It was a split of two weekend games for the Moose Jaw WINMAR AAA Warriors.
It all got started on Saturday afternoon, as the Warriors came all the way back from a two-goal deficit to beat the Prince Albert Mintos 5-4 in overtime at home. Then on Sunday, it was a tough 4-3 loss to the Saskatoon Contact at Merlis Belsher Place.
On Saturday, Prince Albert struck first with just over eight minutes left in the first period. Logan Pickford was able to beat Warriors starter Ryan Hicks to take the 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Moose Jaw had the shot advantage 16-8 in the first period.
The game opened up quite a bit in the second period as five goals were scored. The Warriors started the second period on the powerplay and took advantage with Connor Miller rifling one past Mintos netminder Jayden Kraus for his 13th goal of the season and fifth on the powerplay. Ryder Knutson and Grady Hoffman picked up assists on the goals.
Abinet Klassen for Prince Albert put his team ahead 2-1 just over seven minutes later, as he was able to strip the puck from a Warriors defender and put it past Hicks for the 2-1 lead.
Moose Jaw would once again tie the game, after Liam Fitzpatrick would fire one over the shoulder of Kraus for his 17th of the year to make it 2-2.
Once again, Prince Albert would respond, this time with two quick goals by Roper Blanchard on the powerplay and Kelan Simmonds to end the period with the 4-2 lead.
Shots heavily favoured Moose Jaw 36-17 after 40 minutes of play.
It was all Moose Jaw in the third period, as they were able to come out and put the pressure on the Prince Albert and eventually tie the game 4-4.
It all started with 13:07 left in the game, Connor Miller picked up his second of the game and 14th of the year after he was left alone in front of the net and put it five-hole on Kraus to make it 4-3.
Not even four minutes later on the powerplay, Ryder Knutson would walk into the slot and fire one over the pad of Kraus to tie the game at 4-4.
Though Moose Jaw would put everything they had on the net, they couldn’t get the go-ahead goal and for the third straight game would go to overtime.
In the overtime period, Moose Jaw would complete the comeback, as on the powerplay Knutson would cut to the front of the net and put it over the glove of Kraus for the game-winner.
Ryan Bain would stop all five shots he would face for his sixth win of the season, after coming into the game in relief for Hicks to start the third period.
Knutson finished the game with three points, while Bryce Boughen, Miller, Hoffman, and Fitzpatrick all had two-point afternoons.
The final shots on net were 51-22 for Moose Jaw. The Warriors were 3-for-8 on the powerplay, while the Mintos were 1-for-3.
On Sunday, the team hit the road for their 14th away game of the season in Saskatoon to face the Contacts for the third time this season.
For the fourth game in a row, the game was decided by one goal and it was the Warriors losing 4-3.
Ryan Bain took the loss stopping 23 of 27 shots, while Liam Fitzpatrick led the team offensively with a goal and an assist for two points. Connor Miller and Wyatt LaCoste were the other goal scorers for Moose Jaw.
The back-and-fourth affair began just over nine minutes into the game. Joel Stein would float a shot on net and Bain would get a piece of it but not enough and it would find twine for the early 1-0 lead.
Moose Jaw would finish the first period on a powerplay after a four-minute kneeing penalty was taken late in the frame and the Warriors would take advantage.
Liam Fitzpatrick would take a pass from Ryder Knutson and walk in on the right side and fire a perfectly placed shot under the arm of Logan Edmonstone to tie the game 1-1.
After 20 minutes the game was tied and so were the shots 9-9.
Moose Jaw’s powerplay success continued in the second period. Wyatt LaCoste would benefit from a bounce off the board to in front of the net and would tuck into under the pad of Saskatoon’s goalie to take the 2-1 lead.
That lead would hold up until about four minutes left in the period. The Contacts Braden Neinaber would crash the net and put the puck past Bain to tie the game at 2-2.
On a late powerplay, with 26 seconds left, Connor Miller would use his quick release and beat Edmonstone just under the blocker to take a 3-2 lead into the second intermission. Liam Fitzpatrick would get the lone assist on the goal.
Like they were after 20 minutes, the shots were tied after two periods 20-20.
It wouldn’t take long for Saskatoon to tie the game though, as 1:27 into the third period Rylan Hue would one-time it past Bain to tie the game at 3-3.
With just under nine minutes left in the game, Saskatoon’s Zach Moore would get the game winner off an odd-man rush and pick a corner over Bain to take the lead 4-3.
That’s how the game would end for the Warriors dropping their 10th road game of the year and their third straight against the Contacts.
The finals shots on net were in favour of the Warriors 30-27.
Moose Jaw went 3-for-6 on the powerplay and were 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
With the weekend split the Warriors are 11-14-0-4, remain in eighth place and are tied with Prince Albert in points with 26. They are two points back of the Warman Wildcats for sixth place and have the Yorkton Maulers only one point behind them.
A crucial weekend is ahead for the Warriors, as they head to Warman for a two-game weekend series with the Wildcats starting on Friday night at 8:00 p.m.