Photo by Brandi Crowe
Brandon, MB (CKLQ) - The Moose Jaw Warriors scored 0:23 seconds into the first period and didn't look back, on route to a 6-2 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings on Sunday night.
It was not the start the Wheat Kings wanted as Moose Jaw opened the scoring just 0:23 into the period. Justin Almeida fired a one-timer past Ethan Kruger who was making his fifth consecutive start to open the scoring on the first shot on goal.
Moments later, Brandon born Nolan Ritchie got the crowd back into it as he tapped home his first career WHL goal on a scramble in the crease to tie the game.
The Warriors weren't done there, however. Jett Woo restored the lead with a wrist shot from the blueline that fooled Kruger and ended up in the back of the net. Then with just 1.7 seconds left in the period former Swan Valley Stampeder forward, Tristin Langan poked home a loose puck to open up a two-goal lead.
In the second, the Warriors would add to their lead.
First, it was Yorkton's Kaeden Taphorn on the powerplay to open up a 4-1 lead. Then, with less than 0:15 left in the frame Justin Almeida banked home his 2nd of the night off Braden Schneider to send the Warriors to the locker room up 5-1.
Rookie netminder Connor Ungar would take over the Brandon net to start the third period. Kruger was pulled after allowing five goals on 30 shots. Ungar finished the night making nine saves in his WHL debut.
It didn't take long for the Warriors to solve the young netminder. Tate Popple found the back of the net just six minutes into the third to put the Warriors up by five.
Braden Schneider would get Brandon back on the board in the third period but that was a close as they would come to mounting any sort of comeback. Brodan Salmond earned his 11th win of the season, making 27 saves in the Warriors goal.
These two teams will meet again on Monday night in the annual New Years Eve clash. (7:00 on QCountry Radio.)
MJ - Justin Almeida (10) (Tracey) 0:23
BWK - Nolan Ritchie (1) (Nychuk, Thorpe) 3:32
MJ - Jett Woo (7) (Stepanov, Buyalski) 7:39
MJ - Tristan Langan (27) (Bensen) 19:58
Shots: 19-8 Moose Jaw
MJ - Kaeden Taphorn (4) (Hunt, Stepanov) 7:53 PPG
MJ - Justin Almeida (11) (Woo, Langan) 19:46
Shots: 11-8 Moose Jaw
MJ - Tate Popple (8) (Kee. Taphorn, Kwaitkowski) 5:55
BWK - Braden Schneider (4) (Thompson) 10:06
Final Shots: 40-29 Moose Jaw