games starting at 1:30 p.m. at the Moose Jaw Events Centre.