There will be a Game 4 for the Moose Jaw WINMAR AAA Warriors back at the Moose Jaw Events Centre.
Moose Jaw was able to tie their first-round playoff series at 1-1, after a dominating 6-3 win on Sunday afternoon against the Saskatoon Contacts.
On his 17th birthday, Dylan Duzan led the way for the Warriors as he had a three-point afternoon, with the game-winner, and two assists.
“It was awesome,” says Duzan. “Just to get the win and the three points and it is big win in the playoffs. It was very exciting.”
Ryder Knutson also had a three-point afternoon, notching a goal and two assists to go along with a very steady night on the blueline for Moose Jaw.
Austin Woodley, Wyatt LaCoste, and Liam Fitzpatrick all had two points each in the 6-3 win.
Ryan Bain rebounded after Friday’s loss and made 30 saves on 33 shots for his first U18 AAA playoff win.
A quick start on Sunday was one of their keys coming into the game and they did just that.
Liam Fitzpatrick was able to find twine for his first of the playoffs 4:03 into the game. Ryder Knutson was able to find him in the low slot and he made no mistake ripping it under the blocker of Contacts’ starter Logan Edmonstone for the 1-0 lead.
Saskatoon would respond to tie the game at 1-1 with just over eight minutes left in the period.
On a powerplay, Zach Moore would find time on the right-wing and rip one over the glove of Bain for his third of the playoffs.
Moose Jaw would find themselves tied 1-1 after 20 minutes. The shots were 9-7 after the first period for Saskatoon.
The flood gates opened for Moose Jaw in the second period and they would take a commanding lead.
Rhett Perrin would get the scoring started for Moose Jaw. Off a two-on-one Wyatt LaCoste would fire the puck on the net, Edmonstone would make the initial save and Perrin would follow up on the rebound and tap it home for his first of the playoffs.
“In a game like this when we’re already down 1-0 in the series, it felt pretty good,” says Perrin on scoring his first playoff goal. “I think everyone was pretty happy and I’m glad my first playoff goal could be today.”
LaCoste and Knutson would pick up assists on the 2-1 goal.
Perrin would strike again with about 4:20 left in the second period. He would find the puck in a sea of players in front of the net and would float it over the goalie to put Moose Jaw up 3-1.
LaCoste and Woodley would add helpers on the goal.
Dylan Duzan would get his first of the playoffs 38 second later. Off the centre ice faceoff, Moose Jaw was able to bring pressure into the Contacts end. Liam Fitzpatrick found Duzan and he walked into the low slot and found the back of the net to make it 4-1 Warriors.
Following that goal, Moose Jaw would take a couple of penalties that would prove to be costly, putting them down 5-on-3.
With eight seconds left in the period, Zach Moore would fire one over the glove of Bain of the right wing for his second of the game to make it 4-2 after 20 minutes.
Saskatoon led in shots 21-19 after 40 minutes.
The Contacts would pull within one early in the third period. Rhett Ewen would get a friendly bounce off the end boards, which would find him all alone in front of the net and he would fire it under the arm of Bain to cut the lead to 4-3 with 15:41 left in the period.
Following that goal, Moose Jaw would turn up the heat and restore their two-goal lead.
Duzan would find Connor Miller on the far post and he would deflect it past Edmonstone for his second of the playoffs to make it 5-3.
The Warriors would ice the game with 5:51 left in the third period. On the powerplay, Ryder Knutson, after a pass from Duzan would rip it past the screened goaltender for his first of the playoffs to make it 6-3.
That’s how the game would end with Moose Jaw walking off with the 6-3 victory and tied the series 1-1.
The final shot total was 36-30 Saskatoon.
Moose Jaw would finish 1-for-4 on the powerplay and 2-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Following the game Warriors assistant coach, Carter Davis spoke on how the team was able to turn on the heat and come away with the win.
“I think we stuck to our game, and we worked really hard. They had the energy that they didn’t have in the first game,” says Davis. “We made our own luck out there today. I think the boys worked hard and were moving their feet and were able to come through.”
The series now shifts back to Saskatoon for Game 3 on Tuesday night at Merlis Belsher Place.