The Moose Jaw Midget AA Warriors came up just short of the post-season thanks to a one-goal loss this past Saturday.
The local squad closed out their season on Thursday night, battling the Notre Dame Hounds to a 2-2 tie despite a short bench.
“We would have liked to make playoffs this year, we were close all the way through and just fell apart here near the end and fell back some spots,” said captain Dawson Kurz.
“I thought we played pretty good tonight, we only had two lines and we kept up with them. We were starting to get dead at the end of the second, but we hung in there and didn’t lose, finishing the year with a tie is better than nothing.”
The Warriors finished the year with a 10-20-6 record, which had them four points back of the Hounds for the final playoff spot. Moose Jaw needed a win against the Prairie Storm this past Saturday to keep their playoffs hopes alive, but came up just short, falling 5-4.
Kurz said despite falling short of the playoffs, the team is happy with the year that they had together.
“It was a good group, we had a lot of good guys in there and we came together pretty well and it showed on the ice, when we had our best games, we dominated out there and it was good,” said Kurz.
“At the start of the season, I didn’t know a lot of these guys, but we came together pretty well. We had three solid lines going and we all had great chemistry together, so it was great.”
On Thursday, the Warriors jumped out to an early lead thanks to a goal from Jeron Kletzel just 1:50 into the game. Josh Fitzpatrick extended that advantage to 2-0 with a power play goal just past the midway point of the first.
Notre Dame was able to get on the board before the end of the opening frame on a goal from Aidan Strangeway with 3:30 to go in the first.
The score remained 2-1 until early in the third period when Christian Adlys potted a power play goal for the Hounds to tie the game up at two a side.
The Hounds pressured hard for the rest of the third, but couldn’t beat goalie Zen Tucker for the go-ahead goal.
Tucker made 28 saves for Moose Jaw, while the Warriors fired just 14 shots on the Hounds’ net.
There was a boisterous crowd on hand for the game as was the case for the majority of home games for the Midget AA squad this season. Kurz said they made it fun coming to the rink for his final minor hockey season.
“They really make it a lot more fun to play in front of, it would have been nice to have had playoffs with these guys, would have been a lot of hype,” said Kurz.
“It was a great final year.”
There’s still a number of local minor hockey teams with playoffs hopes, or are just kicking off the post-season.
Coming up on Friday night, the Moose Jaw Bantam A Warriors will host the Indian Head Chiefs. Puck drops at 7:15 p.m. at the Bert Hunt Arena.