Moose Jaw battled hard but came up short Friday in Spokane losing 3-1 to the Chiefs to finish their schedule against the U.S. Division.
Moose Jaw had its best start of the road trip as they attacked the Spokane zone from the opening faceoff. Their fore-check was aggressive and created turnovers, they were also able to test Chiefs goalie Eric Williams with quality shots and chances on rebounds.
Approaching the nine minute mark of the period Warriors defenceman Spenser Jensen tossed a wrist shot from the blue line towards the net. The puck bounced off of Williams’ pad and right to Tanner Eberle who scored his 13th of the year.
Moose Jaw was able to create a great opportunity three minutes later. Josh Uhrich showed great control with the puck going from the right boards, behind the net and then coming out the left wing side to the high slot where he ripped a slap shot. The puck came to Brayden Point who was able to beat Williams but rang the puck off the crossbar.
Spokane’s strength in the first period was their special teams. Their penalty kill limited the Warriors shots and control on two power plays, while the Chiefs power play was able to create quality scoring chances only to be turned aside by Justin Paulic.
Down a goal to start the second Spokane was able to tie the game when Riley Whittingham beat Paulic with a shot while streaking down the right wing at 6:06.
Moose Jaw attempted several stretch passes through the neutral zone, but Eric Williams stopped Brandon Potomak and Jack Rodewald on their partial breakaways. On the other side of the red line at 14:41 Spokane rookie Keanu Yamamoto was able to get his hands on a rebound, giving the Chiefs a one-goal lead heading into the second intermission. The tribe had their chances in the second; they outshot Spokane 11-9 and went 0-for-3 on the power play.
Justin Paulic made big saves in the third period to keep the Warriors in the game. The offence was once again able to generate chances but wasn’t able to claw back into the game, Spokane added an empty net goal and went on to win.
Moose Jaw was 0-for-6 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill; Spokane outshot Moose Jaw 29-25.
Saturday is the second meeting of the season between the Warriors and Kootenay Ice, Moose Jaw is 0-1 after losing 5-4 October 26 in Cranbrook. Last year the Warriors were 2-1-0-1 against Kootenay, in the last five years they’ve posted a 9-7-0-1 record.
Jack Rodewald leads the Warriors with two goals; Tanner Eberle and Sam Fioretti have two assists each; Brayden Point and Torrin White have one goal each; Justin Paulic is 0-1 with a 5.13gaa and .868sv%.
Jaedon Descheneau leads Kootenay with two goals; Sam Reinhart has a goal and two points; Tim Bozon has two assists; Kyle O’Connor and Landon Peel have one goal each; Wyatt Hoflin is 1-0 with a 4.00gaa and .895sv%.
Catch all the action on Country 100 starting with the PreGame Show with James Gallo at 7:40pm.
Warriors Starters: G-Justin Paulic, D-Alexey Sleptsov/Jesse Forsberg, LW-Tanner Eberle, C-Sam Fioretti, RW-Scott Cooke
Warriors Scratches: Ben Duperreault, Bryson Gore, Ryan Bowen, Zach Sawchenko
Chiefs Starters: G-Eric Williams, D-Jeremey McIntosh/Cole Wedman, LW-Dominic Zwerger, C-Hudson Elynuik, RW-Riley Whittingham
Chiefs Scratches: Jeff Rayman, Blair Oneschuk, Markson Bechtold, Adam Hascic