Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hitmen Silence Warriors

The Moose Jaw Warriors scored two goals in the third period, but couldn't erase a four goal deficit as they went on to fall 5-2 to the Calgary Hitmen.

The visitors opened the scoring at 12:58 on the first period on a goal from rookie import Victor Rask.

In the second, former Warrior Danny Gayle burned the tribe with a shorthanded goal at 4:42. Just over two minutes later Cody Sylvester made it 3-0, and then late in the frame a power play goal from Alex Gogolev made it 4-0.

The tribe had some jump in third, Quinton Howden scored a shorthanded goal at 3:36 to put them on the board. Justin Kirsch scored on a 5-on-3 power play to pull them to within one. However an empty net goal from Sylvester spoiled the comeback, as the tribe went on to lose their second straight at home.

Calgary forward Jimmy Bubnick had two assists and was named the game's first star, and says they executed their game plan perfectly. "We came in here and did what we wanted. We had a good start and put pucks behind their defence, ultimately we got the two points and that's huge."

Warriors defenceman Dallas Ehrhardt says they stumbled out of the gates and weren't able to recover until late in the game. "That's something that we have to eliminate from our habits. We just need to have better starts to games."

The teams combined for 14 power plays and over 100 penalty minutes, Assistant Coach Mike Vandenberghe says the overwhelming amount of 4-on-4 action was a rhythm killer.

"It's just like killing a bunch of penalties in a row because only four guys are going and the fifth guy is sitting. Not everyone plays 4-on-4, it's an offensive guy's game," said Vandenberghe. "It can definitely kill the rhythm, it's probably the most I've seen in years. I don't know the exact numbers but it was a lot."

Moose Jaw pulled starting goalie Luke Siemens to start the third, putting rookie Spencer Tremblay between the pipes. Vandenberghe says Tremblay played well and it was good for his development.

"For him to go in there and play very well in a tough situation where the team's flat and you're down by four goals to start with and you're facing a power play. You have to give the young man a lot of credit for standing in there, giving us energy making those saves, being aggressive, battling, and giving us a chance. He gave us a chance to comeback in the third period to try and tie or win the game.

The Warriors practice this afternoon at Mosaic Place as their attention now turns to a weekend series against Brandon.

Ehrhardt says as they look towards the weekend, they have to work harder to find consistency and achieve the 60 minute game. "We just have to relax out here. We have good moments and bad moments, it's just our consistency that's hurting us at the end of games."

The Warriors head east to Brandon tomorrow night and then the weekend series shifts to Moose Jaw Saturday night.

Wednesday WHL scores
Calgary 5 v 2 Moose Jaw
Medicine Hat 6 v 1 Prince Albert
Edmonton 10 v 3 Lethbridge
Kootenay 7 v 3 Kamloops
Prince George 3 v 7 Kelowna
Regina 2 v 5 Seattle
Swift Current 2 v 3 Spokane
Portland 6 v 7 Tri City

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