Despite outshooting Lethbridge 35-23, the Moose Jaw Warriors came up short Monday afternoon falling 4-1 to the Hurricanes at Mosaic Place.
“We didn’t come out to play, we didn’t put an effort in and we lost in our home rink,” said assistant coach Mike Vandenberghe on the frustrating loss to Lethbridge.
Hurricanes goalie Ty Rimmer has given the Warriors problems during their three meetings so far this season as Moose Jaw’s thrown 45, 35 and 35 shots on him during those games, but lost two of the three.
“We threw pucks at him, but I don’t think we had a lot of quality opportunities,” said Vandenberghe during the post-game show. “I don’t think we put in the effort to try and score goals.”
Rimmer says his teammates made things easy on him as he picked up his 13th win of the season. “Guys were getting in front of me, boxing out the traffic and letting me deal with the first save, so it makes it pretty easy to control the rebounds.
“We had twenty guys going (in the game). Last time we came in here we had a good start, but we took ten minutes off in the second period and that cost us, these are a dangerous team, especially at home, but tonight we managed to play a full sixty and get the job done.”
The Warriors threw a ton of pucks at Rimmer in the opening frame but weren’t able to slide one past the goal line. Midway through the period, Lethbridge defenceman Daniel Johnston took a shot from the left line and Brad Ramsay deflected past Warriors goalie Justin Paulic’s legs to make it 1-0 skating into the intermission.
Early in the second Hurricanes rookie Remy Laurencelle tossed the puck from below the Warrior goal line, it came up to Johnston on the right circle, his shot into traffic beat Paulic to make it 2-0. Then at 12:17, Craig Leverton stole the puck from behind the Warrior net, and then went tape-to-tape to Jay Merkley in the low slot who scored to make it 3-0 after two.
After killing a penalty to start the third, the Warriors took another minor which the Hurricanes capitalized on, Jamal Watson led a 4-on-1 rush, he slid the puck cross ice to the right wing for Merkley who had it go off his skate and in. The referee had originally signaled “no goal”, but after further review the Hurricane power play good stood to make it 4-0. The Warriors finally got on the board, at the 7:15 mark of the third, with a goal from Bryson Gore, unfortunately that was all their offence could manage as they fell 4-1.
Moose Jaw went 0-for-5 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill; Ty Rimmer made 34 saves in the win; Justin Paulic made 19 in the loss.
“We have no excuses, that should have been a game that we should have won,” said assistant captain Joel Edmundson. “We needed more traffic in front of (Rimmer), but our complete game was off and we didn’t win enough battles and that cost us.”
The Warriors are now on hiatus for eight days, they’re next game won’t be until November 21st when they host the Prince Albert Raiders, after that game the team will embark on a seven game in 14 day road trip to the west coast.
Vandenberghe says he thinks this break will be good for the team to get back on course after an up and down couple of weeks, “We need to get our work ethic back, we need to get mediocrity out of our system and start expecting to win when we come to the rink. 500 isn’t good enough for Warriors hockey and right now they’re accepting that.”
Super Series Comes To WHL This Week
The Subway Super Series will make its way West this week for a pair of games between the Russian All Stars and Team WHL in Vancouver and Victoria.
Moose Jaw Warrior Morgan Rielly was named one of three assistant captains for the WHL on Monday in the lead up to Game 5 on Wednesday in Vancouver. Former AAA Warrior Ryan Murray will be the captain for that game with Swift Current Bronco Adam Lowry serving as captain in Victoria.
Rielly will suit up in both games against Russia on Wednesday in Vancouver and on Thursday in Victoria. Warriors leading scorer Sam Fioretti is also taking part in the Super Series, he was schedule to just play in the finale in Victoria, but will now play in both games after a couple injuries to other players.
The Russians are 2-2 coming into Game 5 and 6 against the WHL. They lost on Monday to Team OHL 2-1 in Sarnia, Ontario.