Also over the weekend, the U18 AA Warriors lost a pair of close games to the Notre Dame Argos.
Losing 4-3 both games was disappointing for the team, but they were able to play a solid pair of games.
“First of all, we told our boys that straight up that we had a game plan to stick to and they did stick to it,” said Warriors head coach Mike Russell. “We told the boys this was a hard one to swallow but they’ve got nothing to be down on themselves about. We controlled the play, we controlled the game tonight. We outshot them and we outhit them. Unfortunately the hockey gods weren’t with us for a couple of bad bounces and we come up short, losing 4-3. But we’re really impressed with what we’ve seen between (Friday) night’s game and this game.”
The Warriors were even on the scoreboard Saturday with the Argos until the third period, with a couple of bounces in the Warriors’ defensive end in a 1:22 span gave the Argos a 4-2 lead. Lyndon Fell scored with goaltender Jayden Watterson pulled and less than a minute left, and the Warriors’ applied a lot of pressure but they weren’t able to get the tying goal.
Jacob King had scored a shorthanded goal in the second to give the Warriors some momentum.
“He came in as a 15-year-old last year and really impressed us last season, and then he’s stepped up this year and taken a leadership role, and when he comes in and he makes a play like that, it just brings everything on the bench and in the dressing room up,” Russell said. “When he steps up like that, it’s huge.
Watterson stopped 27 shots in the loss.
“I’ve made this point before, but we’re a very young team,” said Russell, who said he wasn’t making excuses. “We’re playing with only two 17-year-olds in the lineup and last year we had seven… We’re right in there and we’re hoping we can get right in there all season long, and that’s what we’re hoping for.”
Friday, King, Erik Tittemore and Connor Ruckaber scored for the Warriors. Watterson saved 40 in the loss.
The Warriors have a pair of games on the schedule next weekend against the Weyburn Wings.