Medicine Hat, AB — Over the course of their six-game winning streak, the Moose Jaw Warriors had mounted their share of third-period comebacks, but the script was flipped on them on Saturday night.
The Warriors surrendered three goals in the third period on their way to a 5-3 loss to the Medicine Hat Tigers at Co-op Place, splitting their weekend home-and-home series.
“We’ve been playing pretty good hockey, tonight maybe got a little bit complacent with a win last night took a little bit off tonight,” Warriors forward Brayden Yager said. “If we can get back to our game right away, we’ll get back on another win streak.”
The loss snaps a six-game winning streak for the Warriors, who have still won 11 of their last 13 games.
“We definitely had our moments where we carried the play, I thought we lacked a little bit of urgency,” Warriors assistant coach Curtis Pereverzoff said. “It’s important for our group to recognize the opportunity we have to close these games out and how important these points are.”
The Warriors put plenty of pressure on the Tigers over the first 40 minutes as they built up a 3-2 lead heading into the third period.
As they had been all weekend, the Tigers pounced on their opportunities and scored three goals in five minutes in the third period for the win.
“The whole game, we kind of struggled a little bit, the biggest thing was the forecheck, our second guy wasn’t quick enough and we were one-and-done the whole night,” Yager said.
Hunter St. Martin opened the scoring for Medicine Hat just 4:10 into the game, but Yager responded for the Warriors only 1:59 later with a power play goal for his 22nd of the season.
The Tigers would retake the lead heading into the first intermission when Vasyl Spilka scored with 3:43 left in the opening frame.
The Warriors upped the pressure in the second, outshooting the Tigers, 9-2, in the period.
Moose Jaw would get its rewards when Jagger Firkus banged home his 37th of the season with 7:41 to go in the frame.
Only 1:25 later, Brayden Schuurman would create a turnover at his own blue line and race in for his 13th of the season, making it 3-2 after two.
Despite some good opportunities for the Warriors in the third, Medicine Hat would get goals from Gavin McKenna, Tomas Mrsic and Oasiz Wiesblatt in a span of five minutes to jump in front and take the win.
Kalem Parker and Matthew Savoie had two assists each on the night.
The Warriors finished 2-for-5 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill in the loss.
Moose Jaw outshot Medicine Hat 30-19.
The Warriors will get a week of practice to fine tune their game before a pair of games at the Hangar next weekend against Prince Albert on Friday and Red Deer on Saturday.