The defeat – combined with a 5-3 setback to Regina a week ago — was their second loss in a row, something that had happened only once prior this Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League season, and their only back-to-back losses since way back in mid November.
But you don’t have the kind of record the Warriors have without a bit of resiliency, and the Tribe weren’t about to let the slide get any worse as they rebounded with a 5-3 win over the Beardy’s Blackhawks in their final contest against the folding team on Sunday.
The split sees the Warriors now hold a 29-10-1-0 record, four points back of the first-place Pat Canadians with a game in hand, three points up on the Saskatoon Contacts with two games in hand and four games remaining in the regular season.
Prince Albert 4 Warriors 2
Taking the ice for the weekend without two of their top players in defenceman Max Wanner and captain Atley Calvert — both of whom are emergency call-ups for the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL — the AAAs still managed to push the Mintos to the limit.
Things looked good for the Warriors in the early going, as Kyle Forster scored the lone goal of the opening frame and Ben Wourms-Rowe game Moose Jaw a 2-1 lead out of the second period.
But Dawson Springer and Ashton Ferster scored goals 37 seconds apart in the first two minutes of the third and Tyler McMillen would add an insurance marker with 3:15 to play as the Mintos picked up the home-ice win.
McMillen also had the Mintos’ first goal.
Chase Coward made 20 saves in the Warriors goal, Spencer Welke stopped 33 for Prince Albert.
Warriors 5, Beardy’s 3
The Warriors and Blackhawks went on an offensive tear in Moose Jaw’s final visit to Willow Cree Memorial Sport Centre, recording more than 100 shots on goal between the two teams before the visitors prevailed.
It was Blackhawks who would strike first, though, as Holden Doell scored a pair of first period goals to give Beardy’s a 2-0 lead with 7:52 to play in the frame. Chris Otterson would get one back before the period was out, though, and neither team would score in the second.
The floodgates opened for the Warriors in the third, beginning with Forster tying the game 1:49 in before Austin Reschney gave Moose Jaw their first lead of the game at 11:29.
Doell would complete his hat trick with a power play goal at 10:26, but that set the stage for Ethan Peters to play the late-game hero as he scored on the man advantage himself with 5:33 remaining.
Davis Fry added an empty netter to cap the contest.
Coward had one of the busier games in recent outings, facing 41 shots, but Kris Johnson faced a ton more rubber at the other end of the ice, making 61 saves on the afternoon, including 28 in the second period alone.
The Warriors are back in action Wednesday, Nov. 12 when they travel to Wilcox to face the Notre Dame Hounds.