The Moose Jaw Warriors generated chances from start to finish on Saturday night, but couldn’t capitalize in the second half of a weekend home-and-home against the Regina Pats.
The Warriors dropped a 7-3 game to the Pats in front of a sold-out crowd at the Moose Jaw Events Centre.
“We left a lot on the table, we generated enough chances to win, obviously we have to clean up a couple of things coming back in our own end, but they just capitalized on their chances and had timely scoring,” Warriors forward Atley Calvert said after the loss.
The Warriors outshot the Pats, 48-23, on the night with a number of high quality opportunities that the team was unable to finish on.
Warriors assistant coach Gord Burnett said the loss came down to the little details.
“We worked hard to create the chances and to work that hard and then miss the net, that’s always tough to watch,” he said.
The Warriors had a great opportunity early with back-to-back power plays in the opening two minutes, but the Pats would steal the momentum away with a shorthanded goal by Parker Berge just 2:48 into the game.
Regina picked up goals from Riley Ginnell and Braxton Whitehead to take a 3-0 lead with 11:46 gone in the game.
The Warriors would respond only 45 seconds after the Whitehead goal as Martin Rysavy tapped in his 11th of the season to make it a two-goal game after one period.
Moose Jaw cut the lead down to one just 3:54 into the second period when Tate Schofer pushed the puck out front and Whitehead shot it into his own net.
Regina would respond as Connor Bedard scored back-to-back goals midway through the period to make it 5-2.
With a power play late in the second, the Warriors went to work and Jagger Firkus sniped his 37th of the season with seven seconds left to cut the lead down to two going into the third period.
Despite some early pressure from the Warriors, Regina sealed the victory with goals from Zack Stringer and Bedard in the second half of the period.
“The puck bounces the wrong way sometimes, it happens,” Calvert said. “It’s how you respond, you’ve got to earn your bounces, so we’ll have a good week of work here and go on to Winnipeg.”
The Warriors finished 1-for-7 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill.
Moose Jaw splits the weekend home-and-home series with Regina as the road team won each game. The Warriors finish the regular season against their biggest rivals with a 5-3 record.
The Warriors will finish the regular season with three games next week, they travel to Winnipeg on Wednesday, then Prince Albert on Friday, before finishing the week at home against Saskatoon on Saturday.