Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Warriors fall in Thanksgiving weekend shootout

For the Westlock News.

Senior Warriors’ Jorrey Jensen takes the puck to the net during a 7-6 Oct. 8 exhibition home loss to the Grande Prairie Athletics.
Eric Bowling/WN

The Westlock Senior ‘AA’ Warriors fought to the last second, but were edged 7-6 by the Grande Prairie Athletics in an Oct. 8 exhibition game at the Rotary Spirit Centre.

“It’s always tough to lose, no question, even if it’s an exhibition game,” said Warriors captain Mike Ivey, who had three assists on night.

“But a lot of good things came out of it. We stuck with it which was pretty nice.”

Morgan McLean of the A’s scored a goal early in the first, and the game blew wide open with a goal in the second by Grande Prairie’s Ryan Trudeau before the Warriors’ Mike Podruzny put one past Casey VanBeckveld to make it 2-1 in the second period.

The A’s quickly answered back, however, as Karey Pipes scored a goal 12 seconds later, restoring the A’s two-goal lead. The lead was cut short a less moment later when Evan Kuhar fired a bullet to through the pipes to close the second period at 3-2.

The Warriors took charge at the start of the third period.

Corey Mercier snapped a goal in just shy of four minutes in, which was quickly followed by a second goal courtesy of Evan Kuhar. The A’s were not contained, however, as Mark Stojan responded with a goal just half-way through the third period.

Ryan Trudeau scored a second goal for the A’s before the Warriors’ Nathan Brown answered back with a goal of his own 19 seconds later. The A’s Dylan Moulds snuck a goal in with just under five minutes to go in the game, cementing the A’s lead at seven points. The Warriors pulled goaltender Marcus Johnson and Martin Clausen managed to put a final goal in for Westlock, but the A’s were able to hang on long enough for the 7-6 victory.

“It was a pretty sloppy exhibition game. There’s lots of technical stuff this year for us to work on,” said Ivey, adding that he was impressed with how the Warriors stayed in the game.

“We have lots of time to work on our power play and our d-zone coverage. It’s a really tough league, but if we can battle like that we should be fine.”

The club’s first regular season North Central Alberta Hockey League game goes next Saturday, Oct. 15 in Edson. The team returns to the friendly Spirt Centre confines Oct. 21 when they play host to the Daysland Northstars.

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