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Warriors open road swing with three straight wins

The Moose Jaw Warriors couldn't have asked for a better start to their road swing through the B.C. Division
Playing four games in five nights to kick off the Western Hockey League trip, the Warriors won their first three games before falling 2-1 in overtime to the Vancouver Giants on Jan. 19. Prior to that loss, the Tribe defeated the Kamloops Blazers 5-2 on Jan. 15 and took a 5-1 victory over the Kelowna Rockets on Jan. 16. They then traveled to Victoria on Jan. 18 and took a 4-0 win over the Royals.

The impressive showing sees the Tribe improve to 24-11-6-2 on the season, 12 points clear of Brandon for third place in the East Division and six points back of Saskatoon for second place. Moose Jaw has four games in hand on the Blades.

Vancouver 2, Warriors 1
The loss in Vancouver was a hard-fought, back-and-forth contest that saw all the scoring in regulation happen in a span of just over two minutes in the first period: Jett Woo scored 7:08 into the game to put the Warriors ahead 1-0 before Bowen Byram tied the game for the Giants at the 9:36 mark.

There the score would stay until overtime when Davis Koch scored 2:58 into the extra frame to give Vancouver the win.

Both goaltender turned in solid performances, with Brodan Salmond taking second star honours with his 25-save showing and Trent Miner stopping 26 shots for the Giants.

Warriors 4, Victoria 0
After a close call the night before saw Salmond lose his shutout bid with only three minutes left in the game, the Tribe were able to get the job done in front of Adam Evanoff, helping the Warriors goaltender to his first shutout of the season.

Tristan Langan had long before made sure the result wasn't in doubt, as he scored a natural hat trick in the second period – Justin Almeida assisted on all three goals – to put Moose Jaw ahead 3-0 heading into the final frame. Keenan Taphorn added their other marker.

Evanoff stopped 28 shots to pick up the clean sheet; the Warriors fired 29 at Victoria's Griffen Outhouse.

Warriors 5, Kelowna 1
The Warriors broke out their scoring depth in the second game of the trip, as five different players hit the scoresheet: Carson Denomie in the first, Almeida and Woo in the second, Drae Gardiner – with his first of the season – and Daniil Stepanov in the third. Josh Brook and Yegor Buyalski finished the game with two assists each.

That was more than enough for Salmond to get the win, as he made 18 saves before Kyle Topping scored for the Rockets in the game's dying moments.

Warriors 5, Kamloops 2
The Warriors opened the trip with a back-and-forth contest that saw Justin Almeida and Dalton Hamaliuk score in the third period just over two minutes apart to put the game away.

Almeida finished with two goals and four points as the Warriors led 3-1 after the first and 3-2 through two. Langan had a goal and an assist and now sits third in WHL scoring with 36 goals and 74 points, two back of Edmonton's Trey Fix-Wolansky. Almeida's solid week saw him move to 10th in league scoring with 14 goals and 59 points.

Evanoff made 34 saves for the win while his teammates fired 32 at Kamloops' Dylan Ferguson.

The Warriors' trip continued in Prince George on Jan. 22, with their next contests against Edmonton on Jan. 25 and Medicine Hat on Jan. 26.

Next home action is Feb. 1 against the Tigers.


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