Zach Sawchenko made 41 saves, including 23 in the third period, and Jayden Halbgewachs scored his first career hat trick to lead the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 4-1 win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes at Mosaic Place on Wednesday night.
Forward Brayden Burke, a former Hurricane, and captain Brett Howden picked up a pair of assists each, while 16-year-old rookie Luka Burzan snapped a nine-game pointless streak with a first period goal for Moose Jaw.
Throughout the opening period, both teams had their moments of pressure, but also had their moments where they weren’t crisp coming up the ice which slowed down their respective transition games.
Moose Jaw played well defensively in the first as they limited the Hurricanes’ offence to just five shots, while putting 10 on the Lethbridge net.
Six minutes into the game, Warriors’ 20-year-old defenceman Josh Thrower broke up a Lethbridge clearing attempt at the right point and quickly took a shot towards the net, Burzan knocked the puck down and then made a quick move on goalie Stuart Skinner as his shot found the back of the net for his 6th of the season game and gave Moose Jaw a 1-0 lead.
Just in front of the 12-minute mark of the second period, the Warriors were able to extend their lead as Howden drove hard off the left wall and towards the Lethbridge net, the puck rolled off his blade and right to Jayden Halbgewachs who tucked in his 32nd of the year.
Lethbridge out-shot the Warriors 13-8 in the period and they were able to get on the scoreboard at 16:15 after goal from defenceman Brennan Riddle.
Approaching the five-minute mark of the third period, urke controlled the puck at the Lethbridge left goal line, he was able to make a hard cross-ice pass to Halbgewachs whose quick shot snuck through the pads of Skinner to give Moose Jaw a two-goal lead.
Throughout the third period, the Hurricanes attacked the Warriors’ net but Sawchenko was stellar as he denied them on 23 shots in the period. Halbgewachs scored an empty net goal in the final two minutes to finish off the night.
Moose Jaw was 0-for-3 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill.
The Warriors have Thursday off to pair for division games on the weekend. On Friday, they’re at home to battle the Saskatoon Blades and then Saturday, they’ll head in to Regina to take on the division-leading Pats.
Catch both games on Country 100 starting with the Westrum Lumber Timber Mart Pre-Game Show starting at 6:40 p.m.