The Moose Jaw Warriors will be heading into the new year on a winning note.
Brayden Tracey scored a natural hat trick for the first three-goal game of his career as the Moose Jaw Warriors took a 3-1 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings in Western Hockey League action at Mosaic Place on Sunday night.
After former Warrior Chase Hartje gave the Wheat Kings a 1-0 lead 9:29 into the game, Tracey scored a goal in each period the rest of the way – at 9:06 of the first, 14:53 of the second and 5:45 into the third.
Tristin Langan continued to close in on the league leaders in scoring with another two assists, giving him 26 goals and 63 points on the season, six back of league leading scorer Joachim Blichfeld of the Portland Winterhawks, who will be in Moose Jaw on Saturday, Jan. 5 (7 p.m., Mosaic Place).
Adam Evanoff made 28 saves in the winning effort, while Connor Ungar stopped 24 for the Wheat Kings.
The Tribe were 1-for-3 on the power play; Brandon went 0-for-3.
The Warriors improved to 20-8-5-1 with the win and vaulted into fourth in the Eastern Conference standings with 46 points, one back of third place Edmonton with five games in hand and three back of Saskatoon with four games in hand. Moose Jaw now has points in their last five games (4-0-1-0).
The Warriors are back in action Friday when they travel to Prince Albert to face the CHL top-ranked Raiders.
Overtime.... The 50/50 for the annual New Year's Eve game started at $30,000 and reached $81,570, netting the winner $40,785 and the Warriors' scholarship fund nearly $26,000. The winner was unknown as of press time.