It might have looked good early, but the Moose Jaw Warriors couldn’t keep up the pace in the first game of their seven-games-in-14-days road trip through the B.C. Division and Alberta.
As a result, the Warriors would drop an 5-2 decision to the Prince George Cougars in Western Hockey League action.
The loss snapped a modest two-game winning streak for the Warriors and saw Moose Jaw fall to 13-9-0-0 on the season, four points back of the Saskatoon Blades for fourth place in the Eastern Conference and a single point up on Lethbridge and Calgary.
The Warriors opened scoring on their first shot of the game three minutes in. Ryder Korcak scored his first goal since returning to the team from the New York Rangers, finishing off a two-on-one with Eric Alarie by putting a perfect shot top corner on Cougars goaltender Ty Young.
Moose Jaw continued ferocious pressure in the Prince George zone and were rewarded with their second goal at the 10:21 mark. Lucas Brenton finished off a slick bit of passing with Korczak and Jagger Firkus by blasting home a one-time from the low right face-off circle. The goal was Brenton’s first of the season and eighth point.
The assist extended Firkus’ point streak to 15 games, with his run second-longest in the WHL this season, only trailing Connor Bedard’s ongoing 21-game streak.
The Cougars got one back before the period was out, putting their league-second-best power play to work and finishing off when Caden Brown stickhandled through traffic and snuck the puck behind Warriors goaltender Connor Ungar.
A turnover in the Prince George zone led to Brown going in on a breakaway with 33 seconds remaining in the frame, and he’d outduel Brenton before getting off a backhand that trickled over Ungar’s shoulder and dropped into the net.
While the Warriors carried the play much of the first period, it was the Cougars who turned the tables in the second -- and if not for Ungar, things could have gotten out of hand before the third period even started.
As it stands, Ungar would make 24 saves in the frame while the Warriors were only able to generate four at the other end of the ice.
Prince George made all that pressure pay off early in the third.
Chase Wheatcroft took a feed off the end boards from Brown and beat his man in the slot before getting off a shot high glove side 2:14 into the period.
The Warriors had a golden chance to tie the game with their first power play six minutes into the frame but wouldn’t get a shot on net, and seconds after the penalty expired, Prince George made it a 4-2 game.
Riley Heidt was left all alone in the high slot and went in alone on the Moose Jaw goal, with his shot hitting the post, bouncing back out off Ungar and into the net with 8:31 to play.
Noah Boyko closed out scoring for Prince George with just under three minutes remaining.
Ungar finished with 41 saves on the night while the Warriors had 21 on Hall.
The Warriors are back in action on Thursday night when they visit the Memorial Cup-host Kamloops Blazers. Game time is 9 p.m. Moose Jaw time.
Overtime… the Warriors had solved the 20-year-old dilemma earlier in the week when forward Riley Ginnell was traded to the Regina Pats… Moose Jaw received a fifth-round pick in 2026 in exchange… the deal leaves the Warriors with the maximum three overagers: forward Ryder Korczak, defenceman Cole Jordan and goaltender Connor Ungar.