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Warriors score pair late in second, overcome Pats rally for win

Langan scores twice, Tracey has goal and two helpers as Tribe take 5-2 victory

The Moose Jaw Warriors keep finding a way to win the close ones, and that’s something the team hopes will pay dividends when the playoffs roll around in a month’s time.

Josh Brook and Tristin Langan scored in the final two minutes of the second period and Carson Denomie added an insurance marker in the third as the Warriors took a 5-2 win over the Regina Pats at Mosaic Place on Saturday afternoon.

That effort was more than necessary, as the Pats had erased a 2-0 deficit earlier in the period despite the Warriors controlling much of the contest.

“We started well the way we wanted to and then we got away from our game in the second, they’re well-coached and organized and we knew they were going to make a push in the second,” said Warriors head coach Tim Hunter. “We didn’t compete as well as we could in the second and let them back in the game, but we stuck to it and got some stops and chances and were able to find the net.”

Brook gave the Warriors a 3-2 lead with 1:34 remaining in the second period, as he finished off a rush by Langan by finding the loose puck in front of Pats net and rifling a shot past goaltender Max Paddock.

Langan then put the Warriors ahead a pair of goals in the period’s final minute, corralling the puck all alone in front of the Regina net and, a quick move to his forehand later, making it 4-2 Tribe through two.

“It’s the WHL, any team can win on any given night and it’s whichever team shows up,” Brook said. “We showed up in the third, we had a couple slips in the second but we were able to come back and take the win.”

Langan – who now has 44 goals and 93 points on the season – scored a power play marker to 9:19 into the game to give the Warriors the early lead. Brayden Tracey added his rookie-leading 30th of the season with 3:42 to go in the frame for their 2-0 lead.

Brady Pouteau and Garrett Wright would get those goals back in the second period, though, setting up the Tribe’s late game surge.

With the Western Hockey League postseason rapidly approaching, Hunter will be looking for more consistency from his troops down the road.

“That’s what I told the team after the second period, that if this was a playoff game that’s not a very good effort, especially when you have momentum and let them back into a game have control of,” Hunter said. “But that’s hockey, it ebbs and flows and we have to manage pucks better in that environment.
Adam Evanoff made 15 saves for the Warriors, who fired 35 at Paddock.

The Warriors improved to 33-16-6-2 on the season and sit nine points up on Brandon for third in the East Division and the final wild card playoff spot.

Next action for the Tribe is Sunday when they host the Kootenay Ice in the final game at Mosaic Place for the Cranbrook-based squad before their move to Winnipeg for next season.
The contest is sponsored by and will feature a host of draws and special events throughout the contest. Game time is 4 p.m.

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